Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ramps, Ramps and Wild Leeks...

I feel like I'm behind on my posts...but I will try to keep the growing season ramps up...

ok...that was a bad pun...

This post is all about what we made this year with wild leeks.

I have posted about the actual picking of wild leeks I won't rehash it.
If you are in desperate need of picking the link below:

This year, the family went out twice for picking leeks.
The first time was my husband and son in the first few weeks of May...but the plants weren't quite ready yet.

We waiting a week or two and then went out again.
It was the mother-load!!!
We went to our usual spot, but hiked back about 100 feet further into the woodsy interior.
It was like an unspoiled haven for leeks.

We hauled out 3 cloth grocery bags of wild leeks.
Husband spent 3 nights separating the green leaf part and the white bulb part.

I spent about a day preparing the leeks to be made into several new and exciting edible forms.

So this post is about all the thing we made this year!

Read on and salivate...

Potato & Wild Leek Soup

This recipe is so basic and filling...enjoy it topped with bacon bits or herbed croutons.

10-12 medium sized potatoes
8 wild leek bulbs (the white part only)
2 tbsp coarse chopped leeks leaves (the green part only)
1 cup veg or chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 tsp fresh chopped chives
1 tsp salt & ground pepper each

Simmer potatoes in water until tender.
Add broth, leeks bulbs and S & P.
Simmer until aromatic.
Add leek greens, chives and simmer for a few minutes.

You can make this recipe with fresh or frozen leek bulbs.

I'm so proud of that picture above!

From left to right:
-Dried ramp leaves
-Sweet pickled leek bulbs
-Ramp greens pesto

I borrowed the pesto recipe from my friends at The 3 Foragers blog!

check out their delicious recipe here:

For some reason, this image makes it look like the pesto turned out fluorescent green...
but in reality it was more dark green in colour.

On the same page as the recipe for the pesto...was a recipe I've been dying to try...
Ramp Pesto Twists!!!

The 3 Foragers include the recipe for both the pesto, the bread and instructions on forming the twists.
The only substitution made was using marble cheddar instead of the recommended mozzarella.

The results ROCKED!

Above is the image taken of the final product with Pork chops, spinach salad and mashed garlic potatoes.

While I've made the Potato Wild Leek Soup before, the other recipes were new to our family (and me!)
We jarred the pesto for future enjoyment (it really was very tasty)
We dried and stored the ramps greens for future use in soups etc over the fall and winter.

The sweet pickled leeks will have their own post very soon...they are THAT good.

I would like to send a BIG thank you to The 3 Foragers
for continuing to post very tasty recipes for us to try.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Big Garden

When we moved in last year, gardening was the farthest thing from our minds.
Of course we had unpacking to do! 
We took all of our gardening stuff and literally chucked it into a
sad little shed in the corner of the property.
"Until next year!"  I thought at the time...

Flash forward to this year and it almost feels like gardening for the first time.
I wandered around feeling like I wasn't sure where to start!

Was I THAT out of practise?
(I hoped not)

So I decided to follow the advise of my old sub-foreman:

"Plan yer work and work yer plan!"

First step:  empty sad shed.


I had no idea it had a floor!

This image shows years of hoarding gardening containers and pots from everywhere and anywhere I could get my hands on them...mostly for free! 

You can sometime find loads of free planters and containers curbside after May 24th weekend.
(International Readers:  May 24th weekend is the celebration of Queen Victoria's birthday and widely held as the first beer-drinking, camping, put-all-yer-plants-in-at-once weekend)

Oh yeah, that's me standing in what will be our main garden patch!
It is quite a bit bigger than our previous home's garden.
(our "big picture plan" is to make enough to eat, store and then sell some at a small roadside stand)

Step 2....get the deck boards out of the garden!

We purchased a used deck last fall from a US Resident that didn't want to lug it across the Canada/US border.  Lucky for us, we got it for a song!

So we must move the deck board from the garden and onto the deck (where they should be!).
Husband installed the largest part of the deck last year.
The second and third pieces of deck will be installed as soon as the gravel is delivered.

Then we can think about tilling the soil.


There's our view of the garden from on the deck...
Can you imagine what it will be like to look out over our bounty??? 

So that is all the update I can give ya right now...
Check back soon for future steps...

In the meantime...
I sorted out the smaller containers.
Years of buying seedlings already started from local nurseries.

I am volunteering to grow some seedlings for my Mother in Law for her church Plant sale.
I decided to splurge for the good stuff...hey, what goes around comes around, right?

I loaded up a bunch of peat pots to start some herbs and a couple other planters I had around.
The herb seeds were supplied by my Mother in law.

In the end we had several large areas of tomatoes.
Tiny Tim red cherry tomatoes, Yellow pear cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes.

All are sprouting nicely!  Just in time for the June 1st sale.