Saturday, April 23, 2016

And the Green Grass Grows All Around, All Around...

Well, it's happened.  JP had to do the entire 4 hour circuit of mowing for the first time this spring.  I'm sure he's thrilled.

The first project we worked on today, however, was relocating the hens' field.  Being normal chickens, they scratched and pecked until there was not a single living thing, nor bit of greenery growing in their run.


We ordered a second 160 foot electric netting fence, and effectively gave them twice as much space to spread out, all of it covered with grass and dandelions a-plenty, and 2 shade trees to boot.  They seem to be happy with their new space.  We plan to re-seed the old area, so that we can continue to move their run to new green spaces.

 
I took the push mower down to the garden and hacked down the paths.  We are hoping to get a dump truck load (or two) of chipped wood from the electric company this summer - they will be trimming along the lines in our area, and have promised us at least one load.  I was thinking that this would be the perfect substance to cover the paths between my raised beds.  I would love to no longer have to mow in there!

I also picked the asparagus today.  It was the first real bunch of the year.  With it I tried out this recipe for Asparagus Salad that was in my April/May Cook's Country magazine:


Asparagus Salad with Radishes, Parmesan and Croutons

Serves 4-6

Croutons:

2 T unsalted butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts discarded, cut into 1/2" cubes
salt & pepper

Heat butter and oil in 12" skillet over med heat until butter is melted.  Add bread cubes and 1/8 tsp salt and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brow (7-10 min.) Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Pesto:

2 c fresh mint leaves
1/4 c fresh basil leaves
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 t grated lemon zest
2 t lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

Process mint, basil, lemon zest & juice, garlic and 3/4 t salt in food processor until finely chopped (20 sec.)  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in oil until combined and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Salad:

2 lbs asparagus
5 radishes, trimmed & sliced thin
2 oz Parmesan cheese shaved with vegetable peeler

Cut asparagus tips from stalks in 3/4" long pieces.  Slice stalks 1/8" thick on the bias .  Add asparagus, radishes and cheese to pesto and toss to combine.  Top with croutons.



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