Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seasonal Menu Changes

If you're anything like me, you enjoy the menu changes that come naturally with the change of season. Nothing tastes better than a bowl of warm soup and homemade bread on a cold November day, unless it's fresh rhubarb crisp in June. Grilled vegetables in August are heavenly.

Now that we're making a bigger effort to grow more of our own food and eat locally, it takes a bigger commitment to eat whatever is in season. Sure, we can buy grapes grown in South America and shipped thousands of miles, but it's very satisfying to choose local food instead.

Early this spring I planted spinach and swiss chard. These crops are easy to grow and have done well in the shelter of the unheated greenhouse. I'm beginning to transition to summer crops in the greenhouse, and thus it is time to harvest the spring greens. So, how many ways can you think to prepare these lovely greens?
A green leafy salad with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is simple and lovely. We've made more than one version of spinach pie and swiss chard gratin, and recently we enjoyed something called "greens and sweet onion pie with yeasted olive oil pastry" from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest cookbook. Tonight we made pizza with pesto, swiss chard, feta and mushrooms (shown above).

So far, I haven't gotten tired of the greens. In fact, I've planted more seeds in the raised beds between rows of peas and beans. I'll harvest the leafy greens when the peas and beans get so big that they shadow the crops beneath. It's very satisfying to bring in dinner from the backyard farm.

If you have suggestions for swiss chard and spinach, we're open to new ideas.

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