Given that today marks the first day of Spring, perhaps time has come to begin planning this year’s dirt candy selection, as a part of our ‘farm fresh foodways’ tradition.
Ever since returning home to the U.S., I’ve been assisting my Father with his small patch of farm fresh vegetables and fruit trees, neatly arranged around the property.
Thankfully, last year was no different and the considerably warm weather we experienced here in the Pacific Northwest, aided in some tremendously delicious yields. The seasonally sublime weather allowed me to wrap up my last harvest just before the “frosty moon” appeared, last November. That said, the featured photo is what I harvested for that evenings sumptuous supper…turnip greens and what would amount to some delicious fried green tomatoes.
Try Feast & Farm‘s recipe for a stellar southern side dish:
How to fry green tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are totally southern, tangy and the perfect addition to your dinner table. Try this basic recipe and then spice it up if you want to.Prep Time 6 minutesCook Time 10 minutesTotal Time 16 minutesServings 5Calories 153 kcal
- 3 to 5 medium green tomatoes cores removed and sliced thin
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup self rising cornmeal mix
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- hot sauce optional
In a small bowl, add the buttermilk and a couple dashes of hot sauce if you want it, then stir to combine.
In a separate shallow dish add the flour, salt, pepper, and cornmeal mix.
Batter your tomatoes in this order: first into the flour/cornmeal, then into the milk and back into the flour.
Add about four tablespoons of oil to a regular skillet and warm over medium-high until the oil sizzles as soon as a tomato touches it. As they cook, some of the oil will absorb, so you may need to add a tablespoon more between each batch.
Fry the tomatoes in batches, being careful not to crowd them. Fry about 5 minutes per side and the breading should be golden brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little extra salt if needed. Serve immediately.Nutrition FactsAmount Per ServingCalories 153* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Note: self rising cornmeal mix is found near the flour in the baking aisle. It’s not straight cornmeal. More finely ground, it’s blended with a little flour and I like it best in this dish. If you only have cornmeal and flour, you can use that to.
That said, last year’s crops were limited in variety, however, they were plentiful & pleasantly palate pleasing, to say the least.
It’s something to see your garden come alive, begin to sprout, germinate and cultivate what will ultimately become nourishment for those that are able to reap in its rewards.
Even with a limited variety, we still made the most of our harvest.
That expressed, this year, I’ve decided to add a variety of vegetables to our garden; which I’m certain will greatly test our green thumbs’ abilities. However, I’m confident our nutrient rich soil will allow everything at our fingertips to flourish…
Fortunately, a nearby neighbor supplies us with a homemade a combination of mushroom & chicken manure compost that, really sparks growth and aids in nourishing the soil, just before tilling in what will be the base for this years’ selection of hearty crops.
Listed below, are but some of the farm fresh foodways I look forward to indulging in later in the year:
Beans ~ Dragon Langerie (Heirloom) & Marvel of Venice (Heirloom)
Beets ~ Bulls Blood & Chioggia (Heirloom)
Cabbage ~ Filderkraut (Ark of Taste Heirloom)
Carrot ~ Rainbow Carrot Mix & Yellowstone
Cucumber ~ Lemon (Heirloom)
Eggplant ~ Violetta di Firenze (Heirloom)
Greens ~ Collards “Cascade Glaze”, Kale “Black Tuscan” & “Russian Frills”
Onions ~ Siskiyou Sweet (Heirloom)
Peas ~ Sugar Snap
Peppers ~ Doe Hill & Jimmy Nardello (Ark of Taste Heirloom)
Squash ~ Yellow Crookneck (Heirloom)
Zucchini ~ Costata Romanesco (Heirloom)
Tomatoes ~ Sweet Orange II & Yellow Pear Cherry (Heirloom)
Turnip ~ Tokyo Market
Watermelon ~ Blacktail Mountain
Herbs~ Basil (Italian Large Leaf) & Cilantro “Pokey Joe”
Additionally, planting pollinators (such as a few Hollyhock and Zinnia) along your property aids in attracting a myriad of bees, allowing for your garden to survive & thrive.
Flowers that will be sowed throughout the seasons: Amaranth “Elephant’s Head“, Amaranth “Love Lies Bleeding” – Heirloom, Anise Hyssop, Bachelor’s Button “Florist Blue Boy”, Bee’s Friend (Bienen-Friend), Borage, Calendula Mix, Four O’clocks “White”, Marigold “Pinwheel” – Heirloom & Zinnia “Salmon Rose”.
Oh, and one mustn’t forget these glorious little burst of natural sunlight…
Surprisingly, in our tiny orchard you’ll find our Frost Peach Lovell’s tucked along the fence row. Thankfully, we’ve had ours in the ground for three years, and this is the first time it’s produced this many. The year before, we only got three.
If you fancy a few for your garden scape, they can be purchased at www.raintreenursery.com.
Of course after every good harvest – that’s when the tough decisions have to be made…
Now that I’ve gathered some resources and attended a couple of the Olympia Food Co-op‘s ‘Garden Planning’ classes, it’s time to get busy…filling in the rows to prepare for our farm fresh foodways❣
For more information on this topic, feel free to review a previously written article I wrote, entitled: Supplemental Gardening Done Right.
Family Farming…Plant One, Grow Many