Monday, May 3, 2010

May 1st Weekend Update

Apologies for the crickets, dear readers. I decided to take a little break from the computer last week. Needed to refuel my batteries!

But never fear, even if I'm not posting about it there's always a fun project on tap. As you can see from the photo above, I harvested my second crop of spring vegetables from the garden.

Baby Bok Choy!

Here's a basic overview of last weekend in BaltimoreDIY:

Friday Night

Meeting for The Beet, Baltimore's newest bulk food buying club and food coop to be. We're still testing the website, but you can be our friend on Facebook!

My goal is to buy plenty of organic flour for bread baking (not only is bread delicious to eat, I've found it also makes a wonderful item to trade your friends for things like home-brewed beer, locally raised chickens, computer assistance, compost, etc.) Once day I'll try to figure out if we can get locally sourced flour.

I also want to get about two pounds of raisins and two pounds of peanuts since it makes a great whole-food snack and stores well so it makes a good emergency food item.

We have a lot of excess bulk dry goods available for people who aren't able to become members as well. I'll keep you all posted on when the pickups are going to happen.

Yay for Joe Squared having outdoor tables. Beer makes meetings silly but it was worth it!


Hanging out with my friend Katie Red at the Spoutwood Fairie Festival! She posted some pretty photos here.

It was May 1st and Beltane, so we had to go! A perfect sunny day to lay about on a farm, see the parade of costumed revelers, eat treats, and look at beautiful ferns and other plants growing around the loveliest little stream. Loved listening to the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra.

After we returned from the festival we came by the garden to do a little watering and harvesting. A nice end to a day of celebrating high spring!

You can see the baby bok choy was starting to get long and tall and send out flowers. That's called "bolting," and it's what happens when it gets too hot for a cool weather plant. Luckily bok choy still tastes nice and mild when it bolts, but I picked even the littlest plants since they were just going to go to flower. I let a few stay in the ground and will see if I can harvest some seeds for next year.

I spend Saturday evening relaxing from the day, washing bok choy and peeling a ton of parsnips on my front porch. So fun to people watch, have a brew, and get some delicious food ready for the week.


The adventures aren't over yet!

Sunday was the day to clean the kitchens at 2640 St. Paul. Since we, the church members, and Heart's Place shelter all share the kitchen, it gets to be quite a jumble! Lot of intense cleaning, but fun to hang out with amazing people who volunteer their time to be part of a community. A nice way to spend an afternoon!

Then I headed out to pick up a load of hay from someone who used it for an art project. Kind of hilarious toting around five trashbags of hay in the back seat of my Toyota Corolla. Ah urban farming...

But wait, you ask. Why is there is photo of a chicken coop posted for Sunday?

Well, my DIY friends, I finally got to taste my very first Baltimore-raised chicken. This coop was built by hand by a special new friend of mine. I was quite impressed! The slaughter happened as I was cleaning the 2640 kitchen, but I did get to see it on video.

I'll spare you all any details, but here's a photo I took of the aftermath:

A neighbor smoked one of the birds, but it was kind of too tough to eat. These were egg-laying chickens, which don't have as much meat on them as birds designed specifically for eating. Also, chickens are usually eaten when they are four months old, and these chickens were one year old.

Of course, there are still ways to eat a tough chicken! Tough, older birds are traditionally used for stew meat, so the plan is to make a stock with the smoke-enhanced carcass. I've got a few thoughts for recipes rolling around in my head.

You can be sure I'll let you all know how it turns out!


Kara Mae said...

I think egg-laying and old chickens are the reason fricasees were invented.

my friend made some kimchi recently and said the bok choy was the best.

C said...

coq au vin for everyone!

************* said...

I was thinking coq au vin too! The chicken was smoked though, so I'm thinking a kind of southwestern style meal... I'll have to research fricasees, I know the word but am not quite sure what they are!

Mmmm kimchi...

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