Our WWOOF volunteer Lauren helping to plant the last of the winter squash

Our latest WWOOF volunteer( What’s WWOOF? Check it out here) enjoys foraging for wild edibles.This week while weeding the iris bed, she brought in the harvested (weeded) dandelion greens and made a yummy pesto. Along with our nightly side of cultivated greens from the garden, we mixed the dandelion pesto into some fresh spinach tortellini. Delish! Dandelion greens are loaded with vitamins (vitamin C, A, B1, B2, B6 and abundant in vitamin k) and minerals ( calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium). They are a great antioxidant and help to stimulate good kidney and liver function.
Here’s how Lauren ( our WWOOF volunteer) made her pesto:

2 cups of fresh and cleaned dandelion greens
2 1/2 cups of fresh spinach
3-4 cloves of garlic
juice from 1 lemon ( I’d use some grated lemon rind as well!)
1- 1/2 cups of toasted almond slivers
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 Tbls. nutritional yeast

This was all put into the food processor and blended together. It made two 1 pint jars of pesto, which is already gone! We’ve also been smearing dandelion pesto on our mid-day grilled cheese….sharp cheddar, home-made sourdough, our own bread and butter pickles, and sliced avocado. These we put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and gooey. I can only say, I sure hope those dandelion weeds that Lauren eradicated bounce back quickly…we’re out of pesto!!
Try some and let us know what you think.

Utilizing Everything We can

Picture 1296Where have we been? No blog post for several days? Well, things are moving along here at Fernwood, fast and furious you might say. We did get a day off ( Monday) to do some hiking. More on this adventure later, along with pictures. We’ll share the location and the wonderful gal that hiked along with us once we get all the pictures together.
The gardens here are providing us with a bounty. Fresh vegetables with every meal, and then the surplus being preserved for winter. This week we made jars and jars of garlic scape pesto. How do we make it? Here’s the recipe:
20 or so garlic scapes
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup almonds ( or another nut you prefer)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt to taste.
Put all of the ingredients into the food processor or blender with steel blade. Puree until fairly smooth, maybe a bit chunky if you like it that way. Season to taste with salt.
This will also freeze well. We love it on pizza, on pasta, and drizzled onto freshly steamed vegetables.
Picture 1288Picture 1291Picture 1289We have also been mining the soil from the chicken’s run. After letting layers and layers of chicken poop, straw, bedding hay, and leaves, to decompose, it has become a nutrient rich soil source. Throughout the year we will spread the chicken’s outdoor run with organic matter ( of the above mentioned minus the poop, they provide that themselves). A year or so later we begin excavating it to spread on the display beds and into the vegetable gardens. The chickens love when we start digging up their yard. Lots and lots of earthworms and beetles surface for them to dine on. They love rooting through the newly turned earth. After we’ve gathered enough to spread on the garden beds, we begin the process all over again. Even our weeds from the garden go into the chicken run. The chickens will feast on the green shoots and seeds and the rest will compost into the soil. We’re always trying to utilize everything here that we grow or produce. From grass clippings to garlic scapes, they all find their way into something useful.



The display beds and the nursery are bringing us a feast for the eyes. Pure delight. These flowers are from one of the many Sempervivums we grow. Lovely, I think. We hope the summer is going well for all, that your gardens are providing wonderful blooms and foliage, that the vegetable gardens are producing delicious fresh food , and that you too are finding a moment to sneak away and enjoy these summer days. Picture 1286