Shaw Homestead Report

Front Yard Garden
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

No, that’s not my yard, but the amazing front yard garden on 8th Street near the Giant. Comparatively, my yard is sort of disappointing. The tomatoes are just plants. A few sport some small green globes. So far I’m doing very well with arugula and I’ve been giving away the salad to friends and neighbors. Another salad item I’ve got going gangbusters in the yard is purslane. I saw it at the Mexican Fruit Stand and found out it is called ‘Verdolagas’. But no need to buy it as I have tons of it. I just have to avoid steeping on it, and the arugula.
I also have growing cucumbers, beans, sage and a bunch of other herbs. The cukes are weird. I bought a particular variety of cucumber that formed softly furred baby cukes. The other plant (I swear from the same seed) has fruit with hard spikes.
I, like many it appears, have started experiementing with canning. My excuse is, I’m running out of room in my freezer and would like to remove the things that can be canned. I ordered a hot water canning kit from the 5th Street Hardware Store, then went back later to pick up the last set of 1/2 pint canning jars they had on the shelf. I’m hoping that if and when my tomatoes do come, I can can them. So far I’ve canned a banana rum jam and some peaches from a neighbor’s yard. I’m still looking at the jars carefully to make sure I did it right. 72 hours and so far so good. I would can the cherries, but my favorite form of preservation is to soak them in vodka. I’m trying to see if the drunken cherries are somewhat shelf stable. Problem is I keep eating them.
Speaking of canning there are a few articles in today’s Post’s Food Section. One on 14th & U and Bloomingdale farmer’s market vendor, Stefano Figerio. Stefano’s pastas are taking up space in my freezer, which is why I must can.
And some dissappointing news about food, organic isn’t as organic as we’d like. And if you really want to depress yourself (or not, depends on you) here’s a big ole organic agri-business chart. Last word, which makes this mess so sad, I was overhearing a conversation between a shopper and one of the farmers at the farmer’s market. She wanted to know if the veggies were organic. The farmer tried explaining that he couldn’t use that word “organic” because of the USDA rules and what not, but yes, no pesticides or unnatural fertilizers.

Fringe Festival Item: A Tactile Dinner

Weird but good. I enjoyed it.
There was an announcement that went up on the MVSQ blog about a preview for this… thing. So I went, not really knowing what to expect except that it was about food. I like food.
Food was deconstructed and the audience was the participant. No sitting back and just observing. It was a futurist meal. We “ate” beef (or mushroom if vegetarian) air, had salad (locally grown) without the aid of forks and knives, had a sugar cube course, and ended the meal with a spray of coffee or tea. Throw in some dance, and wrap it in futurism and a good time was had.