Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Food, Fun, and Frivolity

Summers are great for fresh greens from the garden, and since I have been helping more with the garden of my aging parents, I also benefit by receiving some of the harvest. I get to try foods I would not normally buy or grow myself like beets and kohlrabi etc. My grandma used to make pickled beets and I hated even the smell of them. I thought she made them red by pickling them until I got fresh beets and peeled them and realized they are naturally deep burgundy. They taste pretty good fresh, although they did make my throat feel kind of raw after a bit. I read it's due to the oxalic acid in beets. Hmmm. Oxalic acid is often used by beekeepers to kill varroa mites in hives. Interesting.

Beets peeled and cooked in the microwave. Not bad at all.

Beet greens cleaned and ready to eat raw in salad or sauteed. Below are the sauteed and plated greens. Who needs meat with a plate like that?

Marinated venison steaks on the grill with beets and zucchini. Grilled and touched with a little seasoning salt is my favorite way to eat zucchini. It makes my mouth water to look at this picture.

I like aquariums and this beauty was in the Helen Warner branch of the Willard Library in Battle Creek, MI. We provided an outdoor honey bee presentation there and when I went indoors and saw this I had to snap a picture.

On our way home from the library in Battle Creek we stopped at the historic village at Bowen's Mill Park since neither my wife nor I had ever been there. It was sort of closed, but we still enjoyed a quiet walk around. I never knew it was on Thornapple Lake and I had packed my fishing pole (you just never know when it might come in handy) so I threw a few casts from shore. I saw a guy catch what looked like a muskie in a boat out from where I was standing. It was a good sized fish but they have to be 42 inches to keep, I believe. 

All set up and ready for an audience at the Leighton Twp Library in Moline, MI. We had a great time!

My parents didn't care for the kohlrabi they grew so I could "take all I wanted". We had grown it one year and enjoyed its greens, but since we have lots of shade it never produced much of a ball. Theirs had greens and fruit "ball", so I sauteed the greens and thin sliced the fruits. They tasted like a very mild radish raw. Sauteed they tasted almost meaty and better than raw to me. I have some in the pan with the greens above but they might be covered by the leaves.

We harvested honey. It was a light harvest for us due to various problems with queens and diseases in some hives. I was happy to get any honey at all. Fortunately, we have some left from a bountiful harvest last season, so we should be able to meet all our customer demands. Any agricultural pursuit can be tough at times for various reasons. It reminds us that we are not in total control. That is probably a good thing.

The fireflies are almost gone, now. That means summer is over. Katydids are singing their strange "zzzt--zzzt song now at night. Cicadas are still going strong. 

Enjoy the last gasps of summer. 

PS. In last month's blog post I asked for help identifying a bird sound I have been hearing. Guess what! I tracked down the sound to a red tailed hawk in a tree! I am so pleased to know what is making that sound. I never would have guessed it was a hawk because it is not a "hawkish" sound at all. Now we know.....

What A Time!

It has been a busy time of programs and presentations for us. We have done more shows this year than ever before in the history of our busin...