Back Forty

Back Forty update

It was SO NICE to work in the Back Forty yesterday. It was the first day that I have not been chased inside by mosquitoes in months. There is a frost advisory tonight.

I pulled up all the field peas, carefully picked every last pea off each plant, and piled the plants up next to the compost bin where I’m going to add them little by little. Then I cooked them for supper last night. I think that field pea snaps (the immature green pods) are much better tasting than green beans. I always find some dried pods which go into my seed stash for next year.

Today I will try to do the same with the butterbeans. I learned a lesson last year. These beans produce right up until frost, and I saw the little green pods as such a waste. Well, that’s silly, I should be happy that they produce that long! Last year I let the pods stay on the vine after frost hoping that they might, I don’t know, magically mature? Magic beans? This year I am picking every last one that has a hint of a little bean in it that is shellable. I will blanch them for about two minutes, cool them quickly in ice water, drain and freeze them.

Another important priority for today: freezing basil. It will not survive the frost. This is one of those things that if I miss it, I will regret it. I only have one basil plant this year, but it’s a big one.

I guess that I should pick the rest of the green tomatoes as well, but I’m not really excited about that. I don’t understand the appeal of green tomatoes, but they will eventually ripen in the house.

Yesterday I made a really good local meal. I marinated a small pork shoulder roast in cherry apple cider overnight. Then I sliced up a Stayman apple and minced a clove of garlic and put in the bottom of a slow cooker. I browned the shoulder in a cast iron skillet, then added it to the slow cooker and poured the rest of the cider marinade and a little more cider over it to come up to the bottom of the roast. I cooked it on low for about eight hours.

I served this with field peas and tendergreens/Tuscan kale sauted with garlic and a little bacon.

Pork Shoulder Roast: Bradd’s Family Farm (whey-fed pastured pork)
Apple and cider: Mountain Fresh Orchards, Hendersonville, NC
Field peas, kale, tendergreens, garlic: The Back Forty
Certified humanely raised bacon, salt, and pepper: Deep Roots Market

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