Where has March gone?

“March madness” is in full swing. I used to think that only meant basketball. Now I understand that it means both basketball and other things: like starting plants, building greenhouses, waiting for frost to leave the soil so that fence can be built, getting ready to plant potatoes, intended-for-winter tractor repairs that were put off a little too long… and probably quite a few other things. But with March going out like a lamb – despite Iowa State’s loss yesterday – and providing us with some wonderful weather, it’s easy to feel good about getting the season started.

When good weather happens and people work together, lots can be accomplished! We had nearly the whole crew working at various times to help put up a “small” greenhouse. I have to be careful with “small” because we’ve got one that’s 5′ x 6′ — really small! Today we added 10′ x 20′ — still on the small side for what we’re doing, but should be sufficient to get us through this year.

greenhouseconstI have to admit… it was a bit of a surprise that it went up today. Well, it wasn’t because I glued the PVC components together yesterday. But still – that it’s up and looks more or less like I’d thought it would look – well, it feels good. Another surprise today – there’s 100 baby chicks in the back room of the house. We’d been talking about getting more chickens around here for the last several weeks, but never really made plans for how many. Half of them are layers – which means we’ll definitely be able to offer eggs to CSA members as an add-on option for their share. More on that later, because I forgot to even take a picture…

 

Carrot Ginger Soup

This carrot ginger soup was tasty, though the texture did not appeal to everyone. The blended carrots had a very fibery texture. We will have to do some experimenting to see if it’s possible to get a smoother texture – maybe it’s because these carrots were frozen? Maybe they were not cooked through enough when I blended them? Either way, I liked the soup and found this to be a great use of carrots from last season… yet there is always room for improvement!

8 tablespoons · Butter
1 · Onion — peeled and chopped
2 · Garlic cloves
2 tablespoon · Chopped ginger
1 teaspoon · Mustard seed
1 teaspoon · Ground cumin
1 teaspoon · Cinnamon
1 teaspoon · black pepper
20-30 · Carrots (I used frozen)
4 cups · Water
2 cups · Yogurt
4 tablespoons · Honey

I melted the butter in a large frying pan and sauted the onions and garlic. Then I add the spices and cooked several minutes while stirring frequently. In between stirs, I sliced the carrots into discs. Then I added the carrots to the pan and cooked a few minutes longer. Then I added 2 cups water, covered tightly and let simmer for 30 minutes.

 

carrots

 

I scooped the mix into the blender (I did three batches), pureed the cooked carrots and mixed in some of the remaining water to make it puree better. Then I poured the mix out of the blender into a crockpot and whisked in the yogurt and honey. I let the soup heat up for another 30 minutes, being careful not to let it boil (since I’d added the yoghurt).

 

carrot soup