"Spring Showers." A cute name for the torrent April just floated in on. There has never been a better way to keep curious chickens and goats from upsetting freshly planted gardens as the eminent soaking - seedlings burst forth to seek the sun, but the critters have to plan their takeover from the forested creekside. I'll call that team work and splash on over to the next bed for weeding and seeding!
     Transition is in everything and growth is the game as our children, plants, trees, and schedules bloom and begin to reflect the longer days that will lead us into summer. (Someday. No really, it will happen.) The perennial herbs are beginning to shake off the sleepy winter just as many of the overwintered greens are ready to be turned in for this season's bean beds. The greenhouse is greener ever day, and some of the first sprouts are poking up in the garden! As usual, I find myself talking plants with everyone I meet and imploring every woman, man and child to start up a garden. This is the time to plant, and these Shuksan strawberries will quickly liven up your patch. They are highly recommended by northwest gardeners for their early harvests of large berries that are great for fresh eating as well as canning and freezing. Quinalt, Fern, and Hood varieties are also available with your next box, keep an eye out for a complete list of plants available from Coffee Creek.
     The goodies this month are symbolic of the season, as the storage that has kept us happy and healthy throughout the winter are shared and celebrated knowing that the season's bounty will soon refill the pantry for winters to come! Kraut, a live cabbage ferment, will activate your digestive and immune systems, coupled with kombucha's mild detoxifying properties create a great environment for fresh herbs and eggs. Oregano is a natural germ-fighter; the chopped, fresh herb sprinkled onto meals not only adds a savory and slightly spicy appeal, but can also help to fight off the sniffles that often accompany a change in weather.
     The truffles are again provided by Blissful Wunders on Steamboat Island. The selections of the week: one Hazelnut and one Blueberry with Portuguese Sea Salt. There will be different flavors each time truffles are featured, giving you the full spectrum of amazing hand-crafted treats. Check out Bliss's website for a complete line-up!
     Kombucha contains English breakfast black tea, organic cane sugar and filtered water and was bottled right here at Coffee Creek on the 6th. Keep bottle closed and at room temperature for three to five days to carbonate, refrigerate to stop fermentation at any time, or enjoy some now. Biologically active kraut should be kept cool, and solids should be pushed down below level of brine after opening. These are not processed or pressure sealed, as heat would destroy important enzymes. Please enjoy these living foods in moderation until you are accustomed to cultured foods (yogurt and miso are other examples of living, cultured foods that may be part of your diet already).
     Waylon, my three and a half year old son, loves a snack that poses a challenge (to his mom). Grandma's walnuts top that list of favorites! He bagged these walnuts up himself to share in the cracking and picking pleasure with you all. These nuts will stay fresh for quite a while in the shell, or they may be shelled, bagged, chopped and frozen for later use in breads and other baked goods.
     Thank you for enjoying the bounty of our gardens and community with us! As you enjoy your goodies, contemplate not only the gardens at Coffee Creek, but the one waiting in your backyard or neighborhood.