LAKE MACBRIDE— When the ditch in front of our house dried enough to run the lawn tractor through, it was a sign that dry conditions were returning to Big Grove. 140th Street remains flooded, but most of the other roads in the county are passable. After an exceptionally wet and pleasant spring and early summer, the hot, humid weather has returned and we need rain.
Forcing myself outside, away from kitchen work, I pulled weeds from very dry soil before the day got too hot. I watered the vegetables, hoping dew and rain later in the week will nourish them— will be watering again before nightfall.
The last 24 hours has been what local food enthusiasts live for— securing broccoli for the winter, blanching and freezing it. It is work, with these outcomes: the best heads were kept fresh to cook later in the week; some of the best looking florets ever are processed and freezing; stems will be converted to soup, which then will be canned for later use; the freezer is getting a thorough cleaning of last year’s produce to make room, some of them going into the aforementioned soup; frozen rhubarb will be converted to sauce and canned; blueberries? Who knew?; and finally, vegetables that were frozen and are now coming in fresh will be composted.
Last night and today’s work is positive in so many ways.
That said, would it be better to buy frozen broccoli from the store during winter? When one lives close to the means of production, the answer is an emphatic no.