Kitchen Garden

Going Without a Share

Fermented Dill Pickles

The change in our local food ecosystem from last summer to this is hard to fathom.

We let go of the summer share from the Community Supported Agriculture projects to rely on our garden.

It was a big step and I feel much less stress from over abundance. Some days I’d like more lettuce, and some of the specialty crops, but there is plenty from our garden to fill the gap. Now that tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and peppers are beginning to come in, I don’t forecast any gaps.

What is hard to fathom is why the transition has been so easy. Maybe I’m getting to be a better gardener. Maybe I was due to go on my own.

Tornadoes tore through Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant yesterday as I got off work at the home, farm and auto supply store. It doesn’t appear anyone was seriously injured or died, although damage to the communities was substantial. Photos and video posted on social media depicted a horrible scene. The Marshalltown Times-Republican newspaper got an issue out the next day despite the storm — practicing journalists they are.

Are these storms due to climate change? I don’t know. What I do know is the seasons are out of wack. A late spring, early high ambient temperatures, and more frequent storms make our climate exceedingly weird. We adjust, accommodate, but something’s different.

Ben Santer, an atmospheric scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, led a study of four decades of climate data that concluded human activity is disrupting our seasonal balance. That is, the seasons don’t proceed through time the way they did. It may be confirmation bias, but I doubt it. Eric Roston at Bloomberg wrote a more accessible article about the study here.

In the kitchen it’s cucumber day! A batch is sweating over a bowl and the crock is full of sweet pickles to be water bath processed tomorrow. The dill pickles in the photo took 13 days to ferment. It was worth every minute.