With the skills and magic of the internet and scheduling programs, I am deep into the wilderness right now, opening trails, sleeping on the forest floor, and visiting mountain peaks as well as all the tiny wonderful wildflowers.
It is this time of year (before the push and rush of all the August flowers) that I usually start to drag my feet, wishing there was more time in the day for sleep (unlike in the spring when I wish there was more time in the day to get things done) so this trip and week off from the markets is a break for me that I hope will help put back a little 'spring' in my step and brightness to my eyes.
When I return, I'll jump right back into harvest veg, bunching bouquets, and chasing around the crazy hens!
And if you wanna see the farm and how I purposefully intermesh the needs of the farm with the needs of the wilds, get you spot in our last Farm Tour & Field Dinner of the season!
Lots of veggies at this market as well as some new flower varieties in the bouquets and if you want some for the end of July you better get them now as I'll be at this week's market but not the next! Yep, I'm taking a mid-season break to go out into the woods. I'll be gone from Saturday to Saturday and while my parents are up to irrigating, wrangling crazy hens, and harvesting some flowers they aren't up to doing all the harvesting, washing, bagging, bunching, and market prep so I won't be at the July 29th or July 30th markets.
Feel free to stock up, as fresh local veggies last a lot longer than the stuff that's been sitting in trucks and shelves for days. But if you can't make it to the markets, you can also stop by the Farm to Market Store in Libby to get some fresh flowers and local veg!
They're what can be for dinner!
What are those flowers in the Petal Power with the spicy kick? Arugula and Nasturtiums! And you thought all flowers were sweet and mild, not these.
These have a saucy side!
The Sweet Peas be boppin! Last year they were forgotten about and got smothered by the weedy grass, but this year these puppies are waiting for those Bumble Bees to stop by for pollination and seed making!
They'll be added to my seed availability next year!
The first Sunflowers start as do the flowering Basils. Plus it's not too late to start some perennials from seed for next year. Like the iridescent blue Delphinium. And this year I'm letting some of the Foxgloves go to seed.
What's available this week?
Yep, lots of food that you already eat are really flowers. Artichoke and Brussel Sprouts are immature buds, as are Broccoli and Cauliflower. And some full on flowers are edible, like the Pansies, nasturtiums, Calendula, and Bachelor Buttons that make up my Petal Power. As well as others. And they go a long way to spice up that green salad or make that cake extra special.
They are always featured in the dishes whipped up by Mandy and her Gracious Table crew for the Farm to Table dinners (*wink wink* there is one this weekend!) if you need some flower power inspiration!
And, of course, you can find all the bouquets of mostly non-edible flowers, bunches and bags of crisp greens, and a few new tasty items available this week at the farmers markets (plus some items will be available starting this Friday at a local store near you! More details next week! 🎉 or follow the farm on Facebook and Insta for up to the 'minute' updates!)
If this isn't a bucketful of joy, then I don't know what is! The Ranunculus were saved from the heat with some thick shade cloth which does mean smaller blooms but with longer stems as they reach for the little bit of sun that makes it through. But it doesn't make their colors any less glorious! Look for them in the mixed bouquets and as straight bunches. (pst - did you know they have a reallllly long vase life?!)
And you may wonder what some of that lovely 'green' foliage is in the mixed bouquets that help the pretty blooms shine? Weeds! or just plants that I didn't plant on purpose but have a beauty and purpose all their own. Some are ones that I did plant, like the bolting Mustard above, and others just exist whether I like it or not. But I like to try to see the beauty in the things that are forgotten, overlooked, or just ignored and 'weeds' definitely fit that bill and maybe my bouquets can help you to see some beauty in things thought not beautiful!
The Microgreens finally had room to go outside so they can lap up that bright sunshine, but it does mean a shift in management of their care for me as the wind, sun, and heat work to dry them out quicker so now my little brain is working hard to devise a simple watering system. Stay tuned for future updates!
Another edible native that I've been patiently weeding and watering is the Miner's Lettuce! It will be at market this week. I grew up nibbling on this tasty, succulent green on the top of our backyard retaining wall where I would climb up and dangle my feet over while enjoying a refreshing snack. No climbing required for you to enjoy it!
Flowers as food you say? You betcha!!
The Petal Power Edible Flowers features a pantheon of Pansies with some early nasturtiums, with flecks of Calendula and Bachelor Buttons.
All edible with the nasturtiums bringing the watercress-like kick!
What's available this week?
The field is starting to fill with flowers and that means it is also full of veg, weeds, and tasks that I add to my list but don't get done.
This is the time of the year when I look at a flat of seedlings I have been nurturing for weeks, if not months, and have to decide if I have room for it in the field, have time to prep the ground and plant it, and have time to weed around it and continue it's care, and sometimes that answer is no.
I don't like that answer, especially since it is a tiny living being that I brought into being by the act of planting it, but sometimes you just can't take care of all of your babies and you have to actually choose which ones you can take care of and right now that's the field flowers. So those flats sometimes go into the compost.
But that field of flowers mean more bouquets at market! So it's a great time to gift some to a friend or family or yourself!
Look for more elegant Foxglove mixed with the whimsical Sweet Williams, sultry Penstemons, and stately Ranunculus bouquets all with my favorite greenery!
And be sure to check out the state-of-the-art 'flower fridges' which kept them all fresh as a daisy through the heat last week at both markets and will probably continue to help keep them cool this summer as the heat goes on. I'll eventually try to find a setup with more finesse, but for now, needs must!!!
While I work in the field and dirt, my parents have been working away at the pergola that will be the new break area for quiet meals and festive farm dinners! By next year it should have a lovely coat of flowers vines to help give extra shade, nectar for the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and to just look dang cool!!
When you're the only watering hole around it's easy to have quite a few regulars. And with 5 large feeders that get drained daily by the flock of fledglings, we buy sugar by the boatload! The drama with their chittering and chatting while they work out who gets which spot is better than watching any reality tv!
What's available this week?
I'm Farmer Megan with a life full of cackles, clucks, quacks, weeds, crazy kitten, and one tiny, senior, blind dog.