A Syrian Feast

Sometimes I wish there were a magic portal from my home to The Juniper Spoon kitchen.  This was one of those times.  On Saturday,  while I was at home making myself a peanut butter sandwich at my kitchen counter, Lali  was preparing an extraordinary Syrian dinner for the Wabash Center.  She sent me these photos:  Syrian moussaka made from Juniper-grown eggplant and zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.  Silver Valley Farm leg of lamb with Dan Rogers' red wine vinegar ("Daniger") & Christopher Farm garlic.  Butternut squash from Farm Valentino.  I could only imagine the aroma of sweet Middle Eastern spices floating through The Juniper Spoon.  Cardamom?  Nutmeg?  Allspice?  Where IS that portal??  Later that night, I was surprised by a knock at my door.  Lali  had materialized on my threshold  with a tray of what little was left over from the event  and handed it to me to try.  And yes, it tasted as good as it looks.  Better even.  Magic!  Libby Pinkerton, Office Manager

Jammin'. How we do.

Organic berries from Trinity Acres in Darlington.   

We do this thing over here. We have go to's. Local farms that we collect our amazing, fresh produce to fill our recipes. See how this works, fresh local foods, filling recipes, filling bowls, bellies and spirits. To have this option of driving down the road and round the bend, pulling into a drive lined with berries or other locally grown fruits and veggies, it is a gift. 

Berries are now in season. Our own Strawberry Festival is happening this weekend at the Historic Lane Place. Community coming together all because of that little red berry. It really is pretty amazing when you think about how all of this works. We have been jammin over here. Fresh strawberry jam filling up our kitchen. Jam count is at 102 jars!

This week take a drive out to Trinity Farms in Darlington, In. Pick what you can use, slice them up and serve over a bowl of ice cream and sit out on the porch. We recommend.

how to grow. Lush.

Even in the middle of all the rains hitting Indiana, our farm soaks it all up and throws down amazing greens. The ferns around the house create a lush barrier, geraniums make friends with an old stump, little visitors slither and our village continues to work the ground, prepping for the goodness to come.  Maybe we find ourselves tiring of the chill and dampness, but we can still stop and recognize that it is all part of mama nature's little plan. 

how to grow. Compost.

This time of year we start getting a little more serious about the compost. Our garden is ready for a fresh mixture to help our seedlings along! Compost can be a bit tricky. It takes the right mix of "brown" and "green"matter, along with water to create the rich, dark result. Compost creates a more fertile soil. It helps Mother Nature nurture the process of growth. By creating a carbon/nitrogen ratio, you will get the pile cooking! It's just one big happy science experiment!

brown matter (carbon) -- straw, leaves, small twigs
green matter (nitrogen) -- rinds, vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells (no meats or fats.)
water (H20) -- you want to dampen the pile. this gets those worms and microorganisms to do there thing!
temp -- the center needs to heat up, about 140 degrees and then turn the compost. this helps
it to breathe and cook. 

Once the materials begin to breakdown, that is where you see the "black gold." The green and brown have worked together creating the compost! Mother Nature's original fertilizer!