From the Kitchen: Curry Carrot Soup

By Cathy Bruemmer

I love growing carrots. They are such a common and simple root vegetable, but the smell when they’re freshly pulled from the earth is amazing. The carrot rust fly makes it a bit challenging. It lays it’s eggs at the base of the greenery and the larva burrow tunnels as it feeds on the tip of the root. An effective and simple solution is to cover the carrot bed with a floating row cover. It denies access to the adult fly. It has the added benefit of helping keep the bed moist. Carrots take about three weeks to germinate and cannot dry out during that time.

I use metal hoops to keep the row cover above the foliage. My method of securing the cloth is to hold the edges down with bricks. Clips are available for a less rustic look. Both sunlight and water penetrate the fabric so it’s not necessary to remove the cloth for watering. The only drawback for me is that I sometimes forget to check on carrots needing to be thinned. When the “to do” list is long it’s easy to overlook the hidden veggies.

Today I checked the Washington State University extension site and was surprised to find out that theses flies also attack parsley. I’d been wondering for a couple of years what was damaging my curly parsley. The Italian flat leaf seems unbothered but the curly would start to yellow and then pull from the ground with very little of it’s root system left. Another problem solved! Recipe…   Read more

An Update from the Hedgebrook Garden

By Cathy Bruemmer

The growth in June is outrageous.  We have gone from famine to feasting and I’ve renewed my job as vegetable pusher.  Actually I’m pretty much just a salad pusher (keep reading for Denise’s amazing Caesar dressing), but at least the greens are abundant.  The pea vines are FINALLY flowering and I hope by next week we can start picking.  Strawberries began ripening this week and the first bulbing fennel are beginning to fatten up.  Mustard greens and baby bok choy are making their way into the kitchen and the first big bundle of carrots wound up in Julies Indian stew.   Read more

Rhubarb Cake

By Denise Barr

Each spring, when the rhubarb begins to flourish, this recipe is a hit with staff and residents at the retreat. It’s just one example of the way Hedgebrook features the bounty of the land and garden in the kitchen and at the table. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Cake

Preheat oven 350
Butter and flour baking dish (9×9 or 7×11)

½ C butter (soft)
1 C sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ C unbleached flour
3 tea baking powder
¼ tea salt
½ cup milk
1 tea vanilla extract
2 ½ C chopped rhubarb (¾ to 1 in pieces, about 4 stalks)

Cream butter and sugar until light
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beat well
In separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt
In separate bowl combine milk and vanilla
Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients to butter mixture
Spread 1/2 batter into buttered and floured baking dish
Sprinkle on rhubarb (do not press rhubarb down)
Top with rest of batter

Back 35-40 min. plus (test with a tooth pick, should come out clean)

Variation: May replace rhubarb with 2 ½ C blueberries or 2 ½ C raspberries