Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sourdough and seed starting

Obviously I've fallen off the blogging wagon, but I'm gettin' back on today! 

The fall garden is still producing at a trickle.  The collards are doing very well, as are the cabbages (no cabbage heads yet), spinach and tatsoi.  The broccoli has a little freeze burn, but we should be harvesting the first flowerets in the next week or so.  The broccoli rabe, lettuce and radishes froze, but the dinosaur kale, carrots and rutabagas are still slowly growing.  Corn salad is another one that has made it through the cold, but I don't care for it, so I've been feeding it to the rabbits.  Ironically, the snow peas were crushed by the snow and only one vine is alive.  I guess I'll have to plant some more.

I've been taking advantage of the cold weather to indulge my baking habit.  This year's obsession is sourdough and I think I've finally managed to get a good healthy starter going.  As a matter of fact, I have 2 healthy starters going: regular white flour and rye flour. 

White flour/whole wheat flour loaf baked under a metal bowl

Rye sourdough baked with steam at 425F.  It was a little over-proofed, so no real oven rise.  Very tasty, though!

 A close-up of the crumb of my first attempt at a sourdough baguette.

Even though it doesn't seem possible, it's time to start tomato plants.  I'm trying to use all open-pollinated varieties so I can save the seeds for future years.  I've heard that if you grow a variety for several years, saving the seeds and replanting, you'll develop a strain specific to your soil and growing conditions.  Sounds good to me!

Paper pots planted with tomato seeds.