For all the gardeners who might be curious about the bees, and perhaps just want to enjoy the bees a little more, here are some interesting tidbits from BeeRad:
- We now have 7 hives. We’re planning to add one more, for a total of 8.
- It’s generally OK to approach a hive from THE SIDE (not from the front or rear). Approach slowly. You’ll hear them buzzing, and likely be able to see them bring in pollen as they enter (little balls on their hind legs). If they repeatedly buzz near your head, slowly walk away. Don’t swat at them, or you’ll definitely be stung!
- The boxes on each hive are called ‘Deeps’. Generally we place two, stacked on top of each other. If we stack additional ones, they are called ‘Supers’ – these are not quite as tall. Supers are the ones we harvest honey from. We have two hives currently with Supers, and we hope to harvest honey at the end of the summer.
- In another month, each hive will have ~ 50,000 bees. So we’ll have 400k bees in the apiary!
- Bees travel up to a couple of miles foraging, primarily gathering water, nectar, pollen and propolis (sap). The running water in the gulch provides plenty of accessible water.
- It’s swarm and mating season! Queen bees leave the hive once and mate with 5-10 different males in mid air, then return to the hive carrying all the semen in an internal sac. She then dispenses the semen as she lays the eggs the rest of the summer. She’ll lay 1000 eggs/day! If she fertilizes the egg, it will develop into a female. Unfertilized eggs develop into males (‘drones’). Approximately 90% of the bees are female. Males don’t do anything but mate once (if they’re lucky), and then die. Females do everything in the hive, from caring for the young, producing wax, making honey, feeding the queen, and foraging.
- Interested in more? The bee committee would be happy to put on an educational class for interested gardeners. Let the Leadership team know if you are interested.
Check out these cool pictures!
We had a great start to setting the grape arbor back on the straight and narrow.
The A-Team showed up to help our project manager, Mark P., set up the scaffolding and move the grape arbor to make room for new post holes, posts, and structural braces.
Great work everyone! Many thanks to all who turned out to help.
Phase 2 will be announced as schedules allow.
Thanks to Teri H. for the photos.
Gluten Free Pizza Crust
For the Yeast:
- 1 Tablespoon raw, organic honey
- 1 1/2 Cups warm water 100 to 115 degrees F.
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 Cup amaranth flour
- 1/2 Cup sorghum flour
- 1 1/2 Cups potato starch
- 1 Cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum rounded
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- Organic palm shortening for greasing the pizza pan
- Brown rice flour for dusting the pan and dough
- In a small bowl, stir honey into warm water. Add yeast and stir gently. Set aside for 5 minutes to start foaming (this way you know it's working!)
- In a stand mixer bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add olive oil, vinegar, and yeast mixture.
- Blend on low until a soft ball forms. Dough will be very soft. Grease two 12-inch pizza pans with shortening. Place half of the dough on each pan.
- Liberally dust dough with rice flour. With quick pats, press the dough into the pan, flattening into a circle. Continue to dust dough as needed to prevent sticking. But don't go too crazy, you don't want the dough to become grainy.
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Bake crust for 12-15 minutes, until it begins to brown on the bottom, rotating trays halfway through.
- Remove from oven and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. Place back in the oven, turn heat up to 450 degrees F, and bake for about 15 minutes (rotate again part way through), until sauce is bubbly and edges are browned. If desired, brush olive oil on edges of crust for flavor and to soften a bit.
- Cool slightly, cut into slices, and enjoy!
A rich, creamy, garlicky soup to warm you up, and maybe even ward off a cold.
- 8 large whole heads of garlic
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 large potato peeled and diced
- 4 cups water or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut about 1/4 inch off 7 of the heads of garlic to expose the cloves and place in a small baking dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the garlic and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the garlic skins are golden and the cloves are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- While the garlic is roasting, peel and coarsely chop the remaining head of garlic. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, and garlic to the pan, season lightly with salt, and cook until the vegetables soften and begin to brown slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the water or chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the garlic has roasted and is soft, use a spoon to scoop the garlic from the skins, or simply squeeze it out of the skins, and add it to the saucepan.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the saucepan until smooth. Alternatively, using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth, then return to the saucepan and reheat. If too thick, you can think the soup with more water or broth. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
Zucchini Cardamom Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest from about 3 - 4 lemons
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from about 2 - 3 lemons
- 6 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup whole fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated zucchini packed
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- pinch ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan; chill in refrigerator. Set aside.
- Using a box grater, grate the zucchini. Place the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel (that you don't particularly care about), clump the ends, and squeeze out the moisture into your kitchen sink. Squeeze several times to remove any moisture. Place the grated zucchini in a bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl (fitted with a paddle attachment), combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until very fragrant. Add the softened butter, and beat mixture together at medium speed 4 to 5 minutes or until flu!y. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice; beat until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears.
- Whisk together the flour, ground cardamom, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the flour in three additions alternately with two additions of ricotta cheese, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Fold in the grated zucchini.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 1 hour. Transfer cake to a plate, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and ground cardamom until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake.
Vegetarian No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna
- 4 large zucchini
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces extra firm tofu drained and sliced into 1/4 inch slabs
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 3 cups homemade, or store bought, marinara sauce 24 ounce jar
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim of the very top and bottom of the zucchini. Cut them in half crosswise and then cut them into ¼-inch-thick slabs. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle on ½ teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to coat everything. Spread them out on the baking sheet. It’s ok if they overlap a little.
- Lay the tofu on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and more black pepper.
- Bake the zucchini and tofu for 10 minutes.
- To assemble, lay half the zucchini in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan in one snug layer. Lay all the tofu, evenly spaced, on top of the zucchini. Spread half of the tomato sauce over everything. Lay on all of the Mozzarella in one layer. Lay the remaining zucchini in the pan. Spread on the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
Zucchini Soup with Créme Frâiche and Cilantro
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only thinly sliced
- 1 large poblano cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 5 medium zucchini (2 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch rounds
- 2 large garlic cloves thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 quart chicken broth, low sodium
- 1 small Parmesan cheese rind optional
- 1 6-ounce bunch cilantro stemmed and coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1 cup créme frâiche
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering.
- Add the leek and poblano and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
- Simmer over moderate heat until the zucchini is very tender and not longer bright green, about 15 minutes. Discard the Parmesan rind and add the chopped cilantro.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot, whisk in the créme frâiche and reheat gently if necessary. Season the soup with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls. Garnish the soup with the cilantro leaves and serve.
Make AheadThe soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently or serve cold.
We know purslane as a weed, but it is completely edible and very nutritious, containing more Omega-3s than any leafy vegetable plant. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and B, as well as dietary minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. All parts of the plant are edible: leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds. To me, the flavor is relatively mild, with a bit of a lemony taste to the leaves. The stems are tender and have a more earthy flavor.
There’s a recipe for Purslane and Cucumber Salad in the new cookbook, Bianco, from Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix(if you have never been, their pizza is great!), and I was inspired to finally try eating purslane. You’ll be happy to learn, it’s fabulous. Plus, harvesting and weeding in one fell swoop is really pretty handy.
To prepare the purslane, rinse thoroughly to remove any grit from the garden, then dry in a salad spinner. Pinch off large bunches of the leaves, no need to stem, and toss them in your salad bowl.
Since both purslane and cucumbers are readily available in the garden right now, this is a perfect salad to use as an introduction to this edible weed. A simple lemon dressing, some thinly sliced red onion, and you’re done. I didn’t grow cucumbers, but zucchini worked just as well. As would anything else you like to use in your salads. If you Google “purslane salad”, it’s amazing how many variations pop up.
To think we’ve all just been tossing it on the Bokashi pile. Maybe we should bundle it up and sell it at the Harvest Sale. Hmmmm….
Purslane and Cucumber Salad
- 2 cups purslane leaves and stems torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and sliced into half moons
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch dried oregano (optional)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Combine the purslane, red onion, and cucumber in a large bowl. Add enough dressing to lightly coat the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add a sprinkle of oregano, if using.
- 2 pounds tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper roughly chopped
- 1/4 medium cucumber peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1 slice white bread torn into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons sherry, or red wine, vinegar
- 1 medium fresh jalapeño seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves preferably Korean Mountain, or any other Rosedale variety
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced optional
- Put the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, olive oil, almonds, bread, vinegar, jalapeño, and garlic in a blender; season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding up to ½ cup water if necessary. (Work in batches if not all the ingredients fit in your blender at once.)
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving or serve immediately, garnished with the avocado if desired.