Finch Frolic Marketplace, Revisited

Wonderful, tasty winter squash of all kinds!

Wonderful, tasty winter squash of all kinds!

Due to popular demand, we’re having one more short Marketplace this Saturday, 9 – 1.

Join us on Saturday, November 29nd  from 9-1  for the annual Finch Frolic Marketplace, the Extended Version!  We’ll have for sale fresh and prepared foods straight from our permaculture gardens.  All are excellent gifts, or will grace your holiday table. We’ll have the much-desired Pomegranate Gelato again, and new this year, Passionfruit Gelato!   Squash, fruit, veg, preserves, passionfruit curd, baked goods, and much more.

Herbs, veggies, frozen juice, gelatos, curds, jams, preserves... and much more!

Herbs, veggies, frozen juice, gelatos, curds, jams, preserves… and much more!

Finch Frolic Garden is located at 390 Vista del Indio, Fallbrook, CA.

Directions:

Finch Frolic Garden is open by appointment only for tours, lectures and other activities.  The address is 390 Vista del Indio, Fallbrook, CA  92028-2548.  Please call only if you are lost or delayed; we use our house phone only and are often not inside.  Please use the email above for any other communication.

From the North (Temecula and above): take 1-15 South to Exit 51 and turn right.  Make the next right onto E. Mission Rd/County Hwy-S13.  In .8 of a mile turn left onto E. Live Oak Park Rd.  In 1.6 miles turn right onto Alvarado St.  In .7 miles at the top of the hill turn left onto Vista Del Indio, at Roja’s Succulents.  Make the very first right; 390 is at the end to the left.

From the South (Escondido and below): take I-15 North to Exit 51 and turn left over the freeway.  Make the next right onto E. Mission Rd/County Hwy-S13.  In .8 of a mile turn left onto E. Live Oak Park Rd.  In 1.6 miles turn right onto Alvarado St.  In .7 miles at the top of the hill turn left onto Vista Del Indio, at Roja’s Succulents.  Make the very first right; 390 is at the end to the left.

From the West (I-5): take CA-76 East, Exit 54A and drive for 12.6 miles.  Turn left onto S. Mission Road/County Hwy S13 for 4.1 miles.  Turn right onto S. Stagecoach Lane (at the high school).  In 2.8 miles turn right onto Alvarado St.  At the top of the hill turn right onto Vista del Indio, at the Roja’s Succulents sign.  Make the very first right; 390 is at the end on the left.

 

Special Tours for Aug. and Sept., 2014

Come take a tour of a food forest!

Come take a tour of a food forest!

Normally tours of Finch Frolic Garden are held by appointment for groups of 5 – 15 people, Thursdays – Mondays.  Cost is $10 per person and the tour lasts about two hours.  By popular demand, for those who don’t have a group of five or more, we will be hosting Open Tour days for the first 15 people to sign up in August and September.   They will be Sunday, August 10 and 24, Sept. 7 and 21, and Thursdays August 7 and 28, and Sept. 11 and 25.  Tours begin promptly at 10 am.  The tours last about two hours and are classes on basic permaculture while we tour the food forest.  I ask $10 per person. Please reserve and receive directions through dianeckennedy@prodigy.net.  Children under 10 are free; please, no pets.  Photos but no video are allowed. Thank you for coming to visit!  Diane and Miranda

Pepitas (Roasted Pumpkin Seeds)

 

Chili-lime pepitas are wonderful as a topping!

All those lovely seeds that you scrape out of pumpkins and winter squash are little nuggets of nutrition, including protein.  Pepitas can be a little chewy, but have a popcorn-like flavor and can be very addicting.  To seperate the freshly scraped seeds from the pumpkin fibers that encase them, plop the whole mess into a bowl full of water and rub with your fingers.  The seeds seperate easily.  Compost the fibers, and dry the seeds.  You can do this by blotting them or wringing them out in a towel, or allowing to set in a sieve, if you aren’t in a hurry.

Pepitas (Roasted Pumpkin Seeds)
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 

Sun-Dried Fruit

Drying produce is easy!

When I look outside at the over 100 degree F. sunshine baking my property, I’m frustrated that I can’t use it all.  I feel the same when it rains here in semi-desert San Diego county.  I am hoping to purchase solar panels for my house, but until then I have my laundry on the line and fruit on the roof.  Yep.  The bounty of fruit and vegetables always appears during the hottest months, and I’ve spent many summers sweltering in the kitchen cooking  jam and canning tomatoes.  Something in my Celtic and Eastern European genes ignores the long growing season here and sends a message to my brain to preserve everything for the coming harsh winter imbedded in my genetic memory.  Survival food for the blizzardy months!  Um… yeah… reality check here.  Although I try to eat locally grown seasonal produce, you can buy just about anything anytime of year here, although not without a decline in the quality.  To give in to my desire to not waste sun energy or food this summer I’ve been slicing and drying fruit and vegetables on trays up on the roof, with excellent results. 

     If you have a flat sunny spot that ants haven’t found, you too can dry food.  You don’t need to use preservatives. It is a great way to save bananas that are just about to go black, or the ends of the tomatoes that are too small to put on a sandwich.   The most labor is in slicing the food and then later flipping it on the trays. 

Sun-Dried Fruit and Vegetables

You will need:

Produce such as fresh apricots or other stonefruit, apples, pears, berries, tomatoes, squash. 

Reflective cookie sheets (not Silpat)

Cheesecloth

Thinly slice produce such as apricots, tomatoes, apples, bananas, etc.  You don’t have to peel stone-fruit or tomatoes; actually the skin helps hold the innards together.  If you have produce with inedible skins such as melon or bananas, then by all means take it off.  I like small pieces so that the dried fruit can be directly used in baking or on top of fresh fruit or cereal without having to be cut up again. (Snipping dried apricots with a scissors is soooo time-consuming).  However, don’t slice them too small or when they dry they will turn into little dots which are hard to scrape up. You can leave small fruit such as blueberries and alpine strawberries whole but they may take longer to dry.

Don't chop them too small!

Place the sliced or whole fruit or vegetables on cookie sheets or pizza pans that are reflective aluminum.  Space the fruit so that it isn’t touching, but the pieces can be very close together (they will shrink considerably). 

Measure pieces of cheesecloth so that there is enough to cover the tops of the trays and hang over the sides so that it can be pulled taught and not touch the fruit.

Place prepared trays of covered fruit on the roof, on a hot porch, or anywhere it will not be invaded by ants.  Leave the trays out all day until the sun is no longer on them, then bring them in for the night.  Don’t leave them out in damp weather.

Using a sharp spatula, scrape up the fruit bits and turn them over, re-spacing them not to touch, and replace the cheesecloth.

The next day set the trays out again.  Depending on how hot your roof is, the fruit should be dried at the end of the second day.  If using whole fruit like blueberries or grapes, it may take a few days.  Fruit is dried when there are no moist pockets in them.

Ta-daaa!

Store the fruit in covered jars, and use during those bleak winter months when you plot your spring garden.