Nabateans* Cooking Squash

Yesterday, our main event was cooking squash from the garden.  We cooked it three different ways – with salt and pepper, with cinnamon and honey, and finally, spiced and mixed with fried green tomatoes!  All three ways were delicious, and went over really well with the kids.

As for gardening, we had more wheelbarrows going back and forth with woodchips, but mostly we struggled with the overall muddiness of our newly planted area.  Donny did find a good use for the mud as clay though, and created some awesome mud-men, who had dandelion flower ears, stem arms, and were complete with grass smiles.  There were a couple submerged perennials, but KJ worked really hard alongside Yaeir to salvage at least some of them.  By digging a large hole next to one of the submerged plants and making a small tunnel connecting the two, they drained the hole with the plant of its water, and made little ditches so that the other blackberries in that row could do the same.  It was an impressive display of skills, drawing a comparison from Yaeir to the Nabateans, but did make us realize how careful we need when we don’t plant in raised beds, unless we want to end up with rice paddies.

Speaking of rice, Mr. Mike (who was thinking about growing some in his own garden) dropped by yesterday in his truck while we were cooking to say hi.  The number of kids we see each week is slowly decreasing due to the weather, but it’s nice to know that there are connections in the community we can keep strengthening throughout the winter!

We have pretty much ripped everything out of the garden by now, minus the rhubarb, and we’re hoping that our rye takes off as a cover crop.  We were left with a ton of green tomatoes, but luckily all the kids seemed to know at least one person who is an expert at cooking them.  Here’s hoping they go to good use!

Till next week,

N

*Formerly nomadic peoples from 6th century BCE, eventually settling in parts of Israel, Palestine and Arabia: “Through a complicated system of cisterns, dams, and aqueducts, the Nabateans were able to save water for times of drought and minimize the impacts of surprise floods. The city prospered due in part to the sale of water, which the Nabateans were able to store effectively” (link).

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