I am so lucky to have my cousin and friend Gwen helping me out right now!
She and I spent Saturday visiting the Westside Community Market -- looking for ingredients for test-batching -- then prepping seed beds at the farm, then getting things ready for and leading a kimchi-making workshop at Madison Food Camp.
Unloading bags and boxes of equipment and ingredients for the workshop, I dropped the bag containing the big kimchi crock -- or onggi.
Smithereens, as it turns out, are not as good at containing ferments as whole crocks are.
So Gwen, who is not yet very familiar with Madison, volunteered to drive to the Korean grocery store to pick up a new onggi so we'd have something to put the workshop kimchi in. My hero! She got back to the community center just in time for us to start filling the crock.
The workshop was a little chaotic, with people gathering around to help chop vegetables and everyone shouting out questions and answers, and we went late and kept the following bacon workshop from starting on time, but it was fun and felt like good community skill sharing.
Having worked our fair share Saturday, we spent the evening making cultured brussels sprouts and cherry vanilla water kefir and listening to music, then eating burgers and drinking Wisconsin hard cider at a friend's grill-out.
Sunday morning, we woke up and headed to the greenhouse that a couple of local CSA farms share -- and have been kind enough to let me use as well -- to seed hot peppers, sweet peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, and onions.
(Like the spiffy Farment™-logo hat?)
Next we drove over to West Star Farm to prepare seedbeds in the unseasonably but deliciously warm sun, then seed nasturtiums, carrots, beets, and scallions.
(In case you were wondering, yes, I got a nasty sunburn on my arms and lower back. And here I thought I knew better.)
We even got the irrigation set up and drip tape laid for the newly seeded beds, although we got some nice rain since and haven't had to use it yet.
(Gwen managed to roll out two sections of drip tape at once and measure them with the big tape measure at the same time.)
It was such a beautiful weekend. The sunburn, although painful, seems pretty worth it.
Have you ever eaten pickled nasturtium seed pods? If not, be sure to stop by our stand at the Eastside Market or MadCity Bazaar later this season to try some. They're pretty amazing: spicy, sour, curiously wrinkly, and looking just a little like large capers, they're a wonderful summer treat.