Monday, May 28, 2012

Today's Veggies

What’s for supper?  For lunch today, we had a large salad with lettuces, radishes, the last of the green onions and the first of the carrots, along with pasta salad with pesto and roasted veggies from the freezer / last year’s bounty.  

You have a large amount of mixed lettuces for salad this week.  They are triple-washed and just need a quick rinse and spin as we can’t sell ‘ready to eat’ items from the Farm.  There’s also a large amount of Cherry Belle Radishes.  These still taste sweet to me.  Radishes get hot and spicy as the weather heats up.  

Chive Blossoms are edible.  Use whenever a light onion flavor and aroma is desired. Separate the florets and enjoy the mild, onion flavor in a variety of dishes.
They can be a nice addition to a salad:  crumble the bloom petals right into your salad.  Kids usually get a kick out of eating flowers. Or try the recipe below!

The fresh Dill Weed is good for flavoring salads and veggie dips, or making salad dressing.  Dill is also good in scrambled eggs.

If you have been in our CSA in past years, you are familiar with Kale.  This is White Russian Kale, a standard variety.  We grow 3 different kinds.  My favorite way to prepare it is to prep the Kale by washing it, removing some of the large stems, and chopping it into smaller pieces.  Then sauté onions and garlic (green garlic?) and add the kale after about 4-5 minutes.  Saute for about another 5-10 minutes.  I usually then turn off the burner and cover the pot.  The kale will be ready to eat in about 5 minutes or so.  You can just flavor it with salt and pepper, or toasted sesame oil and rice wine vinegar, or tamari.  Chopped Kale can also be added to any soup, casserole or stew dish.

The Pak Choi isn't as pretty as we like to grow them.  The taste should be fine.  We'll try to get them sprayed with the biological spray soon so the next harvest looks better.  They have been covered with row cover for bug prevention.

Recipe for today is below.  If we'd been thinking through this CSA business from the start, we would have planted a quarter acre of asparagus the first year so we'd have asparagus for all of you!  You'll have to get your asparagus from elsewhere (organic is available at Sweetwater Local Foods Market).

Asparagus with Sesame & Chive Blossoms

4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 
10 min
Cook time: 
8 min

1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
About 16 chive blossoms, stems removed to separate flowers
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
A few whole chive blossoms for garnish 
chive blossom

Blanch the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; do not overcook. Remove from heat and refresh under cold water; drain well.  (Patrice's note:  I would skip this part and just plan to sauté the asparagus a little bit longer).
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil; add sesame seeds and stir for 1 minutes. Add asparagus and soy sauce with salt and pepper; stir well, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the lid, sprinkle the chive blooms over and asparagus, and cover for 1 to 2 minutes so that the chive blooms steam briefly. Remove from heat. Stir lightly and taste for seasoning. Serve hot. Garnish each plate with a whole blossom or the serving dish with a few.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Pictures from May 28th, 2012

The view from right out the front door and kitchen window.

Here's Kathleen, Nic and Carolyn picking lettuces for shares this morning.  The row covers are to prevent bug damage.  You can see crops of spinach, salad greens, turnips, daikon radishes, small salad radishes.

Up close- growing lettuce salad mix.

We'll have Mokum carrots in a few weeks.

Buttercrunch Bibb lettuce

A baby Kohlrabi

Monday, May 21, 2012

Welcome to our 2012 Season!

We are here on the Farm this morning picking, washing, bagging and packing your vegetables for the week.  You can always read the update What's In Your Box to the right of this post to know what you are receiving for the week.  I'll try to include more information about unfamiliar items or recipes for some things in the blog, too.

Green Garlic!  We wait all year for this lovely treat.  We plant a lot of garlic and have been growing our own seed for it for about 7 years.  We only plant the largest cloves for next year's garlic, and save all the smaller cloves to plant closer together for Green Garlic.  These look like giant scallions but have a definite garlicky taste.  Peel the outside layer and chop them to use like regular garlic.  This will be the only time you receive this vegetable this season.  It stores in a bag, in the refrigerator.  You can trim the top greens off to have it fit better, but the whole shaft can be eaten.

There are also scallions in today's share boxes.

Turnip greens.  I'm from the South.  Turnip greens were a standard green vegetable. They are a little stronger in flavor than other greens. On an ounce-for-ounce basis, turnip greens contain about 4 times more calcium than a much less bitter-tasting cruciferous vegetables like cabbage. Turnip greens outscore cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli in phytonutrients that can be converted into isothiocyanates (ITCs) with cancer-preventing properties. 

These get washed, chopped, and cooked like any other greens.  My favorite way is to sauté garlic and onion till soft, add the greens, and sauté till wilted and tender (a little longer for Kale and Turnip Greens than Chard).  You season them with just salt, pepper and butter, or bacon, or sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.  Here's another recipe:

Spinach!  We can only grow spinach in the cooler days of Spring and Fall.  Enjoy.

Radishes.  In order to grow radishes organically, we have to keep the rows covered with fabric to prevent damage by root worms.  These are French radishes:  D'Avignon and French Breakfast.

What's coming next week?  More lettuces, spinach, kale or chard, Pak choi, a parsley plant to put into a pot or the ground, and maybe some fresh herbs!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Health and Safety

We are very careful about how we handle the produce we grow.  Hands are washed.  Manures are composted.  Irrigation out of the pond does not go on certain crops, and most crops are irrigated with drip lines.  Produce is cooled and washed as it comes from the field.

We cannot sell ready to eat products, so you will need to give your veggies a quick rinse.  If you don't have a salad spinner, please add one to your shopping list.  It's the best way to keep greens, especially salad greens, fresh.  I got a zyliss and really like it, but the cheaper models work well, too.  We also have  3 gallon and 5 gallon spinners :-).

Please keep your boxes clean, and return containers throughout the season clean.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Where is my camera?

If I could find it, I'd post pictures of what we are planting!

The garlic looks fantastic.  It was planted in October, and the green garlic will go out in shares the first week of CSA this season.  Bulbs will be harvested in July.

Onions are coming along.  They were planted from seed in the greenhouse in February and were transplanted into the garden a month ago. We also planted a bushel of little tiny onions (called sets) that will be the earliest bulb onions that we harvest.

Early potatoes were planted about a month ago - they are just poking above ground, though the plants have been growing below ground for some time.  We save a lot of our own seed and also buy quite a bit each year.  Potato 'seed' is potatoes.  You know how they sprout?  That's a new plant.  If you plant the sprouted old potato, it will grow a new plant with 4-8 potatoes.  The rule of harvest is you get 10# from each 1# planted.  Of course soil health, water and rain affect yield.  Last year we planted over a mile of potato rows.  But we didn't have most of them irrigated and had a lower yield.  This year they will all be irrigated.
Another interesting potato fact:  Commercial potatoes are treated to prevent them from sprouting.  I don't know with what, but doesn't that sound like it would take the life and nourishment right out of them?

We have the first large rows of salad mix ready for harvest.

We have the wintered over spinach done with harvest and those plants were pulled out this past week, compost spread, and the ground where they were was tilled.  It was also planted to daikon radishes and salad turnips - all in the same day!  4 more plantings are growing.

Pak choi should be ready for the first week of CSA.
Turnip greens are ready for harvest - we are hoping they hold till the week of the 21st.
Radishes are big enough to eat.

Peas - we have 4 kinds planted, and replanted.  Untreated (no fungicides) pea seed is more vulnerable to rot if the weather conditions aren't perfect.  We got it planted quite early, but then got some wet and cold weather conditions. Plus we think some seed was eaten by birds, earthworms, who knows what else.  The seeds  were live nourishing 'food' for what ever feasted on it.

We also have broccoli, cabbage, scallions, arugula, beets, head lettuces, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi planted in the ground outside.  And the greenhouse is still full!  Sweet and hot pepper plants, + / - 800 tomato plants, celery, the first planting of summer squash and melons.  We have many more head lettuce, broccoli and cabbage plants growing.

Just a sampling...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We still have some CSA shares available for 2012!  Please email us if you are interested.  If you want to know about the veggies that we grow for you, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page and you'll see what went out in shares week by week for the past 4 years!  We feed our customers well!