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Week 2 Newsletter

July 4, 2013

In your box:

  • Arugula
  • Garlic scapes
  • Kale
  • Salad Mix
  • Scallions
  • Strawberries

 

After weeks of lousy growing weather, this 4th of July week has been perhaps the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced as a farmer, and certainly the most appreciated. All of our temporary lakes and rivers have finally dried of standing water, though many areas are still as wet as if it had just rained. Unfortunately, we did add radishes and turnips to our list of washed out crops. They looked like they might hold on, but they were not happy about being wet. Fortunately, we grow fall plantings of both of these crops for later in the year.

We’ve been excited to see the first blossoms on our peas, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers over the past week. All of these crops did lose some plants, but the majority survived and it looks like we’ll have some of these great summer foods within a few weeks. They will add some much-needed bulk to our boxes as we slowly recover from our spring weather. Even though we won’t enjoy a June tomato like we did last year, we’ll take them when they come!

We do have some new crops this week as the weather warms things up: Kale, Arugula, Scallions, and Garlic Scapes.

Kale is one of the healthiest green things around. We have three different varieties to try this year, starting with “Red Russian” this week. To prepare, fold the whole leaf over on itself and trim off the rigid stem/spine. Cut it into ribbons, and then lightly steam it or bake it into a casserole, lasagna, etc. It can also be prepared and chopped, lightly oiled, and then roasted plain in the oven at 400°for a few minutes until it blackens. The result is kale chips that are not for the kale purist, but a good way to use it up if your family doesn’t immediately appreciate kale.

The curly, green/white beaked snakes are Garlic Scapes. These are a backup reproductive option of garlic plants, producing seeds (very rarely, and not in most varieties) and bulbils, which are essentially miniature cloves that would achieve full garlic size in a few seasons of planting. They have much of the same taste as the cloves themselves, and can be substituted into any recipe calling for garlic. They will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge, preferably in a bag or a humidifier drawer.
Arugula is all green, has rounded edges, and tastes like a kick in the teeth. Whenever my morning coffee is defective or slow to kick in, I’ll snack on some of these in the field and find the strength to do what needs to be done. Try these raw, mixed in a salad, or processed into pesto.

We also have Scallions (also known as green onions) in this week’s box. Scallions are true onions that have been bred to grow close together and with an upright, rather than bulbing form. The whole scallion is edible once the roots are removed, but the white bulbing part at the bottom is the most desirable. Use these in any recipe calling for onion (one bunch is usually sufficient for one onion) or chop them raw on a salad. We expect four to five weeks of scallions before full-size onions are ready for harvest.

Volunteer opportunities this week: Mon/Wed/Sat any time between 6am and 9pm, pulling weeds. Call or e-mail the farm if you can come help. We also have a volunteer opportunity to remove mosquitoes from farmer Red, pretty much every day.

Thanks to CSA members in the Suarez family for their help weeding last Tuesday and for Alex Perkins for his help on Wednesday!

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