In your box:
–Broccoli or kohlrabi
Four weeks into the harvest season. Four weeks without complaining about the weather. Family meals have devolved into staring at one another, desperate for anything to talk about.
We picked up 1.5” of rain Monday morning, coming once again exactly when we needed it, slowly, without hail or damaging winds. All the plants are happy and growing well, and my only stress comes from trying to figure out how to stuff all this produce into your box. Not a bad problem!
This week marks our last delivery of garlic scapes for the year. In case you’ve already got a pile going, they keep well in a bag in the fridge (up to a month in our experience). These will have to supply your garlic needs until early August, when we harvest our garlic bulbs. The big harvest generally happens in the last week of July, when the whole plant is pulled out and hung up to dry. After a couple weeks of air-drying, they are cleaned up and ready for delivery.
If you’re interested in a little farmwork, minus the sweat, I’m planning on Saturday August 1st for the garlic harvest day. We’d love to have some extra hands as we harvest and hang them! Also, the world-renowned Minnesota Garlic Festival is coming up on August 15th in Hutchinson. This is a great family event celebrating all things garlic, including ice cream and garlic-chip cookies! For more information, please check out www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest.
The main event in your box this week is the Napa cabbage. These are also called Chinese cabbage, but I’ve reverted to “Napa” in honor of our good friend Jeremy, who is currently living in the town of Napa in northern California. According to Jeremy, all throughout the Napa Valley the residents will go for weeks at a time without eating anything but Napa cabbage. It is shredded into oatmeal, made into afternoon teas, and squeezed for milk that is then used as coffee creamer. None of that is true, of course, but with all this cabbage you might need to try some of those uses.
Napa cabbage can be used raw (chopped or grated) in salads, in any coleslaw recipe, stuffed into egg rolls, stir-fried, or steamed. Napas cook down more quickly than common cabbage, so be careful not to overdo it. These should be kept in the hydrator drawer of the fridge or in a plastic bag. We recommend you keep all the leaves on for storage, but when preparing you’ll probably want to remove the tough and dirty outer leaves in favor of the more tender center. It will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge, but we are expecting red and green cabbage in the coming few weeks, so for the sake of refrigerator space you’d do well to use it up shortly.
I’m most excited this week for our broccoli! Broccoli can be a little picky about its spring planting, but this year we have the biggest plants I’ve ever had and the largest, best looking heads I’ve ever grown in the spring. Broccoli doesn’t all form heads at the same time, and in fact the same variety will ripen over the course of 3-4 weeks. We were a little short as their season begins, so some of you will receive a kohlrabi this week and broccoli as soon as it’s ready.