In your box:
–Head lettuce, “Red Romaine”
–Scallions (full shares)
As we move along in the growing season, we’ve been blessed with a great stretch of weather. Past Junes have been marked with flooding and the resulting plagues of mosquitoes, but this year we’re enjoying a stretch of gentle rains, limited mosquitoes, and great growing conditions. We will need some heat later on this summer to bring us tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, and peppers, but for now it’s great to work in such comfortable weather. The mild temperatures have been great for our greens, which don’t like heat. Too many warm days will cause spinach, lettuce, and arugula to go to seed. This makes the crops taste bitter and grow in unsightly directions. So enjoy all the green stuff while it lasts!
This week we offer another cultivar of bok choy called “Black Summer” (last week was “Joi Choi,” which would be a great band name for musicians that gig around farmer’s markets.) This week’s planting has beautiful round leaves and has been more heat-resistant, so in the future if I cut out a planting it will be the Joi Choi that gets kicked out. I hope we’re not overdoing it with the bok choy—this will be the last time you receive any from us until late September, when our fall crop is ready.
I always recommend stir-frying bok choy, but there are other ways to use it. There are many recipes on the internet for wilting it, making salads, serving with noodles, and cooking with chicken. This week’s recipe, below, is for a bok choy soup that we haven’t tried yet but looks promising
The loose beaked curlicues are Garlic Scapes. Garlic is planted in mid-October and is our only crop that over-winters. At this point in its development, garlic is all about procreation. It grows these scapes out of the top of its stalk as its first reproductive option. The beaked ends will open to form bulbils (miniature cloves) and flowers for seed. By cutting off the scape, we block both of those outlets and force the garlic to emphasize its third-string option for reproduction: the familiar garlic bulb. Garlic that keeps its scape grows only small cloves, so by cutting them we get the ideal clove at garlic harvest (late July). So what do you do with it? The scape has all the taste of a clove, so simply dice it up and add to any dish calling for garlic. Or, for added fun, challenge your family to a scape-eating contest: the first to successfully eat a whole raw scape wins—or loses?
This week also brings us our first Swiss Chard of the season. Chard is a close relative of beets that bears new leaves throughout the year—the more we pick, the more we get. If you are unfamiliar with chard, this is the bunched greens with pink and yellow stems. Chard is a great companion in egg dishes like omelets, frittatas, and quiche. It can also be stir-fried, lightly wilted, or eaten raw.
Please remember to return your empty boxes each week. We’re able to reuse them throughout the season and often for more than one growing year. Also, please note that our storefront delivery sites (Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Victoria, and Eden Prairie) do not have space to store your box overnight on your delivery day. If you are unable to pick it up by the morning of the next day, these sites will assume you’ve forgotten to pick up your box and will distribute it amongst their staff to avoid waste. Please let me know if you need other arrangements. Thanks for your understanding!
Expected next week: Salad mix, spinach or arugula, head lettuce, turnips, green onions, garlic scapes, strawberries, and komatsuna.