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Week 5 Newsletter

July 13, 2017

In your box:

–Basil

–Beet greens

–Broccoli

–Cabbage (‘Caraflex’ green)

–Cucumbers

–Kohlrabi

–Salad Mix

–Scallions

–Summer squash

As your dedicated purveyor of fine vegetables and ways to put them to good use, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use veggies in the kitchen. So I was delighted to receive an e-mail from a Russian lawyer the other day who offered me top secret information on how kohlrabi is used in Russia. I was intrigued, so I responded that it “seems we have some time and if it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer” when the kohlrabi would be ready for harvest. So I called up my brother-in-law and this lobbyist guy my dad is friends with and we decided we’d go meet this Russian lawyer, whose name was Natalia.

I was really excited to get some new recipes for kohlrabi and get some “Good dirt” on how it is used in Russia, but it was quickly apparent that Natalia was confusing sweet turnips with kohlrabi. She went on like this for some time before she changed the topic of our conversation to trying to get me to change my farm’s adoption policy on transplants that are grown in Russian greenhouses. I’m totally dedicated to making my farm great again, so it really didn’t benefit me much to start taking in Russian adoptee plants. We ended with that, so unfortunately I never did get those great Russian tips on how to cook kohlrabi. Seriously. It’s the strangest thing.

But here’s what you can do with kohlrabi, international incidents aside:

  • Peel off the outer skin and slice up the kohlrabi into slivers. Try dipping it in lemon juice, olive oil, or dressing.
  • Grate it into a salad for a modified cole slaw.
  • Add it to a stir-fry.

The leaves are edible and can be cooked up as a substitute for kale. The leaves will keep well for a few days in the fridge, while the bulb itself will last for a week to ten days in the fridge.

We also have baby beets in your box this week. Beet seeds are nearly always twins or triplets, so it’s very difficult to achieve the ideal spacing with beets using a push seeder. The result is a long line of very densely populated beets, which need to be thinned out so that the beets can achieve full size. The good news is that the beet tops and baby beet roots are perfectly edible and delicious, so rather than throwing them in the compost pile I’ve included them in your box this week. The baby beet greens are good in any recipe calling for chard or spinach. They are also small enough to eat raw mixed into a salad. The roots are still quite small, but if they’re too crunchy they can be steamed or cooked in a little oil or butter until tender.

We had an incredible first harvest of cucumbers this week, with many more on the way. Our cucumber and squash plants look healthier than they have in six years, so I’m optimistic for a good long harvest. I’m thinking part of the strong start is our relatively dry weather the past six weeks. We haven’t had major flooding or rain events, which can usher in disease pressure and wipe out flowers on the plants. Picking cucumbers today was a very audible experience—there were honeybees everywhere on the hundreds of small flowers in the cucumber patch!

Expected next week: Summer squash, cucumbers, fennel, head lettuce, beet greens, Napa cabbage, green onions, broccoli, and kale.

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