In your box:
–Head Lettuce (“Red Romaine”)
–Strawberries or sorrel
What a muddy mess! We’ve logged a month’s worth of rain in just the past week, and as a result we have standing water in our farm rows and a trail of mud that follows me everywhere I walk just like the cloud of dust that follows Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen. I haven’t noticed any damage yet to the crops themselves—thankfully we plant all of our crops in raised beds that are shaped by my tractor. This keeps them six inches above the low point of the fields and allows excess rain to flow off of the beds (where it would cause some veggies to rot) and into the aisles. On rainy days I wish I had a gondola and Italian hat so I could row down the standing water and pick the veggies without getting my feet dirty. Also I would be singing opera. So if you know any gondola builders, please put them in touch with me….
The humidity of the past week has helped everything to continue growing, but unfortunately this includes the weeds as well. The soil has been too wet to get in with a hoe and keep things under control, so for now I’m really hoping for a nice dry spell so I can free up the good crops from the encroaching army of purslane, timothy grass, pigweed, ragweed, and thistle. It gets really tedious to pull all of these weeds individually by hand, but as soon as the soil dries out I can seek my vengeance with an array of hoes.
Nearly all of the produce in your boxes has already been washed, though some delicate crops (Berries and tomatoes) and some impractical ones (beans and many herbs) have not been washed by us. It’s a good idea to wash everything again before feeding your family—it helps keep the veggies fresh and ensures the cleanest and safest possible produce.
This week we have the usual green variety of bok choy, and thankfully the bugs have mostly left this alone. My stock answer for “what do I do with bok choy?” has always been: stir fry it. But this winter I found a recipe for a casserole that uses bok choy and that tastes amazing. I’ve included it below and you’ll definitely want to use it if stir-frying isn’t your thing. The “Grains and Greens” recipe works with komatsuna as well, which we’ll be harvesting next week. You can also use chard and kale for the greens if you like.
Strawberries are slowly beginning to ripen and a few of you will be receiving them this week. I’ll keep track of whose boxes have had berries and try to keep it even going forward. Anyone not receiving berries will get a bunch of sorrel in your box. Sorrel is a perennial green that is great in a salad. The initial taste and texture are like spinach but the aftertaste is like citrus.
I’m giving the spinach a week off to regrow more leaves for the next harvest, so hopefully that will be available again next week. This week brings our first harvest of salad mix of the year. This is a blend of 8 different kinds of leaf lettuce and we’ll offer it throughout the late spring and again in the fall.
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. Chard leaves are more fragile than kale, so the heavy winds we’ve had this spring have left a few of the leaves a little shredded. We tend to not have as much wind in the summer here as in the spring, so unless we have hail damage our next batch of chard leaves should be more whole.
Expected next week: Salad mix, spinach, sweet turnips, garlic scapes, komatsuna, scallions, and strawberries.