In your box:
–Head Lettuce (“Webb’s Wonderful”)
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday! The weather has been great lately, with nice low humidity and reasonable temperatures making for very comfortable farm work. I’m still hard at work getting all of the weeds under control, but the end is in sight. If I can keep up a good pace for another couple of weeks I should have all of the competitive weeds in check and nothing but sunshine for our good plants.
This week brings some new crops, including the first time I’ve ever given a good quantity of sorrel. Sorrel is the bunched green that looks similar to spinach but with a more pointy leaf tip. Sorrel is a perennial green, coming back every year in the early spring. Usually this is one of the first crops ready for harvest, but I’ve seeded a brand new planting earlier this spring and the leaves are only just now ready for harvest. Sorrel has an unmistakable taste—it has an unusual sour flavor that is about as energizing as sucking on a lemon! Sorrel is perfectly fine to eat raw and can be chopped into small pieces and tossed with a salad. There are also ways to cook it down and puree it into soups or a risotto. I’ve planted a large bed of sorrel and it looks like I’ll have enough to give it one more time before it goes to seed and waits until next spring. This is the first time I’ve had this much to give in a CSA box, so please let me know if you find a good way to use it and I can post more recipes the next time I have it available.
We have another crop of Green Onions (also known as scallions) ready this week as well. We grow a lot of onions here on the farm, and they really seem to like our soil. If I keep the weeds under control and we get sufficient rain, the bulb onions we’ll have later can compete at any county fair. The green onions are a nice early form of onion, growing nice and tall rather than producing a bulb. The whole of the scallion can be used, including the leafy green tops. Scallions should be kept in the fridge and keep well for up to 2 weeks. We have more scallions coming your way for the next few weeks, so you’ll want to find a way to put them to use before more come in.
This week brings our first harvest of Komatsuna, a delicious and nutritious Japanese green that grows quickly and handles heat very well. Komatsuna is used like a cross between spinach and bok choy—it’s great as a cooked green but also adds a nice crunch to a casserole and stir-fries. We are forever tormenting our kids by cooking komatsuna (and later kale) into pretty much everything—macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, and pretty much anywhere we can hide it to get a little nutrition into their favorite foods. Komatsuna will keep well for about a week and should be stored in a bag in the fridge. It looks like I have enough for one more week, so hopefully we’ll have one more chance to try out komatsuna this season.
Garlic Scapes are really coming in well now. Scapes grow off of the top of the garlic plant and eventually swell to form tiny little garlic bulbils that would help wild garlic expand its range in the wild. Since we want the garlic to focus on its core bulbs, we trim off the top so it doesn’t waste energy on this scape portion. Scapes should be kept in the fridge and can last for up to a month. They can be used in any recipe calling for garlic—just chop them up fine and substitute 1 scape for 2 cloves of garlic.
Expected next week: Salad mix, sorrel, beets, komatsuna, head lettuce, green onions, summer squash and garlic scapes.