In your box:
- Cabbage, “Caraflex”
- Green onions
- Summer Squash
- Broccoli (half shares)
- Kohlrabi (full shares)
- Cucumbers (full shares)
This past weekend I harvested all of our garlic crop. Harvesting garlic is always a bittersweet experience, as it is the first big crop to come in for the year and the first space in the garden that is done for the year. I know there’s a lot of summer left and plenty more time for growing, but every time I walk by where the garlic had been it’s a reminder of how short the growing season is here in Minnesota.
Garlic needs to be thoroughly cured for storage and best flavor, so for the next few weeks I store it in our empty greenhouse with fans on it to help it dry out. Once that’s happened, it will be ready to go into your boxes in mid-August. We finally had a strong garlic harvest after a few years of tiny bulbs, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you this year!
This week’s box
We’re starting to harvest the first of the spring broccoli crop. This year has been a banner year for cabbage moths, unfortunately, and their baby cabbage looper caterpillars are really enjoying the garden this season. If you’re not familiar with these, they are the green caterpillars that will inevitably be hiding in your broccoli and cabbage plants. I triple check all the broccoli, soak it in water with a bubbler running to try and force them out, and soak them in more water to try and drown them out, and yet, judging from the loopers that still make it into the leftover broccoli that we eat, there are likely some making it home to you in your CSA boxes. They don’t cause significant damage to the broccoli and any organic sprays on the market are broad-spectrum caterpillar killers that don’t selectively kill just cabbage loopers, so I’ve learned to live with them. If any make it into your kitchen, I recommend giving them to a small child. In these days of social distancing, there’s nothing like a free pet for entertainment!
This week’s cabbage is a triangular shaped variety called “Caraflex.” Yes, I grow it simply because it’s weird. But it’s also a great tasting, compact variety that fits into CSA boxes, so it fits the bill for our farm. This cabbage is great in a cole slaw or cooked into a borscht soup (see below).
No borscht recipe is complete without Beets, which make their first appearance this week. Last year I started transplanting beets from the greenhouse rather than starting them directly in the field. This has saved me an absurd amount of time in weeding and thinning them, and results in really big beets early in the season. Enjoy!
from Simply in Season, by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert
- 1 c. onion, chopped
- 8 c. water
- 2 c. potatoes, chopped
- 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
- 1 c. beets with greens, chopped
- 1/2 c. carrots, diced
- 1/2 c. pearl barley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped (or 2 TB dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. fresh chives, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- Brown onion in oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, 10 minutes
- Add all other ingredients except for parsley, dill, and beet greens. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add parsley, dill, and beet greens. Simmer until barley is cooked, another 10 minutes.
Serves 6-8. Great served with sour cream!
Next week should bring summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, lettuce, red cabbage, green onions, and parsley.
Oven Roasted Beets:
Red Lentil Coconut Curry: