Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Newsletter July 3 2008, week #6

Red Springs Family Farm
July 3, 2008, Week #6

This week:
Senposai Greens OR Chard
Zucchini OR Cucumber
Lettuce Green Beans
Carrots Green Onions
BASIL Celery

We wish you all a very happy Fourth of July weekend!
Please pray for rain to swamp out the fireworks!

We’ve ordered the equipment to set up drip irrigation. It’s not something we WANT to do, but the situation in the garden demands some strong action now. We’re feeling fortunate to still be harvesting what we have.

The cabbage lopers finally found the Senposai. I don’t know what’s eating the Chard, but the wearing out of the greens is the natural course of deep summer weather. This will be some of the last spring greens you will see for abit. We do hope to send you a head of beautiful savoy cabbage in the next week or two, but beyond that, we’re moving into the summer crops now.

These are the first bits of cucumbers and zucchini – more, many more to come. This is also the very first light cutting of the basil. Please give us feedback about how much is enough, or too much of the summer offerings. Soon there will be parsley, and more beets. We’ve eaten the first couple cherry tomatoes, and are very much looking forward to the ripening of tomatoes. A little July 4 rain might just send them over into the pink!

Here’s a sweet and salty dish I make to use whatever vegetables are available:

My Favorite Teriyaki Style Veggies

An Onion A few cloves of garlic
One inch of fresh ginger Green beans
Carrots Cooking Greens
Any other veggies of choice Tamari
Sorghum or equivalent Lemon

Prepare all veggies – washing and slicing – chop the garlic and ginger fine and slice the greens thin, if you are using them. Throw the onions, garlic, and ginger into a large deep skillet with some oil – I prefer coconut, but butter or olive oil is fine. Once they have browned just a couple minutes, toss all the rest of the veggies into the skillet, stir briefly, and pour in at least a ¼ cup of tamari. Let all this cook together, covered, until the hardest vegetables are tender enough for you, then turn off the heat, and stir in a dollop of sorghum syrup and the juice of one lemon.

I serve this with crispy sautéed tempeh over rice. Cilantro makes a nice garnish, but we won’t have that back in the baskets for another couple weeks! Green onions should work.

We hope you have used and enjoyed your carrots. Though they are not as beautiful as California carrots, they sure do cook up sweet! I cannot yet find a written recipe to back me up, but I believe that these carrots would be so delicious if they were steam fried in a skillet with water and butter, just a pinch of salt, and a few leaves of this fresh basil, finely chopped and stirred in.

As for Green Beans, try this one…
Green Bean Salad (from the Real Dirt on Vegetables, by John Peterson)

¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts 1 pound green beans
1 tsp. Salt plus more to taste freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon) 3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved (about ½ a cup)

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet over high heat until they star to brown in spots and become fragrant. Be careful not to over-toast them. Immediately transfer nuts to a dish.
2. Add the beans and salt to a large pot of boiling water; cook until tender but still firm, 3-5 min.
3. Transfer the beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. Trim if necessary.
4. Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Pour this mixture over the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual plates. Gently scatter the Parmesan shavings on top.

Your bags are loaded with lettuce this week. We’re trying to make the most of what is PERFECT in the field right now. A lot of these heads wouldn’t have made it another week in the heat. We eat a salad every day for lunch. If you’re tired of munching “bunny food” and loosing your raw food enthusiasm, you might like to try braising your lettuce.

Braised Lettuce: Remove tough or bruised leaves, and rinse the head whole. Tie a piece of string loosely around each head to hold the leaves together and promote even cooking. Boil 2 quarts of water; add salt and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the lettuce heads to cook for 3 minutes. Drain the lettuces in a colander. When cool enough to handle, gently squeeze them in your hands to remove excess water. Remove the string. Melt 1-2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lettuce heads. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy immediately.

Otherwise, you might like this sweet and tangy dressing:
Sweet Maple and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp. finely sliced fresh basil
1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. Dry mustard
1 clove garlic minced salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar, and shake well. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. This will store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Toss it with salad greens or cooked veggies.

Thank you all for your support! Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“…Peter, who was rather naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden, and squeezed under the gate! First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes. And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.” – from The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

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