Friday, June 11, 2010

Newsletter Week 3

Red Springs Family Farm
June 10, 2010 week 3

Lettuces Broccoli Day Lilies
Greens mix: radish, beet, chard
Herb bag: Sorrel Onion Greens
Snow Peas Anise Hyssop Green coriander

Quite the rain we’ve had. Over three inches fell fast yesterday. Your greens are rain washed today for sure, even if they don’t seem any cleaner for it! They will need an extra rinse to get the soil splashes off the undersides of the leaves. The road has stayed mostly passable, and all the veggies are still standing, so we’re grateful.

It was a big work week here, mulching, caging, staking and stringing up tomatoes, doing more planting and transplanting, and trying to overcome the rapidly growing weed population. Cucumbers are busy blossoming, and there should be green beans next week. Early tomatoes are loaded with green fruit, and the main season tomatoes are blooming well and setting a nice stand of green globes also. Paul has spotted the first pepper bloom, and Lulah is busy eating the wild black raspberries that grow in our driveway (come visit if you want any).

Our Fordhook chard and beets were badly in need of thinning, and the left-over radish greens looked delicious, so we’ve made the most of our garden work for the benefit of your palate. The beets are red (enjoy those little tiny beets at the bottom of them too!), the chard is green. The radishes are the small, prickly greens. You might be able to see why the Australians call chard “silverbeet”. They are certainly similars. If you’re not sure about these radish greens, just think about broccoli raab. They’re a little spicy, but still tender. I recommend using all the greens together. Wash them in a big bowl, rinse twice to get the rain grit out. Chop or tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Sauté greens until tender (with the water still clinging to them from their washing), in a covered pot or large pan with olive oil a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. These greens are best enjoyed with just a few minutes of cooking. The chard and beet greens are both nice in salads too.

Broccoli is such beloved and pesky vegetable. We had been having a wonderful broccoli spring, up until last week! The heat sent the heads shooting skyward and all the cabbage loper eggs hatched in one night. So – soak your broccoli in lightly salted water for about five minutes before you eat it. This should send any living critter scrambling for the surface. Eat these heads as soon as you can. They are fresher than anything you can buy in the store, but they were not picked this morning (unfortunately). Broccoli does not stand in the field, especially on hot sunny days. The branches reach skyward and want to burst into bloom. We have to harvest the heads and keep them cool until we can get them to you.

Oddities in the herb bag this week: Anise Hyssop. This is a beautiful plant. You’ll notice the distinctive anise smell, the crinkly heart-shaped leaves, and the pretty purple flowers. The leaves and flowers are both edible and wonderful in vegetable and fruit salads, teas, and baked goods. The flower flavor is stronger than the leaves, so adjust accordingly.

Snow Peas – just a handful – but we’re glad to have enough to share at all, considering the beating they took in the May flood. Here’s an idea: pop the seeds off the stems of the green coriander and heat them in butter or coconut oil in a skillet. When the seeds are fragrant, throw in the snow peas, and stir fry just for a couple minutes. Salt to taste and enjoy on rice, or noodles, with a salad, or on their own.

In other food related notes: if you want eggs from us, please let us know over email or at pick up a week ahead of time. We’re trying to honor everyone’s requests, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we get the season rolling.

We hope you’re enjoying your cheese selection this month. For June, we’re thinking about Aged Cheddar ($9/lb, $5/half lb), and Barren Co. Blue ($12/lb, $6/half lb). Check out the description for the Barren Co. Blue: “It has a firm yet springy blue veined interior with a tangy slightly acidic, ripe flavor. It’s our ‘Stilton Wannabe’. The perfect after-dinner cheese course, and pairs well with fruits and nuts.” Think it over, give us feedback on your cheese experience so far, and let us know what you would like no later than June 24.

Also, we anticipate the blueberries beginning at the end of this month, as well. Hidden Springs will bring berries to order each week for as long as they last. You can place a standing order, or just let us know week to week what you want. Contemplate your weekly blueberry needs (and how many you’d like to freeze). Hopefully the price will still be around $6/lb (one pound is nearly a quart). We’ll keep you posted.

Here’s a wonderful broccoli recipe:
Broccoli, with Asian-Style Dressing
1 medium head of broccoli ½ cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp peanut oil 2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger ½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp toasted sesame oil ½ tsp hot chili oil (optional)

1. Separate florets from the stalk; break into smaller florets. Cut the stalk into 1-inch lengths and then into matchstick size strips (carrots are also nice to add in here).
2. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket set of 1 ½ inches boiling water and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir until well combined. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and mix well.

With luck, we’ll have more broccoli next week, and maybe finish off that row of kohlrabi as well. The green beans are coming on strong, too.

We hope you’re enjoying the summer. Have a good weekend and week, and eat well!

Your gardeners,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse

No comments: