Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

July Eleventh

I know that there are a few of you out there who are opening up your CSA box each week and you're pulling out these bunches of collards, kale and swiss chard, and you're thinking to yourself, "what am I supposed to do with this?".  This newsletter is dedicated to those of you, probably some of the newbies, that have not yet fallen in love with greens.  But I would be willing to place a bet with you that if you survived three full seasons as a CSA member, reading the newsletters, trying the recipes and wanting to learn how to eat greens, you would fall deeply, madly and passionately in love with GREENS!

I wish that there was something that I could write to you to help you learn to love them.  I wish there was a dish that I could prepare for you to learn to crave them.  And I wish there was something I could teach you about them that would help you realize how good they are for you.  But because I am neither a writer, a chef or a nutritionist, I doubt that I can influence you in this way.  So I have dug up a little information that I think you'll find interesting about GREENS!dripCarrots (Right) and Beets (left) on drip irrigation lines! Good Work, Adam!

 

They are useful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease since they are low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. One study showed that an increment of one daily serving of green leafy vegetables, lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11 percent

Because of their high magnesium content and low glycemic index, green leafy vegetables are also valuable for persons with type 2 diabetes.

The high level of vitamin K in greens makes them important for the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health. The risk of hip fracture in middle-aged women was decreased 45% for one or more servings/day of green, leafy vegetables compared to fewer servings.

Green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which can also be converted into vitamin A, and also improve immune function. Millions of children around the world have an increased risk of blindness, and other illnesses because of inadequate dietary vitamin A from green leafy vegetables.

Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids found in dark-green leafy vegetables, are concentrated in the eye lens and macular region of the retina, and play a protective role in the eye. They protect against both cataract and age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in the elderly. Some studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast and lung cancer, and may contribute to the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Green veggies contain a variety of carotenoids, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants that have cancer-protective properties.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in leafy green vegetables. Quercetin has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and displays unique anticancer properties. Quercetin is a natural compound that blocks substances involved in allergies and acts as an inhibitor of mast cell secretion, and causes a decrease in the release of interleukin-6.

Information pulled from:  

http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/updates/benefits-of-green-leafy-vegetables.php

Greens help alkalize the blood, while disease occurs easier in an acidic body.  Greens play a vital roll in metabolizing fat and their concentration of nutrients give a boost of energy.  

 

Sooo, what's in the box???

Kohlrabi X 2-  These hearty little kohlrabis are holding on for their dear lives out there in this heat.  They're such little soldiers, bearing such a load on their shoulders.  They're really not looking like they want to tolerate the dry weather for much longer.  Peel the kohlrabi and slice onto salads, dice into stir fry or grate into a slaw!

Green Onions-  Green onions are a little bigger this week.  The tops are little a little more brown from the dry weather.  Use the bulbs all the way up to the tops of the greens in your cooking!

Broccoi or Cauliflower-  As much as I aspire to grow beautiful broccoli and cauliflower, mother nature simply was not on our sides this spring.  Broccoli and Cauliflower need consistently cool weather with plenty of moisture to mature properly.  We decided it was better to give really funky looking broccoli and cauliflower rather than giving none at all.  I promise you that we usually grow beautiful broccoli.  Wait until Fall, I'll prove it to you!

Swiss Chard or Red Curly Kale-  The swiss chard was the best looking green out there, so we went for it.  The collards, which were next up in the greens rotation, were really looking like they were under attack by the flea beetles.  tomatoesSunset over the tomatoes. Looking quite nice these days! Also on drip irrigation! Thanks, Adam for saving the tomatoes!

Garlic Scapes-  We had one large bin of scapes left to share with you, but the bunch sizes are about half the size from last week.  We gave everyone a small garlic bulb in addition to the scapes.  More garlic coming!

Cilantro-  Cilantro comes in the heat of the summer to help cool us down.  We were amazed to see that since the cilantro hasn't seen rain in over a month, all of the dried leaves that are in the middle of the bunches.  We did our best to make them look nice for you with the time we had.  

Green Cabbage-  Usually we have green cabbage for CSA boxes by Week 6 in the season, but this year, with very little rain and moistrue this spring, the cabbage really did not size up the way we hoped they would.  We have another couple cabbage givings coming up that we are watering, so we're hoping they'll be a little bigger next time around.  We find it's better to give them while they're small and cute and have mostly nice looking wrappers, rather than over-grown and huge with lotts of holes.  

Cucumbers-  Yowsers!  Cucumbers are off with a bang!  We were so happy to see them laying out there on the vine, looking so juicy and fine.  Adam now has our cucumbers on drip-tape irrigation to ensure their precious little blossoms don't dry up and die on us.  

Summer Squash, Zucchini or Patty Pan-  Summer Squash are the yellow, soft looking squashes.  The zucchinis are the green, soft squashes and the patty pans are the UFO, spherical squashes.  They all have a very similar texture and flavor, but their shape and colors vary greatly.  They are a very watery plant.  Summer squashes (a term that can group all three squashes) have very little flavor of their own, but are excellent at soaking up marrinades and seasonings that you infuse into them.  We were slicing them lengthwise, soaking them in a bath of sunflower oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and then grilling them.  They are also great on a kabob.  Summer squashes can be chopped up, blanced and frozen or more simply grated and frozen as well.  

Lettuce X 2-  The lettuce is really suffering from this heat and drought.  Their under-leaves were crispy and dead and the leaves that we did save feel a little tough from the heat and dry.  We were still quite happy to be able to send everyone at least two heads this week!  

Recipes

Fresh Greens Pasta Pie

 Stuffed Summer Squash

Sauteed Zucchini with Walnuts

Fabulous Slaw


July Fifth

The dog days of summer have arrived.  They have brought with them the worst drought that we have ever experienced on our farm in the seven years that we have been running our CSA program.  Our brows are sweating and we're a little nervous about the long term affects the heat and dry weather are going to have on the crops this summer.  We have survived the first 6 years without any kind of a sophisticated irrigation system, and this week we decided that we were done hoping and waiting for rain.  We went to town and bought a pump, some pipe, some hose and some gas and went to work setting up sprinklers.  

In many ways I feel like I am the face of the farm.  I answer your e-mails, your phone calls and write the Weekly Dig Newsletter.  I also manage the daily workers and the worker share members who come to help on the farm.  It can sometimes be easy to forget to mention my husband, Adam, who keeps the unseen projects humming along quietly and smoothly.  He does all of the spraying of the organic sprays that we use on the cabbage loopers, flea beetles, thrips, squash bugs, cucumber beetles and potato bugs.  He keeps the greenhouse fires going strong in the spring when our work is focused in the greenhouse and he does all of the mechanical cultivating between the crops.  This week, he now has the full time job of managing an irrigation system.  KathyKathy, a Monday morning worker share, harvesting curly green kale!

Lucky for all of us, Adam takes an interest in projects like these that I seem to have very little interest in managing.  We make a very nice team in this way.  While I'm wrapping my head around the harvesting and packing schedule for the week and thinking about the hand-weeding projects that line up, Adam is thinking about keeping the cucumber plants from being devoured by cucumber beetles and filling the irrigation tanks.   This time of year we show affection for one another by doing chores for each other. Our dinner table talk is about the blossoms on the pepper plants, the trellising of of the tomatoes and the cultivation of the last lettuce plantings.  If you overheard our conversations with one another, you might find us quite the boring pair.  But somehow our love is strengthened in this work we do together.  

This heat, this drought and the challenges of this summer are stressful on not only us, but the plants a well.  Broccoli does not love 95 degress. Beets do not love a bone dry soil.  It is even possilbe that our lettuce plantings that are scheduled for the Week 7 and 8 boxes may not tolerate these temperatures any longer before bolting.  We have received just slightly more than an inch and a half of rain in the last six weeks.  But while the work is now hard and the days are now long, we will prevail through this season the way a marriage prevails through the years.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Kohlrabi-  More ground apples!  Kohlrabi is wonderful raw, while you can also enjoy it in stir fry.  It's texture is similar to a water chestnut.  Peel off the outer layer, chop it up and eat it like chips with a veggie dip.  Remember that Kohlrabi leaves are edible like kale and great for using in cooking!  It is likely that we still have another couple kohlrabi givings out there for this summer.  Will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Green Onions-  The green onions are so much fun in the kitchen.  You can eat them raw with a veggie dip or cook with them like they are onions.  The entire thing is edible from the roots all the way to the tops of the greens.  

Beets-  Most members received a yellow beet stuck in with their red beets.  The golden beets are just as delicious as the red beets, with a very similar flavor.  The yellow beets are nice because you can put them in a dish and they won't turn the whole thing pink!  The beet greens are edible the same as Swiss Chard.  Beets are in the same family as spinach and chard.  The greens on these beets are especially beautiful this year.  We experimented with planting our beets a little farther apart this year for better airflow around the plants and it turned out to be a good thing!

Dill-  This dill succession was in the flowering stage.  You can put the dill flowers in a soup for flavor, but I'm not sure they'll be so wonderful for eating themselves.  Use the dill ferns in a sour-cream veggie dip, a Borcht soup or a potato salad.  

Garlic Scapes-  Still a few more garlic scapes to share with the small family.  Use scapes in your cooking the way you would cook with garlic.  The stems are edible up to the lime green nodule.  

Peas-  Peas are a mixture of snow and snap peas.  These are the edible pod varieties, so you will cook with the entire pod.  A slightly larger pea harvest this week than last week, but still a fairly modest pea share this year.  We enjoyed peas in a fried rice dish, in stir fry and for snacking raw while harvesting;)

Summer Squash or Zucchini-  The soft summer squashes are here!  The plants look so beatiful, young and healthy and are covered in blossoms.  It's looking like it's going to be a good squash year!  Adam was out watering every squash plant (and we have a lot of them), to ensure that you are thoroughally squashed by the end of the summer!  Squash prefers storage at about 50 degrees.  Possibly your counter space is better for storing than your refrigerator because refrigerators are a bit too cool for squash.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  I am sooooo, sooooo, sooooooo sorry to say that broccoli and cauliflower despise 90 degree weather.  Broccoli loves to grow big and green and strong when it's about 55 degrees outside with an inch of rain a week.  Our broccoli has not seen rain in two weeks and is bolting while still very small.  I love to grow broccoli and it breaks my heart to see such small, funky looking heads coming out of the fields.  We'll still be sending broccoli the next few weeks, but we can really look forward to some nice broccoli this fall (if it's isn't 80 degrees in September).  Broccoli loves to be kept very cold for storage.  Lorass_WallLoras, a Madison CSA member and long time friend of the family came to the farm this week and built a retaining wall for us. Very nice work, Loras! And Thank You!

Curly Green Kale-  Mongo bunches of curly green kale this week.  More greens for coloring up your lives!  Kale is wonderful in that if it starts to loose some of it's vigor and crispness, you can trim the stems and soak the bunch in cool water and it will perk back up.  Remove the large stems from the leaves and cook up in a liberal amount of coconut oil, and little toasted sesame oil, a little soy sauce and a few sesame seeds.  You'll learn to LOVE kale!  This variety of Kale is also great for making kale chips!  The Kale Chips are a great way to get kids to love kale!

Lettuce X2-  More lettuce!  I hope you're having salads at every meal this week!  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  We wash our lettuce leaf by leaf to get all of the dirt off of it.  Once it's all washed up, it's easy to throw together a quick salad for every meal.  The lettuce is becoming a little thicker now with the heat.  Let's hope our later successions of lettuce hold out for us!

Basil-  Basil does not like refrigeration!  A 40 degree refrigerator will turn basil leaves black and leave them undesirable for eating.  You can stand the stems of the basil up in a glass of water like cut flowers and it will keep longer this way.  As a general rule though, basil does not keep well under any conditions.  It is a highly perishable plant.  You could pluck the leaves from the stems and dry them for later use, make pesto or smother a pizza with them.  We were able to give generous amounts of basil this week!

Recipes-

Beet Borscht

Braised and Blended Kale and Beet Greens

Kale Chips

Chef T's Basil Pesto

June Twenty-Ninth

Have you eaten up that kohlrabi yet?  How about the fennel?  Or, those collards, did you like those?  How receptive is your household and your stomachs to all of these new foods that are (hopefully) making it onto your dinner plates.  Are you embracing the adventurous culinary spirit within?  If the funky items from your box are still sitting at the bottom of your crisper, consider this your pep talk.  These are the foods that are flavoring, coloring and enlivening your lives.  These foods are giving your life texture and breaking you of your same-old same-olds that you resort to when you're lacking creativity in the kitchen.  Break into the box!onionsCleaning green onions

There is something so beautiful and enriching about eating within the seasons.  Even healing.  The seasons provide us with cleansing greens in the spring, cooling fruits in the summer and warming roots and squash in the fall for storage through a long winter.  I find it rather nice to not have to think about what I should be eating.  The answers are popping up all around me.  I don't always love the bitter watercress in the spring, but when it's the only green food available when the snow still blankets the earth, I succumb to the pressure and follow mother nature's advice.  I even love missing vegetables when they are out of season.  It's like looking forward to your best friend's arrival who is expected home from a long vacation.  I know there is a fondness in your heart that longs for a tomato ripened in season.  You even enjoy missing the tomato when it's out of season.  For some reason I love cucumbers when they're from the gardens, but I really don't like to eat them when they're out of season.  

I promise you that I'm no purist, myself.  I love coffee, avocado and lemon.  I even love figs, almonds, olives and rice.  My diet is not restricted to kohlrabi, kale and and parsley.  I even like to justify my non-local purchases by saying that if we're going to be transporting goods across the countryside and inter-continentally, best it be real food rather than t-shirts, plastic toys and cars.  Transporting food across oceans is as old as the boat itself.  But my real point is that when we can learn to really love our seasonal peas, fennel and chard and get very excited about broccoli when it's coming into season, we may find there are more than just health benefits.  Our local economy becomes stronger, our connection with nature and the seasons are enriched and our bodies are thankful to once again become united with what nature intended for us to eat.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

White or Purple Kohlrabi (X2)-  The kohlrabi's are maturing a little faster than we wanted them to, so we went in and harvested two per member this week.  Also called a ground apple, Kohlrabi is wonderful eaten raw.  Peel off the other layer of the bulbs and cut into pieces and eat with a dip.  It's also used in stir fry or grated or thinly sliced onto salads.  Don't forget that the kohlrabi leaves are edible like kale, broccoli leaves or like collard greens.  

Green Onions-  Finally, green onions!  You can eat the roots, white stems and the greens on these babies.  The whole thing is edible!  They're wonderful coined onto salads, eating raw on a veggie platter or even chopped up and used in your everyday cooking in place of onion.  We'll have green onions to give the next three or four weeks until real onions are ready!

Snow and/or Sugar Snap Peas-  Pea production is a little weird this year.  The pea plants started flowering long before we thought they would and our first succession fizzled out pretty fast.  We're harvesting from our second succession now and it's looking really healthy and strong.  Still very modest givings of peas this year, but better some than none!

Cherry Bell or French Breakfast Radish-  We weren't sure we would have radishes to harvest this week, but there was still enough to give everyone some, so we went for it!  They're probably on the spicy side from the heat, but enjoy them because they're all gone for sure this time!  Remove the tops and let your radishes float in jar with water in the fridge and eat them fresh with your salads.  Remember that the greens are edible and they loose their prickliness once cooked!

Orion Fennel-  Absolutely beautiful fennel bulbs this spring!  We were so pleased with them!  Shave your fennel raw onto a salad, roast it, grill it or make that delicious cream of broccoli and fennel soup recipe from last week with it!  Fennel has a licorice flavor when eaten raw, but that flavor turns very mild (almost un-noticeable) once it's cooked.  

Garlic Scapes-  These shoots are from the top of the garlic plant.  Chop them up and cook with them like you would garlic cloves.  The most ideal part for cooking is below the little nodule on the scape.  The entire thing is edible, however.lettuceharvesting lettuce

Swiss Chard-  Colorful bunches of Swiss chard.  Swiss chard is in the same family as spinach and beets, and has a very mild earthy flavor.  The stems are edible as much as the leaves are and they add a nice texture to your dish.  Saute Swiss Chard with just onions and garlic in your favorite cooking oil and enjoy it very simply like that, or sink it deep into a pasta or egg bake and hardly notice it's there!

Broccoli, Cauliflower or Zucchini-  We tried very hard to harvest enough broccoli or cauliflower for everyone, but came up just a wee bit short.  We're hoping that by next week we'll have enough for everyone!  Our zucchini and summer squashes are starting to fruit, so start researching some new squash recipes that look good, you're about to get squashed!

Lettuce (X2)-  So many beautiful heads of lettuce!  We harvested the taller green romaines, your classic green leaf lettuce, the frilly red leaf and a new, small, red oakleaf variety.  You may have received a combination of any two of these.  

Curly Parsley-  Beautiful parsley!  Such a vibrantly green food.  Take note that the parsley is one of the nutrient-dense foods that we'll send you.  It's extremely high in anti-oxidants and contains very high levels of chlorophyll.  So yes, boring old parsley is a super food!  

Recipes

Caramelized Fennel and Onions

Risotto with Sweet Sausage and Fennel

Shells Baked with Spinch, Herbs and Walnuts (substitune Swiss Chard!)  -We just had this for dinner last night and I think it has just been placed into the grand 'Hall of Fame Foods from the Farm'!

June Twentieth

The longest days of the year are here.  My body knows this very well.  We sleep with the windows open at night and the sunlight and bird-songs come creeping in the window all too early for a tired farmer's body.  The chickens are photo-sensitive animals who, when not fooled by artifical lighting, reach thier peak egg-laying stage in April through June.  There is a measureable reproductive response in a chicken when there are more than 8 hours of daylight and when daylight is increasing.  Even our tender vegetable plants are highly sensitive to the day length.  It's fascinating to think about how the plants and animals and, heck maybe even we, are affected by something as subtle as the number of hours of sunlight we receive in one day.  potluckA very nice turn out for the farm tour and potluck on Saturday afternoon!

I know it sounds weird, but I've daydreamed of what it might be like to be a plant.  To be planted out in a field, subjected to the wind, rain, sun, and even the night sky, 24 hours of the day.  If you've ever gone camping or back-packing for several days where you didn't have access to buildings, artifical lighting or even roofs, you might have a sense of what it might feel like to be a plant, or a tree.  You might sympathise with them a little more if you didn't.  Or at the very least, gain a newfound respect for them that you may not have otherwise thought of.  

These soldiers on the frontline for us, turning our carbon dioxide into oxygen.  These sturdy, rooted, fruit-bearing plants.  They're so crafy, needing only sunlight, water and a few humble square inches of earth for survival.  They're so resourceful that they take advantage of every hour of sunlight and every drop of water that they are given.  They have built-in biological clocks that trigger them to make attractive flowers with powdery pollen and then produce fertile seeds just in time for them to be dropped onto the unsuspecting earth before winter sets in.  Onion plants are interesting becuase they are particularly light-sensitive.  Onions somehow know to begin bulbing once the day-length begins to wane.  This is a good reason to get your onions planted as soon as possilbe in the early spring so the onions have time to expand their little solar panels, shoot out some little roots, and become well-established plants before they are triggered into bulbing once the days become shorter.  

All of the plants around us are planning for winter every day of their lives with no complaints, no second chances, and no help from anyone but the honeybee.  They're planning for their survial while we play angry birds on our smart phones, check our facebook pages and think about what we're going to do on Friday night.  I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty cool.  I'm just glad that somebody's got my back.  The Summer Solstice is a long day, and it's a good day to sit out on your front porch and think about how lucky you are to have a porch to sit on with a roof over your head.

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Strawberries!-  Strawberries are extremely perishable, especailly when picked ripe.  Eat them up quickly!  

Kohlrabi-  Kohlrabi is also called a 'ground apple'.  You may have received a white or purple kohlrabi.  Peel the outer layer off of the bulb and then cut the kohlrabi into pieces or sticks and eat raw with your favorite veggie dip!  Don't forget the kohlrabi leaves are edible (like kale) and are loaded in nutrients and anti-oxidants!  

Snap Peas or Broccoli/Cauliflower-  Pea production is picking up a bit, and a little rain would really help the matter.  Broccoli and cauliflower just started to come on a little this week, so we gave broccoli or peas.  

Garlic Scapes-  Such a wonderful substitute for garlic while we wait for the real thing to mature.  The best part for eating is from the end where it was snapped off of the plant up to the little lime-green nodule.  They're too yummy to waste, but you could also put them in a glass of water on your table and admire them like you would cut flowers.  

Cherry Bell or French Breakfast Radish-  The final giving of radish this week.  You may have received the round cherry bells or the longer white and red french breakfast radishes.  Radishes keep well with their tops removed floating in a glass of water.  It helps them keep their crispy-ness.  The tops of the radishes are edible!  Use them in a quiche, stir fry or rip them into a soup.  thursThursday morning worker share helpers weeding the third beet succession!

Fennel-  Fennel bulbs remind you of licorice!  Shave the raw bulb very thinly into a salad or sautee it into a stir fry.  There are also some really wonderful fennel recipes out there if you look around.  Use the frawns for garnish, marrinade or thinly sliced into pasta.  

Collards or Red Curly Kale-  Almost everyone receieved collards, but when we ran out of leaves, we supplemented with the fruity smelling red-curly kale.  They're in the same family as eachother.  Embrace your southern style and have fun with collards!  Classicly, they are cooked in bacon grease or boiled.  

Dill or Cilantro-  We tried to give cilantro agian this week, but supplemented with dill where there was no cilantro.  The cilantro is beginning to bolt a little, but still perfectly edible!  

Two Lettuce Heads-  Oh mama, the lettuce is here!  We're projecting that we'll be able to give another couple heads of lettuce per member again next week.  Stock up on salad dressings or, better yet, make your own!  

Recipes-

Collards recipe

Spring Salad with Fennel and Orange

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup

Cilantro-Lime Salad Dressing

Radish Dip

June Thirteenth

I was once asked by an interviewer for a newspaper shortly after we bought the farm how I felt about moving into a vocation that is so deeply dependant on weather pattern and with the idea that climate change is here, how was that going to affect our success as farmers.  It was a very valid question and probably more important than I realized at the time.

More than three weeks have passed since it really rained last.  We prayed before our meal on Sunday night for rain that was still just a 50% possibility.  We saw a very slow moving storm on the radar and were checking weather.com and weather.gov almost every hour to watch the progress of the storm, hoping, praying and believing that it would hit us.  In the middle of the night around 3am we woke to the sound of 3/10th of an inch of rain falling on the roof.  There was never a sweeter sound.  Even the baby woke, but it was just fine with me.  kale_harvestMany hands make light work when harvesting lacinato kale!

In the last couple weeks we have been busy little beavers seeding green beans, corn, carrots, cilantro, and beets while trusting that rain was bound to come around soon enough.  I don't want to sound ungrateful, but 3/10th of an inch simply is not enough.  We're in the mood for a good soaker.  We need something to make the seeds swell and be brought to life.  The plants need a reason to stand tall again, the beets need a drink to become round.  Many of our mulched crops like potatoes, garlic, and sqashes all seem to be withstanding the mini drought that we're in pretty well.  Everything that was planted into bare soil is just out there in the wide open wind and penetrating sun rays.  There are a few 'maybe rainy' days in the forecast, but nothing that really lifts our spirits.  I tend to be very hopeful and pathetically optomistic at times, but maybe it's age or previous experiences that grinds away at my patience and anticipation.  

I still am not sure how to answer the interviewers question about climate change and why, in my right mind, would I make the choice to become a farmer when weather seems to becoming more severe.  I suppose that some of us are just born to do something, wether or not it is practical, logical or wise.  Perhaps the inventation of an irrigation system is in order on the Small Family Farm.  After all, we're far from ready to throw the towel in on this life.  But it sure would be nice if it rained a little.  

Sooo...What's in the Box???

Asparagus-  More yummy Asparagus for putting on the grill!  Love it while it lasts, Asparagus season is about over!

Overwintered Shallots-  These little buggers have been patiently waiting in our cold storage root cellar since last summer.  They've been sitting dormant, waiting to be opened up in your kitchen and tossed into your sauces and dressings.  Keep them cold or eat them soon.  They will want to sprout if transfered to a warm area.  

Lacinato Kale-  Yeah, my fav!  This dark green brassica leaf rates off the charts as far as anti-oxidants go.  It's a super-rich cooking green that is wonderful torn into soups, casseroles, egg dishes or simply sauteed with garlic, oil and soy sauce.  

Spinach-  Our final giving of spinach for the spring.  With this warm weather, the spinach is shooting for the moon.  The leaves this week might fair better for cooking rather than eating raw in salads.  

French Breakfast or Cherry Bell Radish-  A little more spicy this week with no rain.  The more rain we get, the less spicy the radish.  The leaves are a little chewed up, but remember that they are edible if you're hungary for more greens!  A fun new radish dip recipe below with avocado!

Head Lettuce-  Plenty more lettuce to come along!  Spring lettuce is my favorite becuase it should still be a little while before it starts to get bitter from the heat.  It's so nice to be eating salads at almost every meal.

Oregano Plant-  More planting to do folks.  Now you know how we feel!  Plant the whole thing, pot and all, right into a little pot filled with an organic potting soil mix.  Oregano can be planted outdoors and is a perennial which means that it will overwinter and come back next spring!  Oregano likes full sun and plenty of water.  

Pac Choi-  The last of the pac choi.  This was growing inside our greenhouse.  It was getting a little hot in there, so it was time for the pac choi to come out.  No more funky asian greens until fall because the bugs just like to eat them too much.  garlic_scapesA garlic scape on the garlic plant.

Garlic Scapes-  These little guys shoot right out of the center of the garlic plant.  They do a little loop-de-loop and then we snap them off to eat them.  They're actually the garlic plant's best effort at making seeds.  We snap them off so that the plant puts more of it's energy into making larger garlic bulbs rather than making larger seeds.  The best part to eat is from the blunt end up until the light green/yellow colored nodule.  The top of the scape is still edible, but more chewy.  

Peas or Kohlrabi-  We just started picking peas and a few early kohlrabis are popping up.  Only 15 people received a kohlrabi, while we divided our early pea harvest amungst the rest.  All peas are edible pod varieties which meals you can eat the whole darn thing!

Cilantro-  Woops, this was a surprise.  We weren't expecting to harvest this until next week, but it came a little early!  I love cilantro so much!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Recipes-

Old Fashioned Creamed Spinach

 Jicama, Radish and Avocado Salad

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