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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!  


Collards recipe

Spring Salad with Fennel and Orange

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup

Cilantro-Lime Salad Dressing

Radish Dip