Newest farm hobby

Maggie and Jon suggested I share the latest farm hobby: collecting interesting bugs.  Farmhand Madeleine Wieder is especially taken with the beautiful swallowtail caterpillars.  She’s taken two of them home to pupate in a jar, with names “Lewis” and “Carroll.”   We find swallowtail caterpillars scattered about the farm on plants in the carrot family (carrots, fennel, dill, parsnip, parsley).  Their populations are low so they cause little cumulative damage to our crops.  We appreciate the beauty and interest they add to our lives.  Check out Wisconsin Butterflies for gorgeous photos and basic bios of species found in Wisconsin.  These are probably black swallowtails.  I’ll post more photos once they pupate and emerge as butterflies.

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Madeleine holds a swallowtail caterpillar on a fennel frond.

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When threatened, the caterpillars unfurl bright orange ‘horns’ and release an incredible stench.  Trust us, they really do stink.

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Madeleine has found swallowtails on parsnips growing in our pea field, …

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… while bunching parsley (hence the rubber bands), …

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… and while weeding carrots.  Lewis and Carroll near pupation size, feeding on carrots leaves.  Madeleine took the last three photos.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (July 2/3, 2015, purple EOW)

Strawberry season is over.  We expected to pick the final berries this week, but pounding rain on Monday did them in.  We will miss the berries, but our crew is glad to move on to other jobs.

‘Caraflex’ green cabbage, 1
Swiss chard, 1 bunch
Broccoli, 1 or 2 medium heads
Romaine lettuce
Sugar snap peas, 1.4 lb
Zucchini & summer squash, about 3 lb
Rhubarb, 1.5 lb
Garlic scapes, a handful
A few members will get one cucumber.  We’ll have cukes for everyone next week.

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet Walla Walla onions, cucumbers, broccoli, greens, zucchini, herbs and more.

‘Caraflex’ cabbage – This ia a nice salad-type that we grow in summer.  Don’t you love the pointy shape?  It has thinner, more tender leaves than the usual green cabbage.  Great in salads and slaws but can also be cooked.  Here’s the description from the seed catalogue: “Inner leaves are tender, crunchy, and have an excellent, sweet and mild cabbage flavor.  Perfect for summer salads, slaws, or cooked dishes.”
Swiss chard (pretty bundle of green leaves) – This is a close relative of spinach, but requires a bit more cooking.  Use as a substitute in any recipe that calls for spinach, just cook the chard a little longer. Both stems and leaves are delicious. The stems requite longer cooking, so cut them free from the leaves when preparing.  That allows you to cook the stems longer.
Rhubarb – We’re sending rhubarb so you can bake for your holiday parties!
Cucumbers (only a few members this week) – We should have cucumbers for everyone next week.  If you do receive one this week, don’t be surprised if it’s a bit misshapen.  Like zucchini, the first set of cucumbers are often odd.

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‘Caraflex’ green cabbage


Comforting Classics

Rhubarb Charlotte
Fish and Wilted Swiss Chard Tacos with Shredded Lettuce and Chipotle Cream
Mac and Smoked Gouda with Broccoli
Stir Fry Rice Noodle with Snap Pea and Eggs
Laura’s Zucchini Bread
Napa Cabbage and Chicken Salad

Outside the Box Recipes

Rhubarb Vinaigrette
Greek Swiss Chard and Zucchini Soup
Broccoli and Gorgonzola Polenta
Lettuce Steamed Snap Peas
Zucchini Carpaccio
Cabbage and Shrimp Fritters

Kitchen Sink Recipe
Make a big old salad with any of the box ingredients and add the garlic scape dressing. Imagine the different textures if you grill your romaine and then top with raw, shaved zucchini or broccoli florets, chopped snap peas or sliced Swiss chard.

Grilled Romaine with Garlic Scape Dressing

Quick and Easy Dinner Idea

Grilled Salmon with Summer Squash and Snap Pea Relish

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