Resilient crew

Our crew deserves a round of applause for their efforts during this hot, hot week.  They persevered in good spirits.  As one crew member said, “I am so glad to work with people who take their work seriously, and work hard, and enjoy each others’ company.”  All this while picking strawberries on a 94o day.  

Basically, we have to forge ahead with our farm work during any weather.  We try to be strategic, finishing tough jobs early and saving indoor work (like bundling asparagus) until afternoon.  More often, the vegetables dictate the work sequence.  Delicate crops like lettuce and spinach have to be harvested in the morning while it’s still cool.  Here are just a few of the many things the crew accomplished this week.


They transplanted sweet potato slips, using our 70’s era strawberry planter.  We use it twice per year, once for strawberry seedlings, once for sweet potatoes.  From left, Kelsie, Kristin, Karen, Michio, Jim, Smitty and Simone (on tractor).  


Jory and Maggie (and Billy off-camera) pound wooden stakes in the tomato field.  We’ll intertwine string along the posts to support the tomato plants and keep the tomatoes off the ground.  This is a very demanding job in the heat but they got it done.  You can just see the irrigation running in the distance.  Look for a white spurt at the horizon left of Maggie.  


Steve ran the irrigation gun every day this week.  All the storms sweeping through the area skipped our farm.  We hope for rain but will continue to make our own.


Ari picks garlic scapes, one by one.  We count each scape, even though we put the scapes in the CSA boxes by the un-counted handful.  The scape count is a good predictor of how many garlic heads we’ll harvest in July so it’s worth the extra effort.


We picked a zillion strawberries this week.  They ripened quickly in the heat.

Resilient strawberries

We have beautiful, ripe berries for you this week.  Quality and flavor are excellent because of the dry weather.  (For strawberries, wet weather = rot.)   Eat your berries soon; they are ripe and will not store for long.  

Strawberries are not resilient plants.  This field appears to be the exception.  Throughout it’s life, we repeated thought the planting might be lost.  Remember how much it rained last summer and early fall?  We couldn’t control the weeds in this field.  Steve cultivated and the weeds re-rooted in the next rain.  The strawberries re-rooted too, erasing the aisles which delineate the varieties.  We mulched and headed into winter not knowing if the plants were strong enough to set flower buds.  Come February, freakishly warm weather risked breaking the plants’ dormancy.  In spring, we irrigated to protect on frosty nights, as usual.  By June, we had a mass of berry plants, long wandered out of their rows but bearing excellent quality berries.  It is a happy outcome.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(June 15/16, 2017, Week #5, purple EOW & sun sampler)

Strawberries, 1 pt + 1 qt
Asparagus, about 3/4 lb
Broccoli, 1.25 – 1.75 lb
Zucchini, 2+ lb
Kohlrabi, 1 large
Spinach, 1 medium bunch
Red bibb lettuce

Some sites will get …
Garlic scapes, a handful
Scallions, 1 small bunch

Some sites will get …
A larger amount of garlic scapes

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, peas, broccoli, zucchini, garlic scapes and more.

Strawberries! – We’ve been waiting for these.
♦ Ripe strawberries are perishable.  Ripe berries should be eaten immediately, or stored in the refrigerator.  Most berries are quite clean.  If you want to clean your berries, rinse gently.  Don’t soak them, just rinse.
♦ You will receive two containers of strawberries.  Compare the containers, judge which berries are softer and more ripe, and eat those first.
♦ Please recycle your strawberry containers.  We no longer collect them for re-use.  Please don’t return them to your pick-up site.

Asparagus – This is the final delivery.  It’s time to let the plants grow and replenish their enormous underground storage roots, accumulating energy to fuel next spring’s harvests.

Broccoli – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Zucchini & summer squash – First pick of the season! Zucchini needs refrigeration but does not do well at very cold temperatures, as it will soften and form pits in its surface. Keep these squash in a plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge.

Kohlrabi (pale green, round vegetable with thick skin) – Crunchy and sweet, kohlrabi is a great addition to salads.
Storage:  Kohlrabi bulbs will store for a month in the refrigerator.
Uses:  Kohlrabi are good peeled and eaten out of hand, or added to sandwiches.  Mix into lettuce or spinach salads, or prepare as a salad on it’s own.  You can grate it, slice it, or cut it into matchsticks.  It’s also good cooked.  If you have it, the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook has a long list of kohlrabi suggestions.

Red bibb lettuce – This delicate lettuce came through the hot weather beautifully.

Garlic scapes (curly green things) – Garlic scapes grow at the top of garlic plants.  They look like flower buds but are actually clusters of tiny bulblets.  We snap off the young scapes to direct the plants’ energy into forming garlic bulbs underground.  Use scapes as a substitute for garlic cloves.  They can be minced, mixed with olive oil, and added to stir fries or simple pasta dishes.  If you have a larger amount, puree with oil to form a pesto to add to pasta or line a pizza.  The scapes can be sautéed, but will not brown like garlic cloves.  Expect them to retain their crunch even when cooked, and to be milder than garlic cloves, closer in pungency to the green garlic we’ve sent.  This week’s scapes are from our friend John Hendrickson of Stone Circle Farm who grows organic garlic bulbs for our CSA.  Next week, we’ll deliver scapes from our farm and from John.

LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Paprika and Oregano Roasted Kohlrabi
Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Broccoli, Spinach and Kohlrabi
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan Dressing

Outside the Box Recipes

Grilled Zucchini and Kohlrabi Sandwich
Red Bibb and Strawberry Salad
Mediterranean Farro with White Beans and Broccoli 
Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds

Quick and Easy Meal

Turkey Zucchini Burger

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ROASTED ASPARAGUS & GREEN GARLIC FARRO SALAD
My instructions as written are best on a day that is less than 90 degrees (a.k.a. requires you to turn on your oven) which lately seems impossible. If you are wanting to make this right away, you could roast the asparagus and green garlic in the toaster oven (as I did) or just saute them gently for 10-15 minutes until tender. I for one love the texture of roasted asparagus (and green garlic). It will always be my technique of choice, even when not weather appropriate.  Lauren.

Serves 4 as a side or 2-4 as a hearty breakfast with a fried egg on top
Takes 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound asparagus
3 garlic scapes
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup farro
2 cups chopped spinach
Fried eggs, for serving

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Once preheated, drizzle baking sheet with olive oil. Add asparagus and garlic scapes, along with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and all of the pepper and red pepper flakes. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing after 10 minutes to cook evenly.
3. While the asparagus and scapes roast, bring a large saucepan of water and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to a boil.
4. Meanwhile toast your farro in a large saute pan for 5 minutes until it browns slightly and begins to smell nutty. Add the farro to your boiling water and simmer gently for 12 minutes. I always cook farro like pasta for the best success. It will be perfect and tender everytime (without getting mushy). Drain after 12 minutes and return to pot. Stir in spinach while farro is still warm and stir just to wilt.
5. Remove asparagus and scapes from oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Roast 5-10 minutes longer until charred and a little crispy in spots. Remove from oven and dice asparagus into bite-size pieces. Slice scapes into little coins. Toss asparagus and garlic scapes with farro to combine.
6. Eat the farro and veggies as is or serve with fried eggs for a more complete meal.
.
THE BEST BROCCOLI SALAD
I love broccoli salad. I didn’t grow up liking it very much (or even understanding it really), but man oh man, do I love it now. It is the first thing I make every year when I receive the first broccoli of the season. This recipe uses other items in your box but can be easily customized with onions, shallots, regular garlic, green garlic or any other allium you have on hand if you don’t have scallions in your box. The addition of kohlrabi also isn’t required (but I love it!). My mom used to make it with pieces of bacon (which you should totally try if you aren’t vegetarian and have never had it that way!). You can use Greek Yogurt instead of the mayo or buttermilk (or both!). You can change up the nuts. Leave out the dried fruit if that isn’t your thing. This is a very versatile salad so feel free to play around with it. Hope you enjoy!  Lauren.

1/2 cup diced pecans
1 head broccoli, stem removed, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 bunch scallions, sliced (you can use all of it, white and dark green parts)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. In a large saute pan, toast pecans (or whatever nut you decide to use) for 5-10 minutes until browned and smelling really delicious.
2. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, kohlrabi, scallions, dried cranberries and toasted nuts.
3. In a small bowl (or Mason jar with a lid that will be shaken) combine all dressing ingredients and whisk (or shake) until well-combined. Pour over veggies and stir to combine. It takes the veggies a little while to soak up the dressing so try to make it an hour ahead or the day before.

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