Early summer, and strawberries just in time
Tasty treats were had by all at the great greens workshop. Thanks to everyone who hosted the delicious and informative event. Thanks to all those that attended!
Intercropping with beans and edamame in the forefront and cabbages in the back. Buckwheat flowers in the background attract pollinators and beneficial insects while some flowering purple vetch attracts bumble bees at the start of a bean bed.
Notes From The Field
Feels Like Summertime
By Derek McGeehan
Strawberries are ripening, pea pods are fattening, tomatoes need trellising, crickets are chirping, and the sky is brightening super-duper early. All are sure signs that summer is fast approaching and with it new jobs, tasks, work, and responsibilities of farm management. We're hoping one of the new tasks does not include setting up irrigation because it is an infrastructure nightmare and time eater. Last season we were able to bypass irrigating almost completely, which was a fun test. We also received fairly regular and ample rain. We're in a bit of a dry spell currently at the farm, having missed out on Wednesday night's and Thursday morning's rain. Since we received over 2 inches of rain over 2 weeks ago in quick outbursts from thunderstorms, we've only received .4 inches, which seems to be enough for now to get us through another few days. All of the crops look fairly content but would probably be happy with a nice soaking inch or so. I would also like enough rain for a much needed forced break from tractor work.
At long last, the strawberries are here
It's also getting hotter. In the past week we've had a few days in the mid-eighties but at least we're still having cool nights. It has almost been perfect weather. We've finished planting sweet potatoes and are getting ready to plant the 2nd round of eggplant plus the French Charentais type melon crop (reliable). In the greenhouse this week we'll seed fall fennel and fall cabbage; it's hard to believe we're thinking about that time of year already. Both those crops take 2-3 months to mature from transplanting which is why we have to start them this early. We sustained the first damage of the year from mice in the greenhouse last night, amazingly making it this far unscathed. With such a concentration of tasty and edible seeds and plants and no barn cats patrolling, we're lucky to have made it this far without damage. To keep them at bay we try to keep the outside of the greenhouse mown and tidy and also keep the volunteer weeds from overrunning the inside. We also have a permanent arsenal of snap traps strategically placed around the inside perimeter. Now we need microscopic traps for the flea beetles that are defoliating the first round of eggplant. For now our fingers will be the snap traps. The discarded creatures then become a different part of the farming and life cycle.
Greens for Health
By Derek McGeehan
Harvest #3 (Week A) should include butterhead lettuce, mini head lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, Italian dandelion, collard greens, mixed greens, bok choy, endive, escarole, and strawberries. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include perennial herbs, dill, cilantro, and strawberries.
Veggies on the horizon
By Dana Hunting
In the next week or two we should be seeing garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, snow peas and parsley.
Many more greens
By Linda Dansbury
New members may feel overwhelmed by the multitude of greens received in the beginning of the season. If you are, and you were unable to attend the Greens Workshop today, don't sweat it. The farm website offers a lot of recipes tested by members. One member said that vitamin green is really good in smoothies - I'll have to try that. Also, many of the greens are interchangeable; that is they can be either eaten raw or cooked in some sort of saute. In looking at the list for this coming week's harvest, the following can be eaten raw or cooked: dandelion, endive, escarole, romaine, greens mix and bok choy.
With a little planning and a little Anchor Run website browsing, you will have no trouble using your greens, and will soon have a list of methods and recipes that you go to without thinking about it.
Another new member, Nancy Walker, sent me a recipe for broccoli raab and potatoes that I originally was going to wait to publish until the fall when the farm has both ingredients at the same time. The more I looked at the recipe and thought about it, I realized that it would be good with other bitter greens, and in fact, would soften the strong bite. I did try it with my broccoli raab and it is delicious - but I also plan to try it with other greens such as dandelion and mustard greens. I hope you enjoy it too and thank you Nancy for sharing!
How did I enjoy my harvest this week?
By Linda Dansbury
We have truly enjoyed the first of the fresh tasting greens of the farm and hoping you are too. Please don't forget to send me your ideas, questions, favorite recipes and/or methods to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kale - kale chips. A recipe is on the website - the way I do them is pre-heat the oven to 375. Remove tough ribs from kale leaves and tear them into "chip-sized" pieces. Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and if you want another flavor element such as smoked paprika or cumin and mix up with your hands. Place on cookie sheet in a single layer - this part is important. Also, either make sure the leaves are completely dry when you start, or use parchment paper(tip from a member). Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes. Yum! Great way to get kids of all ages to start liking kale.
Vitamin Green(and some other greens from my garden) - modified a recipe that called for sauteed asparagus and mushrooms and used greens instead of asparagus. It was put over pasta with an egg yolk. A delicious dinner!
Arugula - a very simple salad: arugula, sliced white mushrooms, salt, little pepper, nice squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
Broccoli raab - I made the new recipe for broccoli raab - it is really good - I plan to do it again with dandelion and other bitter greens.
Lots of salads! - I made a large enough batch of salad dressing to last a few nights - chopped chives, parsley, a bit of Dijon mustard, a bit of honey, salt, pepper and a 1 part vinegar to 3-4 parts olive oil ratio. Whisk up and enjoy - it will keep for at least a week, but since we are eating large salads every night, it doesn't last that long.
Radishes - they are beautiful - I have been slicing them in salads and eating bits of them as I chop.
V Viola Buitoni's Sauteed Broccoli Raab with Potatoes
Recipe serves about 4; prep time is 45 minutes; try this dish with dandelion, mustard, or other bitter greens, if broccoli raab is not available. Also, the addition of red pepper flakes would be nice.
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
1 bunch broccoli rapini, about 1½ pounds
1 tablespoon sea salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 large cloves garlic, bruised but left whole(I used about 1/3 of this and that was enough garlic for us)
In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. They should be fully tender but not falling apart when cooked. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the potatoes, cut them lengthwise into quarters, and then cut crosswise into medium-thin slices. Set aside and let them cool.
Chop the broccoli raab crosswise into approximate 2-inch lengths. If using other greens, rough chop them.
NOTE: this next step is if using broccoli raab only. Fill a large pot with plenty of water to cover the greens and bring to a rolling boil. Add the peeled stems along with the salt, cover partially, and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Now add the florets and cook them together with the stems until the vegetable is tender but not mushy, 3 to 4 minutes more. Note that if the stalks are at all crisp, they will remain bitter. Drain the greens, reserving a little of the cooking liquid and set it aside separately.
In a nonstick skillet large enough to accommodate the potatoes and the greens, warm the olive oil over low heat and add the garlic. Sauté over medium heat until the garlic is nicely softened but not colored, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a side dish. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the cooked potatoes. Sauté until they are golden and crispy all over, about 12 minutes, then transfer to another side dish. Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat, return the rapini and the garlic cloves to the pan. Sauté until the greens are nicely coated with the olive oil and the garlic and heated through, about 3 minutes; if they appear a little dry, add a little of the reserved cooking water as needed. Return the potatoes to the skillet and toss all together. Adjust for seasoning and serve immediately.