An apology for any newsletter confusion last week…our website was down for a few days due a problem with the server, which meant that many of you did not receive the Beet Box until this Monday (eek!). Hopefully you figured out what to do with your kale and rhubarb in the absence of any pointers!
We’re excited about potatoes this season! BECAUSE…we rigged our new-very-old-electric-retrofitted cultivating tractor, Allis, with hilling discs – which means we can now easily and swiftly hill up our rows of potatoes to encourage them to set more tubers. So far, it’s the best-looking potato planting we’ve ever had. Barring any outbreak of blight, or attack by nefarious field mice, we might be in for a big harvest this year.
Visit the farm! In years past we have organized a spring tour for farm members, with mixed success. There is never a date that works for everyone, and there is often only a small showing. SO, this year we are going with the no-plan, zero-organization approach (which works really well for me right now in my current state; the headline should read “Uh-oh: new nursing mother charges headlong into crazy farm season”…). We’re encouraging you all to come out to the farm any Wednesday or Saturday, 9-5, for a visit. The u-pick and farmstand are open those days, and you can get a glimpse of all the food growing in the fields that’s destined eventually for your belly - unless you’re one of those Harvest Basket members who prefers to feed her share of fennel to her cow….:). Most likely, we will still organize a harvest party later in the season – maybe to dig all those spuds we’re hoping for!
Recipes and resources: If you’re looking for great background info, recipes, and tips for your produce, there is a wonderful book out there: From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce. It’s organized alphabetically by vegetable and gives you historical background, cooking and storage tips, and an eclectic array of recipes for each vegetable. The recipes tend to be simple and quick, very seasonal, and tasty. You can order it online.
In your share this week:
- Braising Mix or Arugula
- Head Lettuce
- Spring turnips
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
This is a colorful, spicy mix of mustard greens, mizuna, tatsoi, and mixed kale. It’s great chopped up into a salad to add a little kick, or cooked down if you want to tame both the spice and the volume of greens in your life right now. Steamed or sautéed, braising mix is the perfect side to complement a good ol’ southern meal of cornbread and beans. Don’t forget the hot sauce!
Storage: keep in the fridge, in a plastic bag; stores up to a week.
This is one of the three most alien-looking vegetables we grow (the other two are romanesco cauliflower and celeriac, both of which appear in the fall). Depending on your pickup site, you’re either getting a purple variety or a white variety this week (you’ll see the other variety in next week’s tote). Both have a peacock plume of edible leaves, similar in texture and flavor to a hearty, toothsome kale leaf.
The flavor and texture of the kohlrabi bulb (really a modified swollen stem) is best likened to broccoli stems. Broccoli stems!? you’re thinking….that’s the part we toss out! But if you’ve ever peeled a broccoli stem and tried it, you know it’s a tender, juicy, crunchy surprise. Same with kohlrabi. Peel it and you’ll see.
We usually eat our kohlrabi raw: grated into a salad, or cut into crudités and dipped into something yummy like yogurt dill dip, or doused with lime and chili powder for a south of the border snack. It also cooks up beautifully, steamed, sautéed, or souped.
Storage: Cut the leaves off and store separately from the bulb. The leaves will keep a week or so in a plastic bag in the fridge; the bulb will store up to a month in a plastic bag.
Here’s a zingy recipe for a great summer salad:
Borrowed from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce.
1-2 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbs. minced cilantro
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cumin
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
2-3 cooked couscous, cooled to warm temperature
2 cups peeled, diced kohlrabi
½ cup diced radishes and/or spring turnips
16 kalamata or oil-cured black olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Mix garlic, cilantro, parsley, paprika, cumin and alt to taste. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. toss this mixture with couscous. Bring to room temperature. Gently toss with kohlrabi, radishes/turnips, and olives. Sprinkle with feta. Serves 6.
Farm Fact of the Week:
Long before Valley Flora hung out a shingle, in the days of bonafide truck farms, years before Abby and I were born, the land we now own and farm was used to grow commercial orchard fruit (apples, pears and plums) and strawberries. The legacy of our little reach of bottomland seems to have come full circle!