What's In Your Basket?
- Tillamook Strawberries
- Red Cross Butterhead Lettuce
- Rainbow Chard
- New potatoes
Produce Tips - How to Eat It, Cook It and Keep It!
- There isn't a more alien-looking vegetable to be found on the farm than kohlrabi! This white-fleshed variety is called "winner." We'll be growing a purple-skinned variety in the fall as well. If you've never seen, touched or eaten kohlrabi, you're in for a treat! It is one of those under-appreciated veggies that deserves some more kudos for its crunchy, juicy yumminess.
- Kohlrabi is a tough vegetable, but will hold up best in your fridge in a plastic bag.
- My mom says her favorite way to eat kohlrabi is straight up: peeled, sliced and munched! Here's a recipe for you if you want to jazz it up a little more: Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette.
- Oh, the luscious red heart of a beet! We are so excited to have beets back in our life again after a few months without them since last fall! If you've ever read Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume, you know the magical powers of beets.
- First thing's first with beets: don't throw away the tops! Beet greens are a sister to Swiss chard (they are, in fact, almost the same plant except beets are bred to develop a fat storage root, whereas chard is bred to produce leaves). Beet greens can be enjoyed a million ways, just like chard, kale, or any other cooking green. In fact, here's a great recipe - again thanks to chef and cookbook author, Deborah Madison - that uses both your beet greens and your beets in a risotto...Beet Risotto with Greens.
- Like other roots, the root of the beet will last the longest in the fridge if you cut the greens off and store them separately in plastic bag. If you don't get around to eating your beets right away, never fear: they'll hold up for weeks in the fridge.
- Zukes store for about a week in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wonderful sauteed with a little butter, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Like the zucchini, the broccoli is just getting going so we'll be distributing it to different pick-up sites on rotation these first few weeks. The heads are small right now, but will size up as the days warm up.
- Stores best in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag.
- Another trusty spring green that will be with us from now on throughout the season. We are growing a mix of rainbow chard and rhubard chard, which lends those stems their technicolor palette.
- Treat it like you would kale or any other green, but don't toss those stems! Chop them up and toss them into your meal - the make great accents and are
On the Farm....
The summer solstice has indeed brought us SUMMER! We woke up on Monday to the first sunny morning we've had in weeks, and are farming in flip flops, tank tops and wide-brimmed hats all of a sudden! The sun and heat is welcome, but makes harvest a little more of a frantic race as we hustle to get the produce out of the field before it gets cooking. For this reason - and many others - we are abundantly grateful that our walk-in cooler arrived yesterday, after a month-long wait! Since the harvest basket season began, we've been borrowing cooler space from a friend in Langlois, which has been a great back-up plan - but has added extra logistics to our already-hectic harvest days.
If you had asked me at any point in the past month about the impending arrival of our much-needed cooler, I would have told you it couldn't arrive a moment too soon. Well, last night when the semi truck pulled up at the farm at 9 pm (we were still in the barn washing produce and printing invoices), I realized that the cooler had just arrived 12 hours too soon. The truck had been scheduled to arrive at 8 am Wednesday morning. But the driver, who was antsy to get home to Portland after too many days on the road, decided to come early. His name was Vlad, from Moldovia, and he barely spoke English. He was headed for the proverbial barn, and despite the fact that it was almost dark and we had all just put in a 16 hour day on the farm, he wanted the cooler out of his truck.
My Russian has gotten pretty rusty since the 2-week summer language course I took when I was 13, so we resorted to charades last night as we tried to figure out how three skinny farmgirls were going to unload 3000 pounds worth of walk-in. Our crew of help wasn't supposed to show up till 8 am the next morning when we'd been scheduled to unload. We were all hungry. Tired. Ready to be done for the day.
We made two phone calls, and within 10 minutes, 8 strapping guys were standing there at the truck. It was one of those small-town, sweet little community things. Three of our friends had been sitting down to dinner when we called. They dropped their forks and came in a heartbeat. Another friend was home with his kids. And two more had put in long days at their own ranch and were showered, headed for bed. And suddenly they were all there, at the ready, to help.
We had the cooler off the truck in 10 minutes. We gave Vlad a few pints of strawberries, some lettuce, and waved him on down the road to Portland. The rest of us headed for bed.
This morning, there is a dazzling jigsaw puzzle of cooler pieces to assemble stacked in the barn. If any of you are walk-in experts, let us know. This little cooler adventure is only half finished......
Happy summer to all. Enjoy the grub.