What's In Your Basket?
- Tillamook and/or Seascape Strawberries
- Black Seeded Simpson Greenleaf Lettuce
- Cucumbers (English or Slicing)
- Red, White & Blue New Potatoes (red = Red Norland, white/yellow = Carola, blue = Purple Majesty)
- Red Ursa Kale
Produce Tips - How to Eat It, Cook It and Keep It!
- So what is a "new" potato, anyway? Basically, new potatoes are dug when the potato plant is still vibrant and flowering, before the plants have died back and the skins have cured on the tubers. By harvesting them early, the potatoes in your basket this week are especially tender and sweet, and far less starchy than your typical storage potato. They are also a little smaller than regular potatoes because we dig them early, before they are fully mature. You definitely do not need to peel this little guys!
- Given that their skin hasn't "cured" yet, new potatoes do not store the same way that regular potatoes do: you need to keep them in the fridge, ideally in a plastic bag in order to keep them from drying out.
- Enjoy your red, white and blue new potatoes on the 4th of July this weekend. Here's a great, easy recipe to enjoy your new potatoes in their purest form: New Potatoes with Basil.
- We are growing a few different varieties of cucumbers on the farm: English (the long, skinny kind you usually see shrink-wrapped in plastic at the store), slicing (your typical cucumber), and pickling (small cukes that we grow to stock the pantry with). You'll be getting English and slicing cukes throughout the season.
- Cukes store best in the fridge, in a plastic bag. They don't stay perky forever, though, so try to eat them up within a week.
- The broccoli has hit its stride! We are having a ball cutting these huge, heavy heads - sweet and tender as broccoli could be!
- Stores best in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag.
Red Ursa Kale
- Great sauteed, stir-fried, or eaten raw, this hearty green keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
- We are just beginning to harvest the june-bearing raspberries, a variety called Cascade Dawn. We will be distributing them on rotation to each pick-up site over the next couple of weeks. We also grow an ever-bearing variety called Caroline that will be coming on later in the summer, so hopefully raspberries will make frequent appearances in your baskets this season.
- What's the difference between a june-bearing and an ever-bearing raspberry? June-bearers are what they call "floricane" varieties, meaing they fruit on second year wood. Ever-bearers are called "primocanes" and they fruit on first year wood. What this means is that the june-bearers produce new canes every year, which we carefully select and tie up onto the trellis. Those canes overwinter and the following June begin to produce masses of fruit. Their season is short, however - less than 4 weeks. The fruit you're eating this week was produced by canes that shot up last spring, in 2008. Ever-bearers on the other hand, produce fruit on this year's canes. They are growing fast right now, and will probably start producing sometime in July. The benefit of ever-bearers is that you can mow them down each fall instead of trellising them, which makes maintenance a lot easier - but you also have to wait longer to get your first raspberry! We grow both kinds in order to extend our raspberryt season to its utmost!
- Raspberries are fragile, poor-keepers. Best to eat them within a couple of days. Whipped cream is always a good comrade to raspberries.
On the Farm....
It feels like we are officially turning the corner into summer. The "real" food is starting to come on: heavy stuff like potatoes, carrots, fennel, beets, cucumbers.....And many of the frantic spring projects are behind us: irrigation is set-up, the farm roads are mowed, the berries are mulched, the cooler is (almost) built. Now we get to settle in to the good old routine of harvest, weeding, watering - and enjoying the abundance on the farm. The days are still long, the work is still plenty, but there's a good pace to it. At least until tomato season hits....
Given that all of you are participating so closely in our own little local food economy, I thought you might be interested in an Independence Day-inspired movement afoot right now called Food Independence Day: http://foodindependence.tumblr.com/
A good friend of mine in Maine has spearheaded this national campaign, which is calling on Americans to declare our food independence by sourcing the ingredients for our holiday meals as locally, sustainably and deliciously as possible - and to ask our elected officials to do the same. Check out the website for more details.
Happy Food Independence Day to everyone. You can eat those patriotic potatoes with pride, knowing you're playing a vital role in creating a vibrant local food system here on the Southcoast. Thanks for your support.