With the news of yet another rainfall record set this May (sigh), Jeff often gets the question: how do you handle the unpredictability of this weather?
His answer is seemingly simple: a smile, shrug and the phrase: we go with the flow. With farmers, I often find the truth lies in the unsaid. While its true we have no control over the weather, I surmise that Jeff's art training means that he's trained to use constraints as a means to driving creativity.
We often say that farming is as much an art as it is a science. The constraints of weather oftentimes drive the artistic process at the farm. For instance, when its too wet in our farm fields we take advantage of every inch of our covered space. Jeff recently used the technic of intercropping to place complimentary species side by side in our hoophouses to ensure that light, water and soil nutrients are used efficiently by both crops and our soils are kept covered.
Time management on the farm takes endless creativity! Jeff took some time away from the wet fields to dig out the old college water colors and teach Gavin some of his favorite painting techniques.
We were tagged in a beautiful sketch from a CSA visitor to the farm this weekend. We love to see beauty of the farm's shapes and colors through our members eyes.
We are extremely grateful to CSA member Monica K., family friend, Elaine S., and friend of the farm, Hannah K., for making our crew face masks to keep us all safe while farming together. The masks are made of beautiful fabrics and they are highly functional for wearing each and every day (and we all use plenty of masks as they get very sweaty and dirty!). Thank you all for your generosity and creativity!
Jeff's mom, Candy, creates beautiful artwork inspired by the farm. She's drawn a number of our farm goodies throughout the years (recognize those beets?) and recently, she printed her drawings into notecards that we sell at our farm stand here at the farm.
Finally, if you're like us, our creative juices really flow in the kitchen. CSA member Gloria B. shared this beautiful picture of her eggs with two double yokers (eggs with two yokes)! As our young chickens reproductive systems mature, this happens fairly frequently and we heard Jolene O. who's daughters enjoyed cooking breakfast with this natural surprise.
Thank you to everyone who shares their creative gifts and we hope the farm inspires your creativity, too. Enjoy this week's seasonal treats!
Your farmers, Jeff, Jen, Tyler, Abbey, Arlet, Kim, Ryan and Cayla
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Our white salad turnip is a Japanese variety called hakurei. It is very mild and sweet and is easily mistaken for a white radish. Japanese turnips are delicious eaten raw or sautéed in a little butter and sprinkled with salt. Turnips are a good source of Vitamin C, and rich in the minerals potassium and calcium. As with all roots (e.g., radishes), make sure you remove the green tops from your turnips so the turnips remain crispy and fresh. Use the green tops as you would other cooking greens, for example mixed into a soup or sautéed with your swiss chard.
Baby Bok Choy is making its final appearance for the spring season! This crop loves the cooler temperatures that both early spring and fall provide, so its grow exclusively in these seasons. Baby Bok Choy has a mild, sweet flavor when cooked and is mild enough to eat raw. When cooking with bok choy, use the entire plant, both green leaves and white stems however I sometimes separate the stems from the leaves as their cooking times differ slightly. The mild, crunchy stalks make a great addition to salads and vegetable platters, and I like to use the leaves as a last minute garnish to soups. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and is best eaten within one to two weeks.
Swiss chard is flavorful yet mild, and can be used in the same ways as spinach in many dishes including quiches, lasagna, pasta sauce, smoothies, and more! Chard is high in vitamins A, E and C and the minerals calcium and iron. This week's chard is grown the hoophouse so its particularly tender and great in salad or delicate sautés. You can use all of its beautiful color by chopping the entire leaf as well as the tender stem.