We hope that you are staying cool this very warm early summer day! While it's been a challenging day to work outdoors, we're happy to report that our team worked safely through the heat. We spent the day reminding each other to drink more water and take a moment in the shade to rest before returning to the field. We also admired the work of our youngest farmhands getting creative to stay cool and rested.
Mama Kildeer protecting her nest of three eggs (top left) near the asparagus fields.
We know this evening will be challenging for animals, as tonight's low temperature is not cool enough for them to recharge before tomorrow's hot day. For our goats and chickens, we've provided them with additional shade, cool water, and love. For the wildlife that share this farm, we cross our fingers that a drop in humidity and a slight cool down tomorrow will bring them relief, too.
Click on the picture above, which links to a video, to watch a sweet mama Kildeer protect her eggs near our asparagus field with a dance. We hope she's staying cooler within the far-field's grasses this evening.
Bee swarms on the curly willow bushes
Last week, we also happened upon a swarm of nearly 5,000 bees! Jeff and Owen carefully cut the branches to transfer the bees safely and as carefully as possible into the hive. If you click on the swarm picture above, it will take you to the video of the swarm prior to being transferred into bee hives.
When the bees are too warm in their bee hives, they will hang outside the boxes for fresh air. Today's weather certainly has them spreading out for any breeze they can find!
Tomorrow morning, our farming team will be back to hydrating and soaking up the cooler morning temperatures as they harvest, pack shares, and continue planting.
We're proud of them (including those not pictured!) who brought in a great amount of beautiful food from the fields this week with a can-do attitude. Please send them your coolest thoughts and enjoy your share of the early summer harvest!
Warmly, ~ The Miller Family and the Prairie Wind team
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week's members receive the first of the curly garlic scape harvest. The garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. We snap the scapes off at this stage in the plant's development so that the plant will devote all of its energy to making a delicious, big garlic bulb rather than a flower. You can use the entire scape. Chopped scapes can be used in place of chopped garlic cloves in most dishes. We grill the entire scape alongside our asparagus and then, chop both and put them onto a grilled pizza with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are only available for a limited time (and volume) in early summer.
Welcome, Fruit Share members! This week's Fruit Share is kicked off with a bountiful harvest of jewel variety strawberries grown by our good friends, the Klugs of Mick Klug Farms. The midwest strawberry season is short, and it's oftentimes made shorter by too much rain, too much or too little heat. So we take full advantage of peak strawberry season for you to enjoy the sweet, fully red flavor Michigan strawberries offer!
Strawberries do not like heat and humidity, so we recommend eating them quickly (which may not be a problem) as they are best within the week of receiving them. If you like to preserve, simply rinse, lightly dry, and place into a single layer within a ziplock bag for freezing.
Cilantro and fresh dill (coming next week) are two fresh herbs that are used in frequent rotation within the farm kitchen because of their freshness in flavor and the nutritional benefits. Like many fruits and vegetables, cilantro is a good source of antioxidants and includes vitamins A and C. Dill is also abundant in vitamins A and C as well as minerals such as iron, folate, and manganese. When these herbs thrive, I tend to throw them into everything I'm cooking from fresh salads to warm dishes (dill is wonderful atop anything smokey or grilled!) to adding cilantro to a fresh, seasonal strawberry salsa.