Farm News for the week of May 29th Important Reminders:
- Final Spring Shares. This week, we deliver to weekly Spring Vegetable Share members.
- Early Summer Shares start next week (week of June 5). We look forward to delivering your first share of the summer harvest! Please check our CSA Delivery Calendar for the delivery schedule. We will also send an Early Summer CSA email sharing details on your CSA share pickup.
Announcement: Save the date!
- Annual CSA Event, Sunday, June 25th, 5pm-7pm. Please join us for an evening of wood fired pizzas on the farm! Pizzera Deville's Chef John Durning will bring his wood-burning oven to the farm to create delicious, farm-fresh pizzas for purchase. We invite all CSA members (any season, any share) and their families to join us. No need to RSVP. Please bring your picnic gear (blanket, chairs), plates and utensils, and your own beverages. We hope you'll enjoy a sunset dinner on the farm with us!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
Spring Salad Mix
Herb - each member will receive either dill, parsley or chives
Asparagus - from Tempel Farms Organics
Napa Cabbage - from Genesis Growers
- Baby Fennel Bulbs
Farm Field Report
Happy Memorial Day Week!
On Monday, our hard-working crew started the harvest of this week's crops next to these beautiful green waves of rye cover crop. While the rye is not yet amber, the waves of this ancient grain certainly are majestic and soothing to watch!
Waves of rye cover crop blowing in the wind. As we begin to transition from our spring crops into summer crops, its a great time to consider how the season is progressing.
Initially we felt that the fluctuations in spring weather were going to significantly impact our growing this season. This certainly is true in terms of some of our earliest crops and especially the weed prevention process that we, as organic growers, consider essential to our production. This process is called stale seed bedding. Stale seed bedding is a process where the farmer intentionally allow weeds to grow, then turns them under into the soil, allows weeds to grow again, turns them under the soil again and then can seed or plant. This process results in the soil having fewer weed seeds within and thusly, the crops will have less competition in the field. Less weeds also makes harvesting much more pleasant!
This picture shows Jeff and Gavin checking on the growth of beets in mid-May of 2015. The picture on the right is my check in with the beets yesterday. Due to consistent rains and the lack of sunny, warm days this spring, we've had to skip one, or sometimes two, of these cycles in exchange for getting our crops planted. While we may spend more time fighting weeds this year, we decided it was important to our crops in the ground and started on their journey of growing.
After comparing pictures, we're finding that many of our crops are right on target with previous years growth and development. However many of the perennial crops (e.g., rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries) are developing slightly later than previous seasons and more clearly demonstrate how spring weather fluctuations can impact growth cycles.
This comparison is of beet development from June 3rd, 2016, on the left and the current beet growth from yesterday, May 29th, 2017, on the right. We walk our fields regularly to watch our crops closely (hence the name of our Instagram handle -- @walkinginthefield!). By closely watching their development, we can best anticipate our crops' need, tend to their growth and harvest at the optimal point in their development cycle. We find growing is endlessly interesting and we hope this gives you a window into our growing season thus far. Cheers from the field! ~ Jen & Jeff
Making the most of your share
Raw fennel has a distinct anise flavor and smell. Sauteed or roasted fennel is excellent paired with broiled fish and a touch of butter and lemon. My favorite ways to use fennel is to sauté sliced fennel with onion and some Italian sausage. Then add it to hot pasta, mix in some jarred tomatoes, wilted swiss chard or mushrooms, add olive oil on top and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Yum!
This week's cabbage comes from Vicki Westerhoff, farmer at Genesis Growers. Napa cabbage has light green crinkly leaves with white ribs. It adds a nice crunch when used raw in a salad, but it also stands up well to the heat of a quick saute or stir fry. Napa cabbage is our favorite cabbage to make coleslaws similar to those made with the familiar green cabbage. For a simple crunchy side dish, we chop it up, add carrots, sliced almonds, chopped green onions, and dress with oil, vinegar and a small dollop of honey.
Farm Kitchen Recipes
This is our go-to family coleslaw recipe. Its perfect alongside grilled meats and vegetables.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon sugar
2 small serrano chilies, seeded, minced (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon celery seeds
8 cups (packed) shredded cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 cups (packed) shredded carrots (about 2 large)
Whisk mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, chopped dill, sugar, chilies, garlic and celery seeds in medium bowl to blend. Toss cabbage and carrots in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Coleslaw can be prepared ahead. Let stand at room temperature up to 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.) Serve cold or at room temperature.
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 baby fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil the bottom of a small glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve. Serves 2.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... lettuce, radishes, kohlrabi, scallions and more!