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From a wet, warm May to a chilly start to June

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From a wet, warm May to a chilly start to June
Farm News for the week of June 5th
Important Reminders
  • This week is a pickup week for members registered for weekly Spring Vegetable Shares.
  • Upcoming dates:
    • First Gleaning Day - Sunday, June 10th, 1-5pm (details below)
    • Early Summer Shares - Begin the week of June 25th 
    • Pizza Night on the Farm - Sunday, June 24th, 4-7pm at PrairieWind Family Farm
This Week's Harvest:
  • Rhubarb - from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
  • Spring Salad Mix
  • Red Romaine Lettuce
  • Asparagus
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Fresh Dill
  • Green Garlic
  • Kale
Note from your farmers

Good morning from the farm!

We're in the midst of the transition from a record-setting May -- third warmest on record and wettest on record -- to a chilly June morning. The May weather sure gave our crops a boost, as they've grown quickly and enjoyed the sunshine.

We're taking advantage of the cool morning to work hard at get plants into the ground before the rain. So we'll keep this morning's note short and sweet, and get back to the field work. Have a great week and enjoy your share of the harvest!

Your Farmers,
Jeff, Jen & the Farm Crew
Interested in gleaning at the farm?
Our partners at the Liberty Prairie Foundation will host the first gleaning event of the season  on Sunday, June 10 from 1-5pm at Prairie Wind Family Farm. Gleaning volunteers harvest produce that otherwise would not be harvested from our farm fields. The vegetables are then delivered to food pantries and community groups to feed our hungry neighbors. Gleaning is a great window into sustainable agriculture while giving back to the community.

We welcome you to join the harvest! Please RSVP to by Friday, June 8. Visit the Liberty Prairie Foundation for more information. Thank you!
Notes from the Farm Kitchen

Unlike previous seasons, this spring's Napa cabbage was grown in our hoophouse soils. We grew this cabbage succession a more protected environment as an experiment to see if we could better protect against the pest pressures that spring brassicas typically endure in the field. As you can see from the picture above, we watched the plants in amazement as they looked extremely healthy and developed into the beautiful cabbage heads you'll find in shares this week. Nothing is more rewarding for a farmer than a successful experiment yielding one of our favorite vegetables!

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 sauté or stir fry. Napa cabbage is our favorite cabbage to make coleslaws similar to those made with the familiar green cabbage.
Green garlic is the immature stage of the garlic plant. We planted our garlic in late October and harvest the bulbs in July. Most of the plants to develop bulbs, but we harvest a small portion in the spring when they look like young garlic or large green onions. You can use everything but the tough, dark green tops.  We substitute green garlic for garlic cloves in many different recipes since the flavor is similar and it's wonderful to have fresh garlic in the farm kitchen again! 
This week members will receive fresh rhubarb from Mick Klug Farm. The Klug's farm also enjoyed the recent May heat wave, and thusly saw a great crop of rhubarb (with strawberries following closely behind!). We enjoy rhubarb for its versatility in both savory and sweet dishes. Our colleagues at The Land Connection are producing these fun spring recipe nutrition cards profiling a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, as a way to encourage the people to try unfamiliar market produce and learn more about their nutritional value. They also have great ideas for cooking and storage tips. Enjoy!
Seasonal Recipes

How to Prepare Napa Cabbage
There are countless uses for Napa cabbage and here are few ideas:

  • Wraps: Large Napa cabbage leaves are an excellent alternative to a traditional flour or corn tortilla. They are lower in calories and higher in nutrients and provide a colorful, delicious “container” for a variety of fillings. These wraps work with a variety of fillings: chicken salad, rice and beans, and hummus and veggies.
  • Slaw: For a simple crunchy side dish, we chop it up, add carrots, sliced almonds, chopped green onions, cilantro and dress with oil, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Stir fry: Shredded Napa cabbage adds delicious flavor and texture to any stir fry dish.
  • Asian chicken salad: Napa cabbage is an excellent base for an Asian chicken salad. Mix cabbage, cucumber, carrots, and chicken with a tangy soy dressing for a delicious meal.
Broiled Ham Steaks with Rhubarb Chutney - This is one of my go-to weeknight recipes. Its simple and leaves you with extra chutney, which is also delicious on top of a goat cheese crostini.

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped red onion or red scallion
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup dried cherries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 13-ounce ham steak, cut into 4 pieces
Toast mustard seeds in medium saucepan over medium heat until beginning to pop, about 2 minutes. Add next 7 ingredients. Simmer until rhubarb is tender, 5 minutes. Increase heat to high; boil until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler. Broil ham (do not turn) until brown at edges, about 3 minutes. Serve with chutney. Serves 2.
(adapted from

Alice Waters' Spaghetti with Green Garlic - This is my favorite way to use green garlic because you can really taste the fresh garlic flavor. Use any extra sauce atop sautéed asparagus as your side dish.

1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 heads green garlic (or 4 cloves regular garlic), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
small pinch of red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti. Cook until al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and sweat, stirring occasionally, until soft, adding more water if necessary to keep the garlic from caramelizing too much.

Add the cooked pasta to the garlic mixture and toss well to combine. Add some pasta cooking water if necessary to bring the dish to a creamy consistency. Serve with more olive oil and the minced tops of the green garlic, if desired.
(from the Art of Simple Food)
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... baby leeks, lettuce, beets, cilantro, strawberries and more!

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