Farm News for the week of May 8th Important Reminders
- This week is a pickup week for members registered for weekly Spring Vegetable Shares.
Join us this Saturday at the Annual Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House
Saturday, May 12th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Prairie Crossing Farm. Purchase organic plant starts and a variety of other farm products during the free and educational Organic Plant Sale & Farm Open House at the Prairie Crossing Farm. Find directions, plant lists nad more here.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
- Garlic Chives
- Rainbow Swiss Chard
- Head Lettuces
- Brown Crimini Mushrooms - from River Valley Ranch, Burlington, WI
- Wintered Carrots
- Baby Bok Choy
- Japanese Salad Turnips
Farm Photo Journal
Here's a photo journal of this week's activities around the farm.
We're showering our growing seedlings with water twice a day as they bask in the sunshine and blue skies.
Look at those healthy lettuces, herbs and tomatoes growing!
The team provided an early start to tomato season by planting 14 varieties (of the 38 we have planned) into the hoophouse.
The theme of great weather is planting! Last week, the team planted, zucchini, potatoes, lettuce, fennel, beets, scallions, cucumbers and more. On the docket this week is planting early tomatoes in the field, parsnips and a variety of sweet peppers.
This dense stand of rye and hairy vetch cover soils where vegetables grew for the past two years. While it may not look like much, these cover crops are working hard this spring helping us rebuild microbial life and nutrient health in the soils.
Off to planting...have a great week!
~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
As many of our members know, over the course of the asparagus season, you will receive asparagus of different sizes. One week you may get thinner asparagus and one week the stalks may be thicker. Each type works best for different types of dishes and preparations. There is a common misperception that thicker stalks mean that the asparagus is older. The truth is that from the moment the tip of the asparagus emerges from the ground, it is either thick or thin. Then over the course of a couple of days the stalk grows taller but not fatter. In other words, some of them are born thick and some are born thin. It all depends on the age and variety of the plant that gives birth to it. I tend to like the fatter stalks for peeled salads and grilling, and the thinner stalks for raw salads and wrapped in prosciutto, and both are equally delicious!
This month's shares include brown crimini mushrooms from our friends at River Valley Ranch in Burlington, Wisconsin. Mushrooms are an excellent source of B and D vitamins, riboflavin, niacin and fiber. To prepare them, wipe the caps clean with a damp paper towel and trim off the very end of the stem. Due to their moisture level, its best to use mushrooms within a week of receiving them. Or you can preserve them by briefly sautéing and freezing them in a ziplock bag for later use in pastas or soups.
Tips for Spring Produce Storage
Most spring vegetables must be refrigerated in a plastic bag. Keeping these items in plastic helps prevent wilting. If arugula or another tender vegetable appears droopy, soak it in cold water for a few minutes, shake off the excess water, and refrigerate in a plastic bag until it perks up. Also, we rinse all the vegetables here at the farm, but you should always wash them thoroughly prior to eating.
Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
How to Make Salad - With salad season arriving, I enjoy getting ideas from the New York Times visual guide.
Lemony Bulgar with Asparagus and Spinach - Use last week's spinach or this week's swiss chard!
Mashed Potatoes with Crimini Mushrooms - I cut this recipe half, sprinkle garlic chives on top and add a grass-fed beef steak alongside for a special evening dinner.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... ramps, salad mix, parsnips, scallions, asparagus and more!