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Say goodbye to spring and hello summer solstice

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Say goodbye to spring and hello summer solstice
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Asparagus
  • Oregano
  • Purple Kohlrabi
  • Oak Leaf Lettuce
  • Spring Spinach
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Strawberries - Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI
Farm Journal
Good morning from the farm! We've enjoyed the beautiful early sunrises and late sunsets leading up to the summer solstice later this week.
Summer is one of the busiest times of year on the farm, however we strive to take time to cook with and enjoy the food we grow. We love to hear what you are cooking up in your kitchen, too! We always appreciate hearing cooking ideas and seeing your beautiful pictures.
Longtime CSA member, Renee B. took lovely pictures of her strawberry rhubarb cake and colorful coconut ginger rice with rajma (North Indian kidney bean dal) topped with fennel fronds, swiss chard and scallions. Renee shared, "Thursday is the day I go to the farm to pick up my weekly inspiration. I love summer cooking!"

Erika V. fits all of her veggies into one meal displayed on lovely plates. In the farm kitchen, I tend to mix spring flavors into cold salads. For a recent farm BBQ, I prepared a wheat berry salad with cucumbers, radishes, spinach, scallions, parsley and toasted walnuts topped with a light vinaigrette.
In addition to summer meals, the nearing end of asparagus season inspires us to preserve the harvest. We're working with a local chef again this summer to chop and freeze vegetables for winter shares. Another way to preserve the harvest is pickling. Longtime CSA member, Arthur L. recently shared his success stories of pickled radishes. Yum!
Whatever you plan to do with your share, we hope you enjoy the last spring harvest. We look forward to sharing the summer harvest with you soon!

Your farmers,
~ Jen, Jeff and the farming crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
The curly 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 along side our asparagus and then, chop both and put 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.  Here's a favorite link of ideas might be helpful. Enjoy!
Kohlrabi is a member of the broccoli and cabbage family. Kohlrabi forms when the stem swells to a bulb right about the soil. Some varieties are purple and others are light green or white. The bulb is delicious peeled and eaten raw. Just peel it, slice thinly and serve with or without dip. I tend to slice into match sticks and kids eat like apples!  The greens of kohlrabi can be used like kale, collards, and other hearty cooking greens. These types of greens become tender and delicious when simmered over low to medium heat for 30 to 60 minutes. 
Again this week, we are including delicious, fresh strawberries from our friends at Mick Klug Farms. Though its been a tricky strawberry season (cold and damp), the strawberries are still slowly ripening and enjoying every ray of sunshine they receive. This week's strawberries are again perfectly ripe, so you’ll want to eat them in the next day or two. The best way to store them is to put a paper towel on a plate and gently empty the strawberry pints onto the plate. Store them in the refrigerator. 
Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Scape & Oregano Pesto 
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped oregano leaves
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Place the garlic scapes and oregano leaves in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the pine nuts or walnuts and pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the olive oil and process on high for 15 seconds. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Add the garlic scapes and lemon juice, and process until reaching the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. If freezing, wait to add the cheese until you plan to defrost and use the pesto.

Kohlrabi Slaw with Warm Bacon & Mustard Seed Dressing
2 medium kohlrabi, peeled, leaves reserved
4 slices bacon
¼ small red onion or 2 large shallots
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grate kohlrabi on a large-hole grater into a salad bowl and set aside. Cut the leaves into thin ribbons and put them on top of the grated bulb. Chop the bacon. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered.

Meanwhile, peel and mince the onion or shallot; add to the bacon. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the bacon and onion start to brown. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the mustard seeds, cover and cook until the seeds stop popping, about 1 minute. Uncover, reduce heat to low, and add the vinegar. Cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and incorporating them in the mixture. Remove from the heat and pour over the waiting kohlrabi. Toss to coat the vegetables thoroughly, and let sit about 2 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. 

Grilled Shaved Asparagus Pizza
1 recipe for your favorite pizza dough
1/2 pound asparagus
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1-2 garlic scapes, thinly sliced

Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler, create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and don’t fret some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or tray to bake it on.

Throw the whole dough down on an oiled grill and let it cook for a few minutes on the underside. Pull it off with tongs, flip it out onto a plate.

Sprinkle with Parmesan, then mozzarella and then pile asparagus and scapes on before sliding the raw side back onto the grill.

Grill the pizza with the lid down for a few minutes, or until everything is bubbly and brown.

Tips: Five ways to cook greens 
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... kale, beets, cherries, fresh dill, strawberries, cucumber and more!

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