Last week was a busy one with end of the school year activities, graduations, parties and memories. Owen graduated from 8th grade and at the ceremony, the kids were asked to recall two of their favorite memories from school. We enjoyed hearing a number of kids mention being at the farm with their class as one of their fondest childhood memories.
We're now settling into a more normal June routine with our sons around to help on the farm. This time of year requires constant observation. Everything is growing quickly (weeds and crops), pests are moving in and sometimes, even a day can have a big impact.
Together with our boys, we're keeping a close eye on the upcoming harvests by walking the fields daily. Perhaps its not mystery how we came up with our Instagram handle (@walkinginthefield)! Walking the fields allows us to stay connected to health of our plants, soils and surrounding ecosystems by watching the impact of changes (big and small), and looking for ways we can help foster healthy growth.
While we are still behind with preparing fields for future plantings (due to still soggy soils), the plants that are in the ground are growing well.
We're finding many of our summer favorites are coming along nicely including zucchini, broccoli, beets and garlic scapes. They are not far off now!
We continue to tend to our spring crops as we watch our early summer crops and plant our late summer and fall crops. The spring cucumber plants in the greenhouse now dwarf us and they growing strong! Tyler works to trim lower level leaves to focus the plants energy on the fruit and this pruning makes the harvesting easier, too.
Finally, the season of dining al fresco is back! Summer is the time of year when our home (and the farm in general) becomes a gathering place for shared meals. We've planned June, July and August Pizza Nights at the Farmto welcome you to the farm! We hope you will enjoy an evening of eating outdoors, walking the fields and making lasting memories of your own.
Enjoy this week's spring harvest! ~ Jen, Jeff, Owen, Gavin and our farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Swiss chard is flavorful yet mild, and can be used in the same ways as spinach in many dishes including quiches, lasagna, pasta sauce, smoothies, etc. Chard is high in vitamins A, E and C and the minerals calcium and iron. You can use all of its beautiful color by chopping the entire leaf as well as the tender stem. We enjoy it sautéed with mushrooms and garlic, then and used as an omelet filled with aged cheddar, added to pasta with Parmesan on top or as a colorful addition to a mixed greens salad.
We strive to take full advantage ofstrawberryseason, so this week's shares includes delicious, fresh strawberries from our friends at Mick Klug Farms. The strawberries are 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.
1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced 2 medium oranges, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons sweetened dried cranberries
Place the sliced fennel in a salad bowl. Slice oranges to divide flesh sections and add to bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Toss, top with sweetened cranberries and serve. Serves 4. (FoodNetwork.com)
Harissa-Roasted Carrots, Fennel and Potatoes with Couscous
Vegetables: 2 tablespoons harissa 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1/4 cup water 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced 1 1/2 pounds medium potatoes, quartered Salt Freshly ground pepper
Couscous: 1/4 cups water 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup couscous 1 tablespoon currants 2 tablespoons slivered almonds 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven so it preheats at the same time.
In a large bowl, whisk the harissa with the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest and water. Add the carrots, parsnips, fennel and potatoes and toss to coat the vegetables in the harissa marinade and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the hot baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the root vegetables are browned.
Meanwhile, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous and currants. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and fold in almonds and cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the roasted vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. (source: Food and Wine)
Next Week's Harvest(our best guess)... purple kohlrabi, spinach, strawberries, asparagus and more!