We welcome you to the Early Summer season, which is a season filled with diversity in vegetables, fruit and weather. Yesterday was an example of this with the crew dodging raindrops in the morning and in early afternoon, those raindrops turn into heavy, windy rain showers. We gave in, forgoing dry clothing, and enjoyed laughing together while we harvested and bunched beets in the rain.
Our friend, business owner and yoga teacher, Kelsey Stoll recently wrote about the unpredictability of walking in nature recently and it resonated with us. "No matter how much planning you put in...you never can control exactly what the weather or the conditions will be. It is an act of letting go. Sometimes you might need to turn around. Others, you can push forward and encounter a beauty that is more than you could imagine." While sometimes it's hard to find the beauty in harvesting through a rain storm, the beauty is often in the camaraderie that brings us together.
The start of early summer also brings the start of fruit shares. We work closely with our friends and fellow growers at Mick Klug Farms to provide you with a delicious and diverse mix of fruit throughout the summer. The Klugs continue their legacy of growing on their family farm started in 1930. No one knows the challenges weather can bring better than the Klugs. The Klugs' tree fruit took a hit with the extreme cold temperatures experienced this winter and poor pollination brought by the wet, cool spring. Despite this season being very challenging, Abby Klug remains hopeful that peaches and plums will make several appearances, and she's optimistic for a wonderful season of fresh berries to come. We look forward to sharing the beauty of their harvests with you!
Finally, early summer kicks off the season of sharing the farm. We welcome you to farm this summer as we host a celebration of farming and food with our annual Pizza Nights on the Farm series. Starting this Sunday, June 30th at 4pm, Pizzeria DeVille brings their wood-fired oven to create a variety of delicious pizzas, including their "Prairie Pies" loaded with our early summer veggies! Former veggie crew member and talented musician, Ryan Herrick, provides live music and we offer appetizers like fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, drinks, and more. Bring your picnic chairs or blanket, bug repellant and join us to enjoy a sunset dinner on the farm.
Hope to see you there!
Your farmers, ~ Jen, Jeff and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Beets grow well on our farm and come in all shapes and sizes. Beets are closely related to Swiss chard. Like Swiss chard, beet greens can be used in place of spinach in many recipes. I'd encourage you to separate your beets from the beet greens when you get them home, and store the two separately. They should both be stored in a plastic bag and greens used within a week. The beets themselves are so lovely and tasty that you don't need to do a whole lot to them. I've included one of my go-to recipes for beets and their greens, which I hope you'll enjoy as much as we do!
ThePurpletteOnionis a mini onion variety with beautiful purple and white coloring and a delicate, sweet onion flavor. You can eat the whole plant, from the bulbs all the way to the tips of the green tops.
Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
Warm Beet Salad 6 medium beets with tops (about 2 pounds) 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion Fresh goat cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off tops from beets and reserve. Wrap beets in large sheet of heavy-duty foil, enclosing completely. Cut off long stems from beet leaves and discard. Thinly slice beet leaves. Rinse leaves under cold water. Wrap leaves in small sheet of heavy-duty foil, enclosing completely.
Place foil package of whole beets directly onto oven rack. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes. Add foil package of beet leaves to oven and bake until beets are tender and leaves are wilted and tender, about 15 minutes longer. Open foil packages and let beets and leaves stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Rub beets to remove skins. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Whisk vinegar, oil and dill in large bowl until well blended. Add beets, beet leaves and onion and toss to coat. Serve warm or room temperature with a sprinkle of goat cheese on top. Serves 4.
Sour Cherry Chocolate Scones - I've had multiple requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd post again -- enjoy!
3 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen 1/2 pound frozen sour cherries 6 ounces chocolate chunks or chips or morsels 1 cup buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons more for topping 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, as topping
Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and mix quickly, breaking up the butter so it resembles the size of small peas. Add the frozen cherries and toss so they’re evenly distributed throughout the flour. Next, do the same with the chocolate chunks or chips.
Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and in one batch, add the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix it together until it forms a shaggy ball. Drop the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, being sure to not over handle it, which will result in tough scones. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch thick disk. Using a knife, cut the scones into 8 equal triangles. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet and put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. At this time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush the tops with the buttermilk and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Transfer the scones to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean and the scones are golden brown. Yields 8 scones. (adapted from PBS food)
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... swiss chard, turnips, basil, strawberries, zucchini and more!