Well, we survived a stormy week with very little damage. Although the little plants didn’t like it much, I think they should mostly recover. So much rain did make all of the outside crops extremely dirty so we spent some extra time today triple washing the salad mix and double washing the Napa cabbage.
There always seems to be a pest which has an especially prolific year. Last year it was cucumber beetles, the year before it was slugs, and this year it is aphids. Aphids are tiny little green bugs that by themselves are pretty harmless but they multiply and can be a nuisance. Lucky for us, one of their biggest predators is currently Leona’s favorite animal, the ladybug (AND you can buy containers of them from some seed companies!). So, in a very exciting afternoon, 18,000 ladybugs arrived in the mail and were set free all over our farm. Now, we still are having a bit of an aphid problem (one reason why your Napa cabbage was cut from the head and more thoroughly washed) but we are finding ladybugs all over munching away so it seems to be working.
This is one way that organic farmers handle pest pressure without spraying pesticides, another way is to get out there with a bucket of soapy water and try to capture the adults before they lay their eggs. This was the week! We spent a lot of time defending your potatoes from potato beetles and your cucumber from those nasty little cucumber beetles. Let’s hope it worked!
The most exciting thing that happen this week was the first red strawberries!!
June 14th, Week 2
Clockwise from top: Fresh Dill, Heirloom Dry Beans, Zucchinis, Scallions, Salad mix, Napa Cabbage, Fresh Carrots and Broccoli! Please enjoy.
Radishes! Despite our best efforts, the radishes didn’t have a good spring. The wet weather caused a lot of splitting and there was not enough that were up to our standards to put in the box. However, we are going to leave a few in the take and leave boxes. If you love radishes and were looking forward to them, be sure to check the box!
Scallions (Green Onions)
Napa (Chinese) Cabbage
Heirloom Dry Beans
Coffee- optional- Columbia
Weekly Serving Suggestions:
Salad Mix- this mix is really tasty! Crunchy, sweet, zesty, and always hearty. Cut early this morning, it will store in the fridge all week, but use it right away for the best flavor and crunch. It also may last a bit longer if moved into a Tupperware with a paper towel on the bottom. It doesn’t even need salad dressing, but it will go well with any dressing you like. Top with shredded carrots, marinated sliced of zucchini, broccoli florets, Fresh dill, or cut it with chopped napa cabbage for a heartier mix if you like. Otherwise, pile it onto sandwiches or wraps.
Fresh Broccoli- As fresh as broccoli gets, these will be tender and sweet. Big beautiful heads are perfect for chopping into chunks/trees and steaming lightly. With these early broccoli, we often just give them a quick steam (approx. 2 mins, careful not to overcook these) then dress them with salt and lemon juice for a nice summer treat. Great served right away or allowed to cool first. Stores best in a bag in the crisper drawer, but eats best and has the most nutritional value right away. Broccoli can be blanched and frozen, but save that for later in the season (or at least don’t tell us about it, if you do.)
Dill- fresh is best! Dill has a lovely and vibrant flavor. It is often used in pickling, but it does especially well in potato/egg/tuna/chicken salads, stir into yogurt or mayonnaise for grilled chicken or kebabs. Mix with sour cream or cream cheese for a dip or spread. Great with lemon on fish, or almost anywhere. I add it to olive oil, lemon and salt for a nice vinaigrette. If you want to store it, I recommend a quick pesto to preserve that fresh flavor. Puree it with olive oil salt and lemon then freeze in a bag for later use. It can also be simply chopped and frozen in a freezer bag or jar. Otherwise, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it soon.
Spring Carrots-Remove tops for best storage. Sweet and crisp. These are the perfect carrots to enjoy raw. Just rinse and eat. Slice or shred them into a salad with a cheese grater (or make carrot curls by slicing them at an angle with a veggie peeler. These carrots are also delicious grilled whole with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill them on a hot grill for just long enough to leave char marks from the bars and a natural crunch in the middle. Store them in the fridge in a bag, with the tops removed. But save and eat the tops too! These will be the best carrot tops of the season, mild with a little parsley flavor. Chop them for a garnish with fresh flavor, or make a carrot top pesto. Pesto can be made of just carrot tops and oil, salt, and lemon pureed together. Or carrot tops can be pureed with other herbs (like dill or parsley) to extend a pesto or stretch it farther.
Scallions- also known as green onions, have a mild onion flavor. Chop up the white and green all together. Use in egg dishes, potato dishes, or in salads. These are perfect for Potato/egg/tuna/chicken salads. They also can be rubbed with olive oil and salt then grilled to go alongside burgers, steaks, poultry or on nachos. Chop with carrot tops and mix with salt to top chili or any other soup/stew or pasta. Store in a bag in the fridge.
Zucchini- these are young and tender and they are still coming! Try shredding them, then add to salads, noodle or egg dishes, or make zucchini fritters. Just shred and mix with enough egg to form a thick paste. Stir in salt pepper and fresh dill. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with butter or oil until just cooked through (think pancakes). Store whole zucchini in the fridge until ready to use. Many folks are enjoying making veggie noodles out of them with a cheap veggie noodler. It’s an easy way to reduce carbs.
Napa (or Chinese) Cabbage- We would normally send these out in full heads, but we had an infestation of aphids thriving under the row cover that we use to keep out flea beetles. Aphids don’t do much damage to the plant, but they can be a bit overwhelming so we decided (after trying our best to wash them out of the heads) to chop the leaves off and wash them individually. Alot of extra work, but we think they are considerably cleaner. It won’t store quite as long off the head, but should keep all week in the crisper drawer. Napa is great for slaws and kimchi. The larger leaves work well for cabbage rolls and “salad boats.” Salad boats: take appropriately sized and shaped leaves of Napa Cabbage or Romaine Lettuce and fill with tuna salad, chicken salad, noodle salad, etc. like a taco shell and eat like, well—a taco. Also good stuffed with taco fixings! Can also be chopped into nice bite-sized pieces and used as or in a salad.
Dry Beans- These Heirloom Red beans, a mix of Vermont Cranberry and King of North, were grown last year. Great for everything from baked beans to chili to bean salads. These will keep for months in the pantry (out of direct light) unless they get wet. Basic instructions are to rinse and check over, then soak (in ample water) overnight. Drain the liquid and simmer in one to two quarts of salted water for about 2 hours or until tender. Beans should stay covered with liquid and pot should stay covered. More water can be added at any time. Beans can then be enjoyed simply or used to add to any further dish.
Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee can vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common. (taken from Condor’s website)
Recipe of the week…
Glazed (real) Baby Carrots:
-Snap the tops off a bunch of fresh young carrots. (trim the ends if you must, rinse and pat dry if you like) Halve larger carrots lengthwise.
– place in a high-walled roasting pan under the broiler with a generous pat of butter until butter is all melted.
-Drizzle with maple syrup or honey and toss/stir to coat evenly and return to broil. Toss periodically until just lightly browned in spots.
-Remove from heat and toss with fresh chopped dill and salt.
-Serve while still warm