News from the farm: May 5, 2010

What's going on at the farm?

Produce Information and Recipes
            So, the strawberries went crazy this week.  We have A LOT of them!  For the most part, they look very nice and they taste decent, but I am a little disappointed that there is still a tartness to them.  Hopefully throughout the next week of warmer and drier weather they will sweeten up a bit more.  When you receive them, take them out of the pint containers and lay them in a single layer in a  plate or pan in the refrigerator if you want them to last more than a day or two.  Look for any mushy spots, sometimes as we harvest we may push down to hard on the berry as we pull it off the vine without realizing, or slice it accidentally with our finger nail.  They are such delicate fruit!  Most importantly, enjoy!  Strawberry season is always fun.  If you want tons and tons of strawberries to can and/or freeze you can pick your own at Whitted Bowers Farm, which is an organic and biodynamic farm in the area.  Check out the information at whittedbowersfarm.com. 
            Green Garlic!?  What is that!?  It is immature garlic, that has been harvested before the plant starts to form the garlic head.  It is like eating a scallion, you can chop up and use the whole thing, the white bottom part, but ALSO the top green part.  Green garlic has its own distinct, milder taste than regular garlic and thus can be used raw in salads or lightly sautéed.  Store it in the refrigerator, no bag necessary
            This week half shares have received ‘spring onions’, or ‘green onions’, and though they might look like small leeks, scallions and green onions are just immature onions.  They can be eaten raw or cooked since their flavor is much milder than a fully grown onion. You can eat the entire green onion, green stalk and all- in fact the greens are actually packed with vitamin C. It’s best to store green onions in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. They should keep for a week or so. Green onoins work great as a garnish- on salads, pasta dishes, stir-fries, stews. They also taste great mixed in with rice or other grains, or  added to soups, sauces, or omelet’s.
            This week full shares have received Chioggia Beets, an heirloom variety that has white and red cylindrical circles on the inside.  Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable. The leaves are an excellent source of beta carotene, calcium, and iron, while the beet roots themselves are a good source of vitamin C. In ancient civilizations only the beet leaves were eaten- the roots were used medicinally to cure headaches and toothaches.  Beets are closely related to chard, and you can treat beet greens just like chard when cooking them. To store your beets, it’s best to cut off the greens, leaving an inch or so of stem attached. Greens left attached to the root will pull moisture out of it, thus shortening its shelf life. Store the beet roots and greens separately in plastic bags in the refrigerator. The roots should keep for three weeks or so, and the greens should stay fresh for about a week. To prep beets for cooking, just scrub them gently.  Don’t peel or cut up your beets before cooking, this helps to preserve their color and nutrients.  You can cook beets in many ways- the easiest is to just simmer them in a pot of water until you can easily pierce them with a knife tip. Once they’re done cooking you can peel them (or not-I don‘t) and chop them up however you please. Toss them with lemon juice, black pepper, and salt for a simple salad. They’re also delicious roasted with other root veggies (radishes, potatoes, carrots, turnips). Just chop them up and toss them with some olive oil and herbs and pop in a warm oven until you can easily pierce them with a knife.

Garnet Salad

2-3 big beets (or 4-5 medium beets)
Juice of one lemon
1 tbl vinegar
2-3 tbl good olive oil
 Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl chopped cilantro

Bake or boil the beets in their jackets (skins) until tender. Cool and remove skins.  Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Dice the beets and toss with the dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

Radish and Green Onion with Feta Cheese
2 cups thinly sliced Radishes
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
10-12 Kalamata Olives, pitted, chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Toss together the radishes, green onions, feta, olives, mint.  Season with salt and pepper, toss again.  Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together and pour over the vegetable mixture.  Toss to coat vegetables with dressing.

Stir Fried Daikon
1 lb. daikon radish
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Cut daikon into thin slices.  Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add daikon and toss to coat with oil.  Sprinkle sweetener and salt over radish slices.  Cook, stirring them, until radishes are just tender, about five minutes.  Remove from heat, toss with parsley. 

Next Week….
No more radishes (well, maybe one more week a couple of weeks from now, but a break from them at least.  Mainly, a whole bunch of new things next week!  Shelling peas, beets, broccoli, scallions and maybe kohlrabi.  More strawberries, turnips, lettuce and boc choi.  Next week will be a big week, the veggies are about to explode!  I am excited.  You should be too J

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback via email at effarm@earthlink.net.  It takes me a couple days to reply sometimes, but I will reply.  Thanks! 

What's in the box?

Full Box
Crop Amount  
 

Strawberries………..4 pints
Green Garlic………..three
Red Russian Kale……larger bunch
Radishes…………….larger bunch
Daikon Radish………one bunch
Chioggia Beets………one bunch

Half Box
Crop Amount Price
 

Strawberries…………2 pints
Spring Onions………a couple
Green Garlic………..a couple
Red Russian Kale……one bunch
Radishes……………..one bunch