May 5 2012, Week 3

Recipes, Produce and Storage Information:

Carrots: These beauties store best, like all root crops, with their tops removed and the roots kept in the plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. We grow three colors, orange, purple and white for you viewing pleasure.

In the recipe below, I do not recommend peeling your carrots, as they are so tender they do not need it. Also, chop them into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Roasted Carrots
The New Southern Garden Cookbook, Sheri Castle

2 pounds whole baby carrots with their greens
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon course or kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Thoroughly scrub and dry the carrots. (Peel only if necessary). Trim off all but 1/2 inch of the greens, or remove them completely if you prefer. Arrange the carrots in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and roll back and forth to coat.

Roast until the carrots are tender when pierced with a knife, 20-40 minutes depending on the size and freshness of the carrots.

Remove from the oven and season generously with the salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variation: Drizzle the hot carrots with a little honey and finely chopped rosemary, in addition to salt and pepper, as soon as they come out of the oven.

What's What on the farm...

Wow, after all that rain followed by a few really warm days, everything on the farm has seriously jumped!! I walked around Monday morning to take stock of the crops and was pleasantly surprised with how much everything had grown in just two short days. AND, with the predicted 90 degree days approaching, I am certain they will all just keep on jumping!! This is just the beginning of carrot and beets season for us, so look forward to more over the next five week period. The broccoli has just stared to size up and in addition to this week's distribution you can expect a few weeks more for everyone. We also have a LOT of cauliflower in the ground and the plants look gorgeous.

Did I just say 90 degree days?? Well yeah, we will have all the fore mentioned crops for that long as long as those 90 degree days don't stick around too long.  This is one of the strangest springs (weather-wise) I have experienced since I started my farm 12 years ago. I would like to not see 90 plus again until mid-June, too bad the weather Gods don't always listen to me.

In other news, the mystery is solved! This year the strawberries have been a challenge turned into a wonderful learning experience. We have lost about 1/2 of our strawberry plants to Spider Mites, which live on the underside of the plant's leaf, suck the juice out of it and dramatically stunt the plants growth. Our best educated guess, since they feed on many crops and travel on dust particles in the wind, is that they blew over. The warm winter and March facilitated their growth and feeding. We have never had this particular problem before. What to do? This is the cool part. We have ordered predatory mites that, once released into the patch, wage war on the pesky mites. The beneficial mites also feed on other pests, and will naturalize on the farm for future protection. This means our annual fall planting of strawberry plants should be safe since it is too late to save the plants affected already this spring. Our Predators ship overnight tonight and we welcome and spread them tomorrow! The dryer weather the past few days has helped the berries along also, so we have more this week for you all, enjoy!

What to look forward to...

I predict that next week you will see in your box more carrots, beets, strawberries, broccoli, lettuce, and greens like kale, Swiss chard and boc choi. We have a nice planting of spinach that should be ready either next week or the week after along with a final planting of Japanese turnips.

In two weeks, cauliflower! Sugar snap peas, cabbage, flat leaf parsley and more are two to three weeks out. Spring is a yummy time!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to email me, I love to hear from you all! Elise.

What's in the box?

Full Share
Crop Amount  

Head lettuce (one romaine, one red boston)

Carrots (one bunch orange, one bunch purple)

Radishes (one bunch purple)

Boc Choi (three small)

Broccoli (one pound

Scallions (one large bunch white)

Green Garlic (four)

Half of the full share members received strawberries, the other half will next week)

Half Share
Crop Amount  

Head lettuce

Carrots (one bunch orange)

Swiss Chard (one bunch)

Scallions (one bunch)

Broccoli (1/2 lb.)

Strawberries (one pint)

Radishes (one bunch french breakfast)