June 4, 2014, Week 6

What’s Going on at the Farm?
Hello!  This week really marks a transition for us, as we say goodbye to a variety of spring crops, and start to welcome in some of the heat loving summer crops.  To start, right on time as they should be, the strawberries are saying goodbye.  We were pleased with their productivity and flavor this season and can thank the warmer dry weather for those things.  We have one more week of lettuce, so enjoy your salads while you can.  Lettuce, like most greens, cannot grow in the heat we experience here in the summer months.  The spinach has decided it is time to bolt, which means it is sending up its seed stalk in response to being stressed by the heat.  It is sensing it does not have long to live and that it is time to reproduce.  When crops start to bolt, their flavor and consistency change, and they become inedible (discouraging folks from eating it while it is trying to reproduce is a pretty smart thing to do don’t you think?)  We have one more week of cauliflower and broccoli, yet we plan to have carrots and beets for a couple more weeks. 
Out with the old, in with the new!  The early summer crops are always summer squash, zucchini and cucumbers, which we are seeing today in the boxes.  We are anxiously awaiting the start of tomato and pepper season, as you can see below, we have one of the best looking crops of both we have ever had.  Again, we can thank the warm and dry weather for that!
Why do I keep thanking the dry weather?  Thanks to the spring fed 3 acre pond we irrigate from, our crops never thirst for water, even in the driest of years.  We irrigate through drip line, which is laid directly on the ground near the roots of the plant.  The water drips out of holes every 8” in the line, delivering the water directly were it needs to go.  The key point here is that we do not overhead irrigate, or ever get the leaves or upper growing part of the plant wet when we irrigate.  Coupled with no rain, the plants themselves stay dry.  And why is this good you ask?  It is wonderful for an organic grower!  Moisture on the plants leads to disease:  fungal, bacterial, you name it, it is not good and once it has arrived, there really is nothing to be done, organically.  We watched many of our crops wither and die this way last year.  Knock on wood, so far so good for this season! 
That’s all for now, again, if you have any feedback, thoughts or concerns, let us know as we love to hear from you. 
Elise, Beth, Trish, Shelley and Soliz

Recipes and Veggie Information!
Farro Salad with Beets, Beet Greens, and Feta
Makes 8 servings
1 bunch of beets (roasted and diced) with greens stemmed and washed
2 changes water
1 c faro (grains of wheat- if you cannot find it you can probably substitute for quinoa, barley or any other grain), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, and drained
Salt
2 T sherry vinegar
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t Dijon mustard
½ c extra virgin olive oil (may substitute f 1-2 T for walnut oil)
½ c crumbled feta or goat cheese
½ c broken walnut pieces
¼ c chopped fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, marjoram, chives, or mint)

 

  1. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water come to a boil, add salt to taste and the beet greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then with a slotted spoon, scoop out the greens and transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. Return the water to a boil and add the farro. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender. Remove from the heat and allow the grains to swell in the cooking water for about 15 minutes, then drain.
  3. While the farro is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the sherry and balsamic vinegars, salt, garlic, and mustard. Whisk in the oil. Add to the drained farro. Add the beets, along with the beet greens, feta or goat cheese, walnuts, and herbs. Toss together and serve or at room temperature.

Moroccan Cooked Carrot Salad
Makes 4-6 servings
1 lb carrots, thinly sliced
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed to a paste with ¼ t salt in a mortar and pestle
1 t cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
½ t ground black pepper
salt
2-3 T fresh lemon juice
¼ c finely chopped parsley
Imported oil-cured black olives, for garnish
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut in wedges (optional)

  1. Place the carrots in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water.  Cover and steam 5-8 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat, rinse with cold water, and drain on paper towels.
  2. Heat 2 T of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet and add the garlic and cumin.  Cook, stirring for about 30s, until garlic smells fragrant.  Stir in carrots, pepper & salt to taste.  Stir together for a few minutes, until carrots are seasoned.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, remaining   2 T olive oil, and parsley. 
  3. Transfer to a platter and add  olives and sliced hard-cooked eggs (if using).  Serve at room temperature.

What's in the box?

Regular Share
Crop Amount  
 

Summer Squash 1 lb.
Head Lettuce 1 head
Broccoli or cucumbers ¾ lb.
Beets 1 bunch
Purple carrots 1 bunch
Cauliflower 1 smaller head

Full Share
Crop Amount  
 

Zucchini 2 lb.
Lettuce 1 head
Broccoli 1.25 lb.
Chioggia Beets 1 bunch
White Carrots 1 bunch
Cauliflower 1 larger head
Green Onions 2 white, 1 red