April 29, 2015, Week 2

What’s Growing on?
I am so thrilled that we have finally figured out a productive and efficient way to grow spinach, just fifteen years later ;)  It is one crop I have tried and tried again to grow in the spring in succession and plenty, only to be thwarted by the cold or wet weather.  While spinach loves to grow in cold and wet conditions, it doesn’t like to germinate in them. While we have always tried to direct seed spinach in the ground, last year we tried transplanting it. This allowed for germination in the warmth of the greenhouse in the early part of the year. We had so much success we decided to increase the amount of spinach we planted for this season. The result, lots and lots of gorgeous, huge, delicious and tender spinach! 

We aren’t hesitating to bulk up your bags while we have so much spinach to give since we know it cooks down an awful lot. We usually wash and spin dry the leaves yet decided not to this week since we noticed last week that the process really seemed to shred and tear them, potentially shortening shelf life.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of enjoying green garlic, I thought I would take a minute to introduce you to this seasonal delight.  It is called green garlic because it is an immature garlic plant that if left in the ground would form a head of garlic while the top greenery would die down.  Eaten at this stage you can enjoy it raw or cooked since it has a more mild garlic flavor.  You can cut and eat the whole stalk, white part and green part alike. 

This is the last delivery of last fall’s massive sweet potato harvest, although don’t fret, we are planning for more from this year’s harvest for late August deliveries.  The nice thing about sweet potatoes is that they store so well and so long.  Crazy as it is, they store better and longer UNWASHED and coated with the soil they grew in keeping them dormant.  Ha-ha, we have fooled them into thinking they are still in the ground, so don’t wash them until you are about to use them!

As for the farm crew, well, we are lucky to have a golden team of workers. In addition to myself and business partner Beth, we have both Trish and Shelley returning for another season.  Lauren is a newbie from up North showing much promise and a willingness to take on the North Carolina summers ;)  Shelley is diligently planning her farm business that will focus on fruits and honey on land located not far from us in Cedar Grove.  Sadly we will lose her to this endeavor next season yet we are excited to have her as a neighbor and look forward to eating her exotic fruits once they produce. Trish is back for her third year, and with a handful of year’s farming before joining us, is a true seasoned veteran.  Beth stays busy while working with all of us AND planning the fall and winter seasons that she manages here at the farm.  Soon enough it will be time to start signing folks up for our fall CSA that she orchestrates so well.

That’s all for now.  Oh, except I am sure some of you have strawberries on the mind!  We are thinking we should have some in the shares next week.  And beets and broccoli to follow the week after that……then carrots….and so much more!!!  Let us know if you have any thoughts, concerns or feedback as we love to hear from you.
Elise, Beth, Trish, Shelley and Lauren

Recipes!

Wilted Spinach with Lemon Juice
Makes 3 to 4 servings
1 ½ lbs spinach, stemmed and washed
Salt & ground black pepper
½ lemon

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat and add wet spinach leaves in batches. As each batch begins to collapse, add another, until all the spinach has been added to the pan. When all of the spinach has wilted, season with salt and black pepper and stir 1 to 2 minutes.  It should be tender but not mushy, and a rich dark green color. Remove from heat, squeeze on lemon juice, and serve.

 

Soy-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sweet sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut them lengthwise into quarters or halves. Place them in a baking dish roomy enough to hold them in a single layer.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the sesame seeds. Brush all of the resulting sauce over the sweet potatoes, then cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake until nearly tender, 50 minutes to an hour. Remove the foil, baste with sweet potatoes with their juices, and return to the oven until the liquid has reduced to a glaze and the potatoes are fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

What's in the box?

Regular Share

Quantity

Storage Info

Notes

Hakurie Turnips

1 bunch

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.  Remove greens, place in separate bag for extended storage.

A sweet salad turnip these Asian treats can be eaten raw or cooked.  Remember to enjoy the greens, they are great sautéed!

Head Lettuce

1 head

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

Unwashed to minimize damage and increase storage.

Spinach

¾ lb.

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

*see recipe below

Baby Boc Choi

1 bunch

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

Eat raw or cook.  The little holes on the leaves are from flea beetles and don’t affect the eating quality at all.

Sweet Potatoes

2 lb.

Counter top, do not refrigerate or expose to temperatures below 50 degrees.

*see recipe below

 

Full Share

Quantity

Storage Info

Notes

Head Lettuce

1 head

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

Unwashed to minimize damage and increase storage.

Spinach

1 lb.

Plastic bag, crisper drawer

*see recipe below

Baby Boc Choi

Larger bunch

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

Eat raw or cook.  The little holes on the leaves are from flea beetles and don’t affect the eating quality at all.

Chard

1 bunch

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

 

Baby Mixed Kale

½ lb.

Plastic bag, crisper drawer.

 

Green Garlic

2

Crisper drawer

 

Sweet Potatoes

3 lb.

Counter top, do not refrigerate or expose to temperatures below 50 degrees.

*see recipe below