Elysian Fields Farm
Wednesday April 30th, 2003
|Turnips or radishes|
|Spicy Lettuce Mix|
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Hello! I wanted to start off by thanking all the members who were able to visit the farm during the farm tour this past weekend. It was really great to get to meet you and talk with you.
This week we had to give strawberries to only full share members. To help explain why, I will tell you more about were the farm was at last year at this time. I was reading last years newsletters on my website and saw that this week full share members received two quarts (a quart is 2 pints) and half share members received one quart of strawberries. In fact, the strawberries, variety Chandler, had been coming on for two weeks prior to the start of the CSA, which was the first week in May. This year, I have grown two varieties of strawberries, the main crop of Chandlers, and an early (small trial) crop of Sweet Charlies. What is in your shares this week, for full share members anyway, are the Sweet Charlies. The Chandlers are not yet ripe, and thus at least two weeks behind last years crop. This example carries for a lot of the crops this spring. Someone said to me, "We are actually having a spring this year, like we used to". I remember last year in the middle of April the temperatures were in the high 80's and low 90's. Anyhow, my point, as soon as the main crop of strawberries comes on all will get more. Yum.
You will only have one more week of Bok choi, so enjoy it now while it lasts. There will be a few more weeks of it in the fall, but it really does enjoy only the cool weather of the spring and fall.
On the farm we have cucumbers, summer squash, basil, beans and corn all germinating and on their way. The first planting of tomatoes is happily in the ground, as the first plantings of peppers and eggplant will be on Thursday. The carrots and beets, slowly but surely are growing and have really jumped a good bit in the past week. We will see them in a couple few weeks.
This year working on the farm I have two full time employees plus myself. Andy, who has returned from full time last year, is my reliable right hand man. He is learning much about growing and enjoys the experience of being outdoors immensely. J.J. is new this season and catching on quickly.
The Turnip, Brassica rapa. I have grown the Tokyo-type white turnip called Hakurie. Although neglected in much of the U.S., the turnip is eaten raw, pickled and cooked in many different ways in much of the world today. I know that I grew up imaging the turnip to be this sort of starchy bitter vegetable that I fortunately never had to try. The white Tokyo- type turnip is nothing like the uneducated assumptions I once had, and many may have about turnips these days. I have to quote the the cookbook "From Asparagus to Zucchini" again this week as they say that "As many of us 'return to our roots' and explore the importance of a local seasonal food supply, turnips and other root vegetables, commonly rejected in standard American fare, become important once again. These turnips are bittersweet, a bit nippy and juicy. They are GREAT raw on salads as well as cooked.
Turnips will store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Wash turnips, but no need to peel. You can slice or grate raw into salads or slaws. You can boil 1/2 to 1 inch turnip cubes for 8-10 minutes. Steam same for 12-15 minutes. Bake turnips for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. You can mash or scallop turnips just like you would potatoes. Good luck.
What to look forward to...
Next week we can look forward to spinach, perhaps sweet peas and broccoli but they may be another week. We will most likely have strawberries for all next week. Napa cabbage and fennel seem to be on their way so we may see these guys make slim appearances in the near future. More lettuce and Kale will be available as well. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns! Elise.
Elysian Fields Farm: Community Supported Agriculture