So this week, we've been working A LOT. Overtime is an understatement, and the hot sun has been taking its toll. Kevin's main field has been worked up and we are cover cropping with buckwheat before plowing again for the fall crops. Early tomatoes and cucumbers have been trellised. And planting continues: this week it was a half acre of watermelons, cantaloupes, and winter squash (many varieties of each); our second round of tomatoes and pepper transplants; and our third round of summer squash, cukes, beans, and okra. And we've still got more to plant: sweet corn, field corn, peanuts, dry beans, and sweet potatoes. If you can't tell, we're planning to have lots of veggies!
This week, we know that we’ll have lettuce, green onions, and a cooking green for you, plus plenty of other goodies. Below are some specifics about other items you might find in your boxes (note: this week, we’re not sure that there will be enough of each item for everybody, but everyone will get an equivalent veggie or herb).
Lettuce: We have several colorful and delicious varieties, many of which you’ll be able to try over the next few weeks. Our “Speckled Troutback” (A.K.A. Forellenschluss) is a green and red spotted Austrian heirloom Romaine; “Green Buttercrunch” is an classic tender heirloom head lettuce; “Bronze Arrowhead”, a red-tinged oak-leaf style hybrid semi-romaine lettuce, is probably our most beautiful; “Mignonette Bronze” is a crisp 1898 heirloom head lettuce; “Merveille Des Quatre Saisons” is a magenta-colored French heirloom romaine; “Webb’s Wonderful” green heirloom crisphead; and probably more that we’ve forgotten about! Yum!
Green Onions: Bunches of scallions! Be sure to use both the bottoms and the tops. Great in salads as well as stirfries. If you don’t have a place to store them whole, you can prechop and store in a sealed container in the fridge.Red Potatoes: Our first potatoes of 2013, this is a multipurpose variety called "Red Norland", known for its earliness but not for its a long storage qualities. Use these within a week or two, keeping them in a dark place at room temperature (you can keep them in the fridge if you want to).
Beets: Some people go nuts over these red roots! They're known to have antioxidant properties and be good for your cardiovascular health. Pickle 'em, roast 'em, or grate 'em raw for salads. Don't forget to eat the greens!
Cornmeal: The heirloom red cornmeal returns for full shares. Make another batch of cornbread (see earlier recipe) or freeze it for later use.
Summer Squash: Enjoy our first squash of the season. We have two varieties...Sunburst Patty Pan, which looks kind of like a flying saucer, and Zephyr, which is longer and half-green. Both are delicious! The harvest is just trickling in now, so we might not have quite enough for everyone yet.
Broccoli: Did you know that each little floret of broccoli is just a few days from becoming a yellow flower? Its one of those crops that you have to harvest when its ready or else! Also, though it doesn't keep for too long, darkening or yellowing just means use it ASAP!
You will receive a bunch of one of the following cooking greens this week:Kale: We have both “Red Russian” and “Lacinado/Dino” varieties, both of which we prefer to the more common curly kale. These nutritional powerhouses can be cooked in soups and stirfries, made into “kale chips” in the oven, or sliced thinly and eaten raw.
Collards/Broccoli Greens: These delicious greens get a bad rap from some people due to the common way of boiling them and serving them with vinegar, but really, collards are extremely similar to Kale and be cooked and enjoyed in many of the same ways. Try blanching whole leaves briefly with a bit of steam to soften them and then use them as a low-carb sandwich wrap.
You will most likely get only one of the following herbs this week:
Dill: This is one of our favorite herbs. Hopefully, we can keep it around until the cucumbers come in. It's not only great for pickles though...try making tzatziki sauce with plain yogurt or chopping it up in your salad for a fresh taste. Be creative!
Sage: Delicious and fragrant herb goes well with meats and potatoes. If you don’t get to use it, hang it up to dry for later use. Dried sage also makes great incense and is reputed to have medicinal benefits as well.Oregano: Aromatic herb that dries very well. It adds an excellent flavor to pizza and Italian dishes. Pairs very well with tomatoes!
French Tarragon: Culinary herb known for highlighting meat dishes. Mix with softened butter for a flavorful spread or make a tasty herb vinegar by soaking the fresh or dried leaves in your choice of vinegar. Some people prefer the stronger flavor of the dried