Harvest #4, July 4th

Parsley with Purslane ground cover

Dear Friends ~

It’s been a cool and rainy week.  Not much fun for vacationers.  And not much can get done at the farm. But our current interns, Doug Coleman and Charlie Ryan, have kept busy oiling tipi poles in the sheep shed.  The sheep are out on pasture. They don’t mind the rain.  There are trees in the field to shelter them. And their woolen coats repel rain to a large extent.
The snap peas are ready this week.  These peas are delicious to eat: shell and all.  They are so sweet and tasty when fresh picked, I rarely have any left for stir-fry or freezing.
We are still in salad heaven with plenty of mesclun mix and bibb lettuce.  More radishes this week, too.
Our parsley bed is ready for a first harvest.  Parsley, like the cilantro and the mesclun mix, is a crop that can be cut many times and continue to grow back. The parsley is surrounded by a ground cover of purslane.  Most people consider purslane a weed and throw it out.  We like to eat it.  It has a juicy, lemony flavor which makes it a great addition to those heavenly salads.  Plus, it is one of only a handful of foods which is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids!
We will give you chives this week. Chives are generally used as a garnish for egg or potato dishes or for cream soups.  There is some evidence that they improve digestion and have anti-hypertensive qualities. If nothing else, they add color and a bit of flavor.
Borage is an old fashioned herb, mostly ignored nowadays.  There’s no need for that.  It grows easily in Michigan. The leaves may look intimidating with their hairy cover, but they are soft and sweet.  Wash them well and add the small leaves to salads.  The larger leaves can be thrown into a soup or stew. I put them in green smoothies. The star-like blue borage flowers are a tasty topping to a salad.

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