We said good-bye to interns David Rittenhouse and Verena Eichenberger. They were with us for a long time and we appreciate their help. In fact, the farm would not look half as good without the help we get from all our interns. May their paths be blessed!
We welcome Courtney Kocher from Illinois who started her internship this week.
As for vegetables, we have lots of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers peppers, and beets. We have a small amount of broccoli and pole beans. We'll cut basil and Swiss Chard again this week. There's a new planting of mesclun lettuce to cut. We'll continue to give everyone garlic and the harvesters will get okra.
Our eggplants did not do well this year, but we'll have at least 1 for each of you this week. The corn is ready. It is so sweet and tender, it hardly needs cooking! And the potatoes are in; an early red potato that is creamy when cooked.
Dill weed heads are available for pickling. Cut your own while you're here.
These pretty vegetables look like Japanese lanterns. Underneath the thin skin is a green tomato. They are called tomatillos, and are used in Mexican cooking to make Salsa Verde. I have some I froze last year for you to sample. Let’s see what else you can do with them!
These tiny onions are called shallots. Our Indian friend, Kavita Bekel ji, showed us how to make a tasty pickle from these. Simply peel them and place them whole in a jar. Sprinkle salt and powdered cayenne pepper on them. Shake them in the jar. Then add white vinegar to cover. Leave for 1 day in the sun if possible. Then it is ready to eat! When you finish eating those shallots, you can put more in the same jar.
More peppers are coming your way. If you don’t like hot peppers, and have no one to share them with, please leave them on the table for those of us who love them!
Kavita ji says, “It’s so easy make a pickle out of chili peppers. Cut them down the middle and remove the seeds. Place in a small jar. Add pieces of ginger root. Sprinkle these with salt. Add lemon or lime juice to all. Shake it up. This will cure a sore throat and it tastes so good with rice and vegetables!
You will also receive tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, bush beans, poles beans, beets, sorrel, garlic, and parsley.
The harvest is at its peak these days. We have so many cukes, zukes and green beans for you! There are also tomatoes, Swiss chard, garlic, beets, okra and peppers. You’ll get a 3rd cutting of basil leaves.
New this week are pole beans. These are long flat green beans which may be prepared and eaten the same way as the usual green beans.
David, Verena and I harvested, dried and packaged several 3RF herbs, including clover, bee balm, comfrey, catnip and chamomile. We are selling them for $1/bag.
Greg also has many great specimen trees and shrubs for sale at $10/plant. Just ask him when you come to the farm.
The harvest is gaining momentum. You must take some time to freeze or can the produce because soon you will not be able to find your kitchen from all the vegetables.
This week you will receive cucumbers, kale, peppers, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, green beans, garlic, cilantro, and zucchini.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to be tiny and live in cucumber and beet world?
You will receive the entire plant because the greens are almost as nutritious as kale. In fact, you could cook them up together. Beets can be grated raw on salads. They can be juiced with carrots. The leaves can be sauteed in olive oil with garlic and onion and served on the steamed beet roots.
Due to the cool nights, the vegetables are ripening slowly.
There are more tomatoes this week than last, including the very sweet Sungold cherry tomatoes. This variety is orange when ripe and lower in acid than the usual red ones.
Some of you didn’t find the chamomile or yarrow last week. Please look up above the produce bags and take 1 of each if you want them.
Okra is not grown by many northern farmers. It is popular in the southern USA, often mixed with black-eyed peas or cajun style mixed vegetables. We enjoy it, but we grow only a small amount in order to introduce it to you, but not overwhelm you. Let us know if you like it and what you do with it.
Fava beans were grown this year as a trial. We don’t feel confident of the quality. Majid and Benaan will be the judge of this. You will have the option of taking some home to try.
We are happy to say that the good earth has produced much for us to eat this week. More cabbage. I tried a new recipe last week and Greg said, ” You can make this again!” You will find the recipe posted later today.
We also have more green bush beans, lettuce, peppers, basil, and garlic.
New this week is broccoli, which I’m sure needs no introduction.
Aren’t Dave’s photos of the vegetables beautiful! Look for a link to all his farm photos in the lower right column.
Also new this week are shallots. These small onions have been described as a cross between garlic and sweet red onion. They have a delicate flavor and mince well for sauces and vinaigrettes. Also new this week are tomatoes. Our varieties include Moscovitz, Prudence Purple, Roma, and Cherry. You will get a small amount this week, but more in coming weeks. Swiss chard will be in your share, too. This tasty green leaf produces abundantly like kale, so you will get one or the other every week from now on, so learn to like it ~ it’s good for you! The chamomile fromlast week is still hanging for those who missed it. This week you will get another herb, yarrow. The variety we grow is a cultivar and as such doesn’t have much medicinal use, but makes a great dried flower. Hang it upside down for a week in a dry place and then put it in a vase. It will keep its color all year. We have a small amount of okra. As in years past, we will offer it to the weekly harvest family as an option.
Ok everybody ~ Here’s the latest on this week’s harvest ~ Dr Greg says “Everything is going to come up at once now”. And so it is…. cabbage ~ kale ~ zuchhini (there’s too many h’s in that word) ~ bush beans ~ a 2nd cutting of parsley ~ peppers from mild to hot ~ tomatoes just beginning ~ cherry tomatoes sweet orange juicy fill your mouth ~ sorrel if you like ~ dill if you like ~ lettuce alone (what do honeymooners eat…?) ~ it sounds so good to me….yes it sounds so good to me…………cowboy take me home…..
Our 5th harvest features sweet, tart black currants. The bushes are full. We’ll need plenty of pickers! Fortunately, we’ll have 3 interns as well as those of you who are coming tomorrow. With all the trading around, I haven’t a clue who to expect anymore! Black currants make wonderful jam. I also put them in green drinks. You could use them in place of strawberries in a rhubarb crisp. We are not giving rhubarb again, but if you need some you can take what you need.
Other items this week are: snap peas, radishes, mesclun lettuce, head lettuce, sorrel, lavender and garlic bulbs.
Lavender can be used to flavor black tea. It can be dried – it will keep it’s color for a while. It’s fragrance is popular in sachets, potpourris, and personal hygiene products. A friend of ours, Jennifer Vasich, owns a store in Romeo called Gabriel’s Garden which specializes in lavender products. I especially like the insect repellent she sells. She has an online store, too www.allthingslavender.com.
Weekly fresh garlic bulbs are a special feature of our CSA. Each share will get 2 bulbs of garlic every week from now until the last harvest. If you do not have a good garlic press, get one now. Don’t get a cheap one, because you will use it often. Fresh squeezed garlic tastes good on so many things. Try it the next time you make garlic bread: Butter the bread, then spread squeezed garlic on top of each slice, then put all the bread in a warm oven until dinner. Yummy!
One more thing… the Elder flowers have blossomed. We are keeping this as an ‘optional’ item. If you have an interest in them, let us know when you pick up your produce. We’ll walk to the orchard together and cut some.
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.
The New York Times reports on the new trend in summer internships: Organic Farms!
Erin Axelrod, who graduated from Barnard College last week with an urban studies degree, will not be fighting over the bathroom with her five roommates on the Upper West Side this summer. Instead she will be living in a tent, using an outdoor composting toilet and harvesting vegetables on an organic farm near Petaluma, Calif.