Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Week 6 6-25-2011

Please remember to return your boxes each week

Week 6 box


Spring Onions

Red Russian Kale



Large Shares only-Napa Cabbage (Chinese cabbage)-Napa cabbage is a mild cabbage that forms a looser head than European cabbages. When we cook them we like to slice the leaves off the white stem first. We cook the stems in some olive oil with onions until they are almost done. Then we add the diced greens to wilt. Napa cabbage is a great addition to a stir-fry or sauté to serve with rice, cous-cous, or potatoes.

Beets-Never had beets? Don’t like them? I’d say give them a try. Think sweet and earthy when you eat them. See preparation and recipes at end of newsletter.

Basil!!! Don’t refrigerate basil, because it can turn brown and spotty. Store at a cool room temperature. If possible, place stems in water like a flower bouquet. This week the basil is mostly bud trimmings, so they won’t fit in a vase or jar. Don’t worry, basil is still fine to use when it is wilty. Basil ideas: Grilled Zucchini and Squash with Basil. I slice the zucchini and squash into long, flat strips. Then I brush each side with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chopped basil. Grill. You can also try sprinkling chopped basil over just about anything. In the summer, I always have basil in the kitchen in a little vase, and I love its aroma as I walk into the room.

Parsley- Chopped parsley is very good with cooked beets and a touch of lemon juice.

Barn Rafters of Garlic

Happy summer! Yesterday marked the sun’s nothernmost track in the sky. For a few days the sun will stay in relatively the same place on the horizon, before slowly working its way back south.

Last Monday we harvested all of the garlic. Last week you received fresh garlic in your box. This is a bulb that we dug up, cut off the stalk and passed along directly to you without curing it. The rest of the garlic we have sorted and hung up to dry, or cure in the rafters of the barn. This will ensure that the bulbs dry down slowly so they can keep for as long as possible without rotting. Cured garlic can store for a very long time in a cool, dark, dry place.

When we hung the garlic up we carefully selected the largest, best formed, most even bulbs of each variety to set aside as this fall’s seed garlic. We cure these bulbs along with all the rest and just kind of forget about them. Then, in October, we will pull them out take all the cloves off the bulb and push them into the ground to start the cycle over again.

This is about half of it!

Garlic is an interesting plant because it is planted in the fall in October. In the sprouts up to about 6 inches then waits dormant for the rest of the winter. In the spring it takes off, quickly becoming the tallest, most lush green plant in the early spring. Their growth and vigor begins to slow in May when they start to think about flowering. This is when they send out their garlic scapes. The scapes are the closed blossom of garlic. Garlic reproduces both vegetatively and sexually. However, if it is allowed to fully flower and create seed it invests far less energy in the roots, the part we want to eat. So we cut off the flowers before they open, this is what was in you box several times in May. After the flower is cut the above ground portion of the plant starts to decline. The tips of the leaves begin to yellow and no new growth is seen. Meanwhile, the plant is working to make its bulbs as large as possible to give thee, energy to regrow the next year. Once several leaves have fully died on the stalk we know it is time to dig them up.

In a few weeks, we’ll pull down the cured, dried garlic and put them in your boxes. We’ll have several exciting varieties to taste and enjoy.

Flowering cilantro. Look closely to see all the pollinators it attracts to the garden.


Basic Method for Cooking Beets:

Beets, butter, salt, freshly ground pepper, chopped parsley

WASH WELL. Cut off all but 1 inch of the beets top; do not pare or remove the roots. Drop the beets into enough boiling water to cover them, and cook them, uncovered, until they are tender, allowing 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the age of the beets. Drain the beets, drop them in cold water for a minute or two to cool them slightly, then slip off the skins. Leave them whole or quarter them, or slice them. Toss them with butter, salt and pepper to taste, and some chopped parsley, and reheat them, if necessary, before serving.

(from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook)

Beet and carrot salad- a great simple salad with raw carrots and beets

Wash carrots and beets well. Remove tops and roots. Finely grate carrots and beets. Mix. Add salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar, parsley, and other herbs to taste.

Baby cucumbers for August fruit.

Cucumber yogurt salad

Wash cucumbers well. Finely slice, dice, or grate cucumber. Mix with plain yogurt (greek style yogurts are particularly good for this recipe). Add as much yogurt as you prefer. This salad can range from being almost purely cucumbers with a yogurt dressing to a bowl of yogurt with some cucumbers in it. Salt to taste. For flavor try adding dill, crushed garlic, diced spring onion, parsley, or another of your favorite herbs.

A bumblebee visits our Echinacea

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