Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 22 Newsletter

Well, supposedly we’ll have a week without rain, which will be delightful. Hopefully we can take advantage and finally get some serious mowing and mulching done. And the forecast is for mid-eighties, which is perfect weather for working outside. We have our fingers crossed.
Our summer crops are starting to pick up. We are harvesting squash and zucchini steadily at this point, though they are still small fruits. There are a few good-sized cucumbers on the vine, though they’re not ready to harvest yet. There are lots of green tomatoes, so if we start to get some consistently warm nights, they’ll ripen. We probably won’t be harvesting tomatoes until July, but maybe we’ll get some early cherries.
We’ve just started picking flowers as well, and should have quite a few to take to market in the next couple of weeks. We were worried about the zinnias after we had a late frost a few weeks ago, but they bounced back really nicely. We planted a few more in the greenhouse anyway, and we can put those out this week, hopefully. And the calendula, which is a new flower for us, is coming in nicely.

This Week (*full share only):
NOTE: contents may vary throughout the week

Lettuce Mix
Napa Cabbage
Swiss Chard
Purplette Onions
Squash and Zucchini
Garlic Scapes
Baby Leeks*

What to do with it:

Most of these veggies are familiar to those who participated in the Spring share, so apologies if any of this is redundant. The Napa cabbage is for cooking or eating raw. We just made a salad the other night with only Napa cabbage (no lettuce) and it was really good. But we also stir-fry it frequently with whatever else we have laying around (onions, garlic, mushrooms, squash, peas, etc).
We made a Swiss chard pizza last night that was like a white pizza (no tomato sauce). Our pizza dough was homemade, but you could use store bought as well. If anyone would like our dough recipe, you can email us. We sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms and the chard, and then put some melted butter on the dough, layered mozzarella cheese, the sautéed mix, and then more mozzarella and parmesan. Then we baked it for 15 minutes or so. It was great. We’ve found that in general, you can substitute Swiss chard for spinach with excellent results.
Garlic scapes are the top of the garlic plant. The swollen part is a flower bud that would bloom if left on. By cutting this part off, the energy of the plant is redirected to enlarging the garlic bulb under the soil. But the scape is edible too, and has a strong garlic flavor. You don’t eat the flower bud part, just the stem. You just chop it up and put it in whatever you’d want to put garlic in – salad dressing, eggs, or sautés. It has a slightly tougher texture, though you can peel the outer layer if you want a softer texture.
Baby leeks are very mild members of the onion family. In general, when using leeks, we recommend avoiding garlic, since it will overshadow the leeks. They’re excellent additions to soups and stews, and go well with potatoes and other root vegetables. The best smell in the world comes from leeks sautéed in butter. You can also steam them and serve them with a Dijon vinaigrette dressing (just wing it – olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dollop of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, maybe an herb that you have handy, like thyme).
Carrots are new for the bags, but should be pretty familiar to everyone. We mostly eat them raw in salad, though they sometimes make it into our stir-fries. They’re so good raw that you can just wash them and eat them. They pair well with the Napa cabbage.

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