June Twenty-First

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Happy Summer Solstice!  On these long, warm, sunny days on the farm we are enjoying the full length of a summer day.  The heat has felt enjoyable thus far although I may feel differently by the end of this week.  We’re drinking bottle after bottle of water and I notice sweat on the brows of the crew as we work now even when movement is minimal.  This last Sunday we received 3/10 inch rain which was almost nothing in terms of the full inch of rain we could use to satisfy the needs of the plants to get us through another week.  Farmer Adam is still irrigating like a magician.  It’s amazing to see the water dripping out of those little black lines all over the farm that are now on almost every crop planted including fresh lettuce plantings and short-season crops. 

We are excited to be offering rhubarb this week as rhubarb is a plant that we have had difficulty establishing on the farm.  We have it planted in an area with landscaping fabric around the plants to control the weed pressure.  Some of the plants are quite mature and some are still establishing themselves as younger, smaller plants that will need more years to catch up.  We’re excited to continue to watch the rhubarb patch grow and thrive.  As primarily annual vegetable farmers, it’s fun to have a patch of a perennial plant that comes back year after year cheerily emerging after surviving a long winter, ready to grow and thrive and expand its root system. 

We’re also excited to be offering the hakurei salad turnips this week.  These salad turnips are a Spring (or now it’s summer!) treat.  Their flesh is sweet, fruity and mild and their texture is smooth yet crispy.  I almost wouldn’t even want to tell you they’re actually a turnip for fear that I may turn you off from trying them.  They’re so good that our children pick and eat them raw all day long.  Even as they size up they don’t develop any woody texture while maintaining their crispy, smooth sweet deliciousness.  They can be enjoyed cooked into stir-fries or shaved raw onto salads.  Their greens are edible as well and can be wilted and snuck into just about any dish!  Don’t miss out on enjoying these rare delicacies! 

We are at the height of greens-season now with lettuce and kale galore.  Amazingly we have been able to bring these tender, crunchy, watery bunches of crispy greens to fruition even in this droughty year.  The greens are nature’s offerings this time of year to remind us to eat light, fresh and cleanse the body of all the carb-heavy foods that we at all winter long when greens were scarce and much less appetizing to us than they are now.  Feast on salads loaded up with olives, feta, parmesan, bacon, toasted chicpeas, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, and all your favorite reduced, flavored and infused vinegars and highest quality oils.

I feel it’s my job, other than farming and sharing the joys and hardships of that experience, to help inspire you to be as excited about all of these unique vegetables as I am.  I feel a responsibility to share my enthusiasm, love of good food and the heightened quality of life and family that comes with sharing and eating really, really good food with you.  Allow yourself to be creative in the kitchen this summer.  Try new recipes and make time for preparing food and have fun while you’re doing it.  Put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine and get into a cooking groove.  If you enjoy eating some of these a-typical vegetables, that means that I get to continue growing them and we all get to live healthier, happier lives.  Happy Solstice and Cheers to trying new recipes! 

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What’s in the Box?

Gold Potatoes-  These potatoes are overwintered potatoes that have been in cold storage since last Fall.  We recommend keeping them in your fridge until you have the chance to use them up.  Overwintered Potatoes will want to sprout if left out on the counter in a warm place. 

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  These are the white colored radish-esque looking roots in your box with greens attached.  Hakurai Salad turnips are sweet and mild and crunchy and smooth!  No need to peel them, just shave them onto your salads or cut them up and eat them raw with hummus, veggie dip or however you like to snack on them!  They can also be cooked into a stir fry or however you can get them into your belly! 

Rhubarb-  .62 lbs rhubarb per member.  We had to cut them up a bit to get them into evenly weighed bunches and to fit them into the box.  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

Purple Kohlrabi x 2-  Even though they’re purple on the outside they’re still crispy and white on the inside.  Peel them and enjoy their apple-like crunchy and crispy texture with veggie dip, lightly salted or match-sticked onto salads.  They can even be fried up like a potato if you like! 

Lacinato Kale-  Lacinato Kale is also known as Tuscan Kale, dinosaur kale, or black kale.  It has a darker green color than other kale varieties with a smooth leaf texture.  This is the most popular variety of kale at present day.  Wonderful pan fried with a little coconut oil and tamari, mixed into a soup or cook with eggs or on pizza!

Red Leaf Lettuce x 2-  A double giving of lettuce per member this week.  Tis the season for salads and eating fresh with all of the salad ingredients in your box!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in your fridge.  We like to trim the base of the head of lettuce off and let the leaves fall apart and wash lettuce leaf by leaf under running water to make sure there is no dirt stuck down in the ruffles of the leaves.  Be sure to spin it dry.   Dry greens keep MUCH longer than wet greens. 

Dill-  Fresh dill is a rare treat.  Dill is wonderful just chopped up and sprinkled onto your salad.  Try adding it to a potato salad recipe.  Dill can also be dried if it’s just too much to use up.  To dry it, un-bunch your dill and dry it in a dehydrator until it’s fully dry and store in a jar with a tight lid.  Could also be dried on trays in a very low heat warm oven. 

Next Week’s Best Guess: Bunching onions, lettuce, green curly kale, hakurei salad turnips, garlic scapes, kohlrabi x 2, radish?, zucchini?, summer squash?

Recipes

Creamy Dill Pickle Potato Salad

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Tuscan Kale Salad

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Sesame Roasted Turnip Salad with Quinoa

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Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Fresh Dill

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Creamy Dill Sauce (to be used on everything!  And I do mean everything!  Rice, salmon, grilled veggies, anything you eat!)

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