Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week Three

Veggies in your bag this week:

-Napa Cabbage (Monday only, Thursday will possibly get broccoli or some other delightful thing:)
-Lacinato Kale
-Endive/Frisee’ (these two names are used interchangeably…they are also very similar to Escarole and probably any recipe for Escarole would work with this green too).
-Lettuce
-Beets
-Snow Peas
-Green Onions
-Garlic Scapes (the long curly cue—chop and add to a stir-fry for a mild garlic flavor).

Our two-week onslaught of rain was capped off Tuesday evening with 1¾ inches in less than an hour. Needless to say the already saturated ground couldn’t absorb all that water fast enough and some rivers of mud began moving through the vegetables, mainly noted in the lettuce. So if you find some muddy lettuce, that’s why.

It is interesting to look back at what was happening on the farm a year ago. In my week three newsletter, I noted the explosion of potato beetles, weeding til dusk on the solstice and picking so much broccoli we didn’t know what to do with it all. Well, each year is different. This year we can still count on both hands how many potato beetles we’ve picked off (amazing really—must be due to moving fields) and less weeding (I can actually see all of our crops this year and I am not planning to abandon anything because it’s too weedy).

Our bees swarmed for real this year, taking the queen with them, leaving half the population behind to rear a new queen. As I contemplated the disloyalty of the bees to me, I tried to stay positive. There is much to be learned from the life of bees: if it’s too crowded, move on to new places; if you lose your leader, rear a new one; store all that you can for winter—it’s guaranteed to be long and cold; honey is the nectar of life.

Two-Way Street Beets from the MACSAC cookbook

A member pointed this recipe out to me last year. I finally had the chance to make it and finally fell in love with beets (even farmers don’t like all the vegetables).

1 bunch of small-medium beets
juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon butter
pepper
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili oil
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut beets off stems. Gently scrub beets. Wash the greens. Cut stems into 3-inch pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set aside stems and greens in separate piles. Steam beets until tender, 20-30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter, and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add greens; cook, tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter.

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