Your Projected Share Menu this week:
Keep in a bag in the veg drawer of the fridge and do not wash until using
Trim roots and tops and store in a bag in the veg drawer
Hearty survivors from last year's harvest. Do not refrigerate. Store on a countertop away from direct sunlight
Store in a small sealed plastic bag in the fridge
Store bagged lettuce right in the veg drawer of the fridge
Harvested last fall and a proven to be a successful staple in home cooking
Does not need refrigerated
Keep in a sealed plastic bag away from moisture in the fridge
Please recycle all of the share boxes each week by leaving them at your pickup site
A beautiful hot and dry forecast for this week is exactly what we love to see and will surely give the farm some headway on planting outside. Rain is obviously wonderful but it also delays and prevents us from being able to work the ground when it is so wet. These sunny dry spells are giving us lots of time to plow, disc, and get all the fields prepped for transplants. This week, we will be planting lots of kale, cabbage, and parsley. April is also always the month to get all of our head lettuces into the ground like romaine, red, and green leaf that you will all see later in May. This weather reminds me of the ideal California growing climate- where you just need to "add water." Of course that brings up the alarming problem of water scarcity on the west coast and just like them, we are irrigating every day in this weather. In the greenhouse this week, we are seeding our first waves of zucchini, cucumbers, and cantaloupes! I know we are all craving fresh fruit with the warm weather and we are so happy to report that the strawberries are looking good as well as the black raspberries.
You may be wondering if some crops will be coming early this year from the random warm weeks we had in March? At this point, everything is projected to be ready at its typical harvest times for us. March was a roller coaster month of having 75 and 19 degrees happening in the same week. We did get excited and took some risks getting crops into the ground early during that time. Luckily, we did not have to experience any type of loss and were readily prepared for a cold snap. Much needed time and labor was spent covering all crops in the field with our 1-acre floating cloth row covers that give plants a "greenhouse protection" from frost. This type of spring has been particularly hard on stone fruits like peaches and plums. Our hearts go out to our friends and local fruit growers in Adams County. Many trees began to bud and flower early and then were sadly frozen within a week. Unfortunately, fruit trees will only bud/flower once a year. Every flower is a peach; every bud is a plum. This situation really emphasizes the major differences between growing fruits versus vegetables and hopefully sheds some light onto the risks of growing and the cost of buying fruits – especially organic!
Sweet Potatoes are a great first food for babies. They are easy to digest, sweet, and very healthy. Peel, cube, and simmer in water until they are soft. Then put it in a baby food blender, processor, or simple blender. This will make a lot, so the trick is to fill up an ice cube tray of it to freeze. Then you can easily pop them out to store separately in a bag of baby portions to thaw as needed. This was all of the Brownback kids' first food and is currently devoured by Will's 6-month old daughter, Isla.
Garlic Chives are fresh and ready to add flavor to anything. They taste great on salads, eggs, casseroles, meat, and of course – a baked potato.
Collards sautéed will taste similar to kale or spinach. I recommend cooking with raw bacon and onions for no longer than 10 mins. It's a great side dish or topping to rice or potatoes. Do not overcook collards! The best way to prepare is by stacking and rolling the bunch tightly together and chopping very finely including the stems
Shepherd's Pie//Collards Style
1 bunch collards, sliced and then chopped fine 1 / 2 lb bacon, chopped uncooked * optional
1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Cups thinly sliced carrots 1 / 4 C sesame oil
4 C mashed gold potatoes
2 C shredded cheddar cheese 1 / 2 t salt & 1 / 4 t pepper
2 T tamari sauce –this is naturally fermented soy sauce, great flavor
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet, add bacon (optional,) onions, garlic, carrots, stir and cook till translucent. Add collards all at once and stir to coat. Add 2 T water to steam and cover on med heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When collards are fully softened, add the tamari sauce, and stir. Place this mix in a 9x13 glass lasagna pan. Cover with mashed potatoes, and top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. This is so tasty. May use with any type of cooking green
SPRING SPINACH MEDLEY
1 bunch of spinach, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 C grated cheese (sharp is best or 1 / 2 C parmesan)
Salt/pepper to taste
Noodles or brown rice, cooked
Sauté onions and garlic in hot olive oil until soft. Add spinach, allow to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the beaten eggs, stir, and turn off heat. Add the cheese and allow to melt and the eggs to firm up with lid on. Serve over rice or noodles. The addition of about 1 cup of ricotta cheese is also delicious. One cup of spinach provides 5 grams of protein.
Enjoy now, spinach likes cool weather only.
Collards Sweet Potato Pot
1 lb. Italian sausage hot or sweet *Optional- see note below.
4 Tbsp. chopped spring onion (minced green & white parts)
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch collards (leaves & small stems chopped)
2 C cubed raw sweet potatoes (skins on)
2 C sweet corn (from freezer- no thaw)
Cook sausage in heavy pot (whole links). Remove sausage and cool. Slice links thin and reserve for later. Add all other vegetables except corn to the sausage pot. Add 1 / 4 cup water, 1 tsp. salt, 1 / 4 tsp. pepper (if using sweet sausage). Cover and stir often over medium heat with lid. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender. Add frozen corn and stir to heat. Then add sliced sausage. Stir until all is heated. Serve as is or over rice or noodles. *Note- sausage is optional- use olive oil to sauté the vegetables if not using sausage. Also- this recipe can be substituted with kale
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Scrub medium sweet potatoes. If very large cut into medium size pieces. Do not peel!! Wrap in foil. Bake for about one hour at 400 degrees. They often create drippings, so place on a baking sheet for easier oven clean-up.
Spinach Pasta Salad
Toss the following ingredients:
16 oz. Spinach leaves
1 bunch asparagus cooked and sliced into 1" pieces
1 leek thinly sliced
1 lb. Cooked and drained penne pasta
3 / 4 c. toasted sliced almonds
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
Add the following dressing:
1 / 2 c. olive oil
4 T. rice vinegar
4 T. soy sauce
3 T. fresh chopped basil