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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of May 8

Tentative CSA Menu:

Rhubarb
Spring Onions
Sweet Potatoes
Kale
Baby Arugula
Yellow Onions
Basil
Swiss Chard (Full Share only)

Last week ended with a total of 4 inches of rain in the span of Thursday through Saturday. Just enough water per day to really soak the ground of our spring crops' roots and give them the best chance to grow and thrive. Rainy days followed by clear skies and sunshine is exactly what causes plants to really "explode" in growth. Low over-night temperatures are expected this week and we are taking all precautionary measures to protect our plants. Our first wave of summer crops like tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and cucumbers are all out in the fields and vulnerable to a killing frost. Our solution is to tuck them in every night under a warm blanket. Seriously, we do cover each field with a 1-acre floating row cover that acts like a blanket by holding in the warmth of the ground for the transplants. In the morning after the sun rises, we then remove the row covers. This process can be very time consuming and labor intensive but it is their only chance of survival through a frost, not to mention our livelihood and your future food! The row covers are held down with heavy homemade sandbags that line the sides of the fields and we 'cross our fingers' that it isn't windy during covering or removing. Aside from frost protection, some crops are kept under the floating row covers, even during the day, as a shield from pests. Cucumber plants, for example, are very susceptible to devastating beetles and our best organic defense is to always have them covered to block out the insects. The row covers are made of a soft recycled fabric that lets full sun and rain come through. Once the cucumber plants begin to flower, the row covers are permanently removed so that the pollinators can assist the plants in producing an actual cucumber.

CSA Menu Notes:
Baby Arugula is an aromatic peppery salad green that is very popular in Italian cuisine. It is very low in calories and is high in vitamins A and C. A half cup serving is equal to 2 calories. Mix it into your salad, try baking it on a pizza, or sauté with some lemon aside fish. It also seems to be very popular amongst the bugs living in the greenhouse as we have been seeing a lot of bite marks on the arugula leaves. Or as we like to call it: "sheer proof of organic!"

Basil is the first herb harvested this season, coming out of a greenhouse. With strong aroma and flavor, basil just needs a tiny amount pinched or minced into a salad, sandwich, casserole, or soup. Please remember to never refrigerate basil. It does best when kept at room temperature, out of sunlight, in the bag given. Enjoy!

Khaya's Korner
Hi everyone! Khaya here. This weekend, my mom made two strawberry- rhubarb crisps to take to a party. They were delicious! We used frozen strawberries and fresh rhubarb for the best taste. My grandparents bought my dad, Will, an ice cream maker for his birthday this year. We made vanilla ice cream to eat with the strawberry- rhubarb crisps. Anyways, leaf pop-out day was sometime last week. All you can see going down our driveway is green. I have to bike out to my bus in the morning, and it's really beautiful!

Rhubarb Chutney for roasted chicken, pork, or on crispy bread with sharp or goat cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from one 1-inch piece)
Coarse salt
1/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/3 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunch of rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add wine and raisins. Return to heat, and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Add sugar, and stir until it dissolves. Stir in half the rhubarb. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until rhubarb breaks down, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining rhubarb. Raise heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until second batch of rhubarb just begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

  • Sample the finished chutney, and adjust the flavor. If it's too tart, add sugar. If it's too sweet, add a little white-wine vinegar. Chutney can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Arugula Salad serves about 3
Arrange a lovely handful of chopped arugula leaves (wash before serving) in individual bowls. Top with ½ C chopped apples or ½ C chopped pears. Take 3/4 C chopped walnuts and toast on low in a heavy pan for 5 minutes. Drizzle with 1 T maple syrup. Allow glazed walnuts to cool. Top the arugula salad with 2 T glazed walnuts and a light sweet balsamic dressing. Easy, fast, elegant, nutritious and... very tasty.

Chicken and Kale in Parmesan Sauce
1 bunch kale, stemmed & chopped
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp vinegar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp butter
3 oz grated parmesan cheese
1/2 lb boneless chicken breast, diced
Combine kale, water, vinegar & salt in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until kale is wilted, remove from heat and drain, reserving the liquid, set kale aside.
Combine the reserved liquid & diced chicken in saucepan, cook until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in kale, heavy cream, butter & pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes until mixture is hot, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the mixture, stir until melted and sauce thickens.

Arugula/Portabella Béchamel Sauce over Rice, Quinoa, or Pasta
5 oz. arugula chopped
2 large portabella mushrooms chopped, sauté in ¼ cup butter
Add arugula and allow it to wilt
Stir in ½ tsp. Italian seasoning (1 tsp. minced garlic, 1/8 tsp. pepper, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. fresh minced ginger)
Add 2 cups white sauce and stir
Serve over pasta, rice, or quinoa

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