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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of June 12th

This week's *tentative CSA menu:

Snow Peas
Zucchini
Romaine
Radishes
Spring Onions
Swiss Chard
Cucumbers
Mixed Greens
Fresh Mint (Full Share)
Yellow Onion

The first heat wave is in effect, with temperatures expected to reach 90 degrees for most of the week. Our irrigation system and lines have been ready and in place for the anticipated dry summer heat. We use two different types of watering methods: drip tape and overhead irrigation. Drip tape is the most common irrigation method used around our farm. Before planting, when we are preparing the beds and soil to receive transplants, we line black irrigation drip tape down the center of each row. Each transplant or seed is then planted closely beside the drip tape so that the water goes(drips) directly into their root system. Most of our fields have 8 rows of crops growing with 8 lines of drip tape that are connected to a manifold at the beginning of each field. The manifold is the direct connection between the drip tape and our farm's well. Since we do not have access to a stream or other naturally flowing ground water, we had a 500 ft. well dug in the early 90s that works fantastically for our farm's needs. In the heat of summer, during a week like this, we are irrigating 24 hours around the clock to keep up with our watering demands. It is simply a matter of water pressure that keeps us from being able to water everything at once. So, we are constantly moving from field to field turning on and off different irrigation zones and their manifolds all around the farm. It takes a lot of field management skills to rotate, prioritize, and continuously check on the soil conditions during the dry season. The first heat wave of June is typically when our first zucchini squash is harvested and it is right on schedule with making its first appearance this week in our packing house. We grow two varieties of zucchini: green and gold. Both taste and look very similar and you will definitely be seeing a lot of it over the next weeks/months to come. Our strawberry season is winding down along with spring onions and radishes. The week's leafy green is our beautiful and lush Swiss chard. Chard belongs to the same family as spinach and you can cook it just the same. I always recommend sautéing it with onions and garlic and eating over potatoes with some shredded cheese. Or try incorporating it into an omelet or breakfast frittata. Snow peas are in this week. They are sweet and delicious and can be eaten raw on salads or sautéed in a stir fry. They do not get shelled and only need the tops "capped" and removed before eating. If you are sautéing, they only take a few short minutes to cook until they are bright green and tender.

Khaya's Korner
Hi everyone. Khaya here. Today we made strawberry jam. We had to cut the tops off of strawberries so we could put them in a special blender. Then, we added sugar and pectin and boiled the strawberry puree in a really big pot. When it was ready, we started an assembly line. First, my dad ladled out the puree in the jars. Then, I wiped off the top of the jars. After that, my brother put the lids on the jars. Finally, my mom put the jars in a pot. We got two batches done in a short amount of time. Last but not least, we ate peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for lunch. Strawberry jam sure tastes good! Ciao, Khaya Brownback

Swiss Chard & Potatoes
1 bunch of Swiss chard, (chopped fine and use the ribs)
1 large onion chopped,
4 garlic cloves- minced,
1-2 green pepper, diced, (also tastes great with one cut carrot)!
1/2lb bacon- minced before cooking (bacon optional but oh very yummy),
3 C sliced boiled potatoes,
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Heat 2 T olive oil in large skillet. Add bacon, onion, garlic, and green pepper stir until veggies are cooked through. Then add the chopped Swiss Chard, stir until it wilts, and then cover pan and let steam for another 5 minutes.
Butter a 9x13 pan and cover bottom with 1/2 chard mix. Then layer with 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 cheese.
Top this with the 2nd layer and finish with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

"Spring Fling"
1 C snow peas, capped and strings removed
4 pearl onions, the spring onion bulb, cleaned, not green tops
2 C chopped potatoes with skins
2 C water, ½ t salt
1 T finely minced parsley
pepper to taste
½ C cream or half and half
Bring potatoes, salt, and water to a boil, then simmer till potatoes are just tender. Add the peas and onions to top of pot and allow to steam with a lid on, just until onions are soft and peas are still bright green. Then drain off potato water, save for soup or broth making. Stir in the cream and pepper to taste. Serve yourself up a bowl, a traditional Spring dish and so delicious. This recipe can be easily doubled.

Roasted Radishes with Herbs from the Washington Post: cookbook author Ellie Krieger
1 bunch of radishes trimmed, with ½ of the stem left on, and halved
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chopped parsley leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place radishes in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and toss with the oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the radishes so they are facing down. Roast for 20 to 25 mins, until tender and the cut sides are lightly browned. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle the herbs and more salt (if desired). Serve warm or at room temperature

Swiss Chard Hearty Breakfast -- for 4---or make it for lunch and supper
Sauté in heavy skillet: 3 T butter, Swiss Chard, 5 leaves and stems, chopped, 1 T minced fresh garlic, 1 T minced spring onions, 1 t salt, ¼ t pepper. Stir until onions and garlic are lightly browned, stir in chopped Swiss chard till wilted.
Optional: Add some sliced pastured-raised cooked sausage, ham, or bacon
Now your choice how to do the eggs: Use fresh pastured raised eggs (the yolks stand up firm and dark orange) Cook over easy or eggs scrambled. Serve the greens skillet mix as a side dish and serve with hearty whole grain toast! This is the kind of breakfast that keeps us farmers going all morning.

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