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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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week of May 1st

Projected CSA Harvest Menu:

Rhubarb
Swiss Chard
Spring Onions
Sweet Potatoes
Mixed Greens
Radishes
Yellow Onions
Baby Kale
Asparagus (Full Share Only) Slim harvest from the rain

We're kicking off the month of May with a vibrant and colorful share harvest with our beloved asparagus and rhubarb in-tow. Both crops are springtime treasures that we are so excited to have in from the fields. When it's sunny during asparagus season, we must harvest daily to keep up with how fast they grow. New spears can grow up to a foot in 24 hours, so we are out there first thing every morning collecting the delicacy before it gets too tall. Since it is a perennial, asparagus is a fairly easy crop to grow and take care of. It takes about 3 years after planting asparagus roots to see and harvest a decent number of spears. A strong asparagus patch can then yield for up to 20 years. Our oldest field this season is 14 years old and coming in very strong. The older the patch, the more it will produce. Since we are proudly organic, the weed control around asparagus does get difficult, especially in the spring during its harvest. Since we cannot mow or till the asparagus patch, our solution was to cover the field in straw mulch to keep the weeds down and hold in the moisture. The straw will then eventually break down and add its nutrients to the soil for the next season. Once the peak harvest is over, the asparagus will grow to around 5 feet tall and look like a field of ferns by mid-June. We leave the ferns to feed the roots until next spring through photosynthesis. Asparagus is one of the oldest vegetables on record, valued highly by the ancient Greeks and Romans. You should try to eat your asparagus as soon as possible since they are known to lose their sweetness after harvest, like corn. Store your asparagus in a sealed bag in the fridge. Keeping the spears in water can actually leech out the nutrients! You may have noticed a particular odor when asparagus is leaving the body...We call that our "spring tonic" flush out from all the incredible nutrients and antioxidants provided from the vegetable. This is a very normal and natural occurrence.

Rhubarb is also an old-world perennial that can yield up to 25 years. Luckily, we do not need to harvest it daily like asparagus! Rhubarb is a very tart fruit that is typically used in pies, crisps, or syrups. Chop the stalks into 1-inch segments and bake in any sweet recipe. Rhubarb is loaded with dietary fibers, vitamin C, and protein. Both green and red varieties are ripe and ready to be used when they arrive in your share. They can store up to several weeks in the fridge or you can freeze them for a later date. Rhubarb can be a great substitute for cranberries in any recipe. Please note that we remove the leaves since they are *poisonous!
Common recipes: Rhubarb Apple Pie, Rhubarb Crisp, Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

Swiss Chard is a red beauty from the spinach and beet family. Chop thin and use the entire stem and leaves as a cooking green. Chard is known to have a slightly bitter taste, so sauté and season it up on some rice, eggs, or potatoes. You can substitute it into any recipe for spinach, kale, or collards.

Rhubarb Crisp from Deirdre Brownback
Cut enough rhubarb into 3/4th inch pieces to measure 4 cups. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Transfer the mixture into a glass baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup rolled oats, and 1 stick butter(chopped) and mix well. Sprinkle this mixture over the rhubarb mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Oven Roasted Asparagus
Wash asparagus and trim (if any) tough stalk ends off asparagus
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Layout asparagus on an oiled baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generous amount of salt. Using your fingers, distribute the oil and salt on asparagus by lifting and turning.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the stalks are starting to brown and are tender. May serve this dish cold or warm. Sprinkle with your favorite herb or parmesan cheese. An easy and delicious way to enjoy this spring delight.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos
3 cups sweet potatoes (diced with skins on) & 1/2 onion (chopped)
Sautee in large frypan in 1 t oil just until tender. Add water or apple juice as needed to prevent sticking.
2 C cooked black beans, 1 t ground cumin, 3/4 t ground cinnamon, 1/2 t salt Add and cook until heated through.
8 flour tortillas & 1- 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
-Divide bean mixture and cheese among the tortillas and roll up. Place in a 9x13" baking pan. Lightly spray with olive oil if desired. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, and fresh cilantro.

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 shallot, chopped-spring onions, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained-
salt and pepper to taste, 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped, 1 tomato, sliced, 1/2 lemon, juiced.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in shallot and spring onions; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in garbanzo beans, and season with salt and pepper; heat through. Place chard in pan, and cook until wilted. Add tomato slices, squeeze lemon juice over greens, and heat through and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Blackened Asparagus
Asparagus, cut into 2" segments
2 tbsp. butter
½ tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
Melt butter on high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) on high heat, allow to brown slightly. Add asparagus & seasonings all at once. Stir often over high heat, till asparagus begins to blacken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat before asparagus gets soft. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and enjoy!

Chard Lentil Soup
1-1/2 C lentils, 1 bunch Swiss Chard- chopped, 1/2 C olive oil, 3-4 cloves garlic
Salt, freshly ground pepper, 3/4 C chopped onion, 1 rib celery, chopped, 3/4 C lemon juice.
Put lentils in pot and cover with water and cook covered till tender, about 45 minutes. Add chard and 1 C water, cook until the chard is wilted. Sauté onion, garlic, celery, and 1/2 t salt in olive oil. Add to the lentils. Add lemon juice and stir into the soup. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve with crusty French bread. Suggested toppings for the soup bowl: chopped tomatoes and parsley, sour cream/yogurt, your favorite herbs.

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