What’s in the Box: Mesclun mix, lettuce mix, red radishes, joi-choy, bok-choy, chives, butter crunch lettuce heads.
What’s going on at the farm: We made it to the first week of shares so first I would like to welcome everyone back or to their first season with us! As usual, our first box of the year includes many fresh and tender greens. Here is the run down on some of them.
Choy: Both the joi-choy (white stem) and bak-choy (green stem) are best used as a saute green or side dish but is also good with rice or in a stir fry with onions. Our choy has a bit of insect damage this spring (the small holes in the leaves). Those are from the ever-pesky flea beetle, the nemesis of organic farmers everywhere. We think the damage is minimal and does not affect the taste, so we let them get their little snack in instead of spraying organic pesticides which are very costly and even though they are organic and safe they can kill beneficial bugs which just increases our dependance on sprays. We tend to go the route of providing a physical barrier of fabric over our crops to keep insects out but since we interplanted these delicious chinese cabbage amidst our strawberries we were not able to prohibit their snacking with covers. I hope everyone will enjoy these cabbages despite the “bullet holes”.
Radish: Radishes are very crisp and not too spicy with all this rain we’ve had. They go well with the salad greens but are also good sautéed or roasted. They also store better with the tops off so remove the tops if you will not be using them right away to keep them crisper. The tops on the radishes are edible too and can be used as a sauté green if you wish.
Mesclun mix and lettuce mix: Mesclun is a blend of baby kale, lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, and choy. It is a great, well-balanced salad mix with a little spice from the arugula. Our other mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, also great for salads or sandwiches. I like to throw in some dried cranberries, or some crunchy seeds in my salads as well as chives.
Chives: The spicy chive blossoms on your chives make a great garnish for salads and other dishes. They are edible along with the chive which is our earliest onion offering. Use the rest of the chive to sautee with the choy in stir fry or sprinkled over your morning eggs or other dishes.
Buttercrunch lettuce: Lastly, the butter crunch lettuce head’s best feature is a dense and blanched head in the center which is both creamy and crunchy and large outer bib leaves which can also be used along with the center for wraps or rolls.
On the farm: There has been and will be a lot of weed pulling, seeding, transplanting, pruning, and trellising work going on here through the late spring and summer. It was a cold and very very wet spring this year but we have managed to stay ahead of our planting schedule and are all caught up despite the cool spring. In May so far we have planted many tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, leeks, cauliflower, radishes, arugula, lettuce, beets, peppers, carrots, fennel and more. It’s been go, go, go, every day all day and we have been working very hard. Our fields are looking wonderful and showing the results of all this effort and it looks like a beautiful and tasty season ahead of us. Being a small farm, we do a lot by hand but we are excited to have acquired some new equipment this year and hope it will help our ability to produce. We are getting strawberries developing and slowly ripening so there should be a nice crop of organic strawberries coming along very soon in June. Some other crops coming next week or two to look forward to include kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce heads, kale, swiss chard, beets, and garlic scapes. Weekly box photos will be updated by a photographer for each newsletter every Tuesday to help you identify your produce and promote shares. We are still taking signups too for those who have friends or family interested in signing up. I hope everyone enjoys the first week of shares and we will be seeing some of you at the drop sites.