What’s in the Box:
Arugula, lettuce mix, mesclun salad mix, red radishes, bok-choy, chives with blossoms, butter crunch lettuce head, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, rhubarb, broccoli, and spinach.
What’s going on at the farm:
Welcome everyone back or to their first season with us! I am so excited to kick off my twelfth season with what I would say is my best first weeks share ever, and the fields and crops are looking very full and promising for the coming year. As usual, the first box of the year includes many fresh and tender greens. Crispy, crunchy, and fresh is the spring theme that connects them all; so here is the run down on each of these crops I chose to grow for you this spring!
Rhubarb: Rhubarb may be the quintessential image of spring as far as i’m concerned. These tart and tender stalks are best chopped and sprinkled with a mix of oats, flour, egg, cinnamon, sugar for a nice warm crisp in the morning. Or maybe a tart or pie, or other baking idea like muffins or bread?
Radish: Radishes are very sweet and 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.
Choy: bak-choy 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 as they only tend to bother a few of our greens like this choi and the arugula in the spring.
Arugula: This tasty salad green is a bold and spicy member of the radish family. It can be used as a cooking green as well as a salad green.
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 and mustards. Our other mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, in romaine and salad bowl types, it is also great for salads or mixing with the other greens or on 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.
Broccoli: Who doesn’t love broccoli? This veggie has way more nutritional value when its fresh out of the field then it normally does so eat it soon for best flavor! This broccoli crop happened to get hit hard in the late snow we had this year so it buttoned up, which means it made small heads prematurely due to temperature stress. They are good eating anyways if we pick them now so everyone is getting as much broccoli as we can swing this week! I’ve all ready seeded a second crop of broccoli which is racing to follow up this crop so better luck on the next run is my hope here.
Pea Shoots: These fresh tendrils are the first micro green we ventured into last year and they have a light sweet flavor similar to a fresh pea pod. They can be eaten as a salad green or even lightly sautéed with garlic and ginger, etc… for a fresh stir fry topping over rice or fish, etc…great for use as a garnish as well.
Sunflower Shoots: These are new micro green for us this year and they are a crunchy and nutty fresh shoot that can be eaten as a snack or salad green or even blended into smoothies. I am really enjoying these the most in my salads at home lately mixed with all sorts of other salad greens. Cara, one of the employees made some awesome pesto with these as well using the shoots, walnuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.
Spinach: Spinach was not only Popeye’s favorite vitamin packed veggie but it’s one of mine as well. Spinach pie or spanakopita, quiche, and pasta dishes are great ideas for all sorts of meals with spinach. I enjoy spinach and lentils as well.
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, shallots, summer squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, leeks, cauliflower, radishes, peppers, 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. Tomatoes are even setting in the greenhouse. We got bees with the help of partnering with a neighboring beekeeper and are happy to have pollinators on the farm! Being a small farm, we do a lot by hand and we have been enjoying the long spring days of work in preparation for this season and the first big harvest/delivery week. We are getting strawberries developing so there should be a nice crop of organic strawberries coming along later in June. Weekly box photos will be updated by a photographer who is a worker share at the farm for each newsletter every Tuesday to help you identify your produce. We also have the veggie ID section on the website to help you with that in combination with the weekly photo. There are some recipe resources on the website as well. We are still taking signups too for those who have friends or family interested in signing up there is room for more families left. I hope everyone enjoys the first week of shares and we will be seeing some of you at the drop sites. I hope you enjoy your first week of veggies! Thanks everyone!