This week we are sadly saying goodbye to Emma, one of the first people we hired to work on the farm! For the past 3 seasons, she has been cheerfully helping out customers in the store, thoroughly watering our greenhouses, helping out with harvests, and tackling the various odd jobs we've thrown at her. Emma graduated from CCHS this spring, and she is now off for a well-deserved summer adventure before she heads to college this fall. We will miss this warm, enthusiastic and kind young person, but we know she is off to do good things for the world, and we hope we can entice her back to the farm next summer to do a few more good things for us!
In other farm news, it is the height of weed season! We had been doing a pretty good job keeping on top of the weeds through most of June, but the combination of some inconveniently-timed storms, hotter days, and our field crew being below full strength for a few weeks led to a weed explosion that we are still fighting. We have most of our crew back this week, though, and we're confident that we'll get it under control!
Tuesday and Thursday 11am - 6pm*
Wednesday and Friday 2pm - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm*
*Hours in bold and with an asterisk are also CSA pick-up hours
In the CSA:
- Fresh onions - the variety we harvested this week is called Red Long of Tropea. These are sweeter than the cured dry onions you find in the grocery store (we'll have those later in the season!). These are particularly suited for grilling season. Slice them up raw to put on top of your burgers or grill them with meat or tofu on kebabs.
- Potatoes - the first variety we're harvesting is Red Gold. As the name indicates, it's red skinned with yellow flesh. These potatoes are on the smaller size - perfect for roasting whole or cut in half. Though we've put in a lot of thought and energy into our potatoes this year - we "green sprouted" all our potato seed before planting, kept them virtually weed-free, converted them to drip irrigation, and spent hours hand-picking bugs off of them - we still have small red potatoes thanks to intense Colorado potato beetle and potato leafhopper pressure. The last-resort organic spray we used to use for potato beetles is no longer effective, forcing us to resort to some creative pest control measures (see last week's photo of Lise burning bugs with our flame-weeder!). Some of the later varieties are still alive, though, and we're trying to keep them growing for some larger potatoes later on!
- Summer squash and Zucchini - after a brief burst in production early last week, things slowed down. We're hoping to irrigate this week, which will hopefully trigger some better growth by the end of the week!
- Cabbage - green, purple and caraflex
- Garlic scapes
- Salanova lettuce mix
- Baby bok choy
- Red Russian kale
We clung to strawberry and pea-picking season longer than usual this year, but they are now both officially over. We have lots of nice herbs this week while we wait for the next pick-your-own crops coming soon: green beans and sunflowers.
- Basil- Both the second and third basil plantings are looking nice. One is just past the first planting of basil by the farm stand and the other one is out past where the peas used to be.
- Cilantro - we opened a new cilantro planting last week and it still looks pretty nice!
- Dill - new planting this week, with the third planting of basil out past where the peas used to be.
- Mint (peppermint)
- We may have a small amount of green beans available for picking later in the week.
In the store:
Most everything we have in the CSA will also be available in the store. We'll also have some cucumbers, gooseberries and blueberries (it looks like we may have some rain showers this week, and on those days berries may not be harvested if it's too wet before we open). Another exciting item that will make a limited appearance this week: our own greenhouse-grown tomatoes! The tomatoes were an experiment this year, so we just have small quantities, but if it's a success, we'll grow more next year. As usual, we'll also have mushrooms and eggs.
This week we're focusing on two recipes that not only make good use of the cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic scapes and baby bok choi, but also the wide variety of herbs available!
Sweet “Winter” Slaw
Adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi
I know the recipe calls this a winter slaw (cabbage is after all a winter staple), but this is so refreshing and is a perfect use of the mini cabbages and herbs we have right now!
For the dressing
- 6 ½ tbsp lime juice
- 1 lemon grass stalk, chopped into small pieces
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 4 tbsp light olive oil
For the salad
- 1 ¼ cups macadamia nuts (or cashew nuts)
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 6 oz shredded caraflex cabbage
- 10 oz shredded red cabbage
- 1 mango cut into thin strips
- 1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and cut into strips (or you can just do extra mango instead!)
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin slices
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients except the olive oil into a small saucepan, and reduce for five to 10 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Remove from the heat. Once it has cooled down, strain into a bowl, stir in the oil and set aside.
Put the macadamias in a hot frying pan and dry-roast for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly coloured on all sides. Add the butter and, once it has melted, the sugar, salt and chilli. Use a wooden spoon to stir constantly, to keep the nuts coated in the sugar as it caramelises. Be careful because this will take only a minute or two and the nuts can burn very quickly. Turn out the nuts on to a sheet of greaseproof paper and, once cool, roughly chop them.
Put the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl, along with the rest of the salad ingredients. Add the cool dressing, toss and taste. Add salt if you need to, and serve immediately.
Vegetable Summer Rolls
Gourmet | May 2001
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove (or scape), minced
- 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ounce bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds
- 2 lettuce leaves, ribs cut out and discarded and leaves halved
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced bok choi or Napa cabbage
- 1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot (1 medium)
Cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer, whisking, 1 minute, then cool.
Make summer rolls:
Cover noodles with boiling-hot water and soak 15 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste. Put a double thickness of paper towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels. Arrange 1 piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Spread one fourth of peanut sauce over lettuce and top with one fourth each of mint, basil, cabbage, and noodles. Roll up rice paper tightly around filling and, after rolling halfway, arrange one fourth of cilantro and carrot along crease. Then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer summer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels. Make 3 more rolls in same manner. Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.