We know intellectually that every season is different, but sometimes it takes looking back at photos and blog entries from the same time during the previous season for it to really hit home! I checked last year’s June 18th blog entry and found this photo of our crew drowning in massive weeds in the leeks:
We also weeded leeks last week and it took 3 people only an hour and a half to finish most of it. This year’s leeks look like this:
I’d like to say that this is entirely due to better weed management - it is in part, but the weather has also been a big factor! It’s been a much colder spring and weeds have been slower growing and a little easier to manage in spite of frequent rains. Weeds aren’t the only plants growing more slowly because of the weather - our crops are too (notice the leek plants look a little smaller too). Crops are ripening and maturing later this year due to the weather as well - strawberries had already peaked by this time last year and we had been harvesting peas for 2 weeks.
There are definite advantages to the colder and wetter spring, though. We haven’t needed to divert much of our energy towards irrigation (usually a massive time expenditure at this time of year), everything is less weedy and our cool weather-loving crops like lettuce, greens and kale look fantastic. Overall, we’re really happy with how the farm is looking. Our summer crops look really good and we’re particularly glad that this year we have our high tunnel up and running for some of our tomatoes. Every season is certainly different, but there is always a silver lining to each season’s challenges!
This week in the CSA:
Carrots - The first carrots of the season are here! Tender and sweet, they need no preparation other than washing - just snack on them plain!
Swiss chard - One of our favorite greens for flavor and color. It’s related to beets, with a similar sweet earthy flavor. Swiss chard should be cooked - it can be sautéed with garlic and salt, baked in a quiche, braised with beans, wilted on top of pasta, and much more!
Green garlic - We planted a bed of garlic to be harvested green. Chop up the white and purple part and use like you would regular garlic. It has a milder flavor than full-sized cured garlic.
Spinach - This week’s crop of spinach is great for cooking (because it is late in the season for spinach, the leaves aren’t as tender as the early season). This is likely the last week for spinach until the fall.
Kale - we have both green and purple curly kale this week
Lettuce - butterhead, romaine, panisse and red leaf
Red Russian Kale
Sugar snap peas and Shelling peas - To pick, gently hold the plant in place while you snap the stem just above the pea pod. Remove the top before eating (For shelling peas remove the entire pod).
Strawberries - More strawberries are ripening this week, but even with some of the later varieties coming on, it isn’t looking like a banner strawberry year for us. We think it’s due to a combination of the cooler temperatures this spring, and the place where they were planted last year. We need to rotate the strawberries every year to prevent disease, but we think that the spot we rotated them to has slightly poorer soils (we had trouble with eggplant there years ago) and is maybe a bit too shady. We’ve already planted next year’s strawberries in a more prime location and we’ve been diligently maintaining them, so hopefully next season will be better!
Herbs: parsley, dill, cilantro, basil and mint
CSA pick-up hours
Tuesday and Thursday 11am - 6pm
Saturday 9am - 3pm
This week in the farm stand:
We will have all of the veggies listed in the CSA available in the farm store, as well as scallions, honey and mushrooms from Fat Moon.
Farm Store Hours
Tuesday-Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday 9am - 3pm
Quiche with Swiss Chard and Mushroom
by Sue Lau, A Palatable Pastime
3 large pastured organic eggs
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces white or crimini mushrooms, chopped (or try using some Fat Moon Farm oyster or shiitake mushrooms!)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
2 tablespoons butter
5 ounces Swiss chard leaves (no stems), chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
5 ounces Prima Donna aged Gouda cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 prepared pie crust or quiche pastry dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat room temperature eggs with heavy cream in a small bowl. Place pie crust in a deep-dish glass pie plate and crimp edges. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a saute pan and cook mushroom and shallot until browned. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper and stir in chopped chard leaves, cooking only long enough to allow them to wilt; cool mixture. Sprinkle about 2 ounces of the cheese in the bottom of the pie crust and spread vegetables over that, then top with remaining cheese. Pour the custard (cream and egg) mixture over all. Make sure the cheese and vegetables are covered or wet with the custard mixture. Dot with butter pieces and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake quiche uncovered, in a preheated oven, for about 45 minutes or until domed and puffy and custard is set. Allow to sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans
by GABRIELE CORCOS AND DEBI MAZAR, from thekitchen.com
2 pounds Swiss chard, preferably rainbow chard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
Wash the chard leaves and stems well in a large sink of cold water. Lift the chard out of the water, leaving the grit at the bottom of the sink. Shake off the excess water, but do not dry the chard.
Tear the stems from the leaves and chop the stems crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside. Stack the leaves and coarsely chop them. Keep the stems and leaves separate.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the shallot and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 2 minutes.
Add the chard stems and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stems soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the leaves a handful at a time until wilted. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot on its own or on top of bruschetta.
adapted from NYTimes recipe by Martha Rose Shulman
• 3 green garlic, white and purple parts chopped
• 2 heaped tablespoons shelled walnuts
• 4 ounces arugula, stemmed, washed and dried (2 cups leaves, tightly packed)
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed
• ⅓ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, to taste
Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic scapes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the walnuts. Turn on the machine, and process until they are finely ground. Scrape down the bowl again, and add the arugula and the salt. Pulse until the arugula is finely chopped, then turn on the machine and run while you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. When the mixture is smooth, stop the machine, scrape down the sides and process for another 30 seconds or so. Work in the cheese and combine well. Serve with pasta.