June 24th 2010 Newsletter:
It has been great to meet so many wonderful new people over the past couple of weeks and to begin harvesting and distributing all the tasty spring vegetables. Thank you for your big smiles and enthusiasm... it makes our work all the more rewarding.
We still have shares available! Please pass the word on to your friends and neighbors.
The steady rain and recent heat has been great for our crops. On Monday we harvested our first summer squash and zucchini. The beets, kohlrabi, and napa cabbages are other welcomed recent additions to the share menu. There is an ongoing abundant crop of all manner of salad greens, big beautiful braising kale and chard, and at least another week of the hardier spring vegetables like turnips, radishes, scallions, and garlic scapes. We expect to begin picking baby carrots and cucumbers by late next week, with fresh onions and garlic soon to follow. Our later season crops are enjoying the weather as well and growing big and strong. Our pick-your-own field is blooming with flowers, herbs and the treasured spring treat of sugar snap peas. Members are welcome to pick anytime, there is a field map and picking instructions and supplies on the sign-in table in the shareroom.
Music at the Farm!
We are very excited to be hosting singer-songwriter DeBlois Milledge for a fun-filled evening of music on Thursday July 1st from 6-8pm. DeBlois writes folk/pop/country tunes to shake your hip and hum along to. She and Danny Campbell on drums are coming all the way from over on the other coast, swinging through town on a Northeast tour. The show is sliding scale $5-$10 to give the musicians a little traveling money. Kids are free (and kids are known to love their shows). We will be outside in our makeshift farm amphitheater (straw bales instead of stadium seats) and for even further enjoyment we recommend bringing along a picnic dinner or beverages (like Tanglewood only you’ll have better seats).
An important note about parking: as most of you know, the main parking is located on the south side of the property, across the field from the barn. The area right next to the barn is simply too small and too busy with foot traffic to safely accommodate cars pulling in and out. We reserve a couple of spaces in the area by the barn for handicap parking and for those who have a hard time walking from the other lot. For everyone else, we hope you can enjoy the stroll through the field to the barn. There are two paths, one from either end of the parking lot. These paths are MUCH more pleasant, and also much safer then walking along the road. Please resist walking along the road edge, it makes us very nervous!
Spotlight on Lynn’s Laughing Layers
As you now know we have some staple items for sale in the shareroom including milk, cheese, eggs, bread, honey, and popcorn (yes, popcorn counts as a staple).
Some of you also know that Michael and Lynn from Food Bank Farm have been raising laying hens for the past two years. The chickens roam freely in a large rotating pasture where they can express their natural urge to peck and scratch at grass and grubs. They also get a substantial helping of our leftover greens at the end of each share day. Lynn’s Laughing Layers spend their days walking around in the sunshine, a very different lifestyle then most commercial layers (including many labeled organic). Not only can you feel great about the farming practices, you will definitely see and taste a difference. Michael bikes the eggs over from his house and they are always for sale in the shareroom.
Thank you to all of you... and to the plants and the elements... for a great start to the season!
Ray, Tory and the whole Next Barn Over crew
-Late June Recipes-
Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish that is delicious, healthy, and good for aiding digestion. A piece of wisdom from wikipedia: The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi... (so don’t worry if you can’t stick exactly to the recipe). This recipe thanks to Kristen from the crew.
1 head napa cabbage
1 head bok choy (or 4 baby heads)
4 salad turnips
4 garlic scapes
2 TBSP fresh ginger (or 2 tsp dried)
Fresh or dried hot pepper to taste
3 TBSP salt for every 5 lb vegetables
Finely slice napa cabbage and bok choy. Grate turnips and radishes, and dice scapes and scallions. Add ginger and hot pepper to taste. Toss all ingredients in a bowl with salt. Feel free to vary the amounts of any of the ingredients above depending on taste and what you've got - just be sure to keep about the same ratio of salt to veggies (3 TBSP salt should be added for every 5 lb of vegetables), since the amount of salt controls the fermentation. Put the mixture in a ceramic crock, large glass jar, small plastic bucket, or other non-metallic container. Press down on the veggies and water should come out to form a brine. Put a small plate or other weight on top of the veggies to keep them under the brine. Cover the container (just make sure the cover isn't airtight) and place it in your cellar or another spot away from the heat of the day - ideally around 65 degrees. Leave it for about 1 week, checking it daily to keep track of progress and to make sure the vegetables stay submerged under the brine. As soon as it's done (whenever it starts tasting delicious!), move it to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation. Kimchi will keep in the fridge for weeks (if its not all eaten by then!).
Simple Swiss Chard
Adapted from Bear Swamp Farm
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve. (Also a delicious way to cook Kale!)
Easy Beet Salad
small sweet onion
1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Cut beets into quarters if their small, or thick slices if their large. Boil or steam until their soft (but still somewhat firm, not mushy). Place the sliced onions in a colander and when the beets are done pour them and their water into the colander over the onions – the hot beets sitting on top of the onions cooks the onions just a little bit. Let cool. Toss in sesame seeds and balsamic vinegar and mix everything together.
Other veggie ideas...
- Garlic scapes make great pesto thrown in the food processor with olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt
- Napa cabbage is delicious raw or cooked. It is a mild sweet cabbage, lighter then the fall cabbage and very fresh tasting. It is fabulous chopped raw as a salad or slaw and also works in stir-fry. It is also tasty as a wrap...take the large leaves and use them to wrap a spoonful of goat cheese or pesto.
- Kohlrabi is great peeled and sliced raw with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (or lemon); roasted with butter; or peeled and sliced into any salad (p.s. Kristen went so far as to say that Kohlrabi is the “best vegetable around”)
- Because our beets are grown without pesticides, and because they are so tender, there is no need to peel them. Try boiling, steaming or sautéing them, or grating them raw into salad, without peeling them, and you may find out you like it better (we do!). Beet greens are also delicious. Throw them in the pot of boiling beets at the end to steam them for a couple minutes. Try them with butter or vinegar.