Our newsletter from June 15:
Dear CSA members,
It’s been a bit of a bittersweet week for us. K College’s commencement was Sunday and we said goodbye to the fabulous group of sixteen senior students who we’ve been working and learning with for almost two months in our “Slow Farming: Just, Resilient, and Joyful Agriculture” course. The students come out to the farm each week and we teach them about everything that goes into growing food organically (okay, maybe we don’t cover everything in ten weeks!). Then we meet on campus once each week and the students teach us about different food systems issues such as agricultural policy; food justice, access, and sovereignty; health and nutrition; and lots more. This is always a fun class for us to teach, but this year’s group was especially engaging. We’ll miss them a lot, though we are also looking forward to having the time to just focus on the farm for the next couple of months.
We did get our “heavy rain” this week, didn’t we? John estimated that we’ve had over 3 inches now. We did need some rain, but it can quit now, thank you very much! Most of the crops already in the ground are doing fine despite being a bit waterlogged. We do have more transplants (like our winter squashes and a few more tomatoes and peppers) to plant, though, and all this water is going to delay that for at least a few more days.
We’ve got more leaves and roots in your boxes today. It occurs to me that I haven’t yet written this year about how to keep your leafy vegetables crisp in your refrigerator, so I should probably say a few words about that. It is important that the leaves of greens like kale or even pac choi stay moist; otherwise they will wilt. To prevent wilting and keep your produce longer, wrap anything with leaves in a plastic grocery bag and put it in your crisper drawer. You can also put your leaves in a sealed glass or plastic container or even just wrap them in a damp towel before tucking them in the fridge if you don’t have plastic bags. If your leaves do wilt, all is not lost! Spray them with water and put them in the aforementioned plastic or glass container or in a sealed plastic bag (a ziplock or a bag closed with a twist tie will work). Then leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Unless they are too far gone, they will re-absorb moisture and plump back up.
One vegetable in your shares today that might be unfamiliar to you is green garlic. This is simply garlic that we’ve pulled early, before it has formed its bulb. Use it like a green onion—chop the tender parts and add them to anything you’d like to add a little garlic flavor to. Such as:
Amy’s Green Garlic Kale with Sesame Seeds
Ingredients: Kale, Green Garlic, Olive or Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds
Coarsely chop kale, set aside. Finely chop the tender parts of the green garlic (I chopped up into the green part of the stem where it was tender). Heat olive oil or sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic, and cook for a minute or so, stirring, occasionally. Add kale and a splash of water; cover pan for a minute to wilt the kale slightly. Then uncover and sauté until the kale is cooked and bright green and any remaining water has evaporated. Salt and pepper to taste; sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve!
John and I have been making lots of stir-fries this week with pac choi. One ingredient I’ve really come to like in spring stir-fries is radishes. I didn’t even know that you could cook radishes until one of my friends mentioned it a couple of years ago. Here’s an approximation of a dish I made earlier this week that I liked a lot. It would probably be good with the addition of some green garlic!
Gingered Pac choi & Radishes
Ingredients: Pac Choi, Radishes, Ginger, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Quarter radishes. Slice pac choi stems and leaves. Separate stems and leaves. Finely grate ginger. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, then add radishes and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they are not quite tender. Then add pac choi stems and stir-fry these with the radishes until both are just tender. Stir in the grated ginger and then add the pac choi leaves and sauté everything together until the leaves are wilted but still bright green. Add a splash of soy sauce or vinegar if you like and salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, my favorite turnip recipe of all time modified from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book. My mom said that she made this recipe recently and added pac choi to the pot. Sounds a little odd to me, but she liked it!
Peppery Turnip Treat
Ingredients: 2 teaspoons butter; 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey; 1 pound (or however many you have) turnips, diced; Turnip greens, separated from their ribs and chopped into 1-2” pieces; ¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and honey (or maple syrup) over medium heat. Add the turnips and pepper. Saute the turnips until they are tender and slightly browned. Add turnip greens and cook, stirring, until the greens are well wilted (but still a bright green) and have sucked up all of the remaining maple syrup and butter in the pan.
Happy eating! Amy & John