From the Farmer

Week 2 – 5/27/2014

Strawberries! 

Strawberry tip of the week: if you’re not going to eat them right away, put them in the fridge.  Careful – they don’t like sharing fridge space with the likes of onions or other pungent things.  If you put them in the fridge it’s important to let them warm up to room temperature before eating them, they’ll regain their flavor.

Potluck

Great as always to see you at the potluck Sunday night.  The food was excellent, the music enjoyable, the evening lovely, and the company above all of these things.  We celebrated several birthdays, went on a farm tour and wrangled chickens.  Well done, chicken herders.  The chickens have now – two days later -successfully migrated into the second paddock.  Parents, please delete all videos associated with moving chickens, thank you.

Putting Tastes Together

If you didn’t catch the demonstration on Saturday please watch this video.  Bonnie put on a fantastic demonstration at the Farm Ftand on Saturday.  I really feel like this flavor stuff is the most exciting thing in the kitchen.  We can look at the “taste wheel” or cooks palette (see last week’s newsletter and Charmaine Smith’s awesome illustration) and see that there are several basic flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, savory, and hot.  For any dish, how many different tastes do we want to include?  Seems like the more we can mix them the more interesting a dish is.  For each taste then there are a whole range of options.  And some options are more than one taste.

Bonnie let share members and visitors put together a salad dressing and salad by mixing flavors.  The best salads were made by kids, no doubt.  They just think outside of the box.  Check out the video and see how creative they can be – you can do this at home with your own kids.  Or yourself for that matter.

Here’s one dressing put on spinach, lettuce and arugula, created by David the Younger of Nolton:

Yogurt (sour, bitter), soy sauce (salty, savory), fresh squeezed orange juice (sweet, sour), fresh grated garlic (hot, bitter), agave syrup (sweet), vegetable oil (savory), goat cheese (salty), strawberry (sweet), and – get this – Sriracha (spicy). 

In the Share

Greens, broccoli, sweet turnips, and red jewels.  Two greens this week, Swiss chard and a young kale that demands to be harvested.  Both are very tender – the Swiss chard is a special variety called Perpetual spinach (it’s not spinach, it’s Swiss chard, and it doesn’t quite last forever but it does like to make it through winter).  Chop and add to pretty much anything you make.  It will melt into stir fry, steamed greens with garlic and oil, just about anything with eggs in it, soups, on a sandwich or burger… The kale tastes very nice and is a little heartier than the Swiss chard; great for braising and, really, for many of the same things.  Give your body some chlorophyll this week.

Also in the box is red leaf lettuce.  Make a salad and put some strawberries and goat cheese on it and perhaps the sweet salad turnips – they have a smooth taste, not pungent at all, very different from what you might remember a turnip tasting like.  They also roast very well.

You’ll also find spring broccoli, strawberries and dill.  Dill goes great on fish (salmon cooked in butter?) and will add flavor to a salad- added sparingly.  Place the stems of your dill in a jar of water and leave either in the fridge or even on the counter if you plan to use it soon. 

Need help identifying?  Check out the Willowsford Farm's Facebook for a short video of what’s in your share this week.

Enjoy the share and be great,

Mike

 

take note

Milkweed and Butterfly Gardens: This Saturday at the Farm Stand

Join us for a butterfly social and plant sale with our friends from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Nicole Hamilton and Donna Griffith Quinn (also a CSA member!).  Learn about and purchase plants to facilitate the Monarch migration and invite all native butterflies into your yard and garden.  Learn more about the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Monarch Campaign here.

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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

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