From the Farmer

Week 2 – 5/27/2015

In the Share this week

Strawberries – tip of the week: if you’re not going to eat them right away, put them in the fridge.  Otherwise, leave them out and they’ll keep their fragrance.  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.  Careful – they don’t like sharing fridge space with the likes of onions or other pungent things. 

Head lettuce – you’ve seen this before, yes?  Shred or cut for salad.  Just add goat cheese, strawberries and a balsamic-based dressing.  Or use as a topping for tacos.  Or, use whole leaves on a burger, in which case please invite me over.  Keep it in the crisper in a bag, you might add a damp paper towel in there.

Cooking greens – Swiss chard, collards or kale.  Chop and add to pretty much anything you make.  It will melt into stir fry (add it last), steamed greens with garlic and oil, just about anything with eggs in it, soups, on a sandwich or burger instead of the lettuce (don’t forget to invite me over)… 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 and every week.  They like to be kept in a bag and in a cold, humid compartment in the refrigerator.  The damp paper towel in the bag trick works, sometimes I even stick the stems in a glass of water.

Herb of the day – you might see cilantro, chives or garlic chives, mint or oregano.  Sometimes we bag herbs; when we do, put them in the crisper.  When they’re bunched, place the root ends in a small glass of water, they will keep well either in the fridge or even on your counter.  Refresh the water every day or so to make them last longer.

Scallions – like little green onions, very cute.  Eat their bulbs and their greens, raw or cooked in with many dishes.  Add them to baked beans, eggs, spaghetti sauce, put them in a stir fry, on a salad, in soup, on top of tacos, or add to greens.  Just eat them, or any kind of onion-relation in a meal every day.  Keep them in the crisper, but honestly they’ll still be usable if they dry some on the counter, just not as vital.

Kohlrabi – like pac choi, kohlrabi grows well during the cool season, it is highly nutritious, and it grows quickly.  In the Midwest, where many northern Europeans migrated, many gardens still have rows of kohlrabi next to potatoes.  We harvest them when they’re younger and tender (in fall we let them mature and store them over winter).  They can be eaten raw, sliced or shredded over salad or hot dishes, for a cabbage-like taste.  They can also be cooked for the same.  Add them to whatever you plan to make, they should not overpower the dish with their taste unless you choose to highlight it.  Their greens are also excellent, like tender collards.  Put these in the fridge; if we leave the greens on, separate the greens when you get home and put them in a bag.

We have several resources for identifying and learning to use our veggies:

  1. Weekly videos, which we make as we pack shares on Wednesdays and post on Facebook and YouTube.
  2. “All About” and "Fresh From the Farm" recipes in the newsletter (and soon to be reorganized on our website: WillowsfordFarm.com.  The newsletter is also archived there.  “All About” started as a look at specific vegetables and has evolved to include techniques – less vegetable specific, but how to work with whatever is ripe and on hand at any given time.
  3. New, this year, Chef Bonnie Moore is making videos to compliment and reinforce the All Abouts.  They will also be posted on YouTube.

Have a great week, enjoy the share and be great,

Mike

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