From the Farmer

Week 7 – 7/1/2015
This week you’ll find several new items in your share… baby leeks, green beans, Napa cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and pesto.  Pesto?!  Yes – we had a glut of basil last week that needed harvesting, so we gave it to Bonnie and Steph and they made magic happen.  Here’s a taste.  Bonnie recommends using it as a condiment: try it on a sandwich or bruschetta.  If you like pesto on pasta, you might add a little water and toss your pasta with the pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes.  Try mixing your cherry tomatoes in a bowl with olive oil and sea salt, then place them in the oven at low heat. They will start to wrinkle – take them out before they split.
 
Yes, cherry tomatoes!  Cherry tomatoes are harbingers of beefsteak tomatoes, the plants of which are loaded in what looks like a good first yield.  We expect them in the next couple of weeks.  Here are the first of the cherries.
 
Also in your share this week: our early crop of green beans failed but New Morning Farm has them and I couldn’t wait any longer to have them at the Farm Stand.  So we bought a little extra and they are yours.  It’s too nice out this week not to have green beans.  New Morning Farm is the instigator behind TOG, the organic farm cooperative whose veggies supplement ours at the Farm Stand.  
 
The frilly cabbage in large shares is Napa, or Chinese, cabbage.  Lighter with more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage, Napa has a subtly different taste, too.  These are your greens for the week – chop it finely to use in slaw or make kimchi (but try ours, too!).  Napa leaves are great for rolling things up in, you could make spring rolls or stuffed cabbage.  It braises well and the stem is a common addition to stir fry in restaurants.  I found a quick and easy slaw recipe you could play with: 2 cups diced fruit (mango), one finely chopped hot pepper (available free in the garden), 1 cup mayo,  2 cub Napa cabbage, and 4 tablespoons rice or red wine vinegar.  Refrigerate and serve.
 
Finally, you’ll see another new item this week and one of my favorites, baby leeks.  You can use them as you would scallions but they give you the more earthy leek flavor.  They also make an excellent side to a meal: roast them in the toaster oven and serve as you would asparagus.  
 
Finally, squash and cukes this week come from David G at Second Spring Farm.  David has grown most of our squash and cucumbers the last few years; he rented part of The Grange Farm three years ago before moving his small and growing operation to Wheatland.  David uses similar sustainable practices on his farm, including no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.  We like to grow an early and perhaps a later crop (we have Tromboncino squash growing next to our gourds now for later in the summer), but David grows nice cucurbits and this  allow us to grow things, well, that we like to grow.  This has become an important relationship I love that first crop of cucumbers and I absolutely love the Yellow Crookneck squash we grow first thing in the season, but I like being able to use our land for things that are more enjoyable to plant and harvest. Like sweet corn.  It is unusual to grow it on a farm of our current scale, and it looks like it is just starting to ripen.  If we have enough to go around  we will put into all shares. If not we will have it at the Farm Stand.
 
Be great and be safe this weekend,
 
Mike
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Willowsford Conservancy

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