THE BEET: Volume 15, Issue 2

FULL SHARE AND YELLOW HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


Got extra plastic, paper, or tote bags cluttering up your hallway?  

Please bring them tonight!  We like to have extra bags on hand for members who may have forgotten to bring them to pick up.


In This Week's BEET:

  1. What's in my share?
  2. Letter from Windflower Farm
  3. Recipe Ideas!
  4. Get to know your dark greens

THIS WEEK'S SHARE:

  • Leaf Lettuces – two heads
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Scallions
  • Happy Rich (Chinese Kale)
  • Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • Potted Basils or parsley

News from Windflower Farm: Challenging Spring Weather

My nephew, who worked with us here for several years, is now in his third year of farming on his own. He visited recently, not to glean farming tips – he has already learned everything I have to teach – but instead to spend time with a woman he dates who works for me here. Still, we shared a few moments together, farmer-to-farmer. And during those moments he shared the observation that farming is an emotionally charged enterprise. We put a lot of ourselves into the crops that make up our shares, I agreed. I chalked up the emotional roller-coaster ride he’s on (something akin to a CSA farmer’s performance anxiety) to a farmer’s working relationship with the weather, that most highly unpredictable of partners. We agreed that the weather this spring has indeed been challenging. In performing a quick online search for occupations affected by weather, I was somewhat amused to find that Wiki-Answers doesn’t even place farming in the top ten. The work of meteorologists and sightseeing pilots were numbers one and two on the list, as they are undoubtedly affected by the weather. The truth is that nearly everyone’s work is somehow affected by the weather.

The better question is, what occupations are utterly dependent, day-in and day-out, on prolonged good or at least moderate weather for their success? None of us would doubt that farming ranks high on that list. And the weather here this spring has not been good: cold, windy weather has prevailed, but it has been interrupted by a week of hot weather and a period of more than three weeks without rainfall. As I write, all of our greenhouses are buttoned up so tight you might think it’s the middle of April. I mention this because crops are developing more slowly than usual this year. And I want you to be forewarned that the salad greens phase ofthe season will be longer than normal. I want to temper your expectations, but I do not want you to give up hope. We have taken several steps to mitigate against bad weather. Many of our crops, including most of our salad greens and our squashes, cucumbers and melons, are growing under a protective layer of fabric, which reduces wind and cold and evaporative losses. And others grow under protective greenhouse-like tunnels. These include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and our earliest cucumbers. And then there are the cool-weather crops - onions, potatoes, cabbages and garlic, to name a few – that actually thrive under these conditions. Although I have not been able to relax this spring, it is because we have taken these proactive steps that the emotional roller-coaster ride is a little more fun.

           -Have a great week, TED


Recipes:

Here's a tried and true recipe from Ted's son, with all the goodies from this week's share:

Sautéd Greens with Figs

(Adapted from “Simple Garlicky Greens” on p. 40 in Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas, Sterling 2012) 

  • 1 bunch each of chard, kale, and broccoli rabe (Happy Rich), or your choice of other greens
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 garlic scapes, diced
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup Turkish figs, quartered
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

De-stem and rinse the greens, and cut into strips. The broccoli rabe can be included as stem and all, cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat the coconut oil in a stir-fry pan and add the diced garlic scapes, red onion, and pine nuts, cooking for about 3 minutes or until lightly caramelized. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for about 3 more minutes, then add the remaining ingredients, stirring frequently, and cook a final 3 minutes, adding water or broth if needed to keep the greens moist. Recommended to serve with rice, quinoa, or potatoes.

Happy Rich (AKA Chinese Kale, Broccoli Seed)

Happy Rich (AKA Chinese Kale, Broccoli Seed)

Happy Rich is part of the Brassica Family, and can be cooked in the same way you would Kale or other dark greens.  The Leaves and the broccoli floret are super nutrient dense, and contain large amounts of calcium.

Get to know your greens!  The beginning of the CSA season is always heavy with greens as they are the fastest producing vegetables, and can be harvested from the greenhouses early.  Here is a  great visual guide to familiarize yourself with many of the kinds that grow at our farm.

The plant powered kitchen offers several great ideas for how to eat all your greens in the week; smoothies, sautés, salads and more!