Thursday, June 30, 2011

Same share, again

Yep, the same share as Monday this Thursday, more or less, so I'll let you read the last post to get the info on the veggies. I actually did some quick harvest this morning before heading off on a great tour of the One Green World nursery down in Mollala - maybe some interesting fruit in our future? Maybe, not for a while. I came back this afternoon to find Kji still packing vegetables. We did get a bit of greenhouse seeding done, and I'm guessing it'll be another week or two before we're totally caught up on field plantings. The reality is we'll probably never be caught up on field work, but that's ok. A little pano of the fields this afternoon above. Things are looking pretty good.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Early Summer Treats

Lots of items new for this year in the share today. I did the first pick of the Rainbow Lacinato kale this morning and cleaned up the plants a little in the process. With a little luck this planting will carry us all the way through to next spring when we'll be eating the raab. Kale is great chopped small in raw salads (like a slaw) or sauteed with olive oil and garlic. There's also lettuce, as usual. A head of Blushed Butter Cos in the share today, a butter/romaine mix with great red color. We put two heads of garlic in the share. These are ready to use, just peel the skins away from the cloves. I'm guessing most of you won't eat two heads of garlic this week so just let it sit on the counter with good air circulation and it will keep for months while you slowly go through one clove at a time. This particular variety is called Siberian and it has very few, but large, cloves per head. We'll have a little more garlic in a few weeks when the later variety is ready. Favas make their debut today. The pods aren't edible, but the beans inside are tasty boiled in salted water or sauteed in olive oil. Some people peel the leathery skin that sits around the bean and just eat the insides, but I like the whole thing. Finally, we're seeing a couple of beets for the first time this year. Kestrel is the variety and the tops can be used just like the chard from weeks past. I like beets best cooked, either roasted or boiled, but some folks like to grate them onto a salad. If you boil them the skins will slip right off. When I roast them I eat them skins and all.

We're almost caught up on planting, just two more beds to go. Unfortunately we're in a rocky patch of the field so the bed prep is going slow. Next year, when most of the rocks are gone, it should go much faster.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Same as Monday

From SHF 2011

The share today is basically the same as Monday's so no extra photo. Instead I'll put up a photo of the favas and peas from Monday. The peas look like they have about two more weeks and the favas probably have a month. We do have another planting of favas from last fall that might actually be ready next week, maybe.

Things are looking pretty good, but we're still playing catch up with planting and bed preparation. We had two of our regular volunteers today, Sera and Ryan, who have been helping us catch up while they learn a little about what we do. We don't rely on volunteer labor, but we do appreciate it, especially when it's well timed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First summer share

First Monday harvest this year as well. With the summer we move to two separate harvest and delivery days, Mondays and Thursdays. The Monday share won't always be the same as Thursday, but usually it will. Today there's a bit of red butter lettuce, some more arugula which has been a workhorse this year, some garlic scapes which I'll talk about in a second, and a small fennel, which I'll also elaborate on. The scapes are the immature flower buds of the garlic plant. We pick them both so that you can eat them, and also to benefit the coming heads of garlic. You can eat them just like any other kind of garlic, but I like them best roasted until very soft. If you're grilling they work great on the grill as well. Some people call them garlic whistles, I'm not sure why, although they are kind of whistle shaped. The fennel is also good raw, or cooked. It's a bit stringy so it's best cut across the grain (the base/bulb part). The tops can be used in salad, or dressings, or however you like. Very thinly sliced fennel goes will with citrus salads, or in the winter time I like to cut it thicker and braise it until it is very, very soft, which changes the flavor from licorice, to a much milder, slightly sweet taste.

We also got a bit of planting done today: lemon cucumbers and little fingers eggplant. The beds for parsnips are almost ready to be seeded and we've got about ten more after that to dig asap. Still a very busy time on the farm

By the way, thanks to everyone who came out to see us at the farm on Saturday, we had a great time and we'll be doing it again when the season changes from Summer to Fall.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

End of Spring

Last harvest for our spring shares today. We have some big heads of lettuce, either romaine or red butter (Plato II or Pirat) depending on the bag. Some thinnings from the overwintered sweet onions are in there, along with tops which are good eating. Our first pick of chard is in the bag, and it looks beautiful, and now the bed is weeded as well. Finally, a bit more arugula, what can I say, it was ready to go. I pulled it with the roots for speed. You could probably eat the roots, but you don't have to.

On Monday we'll start harvesting summer shares, but before that is our Summer Solstice Pizza Party and Picnic Potluck. Saturday 8-4pm on the farm - let me know if you need more details, we'd love to see you out there. Make sure to bring your own utensils and plates and water bottle, we'll provide the pizza, bring a dish to share as well if you like, or toppings for pizza. We'll probably have free lettuce for folks who come early (if you need more lettuce, there's a bed we need to clear to make way for melons).

A couple of other field notes from today. We broke down and got enough hose and valves to allow us to keep the irrigation hose in one place and not have to move it (except for mowing, which will still be an issue). Today was great, no screwing and unscrewing hoses and dragging them down the aisles, just flipping valves. We also finally go the peppers in and the eggplant bed is very close to being ready. There continues to be a lot of planting to do, maybe I'll show up extra early on Saturday and see what I can get done. Kji has already said he'll be out there all day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Abundant Arugula

A big bunch of arugula in the share today from a really beautiful planting. It's good fresh eating but it doesn't tend to keep as well as some of the other greens. One suggestion from Kji is to make arugula pesto. Just follow a regular pesto recipe and use arugula in the place of basil, delicious. You can also use the green garlic in the place of regular garlic. In fact, I would probably just wash and dry the arugula and garlic and toss them both in the food processor with a bunch of olive oil to make a sauce/spread that will keep in the freezer indefinitely (freeze it in ice cube trays for serving sized portions). Rounding out the share is emerald oak lettuce and the last of the tyee spinach.

We're getting a little behind in planting, but we've been doing a lot of clean up lately and set up of irrigation so mostly things feel like we're doing pretty well. If we can just get a bunch of beds prepped and planted next week we'll be doing great. Next week is the last week of spring, and a week from this Saturday will be our solstice party on the farm so make sure to save the date (4-8pm, more details soon). The Monday after will be our first summer season deliveries, and it's actually starting to feel like summer weather. I hope it keeps going this way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lots of lettuce

There are two heads of lettuce in the share this week, very unusual for us but it was ready and beautiful, and I was afraid it wouldn't hold in the ground for another week, so we cut it. There's also another nice bunch of spinach, a second pick of the last planting. I'm not sure if we'll get another pick out of it. I wasn't expecting radishes today, but there were still a bunch out there that had sized up a little from last week so I tossed those in. Finally a new item, chive blossoms. I finally put in a planting of chives this year, after meaning to do it for the last two seasons. There aren't a lot of chives, but there were enough blooms that I thought I'd give those out, especially after reading this post from Eatwell Farm down in Dixon, California. Yianni also tells me that his mother infuses white vinegar with the blossoms. They can be used on salads as well, or tossed into pasta.

Very busy planting this week. I finally got some beans seeded, two weeks later than planned. We're in the process of preparing beds for brussels right now for the fall and winter shares. Summer squash, melons, and cucumbers are all in the works as well.