Monday, February 4, 2013

Share 3

Third share of the winter and I'm already out of clever titles. There's a nice variety in this share: kale, catalogna, salsify, carrots and frisee. The carrots have a bit of back story, but I'll start with a few notes on the salsify and catalogna first, since they're the more obscure vegetables in the bunch. 

Salsify was in the first share of the winter and in the past has been a winter staple. It didn't do very well this year showing some disease that I haven't bothered to identify yet. This is the last of it. It's also known as oyster root and it does taste a little like oysters when it's boiled. I put small chunks in a thai curry last time I harvested it. It's really excellent fried, but be careful because it browns and then blackens quickly.

The catalogna is new for this year, although we've had it in years past. The first time I grew this it was a mistake and I was thinking I was growing escarole. Fortunately an italian cook stopped by the farm and got really excited before we turned in under as a crop failure. It looks very similar to dandelion, but it has thicker ribs, which are slightly bitter, but nice and crunchy sweet, much like the rest of the chicory family. I like this one best cooked, either chopped up into a vegetable stew, or sauteed with olive oil. 

The carrots are from a trade with Danny Percich from Full Plate Farm in Ridgefield, Washington. Danny worked with me during the first season of Slow Hand Farm and then moved up to Washington to start his current operation and a family. This summer he had a garlic crop failure and I had more than I had intended to give out. I had a bad carrot year this year so he agreed to trade me garlic for carrots. Sunday I took a visiting Irish farmer out to his place for a tour and the three of us quickly dug these beautiful Red Core carrots before sitting down to an evening board game and a bit of farm talk.

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