So lovely to see the sun again! It does wonders for morale on the farm and even though we have a lot to do to try to get back on track, we will be in high spirits with an overdose of vitamin D. Perhaps we can have a memorial day redo this weekend, as it seems that this one sort of fell off everyone's radar. I didn't hear of a single BBQ that took place and I think it is totally fair to take a rain check on this one.
Here on the farm, we are cashing in on all our rain-check days in May. We have to carefully, but quickly, re-vamp our planting plan in order to adjust for missed plantings and gaps in availability. We have to consider heat tolerance, harvest windows, consumer markets, storage space and economic trade offs when making these crucial decisions. No pressure or anything.
Luckily, we have some good hand weeding time to chat about this stuff as we try to catch up from a month of rain. If anyone has any good suggestions for new music, brain games, pod casts or good jokes, please don't be afraid to pass them along...one can only weed-meditate for so many hours a day.
It probably goes without saying that this will be a late spring. With low soil temps and less than optimal growing conditions, the sun will have a lot of work to do before things really start to flourish again on the farm. In short, this is a full disclaimer of the green weeks to come...perhaps we can all empathize with Kermit the Frog on this one...or we can all just take pride in how healthy we will all be from a serious diet of salad and greens.
Collards are one very overlooked green in what we like to call our picking greens trifecta. Although I love a big pot of southern style collards with pork and vinegar as much as many a Southerner, they are so much more versatile than that. We use them in many a veggie lasagna dish and they make a lovely addition to anything with lentils and curried brown butter. They also pair perfectly with eggs, so take some good advice from Manford Man and don't fear the collard.
Also making a cameo this week at the stand is everyone's favorite spring treat, Japanese salad turnips! Also known as Hakurei turnips, these little dudes are not your grandmother's turnip. Sweet and juicy, they can be put raw in a salad, cut up and sent raw in lunch boxes, or lightly cooked in any stir fry or curry. The best part of these turnips? They are an economy meal, as the greens are edible too. Wilt them in a skillet, serve them in a gratin, or toss em in with the stir fry, they will add a healthy tang to any meal.
Finally, we have the first of the broccoli raab at the stand this week. An Italian staple, this stuff pairs great with spicy sausage and a slowly simmered red sauce. Think raab and ricotta stuffed manicotti or gently wilted on pizza for a quicker weeknight meal. I enjoy it straight up steamed with a little salt and malt vinegar. Don't miss out on the raab, like many spring things, it is quick to bolt and we won't have it for long!
This Week's Harvest:
Chives and Herbs
Collard Greens with Coconut and Mustard Seed by Alice Waters
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add a bunch of whole, de-stemmed collard greens. Blanch for 2-3 minutes. Remove and cool with cold water. Roll them up and cut into thin ribbons. Heat 2 T coconut oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Add 1 T mustard seeds and 1 T cumin seed and let toast for one minute. Add 1/4 cup of shallots or 1/2 an onion and saute over medium for 2-3 minutes. Add collard greens and saute for 2-3 more minutes. Serve immediately.