We have welcomed in July and with July comes some changes to our regularly scheduled program. Namely we are done with loose leaf greens until the fall. Onto the loose leaf lettuce's favorite (and in my opinion, far superior in taste) cousin, head lettuce. Putting aside farmer taste preference, it is important to note that salad mix just does not germinate in 90 degree weather and most varieties do not like the heat; hence, we grow heat tolerant head lettuce that we can germinate in the greenhouse. Other exciting things that the Nation's birthday has ushered in on the Farm include frantically trellising tomatoes, sowing more beans, beets, and carrots, keeping things watered and weeded, determining when the garlic will be ready, and trying to keep up with the zucchini and cucumber harvest. Oh and wallowing in the river, can't forget to put that on the list for 95 degree days.
Nothing shows your patriotic spirit more than serving local food at your 4th of July celebrations. Maybe that sounds far fetched but back in the days of our founding fathers, eating was an agricultural act and Thomas Jefferson loved the idea of the common wealth of the land for food production. One of my summer pasta salads includes orzo, spring onions, shelling peas, cucumbers, feta, and dill. Tossed with a green garlic vinaigrette it is a perfect thing to bring to a gathering. Broccoli, zucchini, and shelling peas with a yogurt dressing may also serve as a lovely side. Maybe you whip up some roasted beet hummus and serve it with some sliced kohlrabi, turnips, and carrots. If you are feeling even more inspired in the kitchen, stuffed chard leaves make a great 4th of July treat. I like to stuff mine with brown rice mixed with spring onions, fresh basil, minced green garlic, goat cheese, and shaved radicchio. Call it an American dolma.
Pints, Pints, Pints! When you pick up peas at the market, please do not walk away with our pint baskets. We reuse them all season for lots of good stuff so if you have any sitting at home, please bring them back to us at the market this week. Thank you for understanding!
See you soon,
What's Growing at Native Hill Farm:
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Spigariello (leaf broccoli)
Although head lettuce may be a little more work up front, it's texture and taste are completely worth the processing. When you get your lettuce home, just slice off the end and either chop right away or peel off the big leaves (depending on intended use). Place in strainer and then place the strainer in a large bowl. Place both under the faucet and fill with cold water. Swish the leaves around then pick up the strainer leaving the soiled water behind. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or kitchen towel and store in a plastic bag or tupperware until ready to use. Drying is a critical step to this process! If you do not dry your greens, they will get slimy quite quickly and this will make you and your farmers very sad.
Just a reminder to take the tops off your carrots when you get home! If left attached to the carrots, they will wick the moisture right out of the root leaving you with very limp carrots. After detaching the tops, store carrots in a plastic bag in your fridge. They will keep for months in this happy state.