I wrote this email yesterday afternoon when constitutions were a bit more uplifting...my things can change quickly here in Colorado! The storm last night was tremendous and my condolences for those of you who lost plants to the incredible amount of hail we got. The farm managed to scrape by with only heavy rain, which was damaging in its own right but not as bad as it could have been. We will just be taking a pause from the field work while things dry out and a plan can be made as to how to move forward.
Aside from cleaning up after the storm, this week on the farm has been busy with typical May fair. We took a field break and used the wet Monday to establish our fortress around the head lettuce field to protect the young plants from 4 hooved creatures. We trellised the sugar snap peas and seeded fall cabbage and cauliflower in the greenhouse. We even got an early start on our tomato trellising...which it turns out is a lot easier when you don't wait until June.
So spring is here even though it feels like summer. In response to its call the next weeks will be full of greens. I like to refer to them as Lionel Richie greens because they are the sweetest and most tender of the season.
Salads are an obvious choice this time of year and I must have been missing them because I have been eating multiple ones a day since the lettuce came in. If you are needing more than just lettuce, I have good news. There are lots of choices of salad leaf material such as arugula, spinach, and our spicy mustard mix. Hint, they all pair well with blue cheese and strawberries for a light lunch. For a more hearty dinner salad, especially if it is the main event, I often choose spinach for its thicker leaves and ability to hold dressing. Perhaps boil some eggs or add grilled chicken for some protein. Then dress that bad boy up with a maple mustard bacon dressing.
Many of you have discovered pea shoots over the years and see them as an early spring treat. We will have them off and on for the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out at the stand. They can be put in a salad, gently wilted on chicken, omelets, or pasta (eggs are super in season right now and pasta carbonara with wilted pea shoots really scratches that itch for me).
Radishes are adding some color to the stand this week and we have two different types. One is a beautiful purple variety that tastes as electric as its color. It is a radish for radish lovers. The other is a cherry belle and while still beautiful, is a bit less spicy than the purple variety and might be a radish for the more timid pallet. There is no better way to eat spicy radishes than to slice them thin and put them on a fresh baguette with a big smear of European butter and some good salt. If you have never done it, you are in for a treat. Serve it with that arugula lunch salad and a glass of prosecco and you will have your econo-version of lunch in Paris.
I realized that I did not give the address of the farm stand in the last email. For those of you who are new to the farm stand option, it is at the farm, 2100 County Road 54G, Fort Collins, CO 80524. It is open every day, 8-6pm.
So happy to be back with you all for another season!
Katie and the Native Hill Team
This Week's Harvest