Welcome to week 5 on the farm. While not officially departed, spring has certainly made its exit on the farm. We like to hold onto spring stuff as long as possible as the transition to summer food is not as abrupt as the change in temperatures; however, it is hard to go against biology and although we have a few tricks up our sleeves, in the end we have to give in to the natural inclinations of cool weather produce. We are catapulting, albeit a little early, into the transition from late spring to early summer. Arugula is taking a break this week, perhaps for good until fall, but we will know for sure by next week. We will also soon be saying good bye to salad mix, spinach, and spicy mix and welcoming our trusty summer salad making companion, head lettuce. With the carrot field weeded and another round of tomatoes trellised, we are spending a lot of time picking peas, cutting broccoli, and keeping up with the farm stand...you folks are hungry!
Welcome to ugly vegetable week. Ok, not ugly, but its been a bit of a challenge keeping vegetables that do not like the heat looking nice for market. The zucchinis are a bit odd shaped due to an irrigation situation. They still taste great, so don't be afraid. In addition, I need to confess that we had a near crop failure on the spring cauliflower this year. We will have a small amount of less than perfect heads at market this week with another small slug of late, but nicer looking heads of a yellow variety that seem to be doing better. Hoping to try round two of the cauliflower in the fall.
Now for some good news. Pea-a-palooza is happening this week only on the farm, so be sure to pick up some of those delicious sugar snap peas before this fleeting crop passes us by. Spring broccoli will be joining us for a little while before it disappears until fall. My new favorite way to eat it is grilled with balsamic and soy sauce, but it is delicious roasted or steamed as well. For a real British treat try mixing it with cardamom, almonds and cream cheese and roasting it in the oven at high heat...sounds weird I know, but definitely a crowd pleaser.
Beets are finally almost here...we may have some this week at the market and will definitely have them at the stand next week. If you are a beet fan, I probably don't need to say much. For those of us who struggle with this earthy, nutrient packed vegetable, I have found it better to add them to things rather than trying to eat them on their own. Roasted beets with kale and goat cheese is a good start. They are delicious with candied nuts on salad, stirred into risotto, or even grilled. We grow several types of beets on the farm and I have no doubt we can convert even the most stodgy of pallets. With their deep earthy and sweet flavors, golden beets are the bass of the beet varieties. The red beet finds its self in the middle of the choir, dark in color, but lighter in flavor. The Chioggia beet with this bulls eye root is the lightest both is color and in flavor. It is a beet for non-beet people.
Finally, a community FYI, the United Methodist Church is hosting four Community Nights on the lawn this summer. The first one is June 21st and yours truly will be talking about the benefit of local agriculture and CSAs....although I'm sure many of you already know the benefits of being in a CSA!
Looking forward to seeing many of you soon,
This Week's Harvest
Baby Bok Choy
A small amount of ugly Cauliflower
Sugar Snap Peas