FROM THE FARMERS….
Late afternoon on Monday, as Nolan, our newest intern and I (Robin) were mulching beans, we watched the sky first get dark on the south, then the east, then the line of the front showed up in the north sky. Wondering if and when the rain might come, I kept carrying out bales of old hay and Nolan kept tucking it under and around each bean plant. “I feel a few drops.” And before we could get all our stuff picked up, roll up the windows of the truck and get to the barn, the oh so much needed rain came pouring down. Before the evening was over, it rained hard at least two more times with the total rainfall something around an inch. We were delighted.
Over the weekend, Gigi and I had given up our much needed canoe time on the river to set up drip irrigation lines on two of the fields. This involves attaching the emitters and shut-off valves to the big blue 2” layflat pipe that extends along the edge of the field. The layflat is connected to a water flow regulator which in connected to ABS plastic 1 ½” pipe that snakes across the yard to connect it to the spigot on the corner of our house. All night on Saturday, we watered one field and Sunday morning (a day off from church) we moved the water hookup to the field across the drive watering beets, chard, basil and some of the eggplant.
We never did get to the river as we also spent much of that day making new and larger pens for the young Narragansett turkeys and the Broad-breasted white turkeys. We also hung some cages for rabbits under the lean-to off the barn and moved some of the young boy rabbits out of the barn into the new space – dividing two cages into three groups.
We have continued the weeding following the rain – so much easier in the softer ground – and finished mulching all the potatoes and beans. The Colorado potato beetles are back and so we sprayed all the potatoes with Colorado Potato Beetle beater an approved organic product called spinosad. The cole crops – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi also got sprayed with BT, bacillus thuringensis to control those little green critters that love to eat holes in the leaves.
We have been enjoying all the bounty of late spring green stuff from the fields for our community lunches here at the farm. Stir fries, pasta salads, soup and just fresh – we are reveling in all there is to work with in the kitchen.
The critters are all continuing to do fine – the pigs, chicks, turkeys, and lambs are all growing fast – as is Rhubarb the calf. Our Red Star laying hens continue to lay an egg a day each giving us a couple dozen eggs a day – a huge change from the chicken disaster of last summer – so we are enjoying eating eggs this summer as we hope are those of you are getting the extras.
IN YOUR SHARE this week…
The Blues Chinese Cabbage
Mei Qing Choi and Joi Choi Bok Choi
Walla Walla Onions
WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE GREEN VEGGIES!!!!!!!!!
Broccoli greens, Kohlrabi greens, Chinese cabbage and Bok Choi can be used pretty much interchangeably in any stir fry recipe. Just cut up the greens part and the thicker stems separately and cook the stems a bit longer than the leaves. You can also just quickly blanch finely chopped choi or leaves, cool quickly and add to a cold pasta salad. Or try a recipe for cabbage rolls with the Chinese cabbage or modify an eggroll or stuffed grape leaf recipe using the choi or cabbage leaves instead of using traditional wrappers.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the quantity of so much stir fry stuff – remember that it cooks down a LOT – a big bowl of chopped veggies reduced to a much smaller bowl of finished dish.
You can also use the kohlrabi and broccoli to make a wonderful slaw. Just peel the kohlrabi – saving the smallest leaves – chop bulbs and leaves in the food processor. Chop broccoli by hand. Make a dressing with yogurt, olive oil, honey, a little balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Go light with the dressing to let the veggies carry the salad.
You are getting a lot of kohlrabi this week – almost all of what we grew is ready now! If you cut off the greens (you can blanch and freeze them) you can put the bulbs in a plastic bag in your fridge where they will keep for at least 3 months!
THE BREAD BOX
The bread this week is our Homestead Pan Au Levain. This is a natural yeast bread made with a starter (similar to sourdoughs). The key to the breads wonderful taste is the long rise time which allows the grains in the flours – wheat and rye – to develop their wonderful taste. The bread contains no sweetener or shortening – just flour, water and salt – so great for any vegans out there – as well as everyone else. Enjoy this hearty bread as is or with a healthy smear of butter and strawberry jam.
The Care and Feeding of your Veggie Box - Pretty please
Or, take it home, empty it asap and bring it back next week, carefully flattened.
Bread Shares – Take the loaf with your name on it.
Please check off your name on the shareholder list