Week #2 6/7 & 10

This week your basket contains: snap peas, new potatoes, lettuce, bok choi, baby beets, WALLA WALLA ONIONS, DILL, spinach, kohlrabi, ZUCCHINI OR CUCUMBER, and broccoli or Asian broccoli.

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The photo above is very sad for us.  This apple tree, which has been growing in our lawn for approximately 100 years, has finally succumbed to the heat and weight of its own crop.  We were lucky enough to meet Bob Chamberlain who, as a boy in the 1920’s, lived on our farm.  His fondest memory from that time was climbing this tree to eat its apples.  Seeing him tear up when we gave him a bag of apples from this tree is a memory we will never forget. Having such extreme temperatures at this time of year has been a bit of a challenge for us.  Some crops hate it (one hoop house bed of snap peas just flat out died and dried up) while some others loved it.  We’ve been spending more time watering, and as we continue to prepare beds, the drier conditions make that prep work that much more dusty and difficult.  But hey, if farming was easy everyone would be doing it, right?

Walla Walla onions (as you probably know) are a generally larger and sweeter variety of onion.  Sliced raw they are perfect on burgers.  They are also great used as you would any other onion.  Being fresh, the greens we left on the bulbs can be chopped and used like scallions.

Baby beets are great not only for the tender small roots, but for their chard-like greens.  While this recipe calls for discarding the stems, with baby beets like these grown in a hoop house, they will be tender enough to include. Just cut them into 1-inch segments and add them to the onions after the onions have been cooking for a minute.

EASY BEET GREENS

1 pound beet greens

1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 large garlic clove, minced

3/4 cup of water

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/6 cup of cider vinegar

Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.  In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.  Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

PICKLED KOHLRABI

3 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced ¼ in. thick

2 carrots cut into sticks and parboiled 3 min.

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs fresh dill

PICKLING MIXTURE

¾ cup white vinegar

1 ¼ cups water

3 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. mustard seed

½ tsp. dill seed

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

Combine the carrots and kohlrabi and pack into a 1 quart har along with the garlic, bay leaf, and fresh dill.  In a sauce pan combine pickling mixture ingredients and bring to a boil.  Pour boiling mixture over the kohlrabi and carrots filling the jar completely.  Cover the jar.  When cool, refrigerate for 3-4 days before using to allow the flavors to blend.  From More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff.

FLOWERS ARE IN FULL BLOOM (pun intended).  Now is the time to order an amazing bouquet of 25 or more stems for only $7.  Give Polly an email, and she’ll send one along with your basket next week.

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