This week your basket contains: sweet corn, zucchini, cucumbers, rainbow carrots, beans, cherry tomatoes,tromboncino squash (full shares), HAMBURG PARSLEY, sweet peppers, lettuce, and tomatoes.
The severe weather event over the weekend was . . . interesting. Trying to farm in high temperatures plus high winds is like gardening in a dehydrator. Everything just wants to turn crispy. To add insult to injury, we are in one of PGE’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) areas. What this means is that just as things were getting difficult, they cut off our electricity. Since we are on well water, our wells won’t run. While we are comfortable not having running water or electric light in our house for a few days, to keep the farm watered we need to run irrigation 40 minutes of every hour every day of the week. Never having lost power in the summer before, we have never had to deal with losing the ability to irrigate. Fortunately, after the fire season in 2020 we foresaw the possibility of this happening and invested a couple thousand dollars on a generator that could power one of our wells without damaging the pump (most portable generators will damage a pump). While it isn’t pleasant to hear the generator running all the time, it did work well, and we were able to keep the gardens watered on the side of the farm where the houses are. On the other side of the road, where we had just seeded and transplanted winter and overwintering crops, it was a different story. There we had to fill a 500-gallon tank on a trailer from the well that was running, tractor it over to the other side of the road and rely on gravity to run the drip irrigation. We had to do this every few hours and rotate the sections of the garden we were watering. Not ideal, but better than nothing. Fortunately, the outage only lasted a little over 24 hours and everything in the gardens looks to have come through OK. After this “practice run” we are considering getting a second generator for our second well or possibly a solar powered system. Unfortunately, we think this type of situation will be more and more common. Another effect of the high winds is that it hit our corn full broadside causing some of it to fall over (called lodging). I know that I joked about Polly needing to use a ladder to pick the Silver Queen corn, but this isn’t the solution I was hoping for. Having to lift and untangle corn stalks to pick the ears is not easy or fun. Fortunately, the lodging is not too extensive. This week’s corn is a mix of varieties, some are the later-developing ears of the varieties we’ve been harvesting, and some are from a new variety. We gave a corn chowder recipe a few weeks ago and got very positive feedback about it. The recipe below is a different take on the same concept. We think you’ll like it.
FRESH CORN CHOWDER
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
2 med celery stalks, diced
6 small ears of corn
4 1/2 Cups of milk
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Place bacon in a soup pot and cook over med low heat until it releases all of its fat and is beginning to crisp, 10-15 min. Leaving the bacon in the pan, spoon off all but 2 Tablespoons of the fat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until tender and slightly browned, 10-15 min. Remove the kernels from the corn. Reserve the kernels and add the cobs to the soup pot along with the milk and potatoes. Push the corn cobs into the milk to fully submerge them. Bring the milk to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove the cobs. Stir in the reserved corn kernels along with the salt and pepper. Simmer gently until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove 1 1/2 cups solids from soup and puree until smooth. Return to the soup and add the butter. Let stand until the butter is melted, then stir. Serve!
Parsley Root, sometimes called Hamburg Parsley, was widely use in medieval times but is now a mostly “forgotten food”. What we harvested this week was a thinning of the bed to let the roots of the remaining plants get bigger, so the roots are small, but the leaves are great. You can use the roots and greens in this recipe.
LEMONY RICE AND PARSLEY SALAD
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cup Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 small sweet Italian pepper, diced
1/3 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, toss the rice with the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the parsley, pepper, olives, capers and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges. Adapted from foodandwine.com.
We are running low on EGG CARTONS. If you would like to send us paper or pulp cartons (no plastic, please) just leave them in your empty basket and we will reuse them.