Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Coming soon to a CSA box near you - strawberries
Greetings from the Garden!  This box has different varieties of lettuce, salad greens like pea shoots, lambs quarters, spinach, braising greens like mustards, green onions, radishes, turnips, asparagus and herbs  - tarragon, dill and thyme.

Field Notes.  Wow! From nearly ninety degrees last week to nearly freezing tonight is a wide temperature spread.  Plants get stressed out.  The rain was great, but in some situations the rain and the cold night temperatures set back planting.  In a few days Ken will go over the entire garden and field to cultivate the weeds that emerge with the rainfall.

Later planting of potatoes
Ken's trip to his grandfather's farm - now his cousins - was good.  He reported back on all the rain in western Minnesota.  We got about three inches last week.  Parts of Minnesota got over 5 inches.  The organic matter in our soil acts as a sponge and tempers wet or dry soils, so we do not have standing water.  This is a very good thing.

I was out in the field Tuesday morning laying netting over the strawberries.  the birds found them before the first ripe berry - it had a peck mark in it on Monday when Ken cultivated and I put down straw mulch.  Netting acts as a deterrent so the birds have more difficulty getting at the fruit.

Onions planted and cultivated a couple weeks ago
From the Kitchen.  What did Ken bring to his family event?  Lettuce!  Two aunts were amazed at how tight I could pack the cooler, and how many varieties we had.  It was the hit of the meal.  And "Kenny" brought it.  These people have known Ken since he was an infant; don't try using Kenny on Mr K unless you want a negative response.

I have been grilling asparagus in a skillet.  A favorite customer tells me his daughter uses the broiler.  Last week I served asparagus with home made mayonnaise (see last week's newsletter for recipe).  It is a good combination - the richness of the oil with the tang of the lemon juice and mustard.

This week we are adding some new herbs to the box.  Thyme is my favorite all purpose herb - great with cooked vegetables, delicious in soups, gravies, sauces.  I use it fresh and also set some on a rack in a dry airy place out of the sun.  Once it is dry, I put it in jars with tight lids and place in the pantry out of direct sunlight.  Tarragon has a slight anise like flavor and is a subtle addition to chicken and other meats and vegetables.
Until Next Week, 

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