Tuesday, June 5, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Ken collaring celery so it will stand up
Greetings from the Garden!  This box has three varieties of lettuce, pea shoots, lambs quarters,  spinach, radishes, asparagus, green onions, garlic scapes, the last of the mustard and the first strawberries.

Field Notes.  Ken continues to be busy.  He is clearing out the early spring crops and planting the full season crops and more of the sequential plantings.  As I write this Tuesday evening he is out in the field planting curcurbits - cantaloupe, watermelons, more cucumbers.  He has already planted roots like sweet potatoes and more greens, too.  He told me he was filling up the garden and field this week - and he is!
The cuke fence
Last week Ken, with some help from Sam, got the cuke fence up.  Cucumbers climbing take less ground space - valuable real estate Ken calls it - and result in more straighter cukes.  Thank you, Sam!  Ken also planted a plant for flowers for the bees.  We had it in the garden the last two years and the bees do love it.  They also like the herbs if we let them flower.  Not to mention the usual crops that need pollination like all the nightshades - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the curcurbits - squash, melons, summer squash, cucumbers.  We need pollinators for a very large percentage of our food; in addition to the above there are the fruits like apples, plums, raspberries, and strawberries.

Ken also got the pea fence lined up.  We are having some pea difficulty.  With the wide swings in temperature and rainfall, we have planted peas more than once this season.  One crop germinated just before we got heavy rain followed by subfreezing nights.  Another suffered during a hot, dry spell.  we shall see what we get!

Straberries under netting
From the Kitchen.  Strawberries.  I love them.  We only grow two hundred feet.  People ask why not more.  It is the amount Ken can keep weeded and tended and as much as I can keep picked.  A friend told us they are called ground berries in German.  I tell people if they ripened in August, no one would grow them.  Like all berries they are nutritious and high in antioxidants.  And if you are buying strawberries, buy organic.  Strawberries always seem to appear on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen for their pesticide residues.  These have some soil from splash up from a hard rain.  Always rinse berries just before serving - otherwise I would have done it for you.  Enjoy

Radicchio - treviso type
Radicchio - what is this green?  Most people have seen another variety that looks like a red cabbage with white veins.  We grow a treviso type.  This robust Italian green is a great accent in salads, often in braising mixes, and even grilled!  Wilting, blanching and grilling mellows the radicchio.  I had a radicchio salad with walnuts, goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette - delicious.   A couple seasons ago Jenny gave me her tip for robust greens - a Rachel Ray recipe that combines cooked pasta, blanched robust greens like radicchio, dandelions, chicory and a Caesar salad dressing with some grated cheese.  And Ron and Lyn cooked down a ham hock and used some of the meat and some of the broth with last week's mustard cooked al dente.  Maybe I should follow Ron and his vegetables home - that sounds delicious!

REMINDER - We will be harvesting on MONDAY July 2nd instead of Wednesday July 4th.

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