Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This box has red and green lettuce, salad greens, braising greens, Asian greens, spinach, lamb's quarters, radishes, parsnips, sunchokes, burdock root onions, potato onions, and potatoes.

Field Notes.  Well, a week ago CSA members braved snow to pick up their boxes!   We woke up to 14 inches of snow on Thursday.  I was working on washing and pricing pottery for our event here.  

Ken was moving tiny plants up from 3/4 inch soil blocks to 2 inch soil blocks. 

He also was checking plants in greenhouses and laying fiber over the ones that are not cold tolerant.  He has been opening doors and vents in all the greenhouses and hoopettes, and checking weather forecasts to determine how tight to shut everything up each night.  The greenhouses get a bit hot for the greens on sunny days, but the tomato transplants love the heat.

Ken spent Monday evening transplanting.  With the longer days he puts in longer work days, and with all the transplants waiting for open warm soil, he has his work cut out for him!  The irrigation ponds are filling up, and the soil is damp.  It is a good way to start a growing season.  Last year's early heat and lack of snowfall meant dry conditions.  This year looks good!

Ken pointed out the first of the garlic shoots coming up through the mulch in the field - pretty exciting to see green plant tips!  And the green manures are coming up as well.  

From the Kitchen This week we have sunchokes - also known as Jerusalem artichokes.  They are an indigenous cousin of the sunflower.  We dig and eat the tubers.  I just scrub carefully at the place where the reddish outer skin or scales overlap.  They have a crunchy slightly nutty flavor that is great raw in salad, pickled with a little garlic, hot pepper and turmeric, and used in any recipe that calls for water chestnuts.  I like to slice and saute them with onion or garlic and add a splash of tamari.  I also used them in a spinach dip in place of the water chestnuts.

Spinach -  fresh spinach.  It is so versatile - good in salad, nice in soups, great in cooked egg dishes like quiche or omelettes.  Add spinach to a dish and now it becomes Florentine - tomato soup Florentine for example.  This time of year I have pickled eggs and I like them sliced on top of a spinach salad - or hard boiled eggs.  

I love to use feta cheese in a dressing for spinach salad - it is a really tasty pairing.  Spinach likes cool damp weather, and this week's spinach is just beautiful.  Enjoy!

'Til Next Week!


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