Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CSA Newsletter

Tomato preview
Greetings from the Garden!  This week's box has Romaine lettuce, salad and braising greens like mustard, peas shoots, beet thinnings, and arugula, asparagus, Asian turnips, radishes, carrots, parsley, green onions and Chinese cabbage.  There will strawberries as we have them.

Field Notes.  As a friend of mine would say, Ken "has been running like a dog."  He is nearly caught up planting, has been  weeding perennials, and next will be moving animals to their summer homes.  

Last week he got the tomato plants tied up for the first time this season.  He says the first time is the most bending, stretching and time consuming.  But it will continue about every week during the season.

Ken got the irrigation pump working.  Mechanical work is not his favorite work, so it is nice to be done and move on.  Although irrigation sounds odd with all the rain we have had this spring, the plants in the greenhouses don't get the rain, so Ken must water them.  He moves the pump from field to mobile high tunnel as needed.  
rye and the mobile tunnel

The greenhouses are a great tool, but like any new tool, one has to work with them, learn what they can and can't do, and incorporate them into the farm.   We are learning things like venting.  The greenhouses can get colder than the heat loving plants like at night, but must be opened before they get too hot.  Last year there were days with the greenhouse wide open that had temperatures too hot so the blossoms on tomatoes dropped - a gap in production of about six inches on each plant.

From the Kitchen  Chinese cabbage is a sure sign we are moving into summer and "solid greens" with European cabbage to follow.  Chinese cabbage is versatile.  I usually cook the outer leaves and make salad out of the hearts.  Our friend Sandy tells us Chinese cabbage in great for cabbage rolls, too.  I usually cut the leaf from rib as I cook the rib for a couple minutes, but only cook the greens to wilt them.  I like to cut the hearts into ribbons and dress with an Asian style dressing of sesame oil, a bit of toasted sesame oil, mild vinegar like rice vinegar, tamari, a little honey, chopped green onion tops, toasted sesame seeds and some crushed hot pepper.

And I also dressed some grilled asparagus with a bit of toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds for a change.  It got a thumbs up from Ken.

We had a clear broth soup for breakfast as it was cool Tuesday.  I added greens to the bowl, and poached some eggs in the broth with herbs and green onions, and placed the eggs on the greens and then ladled the hot broth to wilt the greens.  A great warmer upper on a cool morning.

'Til Next Week, 

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