Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CSA Newsletter

Back road to the mobile high tunnel
Greetings from the Garden!  This box has asparagus, lettuce, salad and braising greens, radishes, green onions or chives, bok choy, sun chokes and parsnips

a flower often planted for bees in Europe

Field Notes.  Ken is busy!  Many crops are going in this week  - like the curcurbit family such as cucumbers, melons and squash.  The zucchini is already in the garden.  Ken has been transplanting hot weather crops - tomatoes and peppers are in the mobile high tunnel.  Out in the field the onions and garlic look great.  And Ken has also been planting flowers for insectaries for beneficial insects and pollinators.  And in his "spare time" he is picking asparagus, pulling greens and radishes for farm sales, and doing all the animal chores.  No, I have not been lying on the sofa eating bon bons!

 With the rain the mosquitoes are hatching.  One evening they were so pesty that Ken wore his bee suit and leather gloves!  I have dug out insect repellent for the first time in years.  Although the mosquitoes may seem annoying, we are so glad there is moisture, and we just work around the weather.

Monday the wildlife damage person brought us a fence for the bear.  Ken has not encountered the large bear a second time, but as strawberries are just starting to ripen we are glad to have a way to keep the bears out of the greenhouse.  I netted the strawberries this weekend to protect them from the birds.  Many birds eat insects when they are laying eggs and feeding young, but once their young start to fly, they all are very happy to peck holes in strawberries!  Strawberries will appear in your CSA boxes as we have them.

Joy choy
From the Kitchen.  Bok choy is here.  I always get excited when the bok choy is ready - it is the first of the really solid food after the radishes and salad turnips.   It is in the category of what I call bonus vegetables - two delicious parts.  I usually cook bok choy briefly.  I separate the stems from leaves and cook stems a couple minutes and add the green leafy part just as I turn off the heat so it wilts and turns bright green. 
Red bok choy
I like bok choy cooked with onion of any type and one of my favorite additions just before serving is a little umeboshi vinegar - sweet sour and salty.  I also make an Asian dressing I use on everything from spinach to grilled asparagus to bok choy.  It is sesame oil, a little toasted sesame oil, a bit of honey, some mild vinegar, tamari or soy sauce and some powdered red pepper and toasted sesame seeds.

Beet thins are a versatile green.  I like to add the tender leaves to salad for sweetness and color.  They are great in stir fry or braising mixes.  Once we thin a few times the beet roots with tops are not far in the future!

'Til Next Week, 

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