Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden. This box has Romaine lettuce, salad greens like beet thins, salad turnips,  green onions, garlic scapes, celery, Chinese cabbage, strawberries and asparagus.

Field Notes.  It is now summer, and Ken is still hard at it.  He is planting fall crops, weeding perennials like strawberries and asparagus, cultivating the annual crops....

... tying up tomatoes and irrigating the greenhouses.

I am picking.  We are at the end of a good sequence of strawberries.  I have also been picking peas.  This year does not look like  a long pea season.  We will see if there is another bloom and fruit set.  Peas like it cool and damp.  There was a bit too much heat and too much rain.  Usually there is a gap between the snap and shell peas, but with the heat you get both at once this season

Snap -edible pod on left, shell on right
From the Kitchen.  We grow two types of peas - snap and shell.  Snap peas are an edible pod and one snaps off the little cap - the blossom end and pulls down to remove a green string.  Then they are ready to eat. Steam for a short time and they will turn bright green - good served alone with butter or cream, in a stir fry with other vegetables, and some people add them to cold green and pasta salads.  Snap peas are slightly sickle shaped.  Shell peas are traditional European peas.  The pods are tough and need to be removed or you will feel like you are eating organic dental floss!  They are more cylindrical in shape.  I often save all the shell pea pods and boil them in soup stocks - great flavor and aroma. 

Salad turnips are another of the "bonus" vegetables - both the greens and roots are delicious.  I cut tops from roots and store separately.  Eat the greens soon for peak nutrition.  I add a bit to salads, braise them with the beet tops and add to soups. I tend to slice and salt the roots for a quick pickle.  They are also tasty in a stir fry or steamed with butter and cream.

'Til Next Week, 

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