Monday, May 25, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has asparagus, parsnips and potatoes, and many greens - lettuce, spinach, braising greens like brassica tops, mizuna,and mustard, beet thins, carrot thins, bok choy,  and either dill or cilantro.

Field Notes.  Ken has started tying up the tomatoes and peppers.  Once this job starts it continues as the plants grow.  He has been carefully monitoring weather forecasts and temperature so the greenhouses are at optimum temperatures as much as possible.  Like Goldilocks the plants don't want it too hot or too cold, but just right.  The more we can do this the better they grow and produce.  

Ken has planted more potatoes, and the sweet potato slips arrived in the mail.  Sweet potatoes like heat.  Once we have consistently warm temperatures and the slips have recovered from their time in the mail, Ken will transplant them in the field. Ken has been seeding and transplanting as well.  

Often I bring a meal out to the field as he is trying to finish a row or a job, and then a meal is a break rather than a trip into the yard.

Ken got some disappointing news last week.  The state bee inspector was here and some members of the bee keepers visited bee yards.  Ours was the second stop.  Of the three packages of bees that Ken purchased, two now have no queen and one has a weak queen.  Ken and the other bee keepers moved all the bees to one hive.  Ken is watching and has set up a space in case they hatch out a new queen and swarm.  A swarm occurs when the hive needs to split.  The older bees leave the  the hive to the younger queen and bees.  The trick is to present the swarm with a place to relocate.

From the Kitchen. We have been eating green here! I have been making spinach omelettes for breakfast or supper.  When people ask me how we consume so many healthy greens...

I explain that we usually have a raw green salad at mid day, but often have cooked greens at breakfast or supper.  Here is a spinach salad.  Spinach and eggs or spinach with feta cheese are two of my favorite combinations.

We also eat spinach cooked - When you see an item Florentine in a restaurant like tomato soup Florentine that means it has spinach.  I like to serve cooked spinach with cream as a side for pasta and tomato sauce.  I like spinach with an Asian dressing of the following: tamari, sesame oil, a bit of honey, hot sauce, mild vinegar, cooking wine like mirin or sherry, and toasted sesame seeds; it is great as a side dish with an Asian style meal.  

The same dressing is great with asparagus.  The other night I made potato salad with a creamy home made mayonnaise dressing and then had grilled asparagus and served it with Asian dipping sauce ( I used miso in place of the tamari so it was thicker and added powdered red pepper for some zip) with a side of toasted sunflower seeds for some protein and fat. I Like grilling asparagus and using it to top pasta salads - here is one I brought out to Ken recently

Bok choy is a great stir fry addition.  I separate top from stem and slice each.  I add the stems sections to cook a couple minutes and then add the leaf sections just before serving.

'Til Next Week, Judith

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