Monday, June 1, 2015

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has salad and braising greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, sorrel, mustard, and pea shoots, and bok choy, asparagus, spring rutabagas,  and strawberries.

Field Notes.  Ken had some disappointing news for me.  The best ever crop of grapes was frozen when we had that cold weather below freezing.  This is a first, and we do not know if they will start over for this season or not.  Stay tuned and we will keep you posted.  Although we had cold weather this past week, we did not have freezing temperatures.  We are hoping this is the end of cold weather, so the heat loving plants can forge ahead.

And the heat loving crops in the high tunnel are forging ahead!  Tomatoes are blooming, peppers are growing well, and the cucumbers in the greenhouse are taking off.  We got the cucumber fence up in the garden for the main cucumber crop.

We also got rain last week; many crops are doing better since the rain.  It was nearly 2".  Monday was dry enough in the garden that Ken could go through and cultivate.  Tuesday he did by the mobile high tunnel and parts of the field. Keeping ahead of weeds right now makes a big difference for the rest of the season.  The work now means Ken can stay ahead of the work load rather than falling behind and working all season to catch up!

From the Kitchen.  Rutabagas in June?  This was an experiment. Rutabagas germinate in cool soil.  Usually Ken struggles to get them to germinate in summer so they can fill out during cool fall weather.  This year he had some saved seeds and tried planting for the tender spring greens and also got bulbs!  Let us know what you think!  I tend to add rutabagas to soups, but many people eat them raw or grate them and make rutabaga hash browns.Here is Ken's rutabaga pancake - he adds egg, salt, and pepper

Bok choy left, Chinese cabbage on right
Bok choy was the original chop suey ingredient.  When it was unavailable celery was substituted.  I love bok choy in stir fry like chop suey with a side of rice.  I start with a hot pan, add some small pieces of meat, the white portion of green onions or any onion, the chopped bok choy stems and just before serving I add some organic corn starch mixed with water to thicken the liquid and finally the chopped greens tops of the bok choy.  Any other vegetables can be added - just move from the ones require longer cooking time to shorter cooking time. 
Oscar at the greenhouse door - guarding Ken

'Til Next Week, Judith

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