Thursday, July 9, 2009

First Week of July

Notes from your Farm
Hello from the farm! Weather is as weather does--we won't complain about the beautiful dry days we've been having, but will say that irrigation was the focus of this week and looks like it will play a large role in the weeks to come. The trainees harvested a lot of garlic this week and laid it out on racks to dry and cure. Bradley and I spent the day yesterday pruning and tying tomatoes. We have about 1,600 tomato plants and they look healthy so far despite the presence of the destructive late blight here in the county and the Northeast. Elizabeth and the trainees worked on the carrot and parsnip beds, making them look great--we are looking forward to those first fresh carrots! The raspberries are fading away but the blueberries are still around this week.

Nettiquette: On Handling the Berry Netting

To preserve as many of those tasty blueberries as possible and not trap the birds in the netting, here are a few tips:
--lift the nets gently up to make picking pleasant
--after picking a spot, replace the netting
--netting should touch the ground and curl outward to keep the birds from pushing under and getting stuck.

About Some of this Week’s Goodies

  • Beets: see recipe below, grate raw into salad, roast, or steam until tender
  • Garlic Scapes: use the succulent “neck” of the scape in pesto, salads or stir-fries or anywhere you would enjoy either garlic or onions. Don’t use the lower, stiff part unless you like “crunch”!
  • Kale: a super-nutritious green that can be added to salads, or sautéed and added to casseroles, soups, or omelets. The ribs are generally not used unless it is baby kale
  • Bok Choi: this Asian cabbage is great stir fries and thrives wherever peanut butter is found. A simple recipe would be: chopped, stir fried with onions, garlic ginger in olive oil with some peanut butter and soy sauce and then serve with rice.

A Beet Recipe: Borscht

Polish beet soup consists of beets only, carefully scrubbed, sliced or diced, and stewed in water until tender with salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of dill and a dollop of sour cream.

Ukrainian borscht is made with meat stock, and includes a mixture of beets, carrots, onions, parsnips (or turnips or rutabagas), potatoes, garlic, dill, tomatoes, and chunks of either pork, beef, or sausage. It is also served with sour cream. The proportions are based on what you have on hand.

-From Foodbank for a Sustainable Harvest

Thanks for your encouragement and appreciation of the work that everyone does here. Farming is not an easy or predictable endeavor but rewarding in spite of all the variables.


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