Welcome to week three! Summer is paying us an early visit this week and we’ve been busy scampering around making sure everything has enough water to produce through this (hopefully) little dry spell. In addition to tackling some nasty weeds, we are also planting melons, okra, corn, cucumbers and summer squash. Several of our tomato plants are showing glossy green globes, and the orchard is setting its fruit right and left. The farm is starting to look like summer.
The warmer it gets, the more there is to do, but it’s not burdensome. There is something oddly rewarding about working in the heat (for the record, the months of July and August are exempt from that statement…). Sweat, sunscreen, and bug spray all signify that the time has come to farm with wild abandon. Far away are the dreary winter days spent with spreadsheets and seed catalogs. That the garden is translating itself from a piece of paper into acres of vegetables is reassuring to say the least. Even this modest heat is visceral and lends a sense immediacy to us as we work on the farm. It pushes you to harvest more, to plant more, and to leave a bit of yourself out in the fields. Put it in the ground, give it some water and watch it grow. Then prepare to fight the bugs, diseases and critters that are eager to destroy your handy work. What makes farming so difficult is also what makes it so enjoyable- bring on the heat!
We’ve got a great selection for you this week. I’m amazed that our strawberry and asparagus plants are both still producing, although I’m of the mind that this might be the last week for both of them. Sugar snap peas are even more of a rarity in our climate. The season for them is only a couple of weeks. They are a pain to pick, a pain to weed, and a pain to trellis but they are so tasty, you just can’t say no to them. We’ve also included an offering to fit with the warmer weather- a bright beautiful sunflower to herald the coming of summer. We hope you enjoy!
-Take Care and Eat Well,
In the box
-1 pint sugar snap peas
-1 pint strawberries
– 1 bunch mixed yellow and orange baby carrots
-1 bunch mixed baby beets
-2 heads lettuce (red buttercrunch/green romaine)
– 1 large bunch Lacinato or Russian Kale
-1 bunch spring onions
-1 spring Basil
-1 large Sunflower
News and Notes
Starting this week, we are going to be dropping the boxes off without staying for the whole pick-up period. We will have the swap box marked and we will be leaving a checklist with your name on it. Please take a second to check off your name so we can make sure everyone received this week’s delivery. Be sure to give me a call if you have any questions (912.257.9865). Please remember to leave your boxes broken down in the appropriate location and to pick-up between 4-7 pm. Thanks for helping us make this process easy for our pick-up location hosts!
Recipes and Ideas
Most of the items this week should be pretty familiar, and you have a lot of raw/salad options. The only thing that might stump a few of you is the kale. Besides cooking it down, there are a couple of other strategies for enjoying this nutrient-rich leafy green. I like to chop the leaves in ribbons and marinate them with sugar, salt, olive oil and balsamic, and serve it like a green coleslaw. Another kid-friendly possibility to to bake kale in to chips. Simply toss with olive oil and garlic salt and roast on a cookie tray at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until crispy. You may be surprised what your child is willing to eat if you can call it a chip…
Burge Plantation’s own Chef Andrew Featherstone has included a recipe for Asparagus Vichyssoise this week, and I’m anxious to give it a try. We should have leeks from the farm in a few weeks, so be prepared to have it again soon!
In the kitchen at burge I make a lot of asparagus stock from the stems and cuttings that
we cant sell and then freeze them in small containers for use later.
normally a classic vichyssoise is made from chicken stock but I like using our asparagus
2 cups of roughly chopped peeled Yukon gold potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
6 leeks cut in to one inch pieces and washed very well.
5 cups asparagus stock *
salt and white pepper
1-2 cups of sour cream
In a saucepan melt the butter and simmer the leeks till soft with a little bit of color. add
potatoes, stock, seasoning. simmer till potatoes are cooked. allow to cool and blend with
the sour cream. Adjust seasoning. you can serve the soup like this or can strain again.
allow to chill in refrigerator before serving. garnish with chopped chives.
for the asparagus stock you can use stems or whole asparagus.
roughly chop any amount in a pot with a roughly diced onion and sprig of thyme.
Cover with water if you want a completely vegetarian stock or use chicken broth or stock
for more flavor. simmer till completely soft adding more liquid if needed.
let cool, Blend and pass through a fine strainer.
Cheers and Enjoy.
Chef Andrew Featherstone.