Greetings Faithful Eaters!
It never ceases to amaze me that it can be so beautiful at 6:00am- misty,cool, wet, and by 10:00am it seems like a different planet. The heat is a tangible obstruction. The plants have started to droop during the middle of the day, and we are feeling the weight of the farm pushing us to give more than the weeks and months before. It’s roughly the halfway point of the season, but the second half is far more challenging than the first. Amazing though it may seem, we are already thinking about and planting for fall. Even though our tomatoes are just beginning to turn, we are getting ready to plant sweet potatoes. Although summer harvests of squash and cucumbers will soon seem to fill our every waking hour, we have to remember to make time and space for the winter squash and rutabagas.
Needless to say, It’s staring to feel a little overwhelming. Luckily, reinforcements are on the way. We will be joined by a couple of part-time interns for the June rush, and we are also welcoming two new volunteers who will come once a week to help lift our spirits and lighten our checklists. After a great start to the season, we are in need of a boost of energy, and smiling faces and fresh hands are just what the doctor ordered.
Perhaps this is a good time to reflect upon our purpose. Why do we do this? What would make someone choose what amounts to hard, often menial labor performed in all manner of excruciating weather conditions? It’s not for the financial gain, I can assure you. Fame, well you can check that off the list… There’s an element of risk-taking involved that’s thrilling and scary, but that can be true of many professions. In the end for me, it comes down to community. We forge a bond when we work together through adverse conditions. We laugh at the absurdity of the weather, no matter what time of the year it is. And we feel the fundamental satisfaction of taking a tiny seed, nursing it, growing it, protecting it from the elements- to bring it to you to enjoy and sustain yourselves.
The true sense of community kicks in from our connection with you, the people who enjoy the fruit of our labors and provide us with financial backing to pursue this crazy way of life. While we feed you with our produce, you nourish us with your words. I can’t thank you enough for all of your kind comments and affirmations- they are a cool breeze that keeps us going during the doldrums of summer, and I can’t imagine what our job would be like without them.
It’s remarkably easy to forget how amazing this line of work is when you become absorbed in the day-to-day rituals of harvesting, planting and weeding. Perhaps this is true for most of us. When you look at the ground all day, sometimes you lose sight of the busy vibration of life all around you. The plants, the animals, and yes even the weeds, are enduring and even thriving in the heat and sun. There is true joy to be found in summer. Despite the fact that we’ve been preconditioned for comfort in the safety of our climate-controlled creations, there is no denying the vibrancy of a summer day. I hope you have some time to enjoy the heat- sweat a little, it’s good for you. It reminds you that you are alive, that you have a place outside in the world.
Take Care and Eat Well,
In The Box
This week we’ve got some exciting new offerings for you to enjoy. Summer squash and cucumbers make their first appearance, as well as an early picking of French beans. Our garlic is still curing, but we couldn’t resist putting it in this week. The red-fleshed Sangre potatoes are delicious, perfect for roasting, The petite green beans are a true summer delicacy, remember to cook them only briefly to enjoy their tender sweet taste. Next week: tomatoes and blackberries?
-1.5# Sangre New Potatoes
-1/2# Broccoli or 1 Head Cabbage
-1# Summer Squash or Cucumbers
-1 Bunch Leeks
-1 Bunch Spring Onions
-1 Bunch Turnips
-1/2# Petite French Beans
-1 Bunch Beets
-1 Head Komatsuna
-1 Head Garlic
Recipes and Ideas
-Stir fried Komatsuna with Garlic
1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)
1 head of Komatsuna, cleaned with the leaves cut into halves
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.
Heat pan over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Put oil in pan then swirl oil,
tilting so as to coat the entire surface area. Add the garlic and cook until pale golden, 5 to 10
seconds. Add half of the komatsuna and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, (you can add
a small amount of water to the pan but only just enough to help the wilting process. Add the
remaining komatsuna and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total.
Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring
occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil, then transfer
to a serving dish.
-Quick and Easy Spring Beans!!
This is the simplest recipe ever and normally us farmers wouldn’t condone using a microwave but
this is just too good to pass up.
Take the freshest beans you have (hopefully from your CSA box) and put them in a bowl. On top
of them put 2 pats of butter or more if you’re feeling sinful, a dash of salt and pepper (white is a
good option) and microwave of high for 20-30 seconds. Pull it out of the microwave, toss and Eureka!! The
easiest dish in the world and yummy to boot.
5 medium leeks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 oz thinly sliced pancetta or a good quality bacon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cut off dark green tops of leeks and trim root ends. Halve each leek lengthwise to within 2 inches
of root end. Cover leeks with cold water in a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add salt and simmer leeks,
uncovered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer leeks to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper
towels. While leeks simmer, finely chop pancetta, then cook in 1 tablespoon of oil over moderately low
heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl until emulsified. Add leeks and gently toss to coat. Serve topped with pancetta and parsley.