Notes from the Farm
June – the month of weeding. We pulled and mowed the mustard in our field by the driveway and now you can actually see the onions and beautiful garlic. That was a major project. Those mustards germinate so early and grow so quickly it is hard to stay ahead of them.
Other exciting events: The March of the Bovines.
As I looked out the window on Monday morning I noticed an oddly angled young apple tree. I asked, “Didn’t that tree used to point to the sky?” And Leon said, “Where are the cows!?!”
This could be a children’s book, right?
The Moo-moo’s decided to take a neighborhood stroll down the dirt road. And what did they see on Mulberry Street? Grass. Lots of grass. So after they had breakfast Leon and I ushered them home, while our Australian Shepherd sat on the couch because she is terrified of large animals, and lap dogs. The End.
This Week’s CSA
This week you will have lettuce mix, strawberries, and…
According to Jo Robinson from “Eating on the Wild Side”, “Kale is one of the few vegetables that meets or exceeds the nutritional value of some wild greens. All varieties of kale grown today are good sources of cancer-fighting, heart-protective glucosinolates.” Kale is also high in antioxidants, calcium and fiber. What’s not to love?
When I was growing up in the suburbia of Minneapolis parsley was simply a side garnish. A little spring of curly leaf parsley was placed on the edge of the plate for … color, elegance, sophistication? Except that the places we ate were not elegant or sophisticated and seemed to show little concern for color schemes in their decor so why bother with the plate. No, I believe parsley was either a habit from days gone by, or an afterthought. Trivial. Insignificant. Minor. Inconsequential, alas ignored.
Parsley is no longer a puny garnish on my plate, it can at times be a major part of the meal. We use it liberally in pesto, hummus, and salads of all kinds. It contains Vitamins K, C, and A, as well as folate and is rich in flavonoids.
Dill is in the family Apiaceae (same family as carrots and celery). It has beautiful, delicate, fragrant leaves. Medicinally people have used dill to promote digestive health, although you would probably have to consume more than a few leaves to get the benefits. Some consider dill to be an appetizer, because the plant’s essential oils stimulate digestion.
Fresh garlic is immature. This is not a personality judgement. The cloves are not yet fully developed and it has not lost moisture content, because of this it is milder in flavor. You need not peel the cloves, but rather use the whole bulb, except maybe the outermost skin. Best stored in the refrigerator.
Life is a gamble and farming is no exception. I seeded the broccoli in March. I carefully tended them. We planted the seedlings in April and tucked them in as if they were delicate, little children. We kept the &*## chickens from scratching them out. We watered them and weeded them and read them bedtime stories, well, maybe not. Maybe we should have. The plants themselves are big and beautiful. The broccoli heads, small and beautiful, but small. So most of you will get several little broccoli, and some of you will get snap peas instead because let’s face it… it didn’t all go as planned.
When I was in my teens my BFF and I would make chocolate chip cookie dough and eat a good portion of it raw. Yuck, I can’t believe I did that! Anyway I was “designated stirrer” because of my lack of enthusiasm for measuring the ingredients. My dear friend would use a knife to scrap flour from the top of the measuring cup like we were taught in Home Ec, cause you know, that extra smidgen of flour could mess up the whole chemistry of the cookie dough. So now she is known as the “measurer” and I am the “stirrer”. This flows out into other aspects of life, as you can imagine. It’s good to have a mix of measurers and stirrers in your life. You probably can identify as one or the other, no need for a “Cosmopolitan” test.
Dill Yogurt Dip
for the stirrers
Some plain yogurt, Greek, low-fat, cream at the top, whatever
Chopped dill weed
finely minced fresh garlic
finely chopped parsley
options: paprika, lemon juice, chopped cucumber
For thicker dip you can strain the yogurt. Set a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and spoon plain yogurt into the sieve. Refrigerate and allow the liquid to drain off for two hours.
Mix all ingredients together, let sit in fridge for several hours for the flavors to do their thing. Serve with pita bread, carrot sticks, crackers … Yum.
for the measurers – Dill-icious Greek Yogurt Dip