Notes from the Farm
This week we have concentrated on knocking back some weeds through mowing, hand-pulling and weed-eating. The rain has been a boon to leafy greens, garlic and onions, while leaving other crops that thrive on heat a bit on the sad side. The extended forecast predicts a hot summer, so the sadness is not permanent. When you drive in to the farm you may notice that the rye cover crop is mowed. Soon pigs will move in, all in an aim to build healthy soil.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Lots of new veggies to add to your plate this week, with the repeat of red Russian kale and Swiss chard.
New This Week
Fresh garlic is generally milder in flavor and bonus, it does not need to be peeled. The individual cloves have not completely formed, and the outer wrappers are edible. This makes it easier to use, simply clip the stalk and the root before processing.
Cheddar turns heads at the farmer’s market. We get all kinds of questions about it, similar in absurdity to questions that rangers get asked at Yellowstone “When do the deer turn into elk?” type of questions. No, we do not color it, or add weird things to the soil to get it to turn yellow. It’s called plant breeding, selecting certain traits in a species, and over generations getting golden cauliflower. The most amazing plant breeders in the world could be our friends south of the border, who, thousands of years ago, developed corn. It really is a fascinating story, still puzzling scientists today. Back to Cheddar, it tastes like cauliflower to me, but cauliflower enthusiasts say that they can detect a difference in flavor between golden, white and purple (coming soon) cauliflower. Enjoy.
A nice addition to salads of any kind, and makes a mild herbal tea. Since we do not wash spearmint (it will turn brown), you may want to give it a rinse before adding it to your meal.
It’s really fun watching people eat a nasturtium for the first time, we think they add a unique zip to a lettuce mix, plus they are pretty.
Use the whole onion, green and all. Can be eaten raw or added to saute, soup, eggs…..
Last year the mice ate all of our celeriac, and this year much of it bolted. Bolting is when a plant sends all of its energy into reproduction, sending up a stalk and producing flowers and eventually seeds. Plants can bolt for many reasons, usually related to stress, too much water, too little water….Sometimes it is a complete mystery. The energy is not going into the root as we wished, but we can use the top portion of the plant. Luckily celery leaves are pretty fun to eat. Unlike the celery you buy in the store which is basically water and fiber with good crunch, celeriac has flavor. Use it fresh, or dry it on a screen/food dehydrator and save it for the winter.