Notes From the Farm
Hello! Welcome to the first veggie feast of 2021. This spring has been, well, odd; but we were super happy to get all the rain even if it did come a bit late. We have a lot of the crops in, and they are starting to thrive as our weather heats up. When you come into the driveway look to your right, you will see long rows of leaf mulch; in between those leaves are tiny onions. We are in the process of weeding and mulching that entire field to retain the moisture and enhance the soil. In the next two weeks we will be hustling to get the rest of the winter squash and pepper transplants in the ground, as well as seed beans, corn and some herbs. The first couple of weeks will be light as we grow almost everything outdoors. Once the summer starts rolling the veggie abundance will come your way.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Asparagus can be steamed, roasted, and grilled. Supremely delicious!
Native to eastern Europe, horseradish, a funny-looking root, thrives in our climate. This yellowish-brown root belongs to the same family as turnip, cabbage, and cauliflower. The pungent odor and hot taste of horseradish is related to a substance called sinigrin that creates a volatile oil containing sulphur. The release of these properties only happens when the root is either cut or bruised. Grating horseradish will make your eyes water and nose tingle so if you are sensitive, wear ski goggles while grating.
Horseradish is popular in many cuisines and is usually served as a condiment for meat, fish, or eggs. The entire root is not useable; you will want to peel the root and discard any woody core. The grated root can be eaten raw but is usually toned down with some dairy product or mixed into a sauce. Horseradish is often served as a sharp relish to accompany roast beef, but also goes well with fish, eggs, apples, and potatoes. One root is usually more than enough for a recipe, so preservation is important since once horseradish is cut or grated and the flavor has developed, it quickly deteriorates.
We harvest horseradish about once a year and them make a paste that lasts a good portion of the year in our fridge. It starts out hot and pungent and gradually mellows with age. Here’s a recipe for horseradish paste.
People laugh at us for eating “weeds.” They actually can have a higher nutrient value compared to cultivated varieties of vegetables. Yellow dock has a long taproot, which means in can survive drought and absorbs minerals and nutrients from deep in the soil. This green has a lemony, sour taste. You could chop it up finely and add it to a salad for extra flavor and texture. It can also be added at the last possible moment to any dish that needs a green. Careful to not cook it very long as it will turn into mush!
Sorry. I am pretty sure everyone knows what an onion looks like, I am just trying to stay true to my format here. These onions were grown in 2020 and have been stored in our cooler just waiting for you. They are nice and aromatic when you cut into them!
Finely chop the fresh leaves for a great addition to pasta sauces, pizza, bean dishes, taco fillings, stuffing, or grilled veggies. Oregano’s strong flavor pairs well with grilled meats, marinades, soups and roasted vegetables. Some consider oregano’s soul mate to be lemon, making it perfect for Greek salads, baked fish and souvlaki. In Mexico, oregano flavors bean dishes, burritos and taco fillings.