Spring Week 7: Chicks and Carrots

The first carrots of 2012.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Carrots
• “Plum Purple” Radishes
• “White Icicle” Radishes
• Pea Shoots
• Green Garlic
• Sorrel

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON:
Spinach
Arugula
Spring Mix
Peas

Few vegetables elicit squeals of joy like a sweet, tender spring carrot. Maybe a warm, ripe tomato would do it. Or the crunch of a fat, sugar snap pea. But carrots are always welcome. We planted these early babies in the big greenhouse in March. They’ve been slowly plugging along for over two months, and finally, they’re ready to pluck from the ground. They’ll be a little bigger next week, so don’t fret.

Any radishes are welcome in the spring, but you can’t beat the violet hue of “Plum Purple”.

Radishes are in their prime this week, which is good, because there isn’t much else outside that is ready to pick yet. However, the spinach, arugula, and peas are coming along and will be ready soon. We had an early opportunity in April for planting, and we got as many radishes and turnips as we could in the ground, and got them covered to protect them from nasties like Cabbage Root Maggot. Nobody likes those in their roots. This week the Plum Purples and White Icicles are ready, and both are a good match with another bunch of pea shoots and sorrel.

Finally found this hen, after finding a baby on the ground. I had looked for two days and finally heard more peeping on top of the ceiling of the cow barn. There’s an overhang there, and she was quite cozy on top of the fluffy insulation.

On a side note, yesterday in the downpour I heard loud peeping coming from the pig barn area. I put my boots on and went out to look for the source and found a recently-hatched soggy chick. No mom or siblings anywhere, so I brought it in the house in my pocket to warm up. I went back out several times to try and find its family, to no avail. She was doing a good job of hiding. Finally tonight, while feeding the cows, I heard more peeping. Then I remembered seeing a black hen looking down from the roof one day, a while back. I got the ladder and climbed up—sure enough, there was a black hen with a handful of new chicks.

Cosmo ran to the house for me and got the chick, and I put it up there with the others. But it kept returning to me! This was not the time for bonding! A new chick can only stay in a shoebox on the stove for so long! I gently shoved the chick to the bristly hen with a broom and then ducked away. Fed the cows, and checked-in and it had disappeared under all the fluffy warmth with its siblings. Tomorrow, we will have to get them all down safely before they fall to their death and get eaten by pigs. Never a dull moment.

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3 responses to “Spring Week 7: Chicks and Carrots

  1. I’m not a subscriber (just a little too far out for convenience) but I love following your posts. Thanks for giving me a smile this morning!

  2. Shelley and Mike, Thanks for the gorgeous veggies this week! Lola, our guinea pig, also thanks you for the carrot greens! I love hearing about the wayward chickens, they are such characters :)

    I was inspired by a blog called Chocolate and Zucchini to make pesto with radish greens this week. Seattlelite’s Food Porn posting featured spring delights from the Pink Door in the Pike Place Market. Their spring menu features crostini topped with fava bean pesto and chopped radishes! Until the favas are ready, I’ll enjoy radish pesto. Leftover pesto could be used with chopped radishes or grated carrot in a spring inspired pasta salad.

    Radish Pesto Crostini

    1 baguette, sliced thin on the diagonal
    1 bunch Purple Plum radishes
    Green garlic
    Olive oil
    Lemon juice or sorrel
    Hazelnuts
    Sea salt
    Black pepper
    Parmesan (optional)

    Pesto is very forgiving. Because of this, I never measure; I just dump a bunch of great stuff into the food processor and whirl away. Taste and balance flavors as needed (go easy on the green garlic though, it can be potent and will mature if the pesto sits in your fridge for a few days).

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like. Toast until golden brown, remove from oven and cool.

    While the bread is toasting, combine washed and dried radish leaves with green garlic, hazelnuts (or any kind of nut that sounds yummy), a few sorrel leaves or lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and parmesan cheese in a food processor. Whirl until a fine paste forms, adding additional olive oil if the mixture looks too dry. Taste and adjust sorrel/lemon juice, salt, and pepper (if you’re using parmesan you’ll need less salt).

    Slice the Purple Plum radishes into thin slices or matchsticks. Top the crostini with pesto and radish slices and enjoy!

    Seattleite’s Food Porn posting: http://www.seattleite.com/food-porn-pink-doors-seattle-spring-menu/
    Features a great photo of the fava pesto/radish crostinis!

    Zucchini and Chocolate’s radish leaf pesto posting: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/05/radish_leaf_pesto.php

    Have a great holiday weekend!

  3. I love reading your posts. Maybe, one of these days when it is nice and sunny I will stop by your farm when I go down there to visit my son and DIL in Shoreline. How far are you from there?
    Lucille

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