>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU
• Salad Mix
• Stir-Fry Mixed Greens
• Spring Onions
• Sorrel or Garlic Scapes
• Beet Greens
• Green Onions
• Pea Shoots
After two weeks of record-breaking heat, we’re ready for this nice cool change in the weather. A brief chance to relax on the watering. Although we certainly didn’t get enough to irrigate crops, the water did get a better chance to work its magic without evaporating. The cool weather is also keeping the nasty flea beetles at bay. Flea beetles are our biggest pest problem, and they voraciously attack any plant in the mustard family, which includes arugula, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and a host of other spring crops. If you see tiny holes in your leaves, blame the flea beetles.
This week we have more salad greens, plus we harvested the overgrown rows of mustards that were meant for salad, but grew too quickly. Now they qualify as stir-fry greens. You can quickly sauté them, or braise them. Try them cooked with a little chopped onion or garlic scape.
The garlic scapes can be cooked like asparagus—my favorite thing to do is brush them with a bit of olive oil and throw them on the barbecue—but they can also be roasted in the oven, or sautéed. Expect them to have the texture of asparagus, but with a mild garlic flavor.
You know, it’s hard not to compare ourselves to the larger, conventional farms around us. Carpinito Brothers, who is a pretty good neighbor to us and about 30 times our size, grows mainly greens—lettuce, spinach, radishes. We watch them get their ground ready, plant, pour on water, and harvest spinach in about 20 days. They must use the equivalent of plant steroids, they use so much fertlizer and water. By contrast we plant spinach and it takes nearly twice as long to grow to a harvestable size. We don’t have the luxury of all that free water, and we do everything by hand, without chemicals. Sometimes we feel like we’re doing something wrong—I mean, their stuff is ready TWICE AS FAST as ours. But then, if you look at a bunch of their spinach and compare it to a bunch of ours, you can see the difference. Theirs is pale, thin, and mushes into a bunch—grocery store spinach—that needs to be picked through. Ours is dense, dark, and clean. I have to believe that because ours takes twice as long to grow to harvestable size with it’s vibrant healthy color, it must also be more nutritious.
So, eat up and remember that speed and quantity aren’t everything, and bigger isn’t always better!