Tag Archives: turnip greens

Summer Week 3

Juniper had this bouncing baby boy Tuesday morning. The kids in our first FarmClub collectively named him Darkwing. He's doing great, and we are enjoying having real, fresh milk in the house again, now that the crazy mommy hormones have diminished some.

Juniper had this bouncing baby boy Tuesday morning. The kids in our first FarmClub collectively named him Darkwing. He’s doing great, and we are enjoying having real, fresh milk in the house again, now that the crazy mommy hormones have diminished some.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Shelling Peas
Beet Greens
• Butter Lettuce
Curly Endive, or Frisée
• Yokatta-Na, Mizuna, or Swiss Chard (depending on your pick up day)
• Green Onions
• Nasturtium Flowers

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

COMING SOON:
Sugar Snap Peas
Baby Carrots
Purslane
Spinach
Fennel
Green Beans

This is what bunnies do in the pea patch. If the pea plants survive the initial nibbles, they snack on pods and eat the peas inside.

This is what bunnies do in the pea patch. If the pea plants survive the initial nibbles, they snack on pods and eat the peas inside.

It’s been such a busy couple of weeks. I apologize for not posting for so long, especially to the newer members of our CSA family, who I know have been frantically searching the blog and website for any clue on how to use their new unusual greens and vegetables.

Teo was married last Saturday, and he has been on a well-deserved vacation and honeymoon since then. We have been keeping up, but not able to get much planted or weeded. When you see him again, tell him how much he is appreciated, as I will too!

Weather is always a trick in farming. Having days of torrential rain was a bonus, since it means lots of free irrigation, but it also wreaks havoc on the crops in the way of weeds. Rain and warm weather make EVERYTHING grow faster, so that the weeds can easily overtake slower growing crops. Hopefully we will be able to get things under control again once Teo returns from his honeymoon.

If you are ever truly lost with your vegetable identification, please feel free to nudge me via email. But in the mean time, if you’re in a quandary, taste the mystery item—if it seems like you can eat it raw, you probably can. If it seems like it should be cooked, try it out. There’s very little you can do to ruin anything.  And if you end up with more than you can use, just steam or sauté it up and put it in a freezer bag for later. No need to waste anything!

Summer Week 1

The potatoes are starting to bloom, and that means they are starting to form tubers! This pretty variety is Yukon Rose. Pinkish on the outside, yellow on the inside.

The potatoes are starting to bloom, and that means they are starting to form tubers! This pretty variety is Yukon Rose. Pinkish on the outside, yellow on the inside.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Garlic Scapes
• Pea Shoots
• Baby Carrots
• Pepper Cress
• Salad Mix
• Green Onions

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

COMING SOON:
Spinach
Peas
Beet Greens

Tender pea shoots in the morning sun. Make sure and enjoy them now, because their season is short.

Tender pea shoots in the morning sun. Make sure and enjoy them now, because their season is short.

This week we start our summer season, and it’s shaping up to be a great one. As I write this it is the first day of summer (yes, I’m a few days late posting) and it’s grey and rainy. But, the planting continues—all the squashes, cucumbers, and beans are popping up. The warm showers we are getting this week are great for watering in seeds and plants. Our early planting of peas is looking awesome—the plants are covered in blooms, and every flower becomes a pod. It’s looking like we will have many more shelling (also known as English) peas in this round than the sugar snap peas. But don’t worry! The second planting is much bigger and was not eaten by the wild rabbits. Cosmo had taken care of most of the rabbit problem before they were planted.

These are the chance early planting of shelling peas, thrown in the ground during the early warm spell in March. Every one of those flowers is going to be a pod—ready to pick in just another week or two.

These are the chance early planting of shelling peas, thrown in the ground during the early warm spell in March. Every one of those flowers is going to be a pod—ready to pick in just another week or two.

We have nearly got the u-pick area complete—just a few transplants left to set out. There is nothing to pick just yet, but the flowers and peas will be along shortly, as well as the herbs. Just a bit more patience is needed. Once things are ready, I will post information everywhere, and there will be signs showing you where to go. In the mean time, feel free to cut blooms from last year’s volunteer cut-flower garden. There is no order, being that they seeded themselves, but they are pretty! Click here for the cutting instructions.

School is out finally, what a relief. No more bedtimes or forcing kids to get up after a short night of sleep. No more worries about having dinner at 10:00pm. And, the kids get to help more—yes, I said they GET to.

There are a bunch of flowers that volunteered from last year's cut-flower patch. One of our honeybees is enjoying a poppy here—you can see her loaded pollen basket.

There are a bunch of flowers that volunteered from last year’s cut-flower patch. One of our honeybees is enjoying a poppy here—you can see her loaded pollen basket.

We continue to plant, and prime weeding season is here as well. What makes our intentional plantings grow well also encourages the weeds that we do not want. We are all gearing up for Teo’s wedding next week. If you pick up at the farm, look for the tip jar we’ve set up for him, to help with his honeymoon plans.

A few notes about the produce: Check the links for Pea Shoots and Garlic scapes for ideas on how to use them. Peppercress is a spicy member of the mustard family. Use it fresh in a salad or stick some in a sandwich, or add it to soup or other cooked dishes at the very last second. It’s not really a cooking green, better fresh.

The End of Spring

The older flock of laying hens moved in the night to their new pasture. It's always exciting to wake up in a new place.

The older flock of laying hens moved in the night to their new pasture. It’s always exciting to wake up in a new place.

Summer is here at last, and so we have cranked into high gear. I haven’t posted for a few weeks, because of the shift into hectic mode, but we did complete the Spring season successfully, with lots of tasty greens and a touch of rhubarb—our first harvest!

We took a good, hard look at what was left, though, and decided that we would not complete our two weeks of winter make-up as planned. We just do not have enough to make a successful weekly harvest, twice. We have a lot of a few things, and so we are going to farmers markets, but no shares until the Summer season starts June 18. Instead, we have sent out vouchers to everyone who took part in our last winter season. You can use your voucher at a farmers market to buy produce or eggs from us, or save it and apply the value to a future CSA purchase. We really feel like this is the best for our subscribers—and it’s your choice.

We are ramping up for the first week of Summer! The peas are blooming, which means sugar snaps and shelling peas are only a few weeks away. We’ve got fresh patches of greens growing steadily in this early June warmth, and we’re still looking ahead at what promises to be a great season.

I am working on getting the email out there to confirm, but if you’re looking and I’m slow, the first week of the Summer CSA is June 18th. The first Saturday pickup will be June 22nd. Look for an email this week from me, and if you don’t get one, pester me. This is a very busy time of year, especially before school gets out.

The cut-flower garden is a bit behind, because we weren’t able to plant during the rainy spell in May, but we are catching up and expect some blooms by the end of June. The u-pick peas should be ready around the end of June as well, and an extra-early patch of green beans in early July.

Cosmo can't resist snuggling baby birds. And baby turkeys are just SO sweet.

Cosmo can’t resist snuggling baby birds. And baby turkeys are just SO sweet.

The baby turkeys arrived last week, and they have settled in. We are taking deposits for Thanksgiving now, so reserve yours soon to avoid Turkey Frenzy 2013—that mad panic that happens around the end of October, when everyone realizes that they don’t have their special bird lined up yet and there are none to be found. We have about 20 left unspoken-for. Our first fryer butchering day is approaching soon, but we still have quite a few birds available for later harvests, especially the August and September dates.

We planted pasture on the north side of the farm this year, to let this 3-acre piece rest. The pasture is up and needs to be mowed before we put the cows on, and it's time to get the fence up!

We planted pasture on the north side of the farm this year, to let this 3-acre piece rest. The pasture is up and needs to be mowed before we put the cows on, and it’s time to get the fence up!

We are anxiously awaiting the cows to calve. Juniper is due first—June 30, and Dulce is due with her first calf about two weeks later. Beauty is pregnant, but we are unsure of her due date. Sometime before the end of August is the best estimate, but this will be her 12th calf, so we trust that she knows what she’s doing. The newly-planted cow pasture is nearly ready for cows, so we’re mowing it now and getting the fence put up. You may ask, “Why mow if the cows are going there to eat it?” There are two answers: 1. Because the grass is still a bit thin, and cutting it is like pruning, and will make it get bushier, thicker, and softer. 2. Because cows don’t like tall, pokey grass. They like it soft and about 6-8″ long.

David, my bee mentor, dropped off three of his hives to take advantage of our abundant bee forage. He likes Mondrian.

David, my bee mentor, dropped off three of his hives to take advantage of our abundant bee forage. He likes Mondrian.

My honeybee mentor, David brought down some hives to take advantage of our bee forage—mostly blackberry. He may be bringing another three hives down in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. You can’t miss his style.

The blackberries are blooming about two weeks early, but the honeybees aren't interested yet. It hasn't been warm enough to get the nectar flowing. Bumblebees are visiting but just for pollen. We need just a few more days above 70° for the nectar to flow.

The blackberries are blooming about two weeks early, but the honeybees aren’t interested yet. It hasn’t been warm enough to get the nectar flowing. Bumblebees are visiting but just for pollen. We need just a few more days above 70° for the nectar to flow.

We had an amazing Locust bloom this year, stronger and sweeter-smelling than I can remember it being in many years. I stole two frames of honey from my own hives to try and capture it before the bees mix it with blackberry blossom. The blackberries are blooming already, but there’s no nectar yet, so no honey.

We're doing our part to spread the word about the campaign to label genetically modified food in Washington. It will be on the November ballot. Let us know if you want a $1 button or if you need more information! YES ON 522!

We’re doing our part to spread the word about the campaign to label genetically modified food in Washington. It will be on the November ballot. Let us know if you want a $1 button or if you need more information! YES ON 522!

We are actively working on the Yes on 522 campaign—Washington is working on a rule that would establish mandatory labeling of GMO food. Don’t you want to know if the milk, wheat, corn, soy, rice, canola, and sugar in your food have been genetically modified? There are others, including cotton and fuel oil plants that are being manipulated as well, but they aren’t turned into food. Please ask us if you want more information or a $1 button.

What are the chances this would roll up behind the farm?

What are the chances this would roll up behind the farm?

And one more photo, just for fun. Spelled right and everything!

Have a great week, enjoy the sun, and get ready for summer produce!

Spring Week 8: Slump Week

When we noticed rabbits working their way down the rows of pea plants, Cosmo took matters into his own hands and went after them with the air rifle. Don't worry—clean shots. And no more peas are disappearing!

When we noticed rabbits working their way down the rows of pea plants, Cosmo took matters into his own hands and went after them with the air rifle. Don’t worry—clean shots. And no more peas are disappearing!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Green Garlic
• Pea Shoots
• French Breakfast Radishes
• Arugula
• Mizuna
• Sorrel

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

COMING SOON:
Carrots
Spinach
Green Onions

Finally, the rapini and other brassicas have finished, in a glorious explosion of yellow. The bees enjoyed the flowers, but now they are in the process of being disced and plowed into the soil. We will be getting that spot ready to plant the cucumbers and summer and winter squashes next week.

That brings us to “Slump Week”, that awkward stage of spring when the overwintered crops have come to an end, but the spring-planted crops are not quite plentiful to harvest in great abundance. So, the shares are light this week, but we’re doing the best we can. We checked on the spinach and carrots and they are coming along, just not quite big enough—probably just another week or two.

The first potatoes are popping up, reaching for the warm sun!

The first potatoes are popping up, reaching for the warm sun!

There is some exciting news though! Thanks to amazing weather, we were able to get the potatoes planted on time and they are poking up—I can’t wait to have new potatoes! I took a chance and planted a few rows of green beans along with the second planting of peas, and they also popped right up. The u-pick area is started,  and with the early flowers, peas, beans, and cilantro and dill are up and growing. The season is off to a great start. Beauty is due to calve in the next week, and we are so anticipating the first of the calves, as well as the delicious milk that comes with the calf. Juniper is due in June, and Dulce is due in July with her first, so we will have bouncing calves to enjoy all summer.

The first planting of beans is up! I don't know when I have ever successfully planted beans in the first week of May. 50 days to green beans!

The first planting of beans is up! I don’t know when I have ever successfully planted beans in the first week of May. 50 days to green beans!

We had the pleasure of hearing Michael Pollan speak on Monday night at Benaroya Hall. I had never been there before, but I’m going to have to go again to hear the amazing pipe organ. At any rate, he had a lot to say about food, and about cooking. One perfect quote was “The microwave is the Ayn Rand of kitchen appliances. It’s every man or woman for themselves.” In his new book, “Cooked” he is emphasizing food preparation and eating together. I can’t wait to listen to the whole book! But when he was emphasizing eating together as a family, and pointing out that the dinner table is where children learn the art of conversation, I laughed out loud. How does that happen, I wonder. At our table, the “conversation” is usually focused on Guinea Pigs, shooting rabbits, or planting, and it is NOT usually civilized.

We still have many spaces available for the summer, so if you know anyone who might be interested in joining our Summer CSA, forward them to us!

Have a great week!

Spring Week 7: Early Summer

Our first early planting of peas is coming along. Happy that we planted in the Easter dry weather window, we should have peas at the beginning of our Summer CSA season—mid-June!

Our first early planting of peas is coming along. Happy that we planted in the Easter dry weather window, we should have peas at the beginning of our Summer CSA season—mid-June!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
Green Garlic
• Pea Shoots
• Baby Turnips with Greens
• Swiss Chard
Beet Greens
• Fresh Thyme

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

COMING SOON:
Arugula
Radishes
Carrots

Green onions on the left, green garlic on the right. Fork in the middle of the road.

Green onions on the left, green garlic on the right. Fork in the middle of the road.

What exactly is up with this weather? Yesterday it was 85°, finally today it has cooled to the 70°’s, which is still warm for May, but at least it’s reasonable. We were in a pickle—so many things to plant out, mostly the 30,000 or so onions—but it was just too hot. If we had started planting, even with water, we would have lost many to the scorching heat. We couldn’t put out baby lettuce, broccoli, or anything else either. It’s just too much of a shock to be thrown out into that heat, and only an inch deep in the soil.

And so we wait.

But we are planting our next round of seeded crops—spinach, arugula, carrots, beets, peas, fava beans, other greens. I even gambled on a patch of green beans. We don’t need to worry about them rotting in these temperatures, and if they work, we’ll have green beans in early July. We never even attempt to plant this early, because it’s too cold and wet and we would lose them to rotting. We may even be planting cucumbers and squash next week, and that would be a record date as well.

Our first planting of radishes is coming along under the protection of fabric tunnels. The tunnels keep the root maggot flies and flea beetles out.

Our first planting of radishes is coming along under the protection of fabric tunnels. The tunnels keep the root maggot flies and flea beetles out.

Our farm interns, Dan and Kerri, have settled-in, and we couldn’t be happier. They both fit in well with our farm and our family, and we are excited about the coming season. More stories will come, but for now they are learning the ropes and quickly becoming invaluable.

Shawna and Duane have put together another spring produce cooking video, which is linked below. This time, they are using Pea Shoots (and other spring veggies) to make a risotto and a delicious salad.

http://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=5EM0rjb51q0&ns=1

I also have to share a dish I put together tonight for dinner. Dan picked a few handfuls of pea shoots and baby turnips. I cut off the turnips from their leaves, halved the larger ones, and sautéed them gently in butter. When they were caramelized and tender I removed them and squeezed two oranges into the pan, with the pulp. I reduced the liquid a bit, added a dollop of honey and a splash or two of rice vinegar, and some salt and pepper and cooked it down a bit more, until it was syrupy. I cut the pea shoots and turnip greens into bite-sized pieces and tossed them together, then tossed the turnips in the “sauce” before I poured it on the greens and tossed it all together. It was SO tasty. (And it was delicious with the cheese ravioli and pesto, and baked salmon that we had with the greens.)