2nd Harvest Week: Wednesday/Thursday Delivery, June 22 & 23, 2011
The Second Week of the season has brought the threat of rain almost every day. These forecasts have kept us tackling the fieldwork with unusual tenacity—even for us! (See Farmer John Writes.) This week some additional early-season veggies are making an appearance in your boxes: juicy spring turnips, radiant beets, a generous bag of chard, and garlic scapes—the not-so-familiar yet scrumptious, budding tendril of the garlic plant. By harvesting these delectable, spirally flower shoots, not only do you receive a delicacy in your box this week but we’re properly managing your late-summer garlic harvest by sending the energy that the plant would have used for flowering back down into the bulbs, encouraging hefty-sized cloves for you later this summer. This once-a-season treat has an enthusiastic following with our members, so here are two recipes in which the scapes can really shine.
Garlic Scape Dressing from About.com.
•2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped •2 green onions, coarsely chopped •1 teaspoon honey •2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or similar brown mustard •4 tablespoons red wine vinegar •1 tablespoon lemon juice •dash salt •1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper •1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended. Use over spinach, lettuce or chard.
From food blog SpinachTiger.com (entry dated July 25, 2009) comes this wonderful Zucchini Garlic Scape Pesto: •6-8 zucchini (you can use any variety, mix it up), thinly sliced •1 bunch garlic scapes •1 banana pepper, seeded, diced •1/3 cup olive oil (more or less) •sea salt, cracked pepper •a few mint leaves (optional) • if making pasta to accompany this, reserve some pasta water and put it in. Salt zucchini, allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Use paper towels to absorb moisture. This is not so important if the zucchini are small. I used all sizes and types in this recipe. Sauté all zucchini in olive oil on low heat, until soft—not mushy, but not crunchy. (Not stir fry style.) In a food processor, add chopped scapes (cut off ends) salt, pepper, & banana pepper. Pulse until scapes seem as small as you can get them, adding olive oil a little at a time. Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cooked zucchini and process. Use as a sauce or spread, or toss the remaining zucchini with the mixture and eat as side, in pasta or on rice.
Farmer John Writes:
View Our Fields
I’m glad you are with us this season. Our fields look the best ever! Check them out via this YouTube video.
We’ve pushed really hard to have our fields in great shape before harvest began. Once the harvest period starts, the time available for weeding, transplanting, trellising, and greenhouse work shrinks to about 15 or 20% of what was available before the harvest season. For a few weeks at the beginning of the harvest period, we feel a definite tension between harvesting our ripe crops for you now and tending our growing crops to make sure there’s plenty for you later.
View Our Pack
Check out our first-harvest-week Friday pack!
View our Box Unpacked
And here is the first week’s box delivered and unpacked, courtesy of shareholder Rohit Chandra.
This last Saturday, rain was forecast for the afternoon and the next five days. Our field activities have been hemmed in too many times in the past by sieges of rain, so I directed the crew to transplant 20,000 seedlings of lettuce, fall broccoli and fall cauliflower instead of harvesting turnips and sage. This will add some harvest pressure early this coming week (you’ll still have turnips and sage in your box), but it’s imperative to have our crops go into the ground at the right time. I’m sharing this to build understanding of how the whole farm has to be considered all season long. Of course, your experience of the box contents is of utmost concern to us; we juggle the box you receive between the short term via harvest and the long term via field tending. By mid August, when our 12-week shares start and crops are at their peak, our attention is almost fully on harvest.
Please tell your friends about our 12-week shares and assure them that their boxes will be topped off with vegetables and herbs from a most bounteous year. Deliveries start the 2nd week in August. Maybe also send them the YouTube links above, so there’ll be images that back up my words.
Your Personal Copy of Farmer John’s Cookbook
If you are a first-year shareholder, you will be receiving a copy of Farmer John’s Cookbook in the mail in the next several weeks. We created the cookbook so our shareholders could get to know our vegetables and ways to work with them from early on in the season. Also, we envisioned that the cookbook could help shareholders to deepen their relationship to our farm. It includes essays about Biodynamics, Community Supported Agriculture and Angelic Organics. It’s not just a cookbook; it’s a foodbook, and a little bit of a storybook.
Warmly, Your Farmer John and the Crew
Fruiting Crops: Zucchini &/or Summer Squash
Salad Greens: Head Lettuce, Spinach
Cooking Greens: Beet Greens, Chard
Herbs: Sage, Cilantro
Alliums: Scallions, Garlic Scapes
Rooting Crops: Beets, Turnips. Note: check your turnips for insect damage. Most likely it will be best to peel them.