Friday, June 5, 2009


This is it. The CSA season has begun and we’re up and, believe me, running. It’s a very busy time on the farm—planting, planting, planting. The weeds are starting to make their presence known, so we’re working hard to stay on top of them since they can easily out-compete certain plantings. A good friend came for a few days this week to visit and help however she could. She was put on a carrot-weeding assignment—one of the toughest young crops to weed. At this stage the carrot plants are itsy fern-like wisps barely rooted in the ground. The weeds were beginning to tower over and shoulder their way into them, so pulling the weeds without taking the carrot plant too, she learned, can be tricky. After two days at the task, mostly on hands and knees, the rows were spotless and we jumped at the chance to irrigate. (Maybe you notice the soil looking a little parched here.) So, when those first purple carrots show up in a share, we’ll all have to give thanks to our friend and resolute weeder Susie.

Here’s what is in this week’s share:

8 oz. mixed baby lettuce leaves aka “salad mix”
4 oz bag of arugula (narrow green loose leaves with addictive peppery punch)
1 bunch Easter egg radish
Lettuce (2 heads Romaine or 1 head Romaine and 2 to 3 heads mixed baby heads of lettuce)
1 bunch spring onions (use the green tops and white bottoms—just like a scallion)
1 bunch spring garlic (looks like onions but with bigger bulb bottoms and definite garlic smell)
Other notes:
May was a cool month. And we woke despairingly to a widespread frost the 1st of June. We’re still waiting to see if the frost killed our sweet potato crop. So while there’s LOTS planted in the fields and in the greenhouse (see pic above), nothing in our fields has really shot off. We need some heat, and rain would be good too. As late spring often goes, expect your share to be on the smaller side at the start of this season. And be prepared for it to be heavy on greens this time of year as well. Leafy greens are what thrive in cool-ish spring weather and take the least amount of time to grow. More on this subject later.

Re: garlic
This is spring garlic. All of it can and should be eaten--both the green tops and white bottoms. We’ve composted what remained of our cured bulb garlic from last year (it was getting pretty punky anyhow) and now cook with this instead. It's one of our favorite hallmarks of spring--up there with robins, lilacs and sore backs.
I tend to chop the white bulbs and use it just like I would regular garlic. Sometimes the outermost skin layer is tough and needs to be peeled off. While still tender, the green tops are great sliced or finely chopped and added to eggs or most any salad—potato, pasta, bean, rice or a leafy green salad. I haven't tried this, but I bet it would be nice pureed with some extra-virgin olive oil to make a green garlic pesto that you can drizzle over pasta or some grilled fish or meat.

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