I don’t think of myself as a superstitious person typically, but in the past couple weeks I have: left car windows open, left laundry on the line over night, left an open bag of potting soil on my deck (for days), not washed the car, left the garbage lid open, and left the deck chairs out instead of tipped up. This list isn’t just to show how lazy I am, it’s to show that I am TRYING to send a message (to whom it may concern) that we need rain! If I leave these things this way maybe they can be a sacrifice of sorts for rain. None of the passing showers that went through the area have hit the farm and we’ve had less than 1/4″ of rain in the last three scorching weeks, so I invite you all to participate in my efforts such as they are. Maybe the message will get through (and we’ll all have to take in that sopping laundry with joy).
These hot windy days are not only very drying, but also prevent us from irrigating during the day, so Janaki has been moving the irrigation around a lot at night (you know, in his spare time) to make sure all the plants get what they need, especially when so many are tiny seedlings without deep roots yet.
What can we say but say the so-annoying phrase “new normal”? Late spring used to bring rain fairly consistently, and in a soaking, spread out kind of way. And they sometimes still do. Sometimes there are still 45 and foggy days in the end of May- we had a few of those this year. Predictability and farming have never danced well together, but this new climate has scratched up the record we were trying to dance to. In the back of my head now I have a fear about dry-dry-dry and then a deluge of 5 inches of rain over night. It seems to be what happens.
On a sort of lame flip side – I think we’re staying on top of the weeds pretty well so far. Turns out they need water too (though somehow less…. how is that fair?) This past week saw the second and largest planting of potatoes in the ground, as well as the 5th and BY FAR largest planting of cabbage and some broccoli. Good luck out there little babies. We’re on your side!
We are happy to send a box that’s a little fluffier and fuller this week. It would have been a hot week to try to save the rhubarb and early spinach through -hopefully you found that harvest to be worth it! Each week -bit by bit there will be more variety in the boxes headed your way. As you get home with your share, especially on these warm days, a quick soak in a sink full of cold water can help prolong the life of many greens like pac choi and lettuce. They get cooled after we harvest them, but may warm up again at your pick up site. Cut-greens like this week’s greens mix could be put in the fridge with the bag open, but make sure to close the bag up again before night so they don’t dry out. If you use radish and turnip greens, good for you! They could also benefit from a cold soak, though I would really try to dry them well and then use them sooner than later.
Like greens, humans keep better with a good dunking now and then. If not that, maybe you can at least make time to dump some water on your head, or run your wrists under some cool water (trust me, it helps). And, if you do those things, maybe stand by a plant to share some of that water!
Enjoy the veggies!
For the farm crew,
Floating row cover!
In your share this week:
Greens Mix – Romaine Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips
Turnip and Kale Gratin
-From Bon Appetit
In the body of text about this recipe, it says that turnip greens can be used in place of the kale! Voila!
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 bunches Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
4 medium turnips (about 1¾ pounds total), trimmed, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
8 ounces day-old white country-style bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring garlic, cream, and thyme to a bare simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and let cream simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a splash or two of water if onions begin to stick to pan, until caramelized and amber colored, 45–60 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Wipe out skillet.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Working in batches, add kale, tossing and letting it wilt slightly before adding more; season with salt. Cook until kale is wilted and tender, 5–8 minutes; transfer to bowl with onions.
While kale is cooking, cook turnips in a large pot of boiling well-salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain; pat dry. Transfer to bowl with onions.
Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk eggs, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and cooled cream mixture in a large bowl to combine. Add onion mixture and bread; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish and press down on mixture with your hands to form a tight, even layer. Bake gratin, uncovered, until well browned, 40–50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Gratin can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Pac Choi and Shiitake Stir-fry
From The Spruce Eats
3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup shiitake mushrooms (sliced OR 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms)
2 teaspoons canola oil or other high-heat oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or, use tamari)
1 pac choi
5 to 6 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (minced or grated)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Saute the garlic and mushrooms in oil for 3 to 5 minutes then add in the soy sauce, the bok choy and scallions, and cook for a few more minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegetable broth and ginger. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the sesame oil and the optional sesame seeds and remove from heat.
Eat as is or enjoy over rice or another grain!