This Weeks Share:
- Braising Mix
- Garlic Scapes
- Turnips or Radishes
Braising Mix – More delicious spring greens are in your share this week. Look for a tender mix of leaves such as kale and mustard to gently wilt down to top a juicy hamburger or jazz up rice. These leafy greens are a powerhouse of calcium, vitamin A and B6, and anti-oxidants, but shh don’t tell the kids. Just mince them up fine and hide them in lasagna or enchiladas!
Broccoli – The goldilocks of the vegetable world, broccoli is unrepentantly sensitive to the heat and bolts (begins to go to flower) early if it heats up to fast and grows too slow if it is too cold and rots if it is too wet. It is making an unpredictable and welcome appearance and may appear in your share this week or next.
Garlic Scapes – Bolting into action this week is our garlic! When garlic ‘bolts’ it is sending up a pungent flower stalk to do what all of nature does in the spring. Sadly for the garlic and happily for us, we literally nip it in the bud, plucking off this spring treat to flavor stir frys and sauces. Picking the bolting flower bud lets the garlic know this is no time for hanky panky and it should send its energy down into the bulb for a heavier harvest in July. Some folks prefer roses, but I’ll take a bouquet of garlic scapes for my grill any day.
Lettuce – Darkland, Oscarde, Rouge d’ Grenoblouse, Ermosa, Salad Bowl, Nevada, Mascara, Four Seasons…This is a small sampling of the many varieties of head lettuce we plant at SIO. Different varieties are grown for their seasonality, flavor, appearance, ability to hold in the field, and dependability. I hope you are enjoying the varied textures and colors as much as I enjoy the succulent sound my harvest knife makes when I harvest them early in the morning for you all.
Mizuna – Back again this week. Mizuna is in the Brassica family that also includes Arugula, Broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It Japan, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years, its name means ‘water vegetable’ and is eaten fresh as much as it is thrown into soups and stir fry. I enjoy it in the wilted salad recipe below.
Onions – Also bolting are our early Walla Walla sweet onions. As these onions bolt, their growth slows, making it worthwhile to remove the flower and harvest the bulb for an early allium treat. These are a sweet onion and can be eaten raw in salad. So sweet that I once had them cut up with apples and sugar and baked in a pie! You will be seeing these for the next few weeks so experiment with their unique flavor and let us know your favorite preparation.
Turnips or Radishes – Some of you had Cherrybelle Radishes in your share last week and others got deliciously sweet Hakurei Turnips. This week, you’ll get the opposite of what you had last week. Both are a simple and quick snack when smeared with butter and layered on some good bread. Add a dash of salt to a radish sandwich or a pinch of sugar to you Hakurei sandwich.
Recipes For Your Plate
Spring feels just about to burst into summer fattening up the peas, hurrying along the baby carrots and teasing the tomatoes to put on buds. The kitchen feels like it has relaxed from early spring stiffness; cooking is a pleasant moment again instead of a head scratching moment.
Japanese Mizuna Salad
- 1 Bunch Mizuna
- 2 cups assorted Asian mushrooms such as Enoki, Shitake, Oyster, King
- A handful of minced garlic scapes
- Butter or canola oil for sautéing
- Soy Sauce
- Rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs sugar
Saute garlic scapes and mushrooms in oil or butter until soft. Add a few dashes of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and toss while warm with mizuna. Serve immediately.
Classic Grilled Toppings
- Thick slices of Walla Walla Sweet Onions
- Whole Garlic Scapes
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Toss garlic scapes in olive oil and salt and place onto the grill. Brush Onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and place onto the grill. Cook until desired softness
Hello, my name is Shannon and I am the new Crew Leader this year. I was an apprentice here in 2000 and am very excited to be back again at this beautiful farm. When I arrived here in January from the east coast a few carrots and leeks were still being harvested for restaurants and the greenhouse was cold and weedy. Now those carrots and leeks have long been tilled into the soil and new ones 6 inches high are fresh in the ground. The greenhouse has burst with seedlings, emptied out and filled up again as the wave of transplants ebbs and flows.
We have a great crew this season whom you will all meet as the season rolls on. It has been remarkable to see second-year apprentices, Becky and Vanessa, step up into additional responsibilities in the greenhouse, on the tractor and in the irrigation schedule. The new apprentices have dug right in and without hesitation have become indispensably adept as transplanting, weeding, and harvesting ramps up.
There are innumerable details to learn here from the masterful farm managers, second year apprentices, field crows and ladybugs. One vastly important detail to master in farming is counting. It sounds simple but, when you are learning to keep track of 200 rubber bands, 64 beds to transplant, 25 beds to weed, 8 crops to harvest, 6 different drop sites, 4 kinds of labels and 2 greenhouses, counting can become a highly skilled challenge.
Splitting a Share
An important detail for returning members and new members to know is that we meticulously count how many bunches, pounds, heads and so on each share member gets each week and exactly pack those specific amounts into the bins we bring into town each week. Many members split shares and the amount each split share is not pre-measured. Whole shares are counted out. It is up to you to split your share in two. If the tag at drop says 4 oz. each, that is for one share and you should grab an extra bag to divide it into 2 oz portions. It is terribly distressing when the count is off and a member is shorted her/his arugula. The same goes for all bunched crops such as Hakurei turnips and mizuna. You get one bunch and shared shares must split that one bunch. Drops have a ‘free’ bin if you want to leave those radishes for someone else. Enjoy!
KooKoolan Farms will take ONLY Kookoolan Farms egg cartons back. Lets hear it for re-use! Bring them back to us and we will bring them back to them. Thanks.