April 21, 2020

 

What’s in this Week’s Veggie Box? Mulberries, beets, Turnips, Spinach, Salad Mix, Chard, Green Garlic

 

PLANT STARTS-Look for your plant orders today, please look for the bag or box with your name on it. If there are any mistakes please let us know. Some items we ran out of and either made substitutions for you or omitted it from the order. Email us with any questions, Happy planting!!

 

 

This Week on the Farm 

            Annie is over planting flowers in her grandmother’s garden west of Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley.  The rest and rehabilitation available there provide a respite from the small family fruit and vegetable business and the news of the world. A day or two a week over there is like a long weekend vacation, even though we are busy with repairs and upgrades to the property.  I have, and I am sure Annie has, been able to convince myself that the rejuvenation that I feel is real each time I return to the fray.

From all that I hear, we have reached the midpoint of the flattening of the curve of the Nova Corona Covid-19 virus pandemic.  That is a set of words and a phrase `of which I was blissfully unaware two months ago, but it and our reaction to it have become the definition of this moment in time.   I include it here because I think it may be the reference point for this place in our history.  The Spanish flu, the Cold War, World War I and II, the Great Depression, the Atomic bomb, “Silent Spring”, are all events that changed our lives and altered our thinking.  Someday, to some unknown extent, we will view this moment in the same way, and so I want to have this reference.      

I have never in my lifetime been part of something that so altered the perception and behavior of humankind.  It is as if an explosion of

change has gone off in our midst, and all other forms of human endeavor exist within the blast zone.  In the midst of the blast, as nonessential elements of life are torn apart, it is gratifying to know that the essential positive elements of humanity, such as caring, search for peace, gratitude, sharing, and fortitude are brought to the front along with our negative aspects.     It is unsettling to really not know what tomorrow may bring, nor to have the benefit of a long term vision, and to feel and witness the range of behaviors that those insecurities bring about.  But viewed from the perspective of the farm which is tasked with delivering to people in the midst of this chaos in their lives, it is evident that the great portion of people in spite of their personal fears are reaching out emotionally to each other and strengthening the threads of our tattered fabric, determined to provide the best of themselves for the future of all of us.

The farm is on the verge of another kind of explosion.  Spring, coming in fits and starts, is ready to explode around us as it does in all good years.  We’re looking at the tasks in front of us, at the wall of produce that we have the potential to realize with the help of Mother Nature, and it feels as if we are sitting on a plugged up volcano.  This is the greatest joy to a farmer, the time when potential, unfettered by reality, buoys our hope for the success of the next several months.  No matter how long I farm, the pleasure of the green springtime dreams never leaves.  In the meantime, the volume of e-mails swells to a crescendo, the seams threaten to burst on our bag of products, and our plate of tasks is just as full at sundown as it is at sunup.  I must remind myself that this moment is exactly what I signed up for all those years ago, when it becomes very clear that from dawn to dusk, nothing more is required of us than we stay with our work, and time will take care of the rest.  Every day is a microcosm of every season which is a microcosm of a lifetime.  Day, season, or life start with energy and hope, and end with energy expended and seeking rejuvenation for the new day coming, the next season, or the world beyond career.  We will see you all on the other side of summer!  Take care as I know you are.  Jeff

 

 

Warm Lentils with Wilted Chard, Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

3–4 beets

2 cups cooked lentils

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ a red onion- diced

3 garlic cloves- rough chopped

4 cups chard or  sub baby spinach

salt and pepper to taste

1–2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¼ cup goat cheese crumbles

2–3 tablespoons fresh basil or Italian parsley.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Scrub and trim beets and cut into ½ inch slices or wedges. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until tender, about 25- 30 minutes. If cooking lentils, place ¾ cup dried lentils in a small pot and cover with 3 inches of water and a pinch salt. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat down to a simmer, cook about 25-30 minutes or until tender but still hold their shape. Drain. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add diced onion and sauté 3-4 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add garlic and cook 2 more minutes, until golden and fragrant. Lower heat to medium low. Add chard and gently wilt, just slightly, about 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups cooked lentils to the skillet, gently folding them in and warming. Season again with salt and pepper. Add beets and splash with 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.  Let vinegar cook down for just a couple minutes so it’s not so acidic. Sprinkle with goat cheese and herbs. Taste again, if it tastes bland it most likely needs salt. Serve immediately.

 

Mulberry Spinach Salad

Crisp and refreshing, sweet berries and raspberry vinaigrette. Hello Summer!

Dressing

1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/8 cup very ripe raspberries

optional

1 tbsp maple syrup

Salad

1/2 cup walnut halves

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup mulberries

1 green onion diced

optional

1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Combine mustard powder, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and raspberries in a jar, (also maple syrup if using), coverand shake well. Set aside. In a salad bowl tear in spinach. Lay walnuts and green onions over top. Gently shake in mulberries. Drizzle dressing over top. Toss gently, sprinkle on goat cheese or feta . Serve.

 

Radish and Turnip Hash with Fried Eggs

This recipe offers a change from a more conventional breakfast skillet, and although the ingredients might be somewhat unexpected, the results are hearty enough to rival hash browns.

2 to 3 small turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)

4 to 5 small radishes, scrubbed and trimmed, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other heat-tolerant oil

1 stalk green garlic, trimmed and

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 eggs

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt. Boil turnip cubes just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon, pour off any excess water, and set aside. Next, boil radishes briefly, 30 to 60 seconds; remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon, pour off any excess water, and set aside.

Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add grapeseed oil and when hot, add turnips and radishes, and a pinch each sea salt and pepper. Turning vegetables only once or twice, cook 8 minutes or until golden-brown. Turn heat to medium and fold in green garlic, cooking for about a minute. Push vegetables to the sides, melt butter in the center of pan, and add the eggs, salting each individually. For over-easy eggs, cook uncovered 4 to 6 minutes; for over-medium eggs, cover pan for 3 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking just until whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Finish with minced parsley and sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

 

Garlic Beet Greens Recipe with Orzo and Cannellini Beans

This garlic beet greens recipe with orzo and cannellini beans makes a quick, easy, vegan friendly dinner on a budget.

1/2 cup uncooked orzo

2 tablespoons olive oil divided

6 cloves garlic minced

1 bunch beet greens roughly chopped (about 10 ounces)

1 14.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a pot. Add salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons. Pour in orzo and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Orzo should have a firm but chewy texture. Drain and rinse orzo. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic over medium low heat in a pan. Stir occasionally to prevent garlic from burning. When garlic is fragrant, add beet greens and salt to taste. Increase heat to medium high and add cannellini beans. Cook until beet greens are wilted. Remove from heat and stir in crushed red pepper. Combine cooked beet greens and beans with orzo. Drizzle remaining tablespoon olive oil and serve.ccc