April 30, 2019
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Chard, Oranges, Asparagus, Onions, Oregano, and Peas
What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Anemones, Snapdragons, Stock Dianthus, Ornithogalum (star of Bethlehem), Flax, Statice, and Calendulas
This Week on The Farm
It has hit us like a ton of bricks. We knew it was coming, but just didn’t know exactly when it would happen. It is one f those classic times when a farmer can say, “Well, it is just the weather”. An extended spring rain season, followed by a sudden jump in temperature and a little bit of North Wind means we get the privilege of running around biting our nails playing this great farming game called “Catch up”; the one where all the cards say “I’m so far behind” on the back side and where the red ‘It’s a crisis!’ cards far outnumber the blue ‘Hey, it’s all ok’ cards. You start the game by picking any four red cards at about 2 o’clock in the morning and go from there. How a farmer plays the game makes a big difference in his or her disposition, relationship with family, eating and drinking habits and length of life. But to stay in the farming game, you gotta learn to play the cards that you are dealt.
But back to today. Among my peers, I am one of the slower people to respond to conditions. I just don’t seem to be able to get all my ducks lined in a row and ready to swim when the flood comes. In the card game I would be the guy who has just got his tractor started, has got a fistful of red cards and is watching the downpour. So, in the last couple of weeks, after the rain, after the North Wind, after the first bout of 90 degrees, I gave up on the spring lettuces and greens and radishes, and planted straight into summer crops. And what a blessing to behold: here germinated zucchini, there cucumbers, across the way come sunflowers, even a few beds of collards and Swiss chard. All coming up just like normal times. But, on the other side of the field, the shoe just dropped.
Remember all those weeks of beets and kale and lettuce and escarole and fennel and parsley and cilantro and yes, rutabagas, and white turnips and spinach? Well they are all gone to us, obeying the primordial message of spring, becoming less edible in the never-ending responsibility to propagate the species. And so this week, try as we might to change the reality, we stare at only a few crops still in the pickable, presentable stage. In a box where we pride ourselves on getting seven good items to you week in and week out, on Monday morning we were down to carrots, onions, and oranges. We searched the borderlands and wracked our memory and came up with oregano for a fourth, and then ran dry. But this is where we get to eat our humble pie and remember and be thankful for the community of farms that surround us. For some of them are quick on the draw, or have different specialties, or are just plain the best at what they do, and when we occasionally fall down a little, they are there. So a couple of phone calls later, we had peas and asparagus from Jim and Deborah Durst just a stone’s throw away, and chard from our long-time family friends at Full Belly Farm. And while our own depleted vegetable situation is not likely to change for the next several weeks, we are looking forward to bringing you strawberries from Terra Firma, mulberries from our place, and late season leafy greens and broccoli from Western Yolo County while we wait for the first tender leaves of late collards, kale, spinach and bok choy from here in late May.
In other news, Ali just got her first piece of business mail addressed to the business owner, Garden at Good Humus, which is the flower and wedding business that she has built on the shoulders of her mother’s love of flowers and arranging. I think we can agree around here that the flower business is what keeps the farm afloat in the spring, keeps us and our farm professionals working in the spring, and provides color and beauty to so many offices, homes and weddings. And beyond that, I got the first glimpse of my retirement when I went out to “tend” our half acre of sine grapes. After mowing down the sinter grassed and cover, there standing in front of me for the first time was a real vineyard, complete with stakes and wire and everywhere I looked green shoots from boot to waist high, green and lush and looking like they are so happy. There are even the first clusters of zinfandel and cabernet grapes. You are all invited, maybe five years from this September to our first ever Good Humus wine tasting and retirement party where I will be sitting in my rocker, staring at the last rays of the setting sun with a bottle of Zinfandel on a little wicker table beside me. And if you sit awhile you will be able to hear all about how things were when I was a kid. Let’s see, I’ve got a couple of red cards that need attention….so I’ll see you later. Jeff
Quick Grilled Chicken with oregano Recipe
If you're like us, you don't always remember to whip up a delicious chicken marinade for the grill. Today we are sharing our favoritequick grilled chicken with oregano recipefor when you need dinner in 20 minutes!
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
2 Teaspoons Fresh Oregano, chopped
1 Tablespoon of Garlic, minced fine
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon, halved
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
Heat the grill to high heat. Fold up a few paper towels and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the grates of the grill with the olive oil once the grill is hot to help with meat sticking. In a bowl, mix the spices, herbs and olive oil. Place the chicken in the bowl and rub the seasonings all over. Let the chicken rest while the grill heats up so you don't place cold chicken on the grill. If you do the outside will overcook while the cold middle stays raw. Place the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken top side down first for 5-7 minutes, gently lift and flip the chicken, cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil on one half of the flesh of the lemon, and then stick both pieces back together to spread the olive oil all over it. Place the lemons flesh side down on the grill until grill marks appear and remove from the heat. Remove the chicken to rest, tented with foil for 3 minutes. Serve with fresh lemon juice squeezed from the lemons. Yield: 2 SERVINGS from Oh Sweet Basil
Pasta with Chard
Garden fresh Swiss chard is quickly cooked with olive oil, garlic, and capers in this quick and easy Italian-inspired meal.
1/3 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 teaspoon capers
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the spaghetti, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add the Swiss chard. Cook and stir until the stems of the chard are tender. You can use some of the hot pasta water to help steam the chard in the covered pan. Stir the hot spaghetti into the chard mixture along with the capers. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve. Recipe By:JNADRIG
Asparagus & Snap Pea Salad
Perfect for when you're expecting a large number of guests for dinner, this salad boasts springtime flavors. It's usually the first empty bowl at a potluck.
2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta or Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup glazed walnuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cherries
In a Dutch oven, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus in batches; cook, uncovered, 2-4 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus and immediately drop into ice water. Drain and pat dry. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until blended. In a large bowl, combine asparagus, tomatoes, snap peas, red pepper and onion. Drizzle dressing over asparagus mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in cheese, walnuts and cherries. From Taste of Home
Parmesan Carrot Fries
Parmesan Carrot Fries are delicious and the name just might entice those, little and big, who aren’t always interested in the veggies on the dinner table. The recipe is also super simple and quick to throw together- an easy one if you want to grab a child to help you out! Gone are the days of boring carrot sticks and frozen carrot rounds! This wholesome root vegetable, when prepared well, can become a new family favorite! Sweet, savory and salty, these Parmesan Carrot Fries are fun to eat and a yummy side dish to roasted chicken, grilled beef OR black bean burgers, or baked pork chops. My almost 3 year old likes to help wash the carrots, add in all the seasonings and stir them up. Don’t forget to talk about eating lots of colors of the rainbow!
2 lbs carrots washed & peeled
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop carrots lengthwise into ‘fries’ about 1.5-2 inches length. Most carrots will need to be cut into quarters or even in sixths if they are very thick. Place carrots in a medium bowl. Add oil and toss. Sprinkle in salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Toss together and place on a silpat mat lined baking sheet (OR on non-stick foil lined baking sheet). Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and carrots are tender. Serve warm or room temp. Dunk in your favorite dipping sauce, if desired. If you do not have a silpat liner, use non-stick aluminum foil sprayed with oil spray. Make sure to use non-stick foil or the carrots will still stick.Servings 4 Author Jennifer Hunt