April 20, 2021

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Green Garlic, Rosemary, Spinach, Oranges, Lettuce, Snap Peas and Carrots,

Bread this week: French Baguette Or Walnut-your choice of one

 

Plant Starts for all your home gardening needs

 

Orders are at your drops today (unless you pick up on Saturday), please look for the brown wax box with your name on it, if you have a large order there might be multiple. If you had a smaller order you might be sharing a box with another, so please make sure to take only what is yours

 

 

 

This Week on the Farm

April is for planting. Starting the first two weeks of April, we are supposed to start getting all of our seeding in for the first summer crops; Summer squash, cucumbers, beans, basil, melons, flowers, and more. Then directly after we transplant our starts, which includes tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and more flowers, It’s a big month, and takes a lot of time and energy not only to complete, but also to prep for. We spent most of March on the tractors, mowing, disking, spreading compost, shaping beds, rototilling beds, and pre-watering to get everything just so for the big month of planting. 

As April started approaching, I was excited to see that things were falling into place in a pretty timely manner. I have been working to learn how to do the ground work, which is obviously a pretty critical piece of the puzzle here. It is also something only Jeff knows how to do. So, finding time to help pull our flail mower over the old flowering crops, and learning how to try to keep control of our old D4 Caterpillar has been on my agenda the last year. So it was satisfactory to see that maybe my help had set us up nicely for an on time planting this year. But as it turns out, one of the most difficult parts about farming, is that things always seem to be just a little out of my control. Weather, pests, markets, droughts, disease, and in this case our underground irrigation system. 

Four or so years ago, my dad did something he never does. He paid a lot of money to hire experts to set him up with a fancy well and underground irrigation system. Investing his hard earned money into a system that was easy to use for us future generations. What a dream. And I can count on one hand the amount of times I have seen someone hired to fix, build, repair, remodel, rewire, rebuild, or take down anything on this farm. My dad has done it all. So this system was a big deal. 

So on Friday, when I got a call that the pipe had burst at the Back Ten, my first thought was "oh boy, what did we do wrong to screw it up??". Yet as me, Jeff, and Zach, and a couple others spent Friday afternoon trudging through the muck, trying to dig down 3 plus feet to the pipe to see what had happened, it quickly became clear that we were not the problem. 

To make a long story short, I am beginning to see why he does everything himself. Not for the first time, my dad spent all weekend, digging out, cutting out, and re-doing the work that the irrigation company had put in. And again, to make a very long story short, the repair job was not without nnuuummmmerous unique obstacles, only to be retold by Mr. Main himself. 

 

So the seeding is not exactly finished yet, but our irrigation is back online, and we are going to be doubling down our efforts to get everything into the ground in the next week.  Please with us luck!!! Have a great week~ Ali

 

A little more going on at the Farm

As Ali said April is for planting, planting for harvest for the next 6 months, it’s exciting yet a very overwhelming time to try to get everything done in a timely manner. Spring always feels like a race that somehow you know you will never win. To get to this point, to have the plants to transplant out, I have been working diligently in the greenhouse since mid January.  I start with the slower growing plants such as parsley and peppers that take weeks to germinate then move to eggplant in February, and flowers and basil in March. The 220 cell flats slowly build up in numbers until the greenhouse has plants growing on all of the tables, under the tables on shelves and even some are on the dirt floor. There must be 30,000 little spring babies in there just waiting to get put into the ground. On the colder nights at the end of the day I cover the tables with a plastic blanket to try to keep the warmth from the heating cables where you want it, close to their roots. Then of course mid morning I take off the plastic covers as the day heats up. Then as it warms up the covers get kicked off completely and now the once a day watering goes to twice a day. So you can see that I am in the greenhouse 4 times a day’s covering, uncovering, watering and checking on these spring babes. Yes I talk to them too, how could I not, spending so much time with them, watching them grow, knowing that they are the foundation of our summer harvest.

                              So now all that work has come to young adults that are ready to be planted into your garden too. Today you will be seeing orders of our spring babies boxed up with your names on them. And with everything, some grew great, some slow, and some are still a tad small such as the basil. Depending on the germination percentages I will plant multiple seeds per flat cell, so you will see in some of your small pots more than one baby. You can cut out the second plant, or you can if you have room in the garden divide the plants. Make sure that the soil is full of moisture before you separate them, and then immediately put them into the ground and water them. Some of the peppers look a tad yellow for some reason, but the best thing to do with all of the plants is get them into your garden, they should straighten up, green up and turn into grand plants. Happy planting in this wondrous spring and Happy Earth Day!  Have a great week~ Annie Main

 

 

Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots With Fresh Mint

½ pound Sugar Snap peas

4 carrots, about 1/2 pound

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Trim off and discard the tips of the peas.

Scrape and trim the carrots. Cut the carrots into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Cut the pieces lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (batons) about 1/4 inch wide. There should be about 1 1/2 cups.

Bring enough water to a boil in a saucepan to cover the peas and carrots when added. Add the vegetables and cook about 4 minutes, or until they are crisp tender. Drain immediately.

Return the peas and carrots to the saucepan. Add the butter, mint, salt and pepper. Stir and blend well. Serve immediately.

 

Carrot, Red Lentil, and Spinach Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

5-6 medium carrots, about 3 cups, cut into 3/4 in. slices

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cm piece fresh ginger, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)

13.5 oz canned diced tomatoes

 6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup red lentils

1 cup spinach

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Brown rice, to serve

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the carrots, and cook for another minute or two. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, stirring to coat the vegetables. Add the salt and tomatoes, stir, and pour the vegetable stock in. Increase the heat to high, cover the pot, and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered, or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the spinach and turn off the heat, letting the hot soup thaw the spinach with the lid on. Add the lemon juice, taste, and season with salt if necessary. Serve over brown rice and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

Vegetarian Pad Thai

2 (1 oz) pkts salted peanuts

½ lb snap peas

1 carrot

2 oz tamari soy sauce

1 lime

7 oz pkg stir-fry noodles

garlic (use 2 large cloves)

Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with very hot tap water. Let sit until pliable, at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, squeeze 1 tablespoon lime juice into a small bowl; cut any remaining lime into wedges. Add tamari, 2 tablespoons sugar, and ½ tablespoon vinegar to bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Trim ends from carrots and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Trim ends from snow peas then halve lengthwise. Peel and finely chop 2 teaspoons garlic. Coarsely chop all of the peanuts. In a small bowl, beat 2 large eggs with a pinch of salt. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, tilting to coat skillet. Add eggs and cook, stirring gently, until scrambled, 1–2 minutes. Transfer eggs to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Wipe out skillet. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add grated carrot, snow peas, chopped garlic, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and crisp-tender, 1–2 minutes; season with salt. Transfer veggies to a plate and return skillet to stovetop. Drain noodles, rinse with warm water, and drain again. Using kitchen shears, cut noodles in half in colander. Heat same skillet over high; add noodles, tamari sauce, and 1 cup water. Cook over medium–high, tossing frequently, until liquid is nearly evaporated, 5–7 minutes, Add eggs and veggies; cook until warm, about 1 minute. Garnish with chopped peanuts and pass lime wedges, for squeezing over.

 

Carrot Pancakes and Green Garlic with Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto

¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ cup young carrot tops
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Zest of 1 orange
1 lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped green garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Achadinha Capricious Cheese (or Pecorino)
2 tablespoons finely chopped, lightly toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Carrot Pancakes

1½ pounds carrots
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 green garlic, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
Water
¾ cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
4 ounces Achadinha fromage blanc (or another fromage blanc)
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), for garnish

To make the carrot top pesto: In a small pan, toast the coriander seeds over medium heat just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool before grinding to a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle .Fill a large bowl with cold water to clean the carrot tops thoroughly. Remove them from the water and pat dry or spin them dry in a salad spinner. Chop the carrot tops and parsley finely. In a medium bowl, combine the carrot tops and parsley with the orange zest, the zest of the lemon, green garlic, and toasted coriander seeds. Stir in the olive oil. Season with salt to taste. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Add the Capricious cheese, toasted chopped walnuts, vinegar, and the juice from half of the lemon to the carrot-top mixture just before serving. To make the pancakes: Peel and grate the carrots on a box grater or in a food processor. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Add the green garlic, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a small plate. Wipe out pan and reserve to cook the pancakes. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, ½ cup of water, chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in a medium bowl; season with pepper and let sit for 5 minutes for the flour to hydrate. Stir in the chopped herbs, green garlic, and carrots into batter just to coat. Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add batter by the ¼-cupful to make 4 pancakes, gently flattening to about ¼” thick. Batter should spread easily—if it doesn’t, thin with a little water before you cook the next batch of pancakes. Cook until bottoms are crispy and browned, about 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip pancakes over and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with another 1½ tablespoons oil and remaining batter. Season the fromage blanc with a little salt and pepper. Serve pancakes, sprinkle with a little Maldon salt, top with fromage blanc, carrot top pesto.