May 28, 2019

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Baby Chard, Chives, Cabbage, Beets, Asparagus

What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Dianthus, Feverfew, Fleabane, Scabiosa, Veronica, Nigella, Statice, and Coreopsis

What’s in your Fruit Bag? Mulberries, Cherries and Dried Figs.  It is a rough start for the Fruit bag, the cherries must be heavily and painstakingly sorted for cracks and worms, the strawberries are molding in the wetness, but mulberries are tasty and ripe and dried fruit are a saving grace.

 

 

 

NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST

~Is your name on the list for your order? If you think your name should be on the list and is not, call us 

 

~If your name is not on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you. 

 

~Do we have your order correct? 

 

~If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received payment from you

 

~If next to your name it says E-MAIL, it means we gave you a call and have not heard from you, we did make you a box for this week, if we do not hear from you we will discontinue your order for the quarter.

 

~Is your phone number correct?

 

~Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so we can give you a call.

 

~Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (humus@cal.net)

 

 

This Week on The Farm  

Good morning, or Good Afternoon, either one as you read this.  It is a new quarter, a fresh morning in late spring, and the first of our late, late spring planting has arrived in your boxes in the form of some really beautiful small green chard leaves.  As usual, it has been an unusual spring and has had consequences left and right on the farm.  Our tomato transplants came out of the green house during one of those lulls in the cold and rain.  I had rushed out as the ground dried and mowed down a field cover crop of heavy winter rye grass that had grown head high during all the wet.  With the hurry, hurry temperament that is so essential to farming, I disced it into the soil, then rototilled as possible, disced again, and rototilled again, eyeing with each pass the tremendous volume of stemmy, dry plant matter that refused to be incorporated into the clammy, heavy soil that lay below the surface crust.

Leaving myself in the middle of that operation for a moment, I pause here to make a note about organic farming on this small family farm. When I work to rely on the processes of natural decomposition and growth patterns without the use of pharmaceutical aids to growth control, weed control or timing, then the natural processes take over.  Being human, I have a limited amount of patience with the process.  No matter how hard I try to hold to the rhythms of nature, worries about responsibility and finances and my own perception of timing get in the way.  I rush to get fields ready when they are not.  I substitute horsepower as I go over and over the field hoping to speed up the process of springtime decomposition, fungus and bacteria activation, and warming of soils slowly through the warmth of living energy in the soil and the sun.  The overgrown, rank cover crop provides a perfect insulating blanket for preserving winter’s moisture and cold from the direct rays of the sun.  In this field at least, I begin to get the feeling that I am working unready soil.  

Forgetting, as I often do, every lesson that I might have learned over all these years, I keep at it, working the top 4” of soil over and over, until I have a mat of stemmy, slimy organic material folded into the top few inches of soil with a squeezed, airless and wet layer below.  It really needs 3 weeks of warming weather to decompose and stabilize at a reasonable level of bacterial activity.  In a mad rush, we pull our tomatoes out of the greenhouse and plant them in the loose almost peaty soil.  Bearing in mind that we have done this a dozen times before in what we consider similar conditions, we plough on.  A 10% loss during the transplanting period is something we can tolerate, and even replant.  But during the next two weeks we lose 90% of our transplants, bringing on all sorts of soul searching and a screeching halt to transplanting in that field, which is unfortunately about the only field ready to plant.  Now, at this point, you might say as I have, “Bad farmer!  Bad farmer!”  So true, so true.  But I quickly realized that the second word of that phrase is way more important than the first.  And a part of forty years of being all those things that farmers can be, including bad, means well, that the first word comes and goes, but the second one doesn’t. Bad organic family farmer…the first word passes, but the second third and fourth don’t go away.  When I see this clearly, or even dimly, I can step back, try to figure out: Why this?  Why now” What just happened and why?  And when no single answer can be isolated and it becomes evident that nature is way more complicated than my ability to unravel it, well then, I call on that other farmer, the good one that lives right alongside that other guy, and learn what I can, depend on the wonder of life to help me take care of my mistake, get up the next morning, go out into another day, and go to work.  Good Farmer!  Good farmer!  Spray your cherries, spray your grapes, listen when Annie says, “Let’s try planting tomatoes by seed out there”, wait 3 weeks, and don’t panic.  And that friends, along with a whole bunch of other things is the news from the farm.  Stay in touch. It is really fascinating.  Enjoy the summer bounty for the next three months. Jeff

 

What Can You Do With Chives?

Snip chiveswith scissors instead of chopping them, and donot subject them to much cooking as they are delicate. Instead, use chivesin garnishes, salads, egg mayonnaise sandwiches, vegetable stocks, soups, creamy sauces, potato dishes and omelet’s, adding the herb to the dish just before serving.

 

Soft Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Ricotta and Chives 

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt plus more for sprinkling

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese*

4 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick slices whole grain bread or 8 whole grain baguette slices, lightly toasted and buttered

Whole chives (optional)

Whisk eggs, chopped chives, and 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel in medium bowl until well blended. Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. When foam subsides, add eggs and stir with heatproof silicone spatula until eggs are almost cooked but still runny in parts, tilting skillet and stirring with spatula to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add ricotta and stir just until incorporated but clumps of cheese are still visible. Arrange 2 toasts or 4 baguette slices on each of 2 plates. Spoon scrambled eggs atop toasts. Sprinkle with more fleur de sel and pepper. Garnish with whole chives, if desired. Bon AppétitApril 2008  Makes 2 servings

 

One Pan Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard

One Pan Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard- This healthy, recipe comes together in only 20 minutes! 

2 tablespoons butter or ghee divided

2 lb. salmon filet

2 garlic cloves minced

2 lbs. chard leaves and stems separated, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, and reserved (about 2 bunches)

kosher salt and pepper to taste

juice of one lemon

chopped fresh parsley for serving optional

Season both sides of salmon liberally with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side up. Sear for 4-5 minutes, or until salmon easily releases from the bottom of the pan. Sear skin side down for 4-5 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove salmon from pan to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant and beginning to toast, stirring consistently, about 30 seconds. Add the chard stems and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.dd the leaves and stir, cooking until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve salmon on top of chard garnished with fresh parsley, if desired. Depending on the thickness of your fish, and also the variety and whether it's wild caught or farm raised, all may have an effect on the cooking time. You may need to cook it a bit longer than I did. Author: Elizabeth LindemannServings: 4

 

Marinated Beets with Potatoes and Horseradish

The beet juices will tint the potatoes swirly-pink when tossed together; it’s best not to fight it.

3 medium beets (about 1 pound)

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 pound waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), cut into 1-inch pieces

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup coarsely chopped mustard greens

¼ cup chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish or 1 prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

⅓ cup crème fraîche

Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap beets in foil and roast directly on rack until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, peel, and cut into ¾" pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with 2 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toss potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 25–30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add scallions, mustard greens, dill, parsley, horseradish, lemon juice, remaining 4 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 Tbsp. vinegar. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Add beets and toss again. Serve drizzled with crème fraîche.

Do Ahead:Beets can be marinated 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.Peden & Munk4 Servings

 

Cabbage Chips

Cabbage chipsare an entirely different story. They're not as bitter as fragile, and they taste phenomenal when dressed simply with olive oil and parmesan cheese.  Floored by the fact that you don't need a dehydrator to make really good veggie chips, start with a large head cabbage

1/4 cup

grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. 

extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 250°. Set 2 wire racks inside 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Tear cabbage leaves into large pieces, leaving out the thickest part of the ribs. Toss with Parmesan and oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange, in a single layer, on wire racks. Bake until golden and crispy, 30 to 40 minutes. Yields: 6 servings  By Lauren Miyashiro