Beets (Chioggia and Early Wonder)
We have to make this short, as we are having a very busy week. Saturday we are welcoming in Summer with our open house and farm tour. Then Sunday we are having a small group out to the farm for garlic harvesting. Having extra hands helps us get the garlic out of the ground and away from direct sunlight quickly. We will use the upstairs of the big old dairy barn for hanging all our garlic bunches, so hopefully with the help of many fans, they will dry quickly. This week was very productive. Many beds were hand weeded, hoed, cultivated, irrigated, and fed fish fertilizer. In addition to tending to the health of our crops, our fall potatoes were planted, a section of our onions was harvested and is currently curing, the pastures were mowed, and we began harvesting cucumbers, more tomatoes, and even a few padrons today. These will all be included in the share just as soon as they hit their stride. Finally on Thursday afternoon we got some rain. Although many people in Southern Virginia have had a lot of rain over the past three weeks, here in Green Bay we had been dry for two weeks straight. Trying to keep all of our crops well hydrated was becoming difficult and we were noticing some low yields with our fruiting crops, which we think is due to being dry. Now though it is raining and we welcome it.
This week’s share brings our first harvest from our new chard planting, paired with escarole, beets, and lots of fennel. We encourage you to try a braised or roasted fennel recipe, as it is such a delicious and succulent way to eat fennel. Last week at Sub Rosa Bakery our fennel was braised and then added to their quiche, unbelievably delicious. Check out our recipes below and enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Sauteed Finocchio With Butter and Cheese – The Classis Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan
3 large Fennel or 4-5 small
5 Tbls Butter
3 Tbls Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
Cut off and discard the tops of the fennel, cut the bulbous lower parts into vertical slices no more than ½” thick. Wash thoroughly in cold water. Put the sliced fennel and butter in a fairly broad saucepan, and add enough water barely to cover. Cook, uncovered, over medium-heat. If there is too much fennel for your pan, put in as much as it will hold, cover the pan, and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the fennel has wilted and come down in volume. Add the rest of the fennel, mix well, cover the pan, and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Uncover the pan and cook, turning the fennel from time to time, until it is tender at the pricking of a fork, from 25-40 minutes all together. You may add as much as 1/3 cup of warm water if necessary, but at the end the fennel must have absorbed all the liquid and should have a glossy pale-gold color. Before removing from the heat, add salt to taste and the grated cheese. Mix well and transfer to a warm platter. Serve while hot.