Weekly Share June 5th – 11th

Madeley or Russian Kale
Butterhead or Oakleaf Lettuce
Tendersweet Cabbage
Beets or Carrots
Genovese Basil
Fresh Garlic

On the farm we are full swing into summer crops. This past week we planted our watermelon, winter squash, and 3rd succession of tomatoes,  along with the very last succession of lettuces, that we hope will carry a few greens into the summer. This week our 3rd succession of cucumbers and summer squash, 2nd basil, thai basil and last spring scallions all will go into the ground, leaving our greenhouse virtually empty for about a month, at which point it fills up with fall and winter crops (It all happens so fast!). Our main bean planting happens this week marking the last direct seeding for about a month. We will seed Asian long beans, a 2nd round of romano beans, and a smattering of other trials. We still have a last bean, tomato, cucumber, and squash planting which comes in about a month to keep summer crops coming into September. So with this break in planting, we are filling our time with trying to feed and weed our spring crops, many which have gotten very out of hand. We will also trellis tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant over the next few weeks as they begin to put on size.
Large harvests begin to dominate our time and storage space. With the rain last week after a very dry three weeks, our spring cabbage crop is showing a lot of splitting, so in addition to being in the share, we will be putting as many as possible into storage. This week most of our time will be consumed with harvesting our garlic crop. It is looking large and beautiful with a small amount of pest damage; but until we pull it all we never know. Getting it out of the field at full size but before it has died back too much is the goal. As the leaves brown and dry back, each leaf represents a skin around the cloves, the more that die back below ground, the less protection the garlic has once cured and in storage. This can lead to drying out or insect damage making heads unsellable, so time is of the essence and this is the week.
This week’s share, continues to look very springy. It has the first basil of the season and some freshly harvested garlic. If you have been craving some fresh pesto, check out the recipe below, as Marcella Hazan is a master at decadent, fresh pesto. In addition to making a delicious pasta sauce, this pesto can be dolloped on top of roasted veggies, added to a bowl of cabbage and chicken soup, or turned into a delicious vinaigrette. Check out the recips below and enjoy the share…..Autumn & Brian

Marcella Hazan’s Pesto

Beet, Cucumber, & Radish Salad with Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Mackerel, Beetroot, & Kale Freekeh Salad

Carrot, Radish, & Sweet Pea Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Carrots, & Kale

Cabbage & Basil Salad

Tahini-Smothered Charred Cabbage

New Cabbage with ScallionsThe Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis
The first time we would cook and serve our newly grown garden cabbage was on a wheat-threshing day. We would cut up many heads and cook them in a large iron pot with liquid from the pork shoulder and a small amount of fat for seasoning. Cabbage cooked that way was a hearty fare, good sustenance for hardworking men. We children usually had the food that was left over from the midday meal that night for supper and thought it was just great. No other food in the world seemed to have quite the good flavor of what was left over from a wheat-threshing dinner.
1 2-pound head new cabbage
1/3 cup tender green scallion tops, cut into ¼” slices
2 cups boiling water, or preferably stock from boiled pork shoulder
3 Tbls freshly rendered fat from bacon or ham
salt and freshly ground pepper
To prepare the cabbage, trim away the outside leaves and cut the head into quarters. Cut away the core, leaving just enough to hold the leaves intact. Place the pieces of cabbage in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes or so to wash out any dust or bugs, particularly if it has come straight out of the garden. Remove, drain in a colander, then place in a 3-quart saucepan and add the scallion tops to give added flavor and color. Pour the boiling water or stock over and toss the cabbage with two spoons to make sure that each piece is scalded. Add the fat so that it coats the cabbage, then turn the burner low so that the cabbage boils briskly but not too rapidly for 25-30 minutes –any longer and the cabbage will become too soft and its taste will change. Drain. Toss the salt to taste and a good grating of freshly ground pepper to heighten the flavor. Serve hot.

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