Weekly Share May 14th – 20th
Butterhead or Oakleaf Lettuce
French Breakfast or Red Round Radishes
Swiss Chard or Spinach
Here it is finally, our 7th season of Community Supported Agriculture. We are looking forward to feeding you, your families, and friends over the coming 26 weeks. For those of you just joining us, welcome. Please use these posts and the recipes included below to learn a bit more about us, what we do, how we do it, and various ways to use more produce. We like to share details about our trials and successes throughout each season so we can bridge the gap between growing food and eating it.
This has been an unusual Spring. February was warm and dry, followed by March with cold and wet weather, limiting early access on our crop fields. April continued with some extreme shifts between cool weather and hot spurts. Since mid April we have had one very big heavy rain with mostly dry weather, so irrigation has been paramount in getting our direct seeded crops to germinate. What does this mean for growing? Well we got a late start; which will be noticeable with Spring crops that take more time to mature such as carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, and bunching greens, more or less these are all 3 weeks behind a “normal” year. On the other hand our early Summer crops are all on schedule. Tomato, squash, and cucumber starts went into the ground a little early and have been growing fast. Potatoes, onions, and garlic are on schedule and looking great and our first successions of beans and corn are beginning to germinate as I write this. So we predict that this season will be slim through May but in June a lot of our Spring and Summer diversity will be ready at the same time. This can be a bit of a nightmare for our harvesting schedule; but with help we can pull it off. We are delighted to have two experienced farmers working part-time on the farm this season, a bit of a game changer for us. In addition we are welcoming our full season intern Izzy onto the farm this month. These employees along with a small group of dedicated volunteers make the farm run smoothly and efficiently, for this we are very thankful. It’s looking to be a good season ahead, as the crops in the fields are now established and growing strong.
For the first share we are excited to bring you two seasonal one-time items: green garlic and fava beans. Green garlic is the immature phase of a garlic plant prior to the bulbing stage. This is the end of our one month green garlic season, so you’ll notice that it is quite large and pungent. As the days get longer and warmer in tandem, the garlic gets ready to bulb, we are just on the cusp of this. Use the green garlic like you would leeks, only envision they taste like garlic. The white part at the base is going to be the most tender (can be used raw or cooked); whereas towards the fronds it gets a bit tougher (cook in a sauce, soup, or while braising meats). Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are generally grown further north in a more temperate climate; but we love them, so we struggle to get them to produce in our short Spring climate. The have a creamy, fatty pod delicious in a myriad of preparations: cooked with rice and dill, or boiled and then pureed with olive oil as a bean dip, or sautéed with green garlic and chiles and added to pasta or as a side dish. We have included some recipe ideas to inspire delicious meals with this week’s share items. We are excited to begin this season with you all. Enjoy the share…Autumn and Brian
Roz bel Ful Ahdar (Rice with Fava Beans) the New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
In Egypt this is prepared in the Spring, when fava beans are very young and tender. It is served hot as an accompaniment to meat, or cold with yogurt and a salad. Egyptians do not remove the skins of the beans.
1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic or 1 green garlic stalk, minced white & greens
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati or long-grain rice (wash)
2 ¼ cup water
Boil the beans in salted water for a few minutes, until they are tender, then drain. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft and golden. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Then add the drained beans and sauté a little, stirring and turning them over. Add the rice, and stir until transparent. Add the salt, pepper, and chopped dill and pour in the water. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
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