This week is beginning to feel like summer finally with the warmer temperatures we’ve been having. But that hasn’t stopped us from our work! We decided that we would try trellising our cucumbers this year and what would have taken one person a whole day’s worth of work to finish, we did in an hour! Below is some of our apprentices tying up the netting.
Can you believe we’ve already started seeding for our fall crops? It seems like summer is only just starting, but we are already thinking ahead to the fall.
As a reminder, our annual Solstice Party is June 19th at 6pm. As many people have asked, feel free to bring your family and friends. Further information can be found on last week’s newsletter. This week’s share is rather large, so don’t forget your bags!
Note from an Apprentice
This week’s note is from Elizabeth Bishop.
The weather has been everything this past week, rain or shine, but it has not stopped the apprentices and I from working hard on the farm. Weeding by hand, seeding in the green houses, and even the smallest of tasks such as washing bins, I have done anything and everything under the sun on South Farm. The hard work has paid off because of the already beautiful results I have seen growing from the earth.
I have thoroughly enjoyed harvesting and find it to be one of my favorite tasks. Working along side my fellow classmates and professors, I have learned while pruning and picking. From arugula, kohlrabi, and even wine grapes. I am getting hands on experience at one of the best university run CSA’s in the country.
This Tuesday’s lecture Professor Williams went over the importance of cover crops and soil management. The effects that cover crops have on organic farming are pivotal to the soil and livelihood of its produce. The usage of legumes and grasses are just two of the many things that can be planted to transmit nitrogen into the soil. Not only do they enrich the soil, but they can ward off pests and diseases. Having the chance to walk around, see and touch what is combating soil erosion, helping soil moisture, and managing weeds was eye opening and informational. Inhibiting weeds has been the farms, and most organic farming operations, hardest obstacle to overcome. South Farm uses cover crops and surface crop residues to control and impede weeds.
Through the use of plastic farming, this form of weed management smothers and shades the area around the plant so that weeds do not receive air or light. Another example would be the use of buckwheat near the onions. This proved that the flowers attract beneficial insects into the cropping system. This cover crop flower welcomes bees, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps, which helps the germination, growing, and flowering of all plants. Buckwheat’s roots forage phosphorus and calcium along with recycling the nutrients throughout the process of maturing and growing within all seasons. Thanks to buckwheat, the onion rows look great and are almost perfectly weed free.
South farm has some of the highest soil organic matter, and it is due to the amazing management of those working so hard to keep soil fertility high and the pests and weeds at bay. All of the apprentices and I can agree that the amount of time, effort, and love that goes into each vegetable is why the produce is delicious and fresh every time.
What’s In Your Share
For this week, you’ll receive:
+ cylindra beets
+ collards or chard
+ garlic scapes
+ green onions
+ salad mix (including the salanova lettuce variety)
+ romaine lettuce heads (try it grilled! see recipe below)
+ This week’s share has a different item in it: garlic scapes. In the photo below, you can see the curly, squiggly stems that are the scapes. Garlic scapes are the flowering stage of the plant where it begins to mature and produce a flower. We harvest the scape before the flower opens up and the stem becomes tough. Scapes can be used just like a chive or green onion. You can chop up the stem and use it in pesto, add it for a bit of flavor on your dishes, use it in salads, or whatever you wish! We will provide some recipes for you below and of course, there are many more in our recipe archive.
+ The spinach in your share is the last spring harvest we will be doing until the fall. Enjoy it while we have it!
+ Farm crew member Aaron, would like to forewarn you that there may be some green friends in your broccoli this week, but “don’t panic, it’s organic!”
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes*
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
*Or use half scapes and half herbs such as basil, dill and chervil
In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you’ve defrosted it.
Broccoli Beet Salad
Submitted by Elizabeth Bishop
From Love Beets
about half pound broccoli, stems cut in half
about 3 oz. mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1 tbsp soy sauce
about half pound cooked beets, cut into wedges
Small bunch fresh chives, snipped
For the Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2-1 lemon, to taste
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt
Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Set aside. Steam or boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until just tender but with a little bite. While the broccoli is cooking, toast the seeds by tipping them into a small frying pan. Add soy sauce and cook over medium heat, tossing regularly to coat all over, for about 3 minutes until the seeds are crisp and golden. Take care not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Arrange the cooked broccoli and beet wedges on your prettiest plate, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the toasted seeds. Serve immediately.
Another great, and very different, way to showcase scapes is to grill them, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, over direct heat for about two minutes. Flip them once, halfway through, and finish with an extra sprinkle of flaky salt and maybe a bit of lemon juice and zest. They’ll be charred in spots and just soft enough, and their flavor will have sweetened and mellowed dramatically. Grilled scapes are surprisingly reminiscent of asparagus, and surprisingly different from raw scapes.
Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski
2 lbs collard greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
kosher salt and pepper
1. Remove and discard stems from collard greens and cut leaves into strips.
2. Heat oil and butter in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, sauteing until brown.
3. Slowly add collard greens, stirring until they reach the desired degree of tenderness, about 15 minutes (time will vary on your personal taste).
4. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.
2 heads romaine lettuce
Extra-virgin olive oil
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat a grill to medium-high.
Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise. Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette or your favorite Caesar dressing. With a vegetable peeler, shave some pieces from a wedge of Reggiano-Parmigiano over each salad and serve.
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.