Farm News (6/8/15)

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Important Reminders & Announcements:
 
  • This week is the final week for spring vegetable shares.
  • We will be delivering summer vegetable, egg and dairy shares next week.
  • Summer meat share deliveries start the week of June 29th.
  • Summer fruit share deliveries start the week of July 6th.
  • Later this week you will receive an email with details about summer deliveries.

This Week's Vegetable Share:
  • Red Scallions
  • Kohlrabi
  • Red Head Lettuce
  • Green Head Lettuce
  • Baby Salad Turnips
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries (from Mick Klug Farm, St. Joseph, MI)

Farm Journal
We can hardly believe the spring share is coming to a close this week. It seems like just yesterday we were putting those first tiny lettuce and spinach seeds in the ground. While leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce will remain the foundation of our weekly CSA shares for several more weeks, the first of the fruiting vegetables will make an appearance in your shares very soon. Zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are all fruiting vegetable crops. Zucchini and cucumbers mature well ahead of tomatoes and peppers and will be a staple of your June and July boxes.
 

Botanically speaking, the edible parts of these two crops are actually fruits because they result from the fertilization of a female flower such as this squash blossom. Each plant has separate male and female flowers. We rely on honey bees and native pollinators to move pollen grains from the male to the female flowers.
  

All of this important work is happening as we speak.  It's kind of thrilling to think about thousands of tiny pollinators hard at work on your behalf, isn't it? By next week or the week after you will start to see the results in your CSA box in the form of the first tender zucchini, followed shortly thereafter by the first cucumbers. In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy all of your gorgeous leafy vegetables.

In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of Your Share 

This week’s strawberries come from Mick Klug Farm. Mick, his wife, Cindy, and daughters Amy and Abby grow many varieties of fruits and vegetables on their 150-acre farm in Michigan. The Klug family grow all of the fruit for our fruit share. Fresh strawberries are highly perishable and should be eaten within a day or two. Store them in the refrigerator. It’s best to take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  

Kohlrabi is related to cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli. It can be either purple or white, but there's not much difference in flavor between the two varieties. It is delicious peeled and eaten raw. Just peel the bulb, slice into match sticks and serve plain, with hummus or with your favorite vegetable dip. It also makes a fantastic slaw when shredded or thinly sliced. Kohlrabi leaves have a wonderful flavor and can be cooked like collards or kale.

(Above: harvesting kohlrabi on Monday morning.
Below: purple kohlrabi after it's been washed in the packing shed.)
 

This Week's Featured Recipes

Green Goddess Spinach Dip
4 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
8 ounces cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Cook scallions in butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Add cream cheese or mascarpone and cook, stirring, until melted and warm. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients plus 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste. Serve with wedges of peeled kohlrabi.
 
Spinach & Orzo Salad
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh spinach, chopped
1 pound cooked orzo
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
4 ounces chopped feta cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

In a small pan, warm oil over medium-low heat. Sauté garlic until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer garlic and whatever oil remains in the pan to a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons juice, 2 teaspoons zest, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Add spinach and toss lightly. Add orzo, olives, cheese and scallions. Toss to combine and serve.
  

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
www.epicurious.com

1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, lower 6 inches of tender bulb finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Sauce and assembly:
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
Pinch of crushed red pepper
12 lettuce leaves, such as Boston lettuce or iceberg
sprigs of fresh cilantro or Thai basil

For the patties:
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together all of the ingredients, then form the mixture into twelve 2-inch patties (about 3/4 inch thick). Arrange the patties on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
Preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes and set it up to grill over moderately high heat. Oil the grates. Grill the patties until brown grill marks form on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties, then grill for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until cooked through but still juicy.
For the sauce and assembly:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sugar and water. Add the fish sauce, then taste and season with more vinegar or sugar, depending on your taste. Arrange the lettuce leaves and herb sprigs on a platter. To serve, wrap the pork patties and herb sprigs in lettuce and dip in the sauce.
 
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...broccoli, lettuce, dill, beets, spinach, green onions, zucchini and strawberries ...

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  • Margaret Sheaffer