Farm News (6/23/15)


Important Reminders & Announcements:

  • This is a vegetable-only week.
  • Next week we will deliver summer vegetable, egg, dairy and meat shares.
  • Summer fruit deliveries start the week of July 6th for full shares and July 13thfor half shares.
  • Please stop by and say hello during our farm open house this Sunday the 28th between 3 and 7 p.m. This is a special member-only event at our Grayslake farm. Members can take a guided tour of the farm, meet our animals and sample some goodies from the farm kitchen. The farm address is 560 N. Harris Road in Grayslake. 

This Week's Vegetable Share:
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic Scapes
  • White Salad Turnips
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Purple or White Kohlrabi
  • Zucchini or Cucumbers

Notes from the Field: Making the Most of your Produce

The garlic scape is the flower stalk of the garlic plant. In the photo above you can see the scape emerging from the center of the plant and making a graceful curl. We snap the scapes off at this stage in the plant's development so that the plant will spend the next several weeks putting all of its energy into making a nice, big bulb rather than a flower stalk. 

The delicious side benefit is that we get to eat the scapes! This week each member will receive a handful of scapes like the ones Brianna is holding above. (There will be more next week too!) Chopped garlic scapes can be used in place of chopped garlic cloves in almost any dish. Another way to use garlic scapes is to cut them into 3-inch lengths and saute them lightly in olive oil. In terms of taste and texture, sauteed scapes are a lot like garlicky green beans.

In more familiar vegetable territory, Jeff and the Grayslake crew harvested the first carrots this week. Skies were gloomy this morning, but spirits were high as the tractor-mounted carrot lifter slowly made its way through the soggy field. 

Lots of rain means lots of mud which means lots of washing this week! Our crew will spend a good deal of time transforming your freshly-harvested produce into the gleaming vegetables you see below. 

Aren't those colors stunning?! Our plants are soaking up all the rain and growing into a rainbow of gorgeous colors. So don't despair next time you see the rain clouds rolling in. There just might be a rainbow at the end of it!


This Week's Featured Recipes

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Shredded Kohlrabi
from The New York Times, March 6, 2012

1 3/4 ounces thin rice sticks
6 ounces marinated tofu, cut in dominoes 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and shredded 
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
7  8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers

Place the rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are pliable, and drain. Transfer the noodles to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half, into roughly 6-inch lengths. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.

Meanwhile, toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the carrot, ginger, and chopped cilantro.

One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tofu slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tofu, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro on top. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Garlicky Sauteed Swiss Chard
1 bunch swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic scapes, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or juice of 1⁄2 lemon)

Remove the stems and midribs from the greens, and cut these into half-inch pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse well, but do not dry.

Heat oil, garlic scapes, and pepper in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Cook 5 minutes. Add the stems and ribs and season to taste with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, about 2 minutes. Add the leaves and cook, partially covered, until leaves and stems are tender, 3-5 minutes. Season with vinegar. 
Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage & Carrots
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil (or sunflower)
3 garlic scapes, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups shredded carrots
1 medium Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced
minced cilantro

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and stir fry the garlic scapes and ginger for 1 minute. Add the carrots and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir fry until tender, about 3 more minutes. Add the tamari mixture and heat through, stiring to coat the vegetables. Serve garnished with minced cilantro.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...broccoli, lettuce, kale, purple onions, garlic scapes, carrots, cucumbers, arugula and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer