Thursday, June 27, 2013

BGF News 6/25/13

Volume XXI, Number 4    June 25, 2013

In this week’s box:
Garlic Scapes
Head Lettuce-Bronze Arrowhead
Peas: Snow or Sugar Snap
Spinruts (small round white roots with green tops) aka: turnips
Tapestry Salad Mix
For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: deliveries start next week

Featured Recipe(s) (see below): E’Scape de Senposai
BGF Roasted Peas
Roasted Baby Turnips with Spicy Mustard Dressing

Precipitation in the past week: 2.01"

What’s up on the farm?

It has been another week of good progress on the farm. We started by getting ALL of the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and garden berries mulched. That's more than 6,000 sq feet of straw put on the ground by four people. It’s a lot of straw, and at the end of a day of mulching, you do find straw in the most peculiar places! We've also gotten most of the potatoes hilled and the fingerlings mulched as well. There are still a few beds in Plot VI that remain too wet to do much with, so those potatoes are still on the "To-Be-Hilled" list.

This past Sunday was our most recent Gang of 4 Farms gathering which we were thrilled to host here at BGF. We were nearly rained out, but this is a hardy group of vegetable farmers and between them and the farm crew, we got all of the tomato, pepper and eggplant trellising posts installed. That's nearly 600 eight-foot posts placed and pounded in, so it’s a big job made so much easier by a group effort! We also got the high tunnel trellises strung and HT1 plus two onion beds weeded. It was a great "cross-things-off-the-list" kind of day! 

In general, the crops are looking really good. We were ready for some rain, and we got it, and thankfully not a huge excess. The beans, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and summer squashes are all blooming and starting to set fruit, though we are still at least a couple of weeks from being able to harvest any of those. The onions, leeks and shallots are all growing nicely and are just starting to bulb. The peas, which were SO crazy last week, were a little offended by the +90° temperatures and really slowed down production, but with more moderate temps in the forecast, we expect them to rally again, though at a slower rate. The broccoli is starting to head, but with the wide temperature and moisture swings of late, we will have to keep a close eye on it. We did lose nearly all the cucumbers in the field to a combination of deer and cucumber beetles (the vegetable farmers scourge!) but the high tunnel cukes are growing like crazy and starting to set fruit, so we have those to look forward to as well. We do have a couple of crops that are giving up the fight, the senposai was starting to bolt, so that was the push for getting it into your boxes today. The Scarlet Queen turnips went the same way and are blooming very nicely and attracting all sorts of beneficial insects, but their value as a food crop is done.  The first planting of head lettuce was discovered by the deer, who declared it "tasty" and ate the hearts out of a number of plants (rotten beasties), but we hope to have put a stop to that.  Otherwise, things are just chugging along. The farm crew is working hard to keep up with the weeding, harvesting, trellising and mowing and I think the gardens look as good as they ever have. So hopefully you will get a chance to see them in all their glory at the upcoming Ice Cream Social!

Upcoming Event: CSA member Ice Cream Social- Sunday, July 14th from 2 – 5pm at the farm. Come on out for an afternoon filled with fresh country air, homemade ice cream and farm-fresh desserts. We will be sending out an email next week to gather RSVP’s for this event, but we wanted to give you time to get it on your calendar.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Senposai: is a cross between Japanese Mustard Spinach and regular cabbage. It has a pleasant sweet flavor and crunch. You can use it fresh or cooked in nearly any cabbage or greens recipe. Store like other greens, in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. 

Head Lettuce: We prefer to store heads wrapped in a cotton or linen dish towel, then placed in a loose plastic bag. This helps maintain a little bit of moisture, while keeping the leaves from touching the plastic to extend their "drawer-life".  Wash lettuce just before using. The inner-most leaves of the head are the sweetest, so save those for salad use and take advantage of the bigger, outside leaves for use on sandwiches or wraps.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

E’Scape de Senspoai

1 bundle Senposai (or other leafy greens)
1 tbs olive oil
5-6 fresh garlic scapes (or more to taste) or 1-3 cloves minced garlic
Sea salt

Cut garlic scapes into 1” chunks. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic scapes. Trim large stems from chard leaves. Cut stems into 1” pieces. Add stems to skillet. Stack chard leaves and roll into a tube. Cut into ½” strips. As scapes and stems just begin to soften, add leaves to skillet. Cook until leaves wilt. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Great served over pasta with a red sauce or as a side dish. Leftovers area tasty in eggs the next day.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm

BGF Roasted Peas

Sugar Snap or Snow Peas
1-2 tbs olive oil, divided
garlic, garlic scapes or shallots, minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
seasoned rice vinegar

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss peas with olive oil. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, salt and pepper. Roast for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, place in serving dish, toss with rice vinegar. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. They are a little messy, but we like these as finger food.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm

Roasted Baby Turnips with Spicy Mustard Dressing
Serves: 6

2 bunches baby turnips, tops trimmed
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lay turnips flat on a sheet pan and roast for 10 – 15 minutes, or until skins are light brown and turnips are tender.
Mix spicy brown mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and maple syrup (if desired) and serve along side turnips for dipping.

Recipe Source:
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