Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BGF News - June 27, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.4

In this week’s box:

Baby Carrots: Rainbow Mix
Green Garlic
Head Lettuce: Bronze Arrowhead and/or Green Towers
Napa Cabbage
Summer Squash: 8 Ball( round, green), Slik Pik (long, light yellow), Patty Pan (dk green, lt. green or yellow "flying saucer-shaped") or Golden Glory (yellow zucchini)
* and possibly one of the following: 

A rainbow of carrots
For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: basil tips, peppermint, lovage
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Francis Lam’s Ginger Scallion Sauce**
Purslane Salad with Garlic Yoghurt
Veggie Mac & Cheese (no "mac") ** see recipe at bottom
Lime Cabbage Salad** see recipe at bottom

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 1.75"
This week features a much happier farmer working much-relieved crops. We worked hard last week to get some major cultivating done around the farm but especially in the east plots with extra time dedicated to the popcorn. Then the rain started...ah sweet, sweet rain! Then we got a break, did some more cultivating and hilled the potatoes again and low and behold, it rained again! Perfect! Then we used some of that time when the soil was too wet to work, to get caught up on our high tunnel chores. The spent lettuces were sent to the livestock and compost pile, beds cleaned up and trellises installed. We even did a little mini planting of some of our left-over field trial lettuce to see how it does in the heat of a summer high tunnel. Besides that small planting, the only new crops in the ground this past week were okra and the final planting of summer squashes, and they really appreciated nature's timely irrigation.
While the rain was much needed, the accompanying cooler weather is curious. The crew, livestock and early season crops love it. The mid-season, heat-loving plants, however are not so pleased. Minimum temperatures for full production of cucumbers is 50° and for tomatoes it is 55°. When I did morning chores today (wearing a lined sweatshirt) it was 49.3°. These temps wont kill any of the crops, but at the very least is slows their growth considerably and can decrease their overall production. I expected that we would be slammed with  summer squash harvesting this week following the rain but while the plants are loaded with immature fruits they are just sort of wandering towards the "ready to harvest" mark. Nothing bad there, just unexpected. On the other hand, the head lettuces are loving the cooler weather and even the high tunnel peas are putting out a new flush of growth so we might be able to get a few more of those out in boxes in the coming weeks.
 A beautiful harvest of head lettuce

Upcoming Events:

A reminder that we will not be delivering boxes next week on the 4th of July. We hope you enjoy your holiday with friends and family. And don't worry, we aren't shorting you a week, we've added it to the end of the schedule. See you on July 11th!

Save the Date!: CSA member Ice Cream Social- Sunday, July 23rd 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 send out an e-invitation soon, so keep your eyes open for it. We hope everyone can join us!

A little detail on your produce this week:

Due to the heavy rains we experienced in the past week, some of your produce will have soil lodged in the interior layers from splashing. While we do wash the produce, it isn't possible for us to get all the dirt out without tearing apart the layers or leaves of vegetables like Napa cabbage, lettuce and scallions. So all this to say, be sure to wash your produce before you use it.

Carrots: Remove the leafy green tops, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or longer. To use scrub carrots well (no need to peel) with a stiff brush just before using. Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter. When slicing or chopping carrots for cooking, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size; this will ensure an evenly cooked dish.

Green Garlic: This is freshly harvested garlic that hasn't had time to cure yet. You will notice that the wrappers are soft and the garlic itself is very juicy. You can use it in any recipe calling for garlic. Store loosely wrapped in the refrigerator for best keeping quality.

Napa Cabbage: Store Napa cabbage whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. These Napa are fairly immature and wont have a large formed head but are still tasty and can be used in any cabbage recipe.

Scallions (green onions)- are best kept upright in a glass with about 1" of water in it, more like flowers than vegetables. Loosely cover the tops with plastic and you will be amazed at how long they will keep. We like to throw a handful of chopped scallions into nearly any savory dish, right near the end of the cooking time.

Summer Squash/Zucchini: Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week
and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel. These do not need to be peeled to use, just slice them up and go!

All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. If they are particularly wet, wrap in a cotton or linen dish towel before placing in the bag.

* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

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 on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.
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 & Indigo)

Lime Cabbage Salad

1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
2 limes, freshly squeezed
large pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil

Toss together & serve as a side salad or top with a saucy or spicy meat, like left over BBQ beef.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm friend, Dana Foster

Veggie Mac & Cheese (no “mac”)
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 cups sliced summer squash (1/4” slices)
2 tbs green onions or garlic, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tbs chevre cheese (we especially like chive or pesto flavored)

Pour oil in sauté pan. Add garlic and summer squash. Saute 1-2 minutes and add green onion. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until squash are cooked through, but still firm. Remove from heat and immediately stir cheese into squash. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Blue Gate Farm

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