Tuesday, June 9, 2020

BGF NEWS - JUNE 9, 2020 - VOL. XLV, NO. 2

In this week’s box:

Arugula (in the small bag)
Braising Greens Mix (Tatsoi, Tokoyo Bekana & Amara) (in large bag)
Braising Greens Mix
Garlic Scapes (the curly green things)
Head Lettuce: assorted red & green
Mountain Mint
Napa Cabbage
Swiss "Cheese" Chard: please forgive the extra holes

and perhaps one of the following: (please see **NOTE  after "A Little Detail...)     
Snap or Snow Peas

For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (asst. colors)
For those with the Herb option: Herb share will begin in a couple of weeks as herbs mature

Featured Recipes:  
Simple Garlicky Greens
Garlic Scape Pesto
Lime Cabbage Salad *see recipe below

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 0.45"

As I write this, the first sprinkles from what was Tropical Storm Cristobal have begun. This has been our driving force for much of the past 5 days as a predicted 2-3" rain will keep us out of the fields for several days, at the very least. 
To that end we have been harvesting, cultivating, sowing and transplanting as fast as we could in the heat, all the while running "round robin" with the irrigation, trying to keep everything watered until it rains. 
To give you an idea of how dry we were, the photo on the right is what it looks like when you till & cultivate on a windy,  90° day. This was on the inside of my work pants. I definitely should have hosed down before coming in the house! 

But it was a successful, if hot, week and we were able to cross off many items from the to-do list. We transplanted: melons and okra, plus more cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, lettuce and flowers. We also sowed new beds of edamame, arugula and choi and cultivated much of the gardens and fields. Finally, the last of the irrigation system went in, just in time for the higher temps.

Harvesting garlic scapes
This heat is really pushing some of our earliest crops and will mark the end of a number of crops including asparagus, braising greens and early choi. We've started clearing beds and replacing them with warm-weather crops. The heat isn't all bad though, as long as we can stay ahead with rain or irrigation it really pushes the warm weather crops forward. The summer squash and zucchini plants are all blooming and starting to set fruit and the strawberries...holy berries, Batman! We spent a couple of hours harvesting strawberries yesterday and this was just the first big ripening. So now we have a bit of a problem and are suddenly short on berry containers. In response to that shortage, you will notice that your strawberries are in some nice blue quart containers, please, please return those at next week's delivery. They were intended for use in market display (which will eventually start up again) and are expensive to replace. 
Also, if you have any (clean) quart or pint berry containers, we would love to put those back to work. We really only need the pint and quart sizes, if you have others, please recycle those. A reminder that we will also accept returns of your clean egg cartons. 

Another reminder, there is still time to sign up for any of the options with your CSA share. Egg and Herb Shares from BGF are still available, as are the Partner Shares we are coordinating with our talented friends at other local farms including:

Des Moines-Ebersole Cattle Co (Meat) & Lost Lake Farm LLC (Cheese)
Knoxville- Crooked Gap Farm (Meat) & Farmyard Fancies (Bread)

A little detail on your produce this week:

Asparagus: Keeps best stored upright in a glass with about 1" of water, in the refrigerator. Delicious raw or cooked. 

Garlic Scapes: One of our favorite crops of the year. These curly green "springs" are the emerging flower stalk from a hardneck garlic plant. We remove them to redirect more of the plant's energy into the bulb, but it also provides us with a delightful fresh garlic treat. These keep very well in a plastic bag in your produce drawer and can be used in any recipe calling for garlic. They make a great pesto and can be minced and added to room-temperature butter, which is then stored in log shape, in the freezer for a last minute dollop of goodness for vegetables, breads or meat.

Mountain Mint: not a true member of the mint family, Mountain mint has a softer mint flavor and can be used in any recipe calling for mint. We like it in mint syrup and in fruit salsas or as a refreshing iced tea. Store upright in a glass of water, loosely covered in the refrigerator.

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.


are best kept in a plastic bag or glass container in your refrigerator. Use within a week.

Strawberries keep best in your refrigerator in a vented container. Use within 3-4 days.

A few other details: 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.  

** 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 Luci, Indigo & Sky)

Indigo, Luci & Sky

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

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