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Summer Share #4 Newsletter 
June 23 - 29, 2015

 

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Table of Contents 
 (Click on the links to go directly to that part of the newsletter - it works this week!)


 

Colorful mustard greens contrasting monochromatic green leaf lettuce in the field.

Calendar & Reminders

July 26th,1 to 4pm - Farm Party.

Sunday, September 20 - Bike the Barns Event. 
See item listed in Table of Contents.


All produce is soaked, sprayed off or dunked in cold water to remove dirt and to cool it down. However we recommend washing the produce in your box before eating or preparing it.

 
Please remember to return your empty wax box (white for 1/2 shares, brown if used for full shares) or black plastic box each week. If you'd rather not have to remember it, you can bring your own bag/box to the drop-site, change out your produce and leaving the box there.

Previous editions of our newsletter are on our Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Fine-Homestead/145013635612327

Marlee observing a caterpillar down on the ground.

This Week's Box

Please note: This is the produce we harvested and packed for Thursday's shares. The Saturday and Monday boxes will be similar but may have a substitution or two depending on produce availability.
 

Full Share:  (in a 3/4 bushel brown wax box this week)

Green Romaine or Butterhead Lettuce - 1 
Baby Leaf Salad Mesclun (Mix) - 1/2lb 
Mix of green & red mild leaf lettuces.
Mustard Greens Mix - 1/4 lb This green & red mix will add a punch to your salad or de-stem and thinly slice larger leaves for cooking. They add depth to soups and braises when stirred in during the last half-hour of cooking time. Long cooked greens will lose some heat, but maintain some bitterness.
Pac Choi - 5 baby heads
Choi or Choy means "vegetable" in Cantonese and bok or pak means "white." The white base or bottom has a vase-like shape and is juicy, crisp and mild, more similar to celery than cabbage. The rounded green leaves on top have a mild cabbage flavor. Can be eaten as baby size (more tender) or full size. Separate stems and leaves as leaves cook quicker. See 2 recipes in this newsletter.
Swiss Chard - 1 bunch
Scallions (or Green Onions) - 1 bunch See stir-fry recipe in this newsletter.
Garlic Scapes -1 bunch of curly stalks Only available for a short time, these are pungent & garlicky when eaten raw. Cooking, time and refrigeration mellow their flavor.  Can be frozen. Our favorite way to prepare is to cut pointy tops off (can be used to make pesto) and chop into 3 or 4 inch spears. Steam and serve with a pat of butter. Spears are similar in texture to asparagus. Can also be used as a substitute for garlic cloves. See Stir-fry recipe in this newsletter.
Broccoli/Green Cabbage - 1/2 lb broccoli or 1 cabbage head - This broccoli was covered for part of its time in the field and as a result doesn't seem to have many insects hiding in it. We soaked it and the cabbage in cold water after harvest. However we recommend submersing it in salt water for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinsing before eating.
Strawberries - 2 quarts
D'Avignon Radishes - 2 bunches Long, slender radishes with red tops and white bottoms. See stir-fry recipe in this newsletter.


Half Share:

Baby Leaf Salad Mesclun - 1/4 lb  Mix of green & red mild leaf lettuces.
Pac Choi - 5 baby heads Choi or Choy means "vegetable" in Cantonese and bok or pak means "white." The white base or bottom has a vase-like shape and is juicy, crisp and mild, more similar to celery than cabbage. The rounded green leaves on top have a mild cabbage flavor. Can be eaten as baby size (more tender) or full size. Separate stems and leaves as leaves cook quicker. See 2 recipes in this newsletter.
Scallions (or Green Onions) - 1 bunch See stir-fry recipe in this newsletter.
Broccoli/Green Cabbage - 1/2 lb broccoli or 1 cabbage head This broccoli was covered for part of its time in the field and as a result doesn't seem to have many insects hiding in it. We soaked it and the cabbage in cold water after harvest. However we recommend submersing it in salt water for 15 to 30 minutes, then rinsing before eating.
Kohlrabi - 1 large - Trim the tough peel off the round, light green bulb, slice in rounds or sticks and serve raw on vegetable platters and salads. Kohlrabi is a juicy, crunchy vegetable with mild sweetness. When cooked, it is best in dishes that don't overpower its delicate sweetness. The broad green leaves can be used as collard greens. See Collared Greens with Toasted Almonds recipe in last week's newsletter.
Strawberries - 1 quart
D'Avignon Radishes - 1 bunch  
Long, slender radishes with red tops and white bottoms. See stir-fry recipe in this newsletter.

*** Feel free to contact us with any questions on the contents of your box or for ideas of what to do with them. We are happy to talk "food" with you! ***

On the Farm . . .

what's happening this week in words and pictures
 

Monday morning we fretted about the coming storm. Warnings were being issued on the radio as well as on our phones. Would there be damage to our crops in the field? Beans, peas, cucumbers and summer squash are all flowering. Little green tomatoes and peppers are appearing. Cauliflower and more broccoli heads are starting to form and newly transplanted head lettuce and scallions are taking root. Hard rain, driving winds and hail could all wreak havoc. 

Then the storm hit. Some equipment was blown out of our washstand area, the frame of the tent was bent and mud and dirt was washed into the barn. The transplants were pounded by the sheets of rain but looked ok. The produce was fine. We were relieved.

By the next morning we learned a neighbor a mile away as the crow flies suffered severe damage to his farm. Two buildings were blown down. His grain bin  was thrown in the air taking off the top of the windmill, and the silo twisted leaving it unstable.

Bill's nephew and family live outside of Hollandale, and the 70 mph straight-line winds threw the trampoline in the yard at their home causing several windows to break, ripping the ridge cap off the house and damaging fascia. Some of the flying glass cut their son's cheek. Twelve trees were snapped off in the pasture down the hill from their home. Power was out a few hours, but others in the area were still waiting for it to be back on Tuesday morning.

Bill and I felt humbled. We were concerned about our vegetables not thinking about the potential harm to our home, family and friends. Nature reminded us of our vulnerability. We are thankful that no one was seriously hurt.

Skunk update: The family disappeared. Go figure? Bill held one of the babies when the kids showed him the den. Maybe that was enough to make the mother move them somewhere else. It seems we have unwittingly avoided our rematch with a skunk family . . . at least for now.

Have a great week,

Stacey

I took this picture of the round hay bales dotting our hayfield before being lined up in rows along the edge of the field. Liam, Aidan and Marlee along with our dog, Bindi, spend considerable time on top of them. They can be found jumping from one to another, laying on them to ponder the clouds, or in Marlee's case using them as a stage to belt out a song!

Stir-Fry With Asian Greens
(Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook)

Serves 4 as a side dish.
Use a wok or large skillet and spatula. Stir-frying is cooking the ingredients briefly in a small amount of oil over fairly high heat, keeping them in constant motion. Have the vegetables washed, trimmed, chopped and ready to go so you can add them quickly as you cook. The trick is to add them in sequence that gives each one just the right amount of cooking time. Firm ones go in first, followed by softer ones. the most fragile are added at the end and are barely warmed so they wilt a bit but do not shrivel all together. Those that are best eaten raw, such as radishes, can also be tossed in at the end.

This is a good dish to make while a casserole or roast is finishing up in the oven.


2 tbl toasted sesame oil or peanut oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 piece (1 in long) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
8 oz snow peas (about 2 cups)
8 scallions, white parts and green tops chopped separately into 1-inch pieces
2 - 3 heads ( 8 oz baby pac choi, white bottoms and green tops chopped separately into 1-in pieces)
6 medium-size radishes, thinly sliced
1 tbl soy sauce
1. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to flavor the oil.
2. Immediately add the snow peas, scallion whites, and pak choi bottoms. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but still have some crunch, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the scallion greens and stir-fry for 1 minute.
4. Add the pak choi tops, stir-fry for 30 seconds, and then remove the skillet from the heat.
5.Add the radishes and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Try this too . . .
 

Other vegetables that are excellent for stir-frying include green beans, carrots (whole baby ones or sliced large ones), whole or sliced baby turnips, sliced bell peppers, tatsoi, coarsely chopped Swiss chard, broccoli florets, and cauliflower florets.

Meat, seafood, and mushrooms can be included, but these are best browned

Sesame Salmon Fillets with Pac Choi (Bok Choy)
(Farm Fresh and Fast)

Serve with rice or wasabi mashed potatoes for a sophisticated supper.
Serves 2.


1/2 c sesame seeds
1/2 tbl grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 lb salmon fillets
1 tbl vegetable oil
4 c (or more) thinly sliced baby pac choi
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

In a shallow dish, combine the sesame seeds, ginger, black pepper, and salt, stirring together until the mixture resembles wet sand. In another dish, lightly beat the egg. Dip each salmon fillet into the egg, letting the excess drip off. Gently press the fillets into the sesame mixture, turning to coat both sides (if fillets have skin, coat only the skinless side).

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat; cook the salmon, turning once, for 4-8 minutes, or until cooked to your preferred doneness. Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate.

Increase the heat to high. Add the pac choi, bell pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the skillet; cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes, or until the pac choi is wilted. Arrange the pak choi on individual plates and top with salmon.
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