Our crates are bursting with goodness on a typical harvest day! Photo credit: Cole
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We're playing a bit of catch up early this week. The rains last week kept us from some of the weeding and bed preparation that needed to be done. Steve and I did a bit of extra work this weekend to get ready for lots of planting. Yesterday, Cole and Will got 5 beds planted with sweet potatoes, eggplant, and delicata squash. It feels great to get these crops in, since they are something we just have to plant once for the season. Today, we'll focus on lots of hoeing before the likely rain that will happen for the following several days. We also have basil, green onions, chard, and more salad mix lettuce to plant over the next couple of days, but those can get in after the rain if necessary. We're hoping to have salad mix for as much of the season as possible this year. It doesn't do very well in the heat, but I'm testing out shade cloth for our plantings that go in during the summer months. A farmer that I follow out of Tennessee says that he covers lettuce transplants with shade cloth for about 2 weeks after transplanting during the summer to help them get established in the heat. We're going to follow his protocol here on the farm, but I'm also consulting on a garden project that some students from Thomas More University are undertaking this year. They'll design an experiment with different lettuce varieties and shade cloth conditions, then measure the heads for weight and bolting. I'm enjoying maintaining a connection to the academic world and we might get some useful data for our farm as well :)
The share this week is pretty similar to last week's items. That is a common theme on the farm. We are typically harvesting from a particular planting for a couple of weeks, so you'll often have two weeks of similar items, then a little change up for the following week. The new item in the share this week is swiss chard. Chard is probably my favorite cooking green. It has a more robust flavor than kale or spinach. You can cook the stems as well as the leaves. I typically throw the stems in to saute with some onion or garlic, then add the leaves and cook down before deglazing with red wine vinegar or some other flavorful liquid. Maria has some great ideas for using lots of the greens in your share this week. I really love a mixture of different types of greens in many recipes - it adds depth of flavor and texture.
Hope you all have a great week!
Savory Turnip Gratin with Greens
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups chopped leeks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
3 cups chopped turnip greens (you can add swiss chard here too!)
1 1/2 pounds small turnips, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, divided
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, divided
1 cup water
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
5 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°.Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add leek, thyme, and sage; cook 3 minutes. Add greens; cook 2 minutes. Remove leek mixture from pan; place in a bowl.
Combine 1 cup turnips, 1 cup potatoes, 1 cup water, milk, and garlic in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes. Place milk mixture, flour, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Coat a broiler-safe 2-quart oval ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of remaining turnips and half of remaining potatoes in dish; top evenly with leek mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining turnips and remaining potatoes. Pour milk mixture evenly over top. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Heat broiler to high. Sprinkle gratin with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Broil 3 minutes.
2 bunches of radish, sliced thinly
a handful of carrots, sliced thinly
2 turnips, halved and sliced thinly
couple jalapeños (more or less depending on your love of heat!)
handful of chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Mix all ingredients in a jar, refrigerate.
Spring Salad with Baby Greens, Radishes, Turnips, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Garlic Scapes and Chive Blossoms
2 large handfuls greens (a mixture of kale, salad mix, turnip greens, kohlrabi greens)
2/3 cup cooked quinoa (mine was cooked in chicken stock)
2/3 cup chickpeas, lightly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly
1 bunch salad turnips, sliced thinly
2 garlic scapes (about 1/4 cup), sliced and lightly sautéed in olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
white wine vinegar
coarse sea salt
fresh thyme leaves
If your quinoa and chickpeas aren’t cooked/sautéed, do that first. I love quinoa cooked in chicken broth because it adds just a little bit more flavor! Sauté chickpeas in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt until lightly browned. Set aside.
Lightly sauté garlic scapes in chickpea skillet, using a bit of olive oil. Slice turnips and radishes with mandolin or thinly by hand.
Assemble salad: place baby greens in a bowl, then layer half the quinoa, chickpeas, turnips, and radishes in each bowl. Then drizzle salad with olive oil and white wine vinegar, to taste (or alternatively, you could mix together a simple vinaigrette dressing; I love just a bit of olive oil and white wine vinegar). Add about 1 tbsp garlic scapes, a few chive blossoms and thyme leaves, and a dash of coarse sea salt and black pepper to each salad. Enjoy!