The farm before the storm - a view of a few of our fields, with peas, lettuces, cutting celery and fennel in view.
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
I took the picture above just as I was finishing seeding green beans and edamame on Sunday afternoon. The forecast hadn't called for too much rain, but I was starting to hear thunder so I wanted to make sure I got those beans in the ground before the soil got too wet. To everyone's surprise it absolutely poured after that and we got another almost 2 inches of rain, after getting 5.5 inches over last week. Yeesh. We found just a small window of time to actually get bed prep done from Friday into Saturday. Thank goodness for the tarps we use to smother weeds, because those also help to keep some rain off beds we are getting ready to prep. We aren't too far behind schedule yet, but let's all hope that we don't get much more rain this week!
I am so excited to be giving you beets this early in the season! We are able to harvest them this early because we grew them in flats and transplanted them out to the hoophouse and some to the field in early April. Sometimes the transplanted beets come out a little pear-shaped, but overall I am really pleased with how well they have done. The hoophouse beets are especially gorgeous, with nearly perfect greens. The greens of beets are susceptible to fungal diseases which are worse when we get so much rain. Since the hoophouse beets are protected from rain, their greens are top-quality. Beet greens are pretty much just like swiss chard, so don't throw them on the compost pile. They would go together with kale or substitute for it in Maria's salad recipe below. I love beet greens sauteed with a little onion or garlic as a side dish with some kind of sausage. They are great in soups too!
Tokyo bekana is probably a new item for many of you. Bekana is one of the mildest asian greens, with a flavor that is somewhere between lettuce and cabbage. It's nice chopped up and eaten raw in a salad (or mixed in with some of you other greens). I love the idea of using the bekana along with turnip greens from this week (and maybe last week if you still have some in your fridge) in the stir fry recipe below. Bekana has nice crunchy ribs that stand up well to cooking and add texture to your final dish. Ooh, you should sprinkle some of your chopped green onions on the stir-dry dish too - that would be delicious. Even though we had this planting cover with row cover to keep out the bugs, the leaves are a bit holey from flea beetles. I guess this means the bekana is extra good and tender, and as Steve always says - you can't taste the holes :)
I hope you are enjoying the salad turnips. We've eaten through several bunches just raw because they are so good and I'm sometimes too tired to cook them up after a day on the farm. One day last week when I did have the energy I made a fried rice with turnips, carrots and green onion. That was extra tasty. Let us know what you are making with your veggies by tagging us on facebook or instagram (@rainsandsun), or posting in the recipe section of the forum (https://www.rainsandsun.com/forum/recipes). Hope you all have a great week!
Recipes from Maria:
Chinese Stir-Fried Spring Greens
2 tsp oil
½ cup unsalted cashew nuts
½ a red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2.5 cm square of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
2 heads of spring greens, stalks removed, leaves finely shredded (about 150g prepared weight)
3 tbsp oyster sauce
Heat half the oil in a wok, add the nuts and cook them until they turn golden brown. Tip out of the pan.
Add the rest of the oil and when hot, add the chilli, garlic and ginger. Cook a few seconds, then add the greens and stir-fry for a couple of minutes, add a splash of water to the pan, cover and steam for 2 minutes.
Push the greens to the side, add the oyster sauce and bring it to the boil, mixing in the cooking juices. Then stir the sauce into the greens. Sprinkle with the nuts.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
~3 cups cooked quinoa (equals 1 cup dry quinoa)
~10 cups chopped raw kale, stems removed
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup slivered almonds
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of honey
½ teaspoon salt
Mix quinoa, kale, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jar whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined (make sure honey doesn't stick to the bottom), then pour over quinoa mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning.