In the share this week:
1 lb broccoli
1 head pointy cabbage
1 fennel bulb
1 head red leaf lettuce
1 lb fava beans or green beans
2 slicer cucumbers
3 zucchini and summer squash
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
The farm came through the weekend downpour pretty well. We had 3.3 inches of rain in our gauge from Friday night through Saturday afternoon, but I heard that some folks in Independence had closer to 6 inches. Honestly, I was more concerned about the high winds that came on Friday night, but we only saw minor damage from those - a few zucchini plant stems cracked and fell over. Interestingly, it was exclusively the yellow zucchini plants. It didn't really look like it was a squash vine borer issue, so maybe the stems on those plants are more brittle or they grow tall too fast? In any case, I'm always glad that we plant such a variety of crops because it adds a lot of resilience into our system.
As the calendar turns to summer this week we are beginning our first allium (onion family) harvest. It seems like just after the summer solstice is the perfect time to harvest garlic around here. It's good to wait until about 1/3 to 1/2 of the leaves turn brown at the tips. If you harvest sooner than that, your bulbs won't be as filled out as they could be. If you wait too long to harvest, the bulbs are more prone to disease, pests and rot. It's nice to harvest when the ground is soft, but not too wet, so early this week is proving to be perfect for us. We are drying the garlic in our new pack shed, which should provide lots of good ventilation while protecting the bulbs from scalding in the sun. After two to three weeks of drying, these tasty, flavor-packed bulbs will start appearing in your shares! They smell so good coming out of the ground and it's been a bit since we've used the last of our garlic from 2020, so I'm definitely looking forward to some fresh garlic flavor in our meals.
Fennel is new in the share this week. Many folks are intimidated by this vegetable, with its long fronds and anise flavored bulb. I know that not everyone is a fan of the black licorice type flavor, so if that is you I would suggest mixing your fennel in with a good amount of another veggie in a well-seasoned dish. This week you are getting a rather whimsical type of cabbage with a pointy vs. round head. Cabbage pairs well with lots of different veggies and it would be a nice way to dilute the fennel so that the flavors and textures meld nicely. I like this indian spiced cabbage and fennel idea below. You could certainly add some protein to the dish and have it be a whole meal:
While people mostly use the fennel bulb, you can definitely use the leafy fronds as garnish and even cook up some of the stem too. Do you have a great way to use up all parts of the fennel? Please share it with us if you do! If you'd rather not get your kitchen hot and want to try the fennel raw, it's best to slice it thinly. It can be great thinly sliced on many types of salads. If you love fresh fennel flavor, you may enjoy using it in a recipe like this one that also includes thinly sliced cucumbers:
The zucchini and yellow squash are coming on strong this week, so you'll have three of those in your share. We just grilled a bunch of squash this weekend and are using it in lots of different dishes. Last night, it became a topping in our tacos and a few days before it was part of a pesto pasta dish. Summer squash is so versatile because it absorbs the flavors and sauces in the rest of your dish. For those of you who like to make 'zoodles' from your zucchini, this looked like a tasty recipe that also includes fava beans:
Speaking of fava beans, we harvested more of those than we thought and our first green bean planting has been a bit lackluster. So fava beans are in the share again this week, but we also have green beans available for swapping if you'd rather have those. Even if you are a traditional share, we can swap the green beans for you this week. Just let me know if you'd rather have those!