In the share this week:
1 lb broccoli
2 kohlrabi bulbs
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch parsley
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 bag salad mix
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We have such an awesome diversity of birds that hang out around the farm. I started a life list a few years ago and we are closing in on 60 different bird species spotted on our property. I love to see the same species coming back again year after year - sometimes just for a few days or a week as they migrate through, sometimes for a month or longer. One of my favorites that we've seen for a few years now is the blue gray gnatcatcher. It's a really tiny little thing, probably not much bigger than a hummingbird. It looks a bit like a mini mockingbird. I've also recently discovered that one of my favorite birding apps (Merlin Bird ID) now has a sound ID feature. You can sit and record the songs and chattering going on around you and the app will pop up most likely birds by sound. It's a lot of fun and is helping me to better recognize common bird songs, and helped me to confidently ID a new and super cool species on the farm - a yellow breasted chat! The sound ID picked up its call a few times and then luckily I heard the call while I was harvesting onions last week and could see the male with his bright yellow chest high up in a tree on the fenceline. I never would have been able to ID him from that distance if I hadn't known to be looking. I love that we have so much biodiversity here to support some really cool species!
The share this week is fairly similar to last week, with the addition of garlic scapes, swiss chard, and more kohlrabi. If you haven't prepared kohlrabi before, here's what to do: 1) rip the leaves off (these can be used just like kale if you like - maybe add them in with your chard in the pad thai recipe at the end of the newsletter), 2) peel the skin with a vegetable peeler (typically necessary if you are going to chop kohlrabi into bigger pieces, but if you are shredding like in the fritter recipe below, you can leave the skin on), 3) chop into pieces for roasting, adding to soups, putting on a veggie dip tray, etc! I was reminded by someone at the Independence farmers market on Saturday that I really love kohlrabi fritters. These are super delicious and you don't need to peel the kohlrabi if you shred them in a food processor!
Garlic scapes are another fun CSA vegetable. These are the immature flower stalk of the garlic plant. We pull them because 1) they are delicious and 2) it directs more energy toward garlic bulb production. Just chop them up and use them in any recipe that you'd like a little garlic flavor. I use them somewhat like green onions, but they need just a bit more cook time. Or you can blend them along with some of your parsley and other ingredients to make a tasty chimichurri:
The last new item this week is swiss chard. I'll be honest, we've struggled to grow healthy swiss chard for the last several years. I'm afraid we have some fungal disease pressure that negatively affects its growth and when we get a lot of rain in the spring (typical of course) it becomes more of a problem. Also, we've found out that goldfinches eat on swiss chard as well - who knew! In any case, I do love chard as a cooking green and I'm glad we have enough for you this week. I chop the stem and leaves, sauteeing the stems with onion or garlic before throwing the chopped leaves into the mix. I like the idea of using your chard (maybe plus kohlrabi leaves) and sugar snap peas in this pad thai recipe below:
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!