In the share this week:
1 bunch beets
1 bunch radishes
1 lb fava beans (pictured)
1 green cabbage
1 bunch green onions
1 head lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We have reached the point of the season where I get to complain about the weather a bit. First, the rain. Honestly, we've been getting just about the perfect amount for the last couple of weeks, which means that I haven't had to irrigate the field crops (win!). However, we haven't had much drying out in between rains which means that weeding has fallen significantly behind. The soil needs to be not too wet and not too dry for ideal hoeing and hand weeding conditions. We try our best to use weed prevention strategies, like landscape fabric, as much as possible on the farm, and then mostly use hoes to weed quick crops that are in the ground 60 days or less. One crop that must be hand-weeded, however, are those delicious, sweet, crunchy carrots. Carrots take a long time to germinate compared to many garden veggies (7-21 days) which often gives weeds a head start. The carrot seedlings are also very delicate and can easily be overshadowed by broadleaf weeds. It is certainly a labor of love to grow carrots, but of course it always feels worth it when we start to harvest them. You would not believe how amazing they smell when you pull them out of the earth! Second weather gripe this week is of course, the intense heat and humidity. It is finally drying out enough to do some of the work that we've fallen behind on, but unfortunately it is so hot these next few days that we need to be careful not to push ourselves too hard. I think I may adopt the Spanish siesta for the next few days, and take an extended afternoon break (maybe at the pool with the kids!) and then work some more after dinner when it's not so brutal outside. On the optimistic side, hand weeding carrots is a low intensity activity for these super hot days :)
The share this week is a bit of a change up from the last couple of weeks, with most of the veggies making their first appearance for the season. First off, beets! Those who love beets need no introduction or recipe ideas for this sweet and earthy root vegetable. For the many of you who haven't yet found a love of beets I will tell you that they were not my favorite veggie the first several times I tried them. However, I have since found that I really love their sweet earthiness and soft melting texture if it is offset by a vinaigrette, some toasted nuts, and a sharp flavored cheese. We often use our beets in some kind of grain bowl situation, like this one below.
You could definitely use your green onions in the grain bowl too! If you want to try something a little different you could use your cilantro along with your beets in this moroccan beet salad:
Another veggie that I'm excited about this week is the cabbage! I've come to realize that cabbage is one of my favorites. It is so versatile and easily melds into lots of different dishes. We love to have it in soups or curries (check out the recipe below for curry ideas), but it's also great raw in coleslaw or asian-type salads. This week's share really says curry to me with the cabbage, fava beans, kohlrabi and cilantro. You can pretty much put whatever you like into a curry.
Speaking of fava beans, I should give you a quick primer on these if you haven't encountered them before. These are a broad bean similar to a lima bean. They are a special crop that we have just once per season. They do take a little bit of effort to prepare, but it can be a fun activity to get kids involved in. I'd use your shelled beans in a salad or throw them in your grain bowl or curry this week. You'll need to take them out of the pod, then quickly blanch the beans and remove the white outer covering. Here's a tutorial for you:
Have a great week everyone!