Farm Share Week 4 (June 27-29, 2013)

Hello heat wave!

Yes, we’ve had some ridiculous humidity, but things are growing so well. I think this is the first week so far that things are actually ready in larger quantities than I expected. The asparagus, which I thought would be just about done is still producing quite a lot, although the stalks that shoot up into fuzzy bluish trees hint at the end of its fruitfulness for this season. Then we have the snow peas, which are producing very well and the beans, which are looking just about perfect. I cannot believe that we have carrots in June, Jannette’s hard work back in April paying dividends. The strawberries still aren’t yielding enough for everyone but I was recently taught how to pull out the shoots which are sent out to enlarge the plant. This takes away from the fruit, so removing them will help the plant bear more.

Spending time harvesting always gets me thinking…this time, I was thinking of how much I love dirt. A strange confession, to be sure, but I love the great potential in it, the complex balance of minerals and elements that feed the plants. While scientists have a basic idea of what things need to grow, like nitrogen, etc., I feel like soil is so much more complex than we  realize, and thus, I distrust hydroponic growing (where plants are grown in a mineral water solution without soil) on principle. Dirt’s even been shown to promote healthier immune systems in kids. You never would have thought I would have this appreciation for soil. As a kid, I preferred to be clean and mostly indoors. So here’s hoping for you if your kids show no interest in growing things!

Half Shares

  • carrots!

  • Snow peas

  • asparagus

  • garlic scapes/tops (chop and use just like garlic- no peeling 🙂

  • spinach

  • red leaf lettuce

  • green leaf lettuce

  • cilantro (add a tang to salads or try making Thai food)

  • red radish

  • green kale (try kale chips http://yourlighterside.com/2013/03/roasted-kale-chips-four-ways/ for a few different flavouring ideas)

Whole Shares

  • carrots!

  • Snow peas

  • asparagus

  • garlic scapes

  • spinach

  • red leaf lettuce

  • green leaf lettuce

  • cilantro

  • red radish

  • green kale

  • red swiss chard

  • strawberries

  • rapini

  • green beans

  • extra carrots

Recipes

Waste-Free Carrot Mango Juice

This is something I learned from a few of our Jamaican workers, that I thought was very clever. It’s a juicing recipe for people who don’t have a juicer. While it does involve cooking, I like how the nutrient-rich cooking water is also used.  I am not sure about quantities- they can be adjusted to your taste.

Method

  1. Scrub carrots thoroughly. Place in boiling water and cook until tender.

  2. Transfer cooked carrots and the leftover cooking water into blender. Add mango and/or pineapple and blend. Apparently there’s no need to strain it either!

Fabulous Cilantro Pesto from www.allrecipes.com

Wondering what to do with an entire bunch of cilantro? Here’s an idea to perk up your pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 package farafelle pasta

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (substitute 5 tbsp. Chopped garlic scapes)

  • 1 tbsp. White wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne powder

  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and return water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain well.

  2. In an electric food processor or blender, blend cilantro, garlic, vinegar, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, nuts, and salt. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and blend the pesto. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.

  3. Pour pesto in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring constantly, until pesto begins to simmer. Pour over cooked pasta and toss.

Have fun creating!

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