Monday, June 21, 2010

week three

Aside from some spring bugs and setbacks with those crops, things are going very well with the summer crops - we just have to get there! In fact, we had a small unexpected harvest of some hot peppers and strawberries this week - which was way more exciting than it should have been. I've been pinching off the strawberry flowers to let the plants establish for their first year, but I'll let the everbearing variety fruit now that the first round of flowering is over. I don't expect a significant amount this year but you never know. And speaking of berries, the hot weather has speeded up the flowering of the raspberry plants and they're already starting to set fruit. Expect them to come a little earlier, probably starting in about three weeks and continuing into September.
Danielle transplanting melons
The summer squash and melons are finally in the ground and the winter squash is seeded! The new field behind the barn is plowed, dug and planted - better late than never. The potatoes are kicking ass as well.... when we were hilling them this past week we caught a glimpse of a few nice sized potatoes already, so hopefully we'll have new potatoes in a few weeks.
potatoes, and lots of them

This was a very light week, but that gives many of you a chance to catch up on the leftover produce of the last two weeks. And finish up that lettuce, because it's returning next week. This week you received pac choy (slightly nibbled), more chard, herbs (chives, garlic chives, thyme, sage, oregano and savory) and garlic scapes. We ran out of bunching onions so only full shares received those, but we have large second and third crops of those that will be ready in a few weeks. Thanks for being so understanding about the spring issues.

I emailed about the garlic scapes so I think you all have an idea of what to do with those. You want to use the soft, flexy part (not the part of the stem that's rigid) and chop and saute in any recipe that calls for garlic. We made an easy chard, garlic scape and parmesan cheese scramble by essentially chopping the ingredients and frying them along with some of our eggs. Tonight I'm going to saute some more scapes and add them to a pizza. And some of you are wondering what to do with all the herbs, specifically the savory. They're are so flavorful and versatile, you can use them to add amazing flavor to almost any dish. Tarragon is wonderful with eggs, savory is frequently used in chicken and fish dishes, etc. If I have a bunch of random herbs I need to use right away, I just chop them all up and toss them in pasta with butter. I also mix some them in with salad greens. You'll be receiving a lot of herbs this summer, so preserving them is also a good idea. Oregano is, in fact, more flavorful when it's dried, and I chop and freeze things like chives, cilantro, parsley and tarragon and use them all winter. Making herb butter is also a great way to preserve herbs - just chop them up (individually for flavor-specific butter or mix and match) and mix them into room-temperature butter with a bit of lemon zest. Form into rolls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate (or freeze, for long-term storage).
Members at farm pick up have been telling me about some great recipes they've tried or invented using our produce - I encourage everyone to share these, either by commenting on blog posts or on the Churchview Farm Facebook page (!/pages/Pittsburgh-PA/Churchview-Farm/111380458885761?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=12).

1 comment:

moxie DaDA said...

Here's a recipe for a quiche that turned out nicely using the kale... guess you could use the chard also? and mix in some herbs...
1/2 c butter (yeah... next time I may try less butter...)
3 cloves garlic (use our garlic scapes)
1 sm onion
kale / chard approx. 10 oz.
feta (6 oz)
cheddar (8 oz.)
4 eggs beaten
1 c milk
1 9inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 375. (the only bad thing about this recipe is how long you have to bake it in this heat... luckily, we have a door on our kitchen and can shut it while we bake :)
In skillet, melt butter over medium and saute garlic and onion til browned. Stir in kale / chard / spinach, mushrooms, feta & half the cheddar. Pour into pie (unbaked) crust. Whisk eggs & milk. Pour into pastry. Bake 15 minutes. Cover with remaining cheese & bake 35-40 minutes until set. Allow to stand 10 minutes. ENJOY. chris & matt