I'm going to keep this short this week, with just a few notable mentions of....The Goods.
Fennel is making its first appearance in the box. These were planted in the greenhouse in late February, and are so tender and sweet and perfect in form. I like to slice fennel thinly and sauté as a sweet, subtle, pasta sauce addition. OR...slice into long spears and make a quick pickle (hot vinegar poured over fennel in a jar and then refrigerated) to snack on from the fridge. It's great in a salad this way too!
It's a very herbaceous week with dill, parsley, basil and garlic scapes all on the menu. We're between cilantro plantings, but there are plenty of flavors to choose from.
Fruits are on their way! We just finished planting peppers and eggplant, and the first lemon cucumbers are beginning to set fruit. But we won't be in full fruit harvest for a few more weeks. We DO, however, have a limited amount of zucchini on offer. I just made a very simple dish of green garlic (copious amounts) simmered gently in olive oil (copious amounts), with sautéed zucchini and chard and ground lamb. It was great on it's own, but also yummy tossed with some quinoa pasta (macaroni) and topped with fresh parsley. Lots of salt and a little cumin and ground pepper. Also, more oil. ;) Yum.
We're still in the midst of a fantastic lettuce flourish, ushered in all at once by that heat wave (Woah). This is some of the nicest romaine we've EVER grown, and the green butter head Galisse ranks among our top three favorites for texture and flavor. We'll have a small quantity of bagged Spring mix to offer this week as well; it's diverse in size, varied in texture, and full of flavor. So luxurious to have bags of mixed greens in the fridge for a quick salad.
To round out the salad, there are SO. MANY. PEAS. Sweet snap peas are a spring treat that we don't take for granted! They are laborious to pick and trellis, and patient to bear fruit, but so worth the time and effort. It's a popular farm snack with all the humans around here. We have many many pounds available, and we'll be picking heavily, so please don't hold back on adding extra if you feel the urge.
Lastly, I should mention the hardy greens. I know, I know, one can only consume so much kale, chard, or collard greens, but really, these are some of the nicest spring bunched greens that we've ever grown. I'm not entirely sure why it's so much better this year. Often, by the time we have a mature kale planting, they are riddled by flea beetles and parched from the heat. It's been such a challenge in fact, that I've contemplated only growing bunched greens in the fall, as the days shorten and the weather cools. But this year - this year, we did something right, or the weather cooperated at the right time, or the stars aligned. The greens have been fantastically sweet and succulent, and relatively pest free. We always keep a bunch of kale and chard in the fridge. They go into just about everything, and the lacinato (dinosaur) kale often finds its way into a green salad after being finely chopped and massaged/bruised with oil and salt. Collards, like chard, need a bit more time in the pan, but the results are soooo good for the greens lovers among us. All the time braising or simmering with fats and salts and spices and herbs, gives collards and chard so much flavor. Their thick leaves hold up well to the extended heat, and rather than turning to mush, they evolve into a silky buttery culinary experience. Don't forget to finish these greens with a little splash of acid (lemon, acv) while still on the heat. This will bring out the flavors and "brighten" the greens.
Ok. That was not a short email. But it's all about the food, and once I get hungry it's hard to stop. Food, after all, is what brought Sarah and I together and forged our love of farming and each other. None of this makes sense if we can't appreciate this sustenance in the kitchen and on our plates. The earth is generous in its textures and flavors and shapes, and there is so much opportunity this time of year to marvel and marinate in the voluminous bounty!
We hope you are all finding time to enjoy this kinetic Spring season, outside with friends and family, visible smiles on visible faces. It's been so nice to see that part of people more as masks are becoming less prominent. A smile and a meal, shared with friends, grounds me in this world.
Conner (+ Sarah)