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June 23,2015

Posted 10/2/2015 2:10pm by Don Kretschmann.

June 23, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

All the rain for the last two weeks has really challenged our ability to keep up with what are normal tasks at this point in the season--cultivating & hoeing weeds, uncovering the early zucs and cucs, mulching & staking tomatoes... Luckily we had gotten a very good head start in the weeks prior when we were desperate for rainfall.  Generally around this time of the summer solstice, the long hours of sunshine evaporate the most ground water of the entire year, and with the added photosynthesis, the plants use more water in this time as well. With over 6” of skymoisture in the last week, it is amazing how deeply soggy the ground is. We are very likely to miss one planting of lettuce while waiting for it to dry out. But then, water really makes things grow! Juggling, adjusting, jumping on opportunity, enjoying variable weather, watching water, sun, soil and nature producing all we need to nurture us…farming.   

For many years we sold at tailgate farmers’ markets and greens were somewhat of a specialty of ours. We noticed the preferences of people of different heritage. Italians were fond of rapini, kale, dandelion, and the chards. People of Southern heritage and African-Americans favored collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens. Greens are one of the most nutritious of all foods—very high in vitamins and minerals. They are great compliments to breads, starches and meats. Try using the more tender greens (turnips, mustard, chard) in recipes wherever you’d use spinach. Collards and kale are in the cabbage family and can be used similarly—rolls (as in cabbage rolls) or soups. Collard greens are wonderful because they hold up when reheated. They are also great with beans.   

On deck: zucchini, cabbage, fennel, raddichio. We’ll be rotating between them in the boxes over the next several weeks. Next week are mushrooms and coffee.   

Hoping you enjoy the succession of veggies, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Notes of Note: Broccoli stems and leaves are perfectly edible. Stems can be peeled and eaten like carrot or celery sticks. There’s no essential difference between collards, kale, and broccoli leaves.

FYI: Normally, credit for missed boxes is not entered on our database until late August. We don’t necessarily post dwolla payments immediately.

ID: Flat blue-green bunched leaves are collards. Tips on herbs: use the basil quickly. Pesto is a great way to enjoy the unique and special flavor of fresh basil. Pesto is the premier use. It goes well with cheeses. Oregano can be easily dried for use throughout the year, but don’t leave it in the plastic bag. Spread it out on a piece of paper or wicker basket to let it dry. Then crumble it on a big sheet of newspaper picking out the stems and funnel it into a jar. You’ll love adding this onto pizzas or pastas in the winter knowing you can be generous and enjoy the robust flavor.

Open Face Broccoli Sandwiches: Cut up broccoli into bite sized pieces and steam until just tender. Lay slices of your favorite hearty whole wheat bread on cookie sheet. Spread a dollop of sour cream or creamy ricotta on each slice of bread. Arrange the broccoli on each slice and press into the sour cream. Top with a little of your favorite grated cheese and a few sunflower seeds for crunch. Place in hot oven (400 deg) or broil until bread is toasted & cheese is melted. Pesto: 2 c. fresh basil leaves, pinch salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1-2 tsp finely chopped garlic, 2-4 T pine nuts (or walnuts), 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese. Combine in blender or food processor until texture is slightly grainy.   Mix well with your favorite pasta. Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays then removed to a plastic bag for storage, or spread on a slightly oiled pie pan and cut into cubes when frozen. Frozen pesto makes for a gourmet quick-meal year round. It’s hard to have too much frozen pesto stashed away.