Farm NewsLetter 03/06/06

The 47th Avenue/Luscher Farm Newsletter
For the week of March 6th, 2006

Winter Farm Pickup Dates: SE: 3/7, 3/21, 4/4, 4/18 & LkO: 3/9, 3/23, 4/6, 4/20

Summer shares are now available!
You can fill out a brochure at pickup or download one from the website at

We put in our first spring peas! I made furrows with the tractor then the crew fertilized, planted and covered the seed by hand. We immediately put t-posts and scare tape up because the birds like those peas almost as much as we do. Cascadia is the variety we put in first because it is a fast growing sugar snap type. The vines grow to about 3 feet and we get a lot better quality peas if we keep them off the ground so we’re going to try a few different methods of trellising. We weave twine between t-posts for many crops, but that was really time consuming for the peas last season because they are so fragile. This year we’re going to try some plastic construction fencing and see if they’ll grow up that by themselves. Hopefully we’ll have pea shoots for the end of the winter season and big fat sweet peas early in the summer.

The dry weather last week also gave us a chance to do some weeding. The flaming has kept winter weeds under control for the most part, but for obvious reason we can’t do that too close to our vegetable crops. The garlic and onions can take a bit of heat, but even they don’t like it as they get bigger. When it is really muddy, the hoes just don’t work very well. However, last week we were able to hand weed right up close and in between the plants because the soil had dried out a little bit.
We’re going to try to continue to flame beds between crops and before the crops come up this spring because it really cuts down on the weeding later!

Thanks everyone for all your help!!

The Weather has happily been warmer this week
This week the share may include…

Brussel Sprouts The last of the loose ones this week. Enjoy them because they won’t be back until the fall.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli This is a wilder member of the broccoli family with small heads tender purple heads that just keep on coming all winter. Leaves and stem are tasty too.
Cabbage A winter staple around the world! Like most winter greens they get sweeter in the cold. Slice them for slaw, then pouring a warm balsamic dressing over the top. This is great with sautéed onions and/of bacon. Add some toasted nuts or goat cheese too.
Purple Cauliflower Wow! What a treat this time of year
Collards They made it through the cold snap, and taste better than ever.
Onions We should still have storage onions, but they didn’t last this year so we bought these in.
Rutabaga Roasted, sautéed, in soups, stews, risotto… yum!
Potatoes From our friends at Mustard Seed Farms
Kale They pulled through the cold snap and taste sweeter than ever!

Coming Soon… Raab, Escarole and White Sprouting Broccoli

These recipes are all from James Beard
Thanks Sherril Gelmon for them along!

Gratin of Turnip or Parsnip

Clean and dice the root vegetable. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, 10-15 minutes maximum. Drain well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the vegetable with alternating layers of cooked rice (need about 2 cups) in a baking dish, and dot with butter/olive oil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese and 1 tbsp chopped parsley, return to the oven until the cheese has melted.

Tian of Mixed Greens

Use 1 pound each of 3 kinds of mixed greens (mustard, collards, kale, etc.). Cook in a heavy pan with a small amount of olive oil and water, covered, turning them a few times to avoid sticking. Drain any excess liquid, and chop coarsely. Combine the greens in a frying pan with 1 c. chopped green onion or scallions; add 1 cup chopped meat (cooked chicken, smoked ham, bacon) or chopped firm tofu; add 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (individual preference of taste of kind of vinegar), salt and pepper to taste. Toss over medium heat until heated. Just before serving add either 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, and/or garnish with 1-2 chopped hard-boiled eggs.

Soup with Greens

Blanch 2 pounds mustard (or other greens) greens in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and chop fine. Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped medium onion in 8 cups vegetable broth until tender, add the greens, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup fine noodles or orzo, cook until just tender. Correct seasoning and serve in bowls immediately. The amount of pasta will determine how heavy the soup is; for a heavier soup, add more pasta.