Farm NewsLetter 05/22/07

May 22nd, 2007

Welcome to the first Summer Share!! Lots of fresh early season greens at this week’s pickup and more to come. The lettuce is from the green house, but the next batch was planted outside in March and should be ready in a few weeks. We have on our list to week this week and often after that the plants really take off. Also planted near the lettuce are spring spinach and baby beets- both of which you’ll see in your share in the next few week.
Peas and fava beans are also doing really well this spring. Both are legumes that can be planted really early in the season. This year we got them in when there was a bit of nice weather in January. Fava beans grow on a single sturdy stalk that holds itself upright and grows to 3-4ft tall. This time of year they are covered with weirdly beautiful black and white flowers. The pods should start to form soon, and then beans are not far away. In the same field we’ve planted several varieties of sugar snap and shelling peas. These are all trellised and climbing towards the sky. They are covered with cheery white flowers, and when we were picking the shoots, I saw just a few tiny peas starting to poke out. By planting several different varieties hopefully we’ll be able to harvest lots of them over a long season. If there is any consistent message in those end of the year surveys “More Peas Please!” comes through loud and clear.
We have 2 fabulous new apprentices this season. You’ll meet both Kristin and Mara tonight, and hopefully get a chance to know them better over the season. They’ll be at every other pickup and at work parties too. (First one Sat. June 2nd at Luscher
Farm). We are still looking for another apprentice to work with us this summer, so please send any good farm folks you know our way!

Coming soon… broccoli, sugar snap peas and our new farm blog!!

Weather: Overcast this morning, but sunshine today!,
Your share this week may include:

Arugula These are one of my favorite early salad green! Later in the summer they have more bite to them, but this time of year they are reasonably mild and tasty.
Broccoli Raab Sessantina Grossa- this is the real Italian deal! Or at least that’s what the seed catalog tells me. With their thick tender shoots, leaves and baby broccoli-esque buds, they are great for salads or light cooking
Chard The colors of the chard never cease to amaze me. Orange, red, pink striped stems are all so brilliant when they start to grow again after their winter hiatus. Try the recipe below or my grandmothers chard bisque recipe on the website.
Green Garlic The new shoots of baby garlic plants are a lovely addition to salads or can be lightly sautéed. Like scallions, except they add a fresh mild garlic flavor to any dish.
Parsley Bouquets This beautiful Italian parsley was planted almost a year ago! I didn’t look so good over the winter, but has made some nice new growth and started to flower last week. It isn’t often sold at this stage, but the flavor is still quite good. Leaves are tender enough to be used fresh. The stems and flowers are also edible and add a nice strong parsley flavor to cooked dishes.
Pea Shoots Just a teaser until the peas are ready to harvest. The shoots have a similar crunchy, sweet, fresh flavor and can be tossed into a salad or stir fry.
Rosemary A versatile herb and a great plant for attracting beneficial insects to the garden.
Salad Mix This is mostly lettuce, with just a bit of mizuna mixed in for good measure. It is so nice to have some fresh salad!

Chard and Chickpea Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
5-10 shoots green garlic, chopped
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley small stems or flowers
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves (for garnish)
1 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
3 cups cooked chickpeas
salt & pepper
1/2 lb chard, leaves & stems chopped
Garlic Mayonnaise (see below)

Sauté green garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, rosemary and parsley (stem/flower) in olive oil until garlic is soft. Add tomatoes and chickpeas, season with salt & pepper, then cover & simmer for 15 min. Cook the chard until tender then add it to the chickpeas. Serve in pasta bowls, add a spoonful of mayonnaise to each and garnish with remaining parsley leaves.

Garlic Mayonnaise in a food Processor…
Start with a whole egg, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt in the machine. Start your engines and add 1 cup mild olive oil in a slow but steady stream until it is all incorporated. Add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice. If it gets too thick you can thin it by whisking in 1-2 tablespoons boiling water at a time.