Farm NewsLetter 05/28/07

May 28th, 2007

The farm finally has its first tractor!! We are the proud new owners of an Allis Chamers Model G (ACG). While it is new to us, this tractor is over 50 years old. Produced sometime between from 1948 to 1955, it was designed with the small row crop farmer in mind. This is not your run of the mill tractor. People often comment that it looks like a bright orange spider crawling across the field. There is very little on the front end of this tractor besides the wheels and steering column. In addition, most of the tillage equipment is mounted on the belly of the tractor- underneath and just in front of the driver. This allows us to see the crops as we drive over them- the idea being to cultivate as close to them as possible without damaging anything. The ACG’s came from the factory with a four-cylinder engine, but ours has undergone a radical remodel. Thanks to Jim Corliss in Corvallis, our new tractor runs completely on rechargeable battery power!

First Work Party
Saturday June 2nd, 1-5pm at Luscher Farm,
125 Rosemont, West Linn, OR 97306

We’re having our first work party of the season this coming Saturday and expect to do lot of planting!! We have a field full of tomatoes to plant and trellis. We also have lots of summer squash, melons and cucumbers to plant. In addition, we will also be working on some watering and weeding projects, and if we have enough people we may go and work on clearing ivy on the edges of the farm.
You are welcome to bring family and friends- there will be things to do for folks of all ages and abilities. Kids are welcome to come help work or they can just hang out. We’ll provide snacks and drinks and have a potluck BBQ once the work is done. Please bring your favorite gardening tools and dress for the weather. Hope to see you there!

Weather: Hot!
Your share this week may include:

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.
Salad Mix So nice to have fresh salad.
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.
Mizuna There were a few leaves of this mild asian green in your salad last week, but with a bit of warm weather they’re now big enough to bunch. Add some more to your salad, or sauté them.
Mustard Greens- Very similar in appearance to the Sessantina Grossa from last week, these are significantly spicier! Add them to salad if you’re brave, otherwise cook them and you can enjoy the great flavor without the heat.
Onion Scapes These are the stem and flower bud of our onions. The thick fleshy stalk is the tastiest part, and sometimes the smaller buds are eaten too. I coat them lightly with olive oil and roast them until slightly caramelized. They make a very fun finger food! You can also chop and sauté them to add a mild onion flavor to any dish.
Sugar Snap Peas! They are just starting to mature, but more are sure to come soon.

Greens Fromage
From Shareholder Allen Field
This recipe originally calls for swiss chard, but other greens such as chard, kale, mustard, beet, collard, turnip, etc. work well.

6 T butter 1/2 onion, chopped
4 T flour 3 c. chopped greens
1 1/2 c. milk 1 c. grated swiss cheese
1 t. salt 3 eggs, beaten
2-3 green garlic stems, chopped 1 c. bread crumbs

Using 2 T. butter, sauté garlic and onions for a few minutes over med. high heat; add greens and sauté an additional 5 minutes, set aside. Make a roux with 4 T. butter and 4 T. flour: melt butter in saucepan, add flour and cook over med. heat for few seconds. Add milk, stirring often until thickened; add salt, and mix in sautéed greens and remaining ingredients. Place in greased 9×9 baking dish. Bake 1 hr @ 350°. Serves 6-8.