Farm NewsLetter 06/04/07

June 4th, 2007

Thank you to everyone who came to the work party last weekend! We started the afternoon with everyone planting tomatoes. This year we are growing over 30 varieties of tomatoes including Stupice- my favorite early tomato, Celebrity- a thin skinned mid season slicer, Taxi- a beautiful yellow, Green Zebra- a striped chartreuse when ripe, Striped German- marbled yellow and red flesh, Azoychka- an extremely flavorful yellow heirloom, Moskvich- consistent taste test winner, lots of Romas and more! It will be at least a few months before we have ripe tomatoes, but they are certainly something to look forward to.
Once the tomatoes were all planted, we split up everyone at the work party and went after several more projects. Those who wanted to keep planting moved on to get the last of the winter squash and pumpkins in the ground. Another group grabbed their stirrup hoes and started weeding in the greens. Irrigation isn’t everyone’s favorite job, but a few stalwart folks helped me move two whole fields of t-tape. And last- but far from least- was the ivy pulling crew. Thanks again to everyone for all your help!
Wow do we have peas this week. Most of them are a variety called Cascadia which was developed at OSU for flavor and disease resistance. It is most importantly resistant to the pea enation virus which is spread by the pea aphid and causes the peas to be warty and the plants eventually die. Cascadia is a bush pea and it only gets about 2-3’ tall. In the catalog they say it doesn’t need to be trellised, but I think that we get more peas and better quality peas and that they are easier to pick if we grow it on a trellis. So that’s what we do. Using metal t-posts in the rows spaced every 12-15’, we run a wire across the top, and then stretch a plastic webbing material called Hortanova between them. There are 4 rows each 300’ long and we plan to spend over 15 hrs picking almost 450 lbs of peas this week! Still to come is a snow pea called Oregon Sugar Pod II, a shelling pea called Utrillo, and 2 more types of sugar snap peas. Yum!

Weather: Cool & Rainy
Your share this week may include:

Braising Mix Lots of different things in this mix including turnip greens, mustards, baby kale and mizuna. Sauté these tender greens and then they go with almost anything- use over pasta, in an omlette, with polenta, in soup…
Joi Choi Chop the thick white stems and sauté them for just a minute before adding the tender green leaves. Great in traditional stir fry, but this is a more versatile green than the name implies. Like the braising greens, it works great in a wide variety of dishes.
Garlic Scapes These are the unfurling flowers of the garlic plant. They can be roasted similar to the onion scapes, but they are solid instead of having a hollow stem.
Lettuce Mix- Many different lettuce varieties in this mix including oakleaf, deertongue, and romaine combine to make a tasty salad.
Spring Onions These white onions are just starting to bulb. They will eventually be full size dry onions, but we see no reason not to start eating them now. Use the small bulb as you would regular onions, and the green tops as you would scallions.
Shallot & Onion Scapes These are the stem and flower bud of our shallots and 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 Yum!
Rosemary Add a little to the roasted scapes.

Coming Soon… Fava Beans & Broccoli

Sugar Snap Peas w/ Mint Dressing

1lb Peas
3T Spring Onion, chopped
3T Rice Wine Vinegar
1t Honey
1t Mustard
6T Olive Oil
1/4-1/2c Fresh Mint

Snap tops off the peas and blanch them. Whip up the dressing and toss with peas. Chill everything. This is especially tasty when left to marinate for a bit before serving