Farm NewsLetter 07/02/07

July 2nd, 2007

There is A LOT of work to do out there on the farm and we’d love to have you join us this weekend at our regularly scheduled first Sat of the month work party …

Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster Rd, Portland, 97266
Saturday July 7th, 1-5pm at Zenger Farm, Potluck BBQ to follow

Most of our early morning hours are spent harvesting in an attempt to beat the heat. Crops like greens, broccoli and lettuce do much better if we can get them out of the fields before they absorb get too hot. In addition to harvesting, this week on the farm we planted basil, tomatillos and another quarter acre of brassicas- broccoli, cabbage cauliflower etc. Many paths were tilled. We also gave the beans, tomatoes, summer squash, and brassicas planted last month a much needed weeding. Irrigation has needed constant attention in this hot weather to keep everything from getting fried. This means that we spend lots of time moving ttape on and off the fields, straightening and repairing lines and cleaning filters to keep it all running smoothly.

Trellising also needs to happen soon because the beans are starting to twine, and tomatoes are getting taller every day. Potatoes are flowering which means that they’re also starting to form little tubers so our first harvest of baby new potatoes isn’t far away. Summer squash are flowering so zucchini, patty pan and crooknecks will be coming soon. Onions are a constant challenge to weed because their little strap-like leaves never shade out anything and we’re going to have to suit up with long sleeves and thick gloves when we go after this next section of onions because they are infested with thistle. Also on the list for another round of weeding is winter squash, peppers, eggplants and if we don’t rescue the parsnips soon they’re going to be lost forever in a sea of lambs quarter.

Weather: Hot!
Thanks to everyone for all your help!

Your share this week may include:

Broccoli Tasty and sweet, this is a great variety called Early Dividend.
Kohlrabi Everyone thinks these are so weird when in fact they are so versatile and easy to use. Peel and eat them raw, grate them into salad or slaw, cut them into chunks and roast with other root veggies, thinly slice & sauté them, steam them, stir fry them- you get the idea. It has the sweet crunchy flavor of broccoli stem. My only caution- don’t overcook them!
Walla Walla Onions Even when small, the sweet flavor shines through!
Sugar Snap Peas These are mostly Cascadia with a few Sugar Snap mixed in. Can’t believe they’ve lasted so long. The coming heat wave may do them in but wow are they good while they last.
Mustard Greens Spicy- only put these in a salad if you want some serious heat! Otherwise sauté them and they’ll be flavorful but not killer hot. These have a solid leaf that is ruffled around the edges.
Mizuna These are mild and nice in salad or as a cooked green. These leaves are finely dissected which gives them a very lacy appearance.
Lettuce Heads Beautiful dark burgundy or sweet green butter lettuce.
Radish This week we have big Easter Egg radishes in bunches of red, purple and white or long thin pointed Daikon radishes.
Turnips These Hakuri salad turnips are incredibly sweet and tender. Even if you think you don’t like turnips, give these a try. They are not your grandparents turnips!

Coming Soon… Baby Summer Squash & Fresh Garlic!!

Simple Sautéed Kohlrabi
Adapted from Farmer John Cookbook

Serve as a side dish alone or on top of braised greens.

2 med kohlrabi bulbs
1 teasp. salt
oil or butter
1-2 spring onions
1 clove garlic
2 tablespons chopped fresh herbs: thyme, chives or sage

1. Mix kohlrabi & salt in colander and let stand for 30 min to drain
2. Melt butter in a med skillet over med heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
3. Stir in kohlrabi. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 min.
4. Increase heat to med, uncover skillet and cook for 2 min. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let the flavors develop.