Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CSA Recipes - Week 4

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the rhubarb compiling in your refrigerator?  This week will be the last delivery of it for the season, so try to get inspired to experiment with this marvelous spring vegetable.  In case you had any doubts about the Rhubarb-lentil soup recipe posted a couple of weeks ago, a CSA member brought me a sample last week of her version, and it was fantastic!! Also, just yesterday eve I made a batch of the rhubarb spritzer, but used the juice of a whole lime instead and added about a cup of fresh mint to the pot and let it stew with the rhubarb.  Yum! You can do any number of variations with that recipe, and the results are bound to be refreshing and delicious!  But, in case you are still not convinced to try either one of those, here is one classic not to be missed:

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp
(about 6 servings) from the Moosewood Cookbook
 - an easy cobbler to make...use less sugar if you'd like it tart

2 lbs. fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-1" chunks
3-4 C. sliced strawberries (you can vary this recipe by adding other fruits, such as apple)
1/3 - 1/2 C. cane sugar
1 C. rolled oats
1 C. unbleached flour
2-3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a dash or two of each: nutmeg and allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbs. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375'F.
2. Combine rhubarb and strawberries in 9" square pan. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
3. Mix together remaining ingredients in med.-sized bowl. Distribute over top of the fruit and pat firmly into place. 
4. Bake uncovered 35-40 min., or until the top is crisp and lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature. 

For additional rhubarb recipes, please click on the link provided (under 'Rhubarb recipes') in the link section at the bottom of this blog page.

Now, as for sugar snap peas, they, too, can be fun to cook with (if you don't eat them all first). As you will be receiving a lot of these sweet things in the next couple of weeks, I thought I should touch on ways to incorporate pea dishes into your evening meals.  Sugar snap peas' sugars turn quickly to starch once picked, so these are one crop you don't want to be stingy with...enjoy gorging on them without guilt while they last!  In cooking, peas partner well with butter, sesame and peanut oils; herbs such as dill, parsley, basil, chives and mint; ginger, fresh garlic (or scapes!), shallots, onions, and scallions.  When used in cooked dishes, it is easiest to eat the peas if you remove the strings (with a paring knife, cut into the stem end, lift the string that binds the pea like a zipper, and pull down to the blossom end), however, in my laziness I often skip this step and worry about that when I'm eating them. 

Stir-fried Peas with Red Pepper Flakes
(serves 4-6)

1 1/2 Tbs. roasted peanut or sesame oil
1 garlic clove, chopped (or about 1 tsp. chopped garlic scapes)
1 lb. sugar snap peas, strung
1/2 - 1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste

Heat a wok or large skillet (med.-high heat), then dribble in the oil. When oil is hot, add the peas and garlic and stir-fry until peas are bright green. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with salt and peppers, toss again, and serve. Variations may include items such as fresh mince ginger, or even turnips (halved and added a couple minutes before adding peas).

Blanched Sugar Snap Peas (Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe Cookbook)
(serves 4-6)

1 tsp. salt
4 C. (about 1 lb.) sugar snap peas, strings removed

Bring 6 C. water to boil in large saucepan. Add salt and peas, cooking until crisp-tender, 1 1/2-2 min. Drain, shock in ice (or cold tap) water, drain again, and pat dry. Can be set aside for up to 1 hour before seasoning)

...with Hazelnut Butter and Sage
2 Tbs. chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage leaves
salt/black ground pepper to taste

1. Toast nuts in small skillet over med. heat, tossing pan often for even toasting, 3-4 minutes or until just fragrant. Set aside.
2. Heat butter in medium saute pan over med. heat until it turns the color of brown sugar and smells nutty, about 5 min. (do not let burn). Add blanched peas, sage, and nuts. Toss to combine and cook until peas are heated through, 1-1/2 min. Adjust seasonings, adding salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

...with Ham and Mint (can omit ham for vegetarian version)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 C. country or smoked ham, cut into 1/4" dice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
salt/ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in med. saute pan over med. heat. When foam subsides, add ham and saute for 1 min. Add peas and mint, tossing to combine. Cook 1-1 1/2 min. until peas are heated through. Adjust seasonings, serve immediately.

....with Lemon, Garlic, and Basil
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 med. lemon, minced, plus 1 Tbs. juice
1 med. garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp. mince garlic scape)
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt/ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in med. saute pan over med. heat. Add zest and garlic, saute until garlic is golden, about 2 min. Add peas, lemon juice, and basil. Toss to combine and cook 1-1 1/2 min. until peas are heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

CSA - Week 4

The wait is finally over!  This week you will be feasting on ample amounts of sugar snap peas and the first delicately crisp, sweet carrots.  I feel compelled to remind you that sugar snap pea pods are edible (unlike shelling peas)....most of you already know this, but I remember one customer a long time ago that informed me how much work it was to shell all of those sugar snap peas. Poor thing.  

This week's share will also include turnips,
strawberries, flat-leaf parsley, salad mix, and the last delivery of rhubarb.  The Extra-greens share is salad mix this week.

We have been busy on the farm keeping up on the weeding, staking our determina
te tomatoes and sweet peppers, seeding more successions of salad greens, carrots, and beets, and harvesting the earliest garlic variety ('Shantung Purple', a hardneck type).  The greenhouse tomatoes are growing at warp speed, and the fruit set looks terrific.  We should be
enjoying fresh tomatoes around the end of July!   
I will be posting recipes shortly for rhubarb (as requested) and sugar snap peas.                

Sunday, June 21, 2009

CSA Recipes - Week 3

Lavender Shortbread Cookies (a favorite of mine and a beautiful way to incorporate this flower into your culinary world) - makes 3 dozen.

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened (I usually use salted, but use unsalted if you wish)
1/4 C. granulated sugar (I grind up raw cane sugar for this)
5 Tbs. confectionary/powdered sugar
2 C. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1  tsp. fine sea salt
2 Tbs. fresh lavender flower petals (purple part only), chopped
1 egg mixed w/ 1 Tbs. cold water for egg wash
1/4 C. granulated sugar or coarse, raw cane sugar (for rolling dough in)

1. In large bowl, beat butter until pale yellow and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugars and beat well. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, lavender, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Roll dough into 2 logs about 1 1/2" in diameter x 12" in length. You may wish to freeze one log for later at this point....simply wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap, seal well and place in freezer for up 3 weeks.  Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. 
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap chilled dough and brush with eggwash mixture. Roll logs in 1/4 C. sugar. Slice dough into 1/4" thick pieces and place 1" apart on baking sheets.  Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Indian-Spiced Lentils w/ Kale - from Cook's Illustrated
(serves 4 as a side dish)

Use common brown, green, or whole red lentils in this dish.

1 lb. kale, stemmed and chopped
2 Tbs. unsalted butter or ghee
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin 
1/2 tsp ground mustard 
1/4-1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves (or 1-2 Tbs. minced garlic scapes), minced
2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot

1. Bring lentils, 6 C. water, and salt to boil in med. saucepan; boil for 5 min. Reduce heat; simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape; 20-25 min., adding kale during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 1 C. cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, heat butter in large skillet over med. heat. Add coriander, cumin, mustard, and pepper flakes; saute to develop flavors, about 1 min. Add garlic and ginger; saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 min. Add lentils and kale and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer to marry flavors, about 5 min. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.

Linguine w/ Braised Fennel and Kale Sauce (I usually omit the fennel because I don't grow it, and add chopped basil and roasted hazelnuts before serving to add a sweet nuttiness to this dish.) - serves 4

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 med. onion, minced
1 med. fennel bulb (about 1 lb.), fronds removed, minced, and reserved (about 1 Tbs.); stems discarded; and bulb trimmed, halved, cored, and sliced thin
3/4 lb. kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped coarse
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 lb. linguine or spaghetti
1/4 C. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for table
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring water to boil in a large pot for cooking pasta (at least 4 qts.)
2. Heat oil in large skillet or saute pan with cover on. Add onion; saute over med. heat until softened, about 5 min. Stir in fennel and cook until golden, about 10 min.
3. Add 1/2 C. water and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in kale and cover. Simmer over med.-low heat until fennel is tender and kale is fully cooked, about  10 min. Stir in vinegar and simmer to blend flavors, about 1 min. Adjust seasonings and keep sauce warm.
4. Meanwhile, add 1 Tbs. salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 C. pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and toss with sauce and cheese, adding reserved cooking water as needed to moisten sauce. Serve immediately, garnishing with fennel fronds and more cheese, if desired.

A final word on recipes.  I believe they are akin to the lines in a coloring book....they should serve as guides to creating the broader picture, but as culinary 'artists', we should feel the liberty to imagine what lies beyond the lines and add details as we see fit.  Have fun with these recipes! Add and subtract from them according to your personal tastes, but perhaps more importantly and practically, what you have in your refrigerator and cuboards.

CSA - Week 3

Ever have one of those days you wish you could just pull the covers over your eyes and stay in bed all day?  Our cat, Vito, has them occasionally. Cats, I find, are very good at indulging themselves in activities such as sleeping. Farmers are no different from anyone else on this matter, only we can't indulge them for long stretches of time.  Tonight we find ourselves on our first frost watch in weeks.  I emphasize the word 'first', because we have been blessed with unusually mild nighttime temperatures this spring.  So, it is only fitting that, now that summer has finally officially arrived, a frost tonight weighs on our minds and bodies.  I will have to make this post brief to catch some necessary slumber.

As part of this week's produce share, you will find the first delivery of a favorite summer herb - 'Genovese' basil.  This variety is the classic favorite for traditional pesto...sure to be a treat! Also new this week are kale, shallot tops (can be used like green onions), and a token bunch of organically grown lavender from our home flower garden.  Returning items include salad mix, spinach, radishes, turnips, strawberries, and the last of the garlic scapes for the season.  Garlic scapes keep quite a long time if kept in a plastic bags or airtight container in the crisper of your refrigerator, so don't be afraid if you can't keep up with them....store them for use until the heads of garlic come on in July/August.  The Extra-greens share is salad mix this week.  I was so, so hoping that the sugar snap peas would be ready for Monday's pick-up, but they seem to be providing me a lesson in patience.  And you, perhaps.... 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CSA Recipes: Week 2

Recipes for Week 2: (writing these up is making me hungry...)

Rhubarb Lemonade Spritzer (from Delicious Living, June '09 issue)
makes 2 quarts

6 C. water
1 C. natural cane sugar
6 C. coarsely chopped rhubarb
Zest and juice of 1 med.-lg. lemon 
(experiment with other fruits, such as lime, grapefruit, fresh ginger, strawberries etc. added to this rhubarb syrup)

1. In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to boil.  Add rhubarb. Return to boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 min. Add lemon zest and stir gently. Strain into a bowl, allowing pulp to drain for 10 min. w/out pressing. Pour liquid into a pitcher and add lemon juice. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (can be made several days in advance).
2. To serve, mix one portion rhubarb syrup with equal portion of unflavored sparkling water (or sparkling wine etc.)

Rhubarb-Lentil Soup (provided by Bonnie)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup dried lentils
2 cups finely chopped carrot
1 3/4 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chopped rhubarb
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
6 tbsp whipping cream or creme fraiche
dill sprigs, for garnish
Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over lentils in a small bowl; let stand 10 min.
Saute carrot, clerey, onion, and parsley for 4 min.  Add rhubarb, and saute for 3 min.  Drain lentils and add to pan.  Stir in broth and salt; bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 35 min or until lentils are tender.
Remove from heat; let cool for 5 min.  Puree in blender; add pepper.
Combine dill and whipping cream in a small bowl.  Serve soup with a tablespoon of cream-dill mixture on top; garnish with dill sprigs.
Serves 6, about 1 1/3 cups of soup per serving.
187 calories, 6 grams fat, 8.5 grams protein, 7.3 grams fiber

Creamy Radish Green Soup (from the Oregonian Food Day section)
serves 2

2 Tbs. butter
2-3 Tbs. garlic scapes, minced
2 green onions, trimmed and slice 1/2" thick
1 heaping tsp. minces fresh ginger
1 bunch radish greens, chopped small
1 med. yam or sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
2 C. vegetable broth
1/4 C. half-and-half
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat butter in deep pan over med. heat.  Add garlic scapes, green onions, and ginger - saute 2 min.  Add radish greens and yam and stir to combine.  Add broth, simmer covered 10-15 min.  Remove from heat, let sit for 5 min.  Put soup in blender or food processor, blending for at least 30 seconds to make sure all the radish stems get pureed (otherwise soup will be stringy). Return to pan, add half-and-half, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine and serve.

Braised Radishes

20 plump radishes
1-2 T. butter
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp. chopped thyme or several pinches dried
Salt and freshly milled pepper, to taste

Trim the leaves from the radishes, leaving a bit of the green stems. Scrub them.  If leaves are tender and in good condition, wash them and set aside.  Leave smaller radishes whole and halve or quarter larger ones.
Melt 2-3 tsp. butter in a small saute pan.  Add the shallot and thyme and cook for 1 minute over medium heat.  Add the radishes, a little salt and pepper, and water just to cover.  Simmer until the radishes are tender, 3-5 minutes.  Add the leaves if using and cook until they're wilted and tender, 1 minute more.  Remove the radishes to a serving dish.  Boil the liquid, adding a tsp. or two more butter if you like, until only about 1/4 C. remains.  Pour it over the radishes and serve.

Spring Turnips with Their Greens
(Serves 1-2)

4-6 small turnips, scrubbed, greens trimmed and washed (leave whole if very small, or halve or quarter them so that their sizes are fairly uniform)
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1-2 T. butter
A 1/4 tsp. thyme or lemon thyme

It isn't necessary to peel small and tender turnips.  Bring 2 quarts water to a boil for the greens.  Add 3/4  tsp. salt, then the greens, and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, set a steaming basket over salted water for the turnips.  Steam turnips until they're tender, 8-12 minutes depending on their size.  Drain the greens, press out excess moisture with the back of a spoon, toss them with 1/2 the butter, and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange them on a plate.  Toss the turnips with the remaining butter, a few dashes of salt, a grind of pepper, and the thyme.  Pile the turnips on the greens and serve them together.  A lovely side dish.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CSA - Week 2

The thundershowers we've had of late have resulted in lush surroundings, but the cooler weather and lack of sunshine have slowed the crops down.  The sugar snap peas have just lay there all week, as if the rain has placed them in a deep sleep.  Though dripping from their plants, the pods seem content in taking their time growing plump and heavy with sweetness.  So we shall wait. We do have strawberries to look forward to in this week's delivery, as well as the first of the tender, young turnips. Expect more radishes, cilantro, garlic scapes, rhubarb, salad mix and spinach. Those who purchased the Extra-greens share will receive an additional 1/2 lb. of salad mix this week. 

I was thinking about my culinary love affair with cilantro in the garden today as I cut bunches for tomorrow's share.  I remembered a time long ago in Zambia, four months into my year-long stay there, when I was sitting down to a lovely dinner provided by a Persian family. The hosts inquired about foods I missed from home, and I lamented the fact that I had not tasted cilantro since leaving home.  They had not heard of cilantro.  We sat down to the dinner table, visiting as we passed around platter after bowl after platter of one of the most beautiful meals I have seen to this very day.  In my experience, Persians love to feed you.  And feed you.
The table soon became quiet as we began enjoying the meal in earnest, that is, until I let out an exclamation of pure and utter joy.  "CILANTRO!" I all but yelled after I swallowed 
the bite of green salad. Noting their confused expression, I held up a piece of my favorite herb, to which the lady of the house proclaimed, "Why, joonam, why didn't you tell me you were talking about Chinese parsley?".  I have not since forgotten cilantro's other name.  It turns out, however, that not all share my love of this aromatically perfect leaf.  I was delighted to hear a report on NPR several months ago that delves into why there seems to be two camps - those that love it and those that hate it.  It turns out that I am a super-smeller.  If you love cilantro as I do, you, too, are a super-smeller.  Check out the link to the full article at the bottom of this blog page for a fun read.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CSA Recipes: Week 1

As requested, some recipes...

Garlic Scape Pesto (from maryjanesfarm.com/SimplyMJ)

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 / 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 / 1/4 lb. scapes
 / 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
 / Salt to taste

Puree scapes and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and lemon juice and season to taste. Serve on bread, crackers or pasta.

Spinach and Scape Frittata (adapted from dakotagarlic.com)

3 Tbsp. olive oil
/ 10 eggs /
3 cups (packed) chopped raw spinach
/ 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
/ 1 Tbs. chopped parsley, dill, or basil
/ 1/2 C. finely chopped garlic scapes
/ salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl mix all ingredients except oil and scapes.  Heat oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove. Add the scapes and saute until tender on medium heat for about five minutes. Pour egg mixture in skillet with garlic and cook over low for three minutes.  Place in oven and bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until top is set. Cut into wedges and serve.


Other Garlic Scape Ideas:

      -    You can add sliced scapes to any stir fry recipe.

      -    Slice and sprinkle over any pasta, or slice and cook them in almost any sauce recipe.

      -       Great in guacamole and fresh salsa, too.

-       Chop & add to softened cream cheese.

-       Add chopped fresh scapes when serving a light garlic soup; can also add them to buttered, french bread floated on the soup.

-       Use them as you would green onions, they're just better.

-       Good in salads, on bruschetta, pizza.

-       An excellent addition to stocks....and Asian cuisine.

-       Put in Thai chicken/basil/coconut soup.

-    Saute whole in large skillet on med. high heat, with just a bit of olive oil until slightly seared on the outside, tender on the inside.  Season with sea salt.

-       Garlic bread!

Spinach Salad w/ Mushrooms, Croutons, and Warm Lemon Dressing (serves 4) from Cook's Illustrated

1/2 lb. spinach, stemmed, washed, dried (tear into pieces if leaves are large) / 1/2 lb. fresh cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, sliced thin / 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil / 3 c. stale French or Italian-style bread, cut into 3/4" cubes / 1 Tbs. mince garlic scapes / 1/4 c. juice from 2 medium lemons / salt and pepper to taste

Place spinach and mushrooms in large bowl, set aside.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until  shimmering.  Add bread; fry, turning several times w/ slotted spoon, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.  Off heat, let remaining oil cool slightly, about 1 minute.  Add garlic scapes; cook until tender, about 2 min.  Whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour warm dressing over salad, toss.  Add croutons; toss again and serve immediately.

Dill Pesto

Makes 1 1/2 Cups

 2 C. Chopped dill, tightly packed / 1/2  C. extra-virgin olive oil / 3 Tbs. pine nuts or chopped walnuts (I prefer if they’re toasted) / 2 Tbs. garlic scapes, minced / 3/4 C. freshly grated Romano cheese / 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened (optional)

 In the bowl of a food processor or blender, place the dill, olive oil, nuts, and garlic scapes.   Process until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency.   Add the cheese and butter and process briefly, about 10 sec.   Toss with various noodles, cheese tortellini, or try as a side with a fresh baked frittata or quiche.

Scrumptious Rhubarb Sheet Cake*

 Mix together, then

 set aside, the following:

1/2 C. Sugar

2 C. Finely cut rhubarb

 In a bowl, blend together:

1/2 C. Butter

1 1/2 C. Sugar

1 Egg

1 tsp. Vanilla

 In a separate bowl, mix the following:

2 C. + 2 Tbs. Flour

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

 Alternately add 1 C. buttermilk or sour milk (add 1 Tbs. White vinegar per 1 C. milk) and the blended butter/egg mixture into the dry mix until thoroughly blended.  Add rhubarb mixture.

 Then stir in the following:

1/2 C. Shredded coconut

1/2 C. Cranberries (or raisins)

1/2 C. chopped walnuts (or pecans)

 Bake in a 7” x 12” (or similar) pan at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes.  Delicious with coffee or tea! 


*Thank you to Pat Dencer for this wonderful recipe!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

CSA - Week 1

CSA customers -  Hurray!  The first week of the CSA is finally here.  You can expect to find the following goodies at the pick-up:  radishes, rhubarb, cilantro, dill, salad mix and spinach.  The first delivery is always the leanest in terms of variety, but by next week we will be harvesting sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, and possibly the first of the strawberries.  

I encourage you to make the most of your produce share.  This may mean challenging yourself to preserve (by drying, freezing etc.) items you have a difficult time keeping up with, and to think outside your usual eating routine.  Remember that cooking those green tops of the turnips, radishes, and beets can add a delicious and nutrient-rich side to your main course.  In fact, as most root vegetables store best without their tops, I recommend removing them when you are unpacking your produce, storing the roots and tops separately.  You will probably be more apt to use the tops if you do this.  If a 1/2 lb. of fresh spinach seems too daunting to eat in a week's time, gently saute them with a little onion, garlic, and olive oil as a way of reducing its bulk, or cut some up and add it into soups, pasta dishes, pizza, egg dishes etc.   To preserve those fresh herbs for later use, simply remove the leaves from the stems (discard stems or add them to your soup stocks), lay out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 200 degrees F. until the leaves are fully dry.  Let cool completely before transferring the dried herbs to an airtight bag or container.  If you've made one rhubarb dessert too many, this beauty holds up remarkably well in the freezer - cut into 1/4 - 1/2 " pieces and store in a freezer-grade plastic bag, removing as much air as possible from the bag.  It is helpful to write the date on the bag before placing in the freezer so you can use up the older bags first.

We have been loving a simple salad of radish, lime, cilantro, and a pinch of salt....great on tacos, among other things.  Another favorite until the cucumbers come on is the combination of sliced radish, chopped dill and rice vinegar.  I'm also a fan of adding a small amount of cilantro and dill (coarsely chopped) to our green salads for an extra flavor kick.

We hope you enjoy the first of the fresh produce this season!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Descending Rainwater

As the CSA pick-ups begin next week, I thought I would post some photos of the farm's progress. The rate at which the crops grow this time of year never ceases to amaze me!  This spring, relative to past years, has been spectacular for growing.  Warm days, replenishing thundershowers, and (gasp!) not a freezing night since early May have created the perfect conditions for production.  In just a couple of weeks, CSA members will have sugar snap peas and strawberries in copious amounts.  I hope that is not a problem.

My honeybees are busy, busy these days.  They make me feel lazy, and I don't particularly consider 
myself of the lazy persuasion.  My queens are frantically laying eggs, while the workers make endless trips a day bringing heavy loads of pollen and nectar into the hives.  The males mostly wander about the frames trying to appear useful.  In general, they are so, so fascinating to observe.  If only we could all work together so well in th
is life.