Farm News- June 23,2011

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,

Hello Everyone, We are still dealing with very wet conditions here at the farm. The storms that passed through Thursday night dropped 2 1⁄2 inches of rain on us and spoiled my plans for transplanting melons and ground cherries on Friday. Fortunately we were spared the strong storms that visited the northeastern part of the state and that I understand were accompanied by hail. We are also fortunate to be experiencing relatively mild temperatures which are a boon to the cool season crops such as broccoli, peas and lettuce. These same crops are also benefiting from the abundant moisture. We are beginning to see a lot of broccoli starting to head up. I expect that some groups will receive broccoli in their share this week in place of kohlrabi, which they will then receive next week. We will proceed with this rotation for the next couple of weeks until all groups have gotten broccoli (and kohlrabi). We have a pretty purple variety called Kolibri (hummingbird in Spanish but not spelled that way). Kohlrabi can be cooked or eaten raw, grated, and mixed into salads or to make a slaw (kohl slaw). The arugula has all bolted to flower but we still have broccoli raab (which we want to flower!) and tatsoi. We also still have a fair amount of spinach and it is looking gorgeous; a beautiful dark green. The escarole has begun to bolt so we have begun to harvest it, some not as big as I would have liked, but it’s use it or lose it. We will offer it as a choice with endive (frissee), another slightly bitter member of the lettuce family. Escarole is typically eaten braised or in soup while frissee more commonly eaten raw.

We have been harvesting snow peas these last few days as well as more sugarsnap and English peas. Most groups ended up getting English peas last week, contrary to my prediction. One of the reasons for this is that the English peas turn starchy very quickly and must be picked at the right time and then eaten promptly. Whichever type you received last week you will get a different type this week; if it’s English use them right away. The Bok Choy is looking good but I think it can stand another week without bolting and since we can only harvest so much and you can only eat so much, I mention it as a coming attraction. The featured lettuce this week will be a red Boston, a tough decision because we have several varieties and thousands of heads of lettuce that will have to be cut soon. There will likely be 2 lettuces in next week’s share. In the root vegetable category we have Hakurei salad turnips, which can be sliced or grated into salads, or cooked and do not need to be peeled. In the spring these develop a bit of radish like spiciness, which cooking will mitigate. The fall crop will be much milder and the edible greens mild enough to put in salad.

The share for this week will be:
Red Boston lettuce, salad turnips, kohlrabi, spinach, choice of escarole or endive, some type of pea, choice of broccoli raab or tatsoi or a generic mustard green, and choice of dill or cilantro

Farmer John

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