We love that several of you asked last week about eating your root tops! We will never give you anything that is inedible or harmful in your share (at least not without sufficient warning, as you will see below) and there is always a way to enjoy each part of the vegetable. What part of the plant we eat and how we prepare it depends so much on culture, as well as personal taste. If you want to try anything and the newsletter is lacking a suggestion that serves you, just ask. Expect Amber to go into a bit of a Bubba Gump tirade of “braised turnip tops, steamed turnip tops, raw turnip tops on your salad, shredded turnip tops on your eggs, . . .” but still, you won’t know you like it until you try. We are including a special item for the adventurous this week, but please pay special attention to the instructions for preparing your stinging nettles!
Your Share This Week
Omagoodness the asparagus came up!
How did you enjoy your spinach last week? Well however that was, try something different this week. If you ate them raw, try them wilted. If you had them steamed, try them baked in a frittata.
Lettuce again, this time a tender red and green leaf mix.
These gorgeous pink beauty radishes will spice up your salad, and punch up the color to boot!
Speaking of spicy, this mix of Asian Greens will vary from mild to hot, (because some like it hot). If you are not part of that some, try braising them.
Stinging nettles are nutrient-packed and full of extra protein, but they require some special handling. Wear latex gloves or use tongs when you are working with them. They have been given one rinse, but you will want clean them by running them under cool water several times. The sting is removed within the first few seconds of cooking, but if you manage to get stung before that time it can hurt like the dickens! These grow wild, selecting only the richest soil for their habitat, and that makes them extremely high in several nutrients and vitamins, and means you might experience some allergy relief from eating them.
And finally some tasty chives and pretty flowers to round out your shares.
News from the Farm
Finally this week we have enough asparagus to give everyone at least a taste. There is enough for however you like to cook, bake or grill it. It is all different sizes as our patch is a little different from commercial patches where all the stalks seem to be one size – the nice, long slender size. No matter, it tastes fantastic!
Amber and I have been working and planning all winter to get the best produce to you. We are now serving two sites, the one here at the church and on Wednesdays we are delivering to OneWorld Community, a community health clinic. Both sites come to us on behalf our daughter Briana Harris Mayle and her husband Kevin. Growing for fifty people is a challenge and I believe we can meet that challenge.
Today I planted 120 Napa cabbage and 120 red cabbage plants that we have started in our plant room in our barn. We have the high tunnel ready to go for the peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are a little late this year given that we just had a frost last week. The basil we planted and covered in the tunnel got a little nipped but seems to be pulling through.
Most of the potatoes are in, we just have the Kennebecs to get in hopefully this weekend before the upcoming rainy looking week. The beets, carrots and onions are all looking good, along with the broccoli. The rains have been just right for us so far.
You may notice spots or holes on some of the veggies, mostly the tender leafed Asian Greens. These are from a tiny flea beetle that lives in the soil. They never get transported on the plant, they are quick to hide when humans approach. They do no harm to the taste or health of the vegetable, they just make the plant look a little rugged.
If you have any questions or would like to visit us, just send an email and we can work out the details. Sometime this summer we will have an open house for members to come look around to see where their great produce is grown.
Take Care, Farmer Denise and Farmer Amber