Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - July 6, 2011
Fresh from the Garden News
Finally things are growing and responding well to the warmer weather. We were beginning to wonder. A few days of sunshine makes all the difference in the gardens!
The strawberries sort of exploded into ripening. The bird netting made all the difference for a bountiful harvest. The robins aren’t too happy about it, but more for us to share with you. I think we may have peas next week. We are trying out some new varieties this year, regular snow peas, golden snow peas, sugar snaps and blue-podded shell peas. Needless to say, we love peas and are anxious for the first harvest. Tomatoes and sweet peppers are flowering and we are slowly catching up with the eternal hand weeding process. Whatever the weather, the weeds seem to do quite well here.
As we move through the growing season, I would like to encourage you to make a trip to the farm for a “walk-about” the gardens to see where your food is being grown. Somehow, seeing it happen makes it taste better. We’d love to see you here, just let us know when you’re coming.
I submitted a proposal to the Rodale Institute this spring for a research project idea I have. They are the leaders of organic agriculture and research. After four months without response, they finally contacted me and set up a conference call between myself, their executive director and their lead research scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham. I am very happy and excited that they have expressed an interest in working with us. I met Dr. Ingham years ago when she was first working on her research studies on the soil food web and look forward to the possibility of doing research with her next summer.
Summer events are coming into our schedule: We are hosting a Natural Pest Management Field Day here for WSU on Sunday, July 17th; our 16th annual organic wine tasting will be on Thursday, August 18th. And we have our on-going organic gardening workshops every other Monday. Meanwhile, we are at the Saturday Farmers market most weeks, and will soon open up the on-farm stand on Thursdays. Tell your friends about us!
What’s In The Bag…
- Salad Mix—always double washed, colorful & full of fresh flavor.
- Head Lettuce
- Garlic Scapes—some great recipes on page 2! Use as you would regular garlic. All of the green stem is quite edible.
- Kale—The recipe for kale “chips” on page 2 is amazing. One of our CSA members told us about this last year and we finally have started making them. Try it!!
- Summer squash—The first of the harvest. Looks like you will get squash every week from now on. :)
- Rhubarb—This is the last harvest for the rhubarb. Just enough for a pie or bread or crisp.
- Strawberries—We don’t wash the berries because they don’t keep as well, so be sure to rinse off the dirt before eating.
- Herbs— Dill, sage flowers and spearmint. If you don’t make the sage flower recipe, you can simply pull the little purple flowers off and add to a salad for an interesting flavor. The dill is also tasty in a salad. The spearmint makes a nice addition to iced tea or will make a nice cup of hot tea if you like.
KALE CHIPS…..try it, you’ll like it.
Take a large bunch of kale leaves and trim off any tough stems (save the stems to later make soup stock). Wash the leaves, shake off excess water, tear the leaves into "chip size" pieces.
Put all leaves into a large bowl. Sprinkle ~1 Tbsp. olive oil to the leaves. Next sprinkle with dried herbs or spices of your choice. I’ve used Tamari Sauce for one batch and dried basil for another. Both were yummy.
Spread the kale leaves in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. I have used a sheet of parchment paper to make clean up easy, but just a spray or bit of additional olive oil on the cookie sheet also keeps the leaves from sticking to the cookie sheet.
Heat the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until the leaves get crisp. They will wilt at first but then start to crisp up. The color of the kale leaves will darken from a bright green to a deeper green. I do carefully turn them with a spatula after about 10 minutes and usually bake them for a total of 20-30 minutes.
If I ever have any extra kale chips, I will try saving them in an airtight container to eat later as chips or even crumbling them into small pieces to use as an interesting salad addition or topping.
Kale is an excellent source of calcium and along with the other plants that belong to the broccoli family is power-packed with phyto-chemicals that promote general good health plus being a terrific cancer "phyter".
Garlic Scape Salad Dressing & More
- 2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
- 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or similar brown mustard
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- dash salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.
Makes 1 cup.
Grilled Garlic Scapes
Grilled scapes are sweet with a mild garlic/onion flavor. Even our children love them! Wrap scapes in tinfoil with a little bit of olive oil. Some people just lay tinfoil on the grill, add oil, and grill uncovered.
Grill until tender.
Salt if desired, and enjoy!
Garlic Pasta with Sage Blossoms
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ½ tsp *green garlic or garlic scapes, minced
- Tbs chopped Sage Blossoms
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 lbs fettuccine pasta (you could use linguine, spaghetti, or other long pastas)
- Parmesan cheese to taste
1. Add the oil, garlic, sage, and salt to a small skillet over medium heat. Cook until the garlic is golden brown but not dark brown.
2. At the same time cook the pasta per the package directions.
3. Drain the pasta and add it back into the pot over no heat. Dress the pasta with the infused oil. Dress each serving with additional olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Garlic scapes are the flowers of the garlic. We cut them off so that the plant will put more energy into growing a larger bulb underground. They freeze well; just chop them up and put in a freezer bag for later if you don’t use them in a week or so.
Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes,
it is a triumph of hope over experience.
- Marina Schinz