It is now officially summer everyone! The mosquitoes especially seem to be enjoying the hot wet weather as they are making work pretty miserable!
Wow, another tough week for us farmers here at 26th Street.
These summer rains have caused us a lot of problems this year. Rain makes it difficult to work the ground up to plant, weeding impossible with a hoe, brings out different bugs, and the worst of it– flooding. The field that partially flooded last week (one of our summer fields) fully flooded Saturday morning with the 4 inches of rain we received in a very short amount of time. So far it looks like all the cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and the low north creek side of the peppers and eggplant (about 20% of our crop) are lost. If even half the peppers and eggplant make it, we will be very happy considering how long they were underwater. We are fortunate that we have transplants to replace with in the greenhouse so when things dry out in the field we can replace and fill in some. Cucumbers and beans are fast crops and we will be able to replant those and have them fairly soon. As you can see, the CSA model is extremely important when bad situations out of our control happen. Between flooding, heavy rains, heavy wind, and hail we have had a very hard Spring. Don’t fret though, all is far from lost. Although our summer crops will be late and we will have some small shares without a lot of new items while we catch up on plantings, we will make it up to you later this summer and fall when the abundance arrives!
The tomatoes are another story. We will have them because we have some transplants to replant, but they will be much later in the year and we will not have as much variety. We were especially looking forward to our mix of cherry tomatoes that we chose noted for their taste and different blushes and stripes of colors. Tomatoes hate wet weather anyway!
Our Friend the harlequin beetle is back. These along with aphids are some of our toughest pest issues this year. These beetles wreaked so much havoc on our brassica family plants last year that eventually we just gave up on them. The beetles are bright orange and black so I walked through all the kales, broccolis, and cabbages this morning and hand-picked them. Fortunately they are only on the broccoli and if we can take down the population now we might not have the same expolsion of harlequins like last year.
On a positive note, we were finally able to plant some crops out today and if it does not rain tonight we will have another planting opportunity. We might not be down at CSA pick-up tomorrow as the rain is coming and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to seed and plant transplants. Pick-up will be exactly the same with the exception that there will be a checklist for you to mark off if you came. Everything will be put out and labeled just as it has been. We have to take advantage of these dry moments and catch up now that we have lost so much to the flood and plant out what we have already in our production plan. If we are lucky we might not have rain until Friday night!
What’s in the Share:
Red Loose Leaf
Green Curly Kale (2 bunches)
Some recipes to inspire your cooking this week:
Golden Beet and Barley Salad with Rainbow Chard (Recipe from the Kitchn website-http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-riff-golden-beet-and-ba-88567)
Serves 8 to 10 (makes about 10 cups)
4 medium golden beets, tops removed (see Recipe Note)
1 cup dry pearl barley
1/2 large red onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 bunch (about 1 pound) rainbow chard
3 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon, divided
4 ounces feta, crumbled, plus extra for serving
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 450°F. Loosely wrap the beets in foil and roast them in the oven until they are just fork tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool enough to handle, then peel and dice the beets into 1/2-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, cook the barley. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the barley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the barley and return it to the pan. Cover with a clean dishtowel until ready to use.
Place the onions in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Wash the chard and pat dry, but leave some moisture clinging to the leaves. Strip off the leaves, stack them in a pile, and slice them into 1/2-inch ribbons. Set aside. Dice the stems into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the diced chard stems with a pinch of salt until they start to turn translucent around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ribboned chard leaves, half of the lemon juice (1 1/2 tablespoons), and a healthy pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring gently, until it is bright green and has wilted down, another 4 to 5 minutes. If the pan is very dry, add a few tablespoons of water so the chard can keep steaming.
Drain the red onion from the soaking water. Combine diced beets, cooked barley, chard stems and leaves, and red onion in a large mixing bowl. Let everything cool to room temperature, then stir in the feta. Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and stir to evenly coat all the ingredients.
Taste the mixture. As needed, add salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Add pepper to taste.
Serve family-style in a large bowl or in individual bowls with extra feta sprinkled over the top. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for one week.
• If your beets come with their tops still attached, you can substitute them for all or part of the chard.
Fennel and Red Onion Salad (recipe from Food and Wine- http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fennel-and-red-onion-salad-with-parmesan)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 pounds fennel bulbs (about 2 large), cored and shaved as thin as possible
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, or a chunk of Parmesan for making curls
In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking. Add the fennel and onion and toss. Let stand at least 5 minutes but no more than 1 hour.
To serve, top the salad with the grated Parmesan, or with a few curls of Parmesan shaved from the chunk of cheese using a vegetable peeler. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Variation In addition to the orange zest and juice, add the segments from one orange to the salad. Using a stainless-steel knife, peel the orange down to the flesh, removing all of the white pith. Cut the sections away from the membranes. Squeeze the juice from the membranes to use in the dressing.
Irish Buttered Kale (recipe from
2 bunches Kale of any kind
Grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup snipped chives
Large slice of lightly salted butter
1. Remove the tough stems from the Kale, then stack the leaves and slice into wide ribbons. Place in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Steam for 10-12 minutes, until tender but still bright green.
2. Transfer the Kale to a warm serving dish, and the lemon zest, chives, and butter, and toss together. Season with sea salt and ground white pepper. Serve immediately.
Green Onion Pancakes (recipe from
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dustinghttp://www.marthastewart.com/340906/scallion-pancakes?czone=food%2Fproduce-guide-cnt%2Fspring-produce-recipes&gallery=275217&slide=340906¢er=276955)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup boiling-hot water
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
7 green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
SOY DIPPING SAUCE
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried red chile
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir together flour, salt, hot water, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until soft and smooth, 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 20 minutes.
Roll dough into a 16-inch log on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 24 pieces. Roll each piece out into a 4-inch circle, keeping remaining pieces covered as you work. Brush with sesame oil; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon scallions. Roll each piece into a tight cylinder; pinch ends to seal. Press to flatten. Wrap each cylinder around itself to form a spiral (seam side in); pinch end. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 20 minutes (or up to 5 hours).
Place spirals on a lightly floured surface. Flatten gently. Roll out to 4-inch circles, stacking between pieces of floured waxed paper. Let stand 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, for dipping sauce, whisk together all ingredients. (Makes about 3/4 cup.)
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pancakes, 2 or 3 at a time, flipping once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side (add oil as necessary). Drain on paper towels. Season with salt. (To keep warm, place in an oven heated to 200 degrees.) Cut into wedges, and serve with dipping sauce.
Eggless Caesar Dressing (recipe from the Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-eggless-caesar-dressing-11001)
Eggless Caesar Dressing
Makes 1 cup
5 anchovy filets
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
With a mortar and pestle, bash the anchovies, garlic and pepper. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Stir in the parmesan and taste for seasoning.
Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until emulsified.
Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to one week. Toss liberally with romaine lettuce, croutons and additional Parmesan for an authentic eggless Caesar salad.