Friday, June 10, 2011

Second Harvest

Hi all:
We open this week's story with peas!!! We're very excited in the garden this season to have peas so early. We're really using our mobile greenhouses to our advantage. These were started in February and it paid off with early peas. This photo is from this morning as the sun was just rising. These are Oregon Giant Snow Peas. They are the flat, large pods. Snow peas are great raw but really they are useful for any stir fry with vegetables (I suggest using your scallions and some of the spinach too).
Also in the bag with the snow peas are some Sugar Ann Snap Peas. These are also good in stir-fry meals but frankly, why waste the candy? Really, these are so sweet and good raw, we never even get them back to the house from the garden before they are gone. I put them all in the same bag to save on plastic but they are easy to tell from the snow peas.

This week's share also contains some of the same items from last week including the scallions I already mentioned, more Red Salad Bowl Lettuce and each of you got a full pound of spinach! The spinach was going crazy in the garden this morning. Between Brittany and I we spent 4 hours harvesting just spinach and pulled 50lbs out of the garden!!! Remember that while our spinach is tender enough to eat raw, even when it's large like this, it can also be braised. For a lesson on proper braising, click the archived post to the right under 2010 in June titled 'first harvest 2 of 2' and scroll down to the picture of Red Russian Kale. Braising is a great technique for cooking greens but not loosing the crispness or volume. Boiling this spinach will reduce it to about one hearty meals worth. Hard to believe looking at those two voluminous bags but it's true. Braising will keep you in spinach all week.

Also, this week is our first installment of Australe Lettuce. This is the head lettuce that is in the share bag. Isn't it beautiful. I tried this last season and it will forever be a keeper in our garden. I love the taste, the texture and the color is amazing in a salad or on a sandwich. Awesome stuff. Plus, from a production point of view, it's meant to be harvested small like this (actually it's called a miniature head lettuce). This means I can put more into less space and it is also easier to bag than some of the other lettuce varieties you'll get from us this season. We also put in another installment of radishes and that will be it on them for a few weeks until our next batch comes in. Hopefully that will be soon as they are a different variety and I'm looking forward to it.

And now, some photos of our work around the farm. I've been slowly working up our grape arbor over the past couple of years. I planted the grapes on some tough ground (read 'rocks') so they've taken a while to get with it. I was annoyed by that at first until I realized it just gives me time to work on the arbor. I only have to put up another piece when the grapes reach high enough! Convenient. Right now I'm working on putting up the skinny vertical pieces you see. This will give the vines something to cling to and expand upon. I want a wall of grapes!!!

Finally, our turkeys have arrived. They actually arrived last Friday (the first CSA harvest day of the season of all days) and I brought them home from the post office. They are doing quite well at this point but turkeys are very, very delicate. It's interesting based on the wild turkeys we have around the farm. I only ordered heritage breeds which are still able to fend for themselves and have some natural instincts but domesticated breeds are still just that. So as long as I can get them past the 'everything is a danger' stage, we'll be in good shape! Well, enjoy the share and I'll see you again next week.

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