"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground."
Greetings from Farmer Tom
season is a new beginning, and here on the farm nature's fertile embrace
is irresistible. It's Spring and the earth is alive! I am joyous and
a bit nervous at the same time as we start this our 12th seasonal dance.
The freshly tilled soil smells rich and musky, and the first germinating
seeds and transplants are like infants brimming with the promise of
bountiful flavors, smells and colors. Five baby goats were born in
the last few weeks and two more are expected; the baby chickens are
growing fast, scratching and pecking like their older peers. We might
truly have a bumper crop of pears this year never has our pear orchard
had such an explosive bloom; the bare and dormant trees transformed
almost overnight into what looked like white clouds. The
warm weather has been a blessing, ensuring a good fruit set (which
is always the biggest concern with our Warren pears). The fava beans
are tall and lush, with and abundance of slender little beans, tomato
seedlings have been transplanted into the fields, and green beans are
already starting to sprout out of the ground the
earliest I can remember. Spring on the farm can be compared to the
early phase of pregnancy: we are planting, planning and laying the
groundwork for the healthy abundance to come.
Carrots: the carrots you will be getting, although freshly dug, have no tops on them. This is because these are winter carrots, and the tops not only don't look so pretty but also, because they are mature (having wintered in the field), they are very hard to pull out of the ground so the tops tend to break off. So for the next couple of weeks you'll get your carrots loose and bagged. Once our new crop of spring carrots gets big enough, they will come to you bunched as usual.
Beets: the beets in this week’s shares, both the red and the golden, are the last of the over-wintered crop – big and really sweet. We cleaned out the fields and they were just too nice to plow under! Starting next week though your beets will be from the new planting (no more goldens for a while, although they’re coming). Next week’s new beets will have large, beautiful beet greens too!Coming soon: broccoli, fava beans, fresh onions and arugula, radishes, bok choi... and more strawberries!
So again, if you wish to continue getting a paper copy of the newsletter, just contact me at the farm and I’ll see you get one. But this way, at least ‘every paper newsletter will be a wanted paper newsletter!’ If you’ve requested the paper option, there will be an asterisk next to your name on your checklist (at your pick-up site) and a newsletter in the front pocket of the binder for you. You will still get the e-version too.If you specifically don’t want to get the email version of the newsletter, simply use the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of the newsletter (or email me at the farm and I’ll take you off the newsletter e-list). We don’t want to be anybody’s spam! Being removed from the newsletter e-list does not remove you from our membership database – they are two completely different systems. – Debbie
Asian pear blossoms – Asian pears are grafted onto the Warren pear trees to help with pollination.
Apple trees in bloom.
pond on our Pioneer Rd. property – the source for our irrigation
water at this location.
Gnarly and sometimes hairy, these babies are still tasty eating! (The leafy tops are edible too, just use the ones that are green and vibrant; use like chard, steam or sauté.) For the rutabaga roots, peel, dice and cook in boiling salted water until tender but not mushy, oh, 8 to 10 minutes depending on size of dice (when done a sharp knife should pierce them easily). Drain well then mash or purée with butter and salt, to taste. Serve like you would mashed potatoes!
Best way to prepare beets is to roast them! The flavor is intense and wonderful, and with these sweet over-wintered beets they should be especially good. Cut tops from beets leaving about 1” of stems. Scrub off dirt, maybe cut off root if it’s long. Rub beets with a little oil and wrap in foil, then bake in a moderate oven (350 – 375 degrees) for a good hour if they’re big (and possibly longer if they went into the oven from the refrigerator); again, use the sharp knife test for doneness. A done beet should offer no resistance when pierced. When done, unwrap foil and when cool enough to handle, cut off tops then remove skin (this slips off easily; just rub with your fingers). Serve beets just as they are, with a little butter and salt, or, slice or dice and toss with a simple vinaigrette.
You don’t always have to cook beets! They are also great grated raw into salads. Peel beets first with a vegetable peeler, then grate into a bowl or directly onto your salad greens before dressing. Grate up some carrots to add to the mix for color. Grated raw beets and apple are also a tasty combination (although we don’t have any apples in our shares right now).
The farm’s green garlic is big and beautiful right now! The flavor is less intense than mature garlic, so you can use more of it. You can also use a good bit of the stem (the light green part). I carefully slice off the outermost dark leaf just below where it comes together, then work my way up the stem circle-cutting off subsequent leaves, being sure to watch for and wash off any dirt. Then I just slice or chop up as far up the stalk as I like! Try stir-frying the sliced green garlic in a little olive oil, then adding chopped chard leaves and stir-frying until wilted. Sprinkle with salt and add a little vinegar or lemon if you like. Or use balsamic or cider vinegar and then toss in a handful of raisins that you’ve plumped in hot water for a few minutes!
This is my favorite way to eat kale. Strip leaves from stems, boil leaves in well-salted water about 3 minutes. Drain well (squeeze out extra water with back of a wooden spoon), chop, then dress w/good olive oil, fresh lemon juice and salt! Mmmmmm... love it!