Monday, June 11, 2012

Buckets of Rain, Buckets of Greens

 Check out 8th Street Greens' new Facebook page! There are some great photos of the farm in action!

A greenhouse at Yonder Farm houses some succulent heads of lettuce.

Cress is the lighter green plant on the right.

Shannon shows Hayley the ropes of harvesting those delicious greens.

Kale soaks in the morning dew on 8th Street Greens.

Crew members working in the wet fields. Photo credit: Shannon Gilbert

 Greetings from this rainy 6 a.m. morning, coffee beside me, wondering if the crew and me can pull out of the eastside of the mountains attitude of being like cats, regarding working in the wet. . .
The weeds don't stop growing and they've doubled their size since last Thursday.  Super tall sugar snaps are in bloom and awaiting more trellis for all their fine tendrils to grab onto.  Saw some baby peas yesterday, white blossoms contrasting with bright hot pink red radiant seed buds of the bolted Bordeaux spinach.  
Tall sugar snap peas, grabbing onto their trellis.

Seed buds on bolted Bordeaux spinach. Photo credit: Shannon Gilbert

 I worked in the cloud gift of down pour yesterday, pleasantly geared up in gortex and plastic, tractor rototilling  perfectly not dusty soil, integrating the bee-loving bolted crops back into the earth, “field composting” I call it.  Dang it, if I didn't get too close to poly-line irrigation and instantly let the tines wrap it up in half a heart beat!  Cut, pull, cut, got it unwrapped and out of there.  Just when irrigation's all set up for the season now there's a repair to do. . . .You know, Shannon, Dad always says, “the hurrier you go the behinder you get!”

Week #3 Box. Photo Credit: Shannon Gilbert

 This week's box may not be all the splendor of last week's but there's some darn good eats in there (so long as harvest goes as planned.  I'm skeptical of  whether the sunshoots will be tall enough for harvest).  8th Street Greens' herb salad blend hits the streets this week!!!  There is basil afoot, and we're gonna eat it and be aromatherapy-d!!!  It's an anti-depressant, you know.  The only place for the herb salad this week is the CSA and the Okanogan Bakery.  Speaking of, if you're about Okanogan and needing an awesome sandwich, check it out and mention the yummy-ness of our salad on their sandwiches.  They're under the impression that folks around here don't care what's on the sandwich, iceberg or whatnot.  It'd be a good morale boost for some of us to say otherwise.  I was really excited, thinking we'd have super early tender carrots from Yonder Farm in the box, alas they did not grow well and most of us must be patient for a few more weeks. Large shares DO get some carrots, tho! 

Week #4 Full share box. Photo Credit: Shannon Gilbert

 So everything is from 8th Street:  a bag of Sunflower Shoots (if there's not enough you'll get Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress), rinsed twice;  a head of Bok Choy rinsed once;  a bunch of Dill, dunked once;  a bunch of Radishes, rinsed;  half of you get garlic scapes (already!? It seems early to me), and half of you get a Japanese Broccoli bunch (2 types per bunch: the deep red is Hon Tsai Tsai, the green is Happy Rich).  Next week, we will switch so you'll each get the other item.
Please visit Edible Seattle, May 2012, “Demystifying the Mysterious World of Asian Greens” for an awesome read and some recipes.  It was confidence boosting for me to read this article, as there's only a couple of growers I've met around here who dabble with the Asian greens and try to sell them.  I love the greens, but it's a pathway in public education I'm leading.  The journalist actually wrote about Hon Tsai, “It has small compact sprouts that are often sold just as it begins to show yellow flowers, when the plant is at its sweetest. The entire plant is edible.” Mizuna, Yukina Savoy, Pac Choi, etc.    

To use the garlic scapes, chop fine or leave long, saute or stir-fry.  Or, puree and make a little pesto or dressing by drizzling olive oil and sprinkling salt.  Maybe add some balsamic vinegar.  I like keeping them in a jar with a little water, on our kitchen counter.  The sunshoots are to top a salad, eat plain as a snack, garnish a soup, or use on a sandwich or wrap. We've been enjoying the early broccoli shoots raw.  They've been sweet.  Last night we had them as a last addition to miso soup and the night before, in a stir-fry with rice and local grass-fed bison meat.                                   

Best.  ~~Shannon                                                                                                                                                                                  

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