Friday, July 3, 2009

2009 Season, Week Five

June 20, 2009

This week's harvest:

"Pirat" or "Jericho" lettuce
Garlic scapes
"Eight ball" zucchini
"Yellow crookneck" squash

This week's news:

We had a big crew of helpers on the farm this week -- it was a really fun group! Thanks to all of them, we were able to accomplish some big tasks. We built 800' worth of bean trellis using cane from the creek bottom. We went downstream to a big cane patch, harvested several hundred canes, cut them to size and stripped the leaves off, tied them into big bundles, loaded them onto our 2 kayaks which were tied together and then waded the whole barge back upstream to our farm, and finally hauled them up to the garden! When the interns said they felt like they were in another country...well, Bugtussle is a bit like another country!

The crew also mulched, staked, and caged our main season tomato crop, and it looks awesome! Now the tomatoes can really withstand all of this intense heat because the soil moisture will be preserved under the protective mulch layer.

Now with these tasks complete, the crew picked up the cultivating hoes and got busy cultivating the crops, despite 95 degree weather and high humidity! What devotion!

Beet cooking tips:

  • No need to peel, only scrub clean; trace minerals lie just below the surface of the skin
  • Grate into most any salad, cooked or raw
  • Cube beets into veggie soups or stews
  • Serve steamed beets sliced at room temperature, tossed in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper, or use a simple vinaigrette
  • To bake: cut off leaves and wash roots. Bake at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours or until easily pierced with a fork. Rub off skins and cut off roots. Serve whole or sliced.
  • Young beet greens can be enjoyed tossed raw into a mixed green salad.
  • Try beet greens steamed or sauteed, or in any dish calling for a mild tender green such as spinach.
  • Beet greens are best used fresh, as their integrity will diminish rapidly, as with other fresh greens.
  • To maintain firmness of beet roots, cut off leaves and stems 1 inch above the root crown. Store in a plastic bag and refrigerate in the hydrator drawer.
  • Stored properly, beets will keep several months.
  • Store greens wrapped in a damp cloth or in a plastic bag in a drawer of the refrigerator.

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