In this week’s box:
Broccoli Summer Squash/zucchini Beets Lettuce Fennel Kale Dill Garlic Scapes Cucumbers Sugar Snap Peas Kohlrabi
Holy rain! We’ve been gifted with a lot of it. Over 2 inches in the past two nights. The fields are soggy, muddy and weedy! We cannot believe how fast and tall the weeds have grown. But- with the heat and rain, it’s a perfect mix. Luckily, our vegetables are growing too! Our new potatoes are ready. Unfortunately, with all this rain, we are unable to get into the field to dig them. We’re hoping for a drier week next week.
This is the 2nd and last week of peas. The pea blossoms came on strong and evenly- for a good but short burst. Green beans shouldn’t be too far off. We’re definitely moving out of “spring” veggies and into summer. We hope you are enjoying the flavors of the season!
Mina, our 4-H exchange friend from Norway is heading home this week. We have really enjoyed getting to know her and more about Norway. We’ll really miss her and hope to see her again someday. Luckily, with technology what it is, communicating with her is pretty easy. We’re really glad we took the opportunity to host a 4-H youth and will have memories for a life-time.
This is the week of the St. Croix County Fair! The kids are gathering their project and heading to the fair Wed. for judging. The Lenz’s are bringing art work, legos, flowers, maple syrup, vegetables and more. Thursday night, Claudia’s show calves will arrive at the fair. Dairy judging is Saturday morning and afternoon. Stop by the fair- you’ll be glad you did! In the dairy barn, look for Riverside 4-H club for Claudia’s calves. (And Claudia). Don’t forget the fair food! The 4-H food stand is our favorite!
Another bit of excitement around the farm is the arrival of two farm kittens. Anim (Mina backwards) and Penguin are adorable! They’re hanging out in the packshed for now, and getting lots of attention. Stop by and see them! If you are looking for kittens, our neighbors with the dairy farm have some for you! Let us know and we can set up a visit to see them.
Bean Bags- The cloth bags you will find your peas in are what we call our bean bags. Please return them, as we reuse them. They will next be filled with green beans and later, ground cherries or cherry tomatoes. My mom, aunts and myself have spent lots of time sewing those. It’s a nice way to reduce plastic use while still keeping the little veggies from getting lost in the boxes. Please return them when you are done using them. Thank you!
Kohlrabi, beets, broccoli, zucchini and summer squash- place in crisper drawer.
Fennel- It’s really muddy out there and Fennel will be muddy between the layers of the bulb. Slice and wash each layer carefully. Store in the crisper drawer.
Kale and Lettuce- Store in plastic bag or covered container.
Dill and Peas- Plastic bag or covered container.
We may have over did the kohlrabi plantings this year. The good thing is that they are great storage veggies. They’ll keep well in the crisper drawer (especially in a plastic bag) for longer than most veggies. Here’s a recipe to help use them up. (Though I really love them peeled, sliced and eaten raw!)
Preheat oven to 425. Grease baking sheet w/olive oil. Peel skin off Kohlrabi Slice into fry like pieces. Put in bowl. Toss with Olive oil and salt to taste. Spread on baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes until tender. Serve hot, adding salt to taste.
This is our final week for garlic scapes. If they are piling up from previous weeks, a great way to store them for long storage is to freeze them. Chop them into 1/4 inch pieces. Place in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Pop the jar into the freezer. This winter, when you’re cooking and need garlic, grab as many scape pieces as you’d like to toss into what you are making. No peeling needed, just great garlic flavor.
Kale and Fennel Soup
- 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 C Onion diced
- 1 C Fennel Bulb, fronds trimmed and reserved, bulb sliced thin and chopped, about one large fennel
- 2-3 tsp Garlic scapes minced,
- 1 bunch kale, chopeed. Remove tough stems.
- 2 C Cannellini Beans ( white kidney beans) cooked, or one can, rinsed and drained
- 4 C Vegetable Broth or Chicken broth
1 C. water, more if soup is thick.
- 2 Lemons
- Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- In a Dutch oven or medium stock pot, add the olive oil. Heat to simmering and stir in the onions and fennel. Cook on medium low for about 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions and fennel have softened.
- Add the garlic and kale, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook on medium low until the kale is wilted, stirring a few times, about 3 minutes.
- Add the beans, broth and water, stirring gently so the beans don’t break. Bring to a simmer, then turn to low. Cook to warm through about 5-10 minutes.
- Finish with a squeeze of half a lemon, plenty of fresh ground pepper and fine sea salt to taste. Serve with more lemon and chopped fennel fronds.
Fennel is also great with roast beef. I enjoy chopping up a fennel bulb, rinsing and tossing into a slow cooker with my favorite beef roast recipe. A great way to try fennel if you’re new to it.
Hope to see you at the fair!
Jody, Mike, Claudia, Malcolm and Jonas