From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Snap and Snow Peas, Fava Beans, Artichoke, Mixed Baby Lettuce, Arugula or Tatsoi, Garlic Scapes, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Kale, Carrots, Dill, Cilantro and Lavender
Coming Soon… Basil, Potatoes and Cucumbers
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
We will be harvesting the last of the garlic scapes this week. The garlic scape is the beginning of the plant making its flower to reproduce. By cutting the flower off, the plant will send energy back to the roots underground, resulting in a bulb that is 30% larger. I sort of thought that the scapes were a culinary novelty, but when I found out this out, I realized that we needed to make one more pass through the garlic rows, to pick as many as we can find. The other good news, is the garlic bulbs will be ready to harvest in about 3 weeks. Although we will dry as many as we can to send out in the summer and fall, at that time we can start to send out bulbs.
Kale-Garlic Scape Pesto
2 cups packed fresh kale leaves
5-6 garlic scapes
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup toasted pinenuts or walnuts
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with beans, rice, over seafood or chicken.
Herbs of Spring
This week we harvested lavender, dill and cilantro. All of these need to get cut. The lavender is a perennial that will grow and send out flowers each year. The dill and cilantro are annual plants that we seed and harvest several times a year, but because they prefer the cool weather, they start to form their flowers and seeds in the spring. We will keep the plants in the ground and will send out dill seed with our cucumbers in a month or so. And, the cilantro produces coriander seed that we will let dry in the field and send out in the fall. The lavender is very relaxing, I like to just keep it in the house near where I sit. You can let it dry at room temperature and save it until the fragrance goes away.
We will be harvesting the last of the fava beans this week. In addition to the peas, greens and lettuce, we should have produce that will get us through the last few weeks of spring. Many plants stop producing or slow down with the warm weather. Sometimes it is possible to grow them, but by taking advantage of what mother nature gives us, we are able to provide the best possible produce at its peak.
Grilled Fava Beans
This is an easy way to share the responsibility of shelling the beans.
8-10 fava pods
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Toss the whole fava bean pod in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil and salt. Preheat your grill or a thick griddle pan on the stove top. Grill the beans until the are well charred about 4-5 minutes on each side. You want to make sure that the inside beans are cooked, so feel free to take one off and do a taste test. Serve the beans on a platter and let your family remove the beans from the shell and the outer skin. This is meant to be a little messy.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…by Cindi J. Martin
Today it was my job to harvest Swiss Chard for our baskets. I noticed some insect damage and was tempted to discard anything that looked less than perfect. In our consumer culture, we assume that things that are damaged and don’t look perfect are not worth purchasing. In the case of gardening without the use of harsh pesticides and herbicides, I am learning that bugs are actually a sign of life in our soil. I don’t mind seeing minimal damage because many recipes require slicing and chopping which means that insect damage is not noticed and does not impact the taste. I must admit that a few years ago, I would not have considered the quality of taste and nutrition over the appearance of a vegetable.
This concept reminded me of a story in the Bible when the prophet Samuel was looking for God’s choice for a king to replace King Saul. Samuel was looking for a king that would have a particular “kingly” appearance. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” ( I Samuel 16:7).
Every Thursday morning before we harvest, we begin with a meditation in the Bible called Lectio Divina. This morning we read a passage in Matthew (15:7-20) where Jesus said something very similar to His followers. He warned us about behavior that contradicts our words that reveal the true intentions of our hearts.