Filed under: Farm Things.
Phew, it’s hot out there. I think I said that last week, too. I’ve found that doing work outdoors has completely changed my perspective on what good or bad weather means. We and the plants both are greatly affected by temperature and rain level, and not seeing measurable rainfall in over a month means something entirely different when you’re relying on that water to grow food.
So folks, we have record high consecutive days in the 90s, record low rainfall, and the fields are feeling it. Fortunately, we are able to irrigate the majority of our crops, so things aren’t as bad as they could be. Good news: the okra is thrilled (southern crop which loves the heat). And most things are doing just fine.
Before I get to what’s in today’s shares, I recommend you check the post below for some of Graydon’s recipes. I’ll let Graydon tell you about his previous work sometime, but he has several years of cooking experience in a variety of restaurant venues. He’s an excellent cook, and I learn lots from him.
This week we have:
Chard. Check out Graydon’s slaw recipe below. So tasty.
Carrots. The first of our carrots for Chicago and Monroe! Speaking of ways that weather affects our work, Sean had to hose off every single carrot in order to pull these out of the dry ground this week. Thanks Sean! For me, carrots are one of those vegetables where the taste difference between a farm fresh carrot and a store bought carrot is astounding. After taking a bite, I always get the sensation: “okay this is what a carrot is supposed to taste like.” So flavorful.
New Potatoes. Roast these and your carrots together—I recommend a dish similar to the one Graydon cites below. Jackie also did a great chicken roast this week with carrots and potatoes.
Garlic. We inevitably cut open a few garlic heads as we dig them out of the dirt each week for CSA, so we have been enjoying the split ones. I think just about every meal we’ve eaten in the last two weeks has involved garlic. Refer back to my post from last week if you’d to cure your garlic. Otherwise, keep in fridge upon opening.
Fennel. Fennel is the big stalky thing in your share this week. You can use the entire bulb, stalk, and leaves. Use the leaves like an herb seasoning (you can dry for later in the year), and cook or chop the bulb and stalk. This week, Jackie made a beet and fennel salad by chopping the stalk and bulb. The stalk also works great in a soup or stew, like you would use celery. I’m including a few links, one with a recipe for roasted fennel, and one which includes more information on good fennel pairings and how it is used, including some fascinating historical context (left hand side of page).
Large shares also receive:
Basil. Basil, when irrigated, also loves the heat. So enjoy more pesto. It’s usually a weekly affair for us. Basil (or add oregano too), cheese, nuts, olive oil, garlic. Mmm.
Happy 4th to all!