Bittersweet

This past week felt full to the brim; with moments of laughter and crying.  With the news that an old friend had died in the early hours of June 2, the same morning that Burleigh was born, we felt both sadness and joy.   With many visitors to the farm to congratulate Muriel and Caleb, and meet their new son, and friends who drove and flew from NC to say goodbye to our dear friend Denny Kerrigan; it was a week full of hellos and goodbyes.  It felt good to be out early in the morning, cherishing the quiet sounds of songbird and wind; to contemplate life, and the gifts that are given and taken.   Everyone pitched in this week to make the load lighter, and we all felt nourished by the community that surrounded us.

On the farm front, the weather this spring has been challenging, to say the least.  Almost no rain, and very windy conditions; cause stress to the plants (and me).   We have worked hard to protect them with cover, and water as much as needed.  Fortunately, most of our crops are doing well, although we are finding that the crops we seed directly in the field are not doing so well.   The arugula grew slowly, and then bolted before it was big enough to harvest; probably a consequence of too much change in the temperature, and not enough water.   Carrots are germinating slowly, but hopefully will come along with time.   We are checking our potatoes each day for the Colorado Potato Beetle, which arrives each year, and can devastate our potato and eggplant crops quickly, if we are not paying attention.  Last year we tried two methods of planting.  The first potato crop went in early and was inter-planted with buckwheat, which was supposed to ward off the beetles.  The second crop went in much later, in late June, after the peak of the beetle season.   The first crop was mostly lost in the competition for sunlight with the fast growing buckwheat, which unfortunately did not seem to cut down on the beetle population; which were well hidden in the cover crop.    The second crop, planted in late June, did very well.   Our plan was to plant late again this season, but our potatoes arrived already quite soft and we were afraid to wait too long, and lose their vitality, so we planted last week.   Just a bit too early to beat the beetle.  We have our work ahead of us.   We continue to harvest beautiful heads of juicy lettuce, large radish and turnips.  In the Taproot magazine that you received, there is a delicious recipe for baby beets with preserved lemons.  I hope you enjoy the articles and stories from Preserve!

The 2nd Share

Baby Beets with Greens

Hakurei Turnips

Speckled Bibb Lettuce

Rainbow Chard

Romaine Lettuce

Cilantro

French Breakfast Radish

Mint Bunches

While most of us enjoy eating fresh beets, we often forget how good the greens are.  Beet greens are sweet and delicious, my favorite green of the summer season.   Just lightly sauteed in butter is an easy way to enjoy them. I do the same with the chard and wrap it in a corn tortilla with a little cheese and salsa for lunch.  You will find a  bunch of intoxicating mint in your share this week; great in tea, or made into a simple syrup, which will last for months in the frig. and can be used in cocktails or with seltzer for a refreshing summer drink.

We’ve also included a handout on washing your veggies.    Greens need to be soaked.   We dunk the lettuce a few times to clean off the dirt around the roots, but you’ll need to cut the leaves off and soak them to be sure that no dirt is still on the inside.    Root veggies need to be scrubbed or peeled to remove all the dirt.

The best way to store your greens is in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel in the frig.   Greens left out on the counter or unprotected in your frig. will wilt in a day or less.   Since we harvest the day you pick up your share, the vegetables are as fresh as you can get; proper handling will keep them fresh and crisp for up to a week or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Bittersweet

  1. mike@thewilltoplay.com

    Nice post, Lucretia…

  2. Rachel

    Your excellent description of managing the farm without rain reminds we how fortunate we are to have good food. Thanks for all you do.

  3. Sophia Gabriel

    The loyalty and energy you put forth is inspirational, with such care and worry…I often think about your well being and am marveled by your steadfastness. May the slow penetrating rain come…Once again thanks for your stewardship and direction….Along with the extended Milkweed Family….Happy Father’s Day as well !

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