I just have to keep sharing Farmer Vicki's lovely e-mails and updates on the farm, the communal struggle against Monsanto, the contents of our boxes, and recipes (including those beet burgers!) in hopes that she will inspire you to join your local farm in a community supported agriculture program. From Farmer Vicki:
"It seems that with rain it is feast or famine. We got less than most of you, for which I am thankful. But, even so, we are really wet. I anticipate drying out fairly fast as long as we don't get more rain this week. The soil temperatures are still fairly cool, and that holds up our planting as much as the soil moisture. At this point we are desperate to plant out. We got some seeds planted just before it rained, but no transplants have gone in yet. What we run into is that there is no greenhouse space for new seedling trays. At this time all our tomatoes are being seeded into trays and time is of the essence. But, the reality is that as farmers, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Last year we were close to picking asparagus at this time. This year none has even sprouted from the ground. I keep going out and looking at the patch, but no spears. Perhaps this week. I am like a little kid at Christmas. I just can't wait for plants to sprout up. Today I hope to walk into the field to check on the seeds we planted. They may have been washed away, but they may also be sprouting. Spouting is what I hope for.
I am anticipating a fruitful year since last year was a drought year. Mother Nature tends to balance herself. Last year it was 20 degrees above normal. This year it is 20 degrees below normal. Last year, the plants produced less fruit due to lack of water. This year they will try to make up for that loss. This is especially true with perennial crops - trees, bushes, etc. There are a certain number of seeds they want to produce to guarantee their survival. Since they could not produce last year, they will go goofy this year. I suppose that is why they are predicting a worse than normal allergy season.
Below is a copy of an email I received on the Monsanto Act and how it may impact individual states. It will take a lot of public pressure to keep Monsanto in line. They are truly a threat to agriculture in its finest form.
Also, I have a couple of recipes at the end of this note.
Mint - try a mohito (non alcoholic mohitos are great, also), or mint iced tea or mint lemonade. If you are a chocolate fan, try mint brownies.
Panisse lettuce - this is a soft and tender lettuce that I grow in the hoop houses. It does not do as good for me outside in the wind.
Bekana - this is an Asian green that is tender and sweet. I often chop it raw for a salad, and found a recipe for a bekana salad on line at allrecipes.com. I am pasting it below. Generally, I just chop up my greens and use whatever I have to make salads. But, it is also great as a cooked green. Try lightly sauteing it with your garlic.
Black Beans from Three Sisters - perhaps save them for next CSA since I will be sending you kale and I have a great recipe for black bean and kale soup.
Jam - Dobra from Delightful Pastries made this for us. This is a mixed berry jam.
Beets - this is a link for a beet burger recipe - http://www.theppk.com/2012/02/quart...er-beet-burger/
Celeriac - I did not intend to use these three crops again this week, but a couple other crops are not ready, so I used them.
P.S. My new blog will be up and running this week. I will send out the information when I am live.
These are from www.allrecipes.com
. I find they have many great recipes to choose from.
Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
1 pound bok choy
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Trim off the ends of the bok choy and chop, keeping the white parts separate from the green as they will need to cook longer. Rinse and spin or pat dry. Set aside.
In a small bowl or cup, stir together the vegetable oil and sesame oil. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the water, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Set this aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy stems first; stir fry for a few minutes or until the pieces start to turn a pale green. When stems are almost cooked, add the leaves; cook and stir until leaves are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the bok choy to a serving dish. Pour the sauce into the skillet or wok, and set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour over the bok choy and toss lightly to coat.
Spicy Bok Choy Slaw
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
"A hot, spicy, and colorful slaw is based on shredded bok choy, cucumber, and carrots, then spiked with hot cherry peppers and tossed with a sweet and tangy mustard and jalapeno dressing. Roasted ground ginger and freshly cracked pepper are sprinkled on before serving. Great for those who love spicy foods. "
1 head bok choy, finely shredded
1 cucumber, seeded and finely shredded
3 carrots, peeled and finely shredded
5 hot cherry peppers, seeded and finely
5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coarse-grain brown mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1/8 teaspoon roasted ground ginger
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Place the shredded bok choy, cucumber, carrots, and cherry peppers into a large salad bowl. Place the jalapeno peppers into the work bowl of a food processor, then pour in the apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, soy sauce, and agave syrup. Pulse several times, then process for a few seconds to combine. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss. Refrigerate from 1 hour to overnight. Before serving, sprinkle with roasted ginger and black pepper; toss again to serve.
2 T sesame oil
2 T sesame seeds
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 small pieces of chopped ginger
Mounds of Tokyo Bekana
2 T gluten-free soy sauce
1 T brown rice vinegar
1. In a wok, warm the sesame oil on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir until you are overwhelmed with the nutty fragrance, the seeds darken, and you wish you had a spring roll.
2. Add the garlic and ginger, but watch out! (The sesame seeds freaked out and flew out of the pan in all directions when I added the garlic and ginger. This was quite a surprise to me, but I persevered through the stings, and I stirred, yelped, and danced in front of the stove. All the while, Marcy watched.)
3. After a minute, add greens by the handful, cooking them down. In 3-5 minutes they will still be a beautiful, light, spring green, and the stems should still be crunchy.
4. Serve the greens with plain quinoa. The nutty taste compliments the Asian flavor of the greens. Drizzle with leftover saute sauce
From: "Food Democracy Now! Team" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Vicki Westerhoff" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 2:08:18 PM
Subject: Monsanto Protection Act is spreading
Stop Monsanto latest sneak attack on our democratic rights!
Please contribute what you can today to help us Grow the Movement!
Build the movement to stop the Monsanto Protection Act - It's time to fight back!
8373 E 3000 S Rd
St Anne, Il 60964
815 953 1512