Spring CSA: Week 4

Yikes. I didn’t take any pictures last week. What’s with that?
I’m pretty sure its because we were going 110 mph trying to get in all the work we couldn’t get done all month. On Thursday and Friday the team planted 2500 bed feet of sweet corn, broccoli, beets, lettuce, kale, bok choy, sunflowers, zinnias and snap dragons. We spent the beginning of the week cultivating all of our earlier plantings and preparing the beds for the end of week planting. This morning we got started on preparing all the beds for our peppers, eggplants and field tomatoes, and Kevin was out until 7pm, mowing and plowing the winter rye to be prepared for sweet potato slips (which arrive next week!!! yikes!) and winter squash, which we will start in the greenhouse this week. Plus more corn, kale, chard, lettuce, beets, carrots, etc, etc.

This just in – a plowing picture from Kevin!

On Saturday I snuck away from the plant sale to finish the direct seeding that needed to be done before the rain on Sunday night. I planted a 150′, 3 row bed of arugula, another bed with mustards and radishes, another bed with lettuce mix, and two beds of parsnips (I do truly believe they will work out this year).

The arugula, mustards and radishes need to be covered with proteknet (a row cover that keeps out pests, but doesn’t trap heat) to keep out the flea beetles. You make have noticed small holes in some of your radish greens or arugula leaves in the last share. It’s because the flea beetle was out in force and the wind that comes across the top of the hill at this time of year just does not allow for a perfect seal. If we didn’t cover at all the beetles would leave us with nothing to harvest, and early on the extra heat is a benefit, so we accept days like last Friday when we just have to check the row cover on the whole farm 6 times to make sure it’s not coming loose in the wind.

This is all leading up to my point, which is that, I end up doing a lot of walking to plant just one, 3 row, 150′ bed of arugula and then put hoops and cover on it. In fact, I did the math and it’s a quarter mile!! You all should quit paying your gym memberships and learn how to farm. It’s a great way to stay fit. Plus think about all the time you’d save not having to go work out . . .

I struggle with the scale of Upswing Farm. I find our farm uncomfortably in-between an actually small scale farm (like only a walk-behind tractor, no big tractors) and a larger scale like 20-30 acres, with more opportunity for fallow periods, larger equipment with wider wheel bases (our beds are 5 feet from center-center and 6′ would allow for a higher planting space to tire track ratio) and implements like a tractor mounted seeder (which maybe I should already have, but when I’m planting one bed of this, then a bed split between cilantro, dill and basil, then 3 beds of carrots every 3 weeks . . . the time to adjust the seeder is the same (maybe more because now there are more hoppers and seed plates . . . the walking part doesn’t actually take that long.

So, I’ll just continue to get my workout while at work.

What’s in the Share:
Lettuce: Lots!
Radishes: 2 bunches. Sorry, we try not to overwhelm you but two plantings ended up maturing at the same time. Jess has some great recipes to help you enjoy the bounty
Carrots (mention last week, actually in the share this week)
Baby broccoli raab (think of it as a green)
Some other greens . . . TBD! Maybe Spinach, Collards, Dandilion, More Kale . . .

Jess’s Recipe Ideas

BIG BATCH ROASTED KALE This recipe calls for 4 bunches of curly kale but you can easily scale it down or up and use whatever type of kale you have. Cook a little longer for the sturdier varieties (like curly kale) and reduce the cooking time for more delicate varieties or baby kale.  https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/big-batch-roasted-kale
CHICKEN, ENDIVE AND BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH TOASTED PECANS This is one of my favorite spring or summer salads and works wonderfully with lots of varieties of lettuce. I’ve also skipped the chicken and had it as a side salad, crispy endive, creamy goat cheese, toasty pecans and a sweet tangy honey dressing. Yum! https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-endive-blueberry-salad-with-toasted-pecans
SCALLION PANCAKES These are great as an accompaniment to any Asian dish or just as a snack. I usually use half white whole wheat flour. (Don’t tell my kids!) https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-scallion-pancakes-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107405
spinach about the same as this week
SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE MELTS These are a delicious weeknight meal AND a great way to trick your kids into eating spinach. Mine will eat almost anything if it’s covered in cheese.


QUICK-PICKLED RADISHES Pickled radishes are great on tacos, in salads or on sandwiches – especially a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. Don’t worry if you don’t have a mandoline, just slice thinly. You can also throw in other veggies too, like turnips, carrots and scallions. https://gratefulgrazer.com/home/quick-pickled-radishes/
ROASTED RADISHES WITH BROWN BUTTER, LEMON AND RADISH TOPS Last week I gave you a honey glazed roasted radish recipe so I thought we’d try a savory one this week. I love that this uses the greens as well.  https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-radishes-with-brown-butter-lemon-and-radish-tops-364609
CARROT, DATE AND FETA SALAD This Middle Eastern style salad is always a crowd pleaser with dates and feta cheese. If I’m in a hurry I don’t bother making the ribbons of carrots and soaking them, I just coarsely grate them.  https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/carrot-date-and-feta-salad-recipe-2109574
SPAGHETTI WITH GREENS, TOASTED GARLIC & BREAD CRUMBS This recipe calls for broccoli rabe but you can easily substitute whatever bitter greens you have on hand. It’s a great flexible, one pot meal that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes! https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012419-spaghetti-with-broccoli-rabe-toasted-garlic-and-bread-crumbs
maybe micros
AVOCADO EGG TOAST WITH RADISH & MICROGREENS I like to do a meal that includes eggs at least once a week. They’re always quick and budget friendly and when you have chickens you have stay on top of your egg consumption! We love egg salad and this one is unique with avocado and diced radish for a little crunch.  http://www.californiagrown.org/recipes/avocado-egg-toast-with-radish-and-micro-arugula/

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