Wednesday, May 31, 2017

🌾 On the Farm and In the Field with Farmer Richard!
"If you tickle the earth with a hoe, she laughs with a harvest."-Douglas Jerrold

Every year is different and brings its own opportunities and challenges.  This may be the new record for the longest, coldest, most wet spring in my 40 plus years of vegetable farming.  Despite the weather challenges, our crew has done a super job of seizing each small window of dry weather to prepare fields, plant, cultivate and put row covers on crops for heat gain and to keep away the dreaded flea beetles.  We started our weekly “salad greens” plantings on April 10 and have only missed one planting due to rain.  We have kept up with weeds (it helps when everything is growing slowly!), both with hand weeding and as much mechanical cultivation as we can.  While the season has had a bit of a slow start, we’ve been enjoying the special spring greens and radishes, but change is in sight!  All of our heat loving crops are planted and ready for some warmer weather!  If you have not been checking our weekly blog, this is the week!  I took some pictures earlier this week as I made my rounds through the fields to check on crops.  Join me as I show you what’s happening here at the farm!
Sugar Snap Peas: 3 Crops Planted, No Blossoms Yet
Salad Lettuce & Greens: Next Week's Crop
Looking Great for a Full Season of Onions!
Zucchini Under Row Cover for 3 Weeks, Now It's Time for some Warm Sun☀️

Kohlrabi & Green Curly Kale, Ready to Take Off!
Celeriac, Coming Up Nicely
Green & Yellow Beans, Peaking Out for Warm Weather

Basil, STILL Undercover Waiting for Summer!

3rd Year Strawberry Field is Full & Blushing, We'll Start Picking This Week 🍓

1st Year Strawberry Field Just Planted--No Weeds!🌿
Lupines in Full Bloom by the Strawberries (I had to take a picture!)
First Planting of Tomatoes

Organic sweet potato plants from New Sprout Organics in North Carolina will arrive later this week—field is ready

Ok, so some things might not look like much, but they are in the field, rooted and ready for some warmer weather.  If we get even 75/80°F they will explode and take off.  Trust me, I’ve seen this happen for 40 years!  We are in the welcome calm before the storm of weeds, summer harvest, and for you, lots of cooking!  

So enjoy the radishes and wild greens of spring and get ready to pick some strawberries!  Hope to see you at Strawberry Day coming up on Sunday, June 18! 🍓🍓🍓

Baby White Turnips

Baby white turnips are a beautiful little vegetable….”pristine” is the word we often use to describe them.  They are classified as a salad turnip and are tender with a sweet, mild flavor.  Both the roots and the green tops are edible and may be eaten raw, lightly sautéed or stir-fried.   

We plant baby white turnips for harvest early in the season. This cool weather spring vegetable is harvested while still small and tender when the sweet flavor matches its delicate appearance.  Compared to the common purple top turnip, or other storage turnips, salad turnips are much more sweet and subtle in both flavor and texture.  The turnips we grow in the fall are meant for storage purposes and have a thicker skin compared to the thin skin of a salad turnip.  Baby white turnips also mature much faster than beets, carrots and fennel, etc so they are a very important part of our spring menus until other vegetables are ready for harvest.  To prolong the shelf life, separate the greens from the roots with a knife and store separately in plastic bags in your refrigerator.

To prepare the turnips for use, rinse the roots and greens thoroughly and trim the root end of each turnip.  Salad turnips have such a thin exterior layer, they do not need to be peeled.  They are delicious eaten raw in a salad, or just munch on them with dip or hummus.  The greens may be added to raw salads, or lightly saute' them in a little butter.  When cooking baby white turnips, remember to keep the cooking time short and the preparation simple.  Cook them just until they are fork tender. Honestly, they are tasty just simply sautéed in butter with the greens wilted on top.  You can also stir-fry or roast them and they are a nice addition to light and simple spring soups.  

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