Notes from the Farm

Today we experience a rare event as the summer solstice and full moon coincide, something that last occurred 50 years ago.  While I have not encountered any historical agricultural omens or predictions that go along with this event, I welcome the coinciding solar and lunar movements as a positive sign for the harvest ahead.  I also recently  learned that the June full moon is often referred to as the “Strawberry Moon”.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac the Algonquin tribes called it that, and “knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit”.  This week we are gathering the last of the ripening strawberries here at Massaro, so be sure to savor these delicious, short-lived farm treats.

The strawberry harvest season may be short, but it takes a long time to get the plants ready before we even get to the June harvest.  We plant strawberries each year in late August/early September in to a plot that has been prepared with cover crop and soil amendments in the prior months.  We keep each planting for two June harvests, so we always have one set of plants giving us “first year berries” and a second set of plants giving us “second year berries”.  Once the second year berries are finished, we return that plot to cover crop and will not plant strawberries there again for several years, allowing our plantings to be rotated to different locations around the farm.  Neighboring the strawberry plants in the field are the onions and garlic scapes we are currently enjoying. garlic scapes 3 pic They too were planted late last year, growing slowly over the winter, reaching maturity over 300 days after being sown in our greenhouse.  The onions planted in the spring take over 100 days to reach maturity, which means that our spring plantings are not ready to harvest until August, and we’d like to enjoy locally grown onions before then — they are a staple in the kitchen after all — so we do the late summer planting to make that happen. Strawberries, onions and garlic scapes are probably the highlights of the week again but each of the items in this week’s distribution have a good story, like the carrots grown in one of our high tunnels, the first cucumbers coming picked from their trellises, beautiful red and green lettuces, the versatile yet under-appreciated bok choi (which I would to see become the next hit vegetable the way kale became such a big hit), and curly green kale — the super-nutritious and delicious vegetable which is such a big hit these days.

Do ask us about the story of these crops when you see us, and as always,  enjoy the harvest!
Best,
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Alyssa, Diane, Tyler, Ed, Genna, Dan, Jocelyn, Jon and Ella

 

Looking ahead on your calendar:

The 4th of July falls on a Monday this year, but since we know many of you might be heading out town for a long weekend the Friday prior, we’ll move our normal Friday pick up to Thursday, June 30. Pick up hours will remain the same 2:30pm-6:30pm. And of course, if you need to switch to a Tuesday pick up for that week, please let us know a week in advance so we can plan accordingly.  Normal pickup days resume the following week with pickups on Tuesday, July 5 and Friday, July 8.

In this Week’s Distribution

Our Harvest:  Strawberries, Spring Onions, Garlic Scapes, Cucumber, Baby Bok Choi, Green Curly Kale, French Radishes, Carrots, Red and Green Leaf Lettuce

U-Pick: Begins with Cherry Tomatoes in July

Fruit Option: Starts in July

 

Recipes and Cooking Tips

Radishes: Slice them thin and add them to salads, put them on toast with butter and salt, pickle them, put them on a spread with other veggies and dip… so many possibilities…

Bok choi:
You have probably unknowingly enjoyed this in miso soup, stir fries and noodle dishes. Make any of those things! Also enjoy it raw in salads, use it in slaw, marinate and grill it, steam it, love it. Martha Stewart loves bok choi, and she has a few recipe ideas for you below.
Ginger-Sesame Bok Choi
from marthastewart.com
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 to 5 heads baby bok choy, (1 pound), each halved lengthwise
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 cup water and ginger to a boil. Add the bok choy; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until leaves are vibrant green and stems are fork-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well; discard ginger.
  3. Transfer bok choy to a serving platter; drizzle with the vinegar-soy mixture, and serve immediately.
Braised Baby Bok Choi

from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 heads baby bok choy, t rimmed, and halved lengthwise if large
  • 1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock, or water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Cook liquid over medium-high heat until it is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour over bok choy, and serve.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add bok choy, and  cook, turning once, until just beginning to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add stock and soy sauce. Cover; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until bok choy is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid in skillet.

Bok Choi, Carrot and Apple Slaw
from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby bok choy (4 to 6 heads)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 peeled apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 large shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix apple, carrots, lemon juice, vegetable oil, and peeled fresh ginger. Add bok choy; season with salt and pepper. Toss.
Halve bok choy lengthwise; rinse under cold water to remove grit. Cut crosswise into thin strips; place in a large colander, and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to coat. Top with a plate that fits inside colander; weight with a heavy object (such as a skillet or canned goods). Set aside in sink to drain.

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