full share (above)
Here we are in Week 3 already! We’ve had some pretty unusual weather in the past month-extreme amounts of rain (almost 4 inches in 3 days!), high heat very early and then a cooler period, and it’s anybody’s guess for what’s around the corner. El Nino is over, La Nina is on her way, and it will be an interesting ride, as always, to see how the crops respond to our constantly changing and often extreme conditions. The only thing farmers can count on is constant change, and it’s one of the aspects of farming that keeps it so interesting after all these years.
Week 3 is a favorite box as it features the true essences of spring: garlic scapes, tender spring lettuce mix and french breakfast radishes.
Scapes are the flowering stalks of garlic. We remove them before they flower so the plant’s energy is put into the bulbs (aka the garlic head) instead of into producing a flower and seeds. They can be used just like garlic in the kitchen and can be eaten both cooked or raw. They are a truly seasonal, once a year treat! More on how to use them in the recipe section below.
garlic plants with scapes curling out
On the Farm
We are extremely busy on the farm this time of year-there’s a little bit of everything going on. The crew is hard at it! We are still seeding a few odds and ends in the greenhouse, still transplanting, and fighting the good fight against weeds (now is when they really start to take off!), all while engaging in the harvest and delivery part of the season. We’re mulching aisles with straw to keep weeds down in the squash and cucumber beds. We’re trellising tomatoes, (all 1600 of them) and we are keeping an eye on the raccoons who are keeping an eye on the corn (paws off, buddy!).
the crew rockin’ the radishes on harvest day
We are looking to bring on another crew member soon, so if anyone knows somebody who’d like to spend the rest of the season living and working with us, please send them our way. If any of you want to come out and volunteer for a day or half day, whether a weekend or weekday, we would love the help and enjoy the chance to get to know some of our members better. We’ll feed you and send you home with extra produce! Contact us if you’re interested.
Baby Girl Update
Maybelle is an official walker now, and we love to see her out in the fields. Truth be told, she’s not crazy about going to “work” with us, but she does love looking at the plants and the butterflies and the trees and the flowers. Sniffing fresh-picked flowers is a favorite pastime, along with “driving” the tractor. Don’t worry, Grandmas, it’s not on! We continue to be in awe of how smart she is, how much she learns and grows, and what a HUGE vocabulary she has amassed. We are so happy to be able to raise our little girl on a healthy, biologically diverse, family-owned farm. Thank you, members, for helping keep places like Sleepy Root around.
What’s in the box:
Garlic Scapes-10 for small shares, 12 for medium, 20 for full shares
Sleepy Root Spring Lettuce Mix-1/2 pound for smalls, 3/4 pound for mediums, 1 pound for full
French Breakfast Radishes- 1 regular bunch for smalls, 1 large bunch for medium and full shares
Broccoli-1 pound for small shares, 1 1/2 pounds for medium, 2 pounds for full
Snap Peas-1/2 pound for medium shares, 3/4 pound for full shares
Green Onions- 1 bunch for small and medium shares, 1 large bunch for full shares
Butterhead lettuce, “Mirlo”- 2 heads each, full shares
Arugula-1 bunch for full shares
Hinona Kabu turnips-1 bunch for full shares
We’ve been getting some great photos and recipes from members, thank you and keep it coming!
Scapes have a garlic-green onion flavor profile, and go a long, long way in the kitchen. They can be used almost any place you would garlic or green onions. Chop them up raw and toss in your salad, saute in a stir fry, or blend into a soup. We usually end up blending them up in our food processor to add to soups or curries or sauces. Another favorite is to make an “herbed butter” by folding the processed scapes into soft butter and spreading on bread.
We’d also highly recommend that you take about half of your bunch and make some quick scape pesto and freeze it. When it’s finished just put it in a ziploc freezer bag, lay it flat to freeze, and break off chunks throughout the year as needed. It is a wonderful feeling to make up a dish in the bleak winter months and be able to put a taste of June sunshine in there!
Spring Mix is a lovely, tender assortment of a dozen varieties of lettuce. We hand-select the seeds and create our own Sleepy Root Farm mix, based on lettuces that are beautiful, tasty, and balanced in shape. A personal favorite, having this around is a sure way to put dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. This slideshow from the Kitchn has lots of interesting ways to make greens into dinner. Let us know what you end up doing!
Green Onions are the same thing as scallions. Grown deliberately for harvest at an immature stage, these little onions pack a nice spicy punch. One of my indispensible kitchen items, along with cilantro, for giving anything a bit of new life. You may use every last part, from white to green. A creative and thorough source of vegetable cookery is Martha Stewart, and this lovely article shows multiple ways to use your green onions. Keep in mind, most anything you can do with a green onion you can do with a garlic scape, just reduce the amount used.
Butterhead lettuce-“Mirlo”-is exactly as the name suggests: buttery. The leaves have a velvety smooth mouthfeel and a rich smooth taste. All share sizes have probably gotten some in the mix over the last few weeks, and for the full shares here’s a few suggestions. This kind of lettuce is ideal for lettuce wraps, whether Asian-inspired (a favorite of ours) or not. They also shine with a rich creamy dressing, such as this buttermilk one.
Turnips-Hinona Kabu makes an appearance once again for full shares. One of our longest-term members loved them and asked for more so he could try more recipes. We had a handful more in the field, so we listened! Enjoy, Ted! And don’t forget, the greens on them are rather tasty, too.
Next week’s predictions:
Gunsho (aka Choy Sum)
Napa Cabbage…maybe next week, maybe one more week