What’s Available This Week
This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, scallions, salad turnips, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and French filet green beans. We will have several tomato varieties in future weeks, I just want them to get a bit larger on our heated table! If salad turnips are new to you, we love them! You can eat them raw, fermented, roasted, sauteed, etc. They are most commonly shredded or sliced onto salads. They are sweet and crunchy with a slight bite unless you peel them. (We never peel them.) Some people eat them like an apple. We also still have plenty of garlic but it is becoming difficult to effectively sort, with some bad cloves hiding from our normal ability to see what is marketable versus “farmer” garlic. So we will still have garlic out at pickup and still have it available to choose on the form for Ludlow deliveries, but it won’t count as an item. Garlic is now a “bonus.” Take as much garlic as you want in addition to your weekly veggies, knowing that you will have to toss some cloves. Normally we don’t want to bog anyone down with “farmer” quality veggies, but there is just so much good garlic left among these cloves that I want you to have access to it if you love garlic as much as me!
If you have an outstanding balance on your spring share, it is due this week, unless you have set up a payment plan. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know.
You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 8 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain.
It snowed in mid-May! Before this morning, the latest I had snow was when we lived in Hardwick, and it snowed on my birthday, waaaaaay back on May 3rd. So May 14th is a new record for late snow for our farm here, and it looks beautiful around the tulips!
Since we have snow in the forecast through Wednesday night, we are waiting until the end of the week to transplant peppers and zucchini. They will certainly be row covered but there is no need to have them under snow, even if it melts by later morning.
This week the team did a lot of working with landscape fabric, moving it from last year’s beds and stapling it on new beds for planting in the next couple weeks. It’s one of the more annoying jobs that we do, but it is tremendous at saving us weeding jobs later, so we muscle through and do it now. We are also catching up on pruning and trellising all the older tomatoes. Today we started trellising and pruning the cucumber plants. That job is hard for me because we have to prune off all the flowers and fruit on the bottom 12 to 16 inches of the plants otherwise the plants put all their effort into producing a bunch of fruit when it is still so small, and it never really turns into the robust plant we need for a full season of cucumber harvesting. So we prune those first fruits now for a longer harvest. Patience. I know many people eagerly await those first ripe tomatoes, but my great joy comes at crunching into the first ripe cucumber.
We will also be tackling some weeding jobs in the tunnels and seed a few more succession plantings in the prop house. And generally chomp at the bit to start transplanting more items outside as the ground dries up.
This week’s climate change observation: As the trees bud out this time of year, it’s easier to see what species are present in any stand of forest because the timing of their leaves are all different. It makes it easy to see how about 80% of the woods on our property are ash, which is a really high amount for any one species in this area, and will be especially interesting to watch this forest over the next several decades as the emerald ash borer makes its inevitable arrival into this region, decimating the ash population. The habits of invasive species are intimately tied to a changing climate, so its easy to think of them as I observe the ash. Ash was the first wood I learned to split since it is so easy to split. I used to joke that you could just look at ash, and it would bust into perfect pieces of firewood. Wondering if my grand kids will have to learn to split wood on a more challenging species!
And now is a great time to think about signing up for the summer share if you haven’t already. If you enjoy the fresh, delightful offerings of the spring share, just start day dreaming about the baby zucchini, cucumber, and green bean plants that are staying warm getting ready to produce fruit… or the teenager tomato plants that will wow us before we even realize.
Have a great week!
-The ESF Team: Taylor, Cindy, Dan, and Sam
Salad Turnip Gratin
Although salad turnips are usually eaten raw, they are also spectacular roasted, sauteed, baked, whatever. This is an excellent variation on a standard, done with salad turnips. Enjoy!
1 bunch of salad turnips
1 cup of milk
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
1 TBSP lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 bag of spinach
1-2 scallions, whites and greens chopped
1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
Melt the butter in a pan. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Whisk in half of the milk. As it thickens, add the mustard, nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the remaining milk. Add the cheddar cheese. Whisk in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside. Slice the salad turnips thin, up to 1/4-inch thick. Put a layer in a baking pan. Spread a layer of the cheese sauce on the turnips. Continue alternating layers of salad turnips and cheese sauce. Top with a little grated cheese. Bake at 375 until lightly browned on top. Serve with fresh scallions and parsley. Enjoy!