Week # 5
• Salad mix
• Beets or Chinese broccoli
• Cilantro or thyme or dill
• Green garlic
• Shallots or onions
• Spinach or bok choi
I did do some farming among the political activism of this week! The People’s Climate march , the May Day march and the town hall of Ron Wyden yesterday distracted but did not stop the farmer. This week will be balanced with canvasing for Hillsboro School Board candidates and getting all the tomatoes planted!
Two blistering hot days don’t necessarily help the farmers or the veggies! The farmers had to take a siesta on both those days as the heat completely sapped their energy. The tomato plants grew several inches on those two days but then they had to be moved outside the greenhouse to harden off (aka toughen up for real life of 50 degree swings in temperature!). The peppers also really liked the heat but also will need time outside the seeding greenhouse we lovingly call “Honduras”. We hope to get them in the ground outside next week. Don’t worry we have beds of them already in the ground in hoop houses, but the cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and the stuffing peppers grow in rows outside in the field.
We continue to poke along with vegetables in 2 of 5 hoop houses and can’t wait for an explosion of veggies, it can’t come soon enough for us. Meanwhile thank you for understanding that your farmers no matter how experienced can’t change many things about the weather or soil or wind or insects (at least organically).
This week we welcomed Sam, a high school student from Catlin Gable to our farm. She will be with us the month of May doing her senior job experience. She has already surpassed our expectations and is enjoyable to have around. Say “hi” when you see her. She helped get about half of the onions in the ground and will work with me to get the tomatoes and peppers planted. Then it is on to weeding as they never take a break.
Juve is busy laying water lines (all drip irrigation) as things are drying out in the field. He loves potatoes so he planted hundreds of feet of them while I was away at the farmers market! Let us know how you like them, he has a magic hand. He is also busy composting all the veggies we previously planted, the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and top dressing the onions.
Sugar snap peas are around the corner. 1 of 3 beds looks good. The 2 beds in the new greenhouse are unhappy with the nutrient content of the soil and are looking sad. They are labor intensive to harvest. We will put out a sign up sheet to come and help harvest. We ask that each member family come and help us harvest twice during the season. We need two helpers at least for each harvest. If the time that you want to work is already taken it is fine to show up anyway! We usually start at 7:30 and it takes 2-5 hours depending on the crops we are harvesting and the helpers that show up. Please plan to help for the entire harvest if possible.
Our sons Jacob and then Diego will be heading off to different parts of the globe. Jacob will be heading to Alaska tow work on salmon research with a team of wildlife biologists. Diego will first travel to Asia for a month with his close friend and his family and then head to study abroad for the fall term to Ecuador. We are excited for both of them as they head off on great adventures. We will miss them dearly. Luna will be holding down the fort at the farm and the farmer’s market! Mikaela, who is like our second daughter will be helping around the farm as well as she can, we feel very lucky to have her in our family.
The Beaverton farmers market opened yesterday. It was a good start but I expect more folks next weekend as Mother’s day weekend is usually the kick off to the season. It opens at 8:00 and runs until 1:30 please come see me, I sell with Pumpkin Ridge Gardens (Polly is my business partner and this is her farm’s name). I will be selling veggie starts at Catlin Gable School from 12:00 – 4:00. Please come and see me and get all your home garden vegetables.
Chioggia beet salad
adapted from the LA Times: November 15, 2006
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus 1 hour standing time
Note: From Christian Shaffer. Red and golden beets may be used instead of the Chioggia beets.
1 bunch beets: any color
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tablespoons good-quality olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (scant) toasted ground coriander seeds
1 shallot, minced
4 ounces (1/2 cup) crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons fresh mint or chervil or parsley, whole leaves or rough chopped
1. Boil the beets in enough water to cover, with 2 tablespoons salt, until tender, about 30 minutes, depending on the size of beet.
2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, coriander and shallot and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the crème fraîche, horseradish, one-half teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside.
Braised Lentils with Spinach
Ingredients (serves 4)
o 1-1/2 cups brown lentils
o 1 small onions, diced
o 1 medium carrots, peeled and diced
o 1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced
o 1 bay leaves
o 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
o 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
o Freshly ground black pepper
o 2 cups finely shredded fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and drained
1. Pour enough cold water over the lentils, onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves in a 3-quart saucepan to cover by three fingers. Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat so the water is at a gentle boil and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaves, and transfer to a large skillet.
2. Pour in the chicken stock and olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced enough to coat the lentils, about 3 minutes. Scatter the spinach over the lentils and toss just until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
1. I didn’t use chicken stock, but instead cooked ¾ lbs boneless, skinless chicken in the pan (with herbs) then deglazed the pan with white wine and added the lentils.
I used all of the spinach stalks instead of the greens which turned out really well3. Drain the beets and, while still warm, peel them. Slice them into wedges, about 8 to 10 per beet, and cool.
4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the beets and let stand, covered, at room temperature for an hour. Spoon the horseradish cream onto a platter, covering the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, mound the beets over the cream. Garnish the beets with the chervil and serve.
Each serving: 152 calories; 2 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 13 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 12 mg. cholesterol; 285 mg. sodium.
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
Chinese Cuisine, Huang Su-Huei
12 stalks Chinese broccoli (5-inch lengths)
2 T oyster sauce
1 T corn oil
Bring ½ pot of water to a boil; add a dash of salt. Place the Chinese broccoli in the water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with oyster sauce and oil. Serve.