|Freshly dug new potatoes|
"He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands."
-Seamus Heaney, "Digging"
Well, the fields are still waterlogged, which gives me the chance to devote myself to writing a really great newsletter! We're excited to have a couple of barbecue-ready items available this week, just in time for the fourth of July: some beautiful new potatoes, and crisp, fluffy Napa cabbage for all your slaw needs! I know that probably doesn't make up for the sugar snaps being done, but maybe it will ease the pain. See below for some recipe ideas.
RECIPES, SPECIAL INDEPENDENCE DAY EDITION:
Weather notwithstanding, I bet a lot of you will be doing something this weekend involving friends, family, food, and possibly some sort of grill. In light of that, we want to highlight a few veggies we're harvesting this week which we think would be a perfect contribution to a July 4th get-together.
After working on a couple of farms, I've become a wholehearted convert to Napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage). This lighter, more loosely-packed cabbage is often used in Asian cuisines, especially in fillings for dumplings and the like, but it's also wonderful raw. Sliced into thin ribbons, Napa cabbage makes a light, crunchy, lofty slaw that will leave you wondering what you've been doing messing around with other cabbages. It will be delicious in your favorite coleslaw recipe (though you might want to go a little lighter on the dressing than you would with traditional cabbage), but if you're looking to try something different, it really shines with the flavors of scallions, ginger, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil. (Asian Cabbage Slaw)
Few things are more exciting than digging the season's first potatoes. You plunge your digging fork into the ground, lever it up, and lo and behold, tubers! It's like finding buried treasure in the field. New potatoes are tender and sweet, and their thin skins require no peeling. Again, everyone has their favorite potato salad; this is one of ours, adding only a few complimentary ingredients and let the early potato-ness come through. (New Potato Salad)
ON THE FARM:
|There's no rest for the weary -- unless you're |
Jayber the dog.
In other news, the battle to accomplish work in our swampy upper field continues. Though we had to say goodbye to farm helper Laura at the end of last week -- she's off to have an actual summer with travel and activities before heading to college -- we certainly got quite a bit done while she was here; a portion of each day was spent hoeing and weeding in the upper field whenever conditions permitted. We wanted her to experience firsthand the truth of the statement that 95% of organic farming is weed control.
Then it started to rain again. A farmer friend of ours told us that, by his count, our area got nine inches of rain during the month of June, which is just absurd. We've had to give up on a few spring and early summer crops; they either drowned (spinach) or got choked by weeds we couldn't get to (mustard greens). Oh well -- most of those spring greens, including spinach, arugula, and mustard, will be back in the fall when the weather cools down.
AT THE FARMSTAND: