Saturday Update on The Farm- What can you Expect This Week in your Shares?

My day started at 8:00 when I rolled out of bed, threw on my clothes, brushed my teeth, and headed out to the garden to harvest Broccolini.  I spent yesterday counting cabbage and broccoli, and taking the walk-through the garden to figure out what to put into the Shares and Special Boxes this week.  We average 120 Shares a week, so not all can be the same…veggies are rotated into your Shares, 7-8 items each Share.  So…here is my assessment of what the garden is gifting to us this week!

SUMMER SQUASH–Zucchini, Yellow Slick Pik, Costa Romanesco (striped Zucchini), Zephyr (larger yellow with a kiss of lime green at the tip), and Patty Pans.  The Costa Romanesco is my favorite for cooking as it has less water content.  Chelsea and Jessica harvested 110# Friday morning…we harvest every other day!  (Check out my mom-in-law’s Squash Casserole Recipe at , Recipe page, Recipe #3…a recipe is a road map…I make my own cream sauce using the garlic scapes and skip the canned soup.)

BRASSICA’S–Farao Green Cabbage, Broccoli florets, Broccoli heads, and/or Broccolini.  Group A, Group C, and Group D should have the Green Cabbage, if the numbers hold!  (If not, we will substitute a Savoyed or Tendersweet Flat Cabbage.)  Farao is a great cabbage and can be cooked with Polish Sausage (Kielbasa) in the large cast iron skillet (Recipe #34).  The Fresher the cabbage, the sweeter the taste.  Later in the season when we have carrots and onions you can make Cabbage Burgers (I include Zucchini), and when the bell peppers and cucumbers are in abundance the Coleslaw (Recipe #36).  Store in fridge protected from refrigeration damage.

Broccoli florets are from the Green Magic which is an early spring broccoli.  These poor plants were stressed as we over-held them in the greenhouse waiting for the rain to stop and the ground to get warmer.  Alas, when we got them set out the last week in May, some were dwarfed and never formed a head, others formed dinky heads, and some died on the spot.  But, the side production has been good and tasty.  For those newbies, once you harvest the main head you get 2 smaller heads (Crowns), then 4 even smaller after their harvest, and so forth.  With each harvest the ‘sides’ become smaller, and at some point you stop!  We are almost to that point with the Green Magic.  But, not to worry!  The Imperial Broccoli is ready to take its rightful place in the rotation, larger majestic heads, and lots of strong side production!

Broccolini Galion X–my favorite!  This is a cross, first generation, from European Broccoli (usually marketed as Broccolini, which just means little broccoli in Italian) and Galions or Asian Greens.  The end result is a small headed, succulent leaved, broccoli that we can harvest ALL season!  The first harvest is to ‘top’ the plant so it can produce the longer stemmed broccolini’s.  Those ‘tops’ are called Mini-Crowns with Greens, and they are a short season item.  Broccolini Galion X is great steamed (serve with a cream sauce), chopped up and baked in a casserole, broiled, or cooked in the cast iron skillet…some folks even tell me they grille it on the BBQ!  I usually slightly steam it to break down the outer cuticle and speed up the cook time, makes it a little more tender.  Leave the leaves on–when cooked they are crunchy and can become slightly caramelized.  It is also good raw, though I cut the leaves off for that so I don’t feel like a cow chewing its cud.

CUCUMBERS–for some odd reason cucumbers have taken their sweet time this year!  The Harmonie’s (small European Picklers and snack cukes) are the first, but this year they were beat out by the Striped Armenian’s–The longest day cukes!  We grow several varieties, so you might get one large, or several smaller…whatever the garden gives us this week.  Olympian is our slicer, Tasty Jade is our ‘English’ cucumber type, Striped Armenian is a long sometimes curly guy (fun cut in salads ‘cuz they look like little flowers), Suyo is another long curly one with a prickly surface and excellent flavor, and then the last to show up in the garden are the Heirloom Lemon cucumbers.  Cukes do not store well, so eat them first.  They have to be protected with a bag or waxed sheet to prevent refrigeration damage.  Do not let them get lost in the fridge!

GREYBULL VALLEY PRODUCE BUTTERHEAD OR LEAF LETTUCE–We were using these as a filler until the garden came into its own…it has arrived!  This will be the last week in the Shares, but we always carry this lettuce in The Store, Dwight and his family do a great job!  We like local and fresh–

Other items in the Shares this week might be some Cheddar Cauliflower, Snap Peas (Group B only as it is their turn), Herbs to partner with your veggies, and maybe, just maybe, some sort of Peppers…Shishito, Antohi European Frying Peppers, Islanders (Purple Bells), or Jalapenos.  We will also finish off the last of the Barese Swiss Chard from the high tunnel…Group B and Group C.  Check out wilted greens or a Swiss Chard salad recipe.

The Store will be stocked with ORG Washington Apricots, Avocados for $3.75 (large Hass), ORG Bananas, ORG Pink Lady Apples, lots of Lloyd Craft Farms Vegetables, more Garlic Scapes from Cody (last of the season), herbs, Ginger Root and Turmeric, and our own Fort Laramie Strawberries!  VINE RIPENED–  Thursday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  NEW LIST OF STORE ITEMS AND PRICES POSTED UNDER THE CSA TAB, “WHAT TO EXPECT AT PICK UP DAY–AND THE STORE!”

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST! The Shares delivery schedule and at Farm CSA Pick Up schedule have been updated under the CSA tab, very bottom of the page:  Group Numbers and delivery dates.  Set your alarm for every THURSDAY…if you are a Leap-Frogger it is a memory exercise to remember if it is your week or did you get one last week??  If not sure, check the page!   The Farmer’s Wife



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