Welcome to the 2012 season!

June 2, 2012
Dear Shareholders,

The 2012 harvest season is here! Welcome friends old and new! Thank you for joining us this year – we’re off to a good start and hoping for a fabulous harvest season. All told, it’s been a fine spring here on the farm. The strange weather hasn’t been nearly as strange as the strange that we’ve come to expect, so, we’ll take it. Fields are a bit saturated right now, but we’re getting back out there to plant the winter squash, another round of sweet corn, and fall cabbages as soon as things dry out a bit. There is a nice harvest of greens this week, with herbs for picking and strawberries ripening. We hope that you will enjoy the farm as a source of good food all season, and as a place to picnic, play, walk, and visit with the pigs or chickens.

We’ll have some goods for sale in our little farm shop again this season. This week, we’ll be sampling mustards and preserves from Cheshire Gardens, chocolate milk from Manning Hill Farm, and *new* cheese from Chase Hill Farm. Also check out the Picadilly eggs, maple syrup from My Old Farm, and yogurt from Side Hill Farm. Lots of good grub to go with your farm veggies.

We have some extra herb and tomato plants from our greenhouse – feel welcome pot a few up this week to take home for your own garden.

Do you have favorite farm-food recipes? Send ‘em along – we’d love to try them, and to share them in this newsletter.

SAVE THE DATE! Our first farm event this season is coming up soon, on Saturday June 23th. At our third annual strawberry shortcake concert, we’ll have hayrides, strawberry picking, plus homemade strawberry shortcake with local vanilla ice cream. And a fun, family-friendly outdoor concert presented by farm friends, the Family Folk Chorale from Arlington, MA. About 40 performers will sing – and ask us to sing along – in the yard outside the barn, at 1pm. We hope you’ll join us, rain or shine. This event is open to the public, and all are welcome. Here’s a sampling of what the Family Folk Chorale will be singing, a very appropriate song called “Greens” by May Erlewine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR-qzqieMYQ

THE PICK YOUR OWN GARDEN

Cilantro & dill. We plant these herbs in a bed together about 8 times over the course of the season, in the hopes of having them fresh most weeks. Snip what you can use.
Perennial herbs. In the raised beds just outside the barn, some of these herbs are ready for use. We’ll tell you more about each of these herbs, and how to use them, as the weeks move along. This week, pick mint, chocolate mint, sage, thyme, oregano
Strawberries are just coming on. In spite of losing lots of blossoms to those cold morning in mid-April, there are loads of fruits coming on out there. With a few sunny days, we’ll be picking.

WHAT’S NEW IN THE SHARE?
Spinach. A very pleasing first crop, with more to come throughout the month of June.
Scarlet turnips. A new spring crop for the farm. A little spicier than the white spring turnips, with nice leaves for cooking.
Arugula. a peppery green, nice in salads and on sandwiches, available spring and fall.
Lettuce. we plant about a dozen different varieties into 20 successive plantings, with hopes of offering lettuce every week of the season.
Salad mix. A mix of small-leaf cut lettuce with a nice blend of mild greens. To really make this and other greens last in your fridge, wash them again and then spin or pat the leaves dry. Storing the greens dry will help them keep longer.
Bok choy. Really beautiful this week. An elegant cooking green, most popular in Asian cooking. Try cooking the white stems for a little longer than the green leaves.
Mizuna. A classic element of a salad mix, also delicious on its own. Try slightly wilted with a nice dressing, or on sandwiches.
Tat soi. A lemony component of salad mixes, also nice in wraps or lightly wilted with rice.
Garlic Scapes. Scapes are the seed pods of the garlic plant, which we pick off at this time to encourage the garlic bulb to swell up into the garlic we all love. The scape has a mellow garlic flavor – chop and use the entire thing the same way you would use garlic. Sautee them with any of the greens, or try the pesto recipe below.
“Red Russian” kale. A flat-leaved spring kale. Remove the center stem before cooking.

Tips for storing and using greens, greens, greens!
Thanks to shareholder Laurie for sending these along
Storing greens dry will help them keep longer – wash and use a salad spinner to dry the loose greens in the share.
Use clean cooking shears for cutting greens.
Add a drop of molasses to the cooking liquid for kale.
Sautéed onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes enhance the taste of most greens.
Lemon juice or balsamic or red vinegar are good finishing touches.
Try chopped, toasted nuts on top of greens.
A tiny bit of butter added to the olive oil will keep the oil at a more manageable temperature.

Braised Turnips with Soy Sauce
A good-sized pat of butter
A couple of scarlet turnips, sliced thinly
A couple garlic scapes, chopped
A splash of soy sauce
Finely minced cilantro
Turnip greens and/or braising greens, chopped
Melt the butter in a medium-hot skillet. Add the scapes and turnips and sauté for a few minutes until they start to brown. Add a splash of water, stir, and cover to steam-cook the turnips until tender, about 8 minutes. You can check and stir them periodically. Turnips should be golden-brown in places, almost caramelizing, when they are done, and in any case tender all the way through. Toss in chopped greens for the last two minutes or so. Add a splash of soy sauce directly to the pan and sprinkle on minced cilantro.

Garlic Scape Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmesan to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Make some pasta, eat it with this. Very pungent.

Enjoy the first harvest!

Jenny (for Bruce, Susie & the crew)

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