This week we see the continuation of mass scape and spring pea-pickin'. Our walk-in cooler is filling up with big boxes of these tasty garlic flowers! We've picked another huge round of our sugar snaps and if another rain permits, we may get yet another phase of sugar snaps for our CSA members and at Farmer's Market table. We've sold a few to restaurants here and there today. But our farm is literally overflowing with scapes! Large batches of home-made scape pesto still haven't made much of a dent in them. CSA members, Farmer's Market, Co-op and restaurants are all buying them, but we still rake them in by the loads every day (thanks to our diligent scape pickers these past couple weeks: Louie, Devika, Jesse, Blake, and Randall, and member of the River City Housing Collective...thanks guys!). We are also happy to announce our selling of them through the Iowa Valley Food Co-op! We haven't been able to sell much stuff through them, as much as we like to...the trick with them is knowing how much produce you will have two weeks in advance (which is difficult!) And hey, we've got way more than enough scapes and we'll still be sitting in mountains of them come two weeks! If you'd like to get your hands on large amounts of our garlic scapes to get your winter's worth of pesto batches going, order them online at www.iowavalleyfood.com! We are also happy to be featuring farmer Will's delicious oyster mushrooms for sale through the co-op as well, don't forget to get your hands on some of those sometime!
As the hot weather has become more dominant, this will see the last of our lettuces, salad mixes, bok choy and spinach pretty soon...but don't worry, we've still got a few weeks! Our asparagus plants have already given us as many spears as they have been able to this season and we are letting them retire and go to flower. We will soon usher in our hot crops! Our basil is growing fast, and our zucchini plants have put out their first flowers. I can already see the green swellings at the base of some of their petals, the sign of ripe zucchinis to come. Our peppers have also begun to flower, and tomatoes have already put out their fruits. In time our first sun-gold cherry tomatoes will be ripening. Our first round of beans have poked up a couple inches from the ground and seem to thrive in the heat! We have still been pulling up a lot of our root crops, turnips and beets, though it seems we are at the end of our delicious radishes. Some of our turnips we've pulled up are enormous! Potatoes are coming along, getting bigger as we keep the weeds and thistle at bay. Our newly transplanted broccoli is doing well and our older plantings of broccoli have gotten very big, fanning out their huge green leaves. We'll see how their crowns turn out this year. Kale seems to be doing real well too, we've been getting plenty for our braising mixes. That splash of purple from our redbor kale really does the trick to make our cooking greens look beautifully appetizing.
Thanks to our Echollective mechanic Michael Webb, we finally have a reliable watering system again! Don't know if this was talked about in the last newsletter, but one of our underground waterlines blew a seam or something to that extent. The driveway became flooded and we had to switch up our whole watering system, quite a complicated and painstaking task, actually. Mike swooped in once to fix it and all seemed well for a day or two, when suddenly the hole that was dug to reach the broken (but now supposedly fixed) pipe started to overflow with well water and head straight towards the house! Once again, our water system had to be switched up again. A bit of a pain in our butts, yes, and a bit of a hazard to some of our crops. A very few crops didn't make the water switch simply due to lack of time as a consequence, we just couldn't get around to saving them. But for the most part, everything is doing well, and our waterline has officially been fixed (for real!) and our watering routine and our lives are back to normal.
Macy's five kittens are getting bigger by the day, and they really are making quite the ruckus! Jumping on boxes, climbing up shelves, attacking each other and their mom. Their older sister, Survivor (named because she was the only survivor of her litter) really can't stand their antics...maybe it's the only child syndrome and she really can't accept the idea of siblings. Which is why we extend an invitation to anyone who would like to take home a kitten in just a few weeks? We have three that we would like to give away, we don't know if we can handle a barn full of cats, however cute they may be! A couple will be sticking around here to keep tabs on the mice...but we think at least three cats is quite enough.
Well, that's the most we have in what's new out here at the Echollective. We just keep chugging along! Hope to see you soon!
On the table this week:
- Braising Mix
- Salad Mix
- Garlic Scapes
- Head Lettuce
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Pea Tendrils (pea shoots)
Sesame Pea-Shoot Salad Recipe (www.epicurious.com)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen green peas
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 6 cups pea shoots, washed well and spun dry