News from the Farm
Rain. Oh wait, that’s what I said last week. And, by the looks of things, it may well be what I can say next week.
So, what’s the impact? Well, our ponds are full (but they have been for some time). Our new bed projects are greatly slowed down – you can’t really sift soil in the rain. We haven’t lost power, amazingly. And watering is a bit easier, but surprisingly, we still need to water. That’s because we have so much going on in the greenhouses and hoophouses.
Lastly, the impact is that growing has really slowed down. Our boxes this week are decidedly smaller, and we noticed the pac choi is a little leggy – struggling to find the sun.
Speaking of greenhouses, Linda has been spending untold hours potting up her babies. I think she said she did 450 night shades (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes) Sunday. It’s one of her favorite farm activities. For now, those little guys are going to stay in the greenhouse – it is still is too cold to put them in the ground, even in the hoophouse – it was 33° Saturday morning. Ideally, these plants like the overnight soil temperature to stay above 50°.
In other news from last week, Linda, Mandy, and Hailey joined up with Chef Sean Baker to visit the garden at The French Laundry in Yountville. They had a great time, learned a bunch, and ate their heads off (but no, not at The French Laundry). We’ll put up a post with pictures later in the week.
- salad reds and greens
- kale or spinach
- rapini or pac choi
- herbs: rosemary and oregano
Recipes of the Week
The gentle sautéing of asparagus in oil caramelizes the vegetable, intensifying the flavor.
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- Prepare asparagus by holding bottom half of each spear with both hands and gently bending it until it snaps where it naturally breaks, separating tough fibrous end from tender part (see Prepping Asparagus). Discard ends. Cut asparagus into 2″ pieces.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add asparagus and cook, stirring often, until browned, 15–30 minutes.
Asparagus and Bacon on Toast
- This sandwich was invented by Marion Zuchowski, the mother of a longtime asparagus farmer in western Massachusetts.
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 1–2 tbsp. butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 pieces toast, buttered
- 4 slices cooked bacon
- Prepare asparagus by holding bottom half of each spear with both hands and gently bending it until it snaps where it naturally breaks, separating tough fibrous end from tender part (see Prepping Asparagus). Discard ends. Cut asparagus into 2″ pieces. Steam in steamer basket set over a pot of simmering water over high heat until very soft, 15–20 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl, toss with butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper. To make sandwiches, divide spears evenly among 4 pieces of the toast, arrange 1 slice of bacon on top of each, and cover each with another piece of toast.