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Thursday, May 19, 2011

May Showers Bring June Veggies...I hope

ASPARAGUS!!!

Okay so I will admit this photo is from 2 years ago. Anyone who has looked at the asparagus lately will agree that the patch is currently MUCH weedier than this photo indicates. In any case, the asparagus is emerging nicely and this year is the first year I can harvest the spears for its entire season (4-5 weeks long)! I planted the crowns (plants) 4 springs ago and for the first 3 years I could only harvest for a week or two. Then I had to let the spears grow big and fern out so that they could capture as much energy from the sun as possible and transfer it to the roots making the plant stronger. Now the plants are good and strong and can withstand me plucking spears from the plant daily. Asparagus is one of the few plants that one could sit and probably watch grow. Especially when the day is sunny and warm, spears will grow up to 12 inches in one day! The cooler weather is nice for these guys because it keeps them from ferning out too quick and it keeps the asparagus beetles at bay.

Everything else is moving at a snail's pace...hopefully a bit ahead of the actual snails and slugs that are trying to overtake the farm as we speak. Peas, spinach and beets are actually up about 1/4 inch. Looking a the pea seedlings yesterday, I was having a hard time even imagining picking them at some point this season. But alas we have asparagus!

This week's loot: asparagus, carrots, parsnips, rhubarb and chives



Recipes:

Creamy raosted Parsnip soup:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-roasted-parsnip-soup/

If you don't want to use the cream, try making it with with cashews instead

Cashew Cream:

1 cup raw chasews

1/2 cup veggie broth

blend in a blender until smooth and add to the soup at the end

Asparagus:

The way I do it is chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and place in a cast iron skillet with some butter. I toss it until warm so the aspargaus is still crunchy and bright green. Simple as that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May!!!


(Garlic--planted in the fall, is the first thing to show its head in the spring--lookin' good!)

To plow or not to plow, that is the wet weather question. The hardest thing about farming is that every year is different and you can't predict the weather. Spring is always a test of my ability to bend and not break, flex and not freak out. Tilling over wet soil can turn one's field into cement. Literally, there will be chunks of dirt that you think are rocks which makes transplanting uncomfortable and weeding nearly impossible. I waited waited waited and still some of my fields were maybe a little too wet but we are at that point in the year when I need to get something in the ground!!!!

Okay enough badmouthing spring...These last 3 days have felt GLORIOUS!!! Too bad it isn't going to last. Oh wait, I was supposed to be positive now : )


The ducks have been cruising the fields--they are LOVING the wet. They have become quite the gregarious little pack this year. They are quite fun to watch and Dora (the male duck) is still fully in love with Simon (the dog). For new shareholders, we will have some explaining to do : )

So this is it--your first summer 2011 pick up!!! It will be a bit light--but I think you will enjoy the flavors. Last year was a tremendous growing season and I know many of you have high expectations (hence my worry warted self), but rest assured I am trying my hardest and if we all pray for good weather maybe it'll work out.

PS MidCoast Growers in Bowdoin has opened for the season. They have beautiful pansies for a great price! (This is where I rent space to start my plants. Dale has been very supportive of Little Ridge Farm and a HUGE help.)

May's Loot: maybe some leeks, chives, carrots, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips and greens

Recipes:

Rutabaga Fries:

Cut rutas into fry like shapes. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle some olive oil, salt and maybe paprika if you ahve it. Mix rutas so they are nice and coated. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 400. Flip em once or twice and keep an eye on them until they are golden brown.

Rutabaga Soup

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

1 lb rutabaga, peeled and cut into large chunks

1/2 lb onion, peeled and cut into large chunks

3 tablespoons long-grain rice

salt & freshly ground black pepper

garnish of coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaf


Directions: Prep Time: 15 mins Total Time: 1/2 day

1. 1 Put all the ingredients except the rice into a pot and bring to a boil; add the rice, cover and lower the heat; simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 50 minutes.

2. 2 In batches, puree the cooked mixture in a food processor until very, very smooth; return to a storage container