<< Back

scapes

Posted 6/8/2012 7:29am by Dave.

“In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.” 
 Aldo Leopold

Farm Note ·  a word from the Village Acres Crew:

It feels like we are solidly into the month of June now, at least enough so that we’ve stopped wondering what happened to May.  It’s always a beautiful month.  The woods have turned bright green, the lilies and mountain laurel are blooming, and the farm crew is well-satiated on the strawberries we pop into our mouths while picking. (Generally the poor-quality ones…and getting an overly fermented one every so often also helps put a stop to our snacking).  But June is also an urgent month for the farmers.  Time is ticking away on the summer now and we’re always looking for a chance to transplant the many crops waiting to get started.  It doesn’t take much rain to spoil our schedule – just a thunderstorm or two every few days is enough to keep the fields soggy and our tractors idle.  June is a month of anniversaries, and mixed in with all the happy memories of fireflies, love and strawberries are memories of some idealized past season. I think we had the winter squash planted by this time last year, one says. Those leeks really should be out by now, don’t you think? We tend to seed too much, erring on the side of too many plants rather than too few, and then forget that not all of them need to be planted. Sweet potatoes should all be in the ground now, right? Thankfully Nature has arranged things such that, as June draws on, the days get longer and longer.  If we get a chance to plant, we plant, taking advantage of the long evenings to work late into the night.  And we try to appreciate the beauty of the month and the work, to compare our pace with average years rather than exceptional ones, and to enjoy our June berries and planting a little even as we scramble for the rest of the season. - Dave

 

Produce and Cooking Notes

Lettuce – It has been salad season here lately, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.

Asparagus – The end of asparagus season is drawing close.  Enjoy your portions today as there’s a good chance they’ll be the last until next April.

Garlic Scapes – Garlic scapes are the flowering stalk of the garlic plant, pulled out so that the plant puts all of its energy into sizing up the bulb.  They can be used like a scallion, or, with a bit of olive oil, make a delicious pesto ground up in a food processor.

Cucumbers – Cucumbers make a great and easy addition to salads and sandwiches, or don’t be afraid to quick-pickle small batches. 

Zucchini – Zucchini decided last week that it was time for their big entrance, after hesitating just a bit too much to make it into last week’s box.  These versatile summer staples are here for you today though.

Strawberries – Strawberry fields don’t last forever at Village Acres.  We’ve got enough for the boxes – not enough to fill all of today’s extras orders – and we should make it to the you-pick festival on Saturday. (Hope to see you!). But the season is definitely ending soon.

Snow Peas – Today’s snow peas and new potatoes are from our Amish friends, the Hostetlers. They’re chemical- and spray-free but not certified organic.  Snow peas are a great addition to stir-fries with a crisp snappy texture and just a hint of sweetness.

New Potatoes – These freshly dug red potatoes are just right for a summer boil in some salty water.  We were pretty happy that the Hostetlers chose this week to offer us some of their produce, since it let us spend most of yesterday picking strawberries and getting transplants in before today’s rain.

Recipes

Sesame Noodles with Asparagus Tips

from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Marinade

  •  ¾ cup sesame oil
  •  3 tbsp dark sesame oil
  •  7 tbsp soy sauce
  •  3 tbsp Chinese black or balsamic vinegar
  •  3 ½ tbsp dark brown sugar
  •  2 tsp salt
  •  2 tsp chili oil
  •  1 tbsp minced ginger
  •  1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  •  ¾ cup chopped cilantro

Noodles and asparagus

  •  Salt
  •  2 lb asparagus, trimmed and sliced diagonally
  •  14 oz thin Chinese egg noodles
  •  10 scallions (or scapes)
  •  ¼ cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Mix the marinade ingredients together, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt and asparagus. Cook until bright green and tender but still firm, just a few minutes.  Scoop the asparagus out, rinse it under cold water, and set on a towel to dry.  Pull the noodles apart with your fingers, add them to the boiling water, and give them a quick stir.  Boil until tender but not overly soft, tasting them often as they cook.  It should only take a few minutes.  Pour the noodles into a colander and immediately rinse under cold water. Shake off the excess water.  Toss the noodles with all the marinade and most of the scallions, sesame seeds, and asparagus. Mound them on a bowl or platter, then garnish with the remaining asparagus, scallions, and sesame seeds.

 

Garlic Scape and Almond Pesto

from http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2009/06/i-seem-to-be-on.html - similar recipes seem to abound on the Internet.

  •  10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
  •  1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
  •  1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
  •  About 1/2 cup olive oil
  •  Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juiciest.  Serve over scallops, pasta, or with bread for dipping.

Posted 5/25/2012 7:57am by Debra.

 

As a child growing up on this farm, it was always my mission to be the first one to find a ripe strawberry.  Of course I love strawberries so there was the joy of tasting the juicy goodness of the first berry-which inevitably had already been pecked by a robin before I got to it- but an even greater reward was to run into the house with enough strawberries to hand to everyone in the room.  With this week’s box, I feel like that same kid-excited to show you all what I found, and I’m assuming that your faces will light up just as my family’s faces always do! Enjoy your first taste of summer berries, and if you can, plan to stop by the farm June 16th for our strawberry festival and a chance to pick your own.

 

Produce Notes:

Strawberries- You are getting the first fruits of our strawberry patch this year.  After a crop failure last year, it is a joy to see these lovely berries this spring.  Now if we can all pray to the weather gods to hold back on the rain for the next couple of weeks, we hope to have more coming your way!

Asparagus – I hope you are still enjoying this spring staple.  It seems to be loving this hot humid weather of late which of course makes us farmers happy.  If you need a new idea for asparagus, try the Asparagus alla Milanese at the end of this newsletter.

Endive – We have endive for you again this week.  I have a new love of this green as it works great as a substitute for dandelion greens in my mother’s Dandelion Salad recipe. If you didn’t get a chance last time, check last week’s newsletter for a delicious endive salad with bacon dressing (you can find all of our newsletters on the web page).

Chard- A lovely dash of the rainbow in any box.  Easy to throw into any stir fry, or add color to a fresh salad.  The chard was one of the first crops we planted out during a dry spell in late March and it seems to be enjoying the muggy weather.

Scallions – Scallions (also known as green onions) make a delicious addition to a fresh salad, stir-fry, or anywhere you might use onions instead.  These are from our Amish neighbors and are naturally grown but not certified organic.  This’ll probably be the last week for scallions this spring – the garlic scapes are starting to come in now and soon we’ll be giving those out instead.

Herbs –  Some herbs to add extra flavor to any dish.  This week you might have oregano, basil, or rosemary.  Basil shouldn’t be refrigerated, but the other herbs will keep better that way if you’re not using them right away.

Lettuce Heads – For your salad or sandwich pleasure, big hearty heads of Magenta lettuce.

Transplants – Everyone is getting some basil to grow in their own garden or windowsill, now that the weather is hot.  Basil loves warm, sunny places to grow – but if you don’t feel like gardening, you can always just keep it alive for a few days and then use it as a regular herb.

Recipes:

Asparagus alla Milanese

Swiss Chard with Middle Eastern Savor


Other News:

Blue Rooster Farm – on special for Tuesday, June 5th, lamb stew meat for $7.85/lb. Great time of year for kabobs!

Upcoming Events at Village Acres

  • Saturday, June 2– Morning Farm Market and Farm Fresh Breakfast–8am -noon
  • STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Saturday June 16. 3-8 PM. Open invite to all CSA members to come tour the farm, pick your own strawberries, and enjoy a potluck with the farm crew and other CSA member. Event will be held rain or shine.
  • Live Music at the FoodShed July 7th–The Heggs – Folksy Rock – café opens at 6.