June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
Harvests are transitioning fast from spring to summer crops. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, & cucumbers are looking great, as are onions, leeks, melons & other crops like celery, fennel, & sweet potatoes. We're still planting lettuces and will start sowing fall crops in the next week, but it's almost July and it's all about summer for now. We hope this transition goes smooth, and that you enjoy the crops to come!
What's In Your Share?
(This weekly crop list is our best assessment of the harvests over the weekend .... However, actual harvests might change so what you actually receive in your share might be slightly different than what's listed.)
Here are two recipes recommended by farm members for how to use dill and turnips.... Thanks! And.... see below for recipes on how to use parsley & other herbs. We hope you enjoy it....
Dill Bread Recipe
Dill Bread Reci
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) 2% cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill weed
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dill seed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a small saucepan, heat cottage cheese to 110°-115°; add to yeast mixture. Add the fresh dill, butter, salt, sugar, dill seed, egg and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; shape into a 6-in. circle. Transfer to a 9-in. round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Cut into wedges before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
- 3 cups diced peeled turnips
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 tablespoon butter, or more as needed
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- Place the turnips into a skillet with the water and chicken bouillon cube over medium heat, and simmer until the water has evaporated and the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter, let melt, and sprinkle on the sugar. Gently cook and stir the turnips until the butter and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone, 1997
“Tabbouleh should so saturated with parsley that it’s moist and intensely green – practically a parsley salad.”
1 cup fine or medium bulgur
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 bunch scallions, including some of the greens, finely sliced
1 to 4 large bunches flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, about 4 cups
½ cup chopped mint
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Small Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves
Put the bulgur in a bowl, cover it with water, and let stand until the water is absorbed and the grains are soft, about 30 minutes. Press out any excess liquid, return the bulgur to the bowl, and toss with half of the lemon juice, the scallions, tomatoes, parsley, and mint. Let stand again for 20 to 30 minutes for the grains to soften fully.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining lemon juice, the oil, and ½ teaspoon salt together. Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss well. Check the seasoning – it should be lemony and very zesty. Mound the tabbouleh in a shallow serving bowl and surround with the lettuce leaves.
The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters, 2007
Stir together in a small bowl:
8 Tbls. softened butter
½ C chopped herbs (parsley, chives, chervil, thyme, basil, cilantro, etc)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper
a pinch of cayenne
Taste and adjust the salt and lemon as needed.
Serve as is, soft & spreadable, or put a piece in plastic wrap or waxed paper, roll into a log, chill until hard. Extra can be frozen for later use.
* Use as a butter sauce for fish, chicken, or vegetables. Also great as a spread on bread, corn on the cob, toss into anything that is being cooked: rice, soup, sauted greens, etc.
Where is the Culture in Agriculture?
This past Saturday night a much-needed thunderstorm came through. It came on the heels of a very productive week, as we caught up on plant-outs, sowings, & weedings... and although the soil held enough moisture from the previous rain, it was getting dry. So we were happy to see a rain coming through right when it was needed.
But, the rain didn't stop, and ended up dumping THREE INCHES in a matter of a few hours, which did more harm than good. Those who were members last year read all about this last summer, when we were hit with storms like this every other week all summer... after 1 inch, all that extra water has nowhere to go, and has a tendency to wipe the fields clean of any young crops. It makes the soil almost fluid, and tends to rot more mature roots.
Our recently sown carrots.... a little creamed after too much overnight rain....
Farming is ALWAYS at the mercy of weather (& pests, diseases, weeds), which can cause unforeseen damage and crop loss.... and losing crops is the hardest part of farming, as inevitable as it is to some extent during any year.
This is where "culture" comes in. We practice agriculture... not agribusiness.... which means that our cultural values accept the natural ups & downs of the real world. But, when it comes to "business", crop losses due to any cause are unacceptable. Crop losses represent inefficiencies and wasted effort that cut into revenues and threaten the financial viability of the enterprise. We're not immune from this. We're a business, too. Since this is our sole source of income, we feel it. It's heartbreaking to lose any crop, and crop losses threaten our ability to do the business of farming.
When it comes to crop losses, though, the difference between agriculture and agribusiness is most striking. Agribusiness places business at the center of everything, and puts the challenges of farming through an industrial model, with capital-intensive overhead, large-scale solutions, federal subsidies, commodity speculation, profit maximization, and externalized costs. To be sure, the results of industrial farming are amazing in quantity, but the sustainability & cost of the model is questionable, as is the quality of the food, when flavor, local-control, nutrition, etc., are sacrificed for maximized production.
When it comes to agri-culture, we lean heavily on cultural values to "solve" problems. We work in the fields everyday. We farm at a scale that keeps our costs small & steady, keeps us close to our customers, lets us be responsible for every stage of food production, and provides a flexible margin for error. We rely on a tolerance for weather extremes, weeds, disease & pests. We eradicate nothing.
If something becomes a problem, we seek to learn as much as possible about it, and incorporate the simplest solutions into our practices. Our solutions to problems rely on experience, presence, observation, trial & error, your preferences, and the experience of neighboring farmers & gardeners. We rely on your habits of eating seasonally, and your ability to trust us to respond as best we can to unforeseen losses. And crop losses are a normal part of what we do. The cultural part of farming gives us the freedom we all need to build up the farm, to invest in the business, to adapt to any changes in weather, preferences, tastes, habits, etc., and to solve "problems" like unexpected deluges with all that our culture has to offer. This all takes time... from days to weeks to years sometimes. And it takes people... it requires us, all of us..... It's the culture of farming that makes it work.
We're fond of Wendell Berry's quote that "eating is an agricultural act." His message is true, and is proven everyday when we return to the culture of food that sustains us, that helps us overcome setbacks like the recent rains with grace. Our farming succeeds only within the context of how we eat, when we eat, and what we eat. If we can tolerate the natural ups & downs of farming, then our food culture will surely thrive.
Until Next Time.....
In the coming weeks we're looking forward to the first tomatoes, full harvests of summer squash & cucumbers, garlic, onions, & more....
Tomatoes will start ripening any day now...
For any questions, let us know! If you have ANY problems picking up your share, please call or e-mail us.
All the best,
Kris, Stacey and Riverbend Roots Farm