We survived the daily rains of last week, just shy of 5 inches total. As mentioned before what a different season from last year. We were far beyond desperate for rain at this time last year and now this season fearful it will never end. It was difficult to get in the garden at times because it was a soupy mess, we had to modify our planting and harvesting schedule a bit, Scott had to dig trenches to drain water off and we had to wear funny HOT! rain pants all week and still got wet.
The rain seems to be behind us (for now) and we only lost a few rounds of lettuce that could not handle the extreme moisture and steamy heat.
The garden grew and grew with all the heat and moisture-and we are STILL well weeded! We have made several passes through the carrot bed, another pass through the onions, Scott has all the rows clear and mowed. Neat and tidy. Several crops maturing….We are excited to see what happens next week… tiny beans on the plants, cabbage heading up nicely, summer squash just getting started, beautiful!! cauliflower, maybe even some cucumbers too! Summer is here.
We are thrilled with the pea harvest this season. Last year we were lucky that everyone got just a taste of peas. Germination was terrible in the early heat, and then we were picking peas from pathetic knee high vines. NOT this year….we may need a ladder and the shelling vines are loaded. Snow peas are plentiful and snaps oh so sweet. Enjoy!
WHAT IS IN YOUR BOX
Every shade of green!
Lettuce-Another beautiful oak leaf variety.
Celery-A surprise appearance….I thought we would be a week or 2 out on this crop. Lots of celery in the garden. Another favorite. Amazing flavor!!! Nothing like the celery sold in grocery stores. Delicious in soups, fantastic in salads. Use stalks and leaves…
Broccoli-This is the Spring planted Broccoli. 2 varieties. We also have Summer broccoli planted and will plant a Fall cold hardy crop too.
Garlic Scapes-The last cutting in the garlic patch. Remember these hold very well in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag.
Snow Peas-2 varieties-1 is a giant! These are the long flat peas. Eat pod and all. We boxed these up in green berry boxes this week.
Sugar Snap Peas- Deliciously sweet. Eat pod and all. These are labeled and packaged in a clear plastic clamshell.
Shelling Peas-Shell and eat peas ONLY….pod is VERY fibrous. Packaged in a plastic bag this week. Shelling peas are just getting started…..2 more plantings are maturing.
Mint-Peas and mint are the perfect match….a hearty bunch for everyone. Cut stems and keep it in a glass of water in the refrigerator.
Collard Greens-4 varieties planted of these pretty leaves. Work great for “burrito style” sandwiches or wraps, tasty in smoothies. A few recipes at the end of the post.
Basil Plant-Big beautiful plants. We like to grow a plant for everyone to take home every year….enjoy! We will also have cut basil in future boxes at peak tomato time.
Best Guess for Next Week- cabbage, cauliflower, kale, fennel, parsley, beans??, shelling peas
A note about recipes…..I gather recipes on Pinterest for all we grow in the garden. If any of you visit Pinterest I have a CSA Board. Feel free to take a look and/or follow it. The board is under my name Jennifer Fox. Also, if you wish to post a favorite recipe in the comment section feel free I will publish it for all to see. The Madison CSA Coalition publishes a wonderful cookbook too.
Collard Greens and Bacon
1 bag pre-chopped collards from Trader Joe’s (or chard from the store)
2 medium sized shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 strips bacon
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp white pepper
Sea salt to taste
Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in large saute pan on medium heat until slightly browned. Add in diced shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in collards, water and ACV. Stir and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want brown collards, but bright green collards. Add salt and pepper and serve.
Try this easy method for cutting up the bacon: Remove wrapping from bacon. Place the entire pound of cold bacon on a cutting board, and slice into 12-inch cubes.
- 4 1/2 pounds fresh collard greens*
- 1 pound bacon, chopped $
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 large onions, diced $
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Béchamel Sauce
- 1. Rinse collard greens. Trim and discard thick stems from bottom of collard green leaves (about 2 inches); coarsely chop collards.
- 2. Cook bacon, in batches, in an 8-qt. stock pot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in stock pot. Reserve 14 cup bacon.
- 3. Add butter and onions to hot drippings in skillet. Sauté onion 8 minutes or until tender. Add collards, in batches, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until wilted. Stir in chicken broth, next 3 ingredients, and remaining bacon.
- 4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Drain collards, reserving 1 cup liquid.
- 5. Stir in Béchamel Sauce. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to desired consistency. Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup bacon.
- *2 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, thoroughly washed, trimmed, and chopped, may be substituted.
John Currence, City Grocery, Oxford, Mississippi, Southern Living
Serves: 4 Edit
- 1 tablespoon(s) sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, combined with above sea salt
- 2 bunch(es) (about 12 cups) collard greens, ribs removed, cut into strips, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup(s) raisins
- 1/3 cup(s) fresh-squeezed orange juice
- In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts (12 cups) water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Remove the collards from heat, drain, and plunge into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color. Drain, gently pressing the greens against the colander.
- In a medium-size sauté pan, combine olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should