Happy July! Whew! It's summer alright and she showed up with a bang! We have been scrambling to get our spring crops out of the ground before they bolt in the heat! There are lots of heat-centered chores around this time of year and I feel like they always sneak up on us!
We moved all of our starts outside and into the shade so we can keep our baby broccoli, cauliflower, radicchio, and other cool season crops happy until their time to shine in the fall. Our friends at Affinity Farm taught us a cool trick to beat the heat in our hoophouses; just splatter the plastic with mud and it shades and cools the crops inside! So fun, huh?!
As I said before, crops are bolting in the heat like crazy so we used this opportunity to give our CSA members a bunch of awesome cooler season crops before we cruise into summer. (Think cucumbers next week)!
This week, our adventurous and amazing CSA members are snacking on: fennel, kohlrabi, frisee, italian dandelion greens, broccoli, red butter lettuce, garlic scapes, and zucchini.
Fennel is the darling of late spring crops and brings a unique, sweet, anise flavor to any salad, roast, or other dish. The fennel bulb (the white, fat part) is used as a vegetable and the fronds or greens are used as an herb. I, as usual, like fennel raw in salads (CSA members tell me I ALWAYS say to eat everything raw...which is mostly a function of laziness and lack of cooking talent), but it's also wonderful roasted or used to flavor fish or chicken.
Italian dandelion greens, along with escarole, frisee, and sugarloaf, are Adam's passion project at the farm. These nutrient-dense greens are tender enough to use raw in salads but are also wonderful in pasta dishes or sauteed with olive oil and garlic scapes. Here are a couple recipe ideas to get you started!
And now, for our cutest farm moment of the week, Alex & Austin, two of our littlest CSA members, are exploring the many uses of summer squash: lightsabers, roman candles, umbrellas, lunch...possibly?