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CSA 2021 – Week 4

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It’s all about the wild areas of the farm this week.

Killdeer nests – we have not 1, not 2, but 3 nests with eggs in our fields right now. While the nests themselves are difficult to spot, the killdeer parents make a hug fuss when we are in the vicinity. Their cry is shrill & piercing – not at all pleasant to be working nearby. When we find a nest we mark it with a bright flag so as to not accidently drive over it. The eggs hatch quite quickly and the birds are gone in a few weeks it seems.

Our “friendly” coyote enjoying some lunch (probably a rabbit) and not at all worried about me on the tractor about 10m away. When I got off the tractor he ambled to the other side of the row of trees and watched me work. We see him around the farm several times each week.
The railway tracks and the wild area between them and our fields – always full of rabbits, groundhogs, our coyote – and beautiful in the morning sun.
The milkweed along the tracks is bursting into bloom. Milkweed is a host plant for monarch butterflies. They will lay their eggs here later in the summer.
The beautiful flowering vetch.
More wild areas on the farm – our vegetables! The recent rains, followed by sunshine and heat have caused an explosion of weeds. In many spots the rows of vegetables are not even visible. Wild indeed!

We continue to try and control the weeds where we can but we will also mow them on the paths between our vegetable beds. Mulching with straw is our main way of keeping down the weeds and still covering the soil – like this row of zucchini.

But sometimes we admit defeat – harvest what we can and walk away from a field.

We have been fortunate this season to have several volunteers who come every week or so and spend a few hours weeding. They are fearless in tackling some of the overgrown areas and bringing order out of chaos. They are much appreciated! I see weeding onions in their future …

What’s in the box?

Broccoli, Chinese broccoli, garlic scapes, kohlrabi,

salad greens, mini romaine lettuce, green onions …

I mentioned the other week that our spring broccoli seed was late in arriving and we used fall broccoli for our earliest planting instead, not knowing how it would turn out. Well it turned out great! Some of you got a taste of it last week when we ran out of beets and substituted broccoli. This week we have broccoli for everyone. Enjoy!

We also have Chinese broccoli. While Chinese broccoli has a similar taste, it looks very different from our usual broccoli. It has thinner stems, large flat leaves and tiny florets. The entire plant is edible. It is best after a quick steam, saute or stir-fry – maybe with oyster sauce & garlic (or garlic scapes!).

First it was green garlic. Now there are garlic scapes. Scapes grow out of the top of the garlic plant and curl around in a loose coil. If we left them they would eventually flower and go to seed. But we prefer that the plant uses its energy to form large garlic bulbs underground instead, so we remove the scapes. They are delicious! Use them wherever garlic bulbs are used – raw or cooked. Their flavour is a bit milder. They are also great on the BBQ. Coat the whole garlic scape with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill for a few minutes on each side until well charred & tender.  Garlic scape pesto is also a good way to use the scapes. Here’s a link to an interesting article, “10 things to do with garlic scapes, the best veg you’re not cooking yet”.  https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/garlic-scapes.

Kohlrabi is a strange-looking vegetable – sort of like a cross between a little cabbage and a turnip. It is usually considered a root vegetable, though the edible round globe grows above ground. Kohlrabi is usually eaten raw – just peeled & sliced. The taste & texture resembles fresh, crunchy broccoli stems, with a bit of radish thrown in. Use on raw vegetable platters and serve with a creamy dip. Grated kohlrabi can be added to slaws. We like to spiralize our kohlrabi and use it instead of pasta. Kohlrabi can also be steamed or boiled but don’t peel until after they are cooked. When the bulbs are tender, peel skin, and season with butter, salt, and pepper, a cheese sauce, or just enjoy plain. They are good for mashing with other vegetables – parsnips, carrots or potatoes. Kohlrabi absorbs the flavour of other ingredients making it ideal to add to soup, stew and stir-fries. The bulbs should be stored, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the fridge. They will hold for a week. Our favourite way to cook kohlrabi is to sautée it in butter & garlic for just a few minutes. Then add just a dash of nutmeg. Delicious!

It is still salad season. No shortage of fresh, delicious, crunchy greens here! As usual your box will contain several kinds of greens – perhaps lettuce mix, salad mix (lettuce plus any of mizuna, tatsoi, mustards, endive, or arugula), spinach, bok choy, baby kale … There will also be mini romaine lettuce & green onions.

***Remember to check out recipes for all the vegetables in your CSA box at http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. A subscription to this website is included in your CSA membership. Please email if you have forgotten your access key.

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Around the farm this week …

Winter squash is finally transplanted to the field.
Trying to get the peppers all mulched before they are overtaken by weeds.
Our edible flower patch – a beautiful site even with all the weeds. Edible flowers are a good seller at market plus they make our display more attractive. These calendula will also go to a naturopath who will use them to make a healing salve.
I remembered to snap a few pictures of our setup at Georgetown Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning.
Our best advertisement for broccoli!
More of the local wildlife – here enjoying the morning sunshine.

One thought on “CSA 2021 – Week 4

  1. Kudos to the volunteers!!  Oh, so its Thi*ESSEN*?  Very clever and the German speaking folks will get it – with a chuckle!  h

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