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Taste-Testing…plus CSA & mkts for 5.27.2017

The cucumbers have recovered! There’s been big excitement around here because of this. If you have tasted our cucumbers, you can understand this enthusiasm. How does one describe the flavor of a high-quality cucumber as compared to what is offered in the grocery store? It’s an interesting challenge to put into words the taste of a really good cucumber. We keep wanting to say “It tastes like cucumber!” This sounds silly unless you know how a cucumber can taste like…not much.

We’ve been thinking about taste tests a lot this week. Charles, Janet’s father, manages all the colonies of honeybees at our farm.  There are about ten hives currently – and he calls himself a “bee landlord” – NOT a bee manager…but we digress. He presented our whole crew with three bottles of honey and asked us to taste and report on each, telling us only that they were all harvested from hives here at the farm. We took this job very seriously. We forced ourselves to translate our taste bud reactions into words.

Now we feel ready for professional taste-testing jobs. We think we should have a staff outing to a wine tasting. We want to line up a blind taste tests of all the vegetables we are currently harvesting as compared to grocery-store purchased versions of the same vegetables. We’ll much on crackers in between bites of cabbage and broccoli to cleanse our palate. This would be such a fun experiment.

FYI: We still haven’t figured out what caused the death of all of the cucumber fruits for those days last week. One kind reader weighed in last week that it looked like a pollination issue. We appreciate the critical thought, but we know it was not a pollination issue as these cukes are grown from Certified Organic seeds that are parthenocarpic – they don’t require pollination to set fruit. They do require pollination in order to have seeds inside the cucumber, and all of the cukes that we have cut into do have seeds.  Anyway, the mystery will remain a little longer.

And if anyone is wondering, we’re all happy to have a break from the rain. Even the bees have been getting impatient waiting for the skies to clear:

{photo credit: Bee Landlord Charles}

Saturday’s/Monday’s Farm Share will most likely include
Salad Mix, Kale, Cucumbers, Hearty Greens Mix, Summer Squash, Broccoli {YES! Eat the broccoli leaves! See notes below.}
And…Optional: Green Garlic & Arugula

Summer squash will be one of two varieties we are growing this year:

These varieties have better flavor than “traditional” yellow crookneck squash.

Reminders:
{Vegetable Notes & Recipe suggestions follow these reminders}
* You can order t-shirts or hoodies with our beautiful logo through the end of the day today, May 25th, at which point the ordering closes. CustomInk sells them, and they are very comfortable as well as fetching. See here for the Gray with pink beet T-shirt Ordering Page See here for the Hoodie (Sweatshirt)/Long Sleeve Tee/Blue short-sleeve t-shirt Ordering Page
womens t shirt  hoodie
* This year’s Real Local RVA Farm Tour & Cookout is on Saturday June 17, with the culminating cookout and music at our lovely farm. Spend a day being driven (chartered bus) between 3-4 different farms for tours (urban ag, rural dairy, our suburban vegetables) while enjoying a boxed lunch, and at the end of the day live it up with a cookout here at Broadfork prepared by four of Richmond’s best chefs. Click here to buy tickets or for more information.

* We now have a Facebook group for our CSA Members. Send a request to join, and we’ll add you so that you can exchange cooking ideas or questions with other members. (Thanks to those members that requested this!)

Vegetable Notes & Recipe Suggestions…also cataloged on our Recipe Page and see our Pinterest Page   
Broccoli – First, know that we often have a hard time keeping worms out of the nooks and crannies of the Broccoli heads. So, if you want to minimize the chance for the worms to join your dinner plate, cut up the broccoli head, soak it in a bowl of water with about 3 T of salt, and wait  20 minutes. The worms should be killed by the salt water and drop to the bottom of the bowl. Then enjoy it! Roasted Broccoli is a big favorite here. Include as much of the broccoli leaves as you want – they become crispy and very delicious – like Kale Chips,  Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry NoodlesSesame Noodles with Broccoli
Summer Squash – We really, really loved Grilled Summer Squash. If you aren’t going to grill it, make Oven Roasted Summer Squash with (or without) Parmesan. Or make Summer Squash Stir Fry with Sausage (or sub other protein).
Salad Mix – Tahini Goddess Dressing is a long time favorite dressing around here. Make it to put on your Salad, and be overjoyed to find it goes well on lots of different dishes.
Hearty Greens Mix – Some people have suggested that we re-label this mix of greens as Smoothie Greens Mix (try Smoothie with Greens & Strawberry) or even Juicing Greens Mix (see here for Juicing suggestions). Remember to mix it with our Salad Mix greens for a nutrition and flavor boost, and saute them with fat, garlic, and salt for an easy side dish.
Kale – Baked Kale Chips are a favorite. Kale, Strawberry, Avocado Salad is a big hit with our kids.
Green Garlic – We harvest some of our garlic at this “Green” – or immature – stage in order to get to eat garlic before the main garlic harvest of the season, which is in June. The advantage is that there is no peeling involved! The trick is to dice/slice it thinly. We saute it with butter or coconut oil and add it to most everything: Eggs, Greens, Stir Fry, etc.

This week’s harvest (and baking) includes: 
Arugula, Bok Choy, Cucumbers, Green Garlic, Hearty Greens Mix, Kale (2 varieties), Radishes, Salad Mix, Sweet Salad Turnips, Summer Squash…and our Organic Hearth Baked Bread (Baguettes, Raisin, Seed, & Sunny Greens loaves for this weekend) PLUS: You can purchase our Pepper Jelly and Certified Organic flour that we have freshly stone-ground in our Bakery. AND PLANTS…Tomatoes (Supersweet Cherry, Black Cherry, Sun Gold, Jet Star, Mortgage Lifter, New Girl, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Arkansas Traveler, Paisano), Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Sweet Lunchbox Pepper, Jalapeno PeppersHERBS: Peppermint, Basil, Thai Basil
{Our farmstand is open Friday with most of the above items…see here for updated inventory}

2017 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up Saturday, May 27th at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the Farmers Market @ St. Stephens.

Anything remaining after CSA shares are distributed and our farm stand is shopped… we’ll bring to the Brandermill Green Market or the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the West End of Richmond. Keep an eye on what we have available via the online farmers’ markets: FallLineFarms.com and Local Roots Food Coop.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew
Want to follow along during the week, including Farm Stand updates? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram

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