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Life Changing Lettuce & other goods…for 5.12.2018

Admittedly, we are passionate about vegetables.

{pictured above: one of our Farm Shares from last week (share of our weekly harvest through our Community Supported Agriculture program)}
When we grow a new kind of lettuce and are amazed by how sweet it is, we taste test to make doubly sure our taste buds are spot on, and then we obsess over it for at least 10 days. This lettuce is really fabulous:

We think there’s a change in brain chemistry after spending a certain amount of time surrounded by and eating these amazing plants. Check out this bunch of Rainbow Chard we harvested yesterday:

Holy Moly! So gorgeous! It stops us in our tracks.
{Note: Janet & Dan are completely free of ink, but our lovely staff are frequently decorated. We owe this great photo to our dear Tab.}
The fields make our hearts sing, too…except when the stress of the weeds or the weather dominate our attention.

See the Crimson Clover cover crop peeking into the photo? Fields of that leave us weak in the knees.

And these amazing people that join us in this work really fill us with joy. That joy is matched only by you wonderful eaters of this food. Thank you for eating what we grow!

As an aside, as we are about to send this, the thunderstorm that we have been watching for the past two days has just descended on the farm. If it brings hail, we likely lose vegetables. That prompts us to send an extra big THANK YOU to our Farm Share CSA members who are the ones that share with us the risks of farming in the biggest way. We really love you.

We are planning to harvest tomorrow…and depending on the storm….
If you are a member of our Farm Share CSA and pick up on Saturday, your share will most likely include:
Salad Mix, Spinach, Arugula, Radishes, Spring Onions, Cucumbers, and a head of the most delicious Speckled Lettuce you will have ever tasted (see image above)

On the horizon: Kale will be (hopefully) harvested for your Farm Share next week, replacing Spinach. Cucumber amounts will be increasing. We are waiting for Beets to grow. (And lots of other things!)

Vegetable Notes & Recipe Suggestions…also cataloged on our Recipe Page and see our Pinterest Page   
Salad Mix – We like to eat Salad everyday, and one of the tricks for keeping it interesting is to rotate our homemade dressings. This week we are digging Horseradish Mustard Vinaigrette, loosely following that recipe link. Swap out different types of vinegar or adjust the ratio of the ingredients to your preference.
Spinach – For bacon eaters, Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Mustard Dressing is timeless and fabulous. For a vegetarian dish, Spinach Quiche is a standard around our home. That recipe link calls for 10 oz of Spinach, which is two of our bags. If you want to follow that ratio and you still have some Spinach or Hearty Greens Mix from last week, combine them.
Arugula – Arugula has a peppery taste. Some people enjoy it alone, others combine it with mild lettuces for a salad with less of a kick. Try Arugula Salad with Olive Oil & Parmesan or Apple, Pecan, Arugula Salad (and you can add goat cheese to that if you wish).  It’s also really delicious on top of Pizza, and adds some nutrients that many pizzas are lacking. 🙂
Radishes – We will keep sharing our go-to Radish faves that we wrote about last week: this Radish Cream Cheese Dip except we usually add a spoonful of Fox Point by Penzey’s instead of the garlic it calls for, but it’s super flexible. Add sliced Spring Onions if you desire. Or just salt and lemon juice. And this Marinated Radish Salad, except we sometimes use just lemon juice instead of the garlic and ginger, and we’ve never added Cilantro but we should.
Spring Onions – As we typed last week: Slice and saute! Or, slice and eat raw like some of our family members do. (These are salad toppings for everyone in our family except Janet.) Some people dip them in salt and then bite them! We saute them in butter as the start of almost any recipe: soup, stir fry, curry, eggs, etc. They are very versatile. Use as much of the green portion as you would like. The green portion is certainly edible, it’s just not as tender as the white part.
Cucumbers – Chomp them up just as they are, or slice them on top of green Salads, or layer them on awesomely-loaded Sandwiches, or for a light and different twist on things, make Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad (especially if you still have Cilantro from last week). {As an aside: We know not everyone can eat Cilantro! We love it, but for some people it tastes like soap. We don’t put it in the share very often for this reason, but it is planned for a few weeks of shares.}
The World’s Best Lettuce – We love this Speckled Lettuce a whole lot. Taste it and let us know if you can tell how superior it is! (And yes, we are a bit wacky about vegetables.) Make a big salad topped with protein for lunch or dinner (as in…just prepare a protein, be it beans, fish, chicken, pork, or tofu, and cook it in your favorite way, then serve it on top of a large bowl/plate of lettuce!). Or use the large leave to make Lettuce Boats, like these Mediterranean Quinoa Lettuce Boats (though we leave out the tomatoes until it’s tomato season, which will start in June).

STORAGE TIPS – 
Head Lettuce – These will wilt if you don’t contain them in something in your fridge. Refrigerate it in a plastic bag or airtight container. If it does wilt, separate the leaves and soak in tepid water for a while until they re-hydrate.
Cucumbers – Keep refrigerated and dry in a container, perhaps with a towel to absorb any liquid as they “sweat.”
All Root Vegetables (Turnips, Radishes and Spring Onions this week) – Keep refrigerated in a sealed bag or container, ideally with roots and tops separated in different containers, to prevent tops and roots from getting wilty. Most tops can be prepared/cooked in some way. If you are at a loss for how to prepare the tops, include them in a batch of Vegetable Stock.
Bagged Greens – Keep refrigerated in the bag in which we pack them.

Our harvest for Saturday’s farmers’ markets will hopefully include: 
Arugula, Rainbow Chard, Cilantro, Hearty Greens Mix, Curly Kale, Purple Kale, Lettuce (Speckled head variety….big and the sweetest lettuce we have ever tasted…see pick below), Microgreens, Parsley, Radishes, Salad Mix, Spinach, Spring Onions, PLANTS: four-packs: Arugula, Green Lettuce, Red Lettuce, Chard, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, Curly Kale, 4-inch pots: TOMATOES: New Girl, Chef’s Choice, Cherokee Purple, Rose; 5-inch pots of Perennial Herbs: Lavender, Rosemary, or Peppermint …plus our Organic Hearth Baked Bread (Sunny Greens, Whole Rye, Raisin, & Seed loaves for this weekend) and Tomato Chutney.
{Our farmstand is open Thurs & Friday with most of the above items…see here for updated inventory}

Anything remaining after CSA shares are distributed and our farm stand is shopped (plus the bread we bake Saturday morning)… 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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