CSA Week #8 - Who Am I?

Farm Musings

I've been thinking a lot about "identity" this past week: what labels do we use to identitfy ourselves? How do these labels, or markers, separate us from others? How do they shape what we do and who we associate with? How do they motivate us to dive deeper into our passions, and how do they restrict us from branching out to discover new horizons?

How does our perception of who we are in the world direct the life we lead? I think we are often under the impression that we are adapting to life's events and adjusting our identity along the way. In reality, though, I think the identity we hold so close to our chest dictates what life events we are open to. For example, if you identified yourself as a heavy metal rocker, you might disregard enjoying other types of music, only wear specific clothes to fit in with the crowd, prefer certain kinds of social events over others, and primarily associate with other people who hold a similar identity. And while I think there is something powerful about the sense of community found in shared identity, there is also something limiting about holding too tightly to certain identifiers. What if your best friend was listening to techno and you never met them because you were so afraid of risking your heavy metal identity?

 Cerinthe: Kiwi Blue.....a magical mermaid dream flower

Cerinthe: Kiwi Blue.....a magical mermaid dream flower

What the hell am I talking about? We are finding ourselves in the midst of an identity shift at Small Feat Farm. The labels we've used to describe ourselves over the past few years aren't fitting quite right. And if we're being honest, they've been feeling a little uncomfortable for a while. If you've followed along with our journey, you know that this year has been one of rediscovering our purpose and redefining our vision in an authentic way. The labels of "vegetable farmer," "urban dweller," "service industry employee," and "scrappy side-hustler" have given us a way to talk about the life we live and find folks who share similar interests. On the other side of the coin, however, these labels have dictated what opportunities we view as available to us, what activities we participate in, and who we interact with. By marking ourselves with such specific identifiers, we have most likely been missing opportunities that would allow for a more creative, authentic, prosperous life.

I guess the goal is to drop one's identity - shed the ego...to remember one's only true identity: a living being. The possibilities in this life are literally endless and beautifully bountiful. But when we cling to specific identities or stories, it's like we put blinders on - blocking out any possibility that doesn't fit into our predetermined box of who we are. What if we simply identified as "alive" and lived with our eyes open to any possibility that felt fulfilling, authentic and joyful, creative and expansive? 

 Brian at the Skowhegan Bread Fair selling loaves he baked at the Kneading Conference

Brian at the Skowhegan Bread Fair selling loaves he baked at the Kneading Conference

Brian attended the Maine Grain Alliance Kneading Conference in Skowhegan this past week. He had the opportunity to be a work-study participant and worked very closely with one of the Northeast's best wood-fire bakers (Stefan Senders of Ithaca, NY). Brian learned so many skills and techniques and spent the week baking dozens of loaves of bread for the Skowhegan Bread Fair. He is jazzed about baking and scheming on ways to bring bread production into our business plan. Baking is something Brian has been mildly interested in for a few years, but never chose to explore it because it wasn't part of his matrix of identities. Since our commitment this past spring to redefine our life as one that brings joy, Brian took a leap by signing up for the Kneading Conference - and has found something that fuels him, inspires him, and fulfills him! We're excited to see where this new path leads!

Similarly, we are falling deeper and deeper in love with flowers. Aside from the magical and mesmerizing element they bring to life, the growing and marketing process allows us much more flexibility than vegetables - so we can adventure during these maniacal Maine summers! As of now, we are planning to transition to mostly flowers next year. There is still a lot of planning and scheming to do on how to make this a viable business, but we are really excited about this direction. It feels good to be able to drop the label of "vegetable farmers" and be open to other kinds of growing that bring us more joy and fulfillment.

 Opportunities on the horizon!

Opportunities on the horizon!

Week #8 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions

Kohlrabi - It's like an apple and a cabbage had baby that looks like a spaceship. Kohlrabi is a versatile, albeit obscure, vegetable. We like to peel and slice it into rounds and enjoy it with hummus or a creamy dip. It is also tasty when shaved and tossed with shaved carrots and onions in a dash of vinegar, salt and pepper. This kind of slaw can be enjoyed on its own or on a bed of lettuce, sausage and bun, or toast.

Napa Cabbage - Also called Chinese Cabbage. This is the traditional vegetable use in kimchi along with carrots, onions, peppers, and spices. Instead of giving a recipe here (because I've never actually made kimchi), I will direct you chef Google to find a recipe that fits your needs. Napa cabbage is also great when made into a slaw with onions, kohlrabi, salad turnips, jalapeños, etc. Chop everything finely and combine in a big bowl with red wine/rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper, other spices and fresh herbs. Let marinate for at least a couple hours in the fridge. Slaw gets better with age and keeps well for at least a week. It's the perfect snack, lunch, or side dish at a BBQ.

Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion - Sweet, crunchy, extremely versatile. Use like any other onion - especially nice raw or lightly sautéed. These onions are not cured, so they should be kept in the fridge. 

Rainbow Chard - Although the deer had the first go with this crop, we'd like to introduce a delicious, nutritiously dense, thick green into your diet. Chard can be a little rough to eat raw, but is amazing when added to stir-fry, soup, or casserole. Chard should be kept in plastic or produce bag in the fridge - much like kale or lettuce.

Jalapeños - Spicy and fun! Get creative and add jalapeños to salad, a chicken marinade, ceviche, or fruit salsa. Anything that needs a little extra kick can benefit from a half-jalapeno. For less spice, do not include the seeds or outer membrane. Jalapeños are also great in cocktails - especially margaritas and caipirinhas. Or try infusing tequila or vodka with jalapeños (and strawberries or raspberries)!

Shishito Peppers - Scroll back to Week #7 for ideas on how to use shishito peppers.

Hakurei Salad Turnips - Scroll back to Week #7 for ideas on how to use these tasty salad turnips.

Romaine Head Lettuce - The perfect, crispy lettuce for most salads.

Summer Squash - Scroll back through the last few weeks for ideas on how to use zucchini and summer squash. For our favorite egg-free chocolate chip zucchini bread, go to this site: https://www.egglesscooking.com/eggless-chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread/

Cucumbers - General Lee slicing cukes and Suyo Long cucumbers - both are extremely delicious raw, on their own or mixed in a salad or refreshing drink!

Edible Flowers - A gorgeous, flirty addition to any dish or drink! We hope you're enjoying these as much as we are!

Extras - At MCD, we will have an array of broccoli, peppers, and maybe a few other goodies to take as you will.

***** We will have bulk salad mix ($4 per bag) and bulk basil ($5 per bag) for sale at CSA pick-up tomorrow, Wednesday August 1st. All members are welcome to purchase.*****

Featured Flower

Black Peony Poppy - Poppies come in many varieties representing every color of the rainbow. Their paper-thin petals and delicate stamen are show-stopping and they make a statement in any flower arrangement. When we were ordering seed this past winter, I was intrigued by the "black peony" variety because I LOVE peonies and poppies. I had no idea they would be so beautiful! There are countless petals bursting from each flower of a deep eggplant color - they literally look like small peonies. The stems on this variety are a little funky - lots of crooks and curly-q's. This makes them a little tricky to work with in a bouquet, but the stunning quality is worth the challenge!

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CSA Week #7 - Let it Rain

Farm Update

We are so grateful for the rain this week. We have a unique water situation at the farm that requires us to be very careful about the amount of water we use for the fields. While we have a lot of learning to do about strategic water usage, we tend to err on the side of caution and leave the soil a little dryer than is optimal. Next year, we are hoping for some decisions to be made about accessing a bigger water supply, which will alleviate a lot of the issues we face - but until then we utilize drip tape, strategic overhead watering, and rain dancing ;)

This past week, we made some headway in the deer-repellent saga by spreading human hair around the perimeter of the farm (thanks to Portland's new hair studio Pageboy), setting out Have-a-heart scent pods around the field, creating wind chimes, and rubbing soap on fishing wire strung between fence posts around the fields. All of these tactics aim to deter deer by instilling a fight-or-flight response through the senses. We are undecided about an electric fence due to costs this late in the season, but will most likely invest in one for next spring.

All in all, we are feeling pretty good about the farm at this point in the season. However, we do need to get our butts in gear with seeding for fall crops. That is on the docket for this week - as is sending Brian to the Maine Grain Alliance Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, ME. At the conference, Brian will be a work-study student assisting the main instructor for wood fired baking. Brian is very excited and we'll have him tell you all about it next week! Stay tuned!

 Last week's flower pallet

Last week's flower pallet

 Cucumbers and black jalapeños! Summer is happening!

Cucumbers and black jalapeños! Summer is happening!

Week #7 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions

Cucumber - General Lee Slicing Cucumbers are perfect for eating raw or pickled. For an easy pickling recipe, scroll back a few posts and look for instructions on pickling radishes. You can use the same recipe for cukes! Cucumbers are also a great addition to any salad or veggie platter served with hummus and tzatziki sauce - don't forget to add the dill!

Shishito Pepper - These peppers are the perfect ration of sweet and spicy and bloom with the most robust flavor profile when blistered ever-so-slightly in a frying pan with a healthy pinch of salt. They make a great appetizer on their own, or they can be chopped and added to any stir-fry or sauce. For a delicious warm salad, try frying some chopped broccoli and shishitos with an onion, then adding chopped kale to the mix until it's wilted. Dress with lemon juice, parmesan, salt, pepper, and sunflower seeds.

Summer Squash/Zucchini - Scroll back through the last couple weeks' blog posts for ideas on how to use zucchini and Bennings Green Tint summer squash.

Hakurei Salad Turnips - These turnips are so surprisingly delicious! Unlike regular turnips, these are best eaten raw on their own or in a salad. The texture is buttery and crunchy and can be used much in the same way as radishes.

Broccoli - These heads are small and irregular, but they're tasty! The variety we planted is known for it's side shoots, so hopefully we will see much more broccoli in the future! Try chopping this broccoli and adding to a stir-fry with zucchini, shishito peppers, and garnishing with scallions, sesame oil and soy sauce. Keep broccoli stored in a bag in the fridge and use within 5 days before the buds start to turn yellow. 

Kale - Y'all know what to do with kale! We hope you are finding a routine way to fit it into your diet because it is so nutritious and prolific! If you're interested in freezing kale, boil a pot of water, chop the kale and blanch it for 30-60 seconds, strain or remove kale from water, pat dry, and stuff into freezer bags. It should keep in the freezer for many months.

Scallions - Chopping scallions and bathing them in ice water is a great way to keep them fresh and slime-free in the fridge for long time. This method allows for a quick handful to be grabbed to garnish any dish from noodles to salads to soups.

Dill (flowering) - The flowering dill has an intense flavor and adds a beautiful dash of color to sauces, pickles, and cooked meat/fish. Scroll back a few weeks for more ideas on how to use dill.

Cilantro (flowering) - This dainty cilantro makes a great addition to pesto, tacos, fish, ceviche, taco salads, and hummus. Store in a cup of water in the fridge or on the counter.

Lemon Balm - Scroll back to the first CSA blog post for some ideas on how to use this delightfully refreshing herb.

Edible Flowers - Everyone's new favorite item! We saw some creative uses for edible flowers on Instagram this week including pizza, chicken salad, and pickled beets! The mix includes calendula, nasturtium, borage, and bachelor buttons. 

 Pickled some beets and carrots with dill and nasturtium from the farm this past weekend.

Pickled some beets and carrots with dill and nasturtium from the farm this past weekend.

 What is this magic??? Black Peony Poppy!

What is this magic??? Black Peony Poppy!

Featured Flower

Cleome (Spider Flower) - Violet Queen: After putting these seedlings in the ground last month, it took no time at all for them to grow to a height over 4 feet. And then they bloomed - and wow! What a show-stopper! The intrigue and beauty makes me want to plant an entire field of these flowers just to walk through and admire the delicate petals and and dainty stems protruding from the tops of the dark green stocks. Multiple people who have visited the farm in the last couple weeks have been taken aback by this flower and expressed their amazement to me. Cleome is new to us and I'm not sure how practical it is in a bouquet, but it adds such a lovely pop of color and texture to the flower garden and clearly brightens peoples' day - which is one of the most important reasons we love growing flowers. I look forward to incorporating more varieties into the mix next season!

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 A corner of the flower garden. See the cleomes in the top left quadrant?

A corner of the flower garden. See the cleomes in the top left quadrant?

CSA Week #6 - Embracing the Fire

Farm Update

The weeks are flying by - how is it the middle of July?! We are finally catching back up on farm duties since being away and starting the wedding season here on the property. We seeded beet greens and salad mix this week and have revived our watering schedule after a couple dry weeks. The deer continue to be a problem - we may have to kiss goodbye swiss chard (at least for the time being) and most of the sunflowers :( 

The entire farm is officially weeded! Wow! After last week's Weeding-Pizza Party and a few days of weeding and weed whacking this week, we are all caught up and feeling confident about moving into mid-summer with a manageable work load. Thanks, again, to everyone who came out to help last weekend. I'm sure in a month or so, we will be calling on your hands again! 

 Some fun bouquets made for LIV Kundalini Yoga studio in downtown Portland!

Some fun bouquets made for LIV Kundalini Yoga studio in downtown Portland!

As we work our way toward August, we ramp up for an intense season of movement and heat. Spring, the season associated with Air, is a time of cultivating ideas, starting new projects, trying different strategies, and exercising the mind. Summer, associated with Fire, is the time when all the ideas and momentum of Spring burst into action - like an object being projected from a slingshot. Once the object is in the air, it's difficult to change its course. This has been a frustrating part of farming for us: the inability to change course once the summer is under way. With so much inertia, it's nearly impossible to implement new ideas or change systems in the middle of July or August. But this can be a beautiful aspect of cultivating a seasonal life. Instead of fighting the busyness and trying to change the flow of things, there is something liberating in submitting to the crazy schedule and physical exhaustion. This season, too, shall pass and we will move into Fall - a time for rest and reflection. The more in-tune we feel with Mother Earth and her cycles, the more we can watch those cycles reflected in our own lives. And the more we trust those cycles, the less frustration we feel about the phase we're in. 

We've definitely been scheming about the next steps for Small Feat Farm and how we want to grow and change for the rest of the year, and in years to come. But with the height of summer approaching, we are doing our best to trust the systems we set up in the Spring, buckle our seatbelts for a season of hard work, and move forward with great energy, passion, and Fire!

 Progression in the front flower garden!

Progression in the front flower garden!

Week #6 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions

Summer Squash/Zucchini - Green zucchini and Benning's Green Tint are both delicious varieties of the prolific cucurbit family. They store well in a closed container (bag or tupperware) in the fridge and will dry out if left to the open air. Summer squash is a great raw snack paired with hummus, tomatoes, goat cheese, and/or a tzatziki sauce. Grilling squash is an amazing way to get a lot of flavor out of them - try grilling them on their own or on a kebab with meet, peppers, and onions.

Fresh Garlic - Fresh garlic carries a lot of flavor and is a great addition to any stir-fry, spread, or sauce. Y'all know what to do with garlic ;) Fresh garlic is not cured and will not store the same way as garlic you may be used to consuming. To make sure it doesn't rot, keep it in the fridge and use it within a couple weeks. 

Lettuce Mix - This is a mix of many varieties of leaf lettuce. It is a wonderful mix for any salad or dish that requires some greens on top.

Kale - Lacinato and Redbor kale are both nutritious and delicious. Scroll back through the first few CSA blog posts for ideas about how to eat kale cooked and raw.

Scallions - Scroll back through the CSA blog posts for ideas on how to use and store scallions.

Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion - These onions are our absolute favorite! They are super sweet and flavorful and are the perfect addition to any savory dish or salad/slaw! For an excellent quick-pickled slaw, try slicing the onion thinly alongside finely cubed/sliced zucchini and garlic. Drench the veggies in red wine vinegar, some olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped basil, and other spices. Let marinate in the fridge overnight and add to a salad, on top of fish, or with tacos.

Purple Basil (Round Midnight variety) - This basil variety is gorgeous! Dark purple, ruffled leaves are stunning to look at and tasty to eat! Scroll back through the last few weeks of CSA blog posts for ideas on how to use basil from pizza to pesto! To store basil, snip stem ends and keep in a cup of water on the counter.

Chamomile - This is a calming herb used traditionally in tea before bedtime. You can use it fresh or dried by letting it steep in boiling water for 5-15 minutes and consuming before you go to sleep. Chamomile is also great for your skin. Dried chamomile can be combined with rolled oats, lavender, and powdered goat or coconut milk to make a luxurious face scrub. For best texture, pulse the mixture in a food processor. Store it dry and then add a dab or water or honey before using it on your skin. 

Summer Savory - This is a wonderfully aromatic herb that can be used in most sauces or baked dishes. Use it similarly to thyme, oregano, or rosemary.

Edible Flowers - We got some much great feedback about the edible flowers, we're including them again! I was enjoying dinner with a friend this past week and it felt like such a luxury to add some flowers to our drinks and on top of our dinner! Treat yo self! You deserve to live beautifully!

 Edible Flowers! Nasturtium, Calendula, Centaurea, and Borage!

Edible Flowers! Nasturtium, Calendula, Centaurea, and Borage!

Featured Flower

Bachelor Button (Centaurea) - Bachelor Buttons are a classic garden flower. They are really easy to grow and come in many colors! We grow a mix of varieties that include blue, white, purple, maroon, and pink! The more you harvest the flowers, the more flowers the plant produces! And they keep going all summer long! The round shape and dainty petals bring a smile to my face and fill out bouquets with a gentle glow.

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CSA Week #5 - Friends 'n Fragrance

Farm Update

We hosted a beautiful evening with friends, dirty hands, and pizza this past Sunday. When we called out for help to weed our little farm after a few weeks of chaos and neglect, everyone came running to lend a hand. Our first priority as farmers has always been - and will continue to be - our community. Creating a welcoming space where people feel safe and loved is the driving force behind all our actions. When we get to feed our people and introduce them to one another, the circle closes in on its self and something magical is born. It was interesting: almost everyone that came out only knew a few others that were present - by the end of the night, there were dozens of new connections and friendships made. This is what it's all about!

About 20 people came out to the farm with a willingness to work and basket full of snacks and pizza toppings to share. We worked in the fields for a couple hours - and nearly got the entire farm weeded! While Joanna was making sure all the worker bees were happy, Brian was preparing pizza dough and tending a fire in the new brick oven. Brian has recently fallen in love with baking and was (anxiously) excited to try his hand at pizza-making for the crew! He had never cooked anything with a live fire before, but was willing to give it a try - texting and calling the brick oven's mastermind for advice throughout the day.

 Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

 Farmer Brian being the pizza oven master!

Farmer Brian being the pizza oven master!

When everyone had worked up a good appetite, a few friends hopped on the line with Brian, helping to stretch dough and apply toppings, while everyone else set a lovely table and put out complimentary snacks. We put on some music, threw some daisies in a vase for a little pizzazz, and got the pizza party started! And wow! The pizzas were amazing!!! They came out fast and perfectly cooked - and everyone loved them! While his brow was sweaty and nerves high, we all detected a proud smile on Brian's face at the providing good food for good people after a good day's work.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Weeding-Pizza Party! You made for one glorious, heartwarming evening of fellowship and fun! We hope to host many more similar events in the future - so keep your eyes and ears out for news about the next one! 

 Singing bowl and pizza make a lovely combination

Singing bowl and pizza make a lovely combination

Week #5 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions

We're a few days behind on posting this week's blog, but hopefully you will find this list helpful in the future.

Summer Squash/Zucchini - We are growing traditional green zucchini and Benning's Green Tint pattypan squash this year. Both were harvested this week but you may only receive one variety. Summer squash are a great addition to any salad or soup, pasta sauce, pizza, or veggie platter. If you're going to cook squash, it doesn't require much time to become soft (less than 5 minutes), so add it near the end of cooking. Raw summer squash is crunchy and delicious when drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and chili powder, and dipped in hummus.

Romaine Lettuce - The perfect base for any salad or as a topping at taco night!

Kale - Scroll back through the last few blog posts for ideas on using kale raw and cooked!

Radishes - Big, red, and spicy! We promise we're almost at the end of the radish trail! They had great germination this year and are all ready to be eaten at the same time, ha! The last blog post, particularly, has some ideas on how to preserve radishes in a unique way. If the heat is too much for you, try dipping radishes in hummus or a yogurt sauce to balance out the flavors.

Scallions - This versatile allium is a wonderful addition to salads, pizzas, tacos, casseroles, soups, or anything needing a little bit of freshness on top! Grilled scallions are also a great side-dish to steak or pork chops! 

Basil - Green Genovese basil can be used in a myriad of ways from pizza and salad toppings (can you tell what my main meals have been lately?), to pesto and cocktail infusions. Scroll back through the last few blog posts for more detailed ideas on how to best use basil. For storage, we recommend cutting the ends of the stems and sticking the bunch in a cup of water on the counter. Basil is very sensitive to high and low temperatures and can easily dry out - but even if it doesn't look pretty, it is always delicious!

Thyme - This is one of my favorite herbs. The smell is intoxicating and grounding - bringing in a sense of calm and focus while feeling comfortable in our own skin. Fresh thyme can be added to any sauce or meat dish (we recommend stripping the leaves from the stem and discarding the stem unless you want to put the entire bundle into a cooking pot of soup or braising dish). You can also dry the thyme by hanging it upside down to keep for a later date. A thyme simple syrup is easy to make by heating equal parts water and sugar/honey on the stove until sugar dissolves. put a bunch of thyme into the mixture and let simmer for 10 minutes. Pull or strain out the thyme and store in an air-tight container in the fridge to use in cocktails, mock-tails, salad dressings, and desserts.

Edible Flowers - We've combined nasturtiums, calendula, borage, and bachelor button flowers for a beautiful and tasty addition to this week's share. All these flowers are edible and have a unique flavor. Add them to salads and tacos, desserts and summer drinks!

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Featured Flower

Schizanthus (Poor Man's Orchid) - This is the most precious and prolific flower I may have ever encountered. The foliage is lacy and soft to the touch, and each stem hosts a dozen miniature orchid-like blooms. The colors growing in the garden range from white to pink to violet. They were very easy to grow, direct seeded, and there is no sign of them slowing down in production! As a bonus, they fill out bouquets quite nicely with a delicate and eye-catching quality.

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CSA Week #4 - Let the Flowers Begin!

Farm Update

It's been another hectic week at the farm! It feels like I'm always saying that...but I think farming is just a hectic lifestyle! There are so many variables and moving parts, unknowns and unpredictables - every day comes with a host of new challenges and rewards.

Some challenges this week have been all the weeds! After all that rain and the heat this week, the grasses are starting to invade in a serious way. We're hoping to weed wack and mow most of the field this week. We're also starting to deal with a pretty serious deer problem. Deer haven't been much of an issue the past couple years, but our sunflowers, swiss chard, and rudbeckias are being heavily grazed upon. Our plan is to get an electric fence set up along the boarder of the woods by the end of the week.

 We've got our work cut our for us!

We've got our work cut our for us!

Some rewards this week have been a lot of blooming flowers! We are very excited to begin our Flower CSA this week and look forward to welcoming new species to the party every week from here on out! Along with the CSA, we will be selling buckets of bulk flowers to Maine Craft Distilling and Cumberland Food Company to decorate their spaces. Single bouquets for sale will be available at Cumberland Food Co each week for the rest of the summer! 

We were also rewarded by and honored to play a role in the wedding that happened on the farm this past weekend. The couple was a dream and the families were wonderful to work with! Small Feat Farm provided veggies for the salad consumed at the rehearsal dinner here on Friday, as well as the wedding on Saturday. We also contributed some flowers for the rehearsal dinner and flower girl bouquets! Both of us, Brian and Joanna, acted as venue hosts and bartenders for the weekend, and coordinated with Barn and Table Catering to create a memorable, beautiful, love-filled weekend! We're looking forward to many more memories like this one in the future!

 Joanna harvesting flowers at sunset with this past weekend's lovely flower girls.

Joanna harvesting flowers at sunset with this past weekend's lovely flower girls.

This Sunday, July 8th, we will be hosting a Weeding-Pizza party on the farm! Come any time after 4pm for some light farm work and enjoy our new brick oven with homemade pizza! This is not an official or catered event, so feel free to BYOB and toppings, as well as any potluck dish you'd like to share.

Week #4 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions

Kale - The leaves keep getting bigger and better! Kale is intensely nutritious and excellent in salads, smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and slaws!

Radishes - We've certainly got a bumper crop of radishes this month! If you're feeling overwhelmed by the amount of radishes in your fridge, we recommend pickling or candy-ing them so they keep longer and are more versatile. 

Pickling: On the stove, combine equal parts white vinegar and water and bring to a boil (you might make the ratio more vinegar if you like more sour taste). Throw in 2 tablespoons of kosher salt per 2 cups of liquid, and 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Let the salt and sugar dissolve while the mixture simmers for a few minutes. In a jar or two, pack in radishes (or any other veggie you want to pickle) with any herbs and spices that suit your fancy. These might include: peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander, garlic cloves, bay leave, onion slices, chili flakes, and jalapeño slices. Pour the mixture over the veggies in the jar and let cool on counter before placing a lid on top and putting in the fridge. Pickles will be ready in a few days and will keep in the fridge for a number of weeks.

Candy-ing: To candy radishes, first slice them into thin rounds. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil until melted. Add in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar and stir together. Add radishes and let cook for a few minutes until they start to get translucent.  Stir and flip radishes to coat all sides. The water will start to evaporate out and the sugar will begin to caramelize, so make sure to keep stirring to avoid boring the sugar. When radishes are translucent (and before they start to wither away) turn off heat and let cool. Candied radishes are great with strawberries on top of shortcake and/or ice cream.

Arugula/Salad Mix - You're getting a big mixed bag of both your favorite greens! This is one spicy, dense, delicious salad base! Add all your favorite veggies and/or fruit on top for an amazing salad to share at your 4th of July BBQ!

Pac Choi - These mid-size pac choi are tender and crunchy. They're perfect for chopping up and adding to a salad or stir fry, or try grilling them whole alongside some onions, carrots, and summer squash for a flavorful roasted-veggie side salad.

Garlic Scapes - The last of the scapes! Take advantage of these once-a-year treats by pickling them with some dill, peppercorns, and mustard seeds. You can use the same pickling brine described with the radishes. Keep the jar of pickling scapes in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. They will be ready to eat after a few days. Eat them plain as a snack, chop them and add to a salad, or finely chop them with some onions, salt and pepper to create a relish to enjoy on burgers or sausages!

Romaine Lettuce - This is a crisp, dense head of lettuce that serves best as the base for a hearty salad. In a bowl, mix together chopped onions, carrots, scallions, summer squash, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper with olive oil and vinegar. I like to add stone ground mustard, honey, seeds, nuts, raisins, and other pickled goodies, as well. Roughly chop or tear the lettuce after washing and layer the veggie mixture over the top. Add your favorite dressing or more O&V to your liking for a perfect summer salad!

Cinnamon Basil - The aroma of this basil is intoxicating! Check out the blog post from Week #3 for some typical suggestions on how to use basil. Some less typical uses include infusing gin or vodka with this basil for a unique cocktail, finely chopping the leaves and mixing them with some vanilla bean ice cream for a savory-sweet dessert, and adding it to a smoothy in place of cinnamon. 

Dill - Dill has a distinctly awakening flavor that works to complement sour things like vinegar and lemon. We recommend using dill in any pickling experiment you might undertake! It also works well in salad dressings with olive oil and balsamic and/or red wine vinegar - include some salt and pepper, and a drizzle of honey. You might also try marinating chicken with a lemon-dill concoction before grilling - or dress the chicken with oil, salt and pepper, lemon slices, and dill before baking.

 Summer Savory - This is a versatile herb that can be used like oregano or thyme. It is perfect for drying (and can be used fresh) and adding to any meat, herb rub, sauce, stuffing, or mix of roasted vegetables.

Featured Flower 

Phacelia: phacelia tanacetifolia, or purple tansy. This fiddlehead-like bloom has so much texture and movement and is an amazing pollinator attractor! This is our first time growing this flower and we are in love!! It was easily grown as a direct seeded plant and is over three feet tall!

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