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April 30,2014

Posted 4/30/2014 8:55am by Don Kretschmann.

April 25, 2014 Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Hope you enjoy this "pick-up" box at the time of the season when we are all most craving something fresh. Winter has certainly hung on this season far longer than it has for quite a few years. On the other hand, in our many years farming we've seen all manner of seasonal variation. It isn't odd to have had any of the weather of 2014.    It sure looks nice to see the apples breaking dormancy, beginning to bud and leaf out. To follow next is one of our favorite times of the year--apple bloom. With all the insect pollinators working the nectar, pollen is spread around the flowers leading to what we call sex in the orchard--the beginning of thousands of apples. It's a magical time. Feel free to stop out and stroll through the blooming trees.    A wet March had put us a little behind our normal fieldwork schedule. The last two weeks we've been hustling to get fields tilled and the first crops in the ground. We're now nearly up to date. Onions, parsley, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, and collards have all been transplanted. Spinach, beets, carrots, and peas are seeded. And the early spuds were planted yesterday. All the tender crops like tomatoes and peppers are in our coldframes waiting until there's no danger of frost. Successions of lettuce continue biweekly.    With you, enjoying the edible greens of the spring, we are Your farmers,--Don, Becky & the Farm Crew P.S. For those of you new to the Goldrush apples, they can be very dark on the surface (something called Sooty Blotch) or they can seem soft. No matter how crinkly, they are never mushy and always crisp. The darkness on the surface can be scrubbed off, or not--it isn't harmful. We typically quarter them and remove the seeds for crunchy, tasty snacks. Chard is becoming one of our favorite greens because it is so versatile and has a long season. Here's one of our favorite breakfasts... Spring Greens Omlette: Chop up several green onions, chop a cup of greens (mizuna, kale, or Swiss chard greens are good), and dice two potatoes. Saute the potatoes in olive oil until tender, toss in the chopped onions and greens, stir a few times until they begin to wilt. Pour three eggs beaten with milk on top and cover tightly. Turn heat to low and simmer. When bottom begins to “set” but before all the egg is totally cooked place pieces of your favorite cheese on top and put under the broiler until cheese melts and top is slightly golden brown. It will puff up and look like a picture in a cooking magazine! Potato Pancakes: Clean and grate potatoes, add salt, and egg or two, and enough flour to make a kind of batter (about 1/2 c per 2# potatoes). It's good to let this batter sit for a few minutes. As the salt draws out the moisture from the potatoes, the batter will get thinner. More flour can be added to make a good batter. Fry in oil. Grated onion may be added. You've likely had these hors doerves with spinach, but you would likely not know the difference when made with Swiss chard Chard Mini-cups- Saute 1/2 c. minced onion (can be green onions too) in 2 tbs olive oil until onion softens. Add about 10 oz. chopped chard and sauté until wilted. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and cook another 2 min. (add a few tbs. water if needed) Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, 4 oz. well crumbled feta cheese, 2 tbs flour and 2 scrambled eggs. Fill mini filo cups (frozen foods section) with mixture and bake @350 about 20 min or until firm.