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June 13, 2014

Posted 7/1/2014 10:57pm by Don Kretschmann.

June 13, 2014

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

By late last week we knew for sure our ship had left port and there was no turning back from the 2014 season. Picking lettuce had commenced in earnest, a peek under the row covers revealed the first tiny zucchini were beginning to form, and we began straw-mulching the tomatoes. Nary a spare moment nor rest until these will have been staked, tied, irrigated, picked, washed, sorted, sold, frosted, stakes pulled, field dismantled and planted to winter rye. OMG! There will be no more leisurely chats until 'ol Jack Frost puts and end to the madness. That said, we love the limitless salads. Winter rations are over.

We always plant a generous amount of parsley in our garden and because it's so good for you and re-grows again and again producing crops from early June until late November. We seed this very early in the greenhouse--Feb. 27 this year--and transplant it into the field by hand. In a short window of time when the fields dried out, we planted it on April 3. It was just about a perfect take and has grown to be as luscious and beautiful as ever we've had. One hears all about benefits of the "Mediterranean diet", and the usual components of olive oil, red wine, and fish. Check out the abundant healthy contributions of this herbal staple of the region. It's can be used with abandon in fresh salads and cooking. We'd like to keep it picked while in it's prime, because if you wait too long to pick, parsley begins to yellow.

Upcoming will be the brassica greens--kale and collards--as well as cabbage and zucchini.

Hoping you enjoy the greens, berries, and the rest of nature's June bonanza, we are sincerely,

Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

For Extra Purchase: Seven Grain bread @$4/loaf. Indicate the week or weeks.

Notes of Note: If you send a message, please indicate your stop letter and the last name under which the account is listed. If the name on your check is different than the account name we have, please indicate that name on the memo line. You can access information--like phone number of your stop host, schedule for chickens, recipes, etc. on our website. If for some reason your box is missing, 1. Let the stop host know because often someone took the wrong box and there'll be one left over late in the evening for you. 2. At certain stops (ones where we deliver chickens) we can easily bring you a box when we pick up the empties the following day--if you let us know in time. If you are missing a supplemental item , like coffee, mushrooms...let us know right away so we can best remedy. Everyone gets a reminder a day prior to pickup whether you're a light share and it's your off week, or if you're on vacation. Likewise, everyone gets the e-mailed newsletter. Vacations: Send us a note with the subject line simply "vacation" telling us when you'll be gone. Indicate the specific date and whether you want to donate the box or get a credit. If you're a light share, let us know if you want to skip three weeks in a row (the default), if you want an extra box the week before or after, or if you want to just skip two weeks, then swap cycles and continue every other week. Remember that if you get coffee, cheese or chickens, this won't work.

Our Favorite Shortcake: Sift 2c. flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tbs. sugar. Mix in 1/2 c. oil well, until evenly distributed. Beat 1 egg and 5/8 c. milk and mix with dry ingredients. Pat out with oiled hands or use a plastic spatula to spread dough onto an oiled cookie sheet about 1/2 " thick. Bake @375 deg about 20 min. (we use all whole wheat flour with fine results) Cut into squares, top with berries and whipped cream. (I maintain this is an excellent breakfast, though Becky lectures me otherwise) So many people seem to be becoming aware they are gluten intolerant, this old favorite can easily be altered by using buckwheat groats. Buckwheat is not in the wheat family at all, it's actually an herb.

Tabouleh: (Lebanese dish) to 1c. cooked bulgur (cracked) wheat, add 1/2 c olive oil, 1/2 c lemon juice, 1 bunch finely chopped scallions, lg bunch finely chopped parsley. Salt to taste. (Cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery can also be finely chopped and added.) In this case, one can put all ingredients in a ceramic or glass crock (wheat uncooked) with the tomatoes and cucumbers on top and refrigerate for at least 1 day, and up to two weeks. Another refreshing addition is a little finely chopped fresh mint. Collards are spring and fall favorites around here. They hold up much better than even kale when cooked, not getting mushy. They are also a nutritional powerhouse.

Collards: Boil until tender in water or with meat broths. Combine with beans or just spritz with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Salt to taste. Can be used like kale.

Caesar Salad Dressing: Blend ½ c. lemon juice, 2 tsp. Cider vinegar, tsp. honey, 2/3 c. olive oil, ½ c. romano/parmesan cheese, ¼ tsp. thyme leaves, 2 oz. Salted anchovies.

Veggie ID's: Oval leaves with tendrels in the mixed greens bag are pea greens. They add pea flavor to salads or can be used to make a special pesto or even sauted. Tiny bunched leaves-thyme; round leaves on stem which could be woody near the bottom-oregano(smell it). Herb which resembles pine needles--rosemary. Very large leaves w/multi colored stems--Swiss chard. Large flat blue green leaves are collards. Note: oregano should be removed from the bag and allowed to air dry or it will rot. When it's crispy/dry, crumble leaves off the stems over a sheet of newspaper. Take out any stems which might have dropped, then put the oregano into an air tight jar. It should last all through the year. Washing of the greens: We usually wash our greens to knock the bulk of rain-splashed soil off the produce. We don’t claim to have them “table ready”. Rewash to your pleasure.