<< Back to main

June 6, 2014

Posted 7/1/2014 10:52pm by Don Kretschmann.

June 6, 2014

Greetings from the Kretschmanns, As people have asked this season how things were going, the reply has consistently been that everything has been almost idyllic--lots of moisture; narrow, but sufficient windows of dry weather to get field work and planting done. The severe winter seemed to have set the pests back a good bit, and we'd gotten an early lead in the groundhog war.

But in the last few days clouds have appeared to darken that sunny forecast. While cultivating over the weekend, I noticed about a quarter of the newly planted celery and celariac were missing leaves. Thinking it was groundhogs, we mowed the alfalfa field just up the hill but didn't find any hidden bunkers. We did spot several turkeys (which we've been seeing a lot of). Could it be the gobblers? Later, my heart dropped while cultivating the pepper field and finding animals had eaten nearly one third of the field! Unless we can find some organic plants to replace those lost, we'll have a light crop.

Spinach has suffered from overly "wet feet". The two early plantings sprouted nicely, only to be drowned when puddles of water. A third one is just poking through soil, crusted from heavy rains last week. We can only hope the other shoe will drop. We'll have lots more greens--lettuce, kale, collards--and then on to cabbage, onions, and hopefully broccoli, though it "buttons" into tiny heads because of early spring cold.

Hoping you enjoy the start of the season with all the greens, we are sincerely,

Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Notes of Note: The newsletters go out to all subscribers each week whether you are getting a box or not. If you send message during the season, 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.

Bumper crop of rhubarb! At our house, we start out with Becky's Rhubarb crisp for a few rounds, then on to other decadances...

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake: Melt 4 tbs. butter in bottom of 9x13" pan. Sprenckle evenly 1 c. brown sugar then top with 3 c. diced rhubarb and 3/4 c. raisins. Cream 3 tbs. melted butter 1/2 c sugar, 2 eggs until smooth. Sift 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp. baking powder. Slowly add and mix alternately dry ingredients with creamed ingredients and 5/8 c. milk until all is well mixed. Pour batter on top of rhubarb. Bake @375 deg.25 min. Remove from oven, loosen cake from sides with knife. Place a pan or cake platter on top of 9x13 and flip it over upside down. Scrape out any topping which remains. We've never been big on rhubarb pies, but a neighbor made this and it changed our minds.

Rhubarb Custard Meringue Pie: Dice 3 c. rhubarb. Make half recipe of hotwater pie crust and line pie plate, pinching the edges attractively. Separate 3 eggs. To the yolks, add 1 c. sugar, 1 c. milk or half and half, 2 tbs. flour, pinch salt. Mix until well blended. Spread rhubarb in crust, then top with custard mix. Beat eggwhites with 1/4 c. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar until stiff. Spoon the meringue over the top spreading just to the edge. Bake @ 350 deg. until meringue is golden brown--about 45 min. It takes nary 15 min. to put together this sauce which is heavenly over vanilla ice cream. It's also great over pancakes, waffles, cheesecake, poundcake, or puddings.

Rhubarb Sauce: Chop 2 c. rhubarb finely. Cook w/ ½ c. sugar over med. heat 15-20 min. stirring frequently until rhubarb is soft and sauce is thick.

Chard notes: Coarsely chop the stems and cook separately from the leaves--a little longer, but so they retain a little of their firmer texture. Chard can be used just like spinach. You can make spanikopita, balls, or mini filo cups, just as you would with spinach. It can also be easily chopped, sauted, and frozen for later use.

Vinegrettes: combine and shake well-1/2 c. olive oil, 2-3 Tbs. red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 med. clove garlic minced. For variety, add finely minced herbs or fruit juices or fruit vinegars.

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). Very large leaves w/multi colored stems--Swiss chard. 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.