Hustle, hustle, hustle! When the weather turns and the sun comes out, it is all hands on deck. I have to keep reminding myself that it is only April and that I will be planting crops until August. I used to think that vegetable farming was a marathon race, but now I am more inclined to think of it as a track meet.
Yes, the season is long, but it really feels like a series of sprinting events, and the starter gun has definitely gone off. We are getting the peas, spinach, beets, chard and lettuce planted. We are also getting the ground worked up for potatoes, corn and winter squash. So in the spring we are mostly preparing the ground for planting and then planting it.
As the season marches on we are still working the ground for summer crops, like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, but we add in weeding – lots of it (ugh!). We also add harvesting of those early planted crops of lettuce, spinach, etc.
About June we move into a weeding, watering and harvesting cycle. Life also begins to mellow and the days become more manageable (ahh! deep breath). Life feels normal. We are not quite there yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We have lots to do between now and November. This week we are planting strawberries and potatoes!
Sprinter (Farmer) Tristan
Order your grass-fed beef before prices increase!
Prices for our local, grass-fed beef will go up $0.10 per pound after April 30th, so place your order today!
June beef is sold out, but we still have shares available for August and October.
Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese and Chives
1 medium head cauliflower
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Trim the stem from the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and simmer just until tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Drain the cauliflower florets and transfer them to a food processor. Add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to the food processor and pulse until creamy. Add the garlic and pulse for about 30 seconds.
4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the chives, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with additional chopped chives.
Adapted from Kelly Senyei’s recipe from justataste.com
Know Your Produce: Beets
If you’re not a fan of beets’ famously bright hues, then cover your work surfaces before you start peeling, slicing, and grating. To store beets, cut the greens from the roots, leaving an inch of stem attached, and place the different parts in separate plastic bags and refrigerate. Beet roots will last at least a month, but you should use the greens within three or four days.
Roasted Beet and Fresh Greens Salad
2 1/2 lbs. small beets, trimmed and scrubbed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups leafy greens, with any thick stems removed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets on foil lined with parchment. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; season with coarse salt. Wrap foil into a sealed pouch. Roast beets on a rimmed baking sheet until easily pierced with a skewer, about 45 minutes. Carefully open pouch; when beets are cool enough to handle, rub off skins with paper towels. Halve beets (or quarter if desired).
2. Arrange beets and greens in a serving dish. In a skillet, bring remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cumin seeds to a simmer; toss with beets and greens. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com