Week of April 17, 2016
Yes, I am looking ahead. On the farm I always have the past, present, and future on my mind. I am referring back to previous years, concentrating on the weather windows to do things on the farm the current year, and preparing for future years. So this year, with an eye towards the future, we are planting more plums, pears, raspberries, and strawberries again. Here is a little update on what we are growing for the future.
Plums. The Yellow Egg plum, is a European plum that produces an abundance of large, oval, freestone, golden yellow fruit with a golden interior that tastes like honey. The Yellow Egg has juicy flesh and is very sweet and is grown for the outstanding quality of the fruit which is excellent for dessert, cooking, and canning. This addition to the Italian plums and Green Gages will round out our plum plantings. We will have Italian and Green Gages in September, but look for the Yellow Eggs in 2018.
Pears. This year we relocated our Stark Crimson pears and added some Orcas pears and a few Asian pears for pollination. The Orcas pear was discovered by horticulturalist Joe Long. He discovered this tree growing on his property on Orcas Island, Washington and it has become a regional favorite. The fruit is large, flavorful, scab resistant, and loaded each year with yellow fruit with a carmine blush. The pears are great for canning, drying, or eating fresh. Look for them in 2018. We will have Bosc and Conference pears this fall.
Raspberries. Tulameen is the “go to” choice for fresh market farmers. These fresh market berries are large, have good sugar content, and are bred for hand picking. We pick them every two days during the season. Our new plantings will produce in 2017, but really come on in 2018. For this season we will have Tulameen from our plantings in 2014.
Strawberries. Albion is an ever-bearing type with long, conical, symmetrical, and firm fruit bursting with sweetness. This strawberry produces from June to October. We love this berry because it is sweet, but also does well in August (when there is less rain!). Look for these in August 2016, with them really producing in 2017.
I have selected these fruit varieties for three reasons: 1) they grow well in Stanwood, 2) they work with my organic approach to farming, 3) I personally like the flavor and am excited to eat them!
Lastly Tomatoes. There’s nothing like a tomato fresh from the garden. We are planting hundreds of them, but for you home gardeners we will be offering plants very soon! These plants are grown by our friends at the Rents Due Ranch. We will start selling tomatoes (slicers, pears and cherries) and pepper plants in early May. The May window to plant tomatoes will be perfect this year, given the colder and wetter spring we have had. Stay tuned for more information!
Back to the farm, I am sure I can find something to do. 🙂
Recipe for this week’s box menu.
Sautéed Parsnips and Carrots with Honey and Rosemary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into slices 3 inches long by ¼ inch thick
1 pound parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored (if large), cut into same size as carrots
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower)
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add carrots and parsnips.
- Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper.
- Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes.
- Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables.
- Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Know Your Produce
Benefits: Radishes are a good source of vitamins C and B6, folate, riboflavin, and potassium, as well as many other trace nutrients. Due to their dietary fiber and diuretic properties, radishes promote healthy digestion and purify the kidney and urinary systems.
Storing: Remove the green leaves and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Preparation: Wash radishes and trim the roots just before using. You do not need to peel radishes. Soak red radishes in ice water for one hour to crisp before serving. You can grate or slice them for salads, or add as a garnish.
Search online to find new ways that you can add this power vegetable into your diet.