Quick update from the garden

Hope everyone is having a good week! The garden is really starting to bust at the seams… the time of the year when spring produce meets the summer produce and there’s that overlap of so much goodness! Radishes + cukes. Cilantro + zucchini. Spring sweet salad turnips + beets. It’s all starting to mature and this week’s CSA share will reflect that mix of spring meets summer.

Gorgeous salad turnips

Gorgeous salad turnips

It’s the time of the season where the garden is basically fully planted for the summer season. We still do a planting of arugula and lettuces and other green mixes every few weeks but as far as “long season” crops go (i.e. potatoes, squashes, carrots, beets) they are all in and growing like crazy. The majority of the work at this time of the year for us here at the farm is cultivating, weeding, and managing water and any pests and diseases that show up.

We had turned in a new section of garden this spring. Why? We want more space to rotate our crops. We have a decent crop rotation in effect for our existing garden space but it’s always nice to leave a patch for a season with some kind of cover crop so it can rest and we can interrupt the breeding cycles of pests and presence of any diseases. The area we had turned in had a lot of grass so we planted a cover crop of buckwheat with the hopes that it would choke out the grasses. Unfortunately we left too much time between turning the sod in and seeding our buckwheat and the grass got ahead. Lesson learned. In the near future we have a job to disk in all the grass and existing buckwheat (ok, it adds lots of organic matter) and then reseed another round of buckwheat. It’s always fun to share the successes with the garden but it’s also nice to share some of the lessons we learn as we go.

Earth soaked golden beets

Earth soaked golden beets

This week’s share of the harvest
1 giant Napa cabbage
1 bag Mixed Lettuce
1 bunch Radishes
1 bag Sugar Snap Peas
1 bunch Hakurei Salad Turnips – read about them in the CSA guide!
1 bunch Beets
1 Green Pepper

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How to use this week’s share

Well since that cabbage is so darn big, I imagine you will all be looking for multiple meal ideas to use it up. Here are a few to get you started:

IMG_20150703_184304842Stir fry – any kind!
Try your hand at Kimchi – there are lots of recipes available online
Napa cabbage soup
Cabbage Rolls
Taco/Wrap topping
Braised cabbage
Vietnamese rice noodle salads
Korean Coleslaw – from the CSA Recipe Guide

Shredded Napa Cabbage and Radishes

Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart
napa
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (preferably wholegrain)
2 Tbsp. sugar (or honey)
6 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
4-5 radishes, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup golden raisins
salt & pepper
chives (optional)

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and sugar. Toss together the rest and combine with the dressing to serve.

Napa Cabbage & Quinoa Dumplings 

Based on a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s all Good”
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cup Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup crumbled tofu or shredding cooked chicken
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
30 dumpling wrappers (pick them up at the grocery store)

Dipping Sauce: combine 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine the onion, garlic and cabbage in a food processor and chop until fine. Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil over medium heat and add the cabbage mixture with some salt. Cook, stirring on and off until the veggies are soft and begin to brown, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tofu/chicken and quinoa. Heat for a minute. Turn off the heat and add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Using a potato masher, mash until the mixture holds together. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Dumplings

To prepare the dumplings, lay out a few on a cutting board. Put a small heap of filling in the centre of each wrapper. Get a little bowl of water, dip your finger and then run it around the edges of the wrapper. Lay another wrapper on top and pinch the sides to make a square dumpling.

To cook, try a combination of steaming and frying. In a frypan, heat some neutral oil and place the dumplings in the pan, making sure they get some oil under them. Fry them for about 2 minutes until golden brown and then add 1/2 cup of water, put the lid on and let them steam. Watch you don’t burn yourself in that step! Let the dumplings steam for about 2 minutes. Remove and serve with dipping sauce.

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