This Week in the Garden
The past week has involved a lot of harvesting, water draining and family time. We had Mathias’ sister + family visiting from Denmark and so they were out with the kids helping harvest and wash things for CSA and market. We had a huge storm at the end of last week and I’m fairly sure we had some hail in the garden because the upper beds show some evidence: i.e. holes in the chard and romaine. The new foliage growing seems to be fine though, so the plants must be recovering.

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Potatoes Flowering

Today our 2nd batch of chicks arrived – 150 of them! They are settling in nicely. The weather at this time of year makes it much easier to manage day old chicks compared to the cooler temperatures in May, when our first batch arrived.

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BCS Tractor with harrow, incorporating compost + organic fertilizer.

Today, in addition to harvesting, we were flipping some beds and getting in succession plantings. We pulled out the spinach plants from the spring, harrowed with our amazing BCS Tractor and have already planted more radishes and scarlet turnips. The new tractor makes everything SO much easier for both myself and the soil.

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Our lettuce transplants, grown at Connaught Nursery, ready for planting.

This Week’s Share of the Harvest
1 Romaine OR 1 bag Lettuce
1 pint Sugar Snap Peas
1 bag Cilantro
1 bunch Young Onions
1 bunch Rainbow Chard
1 bunch Carrots
Weekly ONLY: 1 bunch Beets
Bi-Weekly ONLY: 1 Savoy Cabbage
Large: 1 Garlic + 1 bunch Carrots + 1 Cucumber

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Our hens feasting on garden refuse.

Beautiful Rainbow Chard
Chard is one of those greens that just loves to grow in our climate. My family always grew it in place of spinach because it doesn’t bolt (go to seed) in our hot summers. It also seems to grow in large amounts, which makes it a garden favourite and therefore a CSA favourite. Plus, did I mention that it’s a versatile, nutrient dense green?

I’m often using chard as a raw “lettuce”, steamed as a bed for poached eggs or chopped up in some kind of stir fry. If you like Spanikopita, consider this recipe… just make sure you have some phyllo pastry in the freezer and feta in the fridge.

Swiss Chard Pie

  • 2 to 2 ½ pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed thoroughly
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of dill and parsley, or 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and oregano
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or 2 tablespoons each melted butter and extra-virgin olive oil, combined, for brushing (note, you can also make this using your own pie dough)
  1. Boil a large pot of salt water. Add the chard and blanch for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to pull out the chard and cool in an ice bath for a few minutes. When cool, squeeze and drain the excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil/butter a 10-inch tart or cake pan. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the greens, herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir the mixture for a minute, until the greens are coated with oil. Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and crumble in the feta. Toss with the greens, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Line the pie dish with pieces of phyllo, lightly brushing each piece with butter or oil and turning the dish after each addition so that the edges of the phyllo drape evenly over the pan. Fill with the greens mixture. If using phyllo, fold the draped edges in over the filling, lightly brushing the folded in sheets of phyllo ,then layer the pieces for the top, brushing each piece with butter or olive oil. Stuff the edges into the sides of the pan.
  5. Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until the crust is golden. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

 

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