Already week 3 of the share and things are ticking along nicely here on the farm! The spring vegetables will slowly taper off over the next week or two and some exciting summer vegetables will be ready to take their place. Although we were a bit late getting most things in the ground due to wet weather at the beginning of May, most crops seem to have caught up.
We have carrots in the share this week, which is an exciting early addition! Normally, carrots are a couple of weeks later but I started these carrots earlier than normal under cover of one of our caterpillar tunnels (a movable hoophouse). This early and protected start means that they are ready to go earlier than normal. We will have a couple weeks of early carrots, then take a break for a few weeks and then there will almost always be carrots for the last half of the shares. For those with a carrot add-on, you will not start receiving your add-on until the later carrots start.
When I was doing my field walk yesterday I was pleased to see mini broccoli, zucchini, and cucumbers forming so these crops will all be coming soon. Our peas were one crop that were late to be planted and then were swamped with water but it looks like we will have enough peas for everyone next week. And our first planting of early potatoes is just starting to flower so new potatoes will follow a few weeks later.
On the weather front, we are on day two of no rain which is a bit of a record so far this spring! And it looks like, from the weather forecast, that we should have a stretch of nice days coming. Believe it or not, some of our fall brassicas have been seeded in the greenhouse and will be planted in the fields in just a few weeks time! Farming is a complex combination of working very much in the present moment, while simultaneously thinking ahead several months. Sometimes it makes my head hurt but mostly the balance is fun.
Collards will be an option again this week and I think they make a great alternative to chard or kale because they can be used in a way that those other greens cannot. My all-time favourite way to eat collards is to use them in place of wraps, buns, or bread. Today, we had bean and rice burritos with all the toppings all rolled up in the collard leaf. Everyone in the family loves this and it's a healthy gluten-free alternative. You can also wrap up burgers or sushi rolls using collards. For people that find either kale or chard too strong tasting, you might enjoy the milder taste of collards. Early summer collards are the nicest because their leaves are tender and easily pliable.
Alternatively, you can try this yummy sounding collard recipe:
Baked Eggs with Collards and Cheddar Garlic Grits
1 large bunch collards
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup quick cooking grits
1 - 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
4 - 6 eggs
Oil individual baking dishes. Heat over to 400 degrees. Wash collards; cut out stems. Chop greens. Steam or saute until just wilted. Sprinkle with vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Set greens aside. Place 3 1/4 cups of water and garlic in saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in quick grits; lower heat, cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and half the cooked greens. Portion grits into baking dishes. Make a well in the center, nestle the remaining greens into the indentations, and crack an egg over the top of each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggs are set, 10 - 15 minutes.
Taken from: From Asparagus to Zucchini: a guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce by Fairshare CSA Coalition