So, it rolls around again, another spring and the first CSA harvest. I’m looking forward to seeing you all in the shaded driveway of In the Kitchen talking veggies and sharing smiles. Right now there’s an early, cleansing summer rain, and Maisie and I are enjoying a day of staring at computer screens and drinking hot tea. A nice contrast from the last week of high-80’s weather and constant irrigation.
On the farm we’ve reveled in the frost-free spring. All the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and other tender crops are happy in the ground and establishing strong supports for the heavy fruits they will soon produce. The carrots and beets will be ready in the next few weeks. The sugar-snap peas are at the top of their trellis and flowering prolifically. It’s been a gentle ease into summer, and the crops as well as the farmers are sitting pretty.
In your CSA this week you will receive some onions that got confused. Every spring it happens, here in Nevada County where the spring has dramatic temperature changes. The onions start to flower (otherwise known as bolting), thinking two years have passed instead of one. The onion is a biennial plant, and it will normally grow for a year, store nutrients in it’s bulb and then re-sprout the following spring, grow a flower and produce seed. Unfortunately for us, with the dramatic hot and cold fluxes of foothill springs, the onions think two years have gone by and start to flower. This creates a smaller onion and sometimes a hard core in the bulb. Here’s a good article about this. So enjoy these smaller onions now, and expect some more in the fall when our spring planted (these onions were planted last fall) onions are ready to harvest.
You also get this week one of my favorite unusual veggies. Something rarely seen outside a CSA box or farmer’s market…. garlic scapes! These are the beautiful flourishes of the hard-neck garlic. The flower that curls around itself and creates a delicate spiral (or question mark) at the top of the garlic plant. These taste just like garlic, but a little milder and way less peeling. Great for salad dressings and greens, just mince them like you would regular garlic. They’re also extremely artistically inspiring, so I welcome any poems, prose, songs or paintings brought on by the muse of the garlic scape.
Thank you all so much for once again choosing to support local agriculture and being a true advocate for change. This is one place where values and good living come together in a beautiful place of ripe tomatoes and golden sunflowers. I’m so grateful to grow food for you and count you in my community.
I hope you all enjoy these early-season veggies, and get ready for some serious bounty come July.
- fava beans
- salad mix
- garlic scapes
- spring onions (may have a hard inner core as most of the onions have bolted)
- italian herb bundles (rosemary, sage, oregano)
The camomile can be dried or used fresh for a calming cup of tea
Roasted Garlic Scapes:
One of my favorite ways to eat the beautiful curling flower of the hard-neck garlic is to simply roast them in the oven. Put them in an oven pan, coat them generously with olive oil and a little salt and roast at 375 until soft and a little crispy. They make great appetizers.
Fava beans are another early summer delicacy. They are also delicious roasted or grilled and eaten like edamame. Just suck the beans out of the pod with your teeth. You can also shell the beans and then take the tough outer coating off each bean. They are delicious and tender at this point and can be lightly steamed or sauteed and served with pasta or a grain.