Hello from the farm…

squashblossom3Hope you’ve had a good week, nourished by spring greens and strawberries.

So many of the plants are now in full flower and the pollinating bees, wasps, beetles, moths, and flys are moving around connecting plant to plant. It’s easy to move through the day not tuned in to this intricate creative process. And then you peer into one of these flowers and pause for a minute, reminded of this magnificent beautiful and intelligent life force at work everywhere around us.

Most plants are cross pollinators, requiring pollen to move from the flower of one plant to the flower of a different plant of the same species. Approximately 80% of this pollination is carried out by animals – mostly insects, but also birds, bats, and others. The other 20% of cross-pollination is carried out by wind and water.

Squash are pollinated by bees – either honey bees or the native bees of two genera, Peponapis and Xenoglossa, the so-called “squash bees” that visit the squash early in the morning. Each flower requires multiple visits in order to produce a full fruit. When a plant is not adequately pollinated the fruit will not grow to full size and will wither or rot on one end before it matures.

Other plants, like peas, have the capacity to self-pollinate, when the pollen from a flower fertilizes the same flower, or a different flower but on the same plant.  Peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are self-pollinators.

 

peaflowers

“Attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity” -Robin Wall Kimmerer

 
 
 

In this week’s share:

  • mixed salad greens
  • head lettuce
  • mixed cooking greens – kale, swiss chard, dinosaur kale, collard greens
  • beets
  • hakurei or scarlet salad turnips
  • kohlrabi

U-pick:

  • strawberries
  • cilantro
  • dill

Grateful for the bees, wasps, birds, and wind,

– Ray, Mary Joelle, Rosendo, Edvin, Alfonso, Jorge, Annie, Szal, Liz, Sammi, and Tory.


Recipes

Collard Greens are one of our favorites. We generally sauté some chopped onion until soft in oil or butter (or some of each), chop collards finely and toss them in with the onions. Add a little water and cover so the greens steam for a while. Then take the lid off to let the water steam off. Add salt. If we are not cooking them in broth (which is delicious) we often add a little balsamic vinegar. I personally think the key to cooking delicious collard greens is to cook them for a good while until they are very soft (like 20-40 mins) but its definitely not necessary.

 

Quick Collard Greens

adapted from Anchor Run Farm

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (optional, you can also just use water and they will still be tasty)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (also optional)
  • 5 1/2 cups tightly packed chopped fresh collard greens
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional again)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat 1/4 cup broth in a large Dutch oven (or pot, or deep frying pan) over medium heat until hot. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add collard greens and remaining 1/4 cup broth; stir well. Cover and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in crushed red pepper and salt.

 

Kohlrabi and turnip slaw

  • 1 pound kohlrabi (about 2 small heads or one large one, leaves included)
  • 1-2 medium turnip (about 8 ounces), peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Separate stems from kohlrabi bulb, trim, and discard tough bottoms of stems. Half leaves lengthwise then thinly shred crosswise. Trim root end from bulb and peel away tough outer layer; halve lengthwise.

Fit a food processor with a shredding blade (or use a box grater) and shred kohlrabi bulb and turnip.

In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, peanut oil, honey, and sesame oil; season with salt and pepper. Add scallions, kohlrabi leaves and bulb, and turnip to bowl; toss to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes.