Weekly Weed Archive

Week One

May 16, 2012

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Sorrel
  • Miners lettuce
  • Mache
  • Batavian Full Heart
  • Red Cimarron Romaine Lettuce
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Spring Onions
  • Choose your Spinach, Red Vein or Classic green Bloomsdale

Welcome to all our new Share Holders. Thank You to all of you who are with us for another season or returning for Summer.Sincerely, thank you for continuing to support a small sustainable family farm that loves growing your food. Food that is organic,nutrient rich and taste fabulous. A couple of things, produce is only field rinse if that.You must wash your produce .It is NOT ready to eat. Washing with water is fine. You are only washing off dirt no commercial fertilizer,pesticides,fungicides,herbicides or cides of any kind. We want you to enjoy this season and eat the food in your harvest basket. Think differently. Do NOT plan a menu then go shopping. See what you are getting in your share and plan around that. We will include recipes,hints and helps in here.We have a recipe exchange would love for you to post on it as well as pictures.Feel free to ask other share holders what they are doing,ask us ,use face book and of course google it!

Cheese Share

Colby, Cave Aged 5 months just reaching its peak of flavor. Excellent for cooking with ,melts nicely.

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking, and Keeping:

Almost all greens do best if washed,spun dry and put in a bag in the fridge. Sorrel We like to think of this as our signature green. It is one of the few greens you will get in all 4 seasons. It is more of an herb and in the Buckwheat family. A bright lemon flavor.We use it in everything.Raw,cooked,sauteed,steamed.Citrus is not growing on trees around here so we use this in a smoothie or for juicing.It is most famous for soup.Brightens up a salad. Chiffonade in a cream sauce for pasta.Lovely in eggs.De vine in a Quiche.Wrap chicken or fish.Use in place of spinach. Make Pesto using Sorrel instead of basil. Made into puree it can be frozen and used for later. Do you see why we love it!

Miners Lettuce or Claytonia,in California where I come from it is everywhere, so much so that no one can see it. In the local mountains it becomes carpet in Spring. Alice Waters used it in salads at Chez Panisse back in the 80’s . In gourmet circles, miner’s lettuce has become commonplace, an afterthought. It is the iceberg lettuce of wild foods. Undeservedly so. Miner’s lettuce is pleasingly crunchy, mild-tasting, remains tender even when in flower, and is so loaded with vitamins it will cure scurvy. The plant got its name because the Gold Rush miners ate it to stave off the disease, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency; they learned this trick from the local Indians, no doubt.

All of these qualities impressed early explorers so much they saved the seeds and brought them back to Europe to grow, first as a curiosity, then as a food plant.This is a rare thing. Nearly all our edible household weeds are of European origin. For our very own miner’s lettuce to be brought back to Europe, and for it to become a widespread edible weed, is rare.

So far as eating miner’s lettuce is concerned, there is really no reason to stray beyond the salad. It’s how the Native Americans ate the plant – although I think I’ll skip the trick performed by a few tribes that lived around Auburn, California: They would apparently strew miner’s lettuce leaves along the highways of a particular kind of ant, which would then excrete something acidic (formic acid, maybe?) on the leaves, flavoring them like vinegar. I think I’ll stick to vinaigrette.

Mache Since the 17th century, French salad eaters have enjoyed a s weet, nutty leaf called mache lettuce. Not easy to pick even big ag has to pick it by hand. Batavian Full Heart ,Endive/Escarole A long appreciated European delicacy. You can tie the outer leaves around the inner heart to blanch, which makes the crop milder; other folks prefer the slight bitterness as a counterpoint in their salads. We hope you are in that category because as you can see we never tied the outer leaves.

Now for something a little more familiar.

Red Cimarron Romaine 18th century heirloom lettuce. Sometimes less is more. We just use good olive oil and balsamic on our salads. Sometimes a little minced garlic too. Rainbow Swiss Chard – no matter the color – it is a nutritious and versatile leafy green. It is high in vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. It is completely interchangeable with spinach in any recipe – lasagna, spanikopita, etc. – and in fact is more nutritious because it lacks oxalic acid, an element present in spinach and sorrel that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb minerals.

The bigger leaves are best in smoothies,juiced,or braised in some way. Great steamed or sautéed, chopped into soups, baked into quiche or scrambled with eggs, added to casseroles, steam it, drizzle it with a little vinegar, salt and olive oil. Don’t be afraid to chop up the stems and eat them too.

Spring Onions these are simply onions picked before they become mature full grown onions late this summer. Because of their mild flavor, spring onions taste great in raw salads; they can also be grilled, roasted, or stir-fried.Store in a plastic bag. Unlike mature onions they get slimy fast you can trim off the roots; cut off the top of the greens, and slice the bulb into rounds.

Spinach You choose

Red Vein or Bloomsdale Longstanding. Bloomsdale is the old standard since 1925. If you read this then you will know to choose the Red Vein .It is here for the LAST time and will be gone until next winter.

What is happening on the FARM …. I am soo excited about what is happening around here both in my head and for real. Baby Goats,a Jersey Cow calved a heifer,chicks hatched by our Ellie. The acre next to us in production. A thousand plus asparagus starts ,purple and heirloom Martha Washington. A crop that produces for twenty years. We plan on being here for awhile. Making artisan bread. Enjoying those who are volunteering. Could not do this with out help and all of you.

Hope you enjoy your basket this week. Symbria, Lynn & Sara

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