Be astonished

Farm To Table Weekly

 Where health is valued, community matters, and simple home cooking is replacing commodity foods.

“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” 
 -from Mary Oliver poem titled “Sometimes” tells me the word astonished is defined as, “greatly surprised or impressed; amazed.” Well, that pretty much sums up my feelings when I sliced open the first purple napa cabbage (the super star of the Veggie Box this week!). ….WOW!...what a stunning vegetable! I’m so glad I saw it on Instagram last year. As someone who loves beautiful delicious produce I always get excited about a new (to me) crop.

     I’ve used quite a bit of it in the kitchen last week and I just love it! It is good raw or cooked. It loses some color when cooked. It tastes just like a regular green napa but the color is so AMAZING. I continue to be astonished. After all the rain last week, the pasture is beautifully green, the crops are growing well, and the tree line we planted (was that four years ago….?) looks the best it has ever looked.

     And the green isn’t the only thing growing; we are seeing an amazing ‘crop’ of beneficial insects on the farm this year! That’s right, not all bugs are bad. These carnivorous creatures such as ladybugs, ground beetles & lacewings feast on the aphids, caterpillars, cabbage worms, cutworms and more! It’s amazing to see them at work in the fields! We are excited to see that the work we have done building soil health in the last six years is really paying back in so many ways including healthy habitat for often difficult-to-attract beneficial insects.

     One place that we really got behind last year was in keeping weeds from going to seed in our permanent beds. We got behind and built in a pretty tremendous seed bank that we are battling right now. We are staying on top of it and so far so good...we are chanting “Never Again!” From this year on our weed pressure will be less and less every year.

    One cool thing about the style of minimal tillage that we use on the farm (definitely our favorite feature of this style of farming is the crazy awesome flavor and shelf life of produce) is that we aren’t bringing weed seeds up from deep in the soil so if we can reduce weed pressure in the top inch and a half of’s so sweet! Definitely a worthwhile investment.

   One thing that’s not growing well this spring, that you have probably been missing in your spring Veggie Box is weekly green onions. The two weeks we had them in the box they were from our large tunnel, planted the second week of March. The next planting was just two weeks later in the field but those poor little guys put up with a tremendous amount of wind and unusual cold this year.

    From now on there will be three plantings of early green onions! Big tunnel, small tunnel, field! Always learning!

   So many crops are looking great in the field right now! It looks like we will have garlic scapes and kohlrabi next week!

 CSA Week 6
 Partial shares get all the same veggies in ½ - ¾ amounts.
Super Greens
Green Butter lettuce
Red Beets with amazing tops
Purple (!!!) Napa Cabbage
 Lettuce Mix

 Recipe of the Week:

 CSA Creamy Dill Dip
Adapted from
 Ingredients: 1 c. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 T. garlic powder
 4 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
 1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley (or carrot tops!), finely chopped
 Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until completely combined. Chill for at least an hour and serve with your favorite crackers, chips, or veggies.

 Recipe of the Week:
Asian Stuffed Purple Napa Cabbage Leaves
Adapted from Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
2 carrots, shredded (can substitute for shredded beets)
1 c. cooked brown rice or quinoa
4–5 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. ginger, minced
1 small onion, minced
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. toasted sesame oil
2 t. rice vinegar
1 t. chili-garlic sauce s
alt and pepper, to taste
leaves from 1 large head of purple Napa cabbage
 Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your filling by gently combining uncooked beef (or turkey), shredded carrots, cooked rice (or quinoa), garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili sauce and a pinch of salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

To make your leaves easy to roll, use a rolling pin to flatten to make leaves more pliable. If you find that your leaves are on the smaller side, use two to roll, overlapping both ends to make one big leaf. Spoon your filling into each leaf. Carefully roll each leaf tightly and place side by side in a large baking dish. Pour 1 cup of water over stuffed cabbage rolls and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked through. Serve with juices from baking dish and additional chili-garlic sauce.