Hail, Wind, and Summer

Welcome to Farm To Table Weekly where health is valued, community matters, and simple home cooking is replacing commodity foods. 

  NOTE: Farmstand and CSA PICKUP for the Week of the Fourth of July Farmstand / CSA Pickup Wednesday July 3rd 5-7 PM 

Happy Summer!

     The day before Summer Solstice this year, a cold front blew in, along with some 30-mile-an-hour gusts (Don’t worry! We are very ready for wind at the farm...though it does sound alarming if you are in one of the high tunnels during a wind gust). This ushered in a rainy first-day-of-summer with a high of 55.

     Did you know we have 16 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year? It often doesn't feel like summer on the first day of summer here in Montana. It’s weird to think that the days are already getting shorter before it even really feels like summer! This is a cool website for tracking the day length: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/kalispell

      With such long days, everything on the farm is growing so quickly and sometimes it’s like, Oh, wow, this planting is ready and the next one is too! Day length affects the growth rate of greens incredibly, and it is a big part of our crop planning here on the farm. We actually plant a huge amount of crops in summer for fall because plants are growing GROWING, GROWING...and then they pretty much grind to a halt.

      We also experienced the worst bit of hail we have had in the farm in the last 7 years. It made us extremely thankful for all the investments we have made on the farm to build tunnels and grow under protected space. Many long season crops will recover, many escaped with minimal damage, and some will be mowed into the ground and returned to the earth this week. The damage could have been so much worse and we are thankful it is something we will be able to ‘bounce back from’ pretty easily. 

     The first day of summer, sadly, doesn’t mean the first tomato. Unlike greens, which really respond to long hours of daylight, what tomatoes prefer is warm nights...so it takes a while! But this year it did mean we were able to harvest the first few cucumbers. We get a few rolling in the first few weeks of production and then, before you know it, hundreds of pounds a week! I expect they’ll start being in our veggie boxes for your Fourth of July dinner.

     Speaking of the Fourth of July….it falls on a Thursday this year, and we are guessing our Thursday pickup folks would like having their veggies before the Fourth, not after. We are so excited to pack your box every week, but this week especially has one of our favorite crops of the year--garlic scapes.

     We hope you enjoy them and have a great week! Not sure what to do with them...tons of resources in the LVFarm Academy. No time to take to look up the details this week? These beauties keep for weeks and weeks stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.

    Don’t forget! All veggies, even farm fresh veggies, need to be stored in plastic or glass in the fridge. Your fridge is basically a food dehydrator zipping the life out of fresh produce.

 CSA Week 7

Partial shares get all the same veggies in ½ - ¾ amounts.
Green Lettuce
Mini Romaine
Garlic Scapes--Substitute for garlic in a recipe, or whirl in the blender in a vinaigrette. Carrots with tops
Golden Beets--The beauty of golden beets? They don’t “bleed” all over everything, and they are SO sweet. The greens on these are so beautiful too!
 Bok Choi Broccoli Raab/Asian Green Flowers Raab-Broccoli Raab is meant to be eaten with tender stems, leaves, tiny florets, and all. The Asian Green Flowers are just the same! Toss them in your favorite cooking oil and char in a heavy bottomed skillet or follow the directions below and grill them alongside your baby romaine.

 Recipe of the Week: Grilled Baby Romaine with Grilled Broccoli Raab and Asian Green Flowers (adapted from NYTimes cooking)
 Despite the cold grey days…let’s fire up the grill and grill some...lettuce and flowers?


 This recipe for grilled romaine has great step by step directions. You can also toss your Broccoli Raab/Asian Green Flowers Raab in avocado oil and cook them right alongside your romaine.

 Recipe of the Week:
Spiralized Root Veggies with Garlic Scape Dressing
(Adapted from www.feastingathome.com)
4–5 cups (packed) spiralized root vegetables--a mix of any of the following: kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, carrots, golden beets (You can also make thin strips with a veggie peeler or grate the roots if you don’t have a spiralizer.)
 ¼ cup garlic scapes, sliced very thinly

½ cup whole milk plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 - 4 x 4 inch pieces of garlic scape (tender part, just below flower)
Salt and pepper to taste fresh herbs for sprinkling, optional (dill, parsley, mint or basil) Directions: Place 4-5 cups spiralized (or grated) summer roots and sliced red onion in a bowl. Blend dressing ingredients in a blender/food processor until smooth. Taste, add more garlic scapes if desired, and season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, toss with spiralized roots.