Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 5: Heat Wave

If you somehow didn't notice, it has actually been hot the last few days!

And the crops are loving it.

For example, these lovely potato flowers are thoroughly enjoying
the summer weather.
Though we are still playing catch-up a bit as we finish getting our fall crops in, this is the time of year when we primarily focus on maintaining what we've planted so that it will be at its best come harvest time. It's the time for weeding and trellising and hoping the weather cooperates by giving us a bit of summer heat, mixed with just enough rain, which is what it did this week :)

The hoophouse tomatoes (this photo is from last week,
tomato harvest looms ever closer!) are just one of
the crops that need trellising this time of year.
The transplants are putting on size. We'll be harvesting all your favorites soon.

The lacinato kale was late to get in this year, but
it's well on its way to harvest now.
And we have some new crops to look forward to.

New crops like purple peacock broccoli. 
This week's share is full of a mix of old favorites and new delacies as well. It includes Kohlrabi, Hakurei, Mesclun, Braising Mix, Pea Shoots, Bunching Onions, Fresh Herbs, and Joi Choi OR Nappa Cabbage OR Brokali.

No, brokali is not a typo. It's a broccoli kale cross. Instead of making big heads of broccoli, it makes lots of shoots and tasty kale like leaves. We are actually trialing a few of these sprouting broccoli varieties this year (the purple peacock pictured above is one of them). This first variety, which is called Apollo, is just starting to make its first shoots. We were able to harvest enough for 24 members, the rest of you will get the last of the Joi Choi pac choi and the first of the Nappa cabbage for the season. We're hoping the Apollo will continue to make shoots throughout the season and, along with the other varieties we're trying out, help us get more broccoli into the shares over a longer portion of the season.

This is where I would usually include an original recipe. But this week, I decided not to. If I had come up with an original recipe it would have featured the kohlrabi, because the kohlrabi are very much the stars of the share this week and because they are a vegetable that we tend to get a lot of questions about. However, when pondering what the recipe would look like, I realized I have featured kohlrabi recipes on the blog several times over the years.

The time has come for a best of!

When reviewing the kohlrabi recipes I noticed that I say the following things (that all bear repeating) about kohlrabi every time I post about it:

1. Peel it! Kohlrabi is the only thing we grow that I always peel. The outside is tough and stringy. The inside is tender and sweet. If you eat the peel you will not like it, I promise.

2. Eat it raw with a little salt and lemon juice or honey and lime juice and possibly some cayenne or fresh herbs sprinkled on it. This is kohlrabi at its best. If you feel fancy, season with salt, lemon juice, etc. and grill it for a few minutes.

3. Use the leaves!!!!!! Kohlrabi leaves are better kale than kale is.

And my two favorite kohlrabi recipes are:

Kohlrabi Salad (with apples!) from July 8th 2013


Kohlrabi and Chickpea Salad from June 25th 2012

Both of these are, of course, raw. If raw kohlrabi doesn't do it for you (a possibility I believe exists but honestly cannot imagine) I highly recommend using them in place of the hakurei in last week's curry recipe. 

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