From the Land 4/25

food for thought
full share: collard greens, oranges, dry beans, head lettuce, radishes, dandelion greens, artichokes, swiss chard
partial: collard greens, oranges, dry beans, head lettuce

announcements

Where will you get your veggies, dairy and meat this summer? There are, of course, plenty of options: the Prescott/Chino/PV Farmers Markets, home gardens, other local CSAs, and the CSA Store. We hope you’ll consider joining one of the other CSAs for the summer until you join back up with us (school year for Prescott College folks, November for everyone else), but we’re also considering keeping fresh produce in the CSA Store over the summer. (We will definitely still offer dairy herdshares) Please follow this link and let us know your level of interest so we know how best to serve you: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8VDHT3X

If you are interested in joining the Whipstone or Yavapai Grown CSAs, you can find out more information here:

http://www.whipstone.com/our-csa-community/

http://chinovalleyfarms.com/community-supported-agriculture/

upcoming

last day of Prescott College CSA share
May 2

last day of community CSA share
May 9

Prescott Farmers Market
opens May 12!
Yavapai College front parking lot – 1100 E. Sheldon St.

Prescott Valley Farmers Market
opens June 1
Tim’s Toyota parking lot – corner of Glassford Hill and Florentine

Chino Valley Farmers Market
opens June 7
BonnFire Grill Restaurant – 1667 S. Highway 89

veg of the week

artichokes: Cynara scolymus

Though there is some speculation, the artichoke is thought by most to have originated in Northern Africa, where its wild relative is still found. They were introduced to Europe by the Dutch in the 15th century, then to the US by French and Spanish immigrants in the 19th century. Artichokes are perennials that can be grown from seed, cuttings, or division. In most climates they only produce the edible flower in the second and subsequent years, but some varieties can be grown as annuals with cultivation at the end of the first year.

uses: Most commonly, cooks remove all but half an inch of the stem and (optionally) a quarter of each leaf with scissors, then steam or boil the artichoke. Once cooked (usually for about an hour) the meat on the leaf is edible (the favored method is to scrape the leaf along the teeth and discard the fibrous upper part), as is the artichoke heart after the fuzzy top is removed. Hollandaise or mayonaise is often used as a dip. Artichokes can also be deep-fried, stuffed, sauteed, grilled, or roasted in a fire.

nutrition: Artichokes have been known since ancient times for their medicinal and health-giving properties. Fresh artichokes are rich in folic acid (prevents neural tube defects in fetuses), B-vitamin complex, vitamin K (bone health), potassium (controls heart rate and blood pressure), and antioxidants.

to store: Store in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week for optimal freshness.

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gardening
by Missy Gersht

Growing plants and/or food is good for our bodies and our psyche. Though not all of
us can dedicate the time or space to gardening, planting low-maintenance herbs is a
way to incorporate homegrown plants into our meals and our homes.
Chives, sage, mint, oregano, even tarragon and basil are easiest to keep, as they can be planted on large pots and placed wherever there is room, whether that is at a sunny window or on the back steps.

Herbs

Start by caring for your CSA basil. It can’t go in the ground until safely after the
anticipated last frost date (last week of May to play it safe, though many consider it safe after Mother’s Day). Your plant will thrive inside until then if you give it a little bit of water daily and sit it in a shady spot outside (but not overnight!)

Rosemary is a must-have, warming herb in winter cooking, and fortunately a
rosemary bush will flourish outdoors in Prescott’s climate year round! Rosemary is
stimulating to circulation and increases mental clarity.

Chives would be healthy and happy in a large pot in the sunny spot on the porch or
steps. They have a delicate flavor and beautiful flowers. Mixing light compost in with
the soil, one can sow chives from the seed during the late spring or plant a sprouted
section and they will spread. Chives can be snipped raw and sprinkled on potatoes,
omelets, casseroles, salads, steamed veggies or anything else you can think of!

Sage is planted in a somewhat sunny patch from seed or started after the last frost
is over. The thick, fragrant leaves will grow larger all summer and one can hang
and dry a harvest before winter and use the dried herb all winder long. Sage is
an anti-inflammatory and can help soothe arthritis, asthma or other inflammatory
issues. It can be used to season soups, omelets, stir fries, sauces, etc.

Mint is a refreshing and cooling summer herb and can be used in cold salads,
pesto, tea, deserts, etc. Mint relaxes the smooth muscle in our body, which is why the
tea from homegrown mint is a powerful stomachache cure. Plant mint in a spacious,
sunny spot with a bit of shade and give it lots of water!

Onions

The optimal time for planting onion seeds is quickly passing by, but you can still
sow seeds directly, about an inch in the ground, and thoroughly soak the soil after
sowing.

Beets

There is still time to get beets going. Plant your seeds a half inch in the ground
and give them about a square foot of space. This plant will provide a couple green
harvests as well as the root. Beets need care though: they need a sandy loam soil and regular water. After they sprout, I recommend a thin mulch cover to keep the
soil moist.

Tomatoes

For all you tomato lovers, now is a good time to germinate some seeds and grow starts
on your window sill. It is still too cold to sow seeds directly into the ground, but
give it a try a month from now. Sow ¼” in the ground.

Squash

The last frost is rapidly approaching, which means more growing opportunities.
You can start planting your summer squash seeds in a couple weeks (or start seedlings
indoors now). They grow wide so give them a three or four foot radius to grow into,
but don’t underestimate how much food one plant will give you throughout the season.

Potatoes

Buy some seed potatoes, or let some of your CSA potatoes sprout (if you’re using CSA
potatoes it might be best not to cut the potato before planting). Plant them deep,
about 6 inches, with the eyes facing up, and give them about a foot of space. As they
mature these plants are going to need protection from the brutal summer sun. And
don’t forget to bury them as they grow – this allows tubers to grow and produce new
potatoes. Potatoes are also easily grown in large potting containers.

Peppers

It is not too late to start some peppers inside your house. Plant five or so seeds
in each pot and then raise the healthiest seedling from each pot. Give these babies
a nourished beginning, a month or more indoors, and they will likely survive the
transplant. Plant them about 14-18 inches apart depending on variety, and don’t
plant them in a spot with all day sun. And remember to pick every mature pepper,
otherwise the plant won’t grow new peppers.

Salad Greens

It is not hard to grow delicious salads this time of year. Sow spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce,  and chard seeds directly into your garden bed, make sure they get daily water (in early morning or evening) and protection from all day sun exposure (with shade from a large deciduous tree or a small hoop house made of row cover fabric). Plant a succession group after your first bunch, harvest each plant gradually, and you can have salads for months to come! You will be stunned at how full-flavored your freshly picked greens are!

Flowers come a bit later in the season!

We hope this brief guide will be useful to help you start your garden early this year!

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tunisian artichoke and orange compote
adapted from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/08/dining/084RREX.html
serves 4-6

  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 4 large artichokes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  •  1/3 cup fresh orange juice, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  •  1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 thin-skinned oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • Pinch of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, more to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint.

Place about 4 cups of water and the juice of one lemon in a bowl. To clean artichokes, cut stem as close to base as possible. Break off leaves as far as they will snap. Using a knife and a vegetable peeler, trim rough parts. Cut off thorny tips. Quarter artichokes, and remove hairy chokes with a melon baller or paring knife. Rub with lemon, and drop into bowl with water and lemon juice.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a flameproof earthenware or stainless shallow saucepan, add garlic, and sauté gently for 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, juice of remaining half lemon, salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon. Drain artichokes, and add to pan with 1/4 cup water. Cover with crumbled wet parchment paper and a tight-fitting lid, and set over lowest heat to cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender, turning artichokes once.

Meanwhile, combine orange sections, coriander and sugar in an eight-inch skillet, adding up to 3 tablespoons orange juice depending on juiciness of oranges. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Taste, and add extra sugar if still bitter.

With a slotted spoon, transfer glazed orange sections to a serving dish. Add artichokes to syrupy juices in skillet, and cook until glazed. Transfer artichokes to serving dish.

Add artichoke cooking juices to skillet. Reduce quickly to a few tablespoons, correct seasoning with salt, pepper, a few drops of lemon juice and a drizzle of fresh oil, and pour over artichokes and oranges. Cool. Just before serving, scatter mint sprigs on top.

swiss chard with pinto beans and goat cheese
adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/swiss-chard-with-pinto-beans-and-goat-cheese/
serves 4

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard – rinsed, stems removed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup pinto beans, cooked and drained
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add Swiss chard, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover and mix in the pinto beans, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking until the chard is wilted, about 4 more minutes.

Transfer the chard to the baking dish and dot with goat cheese, pushing it down into the dish.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the goat cheese is warmed.

carrot, orange and radish salad
adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/carrot-orange-and-radish-salad-recipe/index.html
serves 4 to 6

  • 4 carrots
  • 6 radishes
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • Kosher salt

Slice carrots and radishes as thinly as possible and add to a large bowl. Add mint and cilantro. Remove the peel and pith from the oranges. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes to remove the orange segments; add them to the carrots. Squeeze the membrane to extract the rest of the juice and add the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, orange flower water, and salt, to taste. Mix to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour over the carrot mixture and gently toss to coat. The salad can be served immediately but allowing it to sit for 1 or 2 hours will help the flavors to blend. Just before serving, taste and adjust seasoning.

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3 thoughts on “From the Land 4/25

  1. Pingback: A Chance To Try Something Different…Something New! « Planting The Seeds

  2. Pingback: hyssop – agastache cana – bubble gum | Word and sentence

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