Week 1 - The Last May Flowers
Dear Spoon Full Family,
First there was nothing. Now there are a million things, growing fast in the light of the lengthening days, sprouting green leaves, blooming flowers of yellow, white, pink. The Yakima River runs high with melted snow. Amid all the exuberant growth, we work in the fields to bring the bounty of sun, soil, and clean water to you, as the 2018 Spoon Full CSA begins.
Rejoice, for it is salad season! Your CSA will start off very green! Here is what this week's boxes will contain (Bold items are in the Whole Earth boxes only, and not the Solo boxes):
Encore baby lettuce salad mix with "rocket flowers" (Arugula blossoms!)
Kales (Toscano and Red Russian)
Chamomile flowers (for tea!)
Head Lettuce (Romaine or Butter)
You may have noticed one unusual item in this week's CSA... something not typically found in a market garden's offerings. Chamomile flowers! These flowers grow in one of our perennial hedgerows, which are interplanted among our garden beds, and include diverse species of flowers, berries, and other shrub plants that live for decades. These hedgerows offer many benefits for our garden, including:
Habitat for predator insects like ladybugs (nature's healthy pesticides!).
Food for pollinator insects (our best friends).
Diverse root exudates to feed soil fungi.
Beautiful, useful, medicinal flowers and berries!
Chamomile is our very first harvest from these perennial hedgerows. Each tea bag, in our experience, steeps about two cups of water. We find the tea mildly fragrant and relaxing. It helps with digestion, and has an unbelievable number of ancillary health benefits, as described in this paper published by the National Institutes of Health. Steep your chamomile flowers in fresh-boiled water for 5-10 minutes, after dinner, and enjoy!
Here are a couple of recipes from our very own Geoffrey Van, to help bring the kale and the tatsoi to their highest potentials:
And finally, here is a gallery of wildflowers that have been blooming all around us here at Spoon Full Farm. We gratefully celebrate the beauty of the billions (possibly trillions!) of flowers that bloom one after another throughout the year, giving constant pollen and nectar to our honeybees and all the other native pollinators.