Week 2 - Scape Artists

 

Dear Spoon Full Family,

This week, we honor two very different, very special plants, both of which contributed delicious health to your CSA box. Getting to know these plants while they grow in the garden has inspired reverence in us. Several aspects of these plants remind us vividly how nature is full of miracles. So without further ado, two plant paeans (This week's vegetable roster is below): 

 
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1: Kale!

Kale is that person who comes to work early, stays productive all day long with a smile, and then lingers late after everyone else has left. You want kale on your team. 

In the garden, kale absolutely jams. The more leaves we pick off the base of its sturdy stalk, the more the top leaves grow up to the sun. Its hardier than Wim Hof in the cold (in fact, the cold nights we still get here at the farm, this time of year, probably makes our kale sweeter!), and also tolerant of wind and heat. We literally say "thank you" to the kale plants as we harvest in the mornings. 

In the kitchen, kale is a multivitamin even more convenient than the kind that comes in pills in plastic bottles. It's one of those plants that you could almost live on, alone. It has more calcium than milk and more vitamin c than oranges. It has fiber, protein, and a newly-identified phytochemical called 'sulforaphane' that may inhibit tumor and fat cell growth (wow)! 

All of us here at the farm eat copious amounts of our kale every day. It's so easy: all you have to do is rip or cut the leaves off their stalks and quickly sauté them in a frying pan with a little oil, salt, and balsamic (or apple cider) vinegar. Mmmmm.

 
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2: Garlic!

Some people claim that garlic was the first domesticated crop plant. We at Spoon Full don't know what was going on with garlic 10,000 years ago, but we do know what's happening today (early June 2018): Garlic scapes! 

'Scape' is the name for a beautiful false flower stalk that curls up from the center of hardneck-variety garlic plants in early summer (one month before the bulbs are ready). They taste like a slightly-milder version of garlic, and carry many of the same medicinal properties (excellent for heart, respiratory, and immune health). 

We snap the scapes off of our garlic for two reasons: because doing so encourages larger bulb growth underground, and because the scapes are delicious in pesto or grilled (special recipe here or below). 

Fun fact: the workers who built the great pyramids were partially paid in garlic, but Egyptian high priests wouldn't eat it because they considered it an aphrodisiac. 

We hope you now love kale and garlic as much as we do, or at least more than you did before, because they're coming to your house! Here are the full contents of this week's CSA boxes (bold items are in Whole-Earth boxes only, italicized items are in Solo boxes only):

  • Garlic scapes
  • Bok Choi
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Mini Romaine Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Beets!
  • Kohlrabi ("What is Kohlrabi?")
  • Turnips
  • Spinach
  • Head Lettuce

And here is a divine recipe, from Spoon Full Farmer/Chef Geoffrey Van: 

Grilled Garlic Scapes

And finally, here is a photo of our herd of beautiful cows welcoming a brand-new calf to the world. We hope your life is full of this type of love.

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Mericos Rhodes