Box #4 6/24 & 6/28
We are very happy to see that a measure as simple as keeping beds covered with thin row cover can provide such nice results in insect control! Now we just need to get another bed seeded so there is plenty to go around! If you're ever trying this in your home garden, beds need to be covered immediately after seeding, before beetles have found the tender sprouts to munch upon.
Peas: We did not grow these peas. Justin was over at our other field that we're leasing and talking to the owners, who are mostly home gardeners but grow a little extra of some things. They have a bounty of Sweet Peas, and we had a crop failure of sweet peas (sad, but true).
There may be other occasions this summer that we add in produce grown by a farmer/gardener friend of ours whose practices we agree with, if they have a bounty of something that we either didn't grow or had problems growing. We'll let you know if that is the case. Enjoy the sweet crunch!
If you are someone who usually picks up on Wednesday, you know that you already got peas because we wanted to get them to you before they went out of season. This week you'll have something else in your box other than peas.
Today we harvested a few cabbages, a few cucumbers, and a few zucchinis. Surely by next week there will be at least one of those in quantity to put in boxes. This will be the last cilantro for a little wile as this bed is going to seed and our next is just barely planted.
Recipe Idea: Arugula Oregano Pesto
Arugula is pretty versatile and easy to eat up fresh or thrown in at the end of a saute. But if you're looking for some inspiration, this is tasty! I use a food processor to make pesto, but you could mince it all by hand if you don't have a food processor and do have a lot of patience.
Put 2-5 cloves of garlic in the food processor with about 2/3 cup nuts and about 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/4 tea. salt. Blend until well chopped. I often use sunflower seeds because they are affordable, yummy, and fairly neutral. You could also use walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, brasil nuts, or any nut that you think would taste good in this recipe.
Open food processor and add: whole bag of arugula, oregano leaves stripped from 2-4 stalks of oregano (depending on how strongly oregano flavored you'd like it), and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Blend again until smooth and scoop into a bowl.
Mix in grated Parmesan or crumbled feta if you would like to add cheese to the pesto. I sometimes add cheese and sometimes do not.
Pesto goes well in pasta, as a dip, or on pizza.
If you're like me and love pizza but need a crust recipe that works well try this one from King Arthur called "The Easiest Pizza You'll Ever Make". It works great over here. When it says 2 tablespoons "pizza dough flavor", just use 1.5 tablespoon garlic powder and .5 tablespoon onion powder, or nothing at all if you don't have it around
Highlight on Oregano
To use fresh oregano, the leaves first need to be stripped off the stalks. You can also dry the oregano. It is easier to leave it on the stalks to dry, then once dry hold over a bowl and the leaves crunch off the stalks very easily. Delicious fresh or dry in salads, pastas, beans, meats/marinades, and salsas. You can also infuse it in either apple cider vinegar or in olive oil.
Like many culinary herbs, oregano is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It soothes digestion and relaxes the nervous system, which also encourages good digestion. Cuisines of all cultures include culinary herbs not only for flavor but because herbs make our food safer to eat by acting against pathogens that can enter our body with food and because they aid in the digestion process.
Oregano is also clearing to the lungs and makes a nice tea for respiratory congestion and immune support. Its anti-spasmodic properties make it calming to a cough too.
Enjoy adding oregano to your food this week!