The garage floor has been mopped and swept clean of winter debris; the metamorphosis into Jubilee Farm Market is nearly complete. Wooden market boxes have been oiled and are ready to be filled for the 2014 season that begins this Wednesday.
What to expect? Woodland greens include Solomon’s seal and nettles along with some dock – NOT burdock. Solomon’s seal is similar to asparagus in flavor. I like it best lightly sauteed in olive oil. It can also be added to a stir-fry dish at the very end of the cooking process. Nettles have gotten a prickly rap but the trick is not to roll around in them. They can be harvested with gloves and then tongs used to move them in the cooking process. Once slightly cooked or hot water poured over them, they lose their itch. Nettles can be used anywhere cooked spinach is called for, in a soup they keep their vibrant green color.
Dock, as in curly dock or one of its cousins, is in the same family as sorrel. This was noted in my June 10, 2013 snippet if you would like to read more. I like it cooked with beef and served with a grain.
I have been munching on all the spinach cast-offs and my-oh they are sweet! CSA market boxes will get a salad mix of Tyee and Space spinach with several kinds of lettuce. The first round of radishes will be ready to harvest. They are intercropped in the tomatoes and the pac choi and need to come out so their neighbors can continue to grow.
We started the celery a bit early – well, the spring went longer than usual, and celery doesn’t like weather below 55°F. Nathan had to upgrade all the medium soil blocks to the largest ones for the celery since their toes were sticking out! An upgrade means mixing up the special recipe and pushing out cookies the size of a half loaf of bread with a big hole chewed out of the middle. Into that hole goes the medium soil block with the celery plant. A LOT of work and the trays need plenty of space, which is in short supply. The plants without the upgrade will be harvested for market boxes. Fresh celery for chicken soup!