Riverdog Farm Veggie Box News
1 bu Purple Carrots
1 bu Asparagus
1 bu Red Chard
1 bu Red Radish
¾ lb Shelling Peas
½ lb Braising Mix
1 bu Red Beet
¾ lb Leeks
This week is going to be warm, 80 degrees on Monday with warm weather continuing throughout the week. The second seeding of tomatoes has emerged from the germination box in the greenhouse. This box is an insulated, heated, dark-inside 8’ wide x 5’ high x 5’ deep box with wooden sliding shelves. We set the sprouting temperature around 90 degrees. The flats of tomatoes are housed in this box for about a week. When about 5-10 tomato seeds have sprouted (in the trays of 200 cells each), this is the signal that the rest are about to sprout so we pull the trays out of the germination box and the rest of the seeds quickly emerge outside of the box, in the greenhouse. This method ensures a more uniform rate of germination.
After the rainstorm cleared, Saturday night’s temperature got down to 36 degrees! This is the time of year when we have to closely monitor the nighttime temperatures in case they go below the freezing temperature of 32 degrees. If it looks like it’s going to get that cold, we have irrigation sprinkler lines set up to run. The water falling on the tomato plants actually keeps the plants warmer and prevents frost from settling on them. Amazingly, frozen water on the plants does less damage than frost to the plant cells. Until late May, we’ll be tracking the nighttime temperature forecast to protect our big planting of early tomatoes. Keep your fingers crossed for optimal conditions for the tomato plants!
Asparagus is winding down. It will likely only be included in the veggie box for 1-2 more weeks. Leeks are winding down too. They are a hardy, winter allium staple. We include them in the veggie boxes often because they are a great onion substitute when our cured onions are done. Pea season is upon us! You’ll see snow, shelling, and snaps or some combination of the three varieties in the boxes in the coming weeks. Enjoy them while they’re here; their season only lasts about one month!
Spring Minestrone Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 green onions
2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves
1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
Up to 1/4 cup pesto
Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish
Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.
In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.
Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.
Buttered Leeks and Radishes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 pound radishes, quartered
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the radishes and cook another minute. Remove the scallions and radishes from the pan and set aside.
Add the leeks, chicken broth, salt, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, scallions, and radishes and toss well.
Simple Braised Greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard, or greens of your choice) about 3-4 cups chopped and well packed
1 clove garlic, minced
⅛ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add greens stirring to coat with oil. Stir until greens are barely wilted. Add garlic, salt and pepper flakes. Continue stirring until greens are tender. Serve.