Herbal mysteries

A few weeks ago, some mysterious greens made their appearance in your herb bags. Finally, I’ve taken some photos to help identify them. Below is sorrel — bloody dock sorrel, to be precise.   Sorrel is an early spring green, that is both perennial and self-seeding. We started a couple sorrel plants last year (of a different variety) and while neither of the originals came back this spring, some new seedlings did. Judy’s niece Rachelle started some bloody dock seeds this spring for Prairie Garden Seeds and offered us some of her extra plants, so we decided to give it a try. I find it has less of the crisp lemony taste of other sorrel, but it does add nice colour to a salad. We recommend using it any way that you would normally use spinach, and are curious to know what you think.

Below is another of the greens we are experimenting with this year: New Zealand spinach. Only a few of our seeds germinated, but I am very impressed with the plants that did come up. We’ve been sending branches to you each week and the plants just keep regenerating. I am impressed with the lovely spinach flavour and texture too, and would love to know what you think. We are finding that the traditional spinach, bloomsdale, bolts so early that it’s hardly worth growing and are considering replacing it, perhaps with more of the New Zealand spinach … but only with our members’ permission! So do let me know how you like it.

We’ve been sending summer savory (below) for quite a while now, so I’m hoping that you know what it is. Its flavour is similar to thymes and rosemary, but milder. The plants are beginning to bloom, which means they have reached their peak. We have begun pulling them and sending whole plants for you to dry. They will dry just sitting on the countertop, but we recommend hanging them in a brown paper bag to keep them out of the light. Once they are dry, strip the leaves off and store in a glass jar for winter seasonings. If you don’t want another plant next week, just let me know.

 Other items in your herb bag should be familiar: both Italian and moss curled parsley and basil. Coriander should be making its return next week, though we all know how risky it is to make a garden promise!

On that note though, all of last week’s promises have been fulfilled. You have an abundance of green beans, a nice handful of cherry tomatoes, and a couple baby zucchini in this week’s order. The peas are also doing fabulously well. We sent a generous amount of shelling peas and a pail of Chinese giant snow peas. We recommend lightly cooking this variety of edible pod peas, as they do not taste their finest eaten raw. You also have your first broad beans of the season (for North Battleford, Saskatoon got a taste on Wednesday) and a couple Hot Hungarian wax peppers.

Another first this week is new potatoes. Our plants are huge with all the rain we had a couple weeks back and the yield looks promising, so there will be potatoes from here on it. We’ve also continued with carrots, beets, and onions (multipliers and bunching onions) and have added a new pseudo-root: kohlrabi.

If you’re not familiar with kohlrabi, we recommend eating them like a summer turnip: raw, just peeled and sliced. You can stir-fry them though, and I’ve provided a recipe below. Their texture is fabulous this year, so we hope you enjoy them!

Our greens continue as usual, though the lettuce quantity is dropping. There may be a little gap as the current seeding is starting to bolt and the next is not quite ready yet. For cooking greens, you’ve got perpetual spinach, mustard greens, kale, and Swiss chard.

And remember: if you could use more of anything (or less), please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. Some items (peas and beans at this point), we will charge an extra picking fee for ($3/pail for members); there is no charge to members for items that are quick to pick. Anyone who is interested in extra green beans, please let me know ASAP as they are producing abundantly and we will soon need to abandon rows in order to keep on top of them. Peas are nearing their prime as well, so it would also be helpful to know if anyone would like extras of those too.

Enjoy your veggies!

Kohlrabi with Peas and Potato (from Simply in Season)

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

In a large soup pot, saute in 1 Tbsp oil for 3-4 minutes.

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp ground coriander

Add and stir fry about 30 seconds.

1 cup kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped

1 cup potatoes, scrubbed and chopped

Add and stir briefly.

1 cup tomatoes

1/2 cup water

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Add. Bring to a boil then simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

Add kohlrabi leaves (or other greens, we didn’t send the kohlrabi leaves because your bags were too full!) and simmer 8-10 minutes.

1/2 cup peas

Stir in and cook until peas are done. Serve over rice.

 

5 thoughts on “Herbal mysteries

  1. Good morning. Deb is not getting these emails from Largo farm. She gets emails from your personal email.

    Jeff

    >

  2. Hi Janice,

    You can skip the summer savoury in my next order please! Also, I will just pick up my veggies with the group on Monday in North Battleford, as we will be back from the lake that night anyway! I will take whatever eggs you can send 🙂

    Thanks so much,

    Jaime

    ________________________________

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