This week’s CSA bag contains these marvelous foot-long Asian green beans, some cute little red peppers, and onions and garlic, among other things. If you’ve never cooked these beans before, consider a stir-fry, like this Chinese Long Beans With Black Pepper recipe from Food & Wine magazine (and use the beans, the onions and the red peppers), or Tiny Urban Kitchen’s Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans With Garlic. The trick is, avoid boiling or steaming these guys, or they’ll just get floppy. In a pinch, it’s even possible to make a tasty vegetarian main dish with them, even if your only cooking device is a microwave oven – just be sure to also pick up some of those tomatoes from Share-Life, too! See Seriously Asian for more tips on cooking these flavorful summer vegetables.
Come to a special Field Day and Farm Tour, 4:00-6:00 PM on Tuesday May 16th (rain date: May 17, also 4-6). Meet your full-time Missouri organic farmers and also hear from Dr. Zelalem Mersha and Martha O’Connor of Lincoln University, about how organic farmers can attain biological control of soil-borne diseases in high tunnels – without harmful chemicals.
R.S.V.P.’s are not required, but they are appreciated – call or text Jim Thomas, 660-886-3936 for more information or to RSVP.
This free field day and tour is a Research and Outreach Project organized by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Share-Life Farms is in need of some immediate assistance, planting onions and digging up potatoes. We’d love to build up a pool of volunteers, for short, high-intensity periods like this.
Also, we’ve lost our full-time farmhand, so we are also looking to hire someone to work for us this spring and summer, maybe full time if it works out, with spring/summer work in the fields, fall/winter work in the hoop house. Because we’re organic, you won’t have to suffer from toxic pesticides sprayed on our fields. Soon-to-be MU grads or others with an interest in organic farming, this is something to think about – if you can join us before graduation, it’ll probably increase your chances to be hired for summer.
CSA members and other farm stand visitors will have noticed the spiky green vegetable that some have called the Lady Gaga of vegetables. Allow us to introduce you to Romanesco, aka Romanesco Broccoli. It’s actually an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea. Its texture is much like cauliflower, with a mild, broccoli-like taste.
Like cauliflower, it’s yummy roasted or steamed or sauteed. Notice how it always seems to get paired with garlic, lemon and Italian spices. Bon appetito!
Here’s an early April view of the greens in the high tunnel! At left, we have kale. The light green is lettuce. The next row is spinach, and in the right-hand row are several kinds of greens, from French Sorrel in the front to turnips in the back.
Below: Rosie with the granddaughters, in front of the High Tunnel.
CSA season is over now, but Winter Farmer’s Market is going strong! Look at that gorgeous chard, and those bright yellow cauliflower. Notice, too, that there are FOUR types of sweet potatoes here. From back to front, we have:
- Your standard sweet potato – these are either Beauregards or Oklahoma Reds.
- Banettas – light orange sweet potatoes that are white inside. They are definitely still sweet potatoes, but a bit more subtle, closer to a white potato.
- Burgundies – these are the sweetest sweet potatoes, and are dark orange inside.
- Purple sweet potatoes – were not sure of the exact variety, but they are purple inside too!
Jim, Sr. at the Winter Market stand in Columbia. Sweet potatoes and cauliflower in the foreground
Jim Thomas Jr. and Sr., planting potatoes
Riding down the row, planting the potatoes
Jim Thomas, Jr. and Sr., unrolling the paper to cover the ground and keep weeds down