Oh Boy, Beets!
Espresso Sweet Corn
Some Kind Of Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
We farm in polyrhythms.
The weather is non-negotiable... it always is, and never isn't. Hot, Cold, Wet, Dry... like four colors in a kaleidoscope, tumbling around, reacting to each other in wildly surprising and wonderful combinations. There is no bad weather, just bad attitudes about weather... we can't change it, and it doesn't matter what we get... anything can be a blessing if you look at it right. We don't have the luxury to complain about how nature is being insufficiently thoughtful of our farm agenda... we just try and turn every opportunity into a tool, and lean into it as hard as we absolutely can.
In season, we are planting and planting again... lettuce, beets, carrots, arugula, broccoli, corn... rising and falling like waves on the shore. These crops are super ephemeral, have a short harvest window, so to have some consistency we need to make sure that they are planted at regular intervals... at any given time, you can see every stage of a head of lettuce's lifespan... from sprout to rotten old plant.
The whole season plants rise like a summer thunderstorm... it feels like for most of the season there is nothing but sun (our season starts in February, putting us [as of today] nearly at the ¾ mark of our farm year)... then you see it start to build on the horizon, and before you know it, it's a rainout... tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squash, cabbage, onions... it all comes at once and washes out the driveway. Thrilling really...
Then there are the only once and a while crops... each year we add and drop different crop varieties. This year we dropped the kohlrabi, but added Brussels sprouts and cauliflower in it's place. We dropped some tomato varieties, but added others... There is no reason for this multi-season vegetable variety swapping other than we want to... We're not looking for perfect varieties and dumping old terrible ones, we're just allowing our farm to be different, embracing inconsistency, enjoying the shape of an astatic agricultural landscape. I suppose we could grow all varieties every season... but that would be terribly boring, and sometimes distance makes your heart grow fonder... on the other hand, sometimes distance makes your heart grow more distant... either way, it's good to breathe a bit from time to time.
All of this is only part of the polyrhythm of the farm season... there is also the rhythm of the days, the pigs and cows, of the kids and apprentices, the members and farmstand visitors, and so many more... the different rhythms drive the farm, propel it... it becomes this perpetual motion machine... a perpetual motion machine that only goes faster the more we embrace the madness. I mean, we have two options, we can fight the rhythms or we can roll with them, and I know that I'm always happier when I'm able to roll with the madness...
Spicy Cauliflower3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup finely shredded, peeled ginger
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into large florets
3/4 cup water
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1-2 small red chiles, thinly sliced, seeds removed for less heat
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add spices and cook until fragrant and golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the onion, 3 tablespoons ginger, 3 tablespoons garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until onions are tender and golden at the edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Wash and dry pan and return to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; heat until shimmering. Add half the cauliflower and brown on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and repeat with remaining oil, cauliflower, ginger, and garlic.
Combine batches of cauliflower in pan. Add water and remaining salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and chiles; cook uncovered until chickpeas are heated through and liquid is gone, about 3 minutes.
Stir in onions and serve.
Cucumber Lemonade2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
1 quart homemade or store-bought lemonade
Puree cucumbers with 1/2 cup water in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Combine cucumber juice and lemonade. Serve over ice.