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What MAY be in your share this week:
(you can click on each vegetable to learn more!)
Dear Katchkie Farm CSA Members,

 

Let's just get this out there: kohlrabi needs a bit of a PR makeover. Sometimes it feels like all of the spotlight ends up on kale and similar "cool" veggies, while kohlrabi and others are left by the wayside. Well, we're sick of all this favoritism. After all, what's not to like about a vegetable that looks like a spaceship and tastes like a cross between an apple and a turnip? Below are some tips of how to use of one of our favorite members of the cabbage family:

  • Begin by removing the tough outer skin of the kohlrabi with a vegetable peeler.
  • Kohlrabi is well suited to be eaten raw: it can be served with any dip like hummus, or shaved thinly and folded into a salad.
  • The natural sugars in kohlrabi are intensified by roasting in the oven. Just toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 375F degrees until soft and lightly caramelized.
  • Try slicing thin strips of kohlrabi and preserving them in our All-Purpose Pickle recipe

What's your favorite way to eat kohlrabi? Let us know via email at suzannah.schneider@katchkiefarm.com


Field Notes From The Farm

"Today was a great day for witnessing a lot of hard work come to fruition - or vegetation, in this case. We harvested carrots today, which also happens to be the first vegetable on the farm I weeded. When I was shown to the rows to weed, I wasn't even sure where the carrots were. The majority of the weeds had not only grown in high numbers but had, in fact, outgrown the poor little carrots. The carrots were in big trouble; they grow considerably slower than the weeds surrounding it and because of these competitive go-getters, the carrots could soon be crowded out, cast into the weed's shadows, and deprived of necessary nutrients. If we were to have let the weeds go and not intervened, today's harvest wouldn't have been as lovely and pretty as it was. Luckily for those carrots we were able to pick around there fragile stems and leaves, alleviating them of their very greedy, smothering neighbors thus ensuring their success in fulfilling their destiny - into your CSA bags and down to Manhattan. What glory!

"There are a few different approaches when dealing with weeds that I have noticed on the farm, and they fall into two categories. The first is the mechanized - or let's say the more ingenious - tractor-oriented de-weeding, and the second is the old fashioned, bare hand method, sometimes with the assistance of a metal tool. Sometimes the hands are gloved in order to avoid blistering. We are humans with opposable thumbs, after all. This method is, of course, time consuming and a bit strenuous for those who must endure its rigors. This time can be passed pleasantly, talking with coworkers or getting very lost in one's own thoughts. There is a certain rhythm to weeding, or maybe it's more like a groove. Either way my groove or rhythm has been slower then my coworkers' but I believe all the practice I've been getting is dramatically improving my pace.


 


 

"The first method approaches the weed from a more preventative standpoint. There are a number of different pieces of equipment Bob can drag behind the tractor and essentially till in the weeds between the rows, which eliminates an enormous amount of work for us humans. This is often used when mulch is absent. When it is possible and needed, I think mulching is the most effective for the farm. A black biodegradable plastic is used to wrap over each row of crops before transplanting. We can also spread some hay around the veggies, smothering potential weed seed banks beneath and allowing moisture to remain longer to help prevent evaporation. More water for the plants you want and less sun for those you don't. The only issue with the plastic is the necessary hole that must be punched to make room for the transplant and weeds, being the opportunists that they are, make great use of this edge and begin to grow wildly. In this case, we the humans must work our way down the rows and pull them all out.

"I have developed a level of respect for the weed. In fact, I am in awe of them. They are an amazing reminder of nature's drive and ability to propagate. It's easy to get existential or metaphysical thinking about the weed but I won't try. Remember they do allow the mind to run when pulling them out. I think I remember either reading this or listening to this somewhere (sorry there will be no proper citation for this statement which may or may not be accurate or even based in reality. I could have dreamt it...) that industrial farmers are beginning to see weeds develop resistance to herbicides meant to kill them and leave their genetically modified friends alone. These farmers have had it easy, so to speak, with the weed but the weed, within however many decades, has been able to adapt to it's artificially harsh environment. The weeds have outsmarted the scientists who designed this toxic chemical. An amazing feat in my estimation. Unfortunately, I'm sure a new more toxic chemical will be on its way soon. This is turning into a love letter to weeds so I better cut myself off before I get carried away. Enjoy those carrots!"


 

- Adam, 7/6/15

Links We Love

8 ways to freeze food smarter

Our friends at the National Audubon Society tipped us off to The Cornucopia Institute 


The debate on labeling GMOs rages on

Seasonal Recipes 

 

Pasta with Fennel Frond Pesto and Caramelized Summer Squash
Roasted Broccoli Salad, with Shaved Kohlrabi and Green Goddess