Boulder Belt Eco-Farm

  (Eaton, Ohio)
We Sell the Best, Compost the Rest
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Boulder belt farm Share initiative Vol 3 issue 4


Good morning, It's our 4th week of this locavore madness and I hope things start to get better. You may have noticed that your shares are quite small (and if you have not noticed this, trust me, they are smaller than in past springs). this is because of all the rain we have been getting. The rain has flooded the main market garden several times but it drains very quickly and will be workable as long as we get a couple of rain free days. the bottom garden is still vert wet and will likely remain that way for a week as it does not drain very well. This could mean we get no popcorn this fall and perhaps some other crops as May is when these things need to be planted and if we cannot get into the beds to till, fertilize and plant in a timely manner that the possibility for success goes way down. We do try to mitigate the failures by growing a vast array of crops (around 55 of them, more when you take into account the differing cultivars within each variety), using row covers and hoop houses (the hoop houses do keep the rain off the soil but when it is as wet as it has been the water infiltrates under the houses and floods them from beneath). And we do a lot of succession planting mainly to keep the harvest going as long as possible and with the highest quality but this also means that in nasty conditions we should sooner or later hit a optimal time to plant a particular crop. For example, the arugula is bummed out big time due to all the wet and it does not want to grow right now (we have planted it 2x at this point). But we will continue to replant every week or so (or whenever the weather lets us do so) and sooner or later we will plant it at a time it likes and it will grow swiftly and do great. Of course there are some crops where this does not work, garlic and parsnips come to mind. Garlic takes around 250 days to grow to harvestable size. If we were to lose the garlic this spring it would be this fall before we could replant (and we would lose 100% of our seed stock and it would cost us something like $1800 to replace it-garlic seed is very very expensive and heavy to ship) and we simply would not have any this year (this would be very bad for us as garlic is one of our bigger crops that we grow not just for you FSI members but other markets as well). But other crops like greens, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, beans, tomatoes, peas, basil, cilantro etc.. we plant several times a season and they are fast (under 2.5 months to go from seed to harvesting) and if we lose one or two sowings we know that the 3rd (or in some cases 4th or 5th) sowings should work. And this, my friends, is part and parcel of the agreement that we share in the risk together. Bad weather can mean small shares and the possibility of no shares for a week or so in the future. And no, you do not get your money back, nor will I seek out food grown elsewhere to fill the shares in case of a 100% failure (but I also do not expect that to happen). It could be far worse. I have friends doing CSA's in SW Ohio, in the midwest and on the east coast who have delayed starting their seasons because they do not have anything planted yet. This is especially true of the farms that are dependent on large equipment such as tractors to do the work for them. One cannot take something that weighs several tons into a muddy field and expect anything other than ruined soil and stuck equipment. So those folks must wait until the soil is quite dry (and many of them report that right now their fields are under water and have been for over 2 weeks and will be for another week or more). We, on the other hand, can get into our fields when it is still quite wet as we work lightly. This means, while we have not been able to work many days in mid to late April/early May, we were able to get out some days and get seedlings in the ground (way to wet to direct seed, the seeds just rot in the wet) and even get most of a bed of lettuce for spring mix weeded (this is tedious work as we have to remove tiny weed seedlings from in-between very densely planted lettuce seedlings and it can only be done by hand and it takes one person, me, several hours to do a bed and if it is too muddy than mud and weeds stick to your fingers so badly you cannot continue). But there have been too many days we have not been able to do any outside work because one should not work with really wet soil at all so even if it has not been raining the soils were still too wet to safely work in without ruining their structure (this is a BIG deal to us Organic growers). The good news is today is the first day of several dry days (perhaps 6 of 'em!) and that means we can start to get caught up on all the things that need to be done like mowing the aisles between the beds and other grassy places, more compost can be applied to beds along with sulfur and a pelleted Organic fertilizer we started using last year with great results (and the soils need the fertilizer as all the rain/flooding has depleted a lot of nutrients for the moment that need to be put back), than as the soils get dryer we can get to work planting the thousands of seedlings that have been backing up up cold frames and hoop houses and finally Eugene can break out the tiller and get the final beds ready for things like peppers, tomatoes, green beans and other summer planted crops. As you can see, we keep planting stuff pretty much all season (until early November) and that alone usually insures we will have things to put into your shares despite some bad spates of weather at some point in the season. And I know we will appreciate this rain filling up our wells and aquifers come the droughts of summer as I fully expect at some point in June or July that the tap will be turned off and we will not see any rain for several months and we at Boulder Belt will have to start irrigating the crops (as we do almost every summer). Well, that's the news this week. Shares will be ready, as usual, after 4 pm. this week they will most likely be in the front fridge as I have it turned on in order to sell asparagus from the store. So look for the glowing box to your right as you come in the store and you bag will be in there. Any shares still on the farm come Saturday morning at 6 am will be taken to the Oxford Farmers Market unless you tell us otherwise. Please feel free to walk around the farm and talk to us farmers. even better if you want to volunteer a couple of hours of time working here just ask, we love teaching people how to grow food and we have a lot of work to be done in the next couple of weeks. remember to bring back any packaging we used. We do not want other packaging like used produce bags from where ever you shop or news paper rubber bands-those things we have to recycle or otherwise deal with. We just want the stuff we sent home with you. Oh and any plastic or paper grocery bags in clean condition (we have gotten very dirty bags in the past and we have to throw those out which means we have to pay to toss out your garbage, so keep it clean)



Simple Salad Dressing

2 to 3 TBL vinegar (I mix balsamic and rice vinegar together but apple cider or other kinds will do)

1 tsp salt (to taste)

2 TBL honey

1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves of fresh garlic smashed as finely as possible)

1 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp each of dried basil and oregano. Or substitute your favorite herbs, tarragon is also wonderful in this.

Experiment with the various herbs you are and will be getting through the season. Oh yeah, if using fresh herbs use 2x more than with dried In a dressing carafe or pint jar put in the honey salt and vinegar and shake vigorously until the honey salt and vinegar are all mixed. Add the oil and herbs and shake again and than let sit at least 1 hour so the flavors can marry, than use on a salad. This will last out of refrigeration at least 10 days

What's in the Share this Week

Asparagus- you will get at least 1/2 pound of purple (the best asparagus ever) and 1/2 pound of green

Spring Mix- this is the crop that got us into market farming. This should have been coming in for weeks but the rain slowed down growth. But we have it now

Radish- another bunch of D'Avignon radishes

Garlic chives- these things LOVE the wet weather

Lettuce- like last week green and red oak leafed lettuces. but the heads should be bigger than last week so the bags bigger

Green Garlic- This is garlic that has not yet developed a corm. You eat the greens like green onions (really onion greens). We have found several clumps of this around the garden this spring and it must come out so you get a new thing to try

Scallions-you get a bunch of at least 7 scallions this week.

Leeks-2 king Seig leeks

Parsley-a bag stuffed with fresh Italian parsley

Tarragon-a bag not so stuffed with tarragon

Rosemary-a several sprigs of fresh rosemary

We may also include rhubarb and kale in the shares. When I looked a couple of days ago we did not have much of either but I might be able to eek out enough of each for 8 shares or what I will likely do is make up 4 bundles of rhubarb and 4 bags of kale and randomly assign them to your shares unless you contact me before 1 pm this afternoon and give me a preference. So if you either really hate rhubarb or really want some it would be good to let me know. And, of course, there is a decent possibility that we will have enough rhubarb for all. But I do not think we will have enough kale for everyone this week as we are switching from the over wintered kale that has started to make flower stalks and has quit making leaves to the spring planted kale that is not growing as fast as it should this time of year so the plants are still small (or were when I foliar fed them a kelp/fish mix we use and perhaps that got some good growth started-of course right after I fed them it started raining again and likely washed all the good away


Boulder Belt Farm Share Initiative vol 3 issue 3




We had a visit this past weekend from a friend of mine from high school who got a Ph.D in Botany and than decided he would rather farm and now has a CSA in Wisconsin. His visit gave us much to think about. He runs his farm very differently than we do. He has over 60 acres, 300 members and he has over 5 tractors. Oh yeah, and he is in a CSA Mecca-Minneapolis which is about 20 years ahead of us as far as local foods issues and markets are concerned. Yeah, SW Ohio is a really bad place to establish a CSA and of all places in SW Ohio, Preble county has the to be worst place within SW Ohio to do anything concerning Organic agriculture and especially a CSA. But things are changing around here and it is much easier to make a living doing what we do in this area than it was 17 years ago.

His visit got us to thinking about many things. Like how different CSAs are, no two are alike. For example my friend's CSA up north employs a lot of interns and uses a lot of machinery. We have in the past and will in the future take on an intern or two but not the 15+ people he has. Of course he grows on 18 acres and we grow on 4.5 acres so he does indeed need more people and I believe the teaching aspect that many CSA has is more important to him than it is to us (he was going to be a college professor when he grew up before farming derailed that idea) and so he is willing to work with newbies than we are. he is also a lot more into machines than we do. He spent a lot of our limited time together going on about his various tractors, tillers and attachments. All those machines means he uses a lot more gasoline than we do. We used around 30 gallons of gasoline last year to till, plow and mow our estate. Had we had a tractor, we would have used 5x as much (and if we has a fleet of tractors we would have even more). The van we use to get food to the Oxford Market used 300 gallons of gasoline just to go to Oxford (about 32 miles round trip) and back about 35 times plus a few trips over to the Filbruns (17 miles round trip) for straw and other soil building items (we plan to replace the van with something newer and with better milage in the next few months-if you know of a cargo van that is less than 10 years old for sale let us know we are looking). And this is one of the reasons we don't do delivery-we cannot afford it with the vehicle we have to use. It uses a lot of gas and is getting less reliable as it gets older and if we don't replace it it will get really expensive as major parts start to fail. It would be wonderful if we could replace this van with an electric van but, if they even make them, I am sure they would be way out of our price range (but we can dream). But the point I am making here is, as a farm we use very little gasoline and this will stead us well in the coming months and years as gas likely will go up to $6 a gallon and that is a point where farmers who depend on gas powered machines to do the work will see a huge cut to their bottom lines if they cannot raise their prices. Us, we won't suffer nearly as much as the machine scale farms because we use far more human power than gas power to get things done around here.

Okay lets talk about rain. We are getting way too much if you haven't noticed. Our main growing area is very, very well drained but even it is going under water because until the Ohio river starts to discharge it's load of water, there simply is no place for all this water to go. So far we have not noticed any damage but there is sure to be some crops that rots and dies due to too much water. Freshly seeded beds will be the first to go (but fortunately are the easiest to remedy-just replant the seeds when conditions are better). Other than harvesting and putting down compost and sulfur on beds, we have not been doing much farming due to the weather and we are beginning to get behind. The weeds are growing well and soon will be a problem. I have been trying to finger weed a spring mix bed (where one pulls tiny weeds from between densely planted lettuce plants-takes hours to do but is important to the quality of the salad mix). But it has been so wet that it is nearly impossible to do the job. Yesterday I was able to get about 10 feet of row done on one bed (and there are several other beds of baby greens plus hundreds of other beds waiting for a hoe). Eugene tried to plant onion seedlings but he said it was too wet to do the job (the clay mud gums up one's hands so quickly so that you spend a lot more time wiping the mud off than doing work) So he decided to mow the grass around the pond and while doing so found we have lawn morels (see the Boulder Belt Blog or my Facebook page for photos). I had hoped we would have enough to include some in your shares but our lawn did not yield nearly that well. I will say, go out and look for some morels. This is the best season for them in many many years. I remember as a kid living in the Mile Square of Oxford we had 15 morels come up in the back yard near a pine tree. That has not happened since, that I know of. And I do know it has been at least 8 years since we have found any (or eaten any). For some photos of my mushroom harvest take a gander here

Pick up is after 4 pm today.

We reuse and recycle and that means we will take any CLEAN plastic or paper you do not want. Plus we want back all of our packaging from rubber bands to bags (unless you have a use for these things, than keep them but if all you are gonna do is land fill them than bring them back to the farm)

Thanks for supplying bags for your shares. I believe at this point all but one member has supplied bags, Yay!

While I know the weather is less than conducive for this, please feel free to walk about the farm, go fishing, help us in the fields. in other words make use of this resource you have access to. Very few people ever get to visit a working farm and here you have free access to one. If nothing else, the bird watching has been great the past few days as we have several types of herons visiting our pond (I suppose for the frogs) as well as red winged black birds, finches, jays, several kinds of woodpeckers (including red headed and piliated)


Spring Veggie Curry

1 leek sliced
Many spears of asparagus cut into 2" pieces
2 cups snow or sugar snap peas, string and cut in half
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium onion, chopped
2+TBL fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup garlic chives, chopped (this is for garnish)
1 TBL fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1+ cloves of garlic, smashed or minced
1 cup coconut cream/milk (you can buy this pre-made or you can make it from unsweetened coconut flakes by soaking the flakes in hot water for a while and than putting in a blender than straining off the flakes leaving you with a coconutty liquid. The pre-made stuff is better but this is a cheap substitute that works well enough)
1 T curry powder (or more or less, to taste)
1 TBL olive oil (or other fat)
Salt to taste
Basmati rice (I love brown basmati but white will certainly do)

Start the rice than in a hot pan (over medium heat) put in the fat than the leek and onion and let cook about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the other vegetables (except the garlic chives and parsley) and cook another couple of minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning/sticking. Than add the coconut cream and curry powder and bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Turn down heat to medium low and let simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add the parsley about ten minutes into this and continue cooking. Serve over rice and this is even better if you have a decent chutney and yogurt raita (but plain yogurt works well too). If you have morels, they would be spectacular in this dish.

What's in This Weeks' Share
Asparagus- At this point in time it looks like you will get about 1/2 pound. But we still have to harvest more before this afternoon so the amount might just double
Lettuce- You should get 3 to 4 heads of a mix of red and green lettuces (The green is called Salad bowl, I have no idea what the red is called but it is spectacular)
Leeks- You get one leek
Garlic- You get 4+ corms of garlic. This is on its' last legs as it is almost a year old but there are still good cloves in most corms.
Kale- At least 1/2 pound of mixed kale
Radish- A small bunch of D'Avignon radishes
Parsley-a bag of fresh parsley
Tarragon- A small bag of French Tarragon
Chives-A nice bunch of oniony chives
Garlic Chives-A bunch of garlic chives (flat leafed)


Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 3 issue 2



Good Morning,

It's week 2 of the 2011 FSI and we have a wet one. We got over 3 inches of rain yesterday which caused a lot of flooding here at the farm. The top field was probably under water for a couple of hours and I noticed a lot of the pea seeds had come to the surface of the soil, where we left them as Eugene is worried that they will rot if they go back into the absolutely soaked soil. This is a part of farming-the wet-that we do not like but is absolutely necessary. Without all this spring rain things will not grow properly and this rain recharges our aquifers so that in summer when normally it is droughty around here we have ground water with which to water our crops and ourselves. And over the many years I have done this, rain, even extremely heavy rains, rarely do much damage to the crops. But they do make them dirty and the fresh herbs and kale you get today will likely come to you in an unwashed state. The spinach and lettuce are washed as they were harvested several days ago when I took out all the spinach and a couple of beds of lettuce as it was time to do so before these crops bolted to seed and were ruined for eating. This will happen from time to time-We will harvest several days early for you guys because of conditions. Either the crop must come out or be lost due to going to seed, trying to split, etc., or because of weather (we don't harvest in heavy rain, for example). This week we got a combination of these reasons.

here is a short video I shot and put on my blog that shows the height of the flooding
The water had all drained away within 2 hours, BTW

I had hoped to include asparagus in your shares this week but the asparagus Gods decided that this year the asparagus would have to wait until week 3 of the FSI before there would be enough. last year we had asparagus the first week of the FSI. this year it is a lot later. I have been able to harvest 1.5 pounds over the past 3 days which has meant we have been able to eat some asparagus but soon we should get around 20 pounds a day. We are simply waiting for the conditions to get warmer and a bit dryer so the 'gus goes wild. I hope this occurs before next week so you guys start getting some.

Another crop you can expect in the next 2 to 3 weeks is strawberries. We have a hoop house full of Albion strawberry plants in full bloom and I saw at least 20 berries forming on those plants. Yes Strawberries, about 6 weeks early due to our expertise at season extension. We found out years ago that putting a hoophouse over the strawberries in March will allow them to break dormancy and start producing in late April/early May and this also protects them from all freezes that we get in spring. Last year we did not have early berries because we decided to change the kind of strawberries we do and thus bought all new plants last spring and killed the old ones (they were quite old and it was their time). Thus we planted the new berries in spring and than had to remove all the flowers that appeared on them until Early July in order to encourage root/crown growth. Than we found the beds we put these plants into were full of grubs (mainly japanese Beetle grubs) and the grubs had a great time feasting on the roots of the berry plants and eventually killed about 65%. We in the end killed off about 90% of the grubs (and don't expect a repeat of this as there has been landscape fabric over the soil for a year now, the beetles won't lay their eggs on plastic and the few grubs that survived from last year should be adult beetles this year). We allowed the plants to put out runners (something we don't let them do normally as runners really cut down the yield potential in everbearing/day neutral strawberries. With the June bearing types, the runners are essential to keep the patch going on to the next year) and saved those runners, put them in pots and kept them growing over winter and last month put those plants in where they were needed so we are back up to 250 plants, more or less. We also planted 300 more everbearing strawberry plants in another location that will be bearing fruit in late July about 2 weeks ago. This variety is Seascape. The berries should be large and sweet. I am looking forward to a good berry year as we have not had one in several years.

Other crops to expect over the coming weeks D'avignon radishes, broccoli, more kale (but from new plants, the kale you have been enjoying is all from last years plants that over wintered), rhubarb, broccoli, cabbage, spring mix, arugula, broccoli raab (though we have had a dickens of a time starting this crop this spring and thought we would be harvesting some in a week or two. But it looks like mid May before we get any), green onion, green garlic, garlic scapes, more spinach, beets, baby lettuce, cilantro, etc..

This Saturday I am expecting a visit from one of my best friends from High School whom I have not seen in almost 30 years. It turns out he runs a CSA farm in Minnesota with his son and is in the area doing a talk at Miami University for a mutual friend's class on environmental subjects and so I emailed him and invited him out to see our farm. I am quite excited about this. Not only to see him but we so seldom get another farmer out here and it will be fun to pick his well educated brain about our strengths and weaknesses.

Expect the shares to get bigger each week from here on out

This week is full shares only. The shares will be ready after 4 pm today and can be picked up until Saturday morning

Sorry no recipe this week.

What's in the Share This Week
-1/2 pound bag
Lettuce-At least 1/2 pound of mixed heads
Scallions-a bunch of 5 scallions (these are different than a green onion, BTW, green onions are baby onions that have not yet made a onion bulb. Scallions never make a bulb. And, as a matter of fact, many of these scallions are sexually mature and were pulled right before they made flowers (they went in last fall)
Onion Chives-a nice bunch, should be bigger than last week
Garlic Chives-see above
Garlic-you will get several. These are at the end of their lives and want to sprout (or rot) so keep them in the fridge where it is dark and cold (like winter) and be sure to cut t=he green sprout out before using or they will be bitter and no one wants bitter garlic.
Garlic powder-you get a small bag of our our powerful good garlic powder that we make from our garlic
Dried Sage-a jar of dried sage. sage is excellent with poultry and cheese dishes as well as any sausage based dish. this is whole leaf and to make "rubbed sage" simply rub it between your palms.
Kale-at least 1/2 pound of mixed kale
Tarragon-a small bag of fresh tarragon. Tarragon has an anise flavor that goes great with tomato based dishes
Leeks-you get a leek, maybe two
Parsley-you get a small bag of fresh Italian parsley which is great in about any savory dish.


Boulder Belt Farm Share Inititiative vol 3 issue 1



Greenings and Saladations,

Welcome to the Boulder Belt FSI's 2011 season. We are looking forward to a great season (farming is a lot like baseball in that in early April it is all good). Know that as far as the locavore movement goes you guys are cutting edge hip. You cannot get any more locavore than joining a real, farmer run CSA. Or even better a member run CSA, but they are incredibly rare these days, though this is the original vision of the CSA. A group of people get together, find land, decide what food they want grown and than hire a farmer to grow the food and the CSA members do most of the harvesting as well as help out in the fields at least once a week. here the members literally own shares in the farm and they do an equal split of all the food harvested that day/week-a very very deep commitment to one's food and for most people in the USA, highly unworkable. So over the decades (all 2.5 of 'em) the CSA has evolved in the USA (and world wide) to where most are farmer run-the farmer owns the land and buys the seeds and inputs, plants and than sells shares of the harvest to members. The members have no ownership of the farm itself, just some of the crop, but the member still share in the risk of farming with the farmer (that whole "if the crop fails/is destroyed the members do not get their money refunded" thing).

But there is a new type of CSA out there that is becoming more and more popular. I call them Fake CSA's (and I have found I have started a movement concerning the awareness of such entities by forming a group on Face Book about this based on a conversation I have been having with a long time CSA farmer in the DC area whom I have known virtually for at least 13 years bout these businesses). These are buying clubs that call themselves CSA and usually say they buy and resell locally raised foods but for the most part they are a grocery delivery service. In this area the big one is Green Bean Delivery (who does not advertise themselves as a CSA but most of their members think they are in a CSA, they are not). With this sort of system the member does not share in the risk with the farmer, there is little to no seasonality and there is zero connection between the member and a farm. it is just another food delivery service. if you want to know more and join the conversation than "like" this page on Face Book (I realize some of you already have and that some of you are not on FaceBook)

So far the weather has been great for our spring food. Unlike urban humans who all seem to think it should be hot during spring we humans here at the farm love a cool wet spring because cool wet spring means the spring crops like lettuce, spinach, raab, kale, radishes, cilantro, spring mix, chives, etc.. will not get bitter and try to bolt to seed. This cool weather also means that the flowering fruit trees and canes will not flower too early in the spring and than get hit by a frost and lose their flowers and thus the later fruit. So far such things seem to be right on time.

We have been busy, as we are every year at this time getting thing planted and so far we have gotten several thousand onion seedlings in the ground (and have several thousand more to go). If anyone wants to learn about planting onions let us know ASAP and you can come out and help us plant. The work is physically easy and the conversation interesting and educational. We do not require work from any of our members but all members who have helped out on the farm have found it to be a deeply rewarding experience. We also have the first of the shallots in the ground and have been planting successions of lettuce, spring mix, spinach, radishes, raab, kale, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli and cabbage. "Succession planting" means we plant the same crop over and over to stretch out the harvest period and keep the quality up. We do this with about 1/3 of our crops. Pretty much all the leafy greens as well as green beans, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini are succession planted on our farm. And it is this that really separates the market farmers from the hobby farmers. A good market grower is proficient to expert at succession planting, a hobby grower likely does not know what this is and wonders how the farmers keep bringing in lettuce and beans in such great shape week after week. I remember 17 years ago being in that boat-there were so many mysteries to market farming for me back in the first 2 or 3 years and that was huge one. But fortunately there was a friendly grower at our first market who explained this succession planting idea to us. And it took us just 5 years to figure out how to do it effectively (it can get really complicated, especially if one has a complicated crop rotation that involves over 50 different crops and than also does season extension) and another 10 to master the art.

Okay,  lets discuss some business. Your shares should be ready after 4pm today and will be available until 7 am Saturday Morning for pick up. They will be to your right on the metal shelving as you come in the front door of the store. Your bag (or possibly bags) will have your name on it. If you have not dropped off your reusable bags than your share will be packed in plastic Wal-Mart and Kroger bags (or other such brands) with your name written on it. Please take only the bag(s) with your name as sometimes members order and pay for extra stuff or have a special request so not all shares are always equal. Either Eugene (who has a nice black-eye from a fight he had with the bathtub last night, don't let this scare you) or I should be around the store this afternoon to meet you newbies and make sure things run as smoothly as possible. If you can't find either one of us try knocking on the door to the house.

If you are doing a half share, you do not pick up next week but you will get a news letter (which might be confusing as I know some folks in the past have used the newsletter as a Mnemonic device)

If you cannot pick up this evening know we leave the store building unlocked 24/7 so you can go in anytime of day or night until Saturday Morning to get your food. Also know that all shares are picked, cleaned and packed today and that they will lose freshness the longer they stay here at the farm. We do have refrigeration and we will keep things cold until you pick up but there will be a slight loss of quality (but the stuff will still be leagues better than anything you buy at the grocery store as it will be at least 14 days fresher).


Leek and Spinach Quiche

1 pie crust (either home made or store bought. I do not recommend the "Pet-Ritz" style of pie crust, pre-made in a aluminum pan. Get the kind that comes in a box and you put in a pan if not making your own. Since I found out Eugene can make a better pie crust than just about anyone I have not had to buy pre-made crusts in about 12 years )
1/3 to 1/2 pound spinach, washed, spun dry and chopped (chiffinade)
2 leeks cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 medium yellow (not sweet) onion, diced
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cheese, grated
clove or two of fresh garlic minced, mashed, grated (before doing this cut the clove in half  length wise and take out the green sprout, that is the baby garlic and it tends to be bitter)
1/2 tsp dried basil (any kind)
salt  to taste (when I cooked quiches at DiPaolo's we used Lowery's seasoned salt and paprika for seasoning.)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cook 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown and firm to the touch)

Saute the leeks and onion until tender (about 5 minutes). Toss the spinach in the last 2 minutes of cooking so it is just wilted and not over cooked. While that is going on scramble the eggs in a small mixing bowl and add the milk and seasonings. When the vegetables are cooked put them into the prepared pie crust than dump the grated cheese in than the egg mixture. Put the pie on a cookie sheet (there may be some boil over and this keeps your oven clean) and into the oven. let the quiche cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

What's in the share this Week
Kale-a 1/2 pound bag of mixed kale (though the label on the bag will indicate something else)
Kidney beans-a 1/2 pound of dried beans. make a soup!
Lettuce-at least 1/2 pound of head lettuce. Each bag will have 2 to 3 different kinds. Likely buttercrunch, red oakleaf and perhaps cracoviensis (one of the most ancient of the lettuce breeds, in other words, a heirloom)
Leeks-2 over-wintered leeks this week
Garlic-3 to 4 corms of garlic from last season (the garlic for 2011 is growing well but it will not be until late June before it is ready to dig and use)
Parsley-over-wintered parsley, you get a nice big handful
Chives-this spring we moved the chives to a new bed and I was afraid it would decide to go into shock for a few weeks and not grow. It decided it likes it's new digs and is growing like a weed. Good on salad or in a dip. Do not cook chives because they loose all their flavor and become green nothingness
Garlic Chives-these look like flat chives and tastes like mild garlic, use as you would the oniony chives.
Spinach-at least 1/2 pound of our over wintered spinach. This stuff is gooood, like the best spinach you have ever had (unless you have been eating Boulder Belt spinach for years)

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