Cultivation: Fighting Weeds one Pass of the Tractor at a Time

Lately I’ve talked to people about getting out to cultivate and they have this look like “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  Certainly before the popularity of chemical herbicides in agriculture, more people would know exactly what I’m talking because you could drive down many a county road and see a tractor moving slowly through a corn or soybean field tilling the soil between the plants.  In the organic world, cultivating is still our an important practice.

The timing of cultivating is really important.  The trick is to go out when the weeds are still in the white thread stage (just after germination but before popping through the soil) or while still very young.  If you wait too long (or a big rain keeps you out of the field), you will drag a bunch of big weeds through a field and not do a great job.  For us at Lida Farm, I always talk about the hierarchy of weed killing: cultivate, wheel hoe, hand hoe, hand weeding.  As you can imagine with four acres of veggies if we had to take out weeds exclusively by hand, we’d be sunk!

In the box:
‘Farao’ Cabbage
Kohlrabi: When in doubt, just peel, slice and serve with salt
Dino Kale: Big bunch with blue band.  See recipe from one of our members in Detroit Lakes that he likes to do with kale.  If you have a recipe you’d like to share, please send to…this makes my life easy and you’re probably tired on my recipes 🙂
Green Leaf Lettuce
Garlic Scapes: Use where ever you use garlic…
Snap Peas: Edible pod so don’t shell.  Last week, we just sauteed in butter with salt and pepper – great.
Cilantro bunch

Kale w/Roasted Peppers & Olives 
2 large bunches kale 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
2 teaspoons sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 
1 4-ounce jar roasted red peppers 
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar 
Cut the kale into bite-size pieces, removing any tough stems. Rinse and shake dry.
Warm the oil and garlic in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Remove the garlic as soon as it browns (don’t let it burn). Add the kale and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Uncover and add the sugar, salt, olives, and peppers. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated.
Spoon into a serving dish; scatter the garlic over the top. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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