About 4 weeks ago, we germinated our first planting of carrots. If you’ve grown carrots, you know a seedling is just a tiny pair of ‘rabbit ears’ emerging from the soil. After a week, a baby carrot is maybe half an inch tall.
So, as Marissa and I were scouting the fields a couple weeks ago in 90 degree heat, we observed that it was downright amazing that the stand of carrots we found had lived through early June at all! Yet there they stood, little tiny carrots about 14 days old. After a handweeding and a hoeing, they now rank up there with the broccoli bed as one of the shining spots of the farm. As Marissa can attest, if I’m ever getting down on the season, I typically bounce back with “But look at that carrot bed” of “Man, at least the broccoli is killing it!” Subconsciously, this may be my motivtion for growing such a wide mix of crops…there’s always something that will perform well. Certainly, that’s the power of diversity.
The carrot is a hardy crop, one that burrows deep to find reserves of moisture and nutrition as other big Goliaths like winter squash or our beloved corn wither and weep. Because, you see, those big crops simply have more to loose and need that much more water to keep their big bushy limbs hydrated and healthy. Myself, I’m inspired by the small and scrappy crops. They give me hope and reassurance that we all the power and reserves necessary to push through anything.
In the box;
- Napa cabbage: I’m sorry if I’ve already shared the recipe video below, but using napa to create a crunchy salad is just great, especially in summer weather.
- Mizuna: This is a Japanesse green that good either fresh in a salad (many salad mixes have baby mizuna in them). For fresh salad, think of a dressing like a seasame ginger. Chop up with the green onions in the box and maybe some kale, and you’re in business. For cooking, you can certainly use to finish any stir fry, but I love this in a Pho soup with rice noodles.
- Green onions
- Curly kale
- Summer squash (Zucchini and Patty Pan): You’d use the small Sunburst patty pan the same way you would zucchini. I really like to use to make morning fritters with eggs. Simply grate pattypan or zucchini into eggs, mix wit green onions or scapes and fry in pan for breakfast. Other greens can be cooked down and put on top or top with sour cream or salsa. Very versatile.
- Mini-heads of lettuce: These are really mini – a small romaine, green butterhead lettuce, plus tiny red leaf accent lettuce.