July is finally here in all its glory, the heat, humidity and the weeds certainly will not let us forget that. The trouble with summer and the weeds is it can be easy to forget something by letting the grass grow over it. Surely there are countless things that get left behind, a favorite shirt, a hat, usually a hose or sand bag that is discovered again once it is run over with the mower. As the grass grows tall it is easy to forget all those ambitious goals that come with longer nights and colder days. But if we can keep our thoughts on the most important goals of stewarding the land, caring for the soil and as a result feeding the good food people, then in our minds we have done a pretty good job despite the tall grasses and missing the mark on a few ambitious plans.
Summer inevitably throws wrenches in the generally smooth running machine that is Star Light Gardens. However like a healthy plant we can be quite resilient and are often of the opinion that the tough times and how we handle them help make us the people and growers we are. Most recently you may be aware of our challenges with both refrigeration and the tractor. As we await more permanent solutions to these issues we must be flexible and creative to ensure production keeps moving and good food gets out to you the good food folks. This translates to breaking up the harvest and extra time soaking those leafy greens. Not to mention the use of wet sheets to help hold the right humidity keeping things crisp. For field prep we look to no till techniques like tarping and solarization. These techniques are a bit more laborious(especially with the aforementioned weeds) but none the less effective allowing us to plant, prep and harvest.
Another thing about Summer is you can more than likely correlate the lack of quality and content in our letter with the day length. Simply put we don’t quite have the slow lazy mornings that come with the other seasons and the fields (and weeds) are calling. Luckily we can lean on the excellent partnerships that we have with great people three of which we want to highlight today. First off is Sweet Sage Bakery. We have been customers and farmer’s market friends with Kathy and Sweet Sage for years now. For the last three weeks we have been offering three of her delicious breads through our online store and we highly recommend you try them out(only if you love great bread). Orders for bread from Sweet Sage must be placed by noon on Wednesday for pick up Friday only on the farm in Durham.
Next up, is another installment of Recipes and Nutrition Inspiration by EmPower.
Frisée Cobb Salad with Homemade Kefir Ranch Dressing
For the salad:
1 head of frisée
1 head of red iceberg or romaine lettuce
8 strips grass-fed bacon or protein of choice, chopped into small pieces
½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Scallions, diced for garnish
For the kefir ranch dressing
½ cup kefir
½ cup kefir cheese or cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic or 2 garlic scapes
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced onion, dehydrated
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or less to taste
Nutritional benefits of Frisée:
Frisée is a type of salad green in the chicory family; also called curly endive and is made up of long, narrow curly leaves. A single serving of frisée meets one third of the daily recommended amount of folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, and also contains small amounts of vitamin K and manganese. Frisée a fantastic source of dietary fiber and is favored by chefs for its bright
bitterness and satisfying crunch. Swap out part of your salad greens for frisée to take your taste buds on a ride!
Lastly we want to spread the word about Heel & Hive, a new Ecology Zine by one of SLG very own crew members Lindsay! They are currently looking for submissions for their first issue focused on the theme Ecologies of Care. In Lindsay’s words, “Whether ecological beings large or small, we believe all have a vital story to tell. From the pollution and privatization of water to food access and organizing community fridges to sharing knowledge around foraging and native plants to the bioremediation of soil in New Haven, stories of humanity and ecology are inextricably linked. Write or make art about taking care of bees, the forest & mental health, lack of public green space, language, myth, biking, mutual aid, waterways, your relationship to your favorite bird, or really anything! “
We have a feeling you Good Food People are going to enjoy this publication and might like to contribute! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with submissions or questions.
Have a great week y’all!