Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Favas & Greens 2015


This year I planted favas  three times.  Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Unlike last year when we had no rain whatsoever, this year  we do have a fava crop!  I didn't take any chances this year and put in irrigation.  In my previous 25 years of farming, I have never had to irrigate fava beans.  I had to irrigate them all 3 times this year.

So, this is what we know:  Halloween favas grow the tallest, Thanksgiving favas will provide seed.  Christmas planted favas are just the right height for plowing under.

Don't forget if you are eating favas, to hull the beans and then steam them and then remove the bean shell casing.

Greens for 2015

I planted a lot of greens this spring.  To the right is Senposai.  Senposai, a cross between Japanese Mustard Spinach (Komatsuna) and regular cabbage, is sweeter than most mustards and great for a salad, stir-fry or pickling.

We've been eating them in tacos!  I think I'll start another batch of these. 

Penne with Senposai & Feta

serves 4
1 lb penne or other short, chunky pasta
2 bunches senposai (about 1.5 lbs)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring two pots of water to a boil.  Add pinch of salt to each.  In one, cook pasta until done; drain.  Do remaining preparations while pasta is cooking. Remove stems & center ribs from senposai.  Coarsely chop leaves, & blanch in second pot for 5 minutes.  Leaves should be completely wilted but still bright green.  Remove greens with slotted spoon or tongs & plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  When greens are cool, remove them from the cold water by the handful, squeezing out the excess water. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add scallion and saute until translucent.  Add garlic & a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Cook about 1 minute longer, stirring frequently.  Add greens to skillet, breaking up squeezed handfuls.  Saute, stirring often, until water evaporates (about 5 minutes). Place cooked pasta with senposai mixture in a large bowl.  Add olives, feta, & fresh herbs, toss well.  Season to taste.
Recipe from bigredfarmproject.blogspot.com
 Above are collards.  I haven't grown collards in many many years.  This is a new collard for me,  Even'star from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  I'm looking for more drought tolerant, heat resistant greens.
 This is another Japanese green, at type of Choi.  It's bolting, but the flowers are edible too.  It did not like the surge of heat we just had and will have again this weekend.

These are great stir fried.  I've put in several types of chois this season, and I'll be eating a lot of them!

This one is Taisai.  I've been eating this in a version of Shabu-Shabu.

Boil chicken broth or vege broth.  Add a mixture of veges.  (onions, mushrooms, greens, garlic...etc.)  I also throw in very thinly sliced left over beef, chicken or pork (if there is any)!   We've even eaten this with shrimp, but I put the shrimp in before the veges.  At the end I add a splash of ponzu sauce (because I have a lot of it). 

 To the right here are several new lettuces and little green onions.
 More Choi!
 The chicken hospital is now closed and thankfully I have my oven back.  Sandra was over and raised her eyebrows over baby chicks in the oven.  Hey it was the only place both safe from cats and warm enough for them.   All of the patients recovered thanks to Zack and have been returned to the flock.  Here's the up and coming laying flock.  The leetle bitty yellow chick in the front giving you the eye is a rooster!  He pecks my shoelaces when I get in the pen.   Now I can get back to baking bread, as I couldn't use my oven for two weeks!

Look at those Greens Go!
This rose has taken full advantage of being next to a compost pile.  Now, this has never been irrigated!