May 16th, 2013

I am frequently asked this question, "I would like to come check out the farm, when's the best time to come?"  And I always and answer, "The end of May."  This time of year is simply incredible.  Right now the weather is perfect because the days are relatively cool and dry as that hot and sticky NC summer has not yet set in.  The whip-o-wills (technically chuck-wills-widows) sign their song every morning and evening for entertainment. The Spring produce is in full display with the kales, collards, and swiss chard looking like something out of a catalog.  The summer produce is just hitting the ground so the fields are almost full!  We also like it now that our market and CSA season has offically started and we get to see our customers on a weekly basis.  Finally, the fireflies are just beginning to come out for the year and I'm here to tell you, if 10 acres of fireflies blinking on and off in the evening don't make you smile, then I simply can't help you!

The buttercrunch head lettuces are coming along great.  They are hands down, my personal favorite.  We grow both a green leaf variety as well as a red leaf variety.  This time of year they are huge and make for a perfect salad.  We started these lettuces from seed back in Feb and we made sure to protect them in the frost during that cold month of March.  When we harvest these heads of lettuce we actually pull the rootballs out with the lettuce head and wrap them up.  We have found that wrapping the rootballs keeps these lettuce heads very fresh.  If you need to keep these beauties in your fridge I recommend just putting them in a regular plastic grocery bag and synching them shut.  This keeps the moisture locked inside the bag while the rootball keeps the lettuce looking good and crisp.  Some of our customers have even served "living lettuce" and here they will actually put the lettuce head in the center of the table and submerge the rootball in a bowl of water that also holds the lettuce head.  Folks at the table not only get to admire the beautiful head of lettuce but they also get to pull off leaves themselves to make their salad.

Have a great weekend,
Jeff and the Sugar Creek Crew

Kale Chips

Olive Oil

Pull stems from Kale and arrange on a baking sheet in a single (or so) layer, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and bake at 375° for 10 minutes or 15 minutes, giving the cookie sheet a shake or two if you remember, until the edges get crispy.

Sauteed Chard with Garlic and Red Pepper

2 tbsp  olive oil
2 stalks green garlic (white part finely chopped)
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 lg bunch chard cut into small pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon or a few teaspoons red wine vinegar

Heat the oil with the garlic and pepper flakes in a wide skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic begins to color. Add the chard and toss to coat it with the oil. Add 1/4 cup water (carefully) and cook until it's absorbed and the greens are heated through. Season with salt and a little lemon juice or vinegar.

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