The last few weeks on the farm we have kicked it into high gear in the fields, trying our best to empty our greenhouses by transplanting as many seedlings as possible! It takes many hands to perform the symphony of running the farm, and this season we have an extraordinary crew to depend on. Each year we welcome four new people into our Apprenticeship Program, which trains new farmers in the art of organic agriculture over a season-long hands-on work experience. This year’s apprentices join a group of five returning Amber Waves employees, all of whom arrived at the farm as apprentices and have graduated into more advanced roles where they can deepen their farming skills and also bring to the farm their interest in a variety of complementary disciplines: education, community-building, health, wellness, food justice, and design. They represent the changing face of agriculture in America – which is evolving to include more young people, more women, and more individuals from non-agricultural backgrounds - in order to meet the challenge of sustainably feeding our growing population.
Amber Waves is a teaching farm, so our crew has the unique opportunity to improve their hands-on skills in the field in a productive learning environment. They also have vast responsibilities in order to grow food for you all season long. Together they seed, transplant, and harvest from hundreds of thousands of plants in our more than ten acres of vegetable fields. They drive tractors, wash produce, go to farmers’ markets, pack CSA shares, and spend many long hours working together in the fields. We hope you’ll get a chance to meet each of them this season, but visit our Meet the Farmers page for a sneak peek!
Fun facts! Our crew…
- Comes from all over the country: California, Ohio, Philadelphia, New Jersey, upstate New York, Boston, Vermont, Washington state, and Georgia.
- Is all women (coincidental, not intentional!) except for our fantastic Educational Director, Farmer Chris.
- Is new to farming! No one comes from an agricultural background.
- Loves to cook! Their recommended recipes will be included throughout the season.
- Is extremely energetic and driven – they are the lifeblood of daily work at the farm.
This week’s box:
- Collard greens (have you tried them as wraps yet? And try this collard slaw)
- Napa Cabbage (here’s a link to easy kimchi – our Field Manager Adrienne makes one that makes my mouth water as I write this)
- Kohlrabi (looks like an alien! recipes below)
- Arugula (try this pesto recipe!)
- Broccoli Raab (great sautéed with garlic and olive oil – leaves and stem)
- Mustard Greens (use as a bed under a roasted chicken or fish, the greens absorb all of those delicious juices)
- Pea Shoots (there’s no shame in just having them be pretty on the table – don’t forget those purple flowers are edible too!
- Lettuce (you’ve got this!)
This week's recipes:
This week’s box contains LOTS of greens. The best way to keep greens fresh is to store them in the fridge in a plastic bag with a little moisture inside (a wet paper towel – or the moisture already on them when you pick them up should suffice). If your greens are starting to look a little wilty or sad, you can shock them back to life by immersing them and letting them soak for several minutes in icey-cold water. Shake them off or pat them dry to remove excess water before you put them back in their bag in the fridge. Many of the cut and bunched greens in your box also do well with their stems in a jar or glass of water sitting on a shelf in your refrigerator. We promise “solid food” is coming soon, and we hope in the meantime you’re enjoying the many varieties of greens we have growing this spring. Salads are great, but there is so much more to do with greens than salad. Here are some of our favorites:
- Pesto (arugula pesto really fun and sharp!)
- Green Smoothies
- Chopped and sautéed with garlic and olive oil
The box also includes kohlrabi! This is our first time growing it, and we’re pretty excited about this alien-looking vegetable. Here are two ways we suggest preparing it:
- Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Kohlrabi Crostini with Crispy Lemons and Shallots
- Kohlrabi Slaw (recipe calls for purple cabbage, but you can substitute in your Napa cabbage!)
To pick in the fields:
- The herb garden is open!
This week’s rotating cheese share:
- Catapano Goat Dairy Summer Cloud – melt in your mouth aged goat cheese
This week’s rotating bread share:
- Salty Soured Pickled Rye: this one-and-one-half pound loaf is baked with a combination of bread flour, locally grown rye flour, salt, pickle brine, caraway seeds, and a natural rye starter that was first cultured in Southampton over 15 years ago.