What a wet week! The garden—and everything else—is saturated with rain, weeds and insects are out in full force, and it’s a challenge to even get out into the garden to get anything done in the mud. We’re very thankful for the protection of our agricultural high tunnel over our tomatoes, tomatillos, and some herbs, but could use a dome over the whole farm!
But weather aside, it’s been a good week! We were happy to contribute to the Franklin County Farmers’ Market’s first monthly South Frankfort Food Share program of the season. The Food Share is a cooperative buying program that allows people to buy a box of assorted vegetables on a sliding scale based on their income. In addition to food access, the program seeks to educate participants on how to use fresh vegetables that may be new to them, and to build community. Dandelion Ridge Farm was proud to contribute parsley and collards to this month’s variety of veggies. The next food share will be July 16; you can sign up for a share starting July 3 if you’re interested.
We’re also bringing some new items to market this week! We’re harvesting our first heads of red cabbage and first bunches of celery this week! The cabbage is a variety called Integro, with a beautiful pearlescent color and succulent, sweet leaves, and it is featured, along with green tomatoes, in our new Lizzie’s Chow Chow relish! This chow chow recipe was passed down from Kevin’s maternal great grandmother, Elizabeth Jenkins, an active subsistence farmer and food preservationist in rural east Texas. Her cooking skills—and the dishes she fed her loved ones--are family legends, and we’re excited to share her chow chow with you! We love it best over a big bowl of black eyed peas and cornbread for an extra dollop of luck and deliciousness!
I used to think of celery in the same category as onions and garlic; they add flavor and crunch to dishes, but other than raw celery sticks with a dip, I didn’t really think of them as a vegetable in their own right. I would buy a bunch of celery for a recipe, then only use a few stalks and the rest would sit in fridge until it got limp. But this year, I’ve gotten into roasting celery and eating it as a side dish, and this has totally changed my relationship with what is now one of my favorite vegetables! I don’t typically follow a recipe when roasting celery, but here is basically what I do. The flavors of thyme, tarragon, and fennel complement the celery really well. I hope you’ll try it and fall in love with celery like I did! Find the recipe for Roasted Celery and Fennelhere.