This week, in addition to all our other great produce, Hattie’s Garden will be harvesting young spinach leaves. We harvest just the leaves, then cool and wash quickly to preserve freshness for you.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, spinach is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. A bag of our spinach will cook down to provide at least two good servings, or serve raw as a great salad.
What’s Available This Week
The following items will be available at Hattie’s Garden on Thursday, October 9, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, October 11, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market (HLFM), now located at the Shields Elementary parking lot.
- Spinach – young spinach leaves washed and bagged for you to stay in perfect condition. Although washed, you will want to rinse the spinach again. The best way to clean greens is to place leaves in a sink full of water so that any soil falls to the bottom.
- Mesclun – a mix of arugula and loose leaf.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce – cut at a young and tender stage of growth and includes a delightful variety of colors, shapes and textures.
- Red Russian Kale – nice bunches of tender leaves that can be juiced, eaten in salads, or cooked.
- Young Toscano Kale from our thinnings. It’s delicate and delicious. Great eaten raw.
- Young Pak Choi ‘Joi Choi’ – thick, crispy, juicy white stems and glossy deep green leaves. Use the entire plant for stir-fry, braising, steaming or added to soups. Cut up the stems if you want the leaves and stems to cook more evenly, or start the stems first.
- Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage – much lighter than a Napa Chinese Cabbage, this one can be eaten raw or slightly cooked, especially in a quick stir-fry.
- Hakurei Turnips – if you tend to run screaming from turnips, these pretty little turnips just may turn you around.
- Carrots – delicious, sweet young fall carrots.
- Rudolph Radishes – beautiful, perfect, bright-red radishes with just a hint of spiciness.
- Tomatoes – we are still harvesting medium sized tomatoes for slicing and salads. Our cherry tomatoes are ‘Tommy Toe‘ (a larger bright red heirloom cherry with great flavor) and ‘Jasper‘ (a small delicious-pop-in-your-mouth sweet cherry tomato that kids love).
- Peppers – our hot peppers are still producing and range in heat from a mild Ancho or Anaheim to a very very hot Habenero.
- Lemongrass – get some fresh lemongrass to freeze for use during the winter and for using fresh in your fish, chicken and vegetable dishes.
- Flowers – we will be cutting Lisianthus, Zinnias, Gomphrena and Ageratum this week. These flowers are cut and conditioned to last all week for you and come with a packet of flower food.
Harvesting and a Word about Small Farmers
We are often told at Hattie’s Garden that our salad greens last for a very long time in the refrigerator. And they do. We tell you one week because we know they will last at least that long, but they will often last much longer if kept properly cooled. At Hattie’s Garden, we are all about the post-harvest process.
When we harvest a vegetable, we know that it is at the height of freshness and of nutritional value. We do everything we can to preserve that state of freshness. We harvest early in the day while things are cool and we immediately remove produce from the garden and place in our 42° large walk-in shed.
Yes, that yellow shed you see on our website at the back of the garden is equipped with a tiny, but ingenious device known as a “cool-bot.” The cool-bot is attached to a large air conditioner in the back wall and allows the air conditioner to run without freezing over, down to a temperature as low as 35 degrees. It is an answer to the farmer’s prayer for an inexpensive cooling system and was invented by a farmer in New York State.
Farmers, as it turns out, are some of the most inventive people you will meet. We have to be, because our livelihood depends upon it. We continually attempt to do more with less and come up with some incredible ideas and work-arounds.
I encourage you to really get to know your farmers. The small farmer is a true agronomist and ideally is educated in sustainability, soil science, botany, biology, horticulture, carpentry, engineering, meteorology, accounting, marketing and more. He or she is often “handy” and is nearly always very efficient.
Our local farmers know quite a lot about a wide range of topics and are usually engaged in some type of learning all the time. I can say with certainty that the small farmers that attend HLFM love what they do and enjoy sharing about it.
Yours at the market and garden…