Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Veggie Selection at Windfall Farms

Start planning your menu with our projected Spring produce list!

Late Winter / Early Spring

Parsnips Often considered a Fall storage crop, Parsnips are actually one of a handful of root vegetables that will survive the winter and taste all the better for it in the Spring. Medium and larger specimens are great for cooking in a multitude of ways, while the smaller are tender enough for eating raw and taste like carrots.

Chicory Chicory tastes best in the Spring. Seeds planted in the Fall lay dormant in the field through the winter and germinate as the ground thaws. As a result, the plants release sugars to keep them from freezing. This sweetness compliments Chicory’s naturally bitter flavor, creating an unusually delicious beer-like effect on the palette. We have a wide selection of Chicory this year: Clio, Dandelion, Endive, Frisée, Grumolo, Puntarelle, Rosa di Treviso (a type of Radicchio) and more.

Mâche Originally native to the French alps, Mâche is cultivated in our greenhouses through the cold season. It’s a favorite Winter/Spring green because of it’s distinct buttery, nutty flavor and tender leaves.

Claytonia (Miners’ Lettuce) Very mild and juicy, it will fill-out the stronger flavors of any salad.

Fava Greens The tender leaves are still a lesser known delicacy. They are also more readily available for harvest than the beans.

Spinach Spinach plants thrive and taste best amidst cool growing conditions. When it gets too hot it will go to seed and disappear. Get it while the getting is good and ignore its inferior Californian cousins at the grocery. Varieties: Bloomsdale, Bordeaux, Giant Winter, Olympia, Space, Tyee.

Lettuce Lettuce also thrives in the Spring months when the cool, wet weather prevails. Varieties: Buttercrunch (Bibb), Parris Island Cos (Romaine), Red Iceberg, Red Salad Bowl, Rouge d’Hiver, Tom Thumb (Butterhead), Webb’s Wonderland, Winter Density (Bibb), Winter Marvel, Winter Wonderland and more.

Micro Greens The number of varieties of our exclusively greenhouse-grown micros increases in early Spring and is then reduced as field crops become more abundant. In addition to our year-round favorites (Sunflower, Buckwheat, Purple Radish, Hong Vit, Micro Mesclun), depending on Greenhouse conditions, we have a number of other selections (Kale, Red Mustard, Golden Frill, Tatsoi, Ruby Streaks, Arugula, Chickweed, Purslane, Amaranth).

Later Spring

Sugar Snap Peas They should be called “Spring candy.” Accept no substitutes.

Fava Beans The Spring months are not always long enough to have a significant amount of Fava, but whatever we don’t eat for ourselves, we’ll bring to market.

Sorrel A strong lemony flavored green. The smaller leaves can usually be found in our Mesclun salad mix. Larger leaves are great for flavoring any number of dishes and are often recommended with fish.

Mint “The Best” is the name of the variety we grow. It is.

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