Welcome back to a new year at Farmer’s Pick. If you are a new subscriber to our web blog, thank-you for joining us.
This blog is meant to keep you up to date on what we are growing, availability of items, prices and special deals, to share knowledge, recipes, and our passion for growing tasty produce and beautiful flowers.
It has been a wetter than normal spring for Boise, a challenge to get seed in the ground early. We direct seed a lot of what we grow and do not use greenhouses for growing crops. Never less, we got the cool weather loving peas, roots vegetables, and leafy greens going. The heat loving tomatoes, eggplant, melons and squash starts will be transplanted to the field in the next couple weeks. The garlic planted last fall is sizing up well.
We are excited to grow some new items this year, including leeks, bunching onions, potatoes, broccoli, Thai eggplant, and several new flower varieties.
Our farm stand is now open weekends, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. Beginning in July we open four days a week, Thursday through Sunday. We shut down the farm stand after the first killing frost in mid to late October.
Mostly perennial herbs….
- Fresh cut chives and chive flowers: $1.50 a bunch. See recipe suggestions below.
- Italian Parsley: $1.25 a large bunch. Enjoy juicing your own vegetable drinks? This parsley has a wonderfully vibrant taste, pleasingly mild. Full of nutrition. Can also be made into a pesto and frozen for later use. Large quantity available.
- Feather Dill: $1.50 a bunch
- Tarragon herb: $1.50 a bunch
- Sage: $1.50 a bunch
- Greek Oregano: $1.50 a bunch
- Thyme: $1.50 a bunch
- Chicken Eggs: $3.50 a dozen. We are raising a mix of heritage and hybrid chicken breeds for a colorful assortment of fresh laid eggs. Fed only non-gmo grains and produce, and foraged bugs and plants.
What are Chive Flowers?
You’re probably already familiar with the long, slender chive leaves you can buy packaged at the market. But unless you’re growing your own, you might not know that come springtime, chive plants (Allium schoenprasum) send up hollow stems called scapes, and at the end of each scape is a bud that develops into a flower.
Each chive flower is made up of a cluster of florets. Free the florets from the flower head and you get a multitude of tiny blossoms ready to elevate the look and taste of every dish they grace.
How do they taste? Chives come from the same allium family as onions, being more delicate means they’re mild enough to eat uncooked.
How to Use Chive Flowers…
1) Buy them fresh and grown free of pesticides. The growing window is short. 2) Wash before using. The flowers can house tiny bugs. To flush them out, just plunge the flowers into water several time and swish them around. Repeat a few times and pat dry. 3) Separate the flowers into florets. Using your fingers, gently pull the florets away from the center of the flower head. Some florets may come away attached to a tiny stem of their own.
After you’ve separated the florets, you can use them in different ways:
-Sprinkle them over egg recipes and savory crepes to give them a pop of color and texture.
-Gently mash them into softened butter or cream cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.
-If you’re making a potato salad flavored with chive leaves, crumble a few flower heads in there as well.
-Add a couple of tablespoons of chive florets to a savory biscuit recipe.
-Mash chopped chive leaves into deviled egg fillings and garnish with chive florets.
-Toss them into all kinds of salad recipes.
-Add them to salad dressings.
-Use them to garnish soups.
RECIPE: Chive Blossom Infused Vinegar
by Vanessa Greaves
“Fresh chive blossoms steeped in Champagne vinegar makes a subtly chive-flavored, blush-colored vinegar. Try it in your next vinaigrette salad dressing, and make several batches of this gorgeous vinegar to give away all summer. After 2 weeks, the vinegar will take on the delicate purple color and subtle onion flavor of the chives.”
- 24 chive blossoms
- 1 1/2 cups champagne vinegar
- 1 1-pint canning jar with lid and ring, sterilized
1) Wash chive blossoms by holding them upside down from the stem and plunging them into a deep bowl of cold water. Swish them around to dislodge any soil. Pour out the water and repeat 2 or 3 times. 2) Snip or pinch off each blossom where it meets the stem. Dry blossoms gently but thoroughly with paper towels or in a salad spinner. Pack canning jar with blossoms loosely. 3) Heat vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling, 2 to 4 minutes. Pour hot vinegar over blossoms in canning jar, screw on lid, and store in the refrigerator until desired flavor intensity is reached, 1 to 2 weeks. Strain out blossoms and store vinegar in a sterilized glass container.
Note: Substitute Champagne vinegar with white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar, if preferred.
Until next time, peace.