Monday, June 14, 2010

Go Local- Use Your Bounty- Week 2

photos from top clockwise: 1. spinach and baby beet greens drying, 2. greens all bagged up for sharing. 3. The bottom of my sink after soaking greens. That's dirt. 4. spinach drying in the colander. 5. creamed spinach and baby beet greens. center: the white sauce for creamed spinach.

This week's post is all about spinach.
We planted a 2 foot wide, 50 foot long bed of spinach at the farm on May 1st. I'm not sure how many plants actually germinated, but our cool, rainy spring has made for some excellent production. Eating home grown spinach is nothing like buying it in the store. We've been eating it in salads with very little dressing and the girls never complain. It's so fresh and yummy that they don't mind. This week we really kicked up our production a notch, though. I harvested over 7 pounds of spinach and filled two turkey roasters and my biggest enamel bowl to heaping. If you live in a cool climate you can probably still plant spinach, but if you live where it gets hot, you'll need to wait until September or late August to get a fall crop. We'll most certainly plant again this fall for a preservation crop. We may even try row covers for next year and see if we can get spinach in the ground in late March.
Spinach is easy to freeze. All you need to do is blanch for 2 minutes and remove to a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking (for 2 mintes). Chop it if you want it for creamed spinach or casseroles and then let it dry on towels a bit to reduce freezer burn potential and place it in freezer bags. Label with the date and freeze.
Last night I made creamed spinach (and baby beet greens) and everyone loved it. Before you turn your nose up you may want to try this recipe. It's divine.

Creamed Spinach
adapted from Simply in Season

6-8 c. loosely packed spinach
steam, chop and set aside
1T. Butter
1T flour
2 c. Milk
1t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
generous pinch nutmeg (my addition, optional, but so yummy!)

Melt the butter in a med. skillet over med-high heat and whisk in the flour gradually. Stir until smooth and then gradually pour in milk while continuing to whisk. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg and continue to stir allowing the sauce to simmer until it begins to thicken to a consistency you like. Turn off the heat and add spinach.
Enjoy!

What have you been up to? Leave a comment or a link!

5 comments:

  1. I love spinach, and will be looking to pick some up at the farmer's market this Saturday for sure. Yum!

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  2. This is small compared to what you describe but we have planted a lot more this year! I have a crazy amount of mixed lettuce and cilantro! I need to cut it down and share. Also we are going to have a whole lotta huge pumpkins in a couple months. I love spring/summer. (heck I love fall/winter:D)

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  3. My mouth is watering!!

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  4. Looks amazing! Sorry for the radio-silence from Pike Schemes. We are still in school until June 25. I just had visitors for a week and another set is coming on Thursday. Soon I will get my local goodness together and share my bounty!

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  5. WOW! That's a lot of spinach and we love spinach at our house! I tried to grow it last year and nada...very sad. My go local is getting a late start as well but I'm about to post now!

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