Shiitake, greens, and RAIN

MAY 14, 2015
Interns 2015 Jackson, Sam, Liz

Garden interns Jackson Wells, Sam Lewis, and Liz Mountford with an April hoophouse harvest

Dear Friends,
Happy Spring to all of you! Our spring here has been quite a ride with the rains….making getting everything in the ground a challenge. But what beauty! All the spring plantings are so lush and green. The fruit crops this year should be bountiful, as there were very few lingering frosts after early March (unlike last year when we weren’t finished with frost even by mid-May!) Our several solar-heated hoophouses kept us marketing greens to Ozark Natural Foods all winter, and provided an abundance of flowers and edibles to kick off the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market in April. The Market continues to amaze us with an ever-increasing attendance. LOCAL FOOD IS IN–and what a great way to catch up with friends and listen to some homegrown music talent as well. We are at the Market on the Square each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the southwest corner of Block and Mountain.
We are blessed to again have a fantastic crew of young people here on the farm for the summer, learning the ropes of organic production and marketing: Jackson (Hot Springs), Liz (Dallas), Sam (New York), Ton (Thailand), and Emily (Bella Vista). Liz has made some great time-lapse videos of some of the spring work and harvests that you can view on our Dripping Springs Garden Facebook page. As you can see from the videos, the garden work requires incredible discipline and coordination for all of us, and we’re happy to have such pleasant young people to share it all with.
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Ton, Jackson, and Sam at work inoculating oak logs with shiitake mycelium
A special welcome to all of our new and returning Community Supported Agriculture subscribers that are getting their first box deliveries this morning! Thank you for your trust and support…without a doubt, our Wednesday CSA harvest is tinged with special excitement. We know we’re harvesting for our friends and neighbors, many of whom we’ve known for years; we know our CSA folks are foodies in the best sense and appreciate the just-picked freshness of everything in the CSA boxes. There is a special magic to this place…you can smell and taste it!
 CSA box May 14 2015
(Clockwise from top)
‘Salvius’ Romaine lettuce
‘Roja’ and ‘Scarlet’ kale
Braising mix (bagged) with mizuna, tatsoi, and ‘Suehlihung’ mustard (full shares only)
‘White Spear’ bunching onions
‘Bright Lights’ chard
‘Prize Choi’ pac choi
‘Hakurrei’ Japanese turnips (from Marty’s Totally)
‘Chandler’ strawberries
Greens! Nothing like ’em for a good spring cleaning. Not all of us are so good about eating our greens, which most of us know by now are at the top of the lists for nutrient density, cancer prevention, minerals and vitamins….you name it. Greens are the first things nature offers us in the Spring, and having a good cooking repertoire with greens can make big difference with family acceptance. Some of us remember the old-timey cooking of greens, boiled beyond recognition (making a “mess”)–makes kids run away in a hurry! These days many of us lightly saute chopped greens until just tender with onions or garlic, and top with a dash of vinegar, grated ginger, or hot sauce before serving. Here are a few recipe suggestions to expand your greens menu….


Ginger Garlic Greens (
Makes about 4 servings

2-3 bunches baby bok choy, rinsed thoroughly, trimmed, and chopped (to equal about 6-8 cups)
1 Tb. coconut oil or olive oil
1-2 Tb. garlic, peeled and minced (use the larger amount if you love garlic)
1-2 Tb. ginger, peeled and minced (use the larger amount if you love ginger)
1 Tb. water
1 Tb. rice vinegar
1 Tb. tamari or wheat-free soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds for garnish-optional

Heat coconut oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the minced ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a minute or so. Add the greens, and then the water, rice vinegar, and tamari. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are wilted down and completely cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top, if using, and serve immediately.

Massaged Kale Salad (
Here a pungent garlicky dressing is infused into kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. Any type of kale will work in this kale salad recipe, just remember to remove the tough stems before you start.
Makes: 6 servings, about 2 cups each
 2 bunches kale
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Strip leaves from the stems (discard stems). Wash and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Add Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce, anchovy (if using), pepper and salt. With clean hands, firmly massage and crush the greens to work in the flavoring. Stop when the volume of greens is reduced by about half. The greens should look a little darker and somewhat shiny. Taste and adjust seasoning with more Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, soy sauce and/or pepper, if desired.


Butter Bathed Tokyo Turnips (

1 bunch tokyo turnips
olive oil
2-3 T butter
leaves from 4 branches thyme

Halve the turnips, reserving any greens for another use. Heat a large, cast iron skillet until very hot. Add a couple tablespoons olive oil and sear the turnips, cut side down, until darkly colored. Flip the turnips, sprinkle them with salt, and continue to sear the rounded sides for another couple minutes, or until deeply colored.
Add a quarter cup of water to the pan and immediately cover the skillet with a lid or sheet pan. Lower the heat and allow the turnips to steam for a few minutes, or until they are as tender as you like them.
Remove the lid. If the water has not boiled off, allow it to do so now, then add the butter and bathe the turnips in the butter as it melts, a minute or two more. Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top, taste for salt and serve warm. Delicious.

Simple Sauteed Braising Mix Recipe (
Yield: Serves 2-4
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 medium white onion or shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ pound Braising mix
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup stock or water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large, high-sided sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat.
  2. When shimmering add onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and sauté briefly, stirring quickly to avoid browning, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in braising mix, tossing to mix.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika and add stock, covering and reducing heat to low. Cook until lightly wilted, about another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and sprinkle with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Market stand early April 2015
Early April Saturday market on the Square in Fayetteville
CSA folks: please remember to save your delivery box and bring it back to return next week.
Have a great, tasty week!