Beautiful strawberries are bountiful at La Colina Linda this season. Last year we moved our plants to a different field and added lots of compost in the fall and early spring. What a difference! Now customers pick up strawberries on "Curb-side Friday Farm Pickup" or on Tuesday afternoons at Murdale Shopping Center parking lot.
What to do with your certified organic fresh strawberries: Eating fresh is always wonderful, but also try them with the green parts and all in smoothies; eat them with our gluten-free, plant-based strawberry shortcake biscuits; enjoy on top of our high protein gluten-free, plant-based waffles; make strawberry jam; daiquiris are delicious with fresh berries, fresh lime juice, a simple syrup, white rum and ice whirred up in a blender, so refreshing.
Harvesting and eating strawberries are not all that we have been up to. We planted bush and pole beans, hibiscus bushes for envibotanicals.com, perennial greens and root vegetables, chamomile, and amaranth. We continue to harvest organic herbs and this week we will cut lemon balm, elder flowers and yarrow for blissoma.com and Our goumi berry bushes are full and we pick them to make syrup for baking and beverages, and to ferment wine and kombucha. We harvested all of our shallots to make room for a bed of cornflowers. Finally, we have our sour dough 10 inch pizza rounds once again for sale in the baked goods section. We can also cater a fully loaded plant-based pizza.
Much needed rain this week is helping all of the new seedlings on the farm get a good start. Fortunately we have had some beautiful sunny weather too. Our hardneck garlic is producing scapes now so we've posted them on our storefront for Friday "farm curb-side pickup." Garlic scapes are a lovely addition to a meal. They are milder than garlic cloves with an array of uses from soup to salads to garnishes and pesto. Scapes are traditionally used in Southern, Eastern European, and Korean cuisine because of the subtle flavor and tender-crisp texture. Add to your favorite stir-fry dishes, chop and add raw to salads, use them in canning recipes, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and put on the grill, add to guacamole and salsas, spread garlic scape pesto on pizza crust or freeze the scapes for later use. These are a just a few of the many ways that we enjoy these delicacies.
We are also featuring freckle romaine and gold tail romaine on our store front this week along with sorrel, variegated chicory, and komi shungiku. Our strawberries are continuing to bear. Keep in mind our carrot top pesto which makes a great dip or topping and our tulsi-mountain mint loose tea which is delicious hot or iced. All produce is certified organic. Last but not least we continue to bake gluten-free plant-based breads, cookies, scones, brownies and shortcake biscuits.
Congratulations to all of the 2020 graduates! A very special congratulations to grandchildren Margaret and Audrey Kinser! Margaret graduated from high school and Audrey from eighth grade! We are so very proud! You will do great things!
It has been a wet week at the farm where we have planted, weeded and gathered around the rain storms. We continue to bake on Tuesday mornings for our online market sales. This week we feature a beautiful array of lettuces for our salad mix (leaf lettuce, romaine, orach, sorrel); tulsi/mountain mint loose leaf tea; carrot top pesto; and, strawberry shortcake biscuits. Our strawberries are starting to come on, so we hope to have the fruit for sale soon too.
In addition to tending all the planted beds, this week we will be planting peppers, ashwagandha and ginger in the high tunnel, and tulsi tea, more self heal, St. John's wort, milk thistle, California poppy, root vegetables, culinary basil, calendula, dandelion root, and asparagus in the field. Our dehydrator is busy drying lots of chickweed and rose petals.
Beginning Friday May 22, we will offer curb-side service at our farm between 12 pm - 6 pm. Please place orders by Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. La Colina Linda is located in Cobden, 610 Heern Road. At farm, orders will be placed in the customer's car, no need for the customer to get out of car.
Kathy and I (Jeri) hope you are doing well during these difficult times. We are keeping our sanity at this stay-at-home time by getting plants started, harvesting and drying chickweed and planting at the farm. La Colina Linda is in the process of harvesting the last of the crops from the winter growth in the high tunnel: leeks, onions, carrots, and greens. We planted tomatoes, latina tomatillos and snow peas already and now there is room for chili peppers, ginger and turmeric. In addition, we planted lots of things outside: potatoes, leeks, chicory, plantain, yarrow, marshmallows, self-heal, red clover, cone flowers, giant solomon seal, goldenseal, common sage, nettle, wild leeks, ostrich fern, white trout lily and quince, mayhaw, and jujube trees. Next week will include New Jersey tea, anise hyssop, Ohio and prairie spiderworts, spotted bee balm and Bradbury's manarda, among other things.
For next week's online market sales, we have many bundles of carrots, various types of onions, green garlic, quelite mix, parsley, sorrel, salad greens, choi, blackberry jam and vinegar and our gluten-free baked goods. See the produce and baked goods links in the menu. Please order by Monday at 5:00 p.m.
Here are some ideas for using the quelite mix: chop finely and use in salads or stir fries; saute with onions for a taco; use as your pesto greens.
Kathy Ward and Jeri Kinser
Kathy is professor emerita of sociology and women's studies at SIU-Carbondale. She is currently farmer and co-owner with Jeri Kinser of La Colina Linda Farm. Jeri has been an educator of K-12 for 40 years specializing in instructional technology and bilingual education.