It takes a community to raise anything, accomplish anything. Earlier this week I was walking by this beautiful rhododendron and was compelled to stop. I walk by this plant every day, multiple times on my way to the front door. But this morning, at 5:30, the plant was all a buzz, literally buzzing with the humble bumble bee—what a wonderful symphony! All these beautiful insects were freely about their work, in and out of one flower and then off to the next one, hundreds of them sharing the flowers with each other. It is beautiful.
We have lots of these workers everywhere. Our farm is a safe haven for them and for many more less common critters, all equally important, filling their space on our farm and in our community.
The rhododendron is beautiful and fragrant, but it really doesn’t have any economic value for the farm, unless you consider the pollinators. When the pollinators enter into the equation, that rhododendron becomes indispensable!
With all the trouble honey bees are having with the myriad of chemicals farmers are using to grow their crops, I am thankful for the other pollinators. My guess is that the humble bumbles are also impacted, but because they are not colonized like honey bees we do not hear about their losses. But if given space to forage where the farm is “clean” and free of chemicals, the bumble bees, and a host of other insects, thrive.
And as a side note, the farmer gets the apples, pears, plums, and berries pollinated and you get the “fruit” of their work and mine!
Next time you see a humble bumble at work, whisper a “thank you” for all the work they happily do for us!
Recipe for this week’s box menu: Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Dill
1 bunch carrots, scrubbed and patted dry
2 teaspoons avocado oil or other high-heat oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon dill, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim tops and any fibrous ends from the carrots and cut crosswise into pieces approximately 3 inches long. Cut any thick ends in half lengthwise, so all pieces are about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. (If you are using an outdoor grill, see note below.) In a bowl, toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
2. Preheat grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Place carrots cut-side down on the grill and cover. (Use a big pot lid or a metal sheet pan as a grill pan lid.) Grill for 4-5 minutes, until the carrots develop sear marks and are beginning to soften. Flip, cover, and grill for another 4-5 minutes. Carrots will be softened with a bit of crunch in the middle.
3. Transfer the carrots to a bowl. Mix in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, dill, lemon juice and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you’re using an outdoor grill, you may want to grill the carrots whole, so they don’t fall through the grates. After grilling, let them sit until cool enough to handle, cut them into pieces and proceed with the recipe.
Try using other acid and herb or spice combinations. A few ideas: lime juice & cilantro, balsamic vinegar & parsley, and orange juice & cumin.
Recipe from thekitchn.com
Know Your Produce: Green Onions
Also called scallions, green onions have a mild, sweet flavor; raw or cooked, they can be used in a variety of dishes. Unlike other onions, scallions are very perishable. Refrigerate them in a sealed plastic bag, and use within three days. Before cooking, cut away any wilted parts from the tops, trim the roots from the bulb, and wash thoroughly. Try them as a topping on pizza or cut up and added to soup during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Nutritional facts: Besides being higher than other onions in folate and potassium, green onions provide a significant amount of beta-carotene (in the green tops).