Can we talk about where May went? Because the hell if I know. All of a sudden I looked up from the fields and not only was one of my favorite months coming to a close, but our CSA is almost ready to begin, our list of crops to transplant is tremendous, and the temperatures are rapidly approaching 90 degrees here in Wisconsin. I’m not sure what happened, but apparently May, and with that spring, is quickly drawing to a close.
I’m not especially sad about it. This spring has been a real challenge.
Not only because of the snow that fell late and the hail that plagued our (luckily largely unaffected) crops, but also because our brand new tractor has more than one malfunctioning part, our spring labor is minimal, and the rain just keeps on falling. It’s been a monster of a spring with expanded growth, a greenhouse to build, add-on shares, new CSA offerings, a zillion new farm partners to chat and collaborate with, and the final discussions and movement forward on a building that will go up on our property in a couple weeks.
Since that snow melted a month ago, I don’t think we’ve stopped moving.
I don’t say any of this with sadness or bitterness or even exhaustion. We’re somehow still smiling and feeling (mostly) in control of a time of year that is really impossible to control. A lot of really great stuff has been happening too. I was invited to be part of a small local film with a restaurant partner, I was featured on a dynamite, up-and-coming lady farmer platform, and I was part of a menu planning workshop focused on celebrating local food.
All in all, I’m extremely happy with how we’ve handled and managed everything since this season started. I’m just also ready for the next stage: where I start feeding my community and sharing recipes, where I start reaping the rewards of all our hard work (and by that I mean heaping amounts of amazing fresh produce in my fridge and never-ending culinary inspiration), and where I spend my days harvesting all the goodies and celebrating the abundance!
Right now we are in this funny place where we spend our days in the sunshine, planting vegetables and nurturing what soon will become food, but not actually having that much that’s ready to harvest and eat. And we’re far too busy to grocery shop so we’re trying our best to make due with what we have (which is seriously dwindling) and avoid hitting up the local sub shop every day.
Luckily, we are surrounded by generosity. A friend gave us a giant bag of foraged ramps a couple weeks back that we’ve been putting in everything, our new employee Kristen brings us giant bags of herb trimmings from the greenhouse where she also works, and our other employee Rebecca delivers us a dozen eggs from her chickens each week. Pair that all with the (lackluster) storage potatoes and shallots we’ve still got in the basement, the Greek yogurt we always have in our fridge, some asparagus a friend dropped off on our porch, and the avocados I’m buying by the basket-full to try and keep my Carrot packed full of fat and protein, and you’ve got a pretty great salad on your hands. We can scavenge the fields for just enough greens to make it all work.
My go-to dressing lately is a bright, herbaceous green goddess dressing that takes literally 5 minutes to make in the food processor and causes no guilt even if you drizzle a quarter (or sometimes half) cup all over your salad. It’s essentially yogurt and vegetables so there’s literally no indulgence going on. Nothing to feel bad about.
My favorite salad, as alluded to above, has an ample amount of this dressing over greens but also boiled potatoes, roasted asparagus, hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced shallots, and avocados. It was born of necessity– just all that we had in the house– but is better than any salad I’ve ever had in a restaurant. We have only had a small taste of fresh local food this spring and I’m already remembering why it’s always worth the wait. It doesn’t take much fuss or much thought. It’s perfect just as it is.
RAMP GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
If you don’t have ramps, you can substitute any number of things. Two bunches of ramps is about equivalent to a bunch of scallions, a bunch of green garlic, a large leek or a couple minced shallots.
Makes 1 pint
Takes 10 minutes
2 cups packed fresh herbs- I used basil but a mix of basil, parsley, dill, cilantro and/or mint would all work fine
2 bunches ramps, ends trimmed
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon water to thin, if needed
- Combine herbs and ramps in the food processor and run until finely chopped. Scrape the sides once or twice if things aren’t finding the blade right away.
- Add remaining ingredients (but not the water) and process until smooth. If too thick, add a bit of water. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve over so much salad every day until you tire of greens.