A Family affair
The modern food system is designed in a way that relies on the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. So, when trying to grow things without these chemicals and in a way that rehabilitates the land where we work, we need to get creative with different measures to ensure that crops don’t succumb to malnutrition, pests, disease and out competition from weeds.
One of the ways that we avoid these issues is through crop rotation. We do this by firstly separating the crops that we want to grow into the different vegetable families. Vegetables that belong to the same family have the same genetic origins and therefore have similar strengths and vulnerabilities.
For example, this week we’re celebrating the apiacia vegetable family that evolved in Eurasia and includes herbs like parsley, dill and coriander; stem vegetables such as celery and fennel; and roots such as carrot and parsnip. The amazing thing is that all these veggies originated from the same wild plant, that has been cultivated for different purposes (e.g. roots, leaf or stem) by humans over centuries.
Vegetables from the same family take similar nutrients from the soil, attract similar pests and diseases, and give space for similar weeds to grow. So, our crop rotation system involves planting a different vegetable family in the same space every season and the longer the gap between the planting of a family in a particular soil the better. We also get a bit clever with picking sequences that ensure that the family growing will be beneficial for the succeeding crops.
We hope you enjoy the spring aromas of parsley, coriander, fennel and dill in your kitchen this week!
Green Connect Farm Manager
What’s that in my box: One cup of kohlrabi contains more vitamin C than you need in a day and what’s more, they’re delicious and easy to cook! Most commonly eaten in Germany & Northern India, Kohlrabi tastes like a milder and sweeter broccoli stem. You can dip it in hummus, roast it with other veg, boil it in soups, or sauté and add some pasta.
For more information on how to store & cook any of our vegetables, visit: https://draxe.com/ and type in the veggie you’re looking for.
Flavoured Cauliflower rice (Great for risotto, curry, or sushi!) – Serves 2
1 head cauliflower washed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1/3 cup parsley, chopped (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a pinch cayenne
Discard the leaves and cut a medium-sized cauliflower head in quarters and grate each of them using a box grater with medium holes. If you want to protect your hands during grating (or chopping), a great way to do so is to use cut resistant gloves. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet. Sautée minced garlic until golden. Add cauliflower rice, stir and cover with a lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add chopped parsley (optional), salt, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Enjoy!
(Follow the link to find 16 meal ideas for your rice!)
Turnip and Potato Patties Recipe – Makes 6
225 grams of turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/3 cups)
170 grams of potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
2 1/2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion greens
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil
Salt and pepper
Cook chopped turnip and potato in boiling water: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they are tender, and drain them. Mash turnips and potatoes: In a bowl, mash the cooked turnips and potatoes with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Fry the patties: Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/2-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil.