In critter news this week, we’ve hatched out more chicks! Our last hatch had Silver Grey Dorkings and Icelandics in it, hatched from white eggs. Most of the white eggs you get in your share are from one of these two breeds here. You have to be very careful when breeding Icelandics, because they’re not a breed–they’re a landrace. This means that they don’t have a standard, and mixed genetics aren’t glaringly obvious in their looks. Those who buy and breed true Icelandics look for (and expect) origin paperwork to prove that they’re out of one of the four import lines. We’re pretty comfortable hatching them out with Dorkings, however, despite the fact that you can’t tell one egg from another to look at, and that is because Dorkings do have a breed standard, and that standard includes having 5 toes on each foot! Pretty easy to tell apart once they hatch out!
A Dorking (left) next to an Icelandic Baby Dorking’s five-toed foot!
This newest batch brings our youngster count to a hearty 164, taking into account the earlier Dorkings we hatched, the few Welsh Harlequin ducks (before we had to replace our drake, Derek), the Norfolk Black turkeys, and “only” about 113 meat birds cheeping away in their pen. Next week we start another hatch of Easter Eggers, which do need to hatch out on their own. These are not a regular ‘breed’ per say, they are a mixed lot who are thrown together to produce those pretty green eggs we love in our baskets every day.
That brings us to the share for this week!
Produce this week includes the smooth-with-a-little-bite baby Purple Top Turnips, more spring greens with a little chard mixed in, and a nice bunch of spring kale which has a variety of Purple Russian and Blue Curled Scotch. More radishes, too! This time the pretty pink Easter Egg. I love cutting any of our colorful radishes with a sharp knife because it draws the color down through the whites. I think one of my favorite things about summer produce is it’s vivid coloring.
Oregano is the herb of the day, and the hardneck German Extra Hardy garlic has scaped, which I find to be a special treat! Just dice this up and use like regular garlic, or a favorite for me is turning it into a pesto. You can even pickle garlic scapes, (pretty much because you can pickle nearly anything. Pickled scapes are a treat though).
[tip :: put your fresh herbs in a glass of water in the fridge after you trim the bottom end off. They generally perk back up once they get a little more water into their system! Change the water every few days if you don’t use them right away.]
BABY TURNIPS IN BROWN BUTTER
– trim the turnips and cut to equal sizes
– heat a small skillet (cast iron does wonders) and melt the butter over medium-low heat
– add the turnips and salt to taste, stirring occasionally so that they brown on all sides, and the butter has reduced to a nice nutty flavor
– serve warm