CSA Newsletter – Week 1 – June 15 2016

Welcome to Rising River Farm CSA

Thank you for joining us for a summer of delicious vegetables. Our own menus are getting more and more exciting as the weeks pass and we excited to share the bounty.

I hope you found your box without incident. Alex and I got all the boxes delivered just under the wire. We were wrapping up the last site right around 3:00.  It is our aim to get all the boxes delivered by 3:00, but occasionally there are hold-ups, like today when the DNR service elevator was broken and we had to follow the most circuitous route imaginable to get the boxes where they needed to go. There are a few new pick up sites this year, so please be patient with us as we refine the route.

THE FIELD REPORT: I think spring and summer traded places. These past few days of sun one minute and pouring rain the next, feels more like April than mid-June. In some ways this role reversal has been good on the farm. It has allowed us to plant evenly spaced successions of crops. The soil has been a delight to work with, as we have had plenty of sunny days to dry the fields to a perfect consistency for tilling and planting. In past years, when the breaks in rain aren’t quite long enough we end up working the ground too soon, and pay for our haste with chunks and clods all season long. The final bonus is no irrigation necessary! Woo hoo! The down side is the hit on our morale. It is hard to go back to slogging in the mud, layered in fleece and wool when it was in the 80’s only 2 weeks ago. Oh well, what can you do?

Red leaf lettuce
French crisp lettuce
Green leaf lettuce-large shares only
Green onions
Walla walla onion
Garlic scapes (See below)
Fresh dill
Snow peas
Dry beans-pinto for small shares, and calypso for large shares

Returning members already know that the first boxes tend to be on the slim side. Many of the veggies you are eager to eat take a little longer to grow. As the weeks wear on, the boxes will get more abundant and diverse then will slowly decrease in variety as the season winds to an end. Potatoes and carrots are just on the horizon. We keep going out and digging around and they are ever so close. Shell and snap peas are also nearly ready. It only gets better from here!

Garlic Scapes:
They are the bunch of curly-Q’s in your box. They are the seed stalk of the garlic plant. The texture is similar to green beans or asparagus when cooked and the flavor is garlicky, but milder than cloves of garlic. Cut it up into bite sized pieces and toss into a stir fry, casserole, soup, frittata, etc. You can sauté them whole in butter or olive oil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and either grill on the b-b-q or bake in oven at 400 for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until done to your liking.
Green Onions: You know what they are, but let me encourage you to use them as more than a garnish or addition to potato salad. It is rare for us to have onions this time of year, so I have grown accustomed to using them in place of onion in just about any recipe that calls for onion.
Fresh Dill: Many people aren’t used to using fresh herbs. Dill is a fabulous and versatile one. Try this recipe for dill, balsamic, maple vinaigrette for the massive salad you will most likely make for dinner tonight. Chop it up and sprinkle on potatoes, either before or after cooking them (or both). Lay it over fish while cooking. Chop it fresh over rice and stir-fried veggies. Just make whatever you like to make for dinner and try sprinkling dill on it. Fresh herbs are amazing.
Snow Peas: These lovelies are sweet, crisp, a fun to munch on. I got to witness the joy and surprise on some kid’s face at market Saturday when he, reluctantly, tried the snow pea I proffered. His face went from dubious and untrusting to surprise to totally won over. His mom bought some. You can enjoy these in that salad you are going to make, include them in a stir fry of some sort, or just snack on the them while you read this newsletter.
Dry Beans: The brown speckled ones are pintos and are the classic refried bean variety. They can be used for any bean dish, really. They cook pretty quick though, so if you want a whole firm bean, keep an eye on ‘em. About 20-30 minutes should do it. The black and white ones are called Calypso and make an excellent soup beans. Again you can do whatever you want with these. They are versatile and forgiving. With both varieties, your tummy will thank you if you soak them for around 8 hours before cooking. Don’t cook them in the water you soaked them in.

Please remember to return your box each week. Consider bringing a bag to transfer your veggies into so you won’t have to remember to bring it back.
-Keep the pickup site neat and tidy.
-Observe the pickup site hours out of respect for your hosts, especially at someone’s home. Call them directly if you will be late or forget your box. You can make alternate arrangements with them.

I think that about sums things up for this week. Remember to search through our recipe database on our website. Click on the veggie you want featured and a bunch will pop up. Have a recipe to share? Send it to me and I’ll add it to the site. I am always looking for more ideas. 

Thanks again for signing up!

 Until next week…Jen