Thank you for joining our CSA! We are excited about how well the season is shaping up so far. The fields are filling up fast and we have been able to keep up with the weeding and watering for the most part. Our succession plantings are evenly spaced, so we shouldn’t have too many gaps. It has been 3 years in a row where we have had an unusually dry spring. For the 20 some-odd years before that, we always struggled in spring to get into the fields and would often have to cram five days of field work into a scant two. I wonder, is this our new “normal”? Regardless, we have been able to take advantage of perfect conditions and are feeling solid about the season. It’s nuts to think that just 5 days ago we were all bundled in wool and raingear trying to weed and harvest!
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
baby red lettuce (large shares only)
dill, cilantro, or parsley
kale, chard, or beets
VEGGIE ID & SUGGESTIONS
Returning members should be familiar with everything in today’s box, but the new folks might be scratching their heads over the scapes and unusual kale. I invite you to check out our veggie ID page to see who is who.
GARLIC SCAPES are the bundle of curly-q’s. They are the seed stalk of the garlic plant. They are only available for a few weeks each year, so enjoy them while you can. The texture is a lot like green beans or asparagus and the flavor is garlicky, but milder than cloves. Most people prefer them cooked, although you can make garlic scape pesto with raw ones. The simplest way to enjoy them is to toss with olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven at 450 until done to your liking. We like them a little crispy. Alternatively you can chop them into bite sized pieces and add them to any savory dish that calls for garlic.
RED RUSSIAN KALE: This is our favorite kale. It is sweeter and more tender than the standard curly variety you see in the grocery store. It is great for juicing, added to salad, or sautéed in butter or olive oil. Kale quesadillas are our winter staple dinner.
GREEN ONIONS: You all know what they are, but I just like to remind folks that you can use them instead of an actual onion in most anything that calls for onions. I’m all about substituting and improvising when I cook.
SNOW PEAS: I never understood why they are always so small and flat in the store. We vastly prefer them when they are large and plump. They are so sweet and crunchy. Eat them raw in all sorts of salads. Use them to dip into your favorite dressing, peanut sauce, or hummus. Add them to a stir fry or curry dish. So many options.
MISC. INFO FOR THE NEW FOLKS: (You really should read this….)
Perhaps you are new to the CSA concept or just new to our CSA. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your share.
-The first few boxes are on the slim side since many crops need more time and heat to ripen. Fear not, you will soon be swimming in veggies!
-Not all pick-up sites or delivery days get the same stuff in the box. In order to not overwhelm you with the more obscure (but still delicious) veggies and herbs, we rotate them around every 2-3 weeks. Beets, chard, and all the herbs are the main things we rotate. Staple like carrots, onions and potatoes are a weekly feature once they come on.
-Wash your produce before your use it. We field wash most things, but it is more of a cursory rinse. There may still be a little field dirt in there. Also, there are some crops that do not like to get overly wet, so they don’t get washed at all.
-Your produce is harvested within roughly 2 days of you receiving it, so it will last a lot longer than what you may be used to.However you should try to eat the greens and herbs sooner than later.
-Unless you have a food allergy, I encourage you to try everything at least once. Freshly harvested organic produce is so much more sweet and flavorful than grocery store produce. Try things a few different ways before you totally write it off and place it in the barter box.
-Perfect segue! We leave a barter box at each site (most weeks, anyway) so you can swap out something you don’t like for something you do.
-Got a picky eater at home? Let them try stuff raw or minimally cooked. It is sweeter, crunchier, and more easily identifiable. (I’m speaking as a formerly VERY picky eater.)
-We try very hard to reduce packaging as per our own convictions and member request, so we only bag little loose items like peas, beans, and potatoes. We recommend storing everything else in plastic bags, Tupperware, or the wrapping of your choice.
-On a hot day, such as this, some of your produce might get a little wilty. Give it a rinse before you put it in the fridge and it should perk right up.
I think that about covers it for this week. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to shoot me an email or call.
Enjoy this glorious sun and yummy veg!