Spring CSA: Week 1

harvey in spinach
We’ve got Harvey picking spinach already!

Well, I’m waiting for a 300 gallon bulk tank to fill with water so we can keep transplanting.  The crew is currently planting kale, they already planted 900 lettuce, with scallions, escarole and leeks to follow. May is a crazy month for us on the farm. I love the feeling of needing to go, go, go, falling asleep exhausted and knowing that it doesn’t last forever. May is full of seedling sales, planting, transplanting, weeding and harvesting for our spring CSA! I won’t finish this email until Harvey, our 16-month-old, is in bed tonight, but it feel nice to take a moment to start it now.

This was the hardest spring I have experienced as a grower in New England. It was cold, gray and nerve wracking, but we’ve got veggies!  We are filling in a little bit of the next share with some heirloom onions and fingerling potatoes that were extra from our winter CSA share, but we have lots of the fresh, green veggies you are looking forward to ready for week 1!

Spring 2018 Week 1
Photo: Bob Durling Photography (missing micro basil)

What’s in the share:

Arugula
Pea Tendrils
Micro Basil
French Breakfast Radishes
Bok Choy
Green Onions
Spinach
Lettuce Mix

What to do with it:

Arugula: Great as a simple salad with light olive oil and salt or add goat cheese and sliced radishes to make it a little more “fancy”!
Arugula Pesto

Pea Tendrils: Great as a simple salad (could be mixed with arugula).  Toss in at the end of a stir fry (say green onion, radish and bok choy and pea tendrils).  Don’t over cook!  These only want to be wilted, so add after you have taken the stir fry off the heat. Also make a nice greens bed under chicken or fish.
Pea Tendril and Arugula Balsamic Salad

Micro Basil: So, we did the micro basil because we were worried about having enough product early and it’s something we can grow in the GH in flats.  We are giving it to you to harvest at home.  We do recommend using it (or at least cutting it) in the next 3-5 days.  It great sprinkled in an Italian pasta, or on a pizza (with green onion and arugula!). Or on a sandwich! Don’t be afraid, just cut the stalks just under the leaves, rinse with water and pat dry and use however you might use basil.  Think of them as fancy herb sprinkles.

French Breakfast Radish: I love these radishes.  They are an heirloom and they are beautiful and taste great.  They do, however get what we call “pithy” inside when they grow really fast (like during that blistering heat of last week).  Pithy is perfectly fine to eat, it just means that radish grew so fast it couldn’t fill itself in.  To make your radish last longer twist off from the greens and store in their own plastic bag in the veggie drawer of the fridge.
French Bread and Butter Radish Sandwiches (uses arugula too!)

Boy Choy: This is glorious bok choy. If you aren’t already a fan you will be soon.  Try grilling it if you are unsure, but it is also great as salad or steamed or in a stir fry.

Green Onions: These are actually onions we planted from last year that sprouted and started to divide. They give a great, early onion flavor and are very delicate! Use like scallions or onions in any recipe!

Spinach: You can cook this spinach down, but know that when cooked it will not seem like very much spinach!  We recommend enjoying this spinach fresh, or lightly wilted.  Chopped finely and stirred into hot pasta with some micro basil would be delicious!

Lettuce Mix: We think you know what to do!

We hope you enjoy this week.  Don’t be afraid, just dive right in.  Over the years I’ve learned that a lot of people stress about preparing and cooking food.  Just take a deep breath, know that you have chosen food grown with love, without chemicals that is as fresh as can be – every meal you make might not be your best ever, but you are nourishing yourself and investing in your community by supporting our farm.

Feel free to share recipes you love on our facebook page, or email them to me and I’ll share them in the blog.

Thanks so much for joining, and if you missed the cut-off for the Spring CSA there is still a little time to sign up for Summer!

 

spring fields 2018
Spring Fields (what’s going on under the row cover)

Reminder of Spring CSA Details

2018 Spring CSA Starts Tuesday May 8th and Thursday May 10th.
(The subject of this email tells you which day you signed up to pick up on.)

Pick Up Time: 12pm-6pm
If you need to come later than 6 please let us know and we can make special arrangements
Pick Up Location: 28 South St, Ashland, MA
please use caution driving in and out of the farm, we are on a small, narrow road and people tend to drive too fast

What to Bring: Two grocery bags, extra plastic bags.
We will have the vegetables displayed market style, with signs telling members what to take.  We will have extra bags but encourage our members to bring reusable bags or containers to pick up their vegetables.  Some people use boxes, crates, baskets or tubs instead of bags.

How it Works: When you get to the farm park in the small parking area just before or after the farm wagon. (Yes, we added more “paved” parking area this year!) Please, please drive slowly.  Many people bring children to pick up vegetables.  Consider the speed limit on the farm 5 mph.

1. SIGN IN BY CROSSING OFF YOUR NAME – this is a very important step!  If you don’t cross off your name, I will think you haven’t come at the end of the evening and start to panic that I don’t have enough vegetables!!

2. Collect Your Vegetables. The wagon will be loaded with the CSA vegetables.  Walk around the wagon and read the signs in front of the vegetables telling you what to take.

  1. If you would like to make any trades check the trade bin or ask the stand attendant. Please understand that this has been the most challenging spring to produce food in that I have experience in my last 9 Springs growing CSA vegetables in New England. There won’t be many trades available this spring, but we will do our best to be accommodating.What if . . . ?

I’m going to be late?
If you are running late call or text my cell phone (857)-383-7020 and make sure to include your name in the message.  I will put a share aside for you to pick up later that evening or the following day.

I can’t make it?
If you can’t make it please feel free to send someone in your place.  Just make sure they know to cross off your name.  If you can’t find anyone else to come, you can switch to the alternate pick up day of the week (like from Tuesday to Thursdays or Thursday to Tuesday).  I just need to know by 7am on the first day of the switch.  You can text me, no problem.

If you know in advance you can’t pick up your share on your pick-up day please let me know that week.  It is easy for us to let you pick up the next day.

If you email or text after we have already harvested your share, you will need to pick up your share that day, or we can hold it for a Wednesday pick up.

If you have any questions feel free to email.

Weekly Emails

I send an email once/week, usually on a Monday, to let you know what will be in the share for the week.  Please know that I do my best to be accurate but sometimes during harvest things change, either because yields are lower than I anticipated, or there is a pest or disease issue that wasn’t apparent during my field scouting.

Treat your vegetables like ice cream!  Don’t leave them in the car and put them where they belong as soon as you get home!

TIPS FOR VEGETABLE CARE

• Most vegetables prefer to be stored in plastic bags in the bottom of the fridge.
• If they come twist tied, undo the twist tie before storing in a plastic bag
• Roots should be separated from greens (by either twisting or cutting) and stored in separate bags (yes you can eat beet greens, radish greens, turnip greens, etc)
• Some vegetables don’t want to go in the fridge – we will let you know as they come up, but NEVER store tomatoes in the fridge

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