Wow, the summer CSA is here. I can’t believe it’s June. What a whirlwind of a spring we had. That’s me, Brittany with the goofy smile, and Erin, our assistant manager, is the one actually doing some work (we are riding the transplanter, a tractor attachment that allows us to plant crops with water – there is a cute video of us on instagram planting leeks in 2018 if you want to get an idea of what its like).
We are having a deep breath week. Yes there are still lots of weeds to kill, but we got a TON of seedling and seeds planted in the last two weeks and we are finally feeling on top of things. Just in time because we are going to be harvesting for almost 250 CSA members this week. We are so grateful to all of you for signing up, and are looking forward to a great season.
We are still in a greens heavy period on the farm. Peas, carrots, beets, zucchini, broccoli, cucumber . . . they will start pouring in over the next few weeks, but for now, it’s greens, greens, greens. If you are like us and eat deliberately seasonally, this is no big deal, but I know some spring share members are telling me they are feeling like they might turn green from all these leaves we’ve been eating.
Trust me, when I tell you, you won’t. You should feel awesome. Yesterday I read and article that said we should eat more fiber (loads of fiber in greens). To prepare for market I was reading the nutritional content of things like swiss chard, kale and dandelion and boy, these greens are packed with all the vitamins and minerals we are supposed be getting lots of. Like Vitamin K, which increases bone density and can prevent heart disease.
I’m excited about this share. We’re on the other side of the wet and weird 2019 spring, and crops are really thriving. We hope you enjoy. Check out Jess’s recipes (or do your own googling) to get ideas for what to do with your veggies.
The best advice I can give you for enjoying your share is “chill out”. Don’t worry about making every meal the best you’ve ever had. Don’t try to make things too complicated, don’t worry about having the perfect ingredients. This is coming from someone who was a wildly, embarrassingly picky eater until about 18, when I realized I needed to get over it.
Make sure you read the tips on vegetable storage at the bottom of your CSA email. I took the limpest, saddest looking bunch of arugula home from market on Saturday. Trying to sell veggies on a 85 degree day is a challenge (but luckily you buy them so fast we rarely have any left). Selling the last bunch is tough, it’s what my dear friend Christy from White Barn Farm calls the “Old Maid”. Nobody wants it, so it just sits there, looking sadder and sadder with no other bunches to share shade and moisture.
Well, rather than let that sad bunch sit out, I pulled it off and put it in my bin to bring home, where it sat in the hot car for an hour and a half while I unpacked from market. Oh how I wish I had taken a picture of it, so withered, so frail, so flat and wimpy.
BUT! I untwisted the twist tie, chopped the ends off the stalks (important because it will allow the capillary action of the leaves to draw in water – yes, your leaves are still alive!) and submerged the whole thing in cold water while I cooked supper (creamy pasta with sauteed dandelion greens and swiss chard – two other sad old maids from earlier in the week).
Two bunches of greens, plus pasta was plenty, so I took the arugula (now very hydrated) out of the water, shook the water off and tucked them on top of some pea tendrils in a plastic bag I had in the fridge. The above picture is from the next night, when we enjoyed the arugula with leftovers.
That excessively long narration was just to emphasize that you’ve got to treat your veggies well (but you can recover if things get a little wilty). Get them home and int he fridge fast (unless its tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash or sweet potatoes).
So, you are wondering, what’s in the share (and why does this farmer use so many parenthesis!?!?):
Swiss Chard/Kale/Collards/Dandelion/Mustard Greens Choice
Sweet Turnip/Kohlrabi/Radish Choice
(on the horizon: broccoli, peas, beets, zucchini, carrots, garlic scapes and more greens . . . )
(for those of you new to the share, you can read Jess’s Bio here in the first blog for the Spring CSA. It also has so very relevant recipes!)
“The official start to summer isn’t until next week but the weather has been gorgeous and I’m thinking about salads, graduation parties and grilling! Here are some recipes to kick-start your summer and to help you make the most of this week’s share:
This gorgeous cobb salad can use up multiple ingredients in your share this week: scallions, cilantro, lettuce and pea shoots. Microgreens and radish would be delicious in here as well. I’m not fancy enough to use guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl) which is what the recipe calls for so I’ll use bacon or pancetta instead.
Use microgreens or pea-shoots in this super quick sandwich. I’ll probably use cream cheese instead of mayonnaise or butter. Great for lunch, a light dinner, finger food at a BBQ or throw it all on a bagel or English muffin and call it breakfast!
Put your scallions and cilantro to use in this quick side dish that would pair beautifully with pretty much anything you feel like grilling for dinner. If you’re short on time grab some of the organic brown rice freezer bags. Throw the dressing ingredients in the food processor while you microwave the rice – 3 minutes and DONE!
Great for breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner, this recipe makes a mouth watering hash from radishes, turnips and green garlic. Top it with some farm fresh eggs and sprinkle with microgreens or pea shoots.
This decadent gratin is great to use up 3 bunches of whatever greens you choose this week. It calls for arugula and spinach but you could swap out dandelion greens, mustard greens or chard.
In less than 10 minutes you can have this side dish on the table. The sweet and salty sauce kicks up the mild flavor of the bok choy. I like to grill mine until it’s just crisp-tender. Make sure you stick to medium heat on the grill so the sugar in the sauce doesn’t brown too quickly.”