CSA: Week 8

Back in the swing of things!

Harvey got to help with harvest a little this morning – it’s great to be on this side of his procedure. Thanks again to everyone for being so supportive and helpful!

We’ve got an exciting share this week. The first peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes are in the share! And we are putting in some fresh garlic! Yay, summer!

Sunpeach cherry tomatoes.

It’s always a funny transition into tomatoes. We don’t have quiet enough for a pound for everyone, so we’ll probably do something like quarts with some larger tomatoes and some cherry tomatoes to get us started this week, but don’t worry, there are LOADS of green tomatoes getting ready to ripen. We tried to spread out the tomato harvest this year by having an early planting in one tunnel, and a late planting in the other tunnel. We are hoping to have tomatoes into October!!

The sweet corn is exciting! For those who haven’t been a part of our CSA before, here is the sweet corn 411. We use organic growing practices, which means we don’t spray chemicals on our corn to keep the worms out. Many times a season I very jokingly think to myself, “man, if only I could just spray a bunch of chemicals all over this food it would be a lot easier.” I’m not serious, for anyone feeling up in arms. It’s what I say to myself to bring a little bit of humor into a situation that feels fairly depressing, like when the leaf hoppers decimate the potato leaves about a month too early, reducing yields by probably a third. Or when the downy mildew destroys the basil just as the tomatoes start to ripen. Or when the brassica flea beetle puts holes all through the arugula and bok choy leaves we didn’t cover on time . . .

We don’t spray because we believe exposing ourselves, our crew, our customers and our environment to chemicals isn’t worth the small amount of profit/reduction in hassle we might see in the short term. It feels awful in the moment, but its a part of what we signed up for. But, I love eating whatever I want out of the field, whenever I want and never worrying about whats on it.

So, what this means for corn – there may be worms in the tip of your corn. For those of you who are squeamish, we suggest finding someone who can handle it, or cutting the tips of the corn off before you shuck them, and just putting them in the compost.

We split the corn from three planting into four this year, with the hopes of giving smaller amounts of corn over a longer season. We will know better when we pick, but we are thinking it will be about 6 ears in the large share and 4 in the small share this week. The coyotes have been eating some ears, so we will have to see how much we actually get, but that is my best estimate now. Corn is best fresh, as you all know, so eat it soon after you pick up you share (if you can, it’s still great a few days later, but its soooooo good when it’s fresh).

Wait, did she say coyotes are eating the corn? Yep. We are glad to have them (despite their natural sweet tooth which makes them pests of corn and melons) because they keep the woodchucks, voles, mice and racoons at bay. Predators are an essential part of any ecosystem – and we are always glad when we see signs of their presence.

So, what else is in the share? If you could choose some onions, bok choy and beets this week, it would really make me feel great, but I won’t make you take them!! Don’t forget that eating greens is really good for you, and one bunch a week is definitely do-able!! Oh, and fresh garlic, it’s just note cured, but it’s delicious and there is nothing special you need to know – just enjoy!

Tomatoes
Corn
Choice: Peppers/Green Beans
Lettuce
Garlic!!!
Choice: Carrots/Beets/Fresh onions/Cucumber/Zucchini/Bok Choy/Kohlrabi/Chard/Kale/Radish/Cilantro/Dill/Parsley/other herbs . . .

Jess’s Recipes

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES: CAULIFLOWER, CARROTS, CUKES, YOU NAME IT

OK – I’ve been holding out on this one, but I think it’s time. This is my favorite “use up my share” recipe. It works great for the veggies listed but you can also include green beans, scallions, radishes, zucchini, onions, peppers, asparagus. The options are endless. I usually do at least a triple batch at a time and the kids LOVE to make them. They help cut up the veggies and then they build mini jungles in the jars. The tall veggies are the different trees, the garlic is birds, the seeds and spices are the leaves and (I hesitate to include this part but it’s adds significantly to their amusement level) the cauliflower is bird poop. LOL. To finish it off, we flood the jungle with the salty tsunami brine. It’s good clean fun. These pickles are not shelf-stable but will keep in your fridge for about 3 months.

CUCUMBER AND PEACH SALAD WITH HERBS

Not into pickles? Here’s another great idea for using up your cucumbers. The peaches are perfection right now and they’re amazing paired with cukes and herbs in this summery salad.

BENEFITS OF BOK CHOY

Did you know that Bok Choy is considered to be one of the healthiest forms of leafy green vegetable? It’s a powerful antioxidant, good for your bones, heart, blood pressure, eyes and more. Check out this article on the benefits of Bok Choy and then try the Dan Dan Noodles with Chicken and Baby Bok Choy recipe. SO good!  https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-health-benefits-bok-choy/

DAN DAN NOODLES WITH CHICKEN AND BABY BOK CHOY

BAKED PARMESAN ZUCCHINI FRIES

Got zucchini? I know you do! While zucchini bread is delicious and is often everyone’s go-to for using up zucchini, it actually uses shockingly little zucchini. These fries are delicious and easy and will use up quite a bit of your stash. I highly recommend adding some fresh chopped dill in with the bread crumbs and don’t use plain breadcrumbs – the panko breadcrumbs make them super crispy.

FRITTATA BITES WITH CHARD AND FETA

Like a frittata only more fun! The recipe calls for sausage but I’ve made them without, for a vegetarian crowd, and they’re just as delicious. These are great to bring to a brunch or party because they’re bite sized, can be a finger food and are still great at room temperature.

THAI CRUNCH SALAD WITH PEANUT DRESSING

This is another great recipe for using up ingredients from the share. It calls for Napa cabbage but whatever variety you have will work well and it also uses up cucumbers, carrots, peppers, cilantro and scallions. I make up a giant batch of this and store it separately from the dressing and it keeps for days. It’s a great go-with for anything you’ve got on the grill or on it’s own for a lunch or snack.

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