Week #3 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Strawberries, green kohlrabi, chioggia beets with greens, lacinato kale, dill, salad turnips, broccoli, garlic scapes, swiss chard.

What’s going on at the farm:    Strawberries are here and coming in fast!  They should be in abundance for the next week or so.  Our currently-producing plants are in their second year and we are just loaded with berries this week so expect a healthy portion in your share.  Besides having them available in shares, we also have flats of berries available for those who would like to freeze some or make jam etc…  Flats of 12 pints for $40 is the going rate for members.   Let us know if you’re interested and I can pack flats for farm pick up or pack them at the market drop sites on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.  Our peas are flowering heavily and setting pods quickly but we are waiting for them to be as full and sweet as possible, so they should be in heavy production later this week and distributed widely for the next few weeks.   These two crops alone keep us very busy, as they require many hours of picking by many hands, require many pieces to make a harvest, and need to be harvested every other day.

Broccoli: Our spring broccoli headed up very well this year.  It is one of those crops that we only harvest once in the spring and is ready when it’s ready, and harvested all at once.  Soon that space will be plowed in to open room for a planting of fall crops.

Chioggia beets: Chioggia (kee-oh-ja) beets are new to some of you this week and are delicious sauteed and my favorite way, roasted.  Remember to use the greens on your beets as well.  They are very tender and tasty and should be used just like swiss chard.  I love the rich flavor when they are sautéed with olive oil and find the taste resembles spinach and chard combined.

Salad turnips:  These are the white roots with green tops.  The roots are the best part of this crop and there was some flea beatle damage to the tops but we are bunching them with tops on.  (Remove tops and store separate for best storage results)  Those tops can be used for sauté but in my opinion I would rather use the beet greens, chard, and kale first.   The roots are great raw and unpeeled, sliced into a salad, or cooked with your beets, broccoli, or scapes any way you like.  They can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, or steamed. The sweet flavor of the roots stands out best though when they are eaten raw.

Lacinato kale: kale is also in the box this week and makes fantastic sauté greens or kale chips

Swiss chard:   Swiss chard can be used anywhere you would use spinach but grows better in the summer.  It is great with eggs and in pasta dishes.  I also like chard with lentils and feta.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is short for “cabbage apple” and this crisp, sweet bulb is great cooked in cream and your favorite seasoning or used raw, sliced, or grated in salads or as a snack.

Dill:  This fresh herb lends a hint of coolness to dips salad dressings, and of course its famously good with cucumbers.  We were thinking our cukes would be ready about the same time but unfortunately they are not quite there quantity-wise.   Another options besides using the dill fresh is to hang it up to dry in a warm dry place with airflow.   You could then crumble it up dry into a jar to save for cucumber salads later.

The weather trend was above average temps this week and it looks like some warmer weather will speed up growth for our summer crops like peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, melons, etc… and keep us sweating in the fields as we keep on working hard to bring in the harvests and control the weeds.  More tomato pruning to do this week too.  Our crop is looking great shooting up over 6 feet and setting fruit well.   Looks like we will have our first ripe fruits in just a few weeks!  June is always a stormy month as warm summer winds come in so we are hoping for gentle rains as we approach summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  Other crops we have coming in include summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, green top onions, sugar snap peas, cabbage, beets, lettuce, and more coming soon.  Enjoy!

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