Newsletter

Week #10 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: 

Heirloom tomatoes, yellow carrots, pea shoots, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, sweet onion, celery, basil, and lacinato kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Another busy and challenging week on the farm this week as we prepare for fall while managing summers bounty.  We’ve got a new employee that joined the team this week and three people back from vacation on Monday so i’ve very relieved to say I think we can power through the rest of this month and hopefully right through August with planting and preparation for fall.   Beds from spring are being cleaned up including the pea trellising and lots of weeds will be turned into the ground this week.  We have some more new crops coming for you in this weeks offerings too including eggplant, yellow carrots, and heirloom tomatoes.  All our garlic will be harvested this week and afterwards cured in the greenhouse until we trim it and make room for the onions to come in from the field.  We got some good rain a few days this last week which was much needed after weeks of extreme heat with no rain.    Here is your rundown of this weeks share contents.

Heirloom tomatoes are also beginning to peak and looking great.  They are so good this time of year with cheese, or oil and vinegar, or possibly a great home-made sauce for pasta or pizza.  My favorite is BLT’s and i’ve been

Summer squash and zucchini is still pouring in too so more of these coming to you this week.    I had some amazing home-made zucchini fries with them this week.    It’s a little work to bread them and fry them up but oh man are they good!

Eggplant is also coming in very fast now.   We have such a huge harvest this week so expect a good portion coming to you.   Eggplant parmesan or using them as gluten free noodles for lasagna is so good with these and zucchini slices layered with sauce and ground beef.    Ratatouile is a great way to use your eggplant also with zucchini, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and squash all together for an amazing summer stew too!

Pea shoots are our micro green this week and you’ve had them before a few times this season but they can literally be used on anything or even eaten as a healthy snack!

European cucumbers are coming in a little slower now but we will have at least one for each of you, probably the larger type this week but you could get either the long euro type or the mini type.  A summer CSA share is never complete without some crispy cakes to keep you cool out there!

Lacinato kale is our favorite kale here.  It’s also known as dinosaur kale because of its reptile like look.   The dark blue color is beautiful but the tenderness and flavor of this variety is also first rate.

Sweet onions are in the share again and ailsa craig sweet yellow onions are what you will receive this week.  They are good raw or cooked.

Yellow carrots are new this week and it’s the first time i’ve ever grown them.  This variety is called golden nugget.  They are very sweet and crispy. and the bright yellow color is beautiful too.

Basil is our herb again this week.  Its so perfect with tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers or anything else… maybe even homade basil and fruit popsicles or drinks.

Lastly celery is back one more time this week and it’s nearing the end of our crop.   Our celery is so much darker and much more flavorful then store bought celery.   I hope you all enjoy it as a snack or as an ingredient in soup or roasted up with your other veggies.

I hope you all enjoy the veggies this week, stay cool, and eat well!

Week #9 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Cherry tomatoes, purple haze carrots, red or yellow sweet onions, summer squash and/or zucchini, english cucumbers, cauliflower, kale, basil, sunflower shoots, celery, and garlic.

What’s going on at the farm: 

Hot and dry has been the theme around here this last few weeks.   Lot’s of vacations for crew members this month but hiring some new experienced help this week too.  trying to keep up with the harvests and getting the fields ready for fall planting and the weeds that flew up from all the previous rain has been a challenge to say the least but I’m hanging in there like a champ.  Garlic will be coming in next week and all our onions are nearly ready for harvest after that.   In total there are over 30,ooo of them to bring in with the garlic and leeks which will be coming soon!    We’ve been working hard on digging our carrot crop over the last week too which is pretty large and awesome this year. This weeks carrots are a specialty carrot called purple haze, its rumored this was Jimmy Hendricks favorite carrot 😉  cherry tomatoes and Cauliflower are new this week and celery is new for some of you but here is the weekly run down.  Of course remember to check out those Local Thyme recipes for suggestions this week too.

Cherry Tomatoes:  These sweet cherries are just perfectly colored, sweet and meaty.  We have an assortment of 6 types.

Purple haze carrots, one of my favorite carrots because of their gorgeous two tone color of purple with a bright orange core…. these babies will store if you like as we cleaned them and snapped the tops off immediately but they are sweeter and crisper the sooner you enjoy them.

Kale:   This week your kale could be curly, lacinato, or red curly, we like to pick an assortment weekly to stay on top of keeping the plants trimmed back.

Sunflower shoots are great as a salad green with a little tomato cucumber and carrot.  I also use them on sandwiches or garnishing dishes tacos or pizza too!

Sweet onions are back and they are good with everything and sweet enough to enjoy raw!  You could get red cippiolini, yellow sweet, or red torpedo onions in your share this week.

Zucchini and summer squash are still pumping out and these staples of summer are great in any dish you could create and even baking projects  like zucchini bread, muffins, and cakes maybe even with the carrot for a carrot zucchini cake!

English style cucumbers are the only type of cucumber I grow anymore as they are sweeter, have smaller seed cavities, and thinner skin then their waxy american counterparts which can get bitter.   A fresh cucumber and tomato salad with mozzarella and basil is one of my favorite things in the summer.

Cauliflower: We’ve got three colors of heads including white, cheddar, and purple.   most people will be getting white as they are the most consistently large and solid heads we’ve got but you could get a cheddar or purple head.  They hold their color when cooked too and are fun, but similar taste to the white.

Basil and Garlic are the last few finishing touches on our boxes this week and there are so many ways to use these with your veggies.  I hardly think you all need the suggestions but I think these will round out the box very nicely for the week.

Thank you all again for being great CSA members and I hope you enjoy the food!

-Kyle

Week #8 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box: 

carrots, celery, green beans, sweet onions with tops, summer squash or zucchini, english cucumbers, kale, basil, and pea shoots.

What’s going on at the farm: 

Summer solstice and independence day have passed and the first tomatoes are starting to come in.  Still not quite enough for shares but very soon we will have enough for all!   We have a lot of crops that are coming in that are borderline as far as enough quantities for shares like cherry tomatoes and cauliflower which likely won’t make the box this week but are coming in in larger amounts very soon so there may be a last minute change to boxes this week.   Personally I am loving the carrots this year, they are so crunchy and sweet.  The first green beans should be ready for boxes this week too.  They are crunchy and juicy from all the heat and rain we’ve had.    Working in the heating humidity has been draining for all so we try to start earlier now and finish up before the peak hrs of 3-6 hit.   Working smarter and not necessarily harder is our goal but that is hard to accomplish this time of year.  As carrots come out and other crops are finishing up including, peas, cabbage, beets, and lettuce, we will have a lot of dirty clean up work to get done this week.    Its a rather small window to accomplish it in because our garlic is nearly ready for harvest and that will be a big job coming the following week.  Here is a rundown of the crops this week.

Carrots:  This variety is called yaya and that’s about what they make you say after trying these crunchy sweet roots.   Great for roasting, salads, or any other recipes they can lend their flavor and texture too.

Green beans: Provider beans are just about the only bean i’ll grow anymore, they stay juicy and crunchy on the plant longer then most beans and the flavor is exceptional.  This crop is way earlier then our first bean crop last year.  Good enough to eat raw but great cooked too.

English cucumbers:  We will have the small and large slicers again this week.  These seedless thin skinned varieties don’t need to be peeled and are usually seedless.  I’m really liking the new long english type we’ve worked hard to trellis in the greenhouse.   It’s the first time we’ve had them in that style and the seeds are over a dollar each off the bat but they’ve been well worth it so far.  The field cucumbers have been really producing well too.

Sweet onions:  You may receive red or yellow sweet onions this week, the red is a new variety which i’m really liking.  The sugar levels are very high on them and I didn’t plant very much of them this year but next year i’ll be sure to plant more of them.   The yellow variety is more like a valdalia.  Both will be harvested with tops for now and the tops could be chopped up to use like green onion if you wish too.

Basil: our basil is really bushing out in the greenhouse so we will be topping it again for shares.  I really like it for stir fry or homemade pizza with any of the veggies.

Summer squash or zucchini:  We have been picking them baby all year so you will likely get small squash with blossoms  but could also get a few larger squash or zucchini based on what day we harvest them this week.  Leaving this one open for flexibility of harvest.  the blossoms and stem can be eaten on the baby ones too.

Kale:   I’m not sure if we will do green curly, red curly, or lacinato kale this week but all three are looking great and of course kale is packed with nutrition.  One thing is for sure, it won’t kale ya 🙂

Pea shoots:   Our pea shoots are great for sautéing quickly or using as a salad green in the summer.   Sandwiches, tacos, wraps, or anywhere you would use lettuce are great places to use your pea shoots.

Celery:  Our celery was grown in the hoop house under the tomatoes and its not the biggest heads but very tender and delicious!   I’m really excited about the flavor on these and the earliness from the heat of the greenhouse.

I hope everyone enjoys the veggies and had a great holiday week!  -Kyle

 

 

Week #7 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Carrots, red leaf lettuce, english cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, green or savoy cabbage, sunflower shoots, and swiss chard.

What’s going on at the farm:

We have some pretty hot and humid days in the future for us here as we head deeper into the main summer portion of our CSA season.  Exceptional amounts of rain have kept the fields muddy and the bugs hatching even better to keep us moving quickly in the fields.   We have been keeping up on our regelular chores of harvesting, weeding and pruning and mowing but also removing beds and preparing for other crops to go out this week if it will just stay dry for a few days for us.  We have some big events for us in the next month including garlic harvest, onion harvest, and hopefully also planting of many fall crops which will rely on our ability to keep up with all the other tasks of harvesting, cleaning, and delivering/marketing.  The change in weather has some new crops ready including some awesome carrots over the next few weeks.  Lastly don’t forget all Thursday shares this week will be delivered on the 4th to the West Side dropside at 305 N Meadow Ln, Madison WI.   Please remember to pack out your shares and only unpack the box with your name on it.   Shares will be there by 12 noon that day at the latest.

Red leaf lettuce:  These frilly red heads are lime green underneath and great for wraps or salads, slightly stronger in flavor raw then other lettuce but lovely color, and I enjoy the rich flavor with dressing on it.

Swiss chard:   For only the second time this season our bright lights swiss chard makes a stunning appearance with its multi colored stems and earthy beet like stems and rich spinach like greens.    I enjoy my chard sautéed in butter for a frittata in the morning with a little cheddar cheese added at the end.   Its great anywhere you would use spinach too and packed with vitamins!

Carrots:  Crispy, sweet and crunchy these lovely roots were one of the first crops I planted this year and they are finally in after several months of attention weeding this sometimes challenging to grow crop.    One of the reasons they are so challenging is because they take two weeks to sprout and cannot be transplanted so that gives weeds an unfair head start on the carrots.   Yet, here they are… enjoy!

Cabbage is great for slaw, or in stir fry too!   Try it with other grated roots like carrot or minced onions and herbs.    I really like dressing it with a balsamic mayo I make with balsamic vinegar and mayonaiise.   Two types of cabbage coming to you this week and its the 4th of July so do yourself a favor and try a multicolored coleslaw or grilled cabbage quarters!   I like to quarter them bi slicing through the tap root into large quarters and then roast the flat side down and marinate the cabbage as it cooks with teriyaki or your other favorite dressing.

Sunflower shoots:  These are a great summer solution to salad greens and great as a topping on just about any dish you can imagine!

Zucchini and Summer Squash are very similar in texture, flavor, and cooking requirements.   They really go well in everything and we are continuing to pick these guys daily in order to keep them from getting to big on us, at least that is our goal.   I love these sautéed with butter and onions with eggs, on pizza, grilled and brushed with herbs and oil, and in pasta, stir fry, or even sliced thinly the long way for a mock lasagna using squash instead of noodles.

Cucumbers love all this humidity and water and our slicers have finally started coming in this week.   The bigger slicers have a slightly thicker skin but are still the european type with small seed cavities and smooth skin with no spines.    Our baby english cucumbers are still peaking too so we will have some of those sweeter, softer, and smaller ones that you were receiving in there too.

Some other crops to note that look good and will be coming the next month include green beans, eggplant, onions, green peppers, leeks, hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, and cauliflower.

Have a great 4th of July holiday everyone and enjoy the veggies!

Week #6 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:

Summer squash, zucchini, red leaf lettuce, green cabbage, sugar snap peas, english cucumber, kale, sunflower shoots, carrots, and garlic scapes.

What’s going on at the farm: 

The season seems to always fly ahead faster then the crew can run this time of year as we keep plugging away all day every day but that is no exception to our earlier months either.   Summer solstice is a time of transition for us as we plan for fall and that involves a lot of work similar to spring but we have to do it all in between the harvesting, cleaning, packing, markets, deliveries, paperwork, weeding, and mowing!  This week I will be attempting clean up work and to plow down some finished crops such as the beet beds which are now finished.  We pruned the tomatoes and pulled weeds in our onions this last week.   Most importantly we have A lot of new crops for you all coming in now looking very good.  Here is a quick rundown of our crops this week.

Sugar snap peas:  These beauties are crisp and sweet and can be eaten pod and all.   No cooking necessary but they can be used in stir fries and things if you desire.   This is likely the last week for these crunchy summer favorites so enjoy them while they are here!

Kale:  is coming to you again this week and we have three types this year including red curly , green, and lacinato so we will try to mix it up.   I am in love with this new frilly red deep red/purle kale variety which has a great rich flavor and extra frilly leaves with little to no stem.   I really like the curly kale for kale chips, juice, smoothies, and of course it can be sautéed or eaten raw.

Summer squash and zucchini:    You may receive zucchini, summer squash, and patty pan squash in this category.  Some suggestions for the week include grilling your summer squash.   I cut them in spears or thick rings on the patty pans and brush them with olive oil and garlic powder or celery salt or barbecue seasoning.   A little soy sauce tastes pretty good on them grilled too.

Cucumbers:  They make a great cucumber salad and there are two possible types of cucumbers in your share now, but both are seedless super sweet european slicers which will not necessarily keep better but they taste great!

Red leaf lettuce:  We had these heads the last two weeks and another large flush of them is coming in the greenhouse under the cherry tomatoes.  Great for salads or for wraps.

Green cabbage:  These beauties are glossy and crunchy and sweet as can be.   With the 4th of July coming up I hope these find their way into many coleslaws!    I like them for stir fry also.

Carrot:  Early orange nantes type carrots, coming this week.  The tops can be made into pesto, I made the roots simmered with butter and chicken broth on the stove last night and they were amazing!

Garlic scapes: These curly shoots of the hardback garlic plant are great steamed, i made them on the grill wrapped in foil this week and just served them with our grilled chicken and veggie salads as a nice garlic side.  They also make a great pesto!

Sunflower Shoots:  These crunchy nutty micros are my favorite, just can’t get over the texture and flavor.  I put them on everything, sandwiches, salads, tacos, and they are packed with protein and amino acids.

Until next week folks, we will be plugging away out here keeping the tomatoes trimmed, weeds plowed, and the veggies flowing.  Enjoy the  food!

Week #5 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  Red beets, fennel, scallions, sunflower shoots, romaine lettuce, kohlrabi, red leaf lettuce, savoy cabbage, baby zucchini or summer squash, basil.

What’s going on at the farm: 

Another brief newsletter  this week because I am running late.   Working twelve hrs a day is a lot even for a veteran farmer like myself so I took most of Fathers day off and visited my dad and family for dinner.  Trying to take it easy today too and head into summer slightly more refreshed then I’ve been feeling lately.   This Thursday is summer solstice, the longest day of the year.    We got all our peppers in the ground last week and weeded the garlic which is looking like our best garlic crop ever with very uniform and large sturdy plants and stalks.  Sugar snap peas did not quite fill out this week because of the strange dip in temperatures we had but they will def be ready for next week.  Cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are getting close to ready in the field and greenhouse as well.  Some exciting new things this week including baby zucchini or summer squash.  We may package some up with flowers on them, they are totally edible and I recommend cooking them whole with the flower on but you could use the flower separately too.   We are getting all our onions weeded this week and they will be ready in about a month.  After summer solstice they begin to bulb out and the tops give them the energy they need to do so.   Our tops are getting nice and fat and should provide some nice sized bulbs this year if they can stay healthy through the bulbing period.

Savoy cabbage:  These wrinkled cabbages are great cooked for cabbage rolls or stir fry, maybe with your basil and scallions.

Kohlrabi:  These bulbs are huge and this will be the last week we will have them for spring

Onions: These are fresh tender green onions, or scallions, minced in to small pieces along with the bulb they are very mild and good raw, but also in cooked dishes.

Fresh basil is our herb this week and I’m sure you are all familiar with it.   You can make your own pesto, marinade, or add it to stir fry or other dishes to add some great fresh summer flavor.  Just a few tops for everybody but we will have more later in the summer too.

Sunflower shoots: The nutty micro greens are back with a crunch this week and  are great in salads, wraps, or even just as a snack with your other favorite snack items.

Romaine lettuce:  This planting of romaine had some spotty outer leaves but real dense centers so romaine hearts it is!

Red beets:   These traditional red beets are very sweet and have good tasting tops when sautéed.  This will likely be the last week for beets in shares this spring and possibly even for the year so enjoy them while you can!  My favorite way is roasted.  Unlike all the other beets you’ve received these ones will bleed.

Red leaf lettuce:  The striking contrast of color on these frilly heads looks like a flickering fire to me.    mix it with your romaine for salads or use the wide leaves for fresh lettuce wraps.

Fennel:  This anise flavored bulb was just in last week and this will likely be the last week of it for the season so enjoy these crispy sweet bulbs raw, grilled, or roasted with beets and herbs.

Zucchini or summer squash:  These super dense baby fruits may have flowers attached to some, enjoy them with the flowers.   I put them in foil on the grill for fathers day breakfast with a teaspoon of oil and chili powder and coming and just steamed them in the packet for 15 minutes for a super tasty side of my annual fathers day steak.

Thank you all and enjoy the first early summer crops!

Week #4 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  Chioggia beets with greens, kohlrabi, scallions, butter crunch lettuce head, red leaf lettuce, fennel, joi-choi, sunflower shoots.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Holy cow it’s not getting any slower around here!   We planted 2,000 strawberry plants last Friday after prepping for markets and tomorrow we will be planting  thousands of sweet and hot peppers.   Pruning and clipping tomatoes, and cucumbers in the greenhouse is a weekly chore right now, and after all that rain early on we got caught up on weedwacking, mowing and cultivating in the fields.   Our garlic is looking amazing and only a few weeks away from harvest.   Besides all that our main job is harvesting, washing and packing up all the awesome produce we have literally piling up by the tons right now.  Sugar snaps are only a week or so out but until then enjoy all the amazing veggies we have coming to you this week.   I think only the kohlrabi is a repeat, everything else is new for you all this week so enjoy!

Fennel: These sweet anise flavored bulbs pack a crunch and are great in pasta dishes and veggie slaws or even roasted with other roots and fruits like the beets and squash.   The licorice flavor is less pronounced when cooked or dressed with vinegar/oil, and even the fronds and stalks are tender enough to be used for cooking.

Kohlrabi:  Sweet crunchy bulbs can be peeled and the leaves are not much use so you can snap them off for better storage.   We keep them on for simplicities sake of harvest and to showcase the full healthy plant.    I suppose they can be used for stock or garnish but I usually toss them myself.  Their bulbs however are so fruity and crisp they make an amazing slaw ingredient or can be eaten fresh or even pickled!

Chioggia beets:  These are one of my favorite veggies and are great roasted, sautéed, or sliced thinly raw.  They are extremely sweet and do not bleed like a red beet.  The greens may also be used as a sauté green.

Buttercrunch  and red leaf lettuce:  A shining star in our spring the butter crunch heads were grown outside and the red leaf inside.  This planting was staggered to extend the lettuce coming in your shares this spring.   Great for salads, sandwiches, and wraps of all kinds!  I like the outer leaves for wraps, and the inner blanched head makes an awesome wedge salad topped with kohlrabi, beets or other roots.

Scallions:  These fresh green onions are tender and not overpowering.   Use them raw in salads or cooked in stir fry with your choi.

Joi-Choi:  This choi is white stemmed and thicker stalks that are nice and watery and tender and crunchy.   They came out amazing and its probably the best choi i’ve ever grown.  This is the last time we will have choi this spring.

Sunflower shoots:  These micro greens are nutty and crunchy, i love them in salads but they can be blended in smoothies or used anywhere, even as a fresh snack.

Thats our crop list for week 4 folks, I hope you enjoy everything!  -Kyle

 

 

 

Week #3 – 2019 CSA Season

roots down CSA week 3 2019

What’s in the Box:

Kohlrabi, broccoli, swiss chard, lettuce head, spinach, salad mix, pea shoots, white beets with greens, white salad turnips, choi.

What’s going on at the farm:  

On the farm we are still planting and seeding.  We started winter squash this week.  Its been raining so much though we have not been able to plant our thousands of melons and peppers yet and we had to harvest all our greens before tilling and making beds in the pepper field.   We are strawberry less this June but new plants come this week and the push will be on to get the field prepared before they come on Thursday and we plant the new berry field for next summer!   Im excited to do the new plasticulture system i’ve carefully planned based on my last 7 years of berry growing experience to ensure a long lasting and incredible berry crop over the next few years.  I think it will be worth the effort and wait.  Green beans came up with all the rain and heat last week so we are on track for green beans coming in July, cherry tomatoes are setting fruit and we are prunning and clipping three greenhouses worth of tomatoes every week now as they climb up over 4 feet this week.  So much awesome lettuce and beets coming in right now I can barely decide which ones to put in the share but I think it will be either red buttercrunch, romaine, or green butter crunch and possibly a random mix.  The same goes for the beets as we have four types including red, orange, chioggia, and white coming over the course of June.   Im thinking we are going to go with white or red this week as the red are the earliest but the white ones are new for us and the first time producing them and the tops are just gorgeous on them.

Lettuce head:  You will be getting either butter crunch, romaine, or

Pea shoots:  Great mixed with chopped romaine lettuce or spinach for salads or they can be lightly sautéed, but they cook in a minute flat.

White avalanche beets:  These beets are new and 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.

Spinach: Still distributing spinach from our huge spring crop!   Try to use this up quickly and cook it all up in one dish, not expecting an extremely long shelf life on it since it was harvested and stored last week but its still delicious and holding in my fridge well enough to be used for cooking and salads.  We harvested over 600 lbs of it this last week so plenty more coming  your way for spinach pie (spanakopita), quiche, or just blanch it quickly for a minute in boiling water and press the excess water out, put it in a ziplock and you’ve got frozen spinach to use later!

Choi:  Great for stir fry or grilled with a little foil wrap and some soy/teriyaki marinade with whatever your grilling!

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.   I think the green might be slightly fruitier and the purple slightly spicier but they are very similar and both crisp and delicious.

Broccoli:  I love this variety of broccoli because it has tight heads with smaller beads, nothing like fresh broccoli from the field.  Try to enjoy this sooner then later for higher nutritional content and keep it cool as possible for storage.

Swiss Chard:  Chard is a great saute  green with bright colored stems in this bright lights mix.  Just chop it and sauté it or maybe check out Local Thymes library of uses for swiss chard.

Salad Turnips:  These are my kids favorite veggie right now.  They love to pick them on their own and wash them up with the hose so they can just eat them while playing outside. You can slice them up to eat raw in your salads or steam or saute them in any of your dishes.  The tops are edible too and basically a light mustard green

Lettuce mix:  More lettuce for your spring salads.   Mix it with pea shoots, spinach, kohlrabi, turnips, or anywhere else you like.

 

I hope everyone enjoys the veggies!   Have a great week folks!  -Kyle

 

 

Week #2 – 2019 CSA Season

Whats in the Box:

Spinach, salad mix, butter crunch lettuce head, pea shoots, radish, chives with blossoms, bok-choi, oyster mushroom.

What’s going on at the farm:  

This week is a pickup week for full season (Standard and Basic) members only.  Bi-weekly members have the week off and will pick up again next week.   It was another productive week of work on the farm.   All our greenhouse tomatoes were pruned and clipped for the second time and we will be pruning and clipping them weekly as they develop fruit this next month.  This past week was very busy harvesting and washing greens and getting shares out to dropsites and farmers markets.  Melons are germinating and some are nearly ready to plant.    Lots of crops nearly ready for shares this week but the focus this week is the gorgeous spinach and lettuce we have pouring in by the caseloads.   Expect generous portions of these for salads, spinach, quiche, or my personal favorite spinach dish, spanakopita.

Choy:  bak-choy are best used as a saute green or side dish but are also good with rice or in a stir fry with chives or maybe your oyster mushrooms.

lettuce head:  besides all our baby greens our lettuce heads are looking fantastic.  We are growing 6 types this spring so expect a variety of different types coming over the next month.  This week will likely be skyphos red and green two tone butter crunch heads.   They are very vibrant in color with a crunchy ball in the center.    They’re so pretty…. I highly recommend just splitting them in half for a couple wedge salads to share with your favorite person. top with radish or chives and some cheese or your favorite salad dressing.

lettuce mix:  Our  mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, in romaine and salad bowl types, it is also great for salads or mixing with the other greens like the peas shoots or spinach for salads, or on sandwiches. I like to throw in some dried cranberries, or some crunchy seeds in my salads as well as chives.

Chives: The spicy chive blossoms on your chives make a great garnish for salads and other dishes.  They are edible along with the chive which is our earliest onion offering.  Use the rest of the chive to sautee with the choy in stir fry or sprinkled over your morning eggs or other dishes.

Spinach:  Our spinach is looking deep green with lots of large saved leaves and tasting great.    My favorite is Spanakopita with spinach but that dish can take up to two pounds for a 13 inch pan of spinach pie, but our portions may be up for this type of distribution this week.  Hundreds of pounds of spinach are coming in as fast as we can harvest it.  Check out local Thymes resources for spinach recipes this week too and take advantage of the added value to your share this year!

Radishes are coming this week and pair great with your salad mix and other greens for crunch and spice in your salads or just a crunchy snack.

Pea shoots are our most popular micro green and probably the most likable because of their mild sweet flavor and cute tendrils…. we eat these at home with nearly everything but try them in your lettuce mix for salads or lightly sauteed with ginger or garlic at the end of your choi and Oyster mushroom stir fry.

Oyster mushrooms.   Our variety has put out many different cap sizes over the last few months but now that the weather is heating up the caps are smaller in size.   They are best cooked and you can sauté them to go with your steak or other grilled items or use them in a stir fry with your choi, or maybe an omelet in the am.   The world is your oyster with these babies 😉   I hope you all enjoy this new crop offering from us this year.

Enjoy the food and hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Week #1 – 2019 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  

lettuce mix, spinach, red radishes, bok-choy, chives with blossoms, pea shoots, oyster mushroom.

What’s going on at the farm:  

Welcome back or to your first season with us everyone!  I am so excited to kick off my thirteenth season!  Our fields and crops are looking very full and promising for the coming year.  As usual, the first box of the year includes many fresh and tender greens.  Crispy, crunchy, and fresh is the spring theme that connects them all; so here is the run down on each of these crops I chose to grow for you this spring!

Radish: Radishes are very sweet and crisp and not too spicy with all this rain we’ve had.  They  go well with the salad greens but are also good sautéed or roasted.   They also store better with the tops off so remove the tops if  you will not be using them right away to keep them crisper.  The tops on the radishes are edible too and can be used as a sauté green if you wish.  The flavor is very similar to arugula.

Choy:  bak-choy are best used as a saute green or side dish but is also good with rice or in a stir fry with onions.  Our choy has a little bit of insect damage this spring (the small holes in the leaves).  Those are from the ever-pesky flea beetle, the nemesis of organic farmers everywhere.   We think the damage is minimal and does not affect the taste, so we let them get their little snack in instead of spraying organic pesticides as they only tend to bother a few of our greens like this choi in the spring.  Also to clean your choi thoroughly it must be sliced off at the base to open up the stems, dirt does tend to get stuck down at the base so make sure to wash it again after opening up the stems.

lettuce mix:   Our mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, in romaine and salad bowl types, it is also great for salads or mixing with the other greens or  on sandwiches. I like to throw in some dried cranberries, or some crunchy seeds in my salads as well as chives.

Chives: The spicy chive blossoms on your chives make a great garnish for salads and other dishes.  They are edible along with the chive which is our earliest onion offering.  Use the rest of the chive to sautee with the choy in stir fry or sprinkled over your morning eggs or other dishes.

Pea Shoots:  These fresh tendrils are the first micro green we ventured into and they have a light sweet flavor similar to a fresh pea pod.  They can be eaten as a salad green or even lightly sautéed with garlic and ginger, etc… for a fresh stir fry topping over rice or fish, etc…great for use as a garnish as well.

Spinach:  Spinach was not only Popeye’s favorite vitamin packed veggie but it’s one of mine as well.   Spinach pie or spanakopita, quiche, and pasta dishes are great ideas for all sorts of meals with spinach.  I enjoy spinach and lentils as well.  Interesting fact about spinach is it packs more calcium then almost any vegetable!

On the farm: There has been and will be a lot of weeding, seeding, transplanting, pruning, and trellising work going on here through the late spring and summer.  It was a cold and very very wet spring this year but we have managed to stay ahead of our planting schedule and are all caught up despite the cool spring.    In April and May so far we have planted many tomatoes, shallots, summer squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, peppers, fennel, cucumbers, chard, kale, kohlrabi, beets, carrots, and much more.   It’s been go, go, go, every day all day and we have been working very hard.  Our fields are looking wonderful and showing the results of all this effort and it looks like a beautiful and tasty season ahead of us.   This next week we will go up from 3 to 5 employees working not counting your farmer so we can keep up with all the crops and continue planting at the same pace.

We got bees back this week with the help of partnering with a neighboring beekeeper and are happy to have pollinators on the farm! Being a small farm, we do a lot by hand and we have been enjoying the long spring days of work in preparation for this season and the first big harvest/delivery week. We are getting new strawberry plants to put in next week, unfortunately this year is a gap in production for us on berries but next year they should be big fruits in their first year of development.  Weekly box photos will be updated by a great photographer who is a worker share at the farm for each newsletter every Tuesday to help you identify your produce.  Now is a good time for one last reminder to also get your bags ready to pack out produce and leave the container at the drop site.

We also have the Local Thyme service added to your share this year to help you enjoy all those veggies with new ideas and recipes and an awesome veggie ID section on their website as well as one on ours to help you with identifying your produce in combination with the weekly photo.   I sent along a registration e-mail for that service to everyone so make sure to sign up for the service!   We are still taking CSA signups too for those who have friends or family interested in signing up there is room for more families left.   I hope everyone enjoys the first week of shares and we will be seeing some of you at the drop sites.   I hope you enjoy your first week of veggies!  Thanks everyone!

-Farmer Kyle