Newsletter

Week #10 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Cherry tomatoes, heirloom and slicing tomatoes, purple stripe garlic, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, english cucumbers, leeks, jalapeño pepper, curly parsley, green pepper, fennel, and red russian 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 have some more new crops coming for you in this weeks offerings including a little heat with our fresh jalapeno’s.   Our summer onions were harvested this week and they will be sun-curing in the greenhouse so any onions you receive after this week do not need to be refrigerated once they have a dry skin.  In fact we will be skipping onions this week in order to give them time to cure and dry down.   During that process they sweeten up as well as excess moisture is released.   The same goes for the garlic which is fully cured now and ready to store until next spring in a room temp place out of direct sunlight.   Sweet peppers are starting to show signs of changing color so they should be coming very soon and our melons are still setting fruit and slowly sizing up.  We like to grow a lot of different peppers both sweet and spicy so there is quite a selection to look forward to.   In general the small peppers are going to be the hotter ones and we will try to tell you here in the newsletter what you can expect from the different varieties as they come in.   I don’t have enough time to write a complete rundown of the crops this week as we have some very big harvests to manage at the moment and we really need all the time we can get outdoors.  Weedwacking, mowing, weeding crops, and harvesting crops usually every other day to keep them in prime condition for consumption.  See some of you at the drop sites and thank you!

Week #9 – 2017 CSA Season

DSC03732What’s in the Box: Heirloom tomato, slicing tomato, leek, onion, summer squash, zucchini, english slicing cucumber, onion, eggplant, fennel, cherry tomatoes, swiss chard, (bi-weekly only), green beans, kale, and sage.

What’s going on at the farm: Mother nature is just bringing the rain this last week.  The week begin with tornado warnings and a huge storm system which delivered over 6″ of rain and now our back field is literally starting to turn into a pond on one side.  We received over 10″ of rain over the last 7 days.   Our garlic crop got out just in time before all this rain came in but now our onions are the target of our concern as they are trying to dry down for harvest but cannot with all the rain.  We are all ready seeing a lot of problems with the sweet onion crop as the necks fold over and cannot expel the excess water they are absorbing anymore.   Our goals right now include seeding fall crops and we can’t do that until the ground dries back out so its very critical we get a decent dry period over the next two weeks.   Despite the bugs and increased disease pressure that we also usually expect and are seeing with this rain, we have a lot of crops that are doing very well yet and we have a large variety of crops for you to enjoy this week including some new items!

Green beans:  These first beans for us are fat crisp and juicy.  The variety is provider and they always seem to taste best after a good rain.   So many ways to prepare these weather its in a three bean salad chilled with vinegar and herbs, or roasted in a pan with other veggies, or maybe sautéed or steamed plain with a little butter.

Zucchini and summer squash are back again.  Yes these staples of summer cooking go well with anything but we are excited to try using some of them to make veggie lasagna noodles.  I try to cut large slices the length of the fruit and then cook them lightly in a pan to take some of the water out.  Then you can build your veggie lasagna using them as noodles and take out all the extra carbs, and grains.

Cucumbers are back and beyond the lbs of cucumber and sweet onion salad in vinegar and sugar we are eating here at home there are many ways to use these crisp refreshing fruits.   We had them in a cold salad this week (prepared by a local chef)  That included raw sweet corn, coconut milk, red onion, cucumber, squash, chile, and lime to make a crispy, creamy, crunchy, yet spicy salad.

Eggplant is in folks, and these Italian types are soft and ready to pan fry or grill with a little olive oil and spices.  I like that eggplant will absorb whatever you would like to season it with.  A very simple way I enjoy eating them is by pan frying slices in olive oil and then putting them on a toasted bun with some mayo, basil or other herb, and some cheese and tomato.  You can bread them too if you want but thats extra work I usually skip.   Eggplant parmesan, ratatouille, or stir fries are other dishes  we commonly use these in at home.

Leeks are ready and these mellow and creamy members of the onion family are my favorite for leek and potato soup.   The best part of it is that you can eat it cold or warm.  They are also great sautéed in butter for creamed leeks.

Tomatoes!   We take a lot of pride in growing tomatoes and we have a lot of different varieties coming in now. We will be distributing them randomly in order to give everyone as much variety as we can.  BLT’s, sandwiches, gazpacho, fresh pico, and of course caprese with some olive oil, salt, or fresh mozzarella.  Our selection includes a variety of cherry tomatoes this week too, generally they are a great snack but they make great additions to any salad or dish as well and I like them better for kabobs or grilling then the large tomatoes.

Fennel is back.  This is one of my favorite vegetable to grow and eat.  The crisp texture is refreshing and the fronds are beautiful to see in the field.  They commonly attract yellow swallowtail butterflies for some reason or another.  The black licorice flavor is not admired by all but it lessens in strength with cooking.  Fennel lends itself well to Italian dishes and you can use the whole plant if you like.  Fronds would make a great addition to a pasta sauce.   The bulb is great with cabbage or cucumber for a fresh slaw or salad.  Another good use for it is to roast it to bring out the sweetness but you can cook with the bulb any way you like.   Simply remove the tap root and clean out the layers a bit if need before cooking with them as its’ hard to get all the layers clean without chopping the bulb up.

Swiss chard is for bi-weekly folks this week and our crop is just amazing us this year.   We like it sautéed and used anywhere you like to use spinach.   The stems are tasty too and can be used like celery.

Kale is coming at you again this week so we can make sure everyone has a little sautee greens available this week.  We have three types including curly, red russian, and lacinato. our plan this week is to leave it open as to which variety is coming so you will get one of these three types but it will be a random selection this week.   Kale is packed with vitamins and nutrients and if you juice its easy to grind a bunch into a power packed shot of green food.   Kale chips are also very popular and can be seasoned any way you like, and it lends a rich flavor to other dishes.

Sage is our herb this week.  It is a savory herb that goes good with beans, pork, chicken, or roasted vegetables, etc… You can dry these leaves in a warm well circulated area and save them for later but will last several weeks in the fridge if you intend to use it fresh.

Onions are nearing their harvest time and bulbing rapidly now.  We are expecting to distribute more sweet onions this week as we are worried about them holding with all this rain.  It is possible we could switch to green top yellow or red onions but that call will likely be made in the field as we watch the conditions closely on our onion crop.

We hope you all have fun and make some delicious food with your veggies this week, thanks for being part of the harvest and we hope you enjoy!

Week #8 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Heirloom tomato, slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet onions with tops, summer squash, zucchini, english cucumbers, purple haze carrots, green garlic, pea shoots, swiss chard, and basil.

What’s going on at the farm:  We have quite a few new things ready for you all this week including cherry tomatoes, new heirloom tomatoes, and purple haze carrots.  Our write up of these is brief this week as we are trying to harvest all of our garlic today despite the heavy rains we keep getting and get it cleaned, bundled and set it out for curing.   After a couple weeks of curing we will then clip the tops off each bulb and clean them up a bit more for storage, seed stock, and of course for your CSA shares!   We have two types of garlic.  The first is a white porcelain hard neck called german extra hardy which has a white wrapper and 4-6 large cloves making it easy to clean.   The other is a purple striped hard neck called asian tempest which is a bit spicier and has purple streaking through the outer wrapper.  Both of them store well on the counter or any room temp shady spot.  Do not refrigerate your garlic as there is no need and this could force it to sprout.  Our garlic area will soon be seeded right into salad greens and other crops like carrots for fall, if and when we can find some time between harvests.   We are harvesting every day now on many crops and all that weeding we were doing the last month has made for easier picking and clean fields to work in.  Lots of exciting crops are finally yielding heavily including tomatoes which are my personal favorite.   Plenty of cucumbers and summer squash still coming in too and these versatile veggies are great for so many dishes they are too numerous to mention.   We love the cucumbers just sliced up with salt as an easy snack but they are great for juicing, pickling, and of course sandwiches and salads.     Until next week then enjoy all the new crops.  We are going to get out there and bring in the garlic.  enjoy the veggies and we will keep on harvesting, cleaning, planting, and weeding.  Some crops coming next week include eggplant, green beans, and most likely green peppers, and hot peppers.  Thank you.

Week #7 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Heirloom tomato, green top onions, summer squash, green garlic, zucchini, savoy cabbage, small english cucumbers, slicing cucumber, parsley, and romaine or butter crunch lettuce head.

What’s going on at the farm:

We have some pretty hot and humid days in the future for us here as we head into the main summer portion of our CSA season.  The mosquitos are also out full force to keep us moving quickly in the fields.   We have been keeping up on our mowing and weeding to help with air flow and decrease bugs in the field this week as we prepare for some big events for us in the next month including garlic harvest, onion harvest, and planting of many fall crops which will rely on our ability to keep up with the harvesting.  The change in weather has some new crops ready to peak this week including one of our personal favorites, tomatoes!

Heirloom tomatoes: these babies are earlier than ever this year, beating our first good harvest last year by one week.  We have many varieties to keep it interesting and flavorful. This week you will receive some pink Tomimuro Mucho’s which are a pink japanese tomato with wonderful, sweet, balanced flavor.  There may be a few other varieties in your share this week including a small black slicer, and some other pink tomatoes including Pruden’s Purple, and Pink Beauty.    Tomato sandwiches, BLT, or caprese are some suggestions, need I say more?

Savoy Cabbage is a great cooking cabbage which lends its fibrous texture well to cabbage rolls, and stands up to cooking better then a green cabbage.  We eat it finely shredded and marinated for slaw, or in stir fry too!

Onions are bulbing out quickly in the field with all the rain and irrigation.  We will continue to thin our crop this week to provide you with a random selection of onion variety  which could be red or yellow with tops on.   Cooking with the tops works too, and thinning all of these should make for a good-sized dry onion crop later when we pull them at the end of July.

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.

Lettuce is back this week for some salad greens and folks will receive either a butter crunch lettuce or a romaine lettuce head.   This crop is not quite as nice as our spring one but we are attempting to keep some salad type greens flowing in the shares.  We will be starting more lettuces this week in the field and likely some more pea shoots too to use as salad greens mid-summer when growing lettuce is the most challenging.

Parsley is our herb this week and it is fantastic with just about anything.  Remember if you don’t want to use them fresh you can always dry your herbs in a warm spot with good airflow or in a dehydrator.

Lastly, our garlic crop is just about ready for harvest, we have been keeping it well weeded and it looks like an amazing crop this year, our 5th consecutive year of growing our crop from our own stock.   We have two types, a hard neck porcelain, and a hard neck purple stripe.  The latter is a little spicier but the flavor is truest after curing, which will be weeks down the road.  The garlic you receive this week is fresh and can be kept out of the fridge or refrigerated as it is not a dry product yet.   This weekend we will harvest the whole crop and set it out to cure, after that you should never refrigerate your garlic.

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

Week #6 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Green cabbage, pea shoots, summer squash, zucchini, green top red torpedo onions, english cucumber, curly kale, swiss chard, and basil.

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.   In between all the harvesting, cleaning, packing, markets, deliveries, paperwork, weeding, and mowing this week we were able to plow down some finished crops such as the peas, broccoli, and beet beds. We planted over the long holiday weekend including spaghetti squash,  three types of butternut squash, and acorn squash.   We also planted garlic chives for next year and a direct seeding of edamame, and dragons tongue beans.  More crops for fall were started too including fall melons, cauliflower, broccoli, and a new one for us, radicchio.  The cauliflower was weeded along with the garlic, cherry tomatoes, slicing cucumbers and many other crops.   We also pruned the tomatoes and pulled weeds in both greenhouses this week.  Our tomatoes are ripening, both cherry and slicing tomatoes alike and we should have enough for shares within another week or two when they speed up a bit but they are coming very soon.  We are also seeing some of the first eggplant and peppers forming on the plants.  Our annual organic inspection is this week too!   A representative from our certification agency MOSA will be doing a 3-5 hr audit of our farm and organic practices.  This happens yearly here and not only helps us improve as farmers but provides a third party assurance that organic standards are being at the very least met.  Here is a quick rundown of our crops this week.

Pea Shoots are new for you all this week and something we have been experimenting with growing more of here.  We have had a good reception at farmers market with them and now we are bringing them to you.   They are basically a sprout which is harvested 8-10 days after seeding and they make fantastic salad greens, or you can put them in your sandwiches, wraps or top anything with them really.   I hope you all enjoy this new item which we are planning on growing more frequently in the future.

curly kale is going out for the second time.   I am in love with this new variety which has a great rich wheat grass like flavor and extra frilly leaves.  They make great kale chips, juice, and can be sautéed or eaten raw.

Our Swiss Chard crop is bountiful and beautiful this year.  This versatile green can be eaten stem and all and is related to beets.  One customer at market who keeps returning to us for several bunches of our chard every week has told us she breads the stems and her husband grills them battered.   It sounds a bit like tempura to me but also sounds delicious.

Summer squash.  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 make a great cucumber salad and there are two possible types of cucumbers in your share now, the shorter european ones and the thicker skinned european slicers which will keep better and are a denser and crisper but not quite as sweet with slightly waxier skin.

Green cabbage is great for a slaw.  I like to make a balsamic mayo sauce by simply mixing mayo and some balsamic with it, then just add salt and pepper to taste.

Basil is our herb again this week and this wonderful herb goes well with everything if you ask me.  If all else fails drying your herbs is a great way to make use of them later.   I’ve seen some folks freeze pesto up in an ice cube tray and then you can store those in a bag in the freezer for whenever you need a little basil and oil for your dishes.

Green top red onions is a descriptive name I use in the crop listing but these red onions are special in that they are a mediterranian variety which is a sweet summer onion and also referred to as a torpedo onion.  These baby torpedoes can be used with the greens and they really do go good with everything.

Until next week, enjoy the veggies and happy 4th everyone!

Week #5 – 2017 CSA Season

DSC03378What’s in the Box:  Sugar snap peas, swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash, english cucumber, basil, red russian kale, green top sweet onions, green cabbage, red beets (bi-weekly only).

What’s going on at the farm:   Plenty of rain this past week has kept our soil and plant growth going well around here as we finish off the first quarter of the season this week with some familiar summer veggies and some new crops for us this year.   We are starting a new drop site this week as well for Catalent employees so welcome to your first week to those of you just starting out with us!

Sugar snap peas are in and  plenty of them to go around so expect a good portion of these.    The pods can be eaten whole with the either raw or possibly in a stir fry.   They can be stringed by snapping the stem end of the top off and down the back of the pea to remove a small string-like fiber.

Swiss chard is a good sauté green and our crop is looking amazing this year.   Multi colored stems provide some nice color to your dishes and the stems can be eaten right along with the leafs.   Just chop them coarsely and sauté them in your favorite pasta recipe or with eggs in the morning.  It makes a great side dish too and can be used in place of spinach.

Red russian kale is also a sauté green which is higher in protein then any other veggie.  Try these leaves in your smoothies, stir fries, or perhaps some kale chips seasoned with your favorite spices.

Zucchini and summer squash are basically the same veggies and can be used in almost any dish you could possibly imagine.   I like to grill spears of them in the summer brushed with chili and soy sauce marinade.  We eat them on pizza which we make a variety of ways and I sometimes use long thin slices of them in place of lasagna noodles to make a gluten free veggie lasagna.

Our cucumbers right n0w are the small mini english variety and they are never bitter and have no spines so there is no need to peel them unless you like the skin removed.  These are a favorite for us at home for easy snacks with some salt and/or added to our salads.

Onions are being thinned out this week and you will receive them with small bulbs and large green tops this week.   You can use the tops like scallion minced in to small pieces along with the bulb.

Our first cabbages are in this week too and the first to come to you are these pointed green mini cabbages.  They have a very unique shape make a great pairing with the onion for a simple stir fry.    Coleslaw is always a good option for these sweet mini cabbages too but my favorite thing to do is split them in half  leaving the stem base on to keep them together and grill them on low indirect heat with the open face up and drizzle teriyaki sauce onto them which just simmers into the cabbage as it cooks.

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 to your dishes.

Our last crop going out this week is for bi-weekly members only and that is the last of our red beets and our beet crop for this spring.  the tops can be used like swiss chard but they will make your roots softer if you leave them on in the fridge so remove the greens if you plan on holding the roots for future use.  The reason for this is the plant respirate through the leaves which slowly removes moisture from the root so this goes for any root crop you receive with tops on this year.

On the farm this week we are working towards getting our winter squash planted and starting crops for the fall season.   The longest day of the year is passed now as we roll through summer solstice we have a small window of thirty days to get all of these things for fall growing before its to late for them to mature.  To do this we also have a lot of field clean up going on this week removing open beds and tilling the fields again, and making mulch beds.  Basically this is a huge transition period for us and we are going to need some dry weather for the fields which have been receiving rain every day lately.    Some other crops coming soon include, onions, savoy cabbage, and large slicing cucumbers.  Our summer crops of eggplant, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and napa cabbage are also looking great and should be coming soon.   Thank you all and enjoy the early summer crops!

Week #4 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box:  Golden beets with greens, seedless english cucumber, dill, summer squash, zucchini, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, and lacinato kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  

We finally got the rain we needed this week without any major storms or damage thankfully.  My favorite item this week is a toss up between the golden beets with their sweet bulbs and rich greens and the sugar snap peas with their refreshingly crisp texture and sweet flavor. Some other favorites of mine right now include the crisp seedless english cucumbers.  The cukes are super sweet with a thin peel, no spines, and a burp-less quality.   They are awesome sliced with some salt on them as a fresh snack to cool down.  here is a little rundown of the crops this week.

G0lden beets are a 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.

Cucumbers are actually one of the most hydrating veggies there are!  They make a great salad with the dill.

The sugar snap pea crop is coming in heavily now and i’m sure you will all enjoy these crisp sweet pea pods which can be eaten whole fresh and also cooked with or without stringing them, we have several varieties this year so the pods may vary as we will be picking them mixed out of the field.

Dill is our fresh herb this week and it is great with the cucumbers but lends a fresh twist to any dish and pairs well with fish, and fresh greens, sauces, and dressings.

Swiss chard is versatile as a green and although its related to beets, the greens are often used in place of spinach.

We have lacinato kale for you this week and a lot of folks consider this to be a superior tasting kale which is well balanced in flavor.   Kale is usually cooked but can be massaged or finely chopped raw for use in salads and other dishes.

Zucchini is in along with summer squash and everyone will be receiving both green and yellow squash and possibly some patty pan squash.   They can all be cooked like zucchini, and do not require any peeling.

It’s been a very busy week on the farm this last week.  A Couple highlight were finally taking a half day off to go fishing for Fathers Day on Sunday and we were featured in 5 minutes on the farm, on WORT radio.  In the next few weeks we expect some other new crops including onions, cabbage, basil, and more.   Until next week then, enjoy the veggies!

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!

Week #2 – 2017 CSA Season

DSC_0012Whats in the Box: Kohlrabi (green or purple), romaine lettuce head, red radish, red russian kale, garlic scapes, baby red beets with greens, swiss chard (bright lights mix), chocolate mint.

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.  So many weeds were pulled by hand around many crops including our garlic and strawberries.  All our greenhouse tomatoes were pruned and clipped for the third time and we will be pruning and clipping them weekly as they develop fruit this month.  This week we planted all 1648 of our sweet and hot peppers, two types of napa cabbage, two types of lettuce heads, and we seeded green beans.   The summer crops are loving this warm weather.

Romaine: This week we have more spring crops coming your way including some dense romaine heads.  These beauties really pack a crunch and we have been enjoying them at home as wraps for easy lunches when you’re busy and on the move.

Radish: more radishes are coming your way this week and I trust I do not have to familiarize anyone with them but they are great with cultured butter and salt, grilled, sautéed, or used fresh as a snack or in salad with your lettuce.  We also tried a quick pickle with vinegar, water, sugar, and allspice.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is in this week!  Kohlrabi comes from the German language and means “cabbage-apple.”  Like its meaning, it is crisp and sweet like an apple with a cabbage taste as well.   I like kohlrabi skinned and sliced up as a snack with salt and cheese.  It is very good with butter and cream, salt and pepper sautéed too.  It can also be grated or sliced thinly for salads.   The leaves on kohlrabi are edible but not recommended raw or with the stems.  They could be used minced in a soup or stock but I rarely use them.

Beets: Our baby red beets are new this week and their sweetness is impressive, even sliced thinly and eaten raw.  However, the greens are fantastic on these as well and I know we have a lot of greens early but do not miss out on sautéing these rich and dark greens.  I like them lightly cooked with olive oil and garlic (use your scapes). They are so tasty and similar to chard (actually the same species as chard) so prepare them as you would swiss chard or spinach.  The taste after sautéing is rich and pairs very well with the sweet roots and maybe some creamy cheese or savory herbs.

Garlic scapes: Garlic scapes are the immature blossom from a hard-neck garlic in June before the plant bulbs.  I like making pesto with them but they can be used just like a clove a garlic for mincing up into your dishes and sauces/marinade.

Chocolate mint: Our herb this week is chocolate mint which has a sweet and strong minty flavor.   Use it to flavor water, tea, coffee, ice cream, or desserts like cakes, cookies and, baked goods.

Swiss chard: Swiss chard is our final new crop this week and it is our favorite to use anywhere you would use spinach.   It is fantastic sautéed with your eggs in the morning for a nice fritata or in pasta dishes.   Because chard is related to beets, it has many colorful stem varietals and we enjoy the stems right along with the leaves.

 

Other crops we have coming in the next week or two include strawberries, broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, chioggia and golden beets, snap peas, cucumbers, dill, and curly and lacinato kale.

Week #1 – 2017 CSA Season

week 1 2017What’s in the Box:   Mesclun mix, lettuce mix, red radishes,  joi-choy, bok-choy, chives, butter crunch lettuce heads.

What’s going on at the farm:  We made it to the first week of shares so first I would like to welcome everyone back or to their first season with us!  As usual, our first box of the year includes many fresh and tender greens.  Here is the run down on some of them.

Choy: Both the joi-choy (white stem) and bak-choy (green stem) 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 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 which are very costly and even though they are organic and safe they can kill beneficial bugs which just increases our dependance on sprays.    We tend to go the route of providing a physical barrier of fabric over our crops to keep insects out but since we interplanted these delicious chinese cabbage amidst our strawberries we were not able to prohibit their snacking with covers.   I hope everyone will enjoy these cabbages despite the “bullet holes”.

Radish: Radishes are very 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.

Mesclun mix and lettuce mix: Mesclun is a blend of baby kale, lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, and choy.  It is a great, well-balanced salad mix with a little spice from the arugula.  Our other mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, also great for salads or 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.

Buttercrunch lettuce: Lastly, the butter crunch lettuce head’s best feature is a dense and blanched head in the center which is both creamy and crunchy and large outer bib leaves which can also be used along with the center for wraps or rolls.

On the farm: There has been and will be a lot of weed pulling, 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 May so far we have planted many tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, leeks, cauliflower, radishes, arugula, lettuce, beets, peppers, carrots, fennel and 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.  Being a small farm, we do a lot by hand but we are excited to have acquired some new equipment this year and hope it will help our ability to produce. We are getting strawberries developing and slowly ripening so there should be a nice crop of  organic strawberries coming along very soon in June.  Some other crops coming next week or two to look forward to include kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce heads, kale, swiss chard, beets, and garlic scapes.    Weekly box photos will be updated by a photographer for each newsletter every Tuesday to help you identify your produce and promote shares.  We are still taking signups too for those who have friends or family interested in signing up.   I hope everyone enjoys the first week of shares and we will be seeing some of you at the drop sites.