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!