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Eureka Organic Farm CSA Week 1 Newsletter, June 19, 2024 2-6pm

What's in the share this week?

There's more than in this picture! See the end of the newsletter for the full list of veggies and their storage information.


First Pickup of the Season


Welcome! CSA pickups are some of our favorite times as farmers because we get to distribute our beautiful vegetables to people who we know will love them and who are a wonderful part of our community. We've been prepping for this day for months -- since January, in fact, when we first began our field planning and seed starting. All of our hard work is coming to fruition in our third year of farming on this land and we're excited to share with you.


When you arrive at the farm, parking will be by the greenhouse AFTER the house driveway. You will see where cars can park. We ask that you walk over the hill to the big barn where we will be distributing our vegetables. If you have mobility issues and require a shorter walk, the house driveway is open to you. We will have our barn set up like a farmstand, and you will check in with Christine who will tell you how many of each type of vegetable you can take home this week. If you haven't paid for your share yet, please bring a check or card with you to CSA pickup. Then you can fill up your reusable bags and head home to get cooking!


Farmer Christine's Field Notes


We've been hustling every week to put in plants, and last week it was time to put in melons. This year we're growing watermelons, cantaloupes, and canary melons, and I cannot wait. It's been pretty hot, so we're still waiting to see if the plants will come through this heat wave. Watering is an ever present chore this spring, such a change from last year's constant rain, and the melons are so thirsty for irrigation. I don't blame them one bit!


Another task we've been keeping up with is hoeing, trying to keep the weeds manageable so our crops can thrive. And while our barter share workers were hoeing, Seth and I performed a day's worth of maintenance on our deer fence. We struggle mightily with deer around here, so this is one of the most important things we can do. They've been sneaking into our beet beds already this spring. Maintaining the deer fence is one part of a multi-pronged approach. We're trying it all.


A special shout out to our barter share CSA member who have been working with us for the six weeks prior to CSA pickup to get our seedlings and fields ready. Thank you!



Week 1 Announcements

  • We'll have eggs from our own hens available for purchase at the farmstand on Wednesdays. Eggs are $4.50/dozen for CSA members and $5.50/dozen for non-CSA members. Our hens are fed organic, soy-free grain from a Vermont grain mill, and they spend their time scratching in the dirt and begging for treats.

  • We have a very limited amount of summer squash and salad turnips this week. These two items will be up for grabs, but they are an either/or item which means if you take one, please don't take the other. Our summer squash, zucchini, and turnip plants are revving up and we expect much more of these good things in the coming weeks!


Week 1 CSA Recipes

These recipes are here to inspire you to use your share this week!


Vegetable List and Storage Information



Arugula - Arugula has a peppery, slightly bitter flavor. It is stronger than most lettuces, so it’s often paired with other greens. Mature arugula has sturdy leaves, whereas baby arugula tends to be more tender and milder in flavor. Hotter weather makes for spicier leaves. To store: Arugula is highly perishable. Store in the fridge inside a perforated plastic bag. If you decide to wash it first, be sure to spin the leaves dry before placing them loosely into a Green Bag with a dry paper towel to absorb the moisture. To freeze: Blanch leaves in boiling water or steam for two minutes, followed by soaking in ice water. Remove from ice water and drain well. Freeze "balls" of arugula on a cookie sheet in individual portions. When frozen, pop them into a Ziploc bag.


Cilantro - Cilantro looks like parsley, but has a strong smell and flavor. It is used in ethnic cuisine — Asian, Indian, and Mexican (especially salsa). Since it doesn’t stand up to much heat, it is usually added to a dish right before serving. This plant grows in cool weather conditions, so you won’t see it in the heat of the summer months. If you want cilantro to make salsa later, take some now and freeze or dry it! To store: For short-term storage, stand upright in a container with an inch of water. Then cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. To prep: Chop the stem and leaves with a butcher knife. The stems and flowers can be eaten too. To freeze: Mince well. Place Ziploc freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze.


Flowering Mustards - Mustard greens are peppery-tasting greens that come from the mustard plant. This is part of the Brassica family, which includes kale, collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others. There are several varieties, which are usually green or red and have a mild spicy flavor. Hotter weather makes for spicier leaves. To store: Spin water out of leaves and store in a plastic Ziploc bag with a dry paper towel inside to absorb moisture. To prep: slice off tough bottoms of stems, and chop or mince leaves/flowers and remaining stem together. To cook: Add uncooked mustards to to a mixed green salad, or use in place of lettuce when you won't mind a bit of spice (think for tacos). Mix mustards with other milder greens and sauté until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Mustards are done once wilted, which should only take a minute or two. To freeze: chop leaves roughly, blanch in boiling water for 60 seconds, then remove immediately to an ice bath. Squeeze out the water, pulverize in a food processor, and pack into ice cube trays for freezing.


Lambsquarter - An ancient green, Lambsquarter is not commonly cultivated today. It's other names include wild spinach, as it tastes very similar. Lambsquarter contains more iron and protein than raw cabbage or spinach, more calcium and vitamin B1 than raw cabbage, and more vitamin B2 than cabbage or spinach. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Spin dry. To cook: Add uncooked, minced tender tops to a mixed green salad. Blanch lambsquarter until it wilts, 2-4 minutes, or steam for 5-8 minutes. Sauté greens and stems until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. Freeze.


Lettuce Heads - To store: Store unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce that you have already washed and dried with a spinner, place back in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel in the bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin. Use within 4 days. To prep: Slice the head at its base with a knife and let the leaves fall open. Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash leaves in a basin of cold water. Dry in a salad spinner. To freeze: Not recommended, although lettuce can be mixed with other greens, blanched, and pulverized to make green cubes.


Radishes - (Save the greens to eat too!) To store: Remove radish leaves if they are still attached. Store the unwashed greens in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. Store radish roots unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week. To prep: Scrub radishes well. Trim off the stem and rootlets. To use: Eat radishes raw with a sprinkle of salt. Slice radishes into matchsticks or grate them and add to slaws and salads. Try small young radish leaves in salads or scrambled eggs. Blanch whole radishes in boiling salt water for 5-10 minutes, or steam them until just tender, 8-12 minutes. Top with butter, salt, and pepper or with a vinaigrette. They’re also great grilled and pickled. Radish greens are slightly hairy and are best cooked or blanched.


Salad Turnips - (Save the greens to eat too!) Turnips are a root vegetable, related to arugula and radishes, which are members of the mustard family. Large or old turnips can be unpleasantly “hot” if not cooked properly or combined with the proper vegetables (like potatoes), but younger and salad turnips add great zip to dishes. They are best in the fall or spring, when they are small and sweet. To store: Remove the greens from the turnips and store in a plastic bag to use within 3 days. The turnip roots should be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a week. To prep: Cut off the green tops (which can be eaten as well). Wash and cut the white roots into wedges or slices. To cook: Serve raw with dip in a veggie tray. Or grate and add them to a salad. Turnips are delicious when roasted with other root vegetables (like carrot, potatoes, rutabaga, garlic). Add a turnip or two to your favorite mashed potato recipe. Or add them into soups and stews. To freeze: Blanch for 3 minutes in hot boiling water. Cool in ice water for 3 minutes, drain and pack into freezer containers or freezer bags.


Scallions - To store: Chop off the top inch of the tender green tips and stand the scallions in an inch of water in a tall container covered loosely with a Ziplock bag, refreshing the water every 3 days. To prep: Remove roots. Chop the leaves and stem before cooking. To use: You can eat the entire scallion. Rinse scallions in cold water and snip off anything that’s floppy. Use chopped scallions as a garnish; they are less pungent. The minced greens of scallions are a good substitute for chives. Use them in stir-fry. Use scallions in almost any recipe calling for onions, raw or cooked. They are excellent in soups and stew. To freeze: Chop into desired size and place on cookie sheet and freeze. Then pop into a Ziplock baggie and store in the freezer. You can even freeze the green tops!


Spinach - To store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Spin dry. To cook: Add uncooked spinach to a mixed green salad. Blanch spinach until it wilts, 2-4 minutes, or steam for 5-8 minutes. Sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals it is done. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. Freeze.


Summer Squash/Zucchini - Summer squash is a general term for 70 different types of fast- growing, tender-skinned, soft-fleshed squash. Zucchini is the most famous, followed by yellow squash (either straight or crookneck), and scallops (or patty pan) which look like flying saucers. If you get a giant-sized zucchini, use it for making zucchini bread. It will be too tough and seedy for other recipes. To store: Store squash unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin. In the refrigerator they keep for about a week. To prep: Rinse under water to remove the dirt or prickles, and slice off the stem and blossom ends. Then slice or chop. Scrape out seeds from baseball bat sized zucchinis before using them to bake. To use: Slice tender, young summer squash raw into salads. Try them in stir-fry or with pasta. Lightly steam (4-5 minutes) and dress them with fresh herbs or pesto. Or coat squash lightly in oil and roast at 350 degrees whole or sliced in half for 15-45 minutes. Stuff whole squash with your favorite stuffings. Bread them and make zuke fries. To freeze: You can freeze grated zucchini for use in breads and muffins. Squeeze as much liquid out as possible before adding to the freezer bag.


Swiss Chard - Swiss chard has expansive, pocketed leaves with stems in a spectrum of colors: red, white, green, yellow. It is actually in the beet family but doesn't develop a bulb. Its leaves are more tender and delicate than other greens. Eat small leaves raw in salads and blanch or steam larger leaves. You can freeze chard for recipes later. To store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Remove the thicker stems by folding the leaves down the center and cutting out the stem. Stack several leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch wide ribbons. To use: Add uncooked greens to a mixed green salad. Steam stem pieces 8-10 minutes, and leaves 4-6 minutes. Or sauté greens until tender in a large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Serve cooked chard alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Chard also goes great in stir-fries or in any recipe calling for spinach. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and freeze.

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