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.
Farmer Seth's Field Notes
Last week was all about farm cleanup and harvest. Our CSA this year has more than twice as many members as last year, meaning our harvests are correspondingly bigger. We spent an entire day pulling in vegetables from the fields, washing, bagging, and bunching. It went well, and it was great to see our farmstand come together too with a bit of light cleaning.
We took a morning to fill in holes in our beds. When we plant out our crops in the fields, there's usually a few seedlings that fail to thrive for some reason or another -- stress, or maybe their roots were damaged during planting. We overseed in the greenhouse by about 30% for just this situation. We can take those greenhouse babies and fill in any missing plants. In this case, in the chard, leeks, and scallions. Our cucumbers and summer squash had no holes. I can't wait for all of these good things to come in.
We ended the week with planting out most of our melons (10 beds!). This involved throwing down fertilizer, harrowing the beds, laying out landscape fabric, burning holes, planting the beds, and then watering the seedlings in. There are still a few beds left to go, but we're hopeful that we'll get some nice watermelons and cantaloupes later on. And then our usual harvest and farmers market. We've been hearing nice things at market about how fresh our greens are and how much care we take with our presentation. All good things.
Week 2 Announcements
New Member Resource Alert: We've uploaded some new resources in the CSA Member Resource Library this week under the "Canning Resources" folder, including a Basics for Beginners PDF and a 2010 copy of the Ball Blue Book. If you ever wanted to start canning and needed a nudge to get you going, consider this your bump.
We'll have eggs from our own hens available for purchase at the farmstand on Wednesdays. Eggs will no longer be self serve during the rest of the week. Due to predator losses we'll have limited quantities, but we've purchased a batch of young chickens to supplement our existing hens and they should begin laying mid-July. Fingers crossed!
Week 2 CSA Recipes
These recipes are designed to inspire you to use your share this week! Please check inside our private Facebook group to find your fellow members sharing ideas for what to make with their veggies!
Vegetable List and Storage Information
Beets - Beets come in many colors -- red, gold, yellow. You can eat the green tops too! To store: If your beets still have greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or "tails") attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks. To prep: Just before cooking, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets. If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or a veggie peeler, then grate or cut them according to the recipe. To remove the skins, you can roast them in foil or boil them, and the peels will slip right off. To freeze: Boil or bake beets until done. Cool them in ice water or let them come to room temperature. Remove peels. Trim the beets into 1/4 inch slices or keep them whole (if they are small). Place in Ziploc freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze.
Cauliflower - Cauliflower is a cool-weather crop, so you’ll only see it in the spring or fall at the markets. It comes in multiple colors. To store: Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week. To prep: Remove the leaves (which you can eat like kale). Cut out the hard core. Serve raw on vegetable trays with a thick dip. To steam: cut off florets and steam for 5 minutes. Drizzle with butter and lemon juice. To roast: drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper, bake at 450 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. To freeze: Blanch 2-4 minutes in boiling salt water. Soak in ice water bath for 4 minutes. Drain, let dry, and pack into Ziploc containers.
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. 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.
Collards - Collards are a heartier leaf like kale with a stronger flavor. To store: Wrap the leaves in a Debbie Meyer green bag and store in the crisper. Use within a week if possible or until the leaves turn yellow. To prep: Remove the stem with a knife. Use the leaves for wraps, stirred into soup, braised with bacon, in a stir-fry, pesto, chili, salads, or served alongside ham hocks. To freeze: Blanch 4 minutes in boiling salt water. Soak in ice water bath for 4 minutes. Drain, let dry, and pack into Ziplock containers.
Baby Kale Iron Man Mix - This is a blend of three different types of kale, all of them tiny, tender, and delicious. Treat this like you would baby arugula or baby mustards. 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: chop or mince leaves and stems together. To cook: Add uncooked kale to to a mixed green salad, or use in place of lettuce when you want a heartier flavor in a dish. Mix 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. Baby kale is done once wilted, which should only take a minute or two.
Kale - Kale is a member of the brassica family. Kale comes in blue-green, reddish green, and red varieties and may have flat or curly leaves. All types of kale have thick stems. It has a mild cabbage flavor when cooked. To store: Place kale unwashed, wrapped in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Best used very fresh, but may last for a week. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. If your greens have thick stems, you must remove them. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. Then stack the leaves up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips. To use: Sauté in olive oil. Use in soups, spaghetti sauce, pesto, quiche, or kale chips. You can also eat the stems. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. Stems can also be frozen.
Lettuce Mix - To store: Place lettuce mix 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: Discard any damaged or leathery 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.
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!
Snap Peas - To store: Use as soon as possible within 4-5 days of harvest. Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer. To prep: Wash well. Snap off the ends and remove the string if present. To cook: Eat young, fresh snap peas raw. Put them on top of a salad. Add raw peas to stir-fry or soup in the last stages of cooking. Steam peas until just tender-crisp, for three minutes. Toss with butter, olive oil, cream, vinaigrette, or pesto. To freeze: Peas freeze well but will lose their crunchy texture. Remove stems/strings. Blanch peas for 1 minute, rinse under cold water, drain, and pack into Ziploc freezer bags.