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Eureka Organic Farm CSA Week 3 Newsletter, July 3, 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.

Farmer Christine's Field Notes

After last week's CSA pickup, we had enough tomato trellising hooks for me to continue on in the tomato house. We trim our tomato plants to have two main branches that are tied up with string on those hooks you may have seen me winding. Doing our plants this way allows for plenty of airflow, which keeps down fungal diseases that are common in greenhouse grown tomatoes. With some help from friends and barter share workers, we trellised about half of our 400 plants, which is a big win for us.

We also replanted two beds of cauliflower which were eaten by deer, and spent a good portion of time hoeing and covering other plants with row cover and netting. The local deer have been a nuisance for us every summer, and we're constantly looking for ways to thwart them. I'm hoping to pull together some creepy dancing scarecrows for them (and for my own entertainment). If you have any old car struts or pogo sticks laying around, these giant springs are integral to my plans and I would love to take them off your hands.

We harvested for CSA pickups, marveling once again at how generous our plants are and how much food they give us. I'm always amazed, every single year. Our cooler is packed full and ready for CSA pickups!

Week 3 Announcements

  • We will have locally grown Shiitake mushrooms for sale this week! We've partnered with The Sole Connection Farm in Arlington, VT to sell mushrooms in our farmstand every 3-4 weeks. This is our first time selling mushrooms, so we were conservative in our estimates for the quantity needed. If you'd like to ensure that you get mushrooms, please email me or message me at 802-727-7187 to reserve a pint box.

  • We will not have eggs for sale this week, our hens took a prolonged break due to the heat wave and have yet to resume laying normally. We anticipate having enough eggs next week.

  • Please add the farm phone number to your contacts If you're going to miss your CSA pickup, please message me on our farm phone line at 802-727-7187 by the end of the day Wednesday. I can pack up a share for you and we can arrange for you to pick up your share on Thursday. If you know in advance that you won't be able to pick it up like for a vacation, we encourage our members to offer their share to a friend or neighbor for that week. All your replacement has to do is give me your name, and they'll be good to go!

Week 3 CSA Recipes

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

Vegetable List and Storage Information

Beets, Baby Size - Beets come in many colors -- red, gold, pink. 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.

Bok Choy - Bok choy, which may be written as bok choi, bok choy, or pac choi, is a traditional stir-fry vegetable from China. Choy grows in elongated, upright heads of dark green leaves with large, white stems. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems can be used like celery or asparagus. To store: Cut off any yellow leaves. Store wrapped loosely in plastic bag (or a Green bag) in the refrigerator. To prep: Wash and removed any damaged yellowing leaves. Cut off the root tip — about an inch worth. If the stems are thick, cut the leaves from the stems and cook them separately a few minutes before you add the leaves. To freeze: Cut the stems from the leaves and chop to desired size. Store those separately. Cut the leaves into ribbons or squares or keep whole. Store separately from stems. Bring salted pot of water to a boil. Boil the leaves in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the leaves and squeeze out moisture. Place in Ziploc freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Put in freezer. Blanch the stems separately for 2 minutes. Douse in ice water and drain before packing into separate Ziplocs.

Broccoli - Broccoli is a member of the brassica family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale and kohlrabi. All of the brassica vegetables contain bioflavonoids that help reduce the risk of cancer. To store: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Store for a week. To prep: For organic broccoli, soak head upside down in cold salted water (1 teaspoon salt to 8 cups of water) for 30 minutes to remove any hidden field worms. Any critters will float to the top. You can eat the stalks, leaves, and head of broccoli. Break the head into florets of desired size. Then use a peeler or paring knife to cut the tough skin off the broccoli stalk, and cut into equal size pieces. The stalks will require a few extra minutes of cooking time. To freeze: Cut into florets. Blanch in boiling water for three minutes or steam for five minutes. Remove and dunk in ice water for 5 minutes. Drain. Individually quick freeze

Cabbage - To store: Place dry, unwashed cabbage heads in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Store for up to 3 months! To prep: Rinse the cabbage under cold water before use. Cut cabbage head first into quarters, then diagonally across the wedge. Be sure to remove the stem end and triangular core near the base. To use: Eat raw in salads, steamed, braised or fried. Turn raw cabbage into coleslaw or sauerkraut. Roast cabbage steaks/slices at 400 F drizzled with olive oil and salt. Or try stir-frying shredded cabbage in olive oil until wilted with a little bit of minced garlic. To freeze: Choose how to cut your heads based on your end use. Cook in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cabbage and dry as much as possible. Place in Ziplock freezer bags based on your portions you plan to use, and remove as much air as possible. Put in freezer.

Carrots - The greens are edible too! Carrots are sweetest in the fall and winter when they start to store their sugars in the root. To store: Remove the green tops as soon as you can, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate these carrots in a plastic bag. You can also store them in a bin of water (like celery) to keep them crisp, changing out the water every few days. Save the tops in a plastic bag. To prep: Organic carrots don’t need to be peeled. Boil 2-inch cubed carrots in rapidly boiling salt water, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes. Fresh carrot tops can be chopped into a green salad or stir-fry too! The greens can be dried and used as an herb like parsley. To freeze: Blanch cut coins for 3 minutes in boiling salt water, dunk in cold ice water for 3 minutes, drain, let dry, and pack in airtight container.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Napa Cabbage - Napa or Chinese cabbage has tall crinkly leaves, and the heads are not as tight as the regular kind of cabbage. To store: Place whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use quickly before the leaves yellow. To prep: To prepare the entire head at once, cut it in half lengthwise, remove the core, and chop as desired. You can slice the leaves from the stem. Chop the stems and use them in stir fry. To use: Napa is great sliced and sautéed with onions and garlic. It goes well in a stir fry or soup. For a caramelized flavor, cut the cabbage into wedges and roast them until the cabbage is tender. Or slice in half and grill the entire wedge until charred. To freeze: Cut into quarters, wedges, or shred it. Cook in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cabbage and dry as much as possible. Place in Ziplock freezer bags and remove as much air as possible.

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.

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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