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
Our last week was a bit all over the place. We suffered a number of chicken losses (4!) and injuries so a lot of my brainpower went to making sure the chickens were taken care of. I cleaned out the coop, sprayed the interior with an organic pesticide called spinosad to reduce their parasite load, set up a chicken hospital in our basement for the injured chicken (who is recovering!), and figured out the cause of death where the situation warranted.
The remaining time we spent doing some light farming -- light because our whole family was sick with a cold on top of everything else going on. We introduced a few of our barter CSA share members to the wash station, and harvested 2 days in a row for the CSA. We made a mistake in seeding our beds of peas too close together in April, and grew a pea thicket instead of tidy beds. It took an entire morning to fight our way through the jungle to get enough peas to give everyone a share. We might be able to remedy the situation with some strategically placed cuts in our trellis netting. We'll see.
We finished planting out the melons, cleared some more space in and out of greenhouse 2, re-disced the new field, laid out occultation tarps to prevent weeds, and harvested for farmers market. The market was packed with people looking for good things for their July 4th celebration, and it was a nice end to a "light" week (har har).
Week 3 Announcements
We will not have any eggs for sale as our chickens are recovering from the last week. We're still anticipating our new layers to begin laying this month, hopefully sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed!
Week 3 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.
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.
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.
Napa Cabbage - Napa or Chinese cabbage has tall crinkly leaves, and the heads are not as tightly 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.
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.
Swiss Chard - Swiss chard has expansive, pocketed leaves with stems in a spectrum of colors: red, white, green, yellow. We think the green variety has the best flavor. 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.