We hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July. We had a fantastic time decorating the tractor, driving it in the Little Falls Parade and joining our community and visitors to the area in a wonderful potluck picnic at the park.
Thanks, Bob Johnson, for the fantastic pictures!
Monday was a mucky and wet harvest day. The great crew slogged through it with a great attitude! Thanks you guys! We received about 3 inches of rain throughout the morning and day.
This week’s box:
- Thai Basil (1 bunch each)
- Summer Squash (2 for full, 1 for medium and small)
- Choi Sum: Gunsho (1 bunch each)
- Carrots: Mokum (1.5 lb full and medium, 1.25 lb small)
- Radishes: French Breakfast (reg. bunch full and medium, small bunch smalls)
- Head Lettuce (3 each for fulls, 2 for mediums, 1 for smalls)
- Scallions (1 bunch each)
- Broccoli (medium only)
- Kale (full only)
- Cucumber (full only)
- Snap Peas: Sugar Anne (full only)
I sure love me some early season carrots! This variety, Mokum, has become particularly popular in recent years for its awesome flavor, texture, and earliness.
My apologies to anyone who got carrots with their tips cut off. We have this cool implement called an undercutter that loosens and raises the carrots by cutting below them in the soil, making for easy carrot pulling at harvest time. Getting it deep enough really maxes out our tractor’s horsepower, so I’m always having to run it as shallow as I can. Apparently this time I ran it too shallow and took a few tips off in the process. Despite not being as pointy as usual,they are still some damn fine carrots!
Gunsho (Choi Sum)
Gunsho is a variety of choi sum, a popular vegetable (or so I’m told) in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Prized for its delicious stem and small florets, it is wonderful both raw or cooked anywhere you might use pac choi. Also known as chinese flowering cabbage, it is part of the Brassica genus that has brought us great hits such as: broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens, kohlrabi, and pac choi. All of these brassicas have been bred to exaggerate and highlight different parts of the plant. Choi sum combines both the tenderness of a mustard green (without the heat) with the slightly sweet and more substantial stem of a broccoli (which, in my opinion is the best part of broccoli by the way), and crowned with an delightfully unassuming floret on top. Use it in a similar way as you might pac choi or sometimes broccoli. Also see the recipe below.
And the year of the head lettuce continues. There are a few new types added to the line-up this week including:
For those of you that are getting broccoli again, we’d like to suggest a fresh and crunchy slaw. Slaws also make it easy to use up every bit of the broccoli-florets and stems. Just peel the stems like you would a carrot, and shred in your food processor or cut into matchsticks by hand.
The carrots in this week’s box are so lovely and delicate I’d have a hard time doing anything other than roasting them whole with olive oil, salt, and a finish of lemon zest, but you may find yourself leaning towards a light, fresh Sesame Carrot salad (it’s great with or without the cucumber) or a tasty meatless meal of carrot patties with a dab of thick, greek-style yogurt.
The gunsho is really begging for simple, bold flavors. No matter what you do with it, take each stem and hold an end in each hand, and slowly bend. It will snap at the point that the lower point of the stem becomes woody, much like asparagus. Discard the lower part, and cook with the upper part. The stem, leaves, flowers and all are edible, and really fantastic! Here is a recipe for steamed gunsho with a delicious, easy, bold sauce.
Next week’s sneak peek: