full share (above)
Hello dear members, friends, and family!
Well, we’ve made it! We have packed our first boxes of the new season, our sixth (!) in production and our first on our very own farm! After endless months of construction, planning, hiring, greenhouse work, seeding, transplanting, weeding, and who knows what else, we are FINALLY to the part we like best: packing boxes full of awesome, delicious, nutrient-packed veggies for our members!
What to expect seasonally: This first box features the highlights of early summer–lots of leaves, lots of green, and a little extra treat to enhance your veggie eating. For those new to CSAs, the amount of greens in the first few boxes can seem overwhelming. Salads, salads, salads is the name of the game this time of year.
The type of produce in your share will greatly vary throughout the next 18 weeks. Early season boxes are often heavy on leafy greens and faster growing, cold tolerant crops like radishes and turnips. Boxes this time of year are often a little lighter, too. Mid summer we start transitioning to crops like green beans, cucumbers, and then tomatoes and sweet corn and the boxes are usually overflowing. Fall is when the boxes get really heavy with winter squash, storage onions, root crops, and hearty greens.
Clean your produce: We do our best to make sure your produce is handled safely and cleaned well. That being said, wash your produce! Some things are hard to clean out fully, (like the inside of a head lettuce) without taking it apart. Also, since you are eating organic food that was picked the day before you got it, there might the occasional bug or two tagging along in your box. Don’t worry, these guys aren’t harmful and just like produce as much as you do. We rely on many insects in the field to do the unseen work of pollinating and keeping other insects in check.
A few notes on current crops: We were hoping to have radishes in every box this week, but most of them were just too small to harvest. They should be perfect next week, so you’ll see them then if you don’t have them now. The first pea shoot crop got totally washed out in recent downpours, so we are re-seeding and will get them to you as soon as they’re ready. Most every other crop is doing really well, and we look forward to getting them out to you when they’re ready. Part of the excitement of farming vegetables organically is that you can’t always make things produce for you on a certain date, but rest assured over the course of 18 weeks you’ll have a great variety and bounty of diverse foods!
What’s in the box:
Head lettuce: 2 for small, 3 for medium, 4 for full shares
Baby pac choi: 1/2 pound, all sizes
Kale or collards: 1 bunch each for small and medium shares, 2 bunches for full shares
Swiss chard: 1 bunch each, all sizes
Lovage salt: 1 packet each, all sizes
Radishes: 1 large bunch, full shares
Chives: 1 bunch, full shares
Rhubarb: 1# full shares ***some Thursday full shares will get rhubarb in another week or so when we can harvest again***
I know that people are sometimes overwhelmed by many large heads of lettuce for one week. The thing is, if you make a composed salad for your dinner for a night or two, you won’t have any trouble using it up. Mason jar salads are quite the rage these days, and two adults could easily use up a lot of lettuce bringing one of these to work every day. Think of how fun it will be to show off your healthy, affordable, stylish lunches! Check out the lettuce section of our website for more ideas, and here’s a link to one of my favorite food writers and her journey through her first CSA box of the year.
While many people like chard raw, I definitely prefer it cooked. If you want something really simple, just saute it in a very hot pan with oil and add some minced garlic as soon as the leaves wilt. Add a sprinkle of salt (perhaps lovage salt?) and enjoy!
Otherwise, try this easy weeknight pasta with chard and onions, or this grits and greens casserole.
Sometimes I wonder if I even need to provide kale recipes anymore, it’s become so ingrained in so many people’s eating habits. But, for those of you that are interested, we’ll be making this Kale Coconut salad from Heidi Swanson, one of my all-time favorite soul food-whole food chefs. If you want something as far away from salad as possible, this Kale, Sausage and Potato Stew will brighten a rainy day.
We love rhubarb around here, and we’re going to try out this fascinating rhubarb-nut coffee cake. It’s a pretty simple and fast recipe to throw together, and think how much your family or friends will appreciate a slice of that this weekend!
If you were lucky enough to get radishes this week, proceed directly to the butter, smear it on a slice of good quality bread (baguettes are awesome) and sprinkle with your lovage salt. If you didn’t get radishes this week, get ready! You’ll want those ingredients waiting at home when you bring your box into your kitchen next week. I always smile and think of my loved ones at Surdyk’s when I talk about eating this radish canape, and I’ll be sure to talk about it every year. Cheers!
Predictions for next week’s box:
All the best from all of us,
Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Frank and the crew