Welcome to Week 6. Can you believe we are 1/3 of the way through the CSA season? We can’t! It’s gone by so fast already. We were planning the fall share boxes a few days ago, and we are getting ready to harvest all the garlic this week. These are sure signs that the season is starting to turn towards the middle of the year.
We are in the shoulder season between spring and summer now. Zucchini is starting to happen, but not quite enough for all the boxes yet. Next week looks to be a pretty heavy crop, barring any pest problems. Tomatoes are getting big and green, but won’t be ripe for a bit yet. Long-time-growing crops like carrots are starting to become ready. Cucumbers will be a little late, as the entire first crop got killed within a day of transplanting. We replaced them within the week, but it will slow their arrival. (This has also been the area of the farm with the heaviest deer damage.) The good news is that the fence crew finally showed up on Thursday and they’ve already finished! We now have a lovely, $10,000 eight-foot high enclosure around the majority of the farm. It’s expensive, sure, but weighed against electric net-style fencing, which has to be purchased, then put up and taken down every year, electrified and baited every year, and maintained by weekly mowing, it was easy to see what was best in the long run.
Cabbage and beans are on their way, and rumor has it that sweet corn is within a week or so of harvest, too! It’s exciting to see the new veggies show up-with their new colors, flavors, textures, and of course, new recipes.
A word about the broccoli: IT’S COMING. A LOT OF IT. AT ONCE. So, we had originally planned for broccoli to be in Boxes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Yes, that’s 6 weeks in a row! We like to give a decent amount of it in boxes because organically-grown broccoli is high-priced in the markets, so it’s a great deal for members. We also like to give it because it is such a simple, accessible, and mostly widely liked vegetable. Well, it’s been a gangbuster year for the green guys, so everyone is getting a lot, for at least 6 weeks. This is a prime example of life as a CSA member-you sign on to take the risk and share in the rewards with your farmers, and right now the rewards are great! They’ve been taking a bit of beating from the heat, so you might see some premature yellowing of your florets, some yellowing will not affect the taste or quality of the broccoli. If yours are starting to yellow, eat sooner than later.
If you need a break from it, put a pot of water on to boil as soon as you get your box home. Throw in a few pinches of salt. Chop the florets off the broccoli. When the water boils, toss it in. Cook for a few minutes (taste test a piece to see if you like the doneness) and drain. Fill a bowl with ice water, soak it in there for a while, and when it’s cool, drain it again. Place it in freezer bags, tuck it away for the winter, and feel nice and smug when you can serve your family local broccoli in the dead of winter! Voila! Want a little video tutorial? Watch this.
What’s in the box:
Carrots-1 1/2 # for small and medium shares, 2# for full shares
Beets-1 bunch for all shares
Broccoli-1 1/2# for small and medium shares, 2# for full shares
Cabbage-Red Express or Early Jersey, for all shares
Kale-1 bunch for medium and full shares
Sleepy Root Salad Mix-1/2 pound for medium shares, 3/4 pound for full shares
Mint-1 bunch for full shares
Zucchini-1 each for full shares
Romano Beans-1 1/2 pounds for full shares
Green Onions-1 bunch for full shares
Carrots-these tender little beauties taste great! It would be hard to recommend anything right now other than snacking, or fresh eating in the form of a cool slaw. With the way the weather looks to be this week, we don’t recommend doing much of any cooking! Here’s a recipe for a slaw that we make every season: Moroccan Carrot Slaw. If you don’t have a food processor, it’s pretty quick and easy to use the large side of a cheese grater.
Beets: Many folks like to eat grated raw beets, in another cooling, slaw-like format. Again, we’d recommend this so you don’t have to turn on an oven in this heat wave! But, if you really do want to cook them, (and we always do no matter how hot it gets outside) give this recipe for Beet Risotto a try. Or, for a totally different way to eat a beet, try the classic Harvard Beet recipe here. The sweet and sour dressing tastes great when it’s hot out.
If you got Romano Beans this week, hooray! This is what I always make with my first batch, as an edible memorial to my Dad. We made this together every time we were in Spain, and when I see the colors and taste the flavors he’s right there with me. I know I put this in the newsletter every year, but it’s important to me. If you’d like to branch out more, check out the Bean page of our recipe section-there’s lots of yummy things to make there! You can freely substitute your Romano beans for any of the recipes in that section.
Early Jersey Cabbage-this is my all-time favorite kind of cabbage! I just love the pointy little green heads! They taste great, really clean and crisp and fresh, and for their novelty shape they really give you a ton of eating. Either save this one in a plastic bag in the crisper for next week, when cooking won’t be so daunting, or once again, find a way to enjoy it fresh. I found this collection of slaws on-line and I really don’t know how to choose. I can, however, heartily recommend this one. It’s a bona fide Grandma recipe, so how could you go wrong? Please note, if you got a red cabbage, you can do all the same things with it!
All the best from all of us,
Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, and the crew