Here we are, the start of a new season of delicious produce! Thank you for joining us for the season, we are excited to have so many wonderful members be a part of the farm this year.
Every week you’ll receive an electronic newsletter from us. You’ll find a list a what’s in the box plus photos, tips and recipes for using the produce, musings about the farm and the weather, and a sneak peak of what is coming next week. But before we get to all that, for those of you who don’t know us well yet, I’d like to do a quick introduction.
My wife Heather and I (Brandon) run Sleepy Root Farm, along with several crew members who help us out seasonally. This is the 7th year that we have been in business and we’ve grown from 13 members our first year to 225 members this year. We had been renting land for the first 5 years until we were finally able to purchase a farm of our own two years ago! This will be our second season that property.
We have a darling little 2 year old, Maybelle, who you’ll be seeing plenty of pictures of. Maybelle loves to weed (?!) and ramble around the farm, and would probably count broccoli as her favorite vegetable. Up until I stole Heather away to the countryside, she had a career as a chef. Her past work took her all over the country, but most recently she had been working as the head chef at the Surdyk’s deli and cheese shop–which is were I met her, delivering produce to their kitchen.
Heather and Maybelle
Maybelle and Brandon
Maybelle examining the garlic this spring
Crew members Ted and Hannah working in the greenhouse
We do our best to make sure everything we bring to you is the healthiest produce you can get. It is grown organically and we provide our soils with a complex and complete mix of nutrients in an effort to make sure the food you are eating is nutritionally complex and complete, too. After all, we only get from our food what our food is able to get from the air, rain, and soil.
We’ll share more about ourselves and our crew, and about our farming philosophy and thoughts as the season goes on. We love talking to members, so feel free to call or email for anything. And don’t be shy about coming out to visit. We’ll have a few scheduled member parties later in the summer and fall, but if you want to stop by for a picnic or just to look around, those are good reasons, too. This is your farm for the season, too. Now let’s get on to the rest of the newsletter.
Transplanting peppers and eggplant on a sunny day
A few tips on how to make the most of your CSA share:
Here are few tip to make sure you use every bit of your share:
- Unpack your box once you bring it home: take each item out so you know what you have on hand, this may give you some ideas for how you want to use them in meals for the week, too.
- Wrap it in plastic: some items you get won’t come in a plastic bag. If you’re not likely to use that item within in a day or so, wrap it in a plastic bag before putting it in your fridge. Most produce will store much better if it is in a plastic bag or some other container that won’t let moisture out. You can download a storage chart here for details on most veggies. Save the bags you get and re-use them.
- Freeze or preserve extras: there will be times when you don’t want to eat any more beans, or you don’t have a good use for that bunch of oregano. Freezing, canning, or drying are great ways to keep your produce longer. Most herbs will dry fine on the counter in the open air on a plate or hanging from a cabinet knob. Most veggies freeze well if they’ve been blanched. We will give you specific tips throughout the season, as well.
What to do with your empty box:
The box your produce comes in is coated in wax so that it is water resistant and can be reused. Once you have unpacked your share for the week, unfold your box so it is flat and store it some place safe. Bring it back to your site the following week and leave your flattened box in place of your new box. We will collect them the next time we make deliveries. If you’ve never unfolded a produce box before it can be a little tricky. In essence, don’t pull the flaps open, rather pinch the flaps so the tabs slide out from their notches. It makes more sense once you watch this video of Brandon doing it.
Whats in the box:
- Head Lettuce (1-2 heads small, 2-3 heads medium, 3-4 heads full)
- Kale: Red Ursa or Lacinato (1 bunch)
- Rhubarb (1 lb)
- Herb pot: Basil, Oregano, Chives, or Thyme
- Microgreens (2 oz)
- Broccoli (1/2 lb med, 1 lb full)
- Oregano or Mint (medium only)
- Chives (full only)
- Radish (full only)
Notes on the Produce:
Mushroom Share Members: This week you’ll receive either King Oyster Mushrooms or Grey Oyster Mushrooms. Here is a link to the newsletter and recipe from your organic mushroom farmer, Jeremy McAdams. Here’s photos of the mushrooms to help you id them:
King Oyster Mushroom
Grey Oyster Mushroom
Lettuce: These beauties will need to be washed again before eating! We double wash them, but with the combination of the 2 inches of rain we got on Sunday (mudmudmud) and the fact that they’re head lettuce, they must be cut up in order to wash them properly. Here’s a lovely tutorial: How to Wash Head Lettuce
Broccoli: The broccoli started coming early due to the extremely hot weather we had last week. The heads have been small so unfortunately the portions are a little small.
Microgreens: The confetti of salad greens, get creative and add an artful dash to an entree, or eat as a power snack. These delicate young plants are great to use as a garnish or mixed into a salad. Microgreens are nutrient dense and often used in modern gourmet cooking. A mix of mustards and brassicas (broccoli family).
Herb pot: everyone is receiving a small pot with a mix of three herbs in it. The mix may include basil, chives, oregano, or thyme. The picture below has basil, chives and oregano (clockwise from top). Move to a larger pot if wanting to grow indoors by a window. Space plants further apart when re-potting, or put in separate pots. This is a nice way to have a little bit of the farm with you all season long!
Every week I (Heather) will highlight a few items in the box and talk about them and provide some tips and recipes.
Rhubarb-Not just for pie! But who has that much free time these days? I’ve found some nice and quick rhubarb recipes for you to try:
Rhubarb Cinnamon Muffins-mix these up in a flash this weekend, and then you’ll have breakfast ready to go all week!
Looking for something savory? We’ll be trying this Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb-BQ Sauce this weekend.
Microgreens-These little guys are absolutely packed with vitamins and phytonutrients. At first they might stump you-not quite lettuce, not quite herbs, but here’s some suggestions for this gourmet delicacy:
Garnish a piece of grilled chicken or fish with a simple microgram salad: toss the microgreens with a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil and a drop of sherry or red wine vinaigrette. Salt lightly and place on top of the grilled meat.
Make a slightly more elaborate version of the salad, recipe here, and enjoy it on top of toast or on top of a piece of chicken, fish, meat or tofu.
My personal favorite: Buttered toast, topped with scrambled or fried egg, and then microgreens tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
photo from Lorinda at thefeedfeed.com
Lettuce-I get it. I totally understand that some people pull those big gorgeous heads of lettuce out of their box and think, “WTH?! How am I going to eat all of this?” The answer: it’s easy! Just think Chef’s salad/dinner salad/Greek salad. Start with your lettuce and add generous amounts of cheese, diced meats, toasted nuts, diced avocado, dried fruits, whatever! Try Brandon’s famous Tahini Dressing for a real treat. Brandon and I can easily eat 1-2 heads of lettuce as a meal if we go the Chef’s Salad/Chopped Salad route. Here’s a few ideas for you, but it’s all about using anything you have lying around. These hearty salads are a great way to use up little bits and pieces of leftovers lying around your fridge and cabinets!
Sneak Peek at Next Week:
Our best guess for some of what will be in the box next week:
- Head Lettuce
- Collard Greens
- Snap Peas
All the best from all of us,
Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Hannah, Nicole, Ted, Michele, and the kitties