Sorry to get this out a bit late this week. These long days make us lose track of time.
This week marks the beginning of July, or what I like to think of as “up in the air” season. As I have told many of you in person, this year plants are growing so fast we can’t keep up with them! So, I will list items that I know will definitely be in the shares this week, but please know that there might be surprises in store.
Here’s what you can expect this week:
1 head lettuce
1 Chinese cabbage
1 bunch kale
1 bunch baby beet greens
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch basil
Herbs: chives, dill, parsley
This week Jay (the Four Winds farmer) offered to sell blueberries at our distribution. Very exciting! He will be selling them at a special price for the CSA. (Please note there is a limited quantity.)
We also have a few bunches of certain vegetables we will be selling. I have had many requests from members for the option to purchase vegetables, so we are going to try it out this week. Everything we will offer is produce that we would otherwise not put in the shares. We are not taking away from the CSA, just giving folks a chance at some extra veggies if they want them.
Question of the Week
Why do the shares vary week to week, not only in what I get, but how much I get?
This is a good question, that gets straight to the heart of what a CSA is all about! As CSA farmers, we do our best to predict what to grow for the weather, the time of year and our members. Every week brings us new challenges and new bounty. The vegetables vary within the season as well as season to season. This season, we have had a lot of hot, dry days, which has actually been great, but it’s hard to predict what the plants will do with something as variable as the weather. (Like the fact that our crops are ripening at least one week early, across the board.) For example, some of you may remember from last year, we did not have lettuce every week. The weather was so wet, we had entire beds of lettuce (3 weeks worth of lettuce) rot in the field. This year, I am doing the same exact planting schedule, and we have had beautiful heads of lettuce every week. On the flip side, the hot weather has brought aphids with it, making it near impossible for us to grow certain vegetables at this time. Farming is all about give and take.
We have currently reached the point in the season where growing a wide variety of greens is difficult, yet it’s still a bit too early for all our summer favorites such as tomatoes and cucumbers. The most important thing to remember about CSA (community supported agriculture) is that it is all about support, mutual support. When we have a great bounty of vegetables, we share them with all of you, and when the bounty is not so bounteous, we know that you are still there support us.
Keep the questions coming! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just ask us in person.
I don’t have any recipes to share this week, but here are some ideas in case you need inspiration.
Chinese Cabbage As many of you pointed out during week two, these cabbages will most likely provide you with more than one meal.
We made a great, quick soup with Chinese cabbage recently. We made a sort of sweet and sour broth (stock, soy sauce, sake, sugar) simmered chopped cabbage in it with ginger and garlic and added cooked udon noodles at the end. Topped with chives, it was quite yummy.
Try a cabbage slaw with some of the carrots and chives.
You can also make your own kimchee this week!
Or, refer back to the recipe from Week Two.
Peas Judging by the copious amounts of fat peas weighing down the vines, there will most likely be more peas in the shares this week than last. Peas are best eaten or preserved fresh. To shell them, use three bowls, one for the whole peas, one for the shelled peas and one for the shells. Take up one pea at a time, pinch the tip and pull the “strings” off to the side. Open the pod, scrap the peas into the shelled pea bowl and discard the shell into the shell bowl. (Some prefer to do this with a glass of wine!) When finished, I suggest my favorite dish, pasta with peas and pesto. Make exactly like the name suggests.
You can also freeze the peas: Shell them, blanch them (place in boiling water for 90 seconds, then place in ice water), place in freezer-appropriate container and freeze.
Dill Dill is one of my favorite salad ingredients. I put a few sprigs in with the lettuce and toss before topping with other veggies.
You can also dry dill by hanging it upside-down in a paper bag. The paper bag helps regulate the moisture in our humid Hudson Valley air.
Kale Our favorite summer kale recipe is a raw kale salad made with chopped kale and a dressing of avocado, lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Please refer to last week’s newsletter for advice on storing kale.
Have a great week.