Spring 2013 CSA: Week 1

We had a rocky start to the day, but boxes are in are shareholders’ hands and everyone seemed happy with their shares! Every box smelled divine — green garlic and onions mingling with kale, fresh lettuces, and herbs. If you took home a box for your very own, here’s what you got:

Clockwise from top: Bibb lettuce, spinach, arugula, Lollo Rosa lettuce, garlic, onions, kale

Clockwise from top: Bibb lettuce, spinach, arugula, Lollo Rosa lettuce, garlic, onions, kale

  • Kale: This variety, Russian Red, has loved our wet weather and is taking off, so expect more in the coming weeks. Saute it in a pan or make one of our all-time favorites — Kale chips! Guilt-free snack food at its finest, and so easy to make!
  • Bibb Lettuce: This loose head lettuce has a buttery consistency and makes a lovely salad.
  • Lollo Rosa Lettuce: This leaf lettuce has a sharper flavor and adds texture — great for holding on to salad dressings.
  • Green Garlic: Young garlic has a delicious mild flavor when you use it in a saute. Use the whole stem in a soup or broth, or use the stiff neck like you would a leek. Green garlic doesn’t last like cured, mature garlic will; try to use it in the next week or so. If it starts to go brown, make your own garlic powder!
  • Spring Onions: Use like a regular onion. Chop them up in sautes and casseroles, or use them in salads. You can also use the stem like a scallion — chop it up and use for garnish or in soups. The bunch in your box contains a mix of red, white, and yellow green onions.
  • Mixed Herbs: Rosemary, oregano, mountain mint, and sage. Use together or separately… Boil green beans in water with sage and mountain mint, use rosemary with potatoes or pork and oregano in any Italian food or salad dressing. If you’re feeling adventurous, put your sprig into moist soil and see if it roots — before you know it, you’ll be growing your own herbs on your window sill!
  • Arugula: This lovely spring green has a bracing bite. Use a little in your salad for a big kick.
  • Spinach: Rich, green spinach has been happier in the wet cool weather than it usually is in the Memphis heat — enjoy! Cook it in a saute pan and serve as a wilted green or use it fresh in a salad… we love it under salmon or tuna with a corn salsa over the top.
Left to right: oregano, mountain mint, rosemary, and sage.
Left to right: oregano, mountain mint, rosemary, and sage.

Once Upon a Time…

…Not so long ago and very, very close to home, we had a workshare volunteer (Bobbie Ann) help us harvest and wash a ton of fresh greens. We tucked them snugly into bed in the new CSA-only refrigerator for the night, thinking that we had a leg up on the Saturday delivery. Imagine our alarm when, the next day (Saturday) all those greens were stiff and frozen. Lesson learned! Our fairy tale first pickup may have turned out to be a parable, but it still had a happy ending. Our loss is your gain–we bring you vegetables that are fresher than even we expected! Luckily we overplanted by enough that reharvesting shouldn’t cut into future harvests. If you are a geek about such things and wonder just how we schedule planting and harvesting, you might look at these spreadsheets from North Carolina State University that we adapted to develop our own schedule.

Wash those veggies!

Remember, even though we don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, these veggies are fresh from the ground–they may come with some rich soil still attached. We give everything a rinse in clear, cool water before it goes into your boxes, but we recommend that you wash again before you cook or eat. Especially in the wet weather we’ve had, dirt tends to cling. For your eating pleasure, wash them in cool water to avoid grit.

Don’t be a hater…

Is there a bug on your greens? Cool. That’s how plants naturally grow in a healthy environment that encourages a total living ecosystem: with some bugs here and there. Any hitchhikers should come off in the wash.

Let us know how it goes!

If you have a great recipe to share with the CSA community, you can post it here or on our page on The Facebook.

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  1. Pingback: Spring 2013 CSA: Week 2 | Oak Hill Farm

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