The wet weather continues, though the temperatures are finally starting to rise. We never thought we’d be happy to see 80 and 90-degree afternoons, but the plants are loving it. The beets have really taken off, the spring greens are flagging, and summer goodies like Swiss Chard are starting to come on. In this week’s box you have:
- Green Onions: You’ve been able to watch these little guys mature from week to week and, we hope, have by now discovered all sorts of delectable ways to work them into your meals. If you need a little inspiration (or want to use them as a long-lasting pantry staple), Emily over at Organic Authority has some excellent ideas for green onions.
- Kale: Ready to move beyond kale chips? This versatile green is awesome in everything from frittatas to casserole to mashed potatoes. For some new ideas, check out Local Harvest’s “Kale Recipes–17 Different Ideas!” posted by Maplewood Organics up in Vermont. Some people recommend boiling kale before sauteing to make it extra-tender, or “massaging” it before use in a raw salad. Personally, we think this particular Russian Red variety is delicate and succulent enough just as it is–rinse and go!
- Garlic Scapes: Wondering what do do with those mysterious green curlicues? Scapes are a secondary method of reproduction for some heirloom garlic varieties. These come from our signature Asian Tempest garlic and are basically a scallion that tastes like a bright, spicy garlic treat. Margo over at Greenling DFW posted one of my favorite-ever posts on using garlic scapes. If you’r a canner, pickle them and use them all year long. Meat lover? Wrap ’em in bacon! Love to eat raw? They’re perfect as-is on a salad. Scapes are one of those things that will work for everyone. And if you just don’t like garlic, put them in water and wait for them to bloom!
- Radishes: The funky spring weather has these coming in a few at a time–one will be massive, and the one beside it just barely starting to bulb up. Enjoy these little tidbits on a salad or (if you drink alcohol) in that classic radish martini we mentioned back in Week 2. Want to give someone a laugh with their drink? Try this.
- Tom Thumb Lettuce: This heirloom variety is a miniature butterhead with a creamy taste. I’ve left it on its roots, so it may last an extra day or two if you put it in water. These guys are growing so quickly I’m thinning almost every week. They’re delicious when young, but I can’t wait to see the mature miniature head. We get a kick out of growing new varieties out here. Hmmm… Should I be worried that I geek out over vegetables?
- Beets: The beets are finally getting big! Roast the bulb in the oven with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, either in a pan or covered in tinfoil. Then have at it–they’re great tossed into a stir fry; on a salad; mixed with quinoa, their cooked greens, and balsamic vinegar; or alone as a side dish.
- Mixed Salad Greens: I love arugula–just in small doses. Mix it with the romaine and Tom Thumb (and even the raw kale or chard, if you like…), top it with radishes, green onion tops, scapes, and roasted beets–this week’s box will give you some of the best salad flavors spring has to offer!
- Swiss Chard: LuxeEpicure calls swiss chard the “peacock of dark, leafy greens.” With red, pink, yellow, orange, and green veining big rich leaves, chard is delicious stir fried, in pastas and casseroles, or as a side dish by itself. Chop the stems and tear or cut the leaves into smaller pieces; cook the stems first since they take a bit longer and then add the greens–or just eat the greens raw in salads. You can even use the whole leaf to wrap tamales!
- Mixed Herbs: See below… rosemary is deeper green, woodier, and generally sturdier than lavender–and the smells are unique. Sage is the broader-leafed green in the middle. All are excellent for cooking. I like a little sage in my eggs, a little lavender in the water I use to boil fresh green beans, and lots of rosemary with my pork, potatoes, or carrots.
We’re hoping to have a “Farm Friends” cookout later in the summer for everyone who has participated in the CSA over the last two years. We’d like to do it in July or August–if you’ve been involved in the CSA and there are any dates that particularly suit (or don’t)… let us know!
We’ll also be opening up sales for the Summer CSA to our current customers at the beginning of next week (June 3) and to the general public the following week (June 10). Summer session should start by mid-July, though the dates may be variable due to the late start and cool, wet temperatures we’ve had so far. Let us know if you want to join the ever-growing circle of friends who pick up our boxes each week. We love what we do, and we’re ready to grow!
Thanks to Our Volunteers!
We had another volunteer day today–and despite the adverse weather we had one lone soul brave the elements to help us out. Thanks to Trevor, who helped us organize the tools in the shop while rain tapped a rhythm on the tin roof and our four-year-old “dusted tools” while getting dusty herself.
The veggie boxes are out to our “Farm Friends,” the animals are secure against the weather, and the shop’s tool room looks better than it has in years. Time for a well-earned rest and–if the weather holds–a cookout with some friends. We’ll raise a radish martini to all of you who keep us going.
Peace, love, and veggies!