Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

July Nineth

There is farming.  And there is farming with children.  Two very different life experiences.  As everyone knows, life with children in general is a whole new ball game. 

Adam and I were fortunate enough to have a few years together building our farm’s foundation, building the business and spreading the good word about the Small Family Farm before we decided to bring children into the mix.  We knew it would be hard and that we would have to slow down and change the pace of our lives a little.  We are both the sort of work-aholic types that make you feel a little uncomfortable to be around.  We never really stop moving and we always have ‘To-Do’ lists plastered all over our chalk-board walls.  Most people aren’t sure what to think about a breed like us.  Some people love and admire these characteristics, some people resent it, and some people seem a little confused by it.  Why would anyone want to work this hard? weedingWeeding with Ayla's supervision

This was my biggest worry when deciding to have children.  How could we continue to work 70-80 hours a week with kids?  Our children would grow up to resent us and the farm.  Would the farm fall apart?  A few years ago we decided to give it a shot.  I was naieve enough to think that I could continue working just as many hours as I had before Baby was born and just tote Baby along with me wherever I went.  This method got us through Ayla’s first year of life, but it proved to be highly un-sustainable.  I also hadn’t anticipated that she would not sleep through the night for  the whole first year and that it would be one of the hottest years on record.   

Year two brought change inspired by our farming and parenting friends at Crossroads Community Farm.  We started a Sitter-Share program.  This is much like the Worker Share program where friends and neighbors who live close can come to the farm to watch our daughter for one morning or afternoon shift a week in exchange for a CSA Summer Share.  Through this program we were able to keep Ayla on the farm most days of the week, at home, within close range of her mother, and playing with parents and children whose values we share.  This program also helps with Ayla’s socialization and keeps her engaging with other kids her age since most of our Sitter Shares also have children.  It also keeps mom able to work almost a 35-hour week in the fields with workers doing what she loves too. 

While the farm is still a very important and fulfilling part of my life, and I still have a strong work ethic that might take a few more decades to damper down, my growing small family takes precedence in my life’s list of priorities.  The farm feels sustainable in its size and with the amount of help we have to get the work done.  Upon reflection, I feel like a very lucky person.  I feel fortunate to get to work from home doing the work I love.  My heart is at ease knowing that my child is in the hands of loving and compassionate people who care for her and who thankfully value fresh, local, organic produce through a barter system.  And now with the expectation of our second child this Fall, and no real plan for what changes will come in how the farm is run for next season, I trust in this beautiful community.  It is because of all of the wholesome people who are woven into this farm and all of the families who help and work here that the whole clock tics.  Thanks everybody!

Sooo...What's in the Box???

Kohlrabi- The Kohlrabis are still crankin' out!  Probably one more week of kohlrabis and then we'll be done with them for the summer.  We'll see a resurgence of kohlrabis again this fall when the cooler weather returns.  

Fennel-  Absolutely perfect, large, juicy and and bright white bulbs of fennel with beautiful frawns.  We've been using our fennel everywhere.  In soups, in home-made egg rolls, in stir fry.  Have fun with it!  

Garlic Scapes-  One more smaller giving of garlic scapes next week still to come.  The garlic plants are about done scaping and that means that soon we will have garlic bulbs!  Whoohooo!  Use the part of the scape all the way up to the light green colored nodule.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  But mostly we shipped broccoli.  With the cooler temps this summer, the broccoli has been holding nice in the fields.  We have another couple weeks of broccoli coming up.  Use it up quickly as it doesn not keep well in this warmer weather.  Broccoli prefers to be kept very cold in storage in a plastic bag.  

Snap Peas-  Another huge giving of snap peas at a whopping .85lbs per member!  Imagine the labor hours spent picking .85lbs of peas for 220 families.  A lot of of helping hands!  

Summer Squash, Zucchini and Patty Pans-  Yes, the summer squash, zucchini and patty pans are off with a BANG!  Very generous givings of 6-8 squash per member.  

Cucumbers-  The cucumber plants are loaded with cukes, but we're trying our hardest not to pick them pre-maturely.  Most members received 2 cucumbers, but we ran short and some people may have only received one.  Plenty more cucumbers in your future!  Week_6Wow! Week 6 Bounty!

Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce-  The lettuce heads this week looked like they were straight out of the seed catalogs.  Picture perfect.  It's always a shame to harvest them, handle them a few times, wash them and then try to squeeze them in your box.  They're just not as beautiful as they are when they're growing in the fields.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Lacinato Kale-  Large bunches of Lacinato kale this week.  The leaves were so big and beautiful we gave nice bunches.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Dill-  More huge bunches!  We weren't sure what you could do with this much dill, but dehydrating it is a great option.  We always have plenty of our own dried dill to get us through the winter.  If it's too much to use fresh, dry the extra and use it later!  

Green Onions-  Yes!  Finally a nice giving of scallions!  There are more where these puppies came from!  Use the entire thing.  We were talking in the fields about how the entire thing is edible.  You can eat the roots all the way up to the tips of the greens.  They will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Recipes-

Zucchini Enchiladas

Shaved Fennel Salad with Peas and Mint

Kale Mushroom and Dill Triangles

Stir Fry Sauces  This is just a link to a website I found that I liked.  We make a lot of Stir Frys and I'm always looking for new and fun Sauces to mix with the veggies.  Some really fun ideas here!

July Second

You know us farmers.  We love to complain.  We always have something to gripe about like how it’s too wet or too dry or too hot or too cold for the crops to grow.  The buy price is too high, the sell price is too low.  There needs to be just enough of an imbalance in our lives that we feel unsettled enough to keep the drive on.  Farmers are motivated by pressure.  Usually we perform quite well under pressure and even thrive in some ways when under it. pea_harvestMany hands make light work for pea harvest!

It’s not too often you’ll hear us say that “everything is just fine” on the farm when asked “How are the crops”?  We’ll tell you everything is just fine if it looks like you’re really not interested in the full answer or if we’re really not interested in talking about it anymore.  But if you catch us coming in for the night and we look like we’re up for the conversation, you can get an earful.  Especially on a CSA farm.  We don’t just reference the corn or the hay or the cows, we have about 40 different crops we’re paying attention to and some do better than others, so we always have something to say. 

Some crops love the heat and humidity, while others will barely tolerate temperatures above the 70’s.  Some love plenty of rain while others will split their fruits and rot their roots if there is too much of it.  On a CSA farm with so many different kinds of crops that we grow, it’s really interesting watching plant behaviors in relation to the weather patterns we get. 

Yes, we’re seeing some bacteria and fungus diseases on our peppers, carrots, and celery.  Yes, the cauliflower and broccoli are not loving that it’s getting hot outside.  We’ve had soil erosion from all the rain and the weeds are a little intense at times this season from so much moisture, and we’re so busy that we can barely find time to check e-mail, do laundry or get a decent night’s sleep, but I have something surprising to say; it has been a really wonderful growing season so far!  The crops look great!  Everything is going fairly well…so far! 

Maybe famers never say this because of the “so far” factor.  The “knock-on-wood” factor.  Because if we say everything is going 'great', tomorrow it will all fall apart.  I knew farming was a gamble when I entered this life, and lucky for me it has been a good bet.  The CSA experience is a bet and a gamble for you as well.  You gave us your food dollars before the season even began and we’re really excited to share the fruits of our labors with you this summer.  I think it’s going to be a great year of stuffing those ¾ bushel boxes all the way full!  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Green Cabbage-  These cabbages are still very young and tender and perfect looking.  We thought they looked a perfect size for a CSA box.  If they get too big it can be hard to fit them in the box with all of the other items to share.  

Purple or White Kohlrabi-  The kohlrabis are such a nice flavor this summer, with all of the moisture they are very crunchy and mild.  Don't forget to use the greens of your kohlrabi and cook with them like kale.  

Turnips-  Probably the final giving of Salad turnips.  Remember to use your turnip greens when cooking your eggs in the morning!  scape_harvestScapes look so cool when growing on the plants!

Fennel-  Fennel tastes a little like licorice if you give it a good sniff and elect to eat it raw, but if you're not a huge fan of the lacorice flavor, I suggest cooking with it.  It can be used like celery in your every day cooking if fennel is new to you and you're not sure what to use it for.  Adrianne, who works on the farm, says she loves to caramelize it in butter, and with onions and garlic if she has it.  It is wonderful if oiled and grilled or roasted.  Use the ferns for garnishing.  Fennel is one of those vegetables that you will learn to love if it new to you.  I promise you will learn to love it.  I'm madly in love with it and I don't love the licorice flavor.  

Garlic Scapes-  These little guys are all of the garlicky goodness you love from fresh garlic, but without the heat, spice and bite.  They are like smooth, tender, mild garlic babies.  Use them like you would garlic, but in larger quantities.  Use up to the little nodule.  These guys will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks.  The tips might yellow a bit, but the stems stay crunchy.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  A wild ride with the broccoli and cauliflower this week.  Some nice sized broccoli heads, some gots handfulls of florettes, some got cauliflowers.  These crops perform a little funny when under the stress of summer heat, so we get them while we can.  

Snap Peas-  A huge giving of snap peas this week.  A bag weighing .83lbs per member!  This tops all other pea harvests in the history of the Small Family Farm.  Gotta love peas!  

Summer Squash, Zucchini and/or Patty Pans-  The beginning of the squash!  If you haven't heard, these plants are generous!  It's a labor-intenseive harvest, but squash is bountiful!  Use them up as there will be more summer squash, zucchini and patty pans in your future!  These guys prefer 50 degree storage, so they might get a little wilty from your fridge.  A cool kitchen countertop could be better.  

Red Leaf, Green Leaf and/or Romaine Lettuce x 2-  Another two heads of lettuce per member this week.  Abundant lettuce harvest!  Keep your greens in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Still muddy head lettuce again this week from plenty of rain.  Be sure to wash your greens and spin them dry well before indulging.  

Sweet Basil-  To top the box off with a beautiful bunch of sweet basil!  Basil keeps best like fresh cut flowers in a glass of water.  Basil will turn BLACK in your refrigerator!  It does not like to be cold.  If you don't think you'll get to use it in time, you could pluck the leaves from the stems and dry them in a dehydrator.  We recommend using them fresh for a small batch of pesto!  

Recipes-

Garlic Scape Pesto

Caramelized Fennel and Onions

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup (I love this recipe)  

Zucchini "Pasta"

June Twenty-Fourth

Greens!  Greens are the healthiest food for you!  If there was any part of you was slightly interested in developing new healthy habits by signing up for your CSA share this summer, this is your *green opportunity.  Greens this summer are not only bountiful, but they are crunchier, more tender and more succulent than most other years because of the mild temperatures and all of the moisture.  All of the greens in your box are the real token to healthier eating. chard_harvestHarvesting the beautiful and amazing Swiss Chard!

If I could make a wish for you, it would be that by the end of this Summer Share CSA experience you had more recipe ideas, more inspiration, and more confidence using greens of all kinds to add texture, depth, flavor and health to your culinary life.  I wish for you to see your turnip greens, your broccoli green leaves, your kohlrabi leaves and your radish leaves and see added value to your CSA share.  The greener your dinner looks by the times it is served at your table, the healthier you will be. 

I feel somewhat responsible for this.  Truly my job is to just farm vegetables.  It is my job to make sure you have a diversified box of healthy, seasonal, organic vegetables every week for 10 or 20 delivery weeks.  But in some ways I feel like it is also my job to make sure you eat those vegetables every week.  I can’t come into your home and cook them for you, that would be too invasive and impossible.  The best I can do is to inspire you to want to eat those vegetables.  I want to include recipe ideas every week that feature greens or new and creative ways to cook with greens. 

We all know that eating more greens will improve our health, but simply stating this isn’t enough.  We need to know more than that we just need to eat them.  Learning to love to cook with your broccoli leaves, kohlrabi leaves and turnip greens will also empower you as a person, a cook, and a local and seasonal food eater.  You will become one of those MacGiver types in the kitchen learning to sub chard and kohlrabi greens for spinach in any recipe.  You’ll become creative and start seeking ways to incorporate greens into every meal, chopping up a little here and a little there in almost everything you prepare to use it up and get it into your family’s bellies as frequently as possible. 

I challenge you as not only a CSA member, but as a person.  Not for just this summer or the summer, but for always.  I challenge you to look at your weekly bunches of collards and swiss chard and kale and to think of them as a golden item in your box.  Not as sub-par to the tomato and the sweet corn, but as a compliment to the tomato and the sweet corn.  I challenge you to learn to cook with them and to like them.  To try, try again even if the recipe you tried wasn’t a hit in your house.  Think Green!  

Sooo...What's in the Box???

Kohlrabi-  We harvested white and purple kohlrabi this week.  They are both the same on the inside, but they just have different colored skins.  Peel your kohlrabi with a pearing knife and chop it up and eat it with dip, grate it into a slaw, or put slices of it into a stir fry.  All of your greens will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

French Breakfast Radish-  These radishes are red on top and white on bottom.  They're a bit of spring treat.  Enjoy your radishes while you have them, as they will be gone and out of style until fall.  Radishes wont tolerate the heat coming up.  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  These guys are a little meatier than last week.  These turnips are meant to be a tender, spring turnip and will vary in texture, flavor and color a bit from your classic Fall Turnip.  Even though there are some holes in the greens, use the greens for cooking.  Washing_LettuceWorker Bees washing lottsa lettuce!

Garlic Scapes-  These little curly Q's are the garlic plant's attempt at making seed.  Each garlic plant sends out one scape each year in an effor to grow a seed head, these scapes happen to be very flavorful and tender.  Chop them up from the cut end up to the lime green nodule and use them like you would fresh garlic.  Their flavor isn't as potent as fresh garlic cloves are, so feel free to use more than what you would normally use for garlic.  These are truly a brief seasonal specialty item.  I love the garlic scapes!  

Cilantro-  Yes!  Another giving of fresh, wonderful cilantro!  It comes at a perfect time when we're getting all of this lettuce.  Taco Salads anyone?  We recommend washing your cilantro before you use it.  We don't wash cilantro because it will get slimy quickly once it gets wet.  Wash it briefly before you use it.  

Strawberries-  Another giving of these flavorful, sweet Spring treats.  Remember that Strawberries are highly perishable, we recommend eating them up quicly before they spoil on you!  

Rainbow Swiss Chard-  Small bunches of Swiss Chard this week.  The Swiss Chard leaves are so tender and succulent that many of the leaves on the plants were ripped up from the pounding rain, so most of the leaves on the plant were discarded, but we made small bunches for all off of what good leaves we had left.  We're hoping for another nice harvest in a couple weeks.  Use the stems as well as the leaves in your cooking!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower or Sugar Snap Peas-  The broccoli, cauliflower and Sugar Snap peas are just starting to come into season.  This week was the first pickings of these items, and there wasn't quite enough of each one to go around, so we split the items up amidst you all at random.  There will be more of where these came from next week!  

Lettuce x 4-  One very large lettuce harvest!  We had enough lettuce to give everyone 4 beautiful heads of lettuce!  The challenge begins!  Salads for every meal!  Taco Salads, Lettuce Wraps, 7 Layered Salad!  Salads with home-made ranch dressing.  Salads with nuts, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, sunflower seeds, everything!  Have salads all around this week!

Recipes!

Braised Turnip Greens with Apples

Quinoa and Chard Cakes Recipe

Layered Salad (I am my mother's daughther, and for some reason, I still love this classic recipe!)

June Seventeenth

The behind the scenes of the farm would be fun for you to see.  I sometimes wish we could get each of you to put on your old dirty work jeans, find an open day in your schedule and get down on the farm with us.  We have a blast out here!  We have a crew of 30 different Worker Shares and Sitter Shares who come out to the farm each week to work their designated 3 and a half hour shift and earn their family a CSA share.  We also have three Full Time employees, Joe, Todd and Adrianne.  We have something of a Small Family Farm out here.arrowheadThe Arrowhead we found in our field!

Within this Small Family, or community of helpers, we have a very diverse group of folks that range from their early teenage years to their mid seventies.  Some of them are homeschoolers, some are professors, veterinarians, a handful of teachers, sociologists, mothers, fathers, builders and archaeologists to name just a few.  It’s really fun to roll the dice and get a handful of people together on a farm from totally different backgrounds and have them do physical labor together on an organic vegetable farm for a few hours amidst the elements.  We get talking about everything and anything out here. 

We were particularly thankful to have an archaeologist on the crew this summer, Heather Walder, as we found an arrowhead in the field a couple weeks ago.  Our archaeologist friend says that this arrowhead is from the Late Woodland People, a period in time approximately 1,200-1,700 years ago.  Heather says that this style of point, called a “Honey Creek Corner-Notched”, would have been used on some of the first arrows shot with bows in this region, but earlier Native peoples made similar points for the tips of their hand-thrown spears.  Heather says that it is made from a particular kind of stone called Chert that can be quarried near Prairie do Chien, Wisconsin. 

So what we found on this farm was a small piece of stone that was handled by people who lived over 1200 years ago.  It’s hard to fathom that amount of time.  None of the trees or the plant life or the buildings of this farm would have looked then the way they do now.  Just the bones of the farm would look the same.  I try to imagine this farm stripped of it’s infrastructure, it’s electrical lines, it’s street signs, it’s everything.  Just naked land.  What animals would have roamed or lived here?  What were the people hunting?  It’s humbling to think about. 

It got us thinking about what this farm would look like in another 1200 years.  What remnants would be left of us?  Maybe large pieces of steel from our equipment.  Maybe some chunks of concrete.  Who knows, maybe some heirloom fruit or vegetable seeds that keep re-seeding themselves over the years.  We keep marching forward into the future.  Every day of our lives we invest our energy into our work, our families, our community.  I like to think that we’re working on nurturing a community of people.  We’re building a lifestyle where the sustainable aspects will be gleaned from by future generations.  Maybe we’ll leave re-mineralized, fertile soil for future generations.  I like to think that we’ll walk gently here and that for the short period of time that we get to care for and steward this piece of land, we will love and nurture and hopefully leave it a better place than what we found it.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

French Breakfast Radish-  We still aren't sure if the French really eat these for Breakfast?  But we love their white tips and their red tops and their fun shape.  Use these like you would the cherry bell radish.  The greens are wonderful used for cooking, sauteeing or adding to your fritattas and egg bake dishes too!  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  These have all the flavor of a Fall Turnip, but all the tenderness of a Spring radish.  They're in the same family as radishes.  We recommend slicing them thin over salads.  The turnip greens can also be used in cooking.  radish_harvestEveryone in motion busily harvesting french breakfast radishes.

Strawberries-  Another item that we do buy for you from a neighboring certified organic Amish farmer.  We have a small strawberry patch on the farm, but it's just not producing what we would need for all of our membership.  Strawberries are highly perishable.  They prefer 50 degree storage, so a referigerator is a little too cool and your countertop is a little too warm, so use them up quickly!  But I'm guessing that won't be a problem!  

Tat Soi-  This is an Asian Green in the brassica family, similar to the Pac Choi you received the last two weeks.  Tat soi can be used a little more like spinach, but we've included a really fun recipe we think you'll love!  

Green Curly Kale (or Collards)-  Culry Green Kale.  Kale is probably my favorite green.  I could eat it every day of my life!  It is loaded with anti-oxidants and filled with minerals and chlorophyll that keeps my body feeling strong and healthy.  Kale keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Before you cook with it, strip the tough stems from the leaf and discard the stems.  When we ran out of Curly Green Kale in the fields, we harvested Collard greens which can be used much like Kale in your cooking.  Although some people are partial to cooking collards with bacon, and I think that sounds like a wonderful pair!   

Red Oakleaf lettuce, Green Oakleaf Lettuce-  Three heads per member this week!  I love that in the spring time we can grow fun varieties of lettuce like these beautiful red and green oakleaf lettuces.  You won't find these tender heads at any supermarket.  The best luck you'll have is at a Farmer's Market with vendors selling specialty produce.  These are such a gem.  From the heavy rains before Tuesday morning harvest, plenty of soil was splashed into the heads of the lettuce.  We recommend cutting the butt of the end of your head of lettuce and giving each leave a good rinse and spin before eating in your salad.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in your fridge.  Salads for every meal!  

Cilantro-  A nice little giving of cilantro that conveniently compliments our Tat Soi recipe below!  Cilantro will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge as well.  

Kohlrabi-  These guys aren't huge, but they're so nice looking and tender.  Kohlrabi is in the same family as kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and even Tat Soi-that humongus Brassica family of plants again.  So you can use the leaves of your kohlrabi like you would kale in your cooking as well.  Peel your kohlrabi with a pearing knife before slicing up the tender centers as a snack.  Texture is similar to an apple.  

Recipes-

Vegetable Pad Thai with Tat Soi and Cilantro

Chicken and Kale Casserole

June Eleventh

An absolutely gorgeous week on the farm!  Spring is Springing everywhere, the days are getting longer still and the Peonys, irises and roses are in blossom all around our home.  The vegetables look lush and young and filled with potential. This Spring has been like one from a dream.  We started out cool and Spring felt late, but now we’re enjoying weeks of mild and pleasurable working weather.  The June bugs are tossing themselves like sacrifices against the storm door glass.  They’re so big and klutzy and they act so confused.  I’ve always wondered how they’ve managed to procreate in such large numbers with such behavior!  The June bugs actually came in June this year, whereas I remember them coming in March, April and May the last few years. Radish_HarvestHappy Radish Harvester. We have a lotta fun out here!

June is exhilarating on the farm.  The rains still come in June and the ground knows it needs to drink and store it up because we’re bound for a few long weeks of drought in July.  In June the grass grows quickly and eagerly.  The trees are dropping their little helicopter seeds, snowball cottonwood seeds and fuzzy willow tail seeds.  The Birds begin singing at 4:30am, long before the sun actually rises.  The farm sounds like some kind of bird sanctuary.   I swear that every bird in Vernon County is in the trees outside our bedroom window at 4:30am in June.  The only person I have ever knows that wakes up at 4:30am is my father.  To this day he still does!  He learned that from his father, who also still rises for the day at an unseemly hour.  I consider myself to be an early riser, but 4:30 is just too early for me.  Maybe someday I’ll become like them.  The wasps are building their nests in the soffits on the barn, around the doorways of the shed, and in the hedgerows.  The honeybees fly from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen and water, returning home with bee-bushels of the stuff to transform into honey. 

There is still just a modest 10 days left before the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and day length begins to wane.  June leaves the scene as the brightest month of the year.  The long days influence day-length sensitive crops and animals to get their reproductive move on.  The photosensitive chickens lay their peak numbers in eggs.  The onions revel and begin to bulb, taking advantage of every minute of daylight.  The long days bring warmth and light to our heat loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and sweet corn. 

Your farmers are keeping pace.  We’re working like there is no reason to stop, taking advantage of long days and the warm weather to keep up with the planting, tilling, cultivating and mowing.  We are rewarded with beautiful crops like these perfect radishes and succulent Spring greens.  We are filled with hope and anticipation for a bountiful Summer and Fall harvest Season.  We behave almost as the animals do, busily working and moving quickly in the warm weather to raise food for the long winter ahead.  Our bodies feel limber as we do our work.  We feel our muscles toning, our hands toughening, our minds attuning, our skin darkening.  Our work feels wholesome and genuine and fulfilling as we are nourished not only by the work itself but by the fruits of our labor that now fill our bellies and tabletops. 

I remember being worried, and down right warned, by other farmers and other guiding influences in my life when making the decision to become a farmer, that the passion for farming would fade.  The work would be too hard and too long and too heavy.  The realities of what this life would be like would reveal themselves over time and the appeal would diminish leaving only endless work to do and an achy body.  I feel fortunate to have found all of that to be true, but to still love what I do with a renewed passion each season.  It is in June that I look around the farm and I see fertility in everything around me.  I see life and beauty and I feel that we not only made the right decision, I know that we are blessed with the fortune this life offers.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

NOTE:  After heavy rains, you may notice that your head lettuce or radish greens are a little dirtier than usual.  We do hydrocool everything and do the best we can with the time and help we have, but please understand that your fresh greens that grow close to the ground can get soil splashed up and inside them in heavy rains.  We're sorry about that!  A little extra cleaning on head lettuce and radish greens might be in order this week!  mo_radishMid Radish-Harvest Focus. It's like plucking red teeth from the earth!

Asparagus-  The final giving of Asparagus this season.  Sadly all good things must come to an end.  We have been buying the Asparagus from another Asparagus farmer who has acres of it that he can afford to share with us.  We've been loving it!

Dutch Yellow Shallots-  These little gusy look modest, but they've been in storage all winter long, waiting for the opportunity to arrive in your home.  Shallots are sometimes called multiplier onions.  They're great when used in homemade sauces and salad dressings.  With all of the lettuce coming up, it would be a great idea to make some home-made salad dressings!  Since they've been in storage all winter, we sugguest eating them up sooner rather than later.  Keep them in your fridge in a cold, dark place if you want to keep them a little longer so they don't sprout on you!  

Pac Choi-  These crunchy heads of deliciousness make a wonderful raw asian salad, are great in stir fry or even good made into a slaw.  Be sure to use the whole plant, the delicious crunchy stems and the nutritious greens attached!  One member said she used her pac choi like she would use celery in her cooking since it's texture is similar.  A little more riping and tearing on the leaves this week from the hail on Saturday afternoon.  But we thought they still looked good!

Lacinato Kale or Red Curly Kale-  We were harvesting Kale on Monday morning and were getting a little carried away making generous bunch sizes, we ended up stripping the young lacinato plants clean and needing to move on to a different variety of kale.  Some of you may have recieved Red Curly Kale.  Strip kale from its stems and use the greens in any way you love to cook with greens!  I'm not a big raw kale fan myself, but I do know some people like to chop it up raw and mix it with sald.  

Spinach-  More cooking greens!  Spinach is great raw mixed with your lettuce as well.  These spinach leaves are so young and tender that they will melt in your mouth.  We had about 5 minutes of hail on Saturday afternoon that came with a fast-moving severe storm which shredded a good percentage of our spinach harvest and our swiss Chard that we were planning to give this week.  So our spinach yields were down a little, but we managed to pick some even younger leaves for you.  It took a little longer, but we felt it was worth it!  

Cherry Bell Radish x2-  This variety is called Cherriette.  The Cherriette is wonderfuly resistant to bolting and we have really enjoyed the flavor of radishes this Spring with all of the rain making them more crunchy and mild rather than spicy.  Don't forget to use your radish greens in your cooking as well.  Radish greens are more healthy than the radishes themselves.  Toss them in a fritatta or sautee them with some onions and garlic and serve with pasta and parmesan.  

Thyme Plant-  There is nothing like having a couple of your own fresh herb plants growing in the house or yard.  If when you're cooking you want some fresh herbs, we're hoping you'll have fresh basil and thyme this summer.  Thyme likes full sun and plenty of water.  You can plant the whole little biodegradable pot into a larger pot with some fertile organic soil mix, or in a sunny, fertile spot in your garden.  

Lettuce Heats x2-  Two nice heads of lettuce this week!  You may have received a green oakleaf lettuce, a red buttercrunch lettuce or a green romain lettuce.  A little ripping on the leaves of the romaine from the hail.  The lettuce heads were very dirty this week from the heavy rains on Saturday.  We did the best we could to give them a good rinse, but once you cut the butts off, you'll have to do a little deeper cleaning, I'm sure!  But two nice heads per memer this week!  Yee Haw!

Recipes

Honey Lemon Salad Dressing

Quiche with Beet Greens (or any kind of greens, really!)

Radish Dip

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