Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

July First

Ring the Bell that can RinglacinatoLacinato Kale growing on the plant and looking healthy!

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

At some point in time, something really interesting happened in the produce industry.  I’m not sure when or where, but it was long before my time.  Likely it had a lot to do with the invent of the “Supermarket”.   When distributers and buyers and semis and cooler-sheflife stepped in between the farmer and the eater.  I wonder now if we were trained to prefer perfect looking food or if we instinctively are drawn to perfect-looking food. 

We’ve all stood in the produce aisle picking up 5 or 6 different apples to find one that looks perfect, giving each one a squeeze and spin to examine it closely-looking for bruises or brown marks or to see if it is mis-shapen.  Are we looking for the most bang for our buck?  I wonder if we were taught to expect perfect appearances in food through big marketing or if there is a deeply engrained instinct inside of us all that seeks out a sort of genetic selection or pedigree in our food.  Why did this happen, why does it continue today, especially in a world today where millions of pounds of food are going into dumpsters for being the wrong shape or color?

Now with agri-businesses, large-scale farms can produce 20 acres of carrots and cull out anything that isn’t the right length, diameter, color and shape.  I love to harvest carrots with our worker shares because anyone who is new to it gets to see forked and split carrots for the first time or two carrots that “hug”.   I’m here to tell ya folks, it’s true!  Carrots come in all shapes and sizes, just like you and me!  It’s a well-kept secret, but it is very true! 

I think the perfect trend is over.  We’re bored with it.  It’s too mechanical, too standardized, too plain, too clean, too perfect.  The perfect looking varieties of vegetables out there that are bred and selected and re-selected and hybridized again and again and are loosing their very souls.  They’re loosing flavor and color and style.  Hybridized vegetables are the donkeys.  They can’t even re-produce true to their parent.  We grow plenty of hybrid vegetable varieties on our farm because we are trying to make a living at it and if it came right down to it, most of us just aren’t ready for the crude-looking heirlooms-we’re not there yet. 

I love to see the rise in artisanal bakeries and cheese shops.  I love the locally roasted single-origin coffee businesses.  I love the chocolatiers, micro-breweries and the restaurants featuring local and seasonal food.  It feels like it has been so long since we’ve seen the human touch on our food or something that looks different for once.  The creators of McDonalds discovered that people love fast and predictable.  We love to go to a store and get the exact same product every time.  It could be the rebel-child inside me, but I’m done with that.  I want my apple cider to taste different every fall.  I want to try new kinds of cheese and new shapes of bread with different kinds of grain.  I want my food to go bad if I don’t eat it fast enough.  I want to know that it’s alive.  I don’t want it to come in a plastic wrap or with a sticker and a barcode and a number on it.  I want to know the name of the person who grew or brewed or raised or butchered or cooked my food.  That’s how the light gets in. 

Sooo…What’s in the Box?????

Green Cabbage-  Very nice heads of green cabbage for all this week! 

Kohlrabi-  You may have received a red or white kohlrabi.  Remember that your kohlrabi greens are edible if you’re in need of more greens!

Sugar Snap Peas-  A hefty .96lbs of peas for everyone this week!  Sugar Snaps are wonderful as a healthy snack raw, cut up onto salads or tossed with stir-fry veggies.  There were some snow peas (the more flat pod) mixed in with the sugar snaps. 

Zucchini and/or Summer Squash-  It’s hard to believe it, but the zucchini and summer squash harvest has begun!  Harvesting soft summer squashes is always pretty intense because the plants will now need to be picked every other day until they fizzle out in late August some time.  So get digging for your favorite soft squash recipes(I call zucchini and the yellow straight necks both ‘summer squashes’) because these offerings are just getting started!  Summer Squashes keep best at 50 degrees and a cold refrigerator will cause them to wilt.  They sometimes keep better on the countertop depending on the temperature of your house. weedersTodd and Kevin weeding around the newly un-covered squash plants.

Garlic Scapes-  Such a wonderful addition to your everyday cooking!  Use the part of the scape up until the light yellow nodule.  Everything below the nodule is tender and delicious! Use garlic scapes anywhere that you would normally use garlic.  The flavor is less potent than garlic, so you can feel free to use more by volume than you would use for garlic.  

Parsley-  You may have received a bunch of the Italian Flat Leaf parsley or the Curly Leaf parsley.  Which is your favorite and why? 

Lacinato Kale-  Wow!  These are amazing bunches of kale!  Probably one of our best kale years so far!  Greens keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

Lettuce X2-  Two heads of lettuce for everyone this week.  We barely were able to get the boxes closed with all of the items in the box this week, but somehow we managed!  So nice to have plenty of lettuce in the fridge. 

Strawberry Quarts-  From our farm!  In previous years we have purchased strawberries for our CSA members because we weren’t able to produce the volume needed for CSA, and this year we are giving quarts of strawberries!  We’re so excited to offer these.  We think we’ll have a couple more weeks of berries still to come! 

Cauliflower-  A nice, white head of cauliflower.  We noticed they have a sweet flavor.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  We keep the outer leaves of the cauliflower on to keep them from getting bumped around and turning brown.  They are sort of a protective layer. 

NEW!  Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.

Cabbage, Beets, Peas, Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Bunching Onions, Zucchini, Summe Squash, Green or Red Kale, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Strawberries

Recipes

Oven Fried Zucchini Spears

Cabbage Rolls

Italian Kale Soup-Zuppa Tuscano

Cauliflower and Potatoes (Aloo Gobi)

June Twenty Fourth

Happy Solstice friends!  Summer has finally arrived!  It isn’t officially dark until about 9:30 and the days feel long.  With temperatures popping their heads above 80 degrees now on a more regular basis our summer crops are beginning to take off.  The tomato plants are getting trellised the zucchini harvest will begin next week and the strawberries (ah yes, the strawberries) have finally arrived!muddy_mondayOur Muddy-Monday Swiss Chard harvest crew in the pouring down rain.

Summer has a way of making me behave a little flighty.  I’ll speak for myself here as this may not be the case for you.  Not spacy or ditzy, but flighty like a bee or a bird or a very busy animal.   It feels like a social season, but also a very engaged one composed of work, focus and fury.  I buzz from flower to flower collecting and harvesting and storing and eating.  Physically tired and tried, my body feels used again.  Muscles feel worked and my mind feels full.  It feels like the farm is buzzing like a hive with activity-worker bees coming and going. 

There was a program on the Ted Radio hour on NPR this weekend on Shifting Time.  Laura Carstensen was talking about how older people are usually happier than young people for a variety of reasons, but she talked about how older people have a better sense for the past and the future while remaining fully present.  She spoke of th a grandparent feels when seeing the past, present and future all in the eyes of your own grandchild at play.  An older person can have tears in their eye and feel sadness and a profound sense of happiness all at once.  They have a whole lifetime of experiences under their belt that assure them that everything is going to be okay.

I think of a season almost like a little ‘lifetime’ in a way.  Growing annual vegetables that come to life, fruit and die back all before your eyes in a few short months helps a person gain perspective so to say.  The summer solstice, the blossoms on the strawberry plants or the fully turned under spinach beds can make you either joyful for the newness or longing for what has come and is now gone.  It all happens so fast.  Should we be sad that spinach and asparagus are over, longing for the tomatoes to come or entirely content with the strawberries right now?  What to feel?  Take flight or sit in the nest?

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

Salad Turnip-  Hakurai salad turnips.  These little white globes are so tender and mild you can eat them with almost anything!  You could grate them onto salads, slice them into coins, add them to a stir fry or get creative.  They're very versatile!  Will store best with their tops removed and kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You can eat your turnip greens!

Kohlrabi-  You may have received a white or a purple kohlrabi.  The purple kohlrabis taste the same as the white and they are also white on the inside.  Remember that you can cook with the greens on your kohlrabi like kale.  amyThat's Amy very happy to be helping to pick Strawberries on Tuesday morning.

Fennel-  If this is a new one to you, the Fennel is the white bulb-ish vegetble that wraps itself up like celery, smells like licorice and has the whispy green fern-like tops on it.  Core the fennel and shave it very thinly onto salads, mix it into stir-fry and hide it a bit, or check out a couple of our favorit recipe selections below.  While the greens on fennel are perfectly edible, they are more commonly used as a garnish.  Get creative!  

Peas-  A very small giving of a quarter pound of peas per member.  This was our first picking of peas and next week's giving will be heavier.  These are sugar snap peas so the whole pod is edible.  

Garlic Scapes-  Garlic scapes are actually the garlic plant's effort at making a seed head.  We snap these off so the garlic plant puts its energy into making a larger garlic bulb rather than putting energy into making a seed head.  These delectible scapes can be chopped up and used like garlic.  Use solid round part of the scape up until the little nodule that would become the seed head.  Above the nodule it gets a little more chewy.  

Swiss Chard-  Very succulent Chard greens and stems this week.  Chard is in the same family as spinach and beets.  The flavor and textures is very similar to spinach with a slightly more earthy flavor.  The stems are edible as well and add a nice texture and crunch to your dish.  Hearty bunches this week.  We use chard in place of klae in our favorite kale recipes at the farm.  

Broccoli-  A nice head of broccoli for everyone this week!  

Green Onions-  Another fine giving of green onions.  Everything from the roots up to the tops of the green onions can be eaten or used like onion in your everyday cooking.  

Lettuce-  A nice head of either red leaf, green leaf, red oakleaf or romain lettuce.  

Cilantro-  A wonderful aromatic bunch of cilantro to add to your taco salads, thai food or any other favorite dish with cilantro.  

Strawberries or Caulifllower-  One of the hardest things we had to do this week was quit picking strawberries just 45 pints short of what we needed to give everyone a pint.  This was our first picking of the season and the patch is just getting going!  We're sure everyone will get strawberries next week and we're hoping quarts next time.  A really nice head of cauliflower for everyone who didn't get strawberries and we're hoping to make it up to the members who did not get strawberries this week.  Eat your strawberries up, they don't keep well!scapeGarlic Scapes growing on the plant ripe for the plucking.

NEW!  Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.

 Lettuce, Green Onions, Garlic Scapes, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lacinato Kale, Kohlrabi, Peas, Strawberries, Parsley and there will some some more broccoli but maybe not enough for all.  

Recipes-

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup

Caramelized Fennel and Onion

Spring Salad with Fennel and Orange

Kohlrabi Home Fries

Sausage and Swiss Chard Strata

June Seventeenth

Do you ever wonder who we are?  Who are these ambitious kids who deliberately plant themselves in the middle of the countryside and devote themselves to growing organic vegetables?  Who would do such a thing?  Who would want such a life of servitude?   What fuels their motivation?  In a world with so much to be had, why would someone isolate themselves to a lonely ridgetop hours away from the nearest Apple store and take up an occupation such as farming?  Farming is notoriously compared to gambling with so little security, heavy physical demands and long hours that never get clocked.  The work never ends on a farm. slickersJoe, Todd, Adam and Anna after a morning of weeding in the mud.

We might be a little kooky, sure, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I would say that the decision to buy a farm was less of a decision and more of a calling.  I don’t remember there being a time when we were deciding to farm or not to farm, it was always how and where and when, but never if.  It’s like getting sucked into something you didn’t even really see coming, like a friendship that just happens to you, the behaviors and the movements and the routines become you and the next thing you know, you’re married to someone and you never look back. 

The farm is run by my hard-working, handsome and wonderfully loyal husband, Adam and me, Jillian.  We have two daughters, Ayla and Aliza who are 3 and 7 monthes.  But we would be fooling you entirely if you thought we did it alone.  We have two full time helpers, Joe Orso and Todd Chantry who are impressively committed human beings who joyfully show up for work day after day and work their butts off.  We also have a team of over 27 Worker Shares.  These Worker Shares are people in our immediate community who work one 3.5 hour shift a week in exchange for their CSA Share.  This crew of helpers who come and work truly are the backbone of the farm. 

Organic Vegetable farming is incredibly intensive.  It is time-sensitive, fast-paced and burly.  We attract the hardy kind.  And even though we’re all out there in the rain and wind and heat and cold, we’re out there together creating friendships and building community richer than anything I’ve ever experienced.  I remember the feeling in my youth of being very alone in the big-bad world.  I remember my confusion, my ambiguity, my search for a place.  Today I feel so thankful for this farm and the wholesomeness it embodies and the roots we have set down.  Now I know the richness that comes with staying somewhere and knowing a people and a place and finally myself. 

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

Kohlrabi-  You may have received a white or a purple kohlrabi.  The purple kohlrabis taste the same as the white and they are also white on the inside.  Remember that you can eat the greens on your kohlrabi!

Salad Turnips-  These little white globes are so tender and mild you can eat them with almost anything!  You could grate them onto salads, slice them into coins, add them to a stir fry or get creative.  They're very versatile!  Will store best with their tops removed and kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You can eat your turnip greens!  

French Breakfast Radish-  Prbably the last week of Spring radishes.  Radishes this year have been very mild due to the cooler weather and plenty of moisture.  You can also eat your radish greens!  Raishes will store best with their tops removed and kept a plastic bag in the fridge, but radish flavor is best when eaten very fresh!

Broccoli-  Two heads of broccoli per member this week!  This is the earliest we've ever had broccoli for our members in the history of our CSA.  We covered our broccoli plants with remay (a white blanket row-cover material) to give them a boost and a boost they were given!  davealiGuest workers and CSA members David and Ali Deprey helping weed and hanging in there with the big dogs. Impressive work guys!

Spinach-  A half pound bag of spinach for all this week.  This will be the final giving of spinach for this Spring.  We can wait for more spinach in the fall as spinach is a cool-weather loving plant that doesn't tolerate the heat very well.  

Lettuce-  Two to Three very beautiful heads of red or green buttercup lettuce.  We also harvested some red and green oakleaf with some romain mixed in there.  Which varieties did you get?  To clean the lettuce at home we recommend cutting the butt off the end of the lettuce and washing the head leaf by leaf.  Salad spin the leaves so they are very dry.  Wet greens don't keep near as well as dry greens.  Store them in a plastic bag in the fridge.  But eat your greens up, more coming next week!  

Green Onions-  So excited to offer our first giving of green onions!  Use everything from the roots all the way up to the tips of the greens.  Everything is edible on these guys!  

Collard Greens-  Collard greens are in the same family as kale, so they can be used very much like kale or in place of your favorite cooking greens.  As one of our worker shares, Heather says, Collards are great because it means you get to eat bacon too!  Collards and bacon go together like wine and cheese or tomatoes and basil or [inserpt your own favorite pairing].  

NEW!  Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.  Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Garlic Scapes, Cilantro, Broccoli, Purple Kohlrabi, Turnips, Fennel, Green Onions (and maybe, maybe, maybe some Peas and Strawberries).  

Recipes

Bacon Braised Collard Greens

Glazed Hakurei Turnips

Shaved Kohlrabi with Apples and Hazelnuts

Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Raisins and Cheddar Cheese

June Tenth

Maybe you’ve heard, but farming is a lot of work.  It is not only time, but serious labor as well-particularly organic vegetable farming.  The little box of vegetables you pick up each week is not just a little box of vegetables; it’s a little box of love.  If you love something, you put blood, sweat, tears and lots and lots of time into it.  These vegetables are the product of an impressive work done by one small family and a community of helping hands.  A community of people comes together like a dance, all in turns and shifts to a rhythmic, seasonal pulse.  I find it very not only remarkable but beautiful as well. kaleharvestA hard-working bunch of folks having fun and harvesting Lacinato Kale.

You might have wondered how these vegetables are different from the vegetables on the shelves at Woodmans or Wal-Mart or Hy-Vee?  They have organic vegetables and so do we?  Organic is organic, right?   We beg to differ.  You’re not just getting vegetables clean of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides.  They’re better firstly because they are fresh.  Fresher than any food you’ve probably eaten in over 7 months.  We harvest everything just one or two days before you receive them.  The flavor of these vegetables alone will speak for freshness.  Their smell is even different.  They smell like the vegetable they are supposed to be, not like a grocery store shelf, not like the back of a semi or like a walk-in cooler in giant store. 

Your farmers pay closer attention to the macro and the micro nutrient levels in our soil than many farms see necessary.  Every teaspoon of soil is a living community made of up carbon, nitrogen, minerals and microorganisms.  We care about this.  Because we apply trace minerals to our soil such as boron, manganese and zinc and more that means that these trace minerals are present in your food which makes you healthier, something that many large, agribusiness farms especially in the corn and soybean field, never bother to amend. 

Many of us come to eating organic food because we want safe food for our families.  We’re concerned about things like antibiotic resistance, artificial hormones, the unknowns of GMOs and big agrochemical exposures.  We don’t want these things in our food so we buy organic.  But what makes your CSA farm experience so much richer is that while you can put your heart at ease in terms of safety, you are getting the local value.  You’re putting a percentage of your food dollars right back into the community.  Much of the money you give the farm then gets circulated again and again back into the community.  You’re not only improving your own personal health, you’re helping to improve the health of your community. 

As a parent of very small children, I find perspective wonderfully helpful.  At times I am only thinking about our family and our health and the chores of the day.  But it is beneficial to remember that our actions are not limited by the walls of our home.  Where we shop, what we say, who we show kindness to and what we fuel our bodies with go so much farther beyond the dinner table than we can imagine.  I applaud you for the simple decision to not only eat extremely fresh vegetables this summer in little surprise-like seasonal bundles, but also for the impact that this decision has on your community as well.  

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

Pac Choi-  Another beautiful giving of these amazing pac choi plants.  They make a wonderful raw salad or a great addition to a stir fry.  They will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Asparagus-  This is the only item that we will buy for the CSA boxes this whole summer.  We buy it from an oranic amish farmer we know who as 18 acres of asparagus.  Imagine that!  Asparagus likes to be standing up in a little water in the fridge or on a damp towel/cloth to keep the stems hydrated.  I recently learned that instead of cutting off the bottom two inches of the asparagus stems before you cook with them, you can use a potato peeler and peel off the outer woody part around the base of the stem and still be able to eat the whole spears.  

Cherry Bell Radish-  They cherry bells sized up very nicely this week.  I think they have the perfect amount of kick to them.  They're not really spicy, but they're not plain either.  Use the greens on your radishes for salad or cooking!  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  Slice these turnips thinly onto a salad, cut them into chunks and eat them with a veggie dip or cook with them.  They are wonderful raw, much different from a more dense fall turnip.  The turnip greens can also be eaten.  I like to sautee the greens with a little onion and scramble them with eggs in the morning.  

Lacinato Kale-  Also called Dianosaur kale or Tuscano Kale.  This is some of the most gorgeous Lacinato kale I remember harvesting.  The leaves are almost perfect and free of bug damage.  Kale keeps well in a plasit bag in the fridge.  Strip the greens from the stems and use them for cooking.  

Spinach-  Am impressive .69lbs of spinach for everyone this week.  A very nice harvest!  aylakaleI can say that I have never harvested kale in a red dress before, that this girl has! That's our Ayla helping out.

Head Lettuce-  You may have received a tender red or gree butterhead lettuce, a green oakleaf lettuce or a romaine lettuce.  Several varieties are coming into maturity.  

Arugula-  Arugula is wonderful mixed into salad, wilted onto pizza or even cooked with eggs.  

White Kohlrabi-  Kohlrabi reminds me of my dad.  You can eat the Kohlrabi leaves and use them like kale; they're in the same family as kale.  Use a potato peeler or a pearing knive and peel away the tough outer layer of the kohlrabi and enjoy the crunch insides!  

Herb Pack-  A four-pack of sage, oregano, thyme and parsley this week.  You can give these herbs a space in your garden and plant them outside in full sun and fertile soil.  Be sure to give them plenty of water at transplant.  You can mulch around them if you really want to baby them and that will help keep the weeds down and moisture in the soil. You can also plant each one into their own pots and keep them in a sunny window or on your deck.  The sage, oregano and thyme are very winter hardy and will come back next Spring if you plant them in ground.  

Overwintered Shallots-  Over-wintered means that these little guys were harvested last August and have been stored in our Root Cellar all winter long.  We've been keeping them to share with you in the first box.  Shallots are in the onion family, and are used minced into sauce and dressing recipes.  Try making your own home-made salad dressing!  Store these in the fridge if you don't think you'll use them right away!  Can also be used like an onion.  

Recipes-

Sauteed Kale with Walnuts

Kale with Apples, Currents and Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette

Five Tasy Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi from the Kitchn

Crunchy Pac Choi Ginger Salad

Spinach Linguini with Walnut-Arugula Pesto

June Third

The start of the season this year feels like a reunion.  It feels like a joyous stroll down a country road on an antique bicycle.  Handling fresh food again after a long, cold winter somehow brings life back into my bones.  Even the bending and the lifting and the moving that is part of the field work feels nourishing in itself.  Sampling the radishes and the pea shoots and the spinach as we work brings a nostalgic flash with a jolt of flavor, familiarity and deliciousness that I so miss after a long winter’s rest.  I love this work!  I am reminded why we do this. tuesdaymornLiz, Todd, Amy, Joe and Judith finishing up the lettuce harvest this morning and looking good!

This season has been off to a smooth and steady beginning with plenty of rain that has been almost perfectly timed.  Our Spring crops love the cooler weather and the rains are making the greens extra crispy and crunchy with bug and disease pressure very low so far.  There is hardly a day that goes exactly as planned, but the work gets done and the plants keep growing. 

Our Small Family Farm has been growing in many ways.  With the birth of our second daughter last Fall and with my husband (Farmer Adam) now at home as a Full-time Farmer, our farm becomes more focused, mature, experienced and efficient.   We are learning how to balance family and farm.  We are observing our family as a farm family-so different from how we were raised.  Our 3 and a half year old daughter was telling the harvesters the other morning that “sometimes radishes are spicy and sometimes they’re not-spicy” with a very serious look as she sampled them while walking down the rows.  Seasons are like this too.  People are like this.  Days are like this.

So far it feels like a “not-spicy” season.  Does that make any sense?  Maybe because it has been cooler.  Maybe because a season has a temperament, like an individual.  Or maybe it is because the careful planning that goes into running this show is paying off. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention my gratitude in the first newsletter.  I feel thankful for the people in our community (you) who see the value of eating fresh, local, organic produce.  I am thankful that we are able to come together in this communal way and share the experience of eating from one piece of fertile land.  I am thankful for the CSA model, the vibrancy of this farm and everyone who partakes in its success and life. 

Sooo, What's in the Box?

Asparagus-  This is one of the only items we buy for our CSA boxes.  It comes from an organic amish farmer in the area.  Because of the recent cooler weather, production was down a little from what he expected.  Most of our members received a beautiful 1lb bunch of asparagus and because of the last-minute shortage, some members receive a heavier bunch of #2 quality aspargus.  We were a little sad about this, but I suppose it is the nature of farming.  We did the best we could to get #1 for everyone.  We're hoping for #1 quality for everyone next week as well!

Pac Choi (or Bok Choy)-  What gorgeous plants!  Amy, one of our Worker Shares who helped harvest this said that taking a bite out of the stems was like taking a drink of water.  They are very crunchy!  Store your Pac Choi in a plastic bag in the fridge.  When you cook with it, you will use the stems and the leaves!  It is a great vegetable for stir-frying or making a raw asian salad out of.  

Overwintered Shallots-  Over-wintered means that these little guys were harvested last August and have been stored in our Root Cellar all winter long.  We've been keeping them to share with you in the first box.  Shallots are in the onion family, and are used minced into sauce and dressing recipes.  Try making your own home-made salad dressing!  Store these in the fridge if you don't think you'll use them right away!  Can also be used like an onion.  

Cherry Bell Radish-  Sometimes Radishes are spicy and sometimes they're not-spicy.  These guys are not-spicy;)  You can even eat radish tops!  Just chop them up and toss the with your salad greens.  The radishes will also keep better in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  

Arugula-  This is a very young, mild and tender arugula.  Those who learn to love arugula LOVE arugula.  It's a little like learning to appreciate a hoppy beer, I think.  I'm always amazed by this.  Arugula can be tossed with salad greens,  wilted on top of pizza, or sauteed with your eggs in the morning.  Many uses for this versatile green!

Spinach-  Such tender leaves!JoeThat's Joe in his fifth season of working on this farm. He loves it too, can you tell?

Curly Green Winterbore Kale-  This is the earliest we've ever had kale!  We're very excited about this!  Kale keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Pea Shoots-  Pluck the leaves off of the stems and eat the leaves and the very small tendrils, but you might find the main plant stem to be a little chewy;)  Pea shoots are a fun early-season addition to salads while we wait for our peas to blossom and grow us actual peas!  

Heat Lettuce-  Our heads of lettuce are small this week, but very tender and beautiful looking!  Many memeber received either a green buttercrunch, a green oakleaf, a red oakleaf or a romaine lettuce.  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  

4 Pack of Herbs to Plant-  The four plants are sage, oregano, thyme and basil.  You can give these herbs a space in your garden and plant them outside in full sun in fertile soil.  Be sure to give them plenty of water at transplant.  You can mulch around them if you really want to baby them and that will help keep the weeds down and moisture in the soil. You can also plant each one into their own pots and keep them in a sunny window or on your deck.  The sage, oregano and thyme are very winter hardy and will come back next Spring if you take care of them.  You'll only get one season out of the basil, and be sure to snap the seed-heads off if it trys to make seeds.  You will get more basil leaves if you prevent the plant from going to seed.  

Farm Fresh Atlas-  These Atlases were given to us by the folks who put the Atlases together.  Because we place an ad in the Atlas every year, they give us these atlases to distribute.  The Atlas is also available online here:  

http://www.reapfoodgroup.org/farm-fresh-atlas

 Recipes:

My mother lives next door, Momma Jane, and if you've ever met this woman you've probably tasted her cooking because she is so generous with her talent.  She knows how to cook it up right if you know what I mean.  She's planning to contribute many of the recipes this summer.  She writes:

As Wendall Berry says “Eating is an agricultural act”, so we thank you, first off , for choosing to make a difference in the health of your family and our food system by investing in a CSA box! Big, big kudos to you for helping make a difference. SSF is passionate about what we do, and passionate about food in general, because on the farm we love to eat. Gotta “feed the machine”, and we use a lot of fuel on the farm. But foremost, we care about what we fuel up on—and we have chosen Premium. Small Family Farm will supply veggies full of premium taste and premium nutrition, fresh from the premium Driftless soil. We’ll be including recipes for all tastes, and each week a Paleo recipe as well because we truly do love to cook and experiment. So each week we’ll share some recipes that we’ve found simply yummy, sometimes simple to prepare, and recipes that help you think ‘outside the box’ and be creative with veggies you may be unfamiliar with.

Paleo--Asparagus with Mushrooms and Hazelnuts

Bok Choy, Carrot and Apple Slaw

Asian Bok Choy Salad

Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad