Small Family Farm CSA

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June Twenty-Ninth

Have you eaten up that kohlrabi yet?  How about the fennel?  Or, those collards, did you like those?  How receptive is your household and your stomachs to all of these new foods that are (hopefully) making it onto your dinner plates.  Are you embracing the adventurous culinary spirit within?  If the funky items from your box are still sitting at the bottom of your crisper, consider this your pep talk.  These are the foods that are flavoring, coloring and enlivening your lives.  These foods are giving your life texture and breaking you of your same-old same-olds that you resort to when you're lacking creativity in the kitchen.  Break into the box!onionsCleaning green onions

There is something so beautiful and enriching about eating within the seasons.  Even healing.  The seasons provide us with cleansing greens in the spring, cooling fruits in the summer and warming roots and squash in the fall for storage through a long winter.  I find it rather nice to not have to think about what I should be eating.  The answers are popping up all around me.  I don't always love the bitter watercress in the spring, but when it's the only green food available when the snow still blankets the earth, I succumb to the pressure and follow mother nature's advice.  I even love missing vegetables when they are out of season.  It's like looking forward to your best friend's arrival who is expected home from a long vacation.  I know there is a fondness in your heart that longs for a tomato ripened in season.  You even enjoy missing the tomato when it's out of season.  For some reason I love cucumbers when they're from the gardens, but I really don't like to eat them when they're out of season.  

I promise you that I'm no purist, myself.  I love coffee, avocado and lemon.  I even love figs, almonds, olives and rice.  My diet is not restricted to kohlrabi, kale and and parsley.  I even like to justify my non-local purchases by saying that if we're going to be transporting goods across the countryside and inter-continentally, best it be real food rather than t-shirts, plastic toys and cars.  Transporting food across oceans is as old as the boat itself.  But my real point is that when we can learn to really love our seasonal peas, fennel and chard and get very excited about broccoli when it's coming into season, we may find there are more than just health benefits.  Our local economy becomes stronger, our connection with nature and the seasons are enriched and our bodies are thankful to once again become united with what nature intended for us to eat.  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

White or Purple Kohlrabi (X2)-  The kohlrabi's are maturing a little faster than we wanted them to, so we went in and harvested two per member this week.  Also called a ground apple, Kohlrabi is wonderful eaten raw.  Peel off the other layer of the bulbs and cut into pieces and eat with a dip.  It's also used in stir fry or grated or thinly sliced onto salads.  Don't forget that the kohlrabi leaves are edible like kale, broccoli leaves or like collard greens.  

Green Onions-  Finally, green onions!  You can eat the roots, white stems and the greens on these babies.  The whole thing is edible!  They're wonderful coined onto salads, eating raw on a veggie platter or even chopped up and used in your everyday cooking in place of onion.  We'll have green onions to give the next three or four weeks until real onions are ready!

Snow and/or Sugar Snap Peas-  Pea production is a little weird this year.  The pea plants started flowering long before we thought they would and our first succession fizzled out pretty fast.  We're harvesting from our second succession now and it's looking really healthy and strong.  Still very modest givings of peas this year, but better some than none!

Cherry Bell or French Breakfast Radish-  We weren't sure we would have radishes to harvest this week, but there was still enough to give everyone some, so we went for it!  They're probably on the spicy side from the heat, but enjoy them because they're all gone for sure this time!  Remove the tops and let your radishes float in jar with water in the fridge and eat them fresh with your salads.  Remember that the greens are edible and they loose their prickliness once cooked!

Orion Fennel-  Absolutely beautiful fennel bulbs this spring!  We were so pleased with them!  Shave your fennel raw onto a salad, roast it, grill it or make that delicious cream of broccoli and fennel soup recipe from last week with it!  Fennel has a licorice flavor when eaten raw, but that flavor turns very mild (almost un-noticeable) once it's cooked.  

Garlic Scapes-  These shoots are from the top of the garlic plant.  Chop them up and cook with them like you would garlic cloves.  The most ideal part for cooking is below the little nodule on the scape.  The entire thing is edible, however.lettuceharvesting lettuce

Swiss Chard-  Colorful bunches of Swiss chard.  Swiss chard is in the same family as spinach and beets, and has a very mild earthy flavor.  The stems are edible as much as the leaves are and they add a nice texture to your dish.  Saute Swiss Chard with just onions and garlic in your favorite cooking oil and enjoy it very simply like that, or sink it deep into a pasta or egg bake and hardly notice it's there!

Broccoli, Cauliflower or Zucchini-  We tried very hard to harvest enough broccoli or cauliflower for everyone, but came up just a wee bit short.  We're hoping that by next week we'll have enough for everyone!  Our zucchini and summer squashes are starting to fruit, so start researching some new squash recipes that look good, you're about to get squashed!

Lettuce (X2)-  So many beautiful heads of lettuce!  We harvested the taller green romaines, your classic green leaf lettuce, the frilly red leaf and a new, small, red oakleaf variety.  You may have received a combination of any two of these.  

Curly Parsley-  Beautiful parsley!  Such a vibrantly green food.  Take note that the parsley is one of the nutrient-dense foods that we'll send you.  It's extremely high in anti-oxidants and contains very high levels of chlorophyll.  So yes, boring old parsley is a super food!  


Caramelized Fennel and Onions

Risotto with Sweet Sausage and Fennel

Shells Baked with Spinch, Herbs and Walnuts (substitune Swiss Chard!)  -We just had this for dinner last night and I think it has just been placed into the grand 'Hall of Fame Foods from the Farm'!