Small Family Farm CSA

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June Seventh

A new season dawns, fresh and new like a sunrise.   Bright.  Promising.  Energizing.  I am just as excited for this season as I was for our very first CSA delivery season in 2006.  Nope, that’s not true.  I have more excitement, more confidence, more help and less stress!DSC 0153

Our 12th season is off to a fantastic start.  All of the crops are going into the ground on schedule.  The rains have been timely (except for right about now we are already praying for rain), and there has been very little severe weather to threaten damaging our tender Spring crops. 

Tender is another word to describe a new season.  Everything is new and young and succulent.  The snap peas are just beginning to wrap their first tendrils around the trellising.  The winter squash, melon and cucurbit plants are all still under their baby blankets of remay to protect them from the harsh winds, sun and bugs.  And the Spring Lettuce is so tender and buttery that it pales my impression of all other lettuce for the rest of the year.  Tender as well in that there are still baby birds in their nests that haven’t flown yet.  Our skin is still white-ish from a winter’s thick cover and prone to burning.  Even the soil is tender and freshly tilled, vulnerable to erosion from wind or rain. 

A new season is tender and new, but it is somehow also wild and free and un-predictable.  A new season feels even a bit scary (says the farmer who has lived through floods and droughts).  It feels like a shot out of a cannon.  It feels like an explosion of potential and possibility. 

A season is old and knowing as well in that even though it is new and fresh, it knows just what to do.  The plants and animals behave in the ancient ways they always have and always will behave.  The trees bud without que.  The birds return and nest without instruction.  The pepper seed germinates and grows into the variety we expect it to.  How lovely this reliability and predictability amidst the uncertainty of when it will rain next and will the crops produce well this year? 

Lovely is the CSA model.  This well-organized and beautiful relationship between farmers and eaters.  A reliable, secure and safe way to know where your food is coming from, the transparency behind who and how it is grown, and also the open invitation to know as much as you wish about your food and farm.  I feel thankful for you, the person who wishes to eat fresh, local, organic produce and wishes to know their farmer.  I feel thankful for your reliable, continued support that will last throughout the entire 2017 season.  You can count on the same from us! 

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

Pac Choi-  This is an asian vegetable that is wonderful in stir fry or also made into an asian slaw.  The stalks are crisp and tender and the leaves are just as edible and flavorful!  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Pannise Oakleaf Lettuce-  A gorgeous oakleaf Spring lettuce.  These fun and fancy oakleaf varieties really only grow well in this area in the Spring when it's not too hot.  We love how tender and green this lettuce is!  Make a beautiful salad with this!  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Although I'm sure you won't need to think about storing this lettuce long!  

Asparagus-  Asparagus is the only crop that we actually buy each year.  We have an amish friend with a very large patch of certified organic Asparagus.  This was all picked fresh on Tuesday morning and packed out by his daughters.  He says it hasn't been a very good aspargus year since it has been cooler.  This is more of a straight run with a mix of #1 and #2 quality.  Our amish farmer, Elmer, says this is the best he could offer us this year.  In past years we have gotten beautiful #1 looking asparagus from him, but this year hasn't been his best year.  Asparagus coming again next week!

Spinach-  A quarter pound of perfect, baby spinach.  I know this will go quickly at home as well!  

Rhubarb-  A half pound of rhubarb per member.  The rhubarb plants on our farm are only a few years old, so we are still getting a big mix of smaller and larger stalks.  No matter the color (red or green) or size (large or small),  they are all perfectly edible and would make a wonderful cobbler!  Will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  oakleaf

Shallots-  Slightly less than a half pound bag of overwintered shallots.  Overwintered means that these puppies were grown last summer on this farm, cured, cleaned and put into storage for the winter and they're stil holding up fabulously.  Since they have been in cold storage for so long they will want to sprout if left out on your countertop.  We recommend keeping them in your fridge until you plan to use them.  Use them up quick more yummy veggies coming soon!  

Pea Shoots-  Did you know you could eat these?  Yes, it's true!  These are only a little bigger than what we might have liked them to be so their stalks might be a bit chewey.  But the leaves and tendrils have all the flavors of Spring and Snap Peas that we know and love!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You can snap the leaves off and toss them in a salad.  You can mix them in a pesto or stir fry or do whatever you wish with them!  

Arugula-  Very small bunches of Arugula.  We thought we would get in there and harvest this Arugula while it was very young and tender and not so spicy or turn bitter from the heat.  Arugula really only grows well in the cool-ness of the Spring and Fall when it won't bolt or be too spicy.  Enjoy the tenderness of this unique item!  I'm thinking of making a bacon/arugula pizza!  

Swiss Chard-  The Swiss Chard was looking so beautiful we had to harvest this for you!  Swiss Chard is in the same family as spinach, so use the greens in a fritatta, green smoothie, stir-fry or however else you might use spinach.  DSC 0169

Cherry Bell Radishes-  Perfect cherry bell radishes.  Not too spicy.  Not too big.  Not woody at all.  Some are a bit on the small side (but that's better than being too big), and the flavor is perfect!  

Herb Packs-  These cute little packs are for you to transplant out into a little space in your yard or in little pots near your kitchen.  We believe in cooking with fresh herbs, so we provided you here with little plants so you can always snag a sprig of fresh thyme or oregano or parslely now and then throughout the season for cooking with fresh herbs!  Transplant into the ground or a pot with plenty of fresh, fertile, organic soil mix and allow to grow in a full-sun space.  

Next Week's Best Guess:  Pac Choie, Lettuce, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Shannots, pea shoots, arugula, kale cherry bell radishes, herb packs.  


Sesame Ginger Pac Choi Salad

Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Swiss Chard Fritatta