Small Family Farm CSA

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July Twenty Fourth, 2019

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Many of our fondest memories in life are those centered around food. We gather for family picnics in the park in the summer. We think of potato salad, garden salsa, veggie platters, the smell of the grill and deserts featuring seasonal berries and fruits. Holidays, birthdays, and even the regular old Sunday night family dinner at home are all made special and sacred by the dishes, salads and cakes we share to celebrate them.

I wouldn’t consider myself a fantastic cook. Certainly I am no chef. But I do cook and that makes me a cook, I assume. I prioritize the family meal, yes even I-one of the busiest people on the planet, carve out time in the day to prepare a home-made meal each day. Being 20 minutes from town, we don’t have the option of ordering out or just “picking something up” after a busy day. I also can’t seem to bring myself to buying prepared food when I live on a farm with virtually everything at my fingertips. It would feel too much like I was cheating or being wasteful. I’m a bit of a purist in this sense, for better or worse. I have an array of quick meals that I keep in the queue for whipping something up when time runs short.

Keeping the home-made meal routine and consistent provides a kind of comfort and security in our home that I never under-estimate. When the day is waning and the workers are going home and the play dates have ended, the children often become calm again once mom is in the kitchen cooking. They know that soon we will all be together again, sitting around the table to give thanks, share food and even share a moment together after a day of being dispersed and focused on our work.

Feeding my family feels empowering. I feel inspired by the freshness of the ingredients I have to work with. I know that my hands, and the hands of my fellow community members, worked together to grow this food. I grow my confidence in the kitchen by simply trying new recipes and learning to cook with and eventually like vegetables that intimidated me initially. Nothing affirms the choice to cook home-made meals more for me than watching my children eat plates full of these colorful plants and then ask for more.

I feel that you deserve, equally as much as I do, to feel the same pride, empowerment and inspiration as I feel. I’m out here on this farm with my hands sunk down in the very soil that this food is grown in. But you are just a politically, agriculturally and literally involved as I am. I wish to applaud you, in no cheap or insincere way, for your food buying choice. Choosing to become invested in the transparency of where, when and how your food was grown is profoundly important. Bigger than you may even realize. For I feel there is a global effect to your choice. You made the choice to know who is growing your food, that it was grown on a small family farm and that it was free of chemical residues. You bet against monster of the industrialized food system.

I say cook on. Maybe the world can be transformed into a more spiritual, wholesome and nurturing place by the reclamation of the humble home cook. We can change the health of the economy, the ecosystem, and the neighborhood by simply staying in our kitchens. We don’t need the inferior experience of eating out-which is never as good as what we make at home. We need people in their homes, making food for people they love, strengthening their communities and supporting the agricultural methodologies that we know are right and true. The home cook is voting for something by simply cooking dinner using ingredients that come from pure and clean sources. Cook on!

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

Green Top Carrots-  Only durring the summer months do we get to see carrots with their greens on!  This is a fun seasonal treat.  Carrot greens look and taste a lot like parsley.  Did you know you could eat carrot greens?  Carrots are in the umbelifferea family of plants, the same as parsley, celery, parsnip. dill and fennel.  I just love the little white roots that are still connected to them.  You know they are fresh!  

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  2-3 squash per member this week.  Remember that these two squashes can mostly be used interchangably.  The color is the big difference between the two.  They do have subtle textur and obvious shape differences, but flavor is almost exactly the same.  Squash prefer storage temps around 50 degrees.  The fridge is almost too cool and the counter is too warm, so you migt just have to pick your preferred storage location and go with that.  Squashes are SO versatile!  You can spiralize them into noodles, you can grill them, you can bake them, you can steam them, sautee them.  There are probably hundreds of different ways to prepare them and nature offers them in abundance this time of year, so have fun!  

Cucumbers-  6-7 Cucumbers per member this week.  Cukes are hitting hard right now!  Cucumbers also prefer storage temps around 50 degrees.  The fridge is a little too cool and the counter is a little too warm, so pick your favorite place to grab them so you'll use them up!  Cucumbers are here to help cool us down in the heat of the summer.  My favorite cucumber salad recipe is below.  

Celery-  Some of the celery was cut and buched again this week.  The cut bunched were bagged and the whole heads were not.  We do recommend storing your celery in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Local celery is much different than California celery.  Local celery is usually much darker green, has a stronger celery flavor and is not as watery and juicy as California celery.  We find that it is still wonerful in your egg salads, potato salads, soups and just about everywhere else.  Celery greens are also edible!  Celery greens can be used in soups, salads or however you might like to sneak them in!  Celery is maybe one of the most healthy and nutritious plants we grow being very high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.  It is also high in potassium, is known to lower blood pressure and also is detoxifying.  

Green Onions-  The is likely the final giving on green onions.  Soon we will be harvesting white onion bulbs to share with you.  

Green Curly Kale-  Kale to keep your greens intake high!  A great way to make kale disappear quickly is the generously coat it in oil and make kale chips!  If you have a kale recipe that turned you into a lover of kale, please share it with me so I can spread the love with the group!  I'll keep posting our favorties as well!

Green Leaf Lettuce x 2-  We feel lucky to still be harvesting lettuce even in the heat of the summer like this.  Try using your lettuce leaves as wraps and fill them with all of your favorite taco fillings!  

Cilantro-  The cilantro looked perfect just before the big storm we had last Thursday night.  The pounding rains really did some damage to the leaves.  This harvest took several times longer than it would normally have taken because we were picking out bad leaves.  We're very sorry if your cilantro bunch looked less than perfect, please excuse the compromise on quality.  You can blame the pounding rains last Thursday.  We know how much everyone loves cilantro, so we decided to take the extra time to harvest it so we could still share it with you.  Hopefully you can still find some good use for it.  We also recommend using it up quickly becuse it probably won't store as well due to the compromised quality.  

Cauliflower- 1-2 Cauliflower per member this week depending on size.  Cauliflower season is about to come to an end for a bit.  So love up your cauliflower while you have it!  

Garlic Scapes-  This is the final giving of garlic scapes for the season.  Soon we will be pulling up the full sized heads to share with you.  Remember that you can use the entire scape if you so desire, but the most commonly used part of the scape is from the blunt end up to the little nodule that can be diced and used like regular garlic, although much more mild than actual garlic cloves.  

Eggplant-  There were only about 200 eggplants at our first harvest, so unfortunately, not everyone got one.  We tried to stick them in the boxes that had room for them.  We hope that if you love eggplant, you got one, but if it's not your favorite veggie, you're not missing it.  Soon we should be sharing with everyone!  

Next Week's Best Guess-  Lettuce, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini, onion, broccoli, garlic, basil, beets, celery, swiss chard, green cabbage

Cucumber Salad

Asian Spicy Sesame Cucumber Salad 

Lemony Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Nacho Kale Chips

Cauliflower Dirty Rice with Celery

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