Share Notes May 6 & 8, 2021
CSA Share Notes:
Welcome to this week’s Spring CSA harvest. The weather has been so lovely, and now that frost risk has passed (it dipped to 33 just 2 weeks ago. So crazy, and so late.) we’ve now shifted our sights in the garden to plant all the summer crops. It’s an intense time here, getting it all in the ground while also maintaining the big spring garden, and also harvesting and delivering. Our small crew of 3 farm hands helps us get the job done and they are really wonderful this year. We’ll feature them on our social media accounts this week and next so follow us there to get to know who’s weeding, picking, and packing your food.
Also, this Saturday launches the opening weekend of Rose City Farmers Market, and we can’t wait. Come give a friendly wave to your farmers. It’s in downtown Tyler at 221 S. Broadway at ETX Brewing Co.
Here’s this week’s vegetable line up
- Pac Choi—(or bok choy, depending on translation. Same crop, different spelling!) This Chinese cabbage makes a terrific slaw, or a lacto-fermented kimchee, and is perfect in Thai yellow curry with potatoes and onions, a favorite comfort food in our kitchen. Farmers growing a few hours south of here likely have some early potatoes ready this time of year, so check your local farmers market and pick up what you need for this delicious dish. This recipe calls for carrots and spinach, which I am sure would be delicious, but trust me, switch them out for yellow or red potatoes and pak choi. We’re in a season of life (every May-June!) where we don’t have time to do every step from scratch. So if you want to use a good prepared yellow curry paste, (grab some at any Asian grocers, World Market, FRESH or Whole Foods, it comes in tiny jars or tins) you can have dinner on the table in the amount of time it takes to cook rice. Basmati is our favorite for light, fluffy grains, but Jasmine is good too, just a lot stickier.
- Kale—Regular shares received our beautiful, tender Red Russian kale, with its large, flat, oak shaped leaved. Mini shares received a pretty bunch of curly kale, the variety you’re most likely used to seeing in the grocery store.
- Collard—Large shares received this crop. It’s excellent cooked the same way we’ve suggested you cook turnips down below.
- Swiss Chard—For the Large shares. This hearty green is related to beets and tastes really mild like spinach (to which it’s also related). Have you tried making massaged-greens salads? This veggie is a great one for it. Just use the technique here and add a bit of diced mango, strawberry, or blueberry. Alternately, it’s wonderful braised with lots of onion and garlic.
- Young Onions—Red onions for the regular and large shares and Yellow onions for the mini shares. These onions growing in the field began to form flower stalks, which means if we let them keep growing, they won’t get any bigger and they won’t store well, so you get to enjoy them now, a month before our big onion harvest! All the tender greens are useful as green onions, and the small bulbs are perfectly fine to use as a normal onion, but they’ll be a bit higher in water content, so use slightly higher heat to steam off that liquid or account for a bit more moisture going into your recipe.
- Radishes— Petite bunches for the large and regular shares. We hope you’re enjoying all these radishes! We won’t have them much longer. Easter Egg variety for all the Regular shares, and some petite Watermelon radishes for the Large shares. They’re great match-sticked and turned into a slaw, dipped into hummus as a crunchy snack, or sliced with sea salt and lemon juice. You can cook radishes, too! Try them roasted or sauteed with their nutritious tops.
- Lettuce— 3 small heads to the large shares, 2 to the regular, and 1 to the mini.
- Dandelion Greens—This tender leafy green is so pretty, with long, deeply serrated leaves. It’s very strongly flavored, so we like to use about 1/3 dandelion to 2/3 lettuce in a salad. It’s a super strong liver-supporting wild herb so enjoy the massive health benefits.
- Scarlet Queen Turnips—A lovely rosy magenta turnip with white flesh (don’t mistake them for beets!) These are excellent steamed and mashed like potatoes or try them in our Roasted Turnip and Grain Salad. Here’s the traditional way to do up your turnips: wash them well, discard any yellowing leaves, then coarsely chop the greens and roots separately. Saute a couple of chopped strips of bacon or leftover Sunday ham with a few big handfuls of diced onion and garlic till softened, then add your roots till beginning to soften. Next toss in your greens and about 1 cup of chicken stock, salt, black pepper corns, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer and stir the greens down until they’re as softened as you like them. Eat with a side of buttery cornbread.
- Hakurei Turnips—For all the Mini shares. This great Japanese offering is crisp and mild, even a tiny bit sweet. It’s considered a “salad turnip” and is wonderful raw. Put it in salads, or slice and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt, or dip it in hummus. But if you want to cook them, you can.
Veggie Storage tips:
Everything you get this week will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in produce bags. All root crops should be severed from their tops to keep the roots from getting rubbery, and the greens stored separately, sealed up to stay fresh. Everything will need a gentle washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin
Regular Share top left to right: Red Russian Kale, pak choi, Easter Egg radishes, Scarlet Queen Turnips, young red onions (2nd row) 2 lettuce, dandelion greens.
Large Share top left to right: Collard, pak choi, watermelon radishes, Swiss Chard, (2nd row) 3 lettuce, scarlet queen turnips, (3rd row) dandelion greens and young red onions.
Mini share: Curly Kale, pak choi, Hakurei Turnips, young yellow onions (2nd row) lettuce, dandelion greens.