Share Notes 6-21-18

Share Notes 6-21-18

CSA Share Notes:

Welcome to your FIRST share of the Summer CSA Season!  Thank you guys so much for partnering with us for this growing season.  We have loads of great crops in store for you over the next couple of months. We have a few wonderful strongholds from the spring garden for you to enjoy, and some of the more traditional summer crops are just beginning to come on. Each week come back to the blog to see that week’s share notes and learn all about the contents of your share.

Here’s your box contents this week:

  • Eggplant—Small shares received our beautiful tiny Fairytale Eggplant. Large shares received an assortment of all our larger eggplant varieties- Black Beauty Italian Eggplant, and Japanese varieties Orient Express and Machiaw.  Unfamiliar with cooking eggplant? My favorite use is in our Summer Veggie Green Curry, which is really forgiving and can accommodate all kinds of summer produce, (or add chicken, beef, shrimp, you name it). The key factor with eggplant is to use high heat to sear it, bringing out it’s sweetness and providing a silky, (rather than squeaky) texture.
  • Basil—Fragrant, delicious basil! Enjoy a batch of pesto or do some yummy Italian cooking this week! If you an’t get through all of it, hang it to dry and use this winter. I cannot stress this enough: Do not refrigerate your basil.  Basil cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees and will turn black.  Keep your basil on the counter in a glass of fresh water. Trim the stems to it can really drink up and stay happy.
  • Surprise blueberries!—We occasionally partner with our friends John and Anita Sattler at Winona Orchards to bring you fruit, and right now they have these delectable treasures. They strive for sustainability in their fruit production, but they do use conventional sprays to control pests when needed. I am not aware of any spray that has been on these berries, but a good rinsing in baking soda water to remove any potential residue will do the trick for this special treat.
  • Onion—Everyone received yellow onions, sweet and mild.
  • Italian Peppers—These oblong, thin-walled peppers look like they’d pack some heat, but they don’t! They’re nice and mild. As they fully ripen on the plant, we’ll begin to see orange and red colors, but for now in early summer, we’ve mostly got pretty pale green peppers.
  • Sweet Bell Peppers—A colorful array of bells including green, purple and white.  Each of these varieties will gradually ripen over the course of the summer into their sweetest, most ripe version of themselves:  red, orange, or yellow. Can’t wait for those to be ready! It takes patience.
  • Cayenne Peppers—Each share received a small handful of these spicy slender beauties. While green, they don’t pack quite as much heat. Use in place of serrano or jalepeno in any dish.
  • Kale—Small shares received a bunch of fresh Winterbor Kale, curly and robust. Enjoy fresh or cooked into any number of dishes. Search our kitchen blog for recipe ideas!
  • Chard—Large shares received a fresh bunch of Bright Lights Swiss Chard. This crop is great braised, but my favorite way to eat it is mixed with arugula in a fresh salad with lots of nuts and parmesan cheese. It’s a little late in the season, but you may be able to find arugula at a specialty grocery store!

Veggie Storage tips:

Onions will prefer to stay at room temp. The eggplant and peppers CAN be stored at room temperature, but only if you’re going to eat them within a day or two, otherwise, seal up and refrigerate. The blueberries and greens will prefer the fridge. 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

Large Share

Large Share:  (Top row)  Basil, yellow onion, Italian Peppers, Swiss Chard (second row, in the middle) cayenne peppers, bell peppers, (bottom row) blueberries, Black Beauty Eggplant, Macaw Eggplant, Orient Express Eggplant.

Small Share

Small share: (top row) Bell peppers, basil, Italian peppers, (bottom row) kale, blueberries, cayenne peppers, and Fairytale Eggplant.