Share Notes 7-7-16
CSA Share Notes:
WELCOME TO THE SUMMER CSA SEASON! We have some great treats for you this week with more crops blossoming and ripening throughout the month of July.
These share notes are to help you navigate your CSA box each week. We will offer you info about the varieties of crops you’re receiving, photos for identification, as well as tips on preparing your loot and storing it properly to maintain freshness and quality. Check back here every week for new info.
Now on to your vegetable line up:
- Eggplant—Small shares received long Japanese varieties or our cute and tiny Fairy Tale variety. These are amazing roasted or on the grill. Large shares received Italian eggplant or a few of our deep purple Japanese variety. Check out a few great eggplant recipes in our kitchen blog!
- Bell peppers—Each share received a handful of green (and a few purple and red!) bell peppers. The really colorful bells usually take much longer to ripen than the green bells, so nearing the end of summer we should have even more beautiful color for you.
- Jalapenos—Large shares received 2 and smalls, 1 bright, juicy jalapeno. There are lots more coming, but here’s a little taste of heat to spice up a meal this week.
- Squash—Just beginning to come on are our squash and zucchini. There are a few varieties here you might have received. Some are smooth and straight necked, others are bumpy and crook necked. Both are fantastic. Squash spoil quickly and bruise easily on their journey to you, so use them up fast.
- Zucchini—Well that was fast! – Our lovely zucchini are already fighting off bugs and disease, and in our commitment to chemical-free growing, we won’t win the fight so we may not have zucchini for very long this summer. We hope you relish these this week, and we hope our little plants pull through for a couple more weeks! Check out our cool Italian take on zucchini with this Zucchini Malfatti recipe.
- Carrot—Each share received a nice large bunch of slender, multi-colored carrots, orange, yellow, and white! They grew quite slowly this year and as they started battling the heat the past few weeks, they didn’t get very large, so we just pulled them ALL! Baby ones and mature ones. What they lack in size, they make up for in amazing carrotty flavor. We roasted them with a Lonesome Lady Ranch chicken last night and the result was delicious!
- Sungold tomatoes—Each Large share received a pint of our most prized summer offering: sungold cherry tomatoes! These really are my favorite summer crop.
- Cucumbers—Small shares each received two cucumbers, most of you have one of each of our two varieties, general lee is darker green and looks like your standard slicing cucumber, Northern Pickling are lighter and smaller and a little bumpy. Give our Fridge Pickles recipe a try!
- Peaches—A special treat from our friends over at Winona Orchards, who grow some of the most amazing peaches and berries. Each summer we load up on as many as we can bake, jam, freeze, and dehydrate. Though this farmer is not an organic grower, they do what they can to minimize their use of pesticides on their peaches, which we love about them! They take excellent care of their soil, they treat their workers fairly, and they have top quality fruit that we feel fortunate to have found for our members! Enjoy this special treat. Like any conventionally grown produce, wash in a sink of cool water with a small drop of dish soap to break down any residues on the crops. We had them harvest them slightly firm to help them hold up to their travels to you without getting bruised, so give them a couple of days and they should be perfectly ripe !
Veggie Storage tips:
Some of your summer crops can be damaged by refrigerator temperatures, and some crops prefer it, so be sure to check out our veggie storage tips each week for proper storage of your loot. As a general rule, wait to wash any veggies until you’re ready to use them to help retain nutrients and prevent spoilage from excess moisture.
The onions and squash/zucchini can be kept at room temperature. Same with the eggplant, bell peppers, and jalapenos. If you’re going to use them up within a couple of days, room temp is great, but if it will take you longer than the weekend to use it up, we suggest storing it in the fridge sealed up. Carrots will prefer the refrigerator, but you should remove their tops to keep them firm. The greens will draw nutrients away from the roots and they’ll get rubbery. Save the leaves to simmer into a lovely soup for excellent carrot flavor. The cherry tomatoes will be damaged and begin to get mealy if stored below 50 degrees, so the refrigerator is not the place for them. 70 degrees is optimal for tomatoes, so out on your counter or in another cool place is perfect for them.
Thank you so much for being a part of our Spring CSA at Red Moon Farm, and for all your support of local, organic agriculture!
Jess & Justin