Share Notes May 13 & 15, 2021
CSA Share Notes:
The weather the past month has just been plain weird. A light frost April 20th, a very chilly cool front this week, and not very many dry days in between. The weather’s causing some interesting problems in the spring garden: While the crops simply love these cooler temperatures, we can’t weed muddy soil. The hoes and other garden tools just get mucked up and don’t do their job. The soil has to have relatively low moisture content for us to effectively weed. And all the while, the weeds LOVE the rain. They could start to get ahead of us if it doesn’t dry out pretty soon. We’ve got our fingers crossed for lots of dry sunny days, and our tools poised and ready for when it dries out.
This rain is causing some delays in our summer planting, too. If you’re a member of our Summer CSA season which begins in late June, we may find that a few of the crops you love to see will probably be ready for harvest a bit later in the season than in some years. It’s also possible that conditions will be so perfect that everything catches up to where we want it to be. Anything is possible!
In the mean time, the crops are super healthy right now and very beautiful, so we’re excited about the box we’re sending you this week.Oh! One last note- a heavy rain splashes up tons of dirt onto the crops. We’ve ran everything through our initial washing process, but there will still be need to wash everything very thoroughly this week.
Here’s this week’s vegetable line up:
- Kale—Regular shares received our beautiful, lofty curly kale the variety you’re most likely used to seeing in the grocery store. Large shares received the highly sought-after Lacinato kale. Deep green with crinkly leaves, this variety is great for kale chips, soups, and sautees.
- Collard—Mini shares received this crop. It’s excellent used the same as your kale, or the way we’ve suggested you cook turnips down below.
- Swiss Chard—For the Regular and Mini shares. This beet relative tastes very 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.
- Radishes— French Breakfast radishes for the regular shares, with their slender pink roots with cute white tips. Easter Egg variety to the Large shares.
- Escarole—For the Regular and Large shares. This European green is NOT LETTUCE, but boy does it sure look like it. Use the photos below to help you identify your escarole so you keep it separate from the lettuce. It’s too strongly flavored for a salad, in my opinion. It’s ideal in a soup or simply cooked down with lots of butter and finished with a squeeze of lemon. We have a wonderful Italian white bean recipe we like to cook that’s a bit like the famous white beans at Zoe’s Kitchen, and we always add escarole when we have it available. This similar Italian White Beans with Escarole looks heavenly. I’ve used navy beans in place of cannellini many times with wonderful results.
- Snow peas—These tasty little beauties are finally ready! Just enough for the large shares this week. We hope to have lots more in the weeks to come.
- Kohlrabi—This super interesting looking crop is a newcomer to most of our CSA members kitchens, but once they try it, it’s a welcome friend. With a mild broccoli flavor, but much sweeter, this crop is similar to eating the stems of the broccoli plant, which I imagine you’ve had in a slaw before. It’s genetically very closely related to broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, so you can see how it can have similar applications. I like to use it in a crunchy slaw-like salad with hakurei turnips, radishes, cranberry, toasted walnut, and a good honey dijon, or a sweet poppyseed dressing.
- Lettuce— Romaine to the Regular and large (We had a delicious Caesar salad last night!) Then the Larges also received Red Volcan, Green Summer Crisp. The Regulars shares also received Rouxai, a red oak leaf, and the Mini shares a frilly green Tropicana.
- Dandelion Greens—How’d it go using this unique crop in your kitchen last week? If you’ve felt uninspired with dandelion, I suggest using it with your escarole in a white bean or a soup dish this week. Remember, this crop is actually a medicinal herb in addition to a vegetable! It’s incredible support for an over-taxed liver in our toxin-filled world, from the chlorine and fluoride in our water, to household cleaners and artificial fragrances, our livers could really use some love. We will probably have this crop one more time in a couple of weeks.
- Turnips—Hakurei for all the large and regular shares. This great Japanese offering is crisp and even a tiny bit sweet. It’s considered a “salad turnip” and is wonderful raw. Put it in slaw, or slice and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt, or dip it in hummus. But if you want to cook them, you can. We have Scarlet Queen for the mini shares. These are best done up the old fashioned way, tops and all, with lots of onion, garlic, and a strip of bacon.
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: Curly Kale, Rouxai lettuce, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard (2nd row) Hakurei turnips, kohlrabis, French Breakfast radishes, (bottom row) dandelion greens, and Escarole (notice the leaves are more rounded and flat than the lettuces. It’s not a lettuce!)
Large Share top left to right: Lacinato Kale, Green Summer Crisp lettuce, romaine lettuce, red Vulcan lettuce, snow peas (2nd row) Hakurei turnips, kohlrabi, Easter Egg radishes, (bottom row) dandelion greens, and Escarole (notice the leaves are more rounded and flat than the lettuces. It’s not a lettuce!)
Mini share: Collards, green Tropicana lettuce, Swiss chard (2nd row) Scarlet Queen turnips, kohlrabi.