Share Notes June 15, 2023
CSA Share Notes:
Heads up, farmy friends! –> We had a huge hail storm on the farm yesterday afternoon. We thought there was a chance we could get you one more share next week, but after that hail, it’s almost certain that this is your final week of Spring CSA. It looks like the plants will all recover well over the course of a few weeks, but most of what would have been ready next week is damaged.
We’ll see how the garden recovers and make sure to tell you a solid plan by Monday morning so you know if you are picking up next Thursday one last time.
Summer Season starts soon! We’re growing basil, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, all sorts of tomatoes, blueberries, melons, okra, and so much more. But only if you have signed up. We have room for about 5 more members. You can join here.
Remember, you must OPT IN to each CSA season, which means if you don’t join the coming Summer season, your shares are concluding. If you’re ready to be done, that’s just peachy! But if you want more fresh food coming your way then you’ll want to click the link to get yourself signed up. Summer season is nearly full. You can join here.
One more note about how the storm effected yesterday’s packaging: We were in a frenzy to get the work done and get everyone home safe yesterday. We brought in our field crew to help who normally do not assist with this side of the process. We were trying to train them all on-the-fly, we were working very quickly, and in the end, we realized that a few of you did not get all the items you were supposed to receive. Inexperience combined with major rushing. So sorry, guys!
Check the image at the bottom of this post and compare it with your box contents. If it looks like something is missing from your box, (no carrots, for example) please let me know right away and we will credit you, or can harvest more and bring them to you at our two farmers markets this Saturday (Tyler and Longview)
Now here’s your vegetable line-up:
- Cabbage – Round, slightly flat TenderSweet cabbages for the large and regular shares and a crinkly Alcosa cabbage for the mini shares. Want to turn your plain cabbage into a superfood that is also delicious? You can use a quart mason jar to make a batch of lacto-fermented kraut. It’s so, so easy! Read here to get the method. Start it on your counter top or pantry with a loose jar lid for about 3-5 days, then move it to the fridge to continue fermenting slowly for the next month or so, then it’s ready! If you’re a beginner, or if you want extra assurance your kraut will develop the right lactic acid bacteria, you can inoculate your batch when you start it with a teaspoon of whey. You can collect whey from a container of high-quality, unsweetened, plain yogurt (it’s the clear-to-milky liquid that forms on top).
- Carrot – Beautiful bunches for all this week! And in a lovely array of colors for beauty and to diversify your nutrient content. Eat the rainbow!
- Kale/Collard – Collards are rocking it through the heat. We just love them in late spring/early summer, as they are so well adapted to our climate. Have you tried the southern preparation style yet? Slice into fat ribbons and cook them in chicken broth for a long, long time, with lots of garlic and onion and a pinch of red pepper flakes. They cook down a lot, but pack major nutrition and wonderful flavor. And you can cook your kale or chard the same way, too. Collard for the large shares, Red Russian kale for the regular shares, Curly for the mini shares
- Beet – Large shares only. Finally a few beets are ready! Beets have proven really tricky in our East Texas soil. Some years, we succeed in really abundant beets, but this was not that year. We’re grateful that the variety that did produce for you is our favorite! Heirloom Chioggia. When you cut them open, you’ll notice a beautiful bulls-eye effect. Be sure to slice across the belly of the beet, not down through the top/root, in order to get this beautiful effect. Beets are excellent roasted at about 400, till soft, then peeled and drizzled with a citrus glaze.
- Flowering Broccoli – Regular shares only. These are broccoli side-shoots, or a broccolini cousin. The whole thing is edible- the bud, the stems, even the leaves. You can steam, boil, or roast the whole thing. Stems are sweet, crunchy, and super delicious, so don’t discard them! If the skin near the bottom of the stem is a bit tough, just peel them a little with a peeler. We had just enough for the Regular shares to each get a small bunch of them.
- Potato – Pretty red new potatoes, ready to boil into a delicious potato salad. Or try Smashed Potatoes: parboil and drain, then lightly oil a baking sheet and place boiled potatoes on it. Smash each one with the bottom of a coffee mug into a flattened disk (the potato will crack, deeply. This is fine) Brush all sides heavily with olive oil, salt generously, and bake at 450 till crispy and golden, about 30 min. (We actually use a small counter top oven which we plug in outside on the porch to not heat up the kitchen this time of year). This will be your new favorite way to enjoy potatoes.
- Onion – Some yellow and/or red onions for everyone.
- Garlic – Good quality garlic is impossible to find in stores and we’re elated to have this back in our kitchen this week! This year’s garlic harvest is one of the best we’ve had and we’re so excited to share it with you. These are a red Creole type, bred for hot, humid Louisiana conditions, and this helps it perform so well here in our East Texas climate. It consistently produces large bulbs with a smaller number of nice big cloves with a wonderful, pungent flavor.
- BLUEBERRIES! – These beauties are from Winona Orchards, the highest quality fruit grower around these parts, and we love working with them. They consistently provide us with beautiful, flavorful fruit. Heads up: they do not grow organically, but they are mindful with their use of pesticides and fungicides. They do their best to minimize exposure for both their employees and you, their end customer. Please wash your fruit. A baking soda water bath is the most effective method to break down the pesticide residues. Shelf-life is fairly short so try to use them up by the end of the weekend. Ours often don’t even see the fridge and are eaten within minutes! One additional note: With the impending storm, we did not have time to transfer these into enclosed plastic clamshells, so they were packed open in the boxes. We tried to take great care to ensure they were nestled just perfectly so they won’t spill, but it is possible that some will spill before you get them home.
Veggie Storage tips:
- Everything wants to be washed well before cooking, but keep the dirt on till then, to prevent faster spoilage.
- Sever the roots/bulbs from their tops (carrots, beets) and store the tops separately if you’re going to use them.
- Potatoes, garlic, and onions prefer room temperature, dry conditions. Everything else will want to be sealed up in the fridge. Enjoy!
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook, showing us how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin