Full Shares: Beta Mix, Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Kale bunch, Radishes, Baby Boy Chow, and Cilantro
Partial Shares: Beta Mix, Mesclun, Radishes, Kale, and Baby Bok Choy
Hello CSA Members!
In the farming world, this is called the May Hustle. It’s the time of year when most farmers in northern latitudes are racing around like crazy to try to get all their crops planted now that the soil is dry enough to work, and fast enough to ensure the crops mature before the first frost. It’s definitely a time of year when we feel like we can’t keep up. This is the time of year when 7 days a week of work is still not enough. As an example, in one day we harvest the contents of a high tunnel (which was seeded back in early April), While one person washes and bags the produce for CSA, another flail mows the remaining crop residue, and then tills it into the soil with a BCS walk-behind tractor.
Then we lay irrigation for tomatoes, put down the ground fabric to control weeds and dust, and 3 of us plant 400 tomato plants and water them in.
And that’s just what happens in one high tunnel. We have 4 more tunnels and 13 acres of field to deal with as well!
Hopefully you all enjoyed the fresh vegetables last week! While there are many reasons that we choose to farm, and many reasons it makes sense for you to support local agriculture, at the end of the day it needs to be a win / win scenario in order to work for all parties. One of the most enjoyable and tangible benefits, we hope, is the freshness and flavor. We live in a world where cost and convenience are king. Care and quality seem to be out of favor. So when you go to the store to get produce, it’s typically a variety that has been bred for long shelf life, rather than flavor. And it’s likely been picked immature, so that it can ripen during shipping to it’s final destination. And the effect of these practices takes a toll on the quality. So hopefully you notice a difference.
While every week I will try to give you some recipe ideas, I have a couple of general suggestions:
First, Maldon sea salt flakes are magical. I do not generally use any salt when cooking, but once I plate my meal, I add a pinch of sea salt to rally bring out the flavor, even it it’s just. a fresh salad. Maldon happens to just be our favorite (and no, we don’t get royalties for saying that!).
Second, pesto is delicious. Whether its raw kale, radish greens, cilantro, parsley or basil…..basically food processing any of these with olive oil makes for a great spread or sauce. Use it on pasta, over your other veggies, on steak, on bread…you get the picture.
Third, mandolines (the slicing tool, not mandolins, the tiny guitar) make thin veggies, and thin veggies are delicious. Whether its slicing radishes, potatoes, turnips…..the consistency is hard to beat.
Last, your meal does not have to be fancy or take a long time to cook to be delicious. In fact, almost all the vegetables you receive can simply be sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic to make great dish. And a pinch of salt :). But, if you’re up for the challenge, I will throw out some more intensive recipes as well.
This week you have some unique items, The Beta Mix Is primarily baby beet green and baby chard, which can be eaten raw, but I would suggest lightly sautéing. The Mesclun mix, on the other hand, is meant to be eaten raw as a salad. It is a combination of salad and mustard greens, and I just ate two servings for dinner. Since you’re.getting radishes again, this time you might consider lightly steaming to tops and making them into pesto? Trust me, it’s good. Especially on top of sautéed baby bok choy.
I guess my take home point is that when produce is fresh and flavorful, it doesn’t need fancy preparations to be delicious. And quick delicious meals make cooking feel more like a pleasure than a chore. See you at CSA distribution!
Todd and Team Two Bear