Full Share: Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Baby Chard Mix, Spring Onions, Radishes, Kale, and Baby Bok Choy

Partial Shares: Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Baby Kale Mix, Radishes, and Baby Bok Choy

Hello CSA members!

Somebody turn off the wind, already. Geez. Fortunately we spent the morning harvesting in the protection of the high tunnels, and the afternoon outside planting seed potatoes, which are heavy enough to fall where you drop them. As a farm that relies so heavily on floating row cover as a season extension technique, the wind can prove to be a real nuisance and tends to leave us feeling a bit frazzled when it blows day after day. Fortunately, for any of you potato lovers, there are now 7,740 row feet of potatoes in the ground. I think that’s a new farm record, even if it wasn’t our intention…the seed potatoes just happened to be a lot smaller this year than in the past.

So, it seems like Week #1 of the CSA went OK? Yeah, there were some people who never picked up shares. there was that batch of dirty turnips, and some errors in the pickup location list….but overall, I think it went pretty well. Heck , someone even told us they liked the micro greens!

Re-entering the commerce part of farming after a winter off takes a bit of transition mentally. After standing at a cold market on Saturday morning watching the craziness of Hutton Ranch Plaza ( a.k.a Consumption Junction), I found myself in a very contemplative state. Not quite a pit of despair, but more just a curiosity about how the world is vs. how I think it should be, and how I always seem to end up with a minority viewpoint. I’ll admit, my stream of consciousness the past couple of days has been all over the place. On Saturday night, I found myself reading articles by Blake Hurst, the chairman of the Missouri Farm Bureau, defending industrial agriculture. In my mind, I think I was looking for answers regarding the “world as it is”. How did our food system get here? For all the reasons that I believe in organic farming practices and nutrient-dense food, there must be reasons why the majority of farmers in this country don’t use or produce either? Surely, it doesn’t all boil down to maximizing shareholder profit, or the global economy’s effect of creating a race to the bottom? Does it?

I know, this is all too much. You’re still pondering why we wanted you to eat the turnip greens last week, and how the sunflower shoots in the micro-greens could be so incredibly bitter. But the root of my issue is actually relevant. After a winter of working and writing about community food systems, transitioning to CSA newsletters has left me feeling uncertain. How deep should I go? Do CSA members want it light and fluffy? Informative? Challenging? Deep? If you have a preference, let me know when you get a chance. Otherwise, next week I’m writing about the 1973 Russian wheat crop failure.

Now that we’ve gotten that over with, lets talk about this week’s share. The warm weather the past couple of weeks put our young greens into hyper mode, so this week we’re giving out the mesclun and baby kale/chard mixes sooner than we had intended. Because the full shares are getting a bunch of kale, we gave you the baby chard, and the partial shares are getting baby kale. Speaking of kale, I just tossed a bunch (stems removed) into the Vitamix with olive oil and made a quick “pesto” which I’ve been using in all my meals. This would work with both the bunches as well as the baby kale mix, if you’re short on ideas for these items. Since everyone got Baby Bok Choy again this week, here’s a basic garlic stir-fry option/

Or how about making it the centerpiece of the meal, such as this soba noodle dish ?

Rather than forgetting to mention this until week #9, please keep all your fresh produce protected in bags or Tupperware in your fridge! Your fridge is a huge, cold dehydrator. It produces cold by sucking moisture out of air, and innocent vegetables. Any produce placed in there without a bag or covering will shrivel up within a day or two….even a carrot. This one simple trick will make your CSA experience much more satisfying.