Full Share: Broccoli, Mesclun Mix, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Garlic Scapes, Basil, and Kale

Partial Share: Broccoli, Mixed Beet bunch, Mesclun Mix, Kohlrabi, and Garlic Scapes

Hello CSA Members!

Well, you win some and you lose some. Last Thursday was a good day to be a root vegetable. It was not a good day to be a leafy green or a head of lettuce. Nor a farmer, for that matter. I have a ring I wear that tracks daily activity and sleep. Would you like to guess what time the crack of thunder and deluge of hail started?

It’s a humbling experience. The farm is running great, we had just finished weeding all our head lettuce successions for like the first time ever in our history, and this is how the universe responds. It is always a solemn day at the farm, as everyone knows all too well how much work had gone into the crops that just got unceremoniously pulverized for no good reason. We appreciate all the inquiries and messages of support. Fortunately, many crops still were protected by row cover, and the carrots are safe simply because they grow underground. And the kales and chard will grow new leaves. But the 12+ beds of salad mix and head lettuce successions that get us through the next month got hammered, and they won’t grow back. With a value of $1500 per bed, it’s not peanuts, but it’s not ruinous. Just imagine if we were trying to grow salad mix in Guadalajara! (see this article if you missed the reference).

Farmers tend to be pragmatic, and it’s in our nature to look ahead, not back. So onward we go. They’ll be a bit of a dip in quality for some of our items over the next few weeks, but many other crop successions are not affected. Frankly, we are quite fortunate we are not trying to sell into a wholesale market that would reject all of our damaged and dinged vegetables. In this case, diversification of crops and a community supported, direct-to-consumer sales model save the day. I know many folks think “CSA” stands for some kind of commune or Co-op. but what it really stands for is “Community Supported Agriculture”. And one of the biggest benefits of this arrangement is that you, as a “member”, have decided to support a local farm by rolling with the punches and traveling on the journey with the farmer. By offering to share the risk with the farmer, you are doing much more than simply purchasing food…you helping the farmer weather the risks and share in the rewards of the season. So thanks! We prefer to focus on the rewards, personally, but your support is appreciated.

As far as the CSA share goes, it’s likely you won’t notice too much difference. Yes, the lovely crop of broccoli got dinged and bruised, but you’ll hardly notice and it is still really delicious. Some leaves will have holes in them, and the butterhead component of the salad mix will be missing for the next few weeks. Did you know the ancient Aztec word Mesclun means “camouflage”? Well, you’ll be getting a serving of Mesclun mix this week as well. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on the kohlrabi, so we’re going to put it in the CSA for a 2nd time. That is one hardy crop….definitely a good choice for hail-prone areas! Oh, and the garlic scapes are ready!

It’s funny how the relatively unknown garlic scape has grown to have quite a following lately. For those of you unfamiliar with them, every spring each of our hard-neck garlic plants sends up a single flower stalk, called a “scape”. If harvested early, while tender, they can be chopped up and used a garlic substitute in all sorts of meals. To have the smell of garlic pervading the kitchen again is a welcome change! It’s 4th of July week, so the theme this week should be grilling your vegetables. Broccoli, scapes, beets, kohlrabi…they can all be sliced up, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and gently roasted on the grill. Not recommended for the Mesclun mix. Enjoy the holiday!