Full Share: Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Radishes, Baby Bok Choy, Spring onions, Cilantro, and Baby chard/kale mix

Partial Share: Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Hakurei Turnips, Radishes, and Baby Chard/Kale mix

Hello CSA members!

You’ve heard the saying “hurry up and wait”? Well, farming is basically the opposite. You wait, and wait, and wait for spring to arrive, the snow to melt, the soil to dry, and the night time temperatures to moderate….and then you go crazy trying to get the entire farm planted within a month. That’s sort of where we are at right now on the farm. We spend every morning harvesting produce for that day’s CSA or farmer’s market, and then we spend the afternoons and weekends trying to get beds prepped, crops planted, and even dealing with the first flush of weeds. The next week sounds really wet. I’m not sure if the large rain amounts predicted will materialize or not, but it’s not worth gambling. So, the weekend was spent getting a lot of beds prepped in the field so that even if it does rain, we can still get out and plant. If you take the weekend off, and it rains a bunch, you end up falling about 2 weeks behind on planting….and that is stressful. I find more pleasure working the weekends and knowing we are set up for success, than taking a day off and worrying that we will fall behind.

Honestly, I wish we could stretch this part of the season out longer, to where we could really enjoy the field prep and the planting without rushing…but Montana has an extremely short growing season. This week we are trying to empty out the first of our 6 high tunnels so that we can plant it into tomatoes by the end of the week. Most of the broccoli, cauliflower, and other brassicas have been planted out in to the field at this point, as they can handle frost. And we’re getting to the point in the spring, where hopefully the nights stay warmer and the risk of frost decreases. Here in the next couple of weeks, we will begin to plant the summer squash, corn, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and winter squash. And of course there is the salad mix, which basically gets planted on a weekly basis all season long. It’s a bit of a mad dash to get it all in the ground so that it’s all ready before the frost returns in September…or even late August in some years.

Last week we plowed through a lot of salad mix, so this week we are mixing it up and doing a Mesclun mix…it’s a bit spicy, but give it a shot and see what you think. Remember that Glory Bowl dressing recipe from last week? I think Mesclun Mix is a great place to use it. As we harvest off these crops, we may run a bit low on certain items by weeks end, so we may switch it up for the Friday and Saturday shares with something different if we need to. Just a heads up.

One thing I’d like to point out, which came up a few times last week, is that Full shares and partial shares have significantly different values, and therefore Full shares contain items that partial shares do not. When you see the photo at the top of the post, it’s always of the full share. But just below that image, I list out the contents of both types of shares so that you know. Last week, I could tell the partial shares wanted turnips, so this week you get them. And that’s the way it will often go throughout the summer. Some weeks we have enough of a crop for both size share. But other weeks, we don’t have enough large turnips (or any crop for that matter) for everyone, so we’ll give them out to Full shares one week, and then the smaller turnips get more space and another week to grow, and then we harvest them for partial shares. And sometimes we do it it the other way around, where partials get a crop first, and Full share get it the next week.

Everyone get your cast iron pans yet? Did you try frying the turnips? Anyone make radish top pesto? This week the newest items are the baby chard/kale mix, which can be lightly steamed, sautéed, or put into smoothies or omelets (if you prefer to chew your breakfast). And the spring onions in the full shares are great raw, but I prefer them either lightly sautéed or brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with some sea salt, and put on the grill.

Hopefully it’s not raining at all the CSA pickups this week! We’ll see you soon.