Jeez! Enough rain dancing already!!
It felt good to be able to relax with the irrigation but, of course, now we have swung dramatically in the other direction. Everything on the farm is loving the rain except for the strawberries. It’s a shame since it was our best strawberry year ever, but the other growing things are appreciating the drink.
We are all lined up to have our new well dug this week. We had a water dowser out to find a spot. I have no idea if they have any idea where water actually is but it felt good to have someone else help make the call! The well digger is no help and only emphasizes that there is no possible way to know where there is water on our property, especially where we are because we have so much granite. So, we pay the guy (not a small amount) on a guess? I don’t want it to be my call and Tenzin doesn’t want it to be his call… water dowser it is. Wish us luck!
It was really great to see so many of you out on the farm picking berries this week and I always appreciate meeting you at the farmers’ market. It means so much to us to know all of our hard work is going to feed such an amazing group of people!
Check out Haley’s video on Facebook or our website about how to use the box and have a yummy week!
Strawberry picking- rain has dampened the quality of the berries, upick is still available, but you should expect to use the berries within a day of picking.
*Peas OR Mushrooms*
Salad turnips- small shares only
*(You should have either gotten peas or mushrooms this week. We do our best to get everything to everyone throughout the course of the season. Sometimes the proportions just don’t come out right each week so we’ll swap weeks between drop sites.)
Head Lettuce- Lovely Lettuce for a salad. Add grated cheese, carrots, sliced salad turnips, cucumbers, strawberries, chopped scallions/green garlic or fennel fronds/dill for deluxe salads. This broad leaved lettuce is tender and flexible making it a great choice for lettuce boats (using the leaf like a tortilla to wrap up egg/tuna/chicken salad), Otherwise, pile it onto sandwiches or into tortilla wraps. Stores best wrapped in paper towel inside a bag in the fridge.
Fresh Broccoli- These big beautiful heads are perfect for chopping into chunks/trees and steaming lightly. With these early broccoli, we often just give them a quick steam (approx. 2 mins, being careful not to overcook) then dress them with salt and lemon juice for a nice summer treat. Great served right away or allowed to cool first. Also great with melted cheese or butter, and a good choice for fresh chopped for salads or dips. Stores best in a bag in the crisper drawer, but eats best and has the most nutritional value right away. Broccoli can be blanched and frozen. Try the recipe below!
Cucumbers- Such a refreshing crunch! Cukes (cucumbers) have cooling properties, which means that a few slices in a glass of ice water will have an even greater cooling effect on these overly warm “spring” days. Stores well in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Also, slice them and use as a cracker for dips!
Spring Carrots-Remove tops for best storage. Sweet and crisp. These are the perfect carrots to enjoy raw. Just rinse and eat. Slice or shred them into a salad with a cheese grater (or make carrot curls by slicing them at an angle with a veggie peeler. These carrots are also delicious grilled whole with olive oil salt and pepper. Grill them on a hot grill for just long enough to leave char marks from the bars and a natural crunch in the middle. Store them in the fridge in a bag, with the tops removed. But save and eat the tops too! These will be the best carrot tops of the season, mild with a little parsley flavor. Chop them for a garnish with fresh flavor, or make a carrot top pesto. Pesto can be made of just carrot tops and oil, salt, and lemon pureed together. Or carrot tops can be pureed with other herbs (like dill, basil, fennel, parsley, or green garlic!) to extend a pesto or stretch it farther.
Green garlic- use like scallions (green onions) or fresh ramps. Just chop up the whole thing for a burst of fresh garlic flavor. Add late or after the cooking process for a brighter garlic flavor. Add earlier for a more mild and sweet flavor. Try making Green Garlic pesto, to save that fresh flavor and have it on hand, ready to use. In a food processor, puree 2-3 stalks chopped green garlic, 1 cup chopped tender carrot tops, ¼-1/3 cup good olive oil, several Tbsp. of lemon juice (with rind if using fresh) and salt/pepper to taste until smooth. Keep in mind that it should be salty and strong enough to flavor whatever you’re putting it on. Combine it with carrot tops for a milder, but more complex flavor. Freeze in ice cube trays or in small scoops on cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag for convenient storage.
Sugar Snap Peas*- (if you didn’t get mushrooms) Perfect for snacking! Just snap the top off toward the concave seam and strip that string down the length—ready to enjoy, pod and all. Also, good in a salad, can be chopped for smaller bites. These are so sweet and good that I think they are best fresh. But, if you have a favorite recipe that calls for them, just be sure to add them at/near the end of heat so as not to overcook—it’s easier than I think! Store covered in the fridge for a couple days.
Mushrooms*- Either Winecap or Oyster mushrooms this week (if you didn’t get peas). These delicious treats do grow outside and like everything else got a little dirty with the downpour. Unlike most other things, we can’t wash them without compromising their shelf life. But you can, right before using them. Purists will dry brush off any sand/dirt. I liketo toss them into a bowl of salted water and let them soak for a few minutes to loosen the dirt and evict any pests. Then I rinse them under fresh water briefly before chopping and using. Fresh mushrooms have a lot of moisture in them—especially if you give them the soak method. So be sure to cook them down uncovered until the pan dries out enough that they start to brown. I recommend using plenty of oil/butter and getting them almost caramelized before adding to whatever dish you like. Great in soups and stews, also great with eggs or as a stand-alone side dish. Stores best in a paper bag inside the crisper drawer.
Strawberries- We don’t wash strawberries either, so they’ll keep as long as possible. But these got wet with a surprise shower this morning, we tried to only pick the best berries and to dry them as best we could, but you will still want to use these right away. A quick rinse and top, then freezing them will do. Otherwise, we recommend chopping or pureeing with a few tablespoons of maple syrup (macerating). This will store in your fridge all week and is ready to use as a sauce, garnish or the basis of a fancy cocktail. These are organically-grown, never sprayed strawberries, they taste amazing and you don’t have to worry about pesticides/herbicides or wheat (we don’t mulch with straw). If you need to keep them, I recommend topping them and freezing them loose on a cookie sheet, then storing in a freezer bag. Try them plain—they are fabulous. Store covered loosely in the fridge.
Zucchini- these are young and tender and they arestill coming! Marinated zucchini is a hit around our house. Simply slice or wedge zucchini and soak in a mix of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and soy sauce or salt and pepper. Allow a minimum of one hour in the fridge before eating them as a side or on a salad. Marinated zukes can also be grilled just long enough to put lines on them. Also try shredding them, then add to salads, noodle or egg dishes, or make zucchini fritters. Just shred and mix with enough egg to form a thick paste. Stir in salt pepper and fresh dill or basil. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with butter or oil until just cooked through (think pancakes). Store whole zucchini in the fridge until ready to use.
Napa Cabbage- These big beautiful green heads are like a cross between lettuce and cabbage. They make the best slaws for summer fare. Shred (or chop finely across the grain) with any leftover romaine, kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, etc. you may have. Make a simple slaw dressing (see below). Fresh slaws add a lot of veggies to your diet and keep well in the fridge. They are a great way to bulk up a meal without heating up your house. We’re having pulled pork sandwiches with a napa slaw today for lunch and I can’t wait! I could definitely eat these all week! Stores well in the crisper drawer.
Salad Turnips- (Small shares only) These are a nice fresh treat and one of our kid’s favorite snacks in the field. We call them salad turnips because, unlike normal turnips, these excel at fresh eating. Eat them as a snack, or slice them onto a salad, or give them a light sautee into a stir-fry. Also good roasted/grilled lightly. Greens are good too, treat as spinach and sautee them into eggs or steam lightly before adding to soups and salads.
Basil Plant- Don’t let this plant get below 40 degrees. You can repot it and keep it in a sunny window or transplant it outside to keep harvesting fresh leaves all summer! No pressure! If you don’t want to keep it all year, just keep it till you’re ready for fresh basil. Basil is best fresh, and doesn’t keep well. That’s why we’re delivering it this way. Chop a few leaves onto some eggs or pasta just before eating it. If you grow your plant large, you can make a big batch of pesto. You can pluck a few leaves off at a time and it will just keep growing!
Chinese Cabbage/Romaine Slaw:
This is a great slaw recipe for sturdy lettuces or tender cabbages (Romaine, napa, or a mix). It can easily be adapted throughout the CSA season as different offerings arise.
The Key for slaw is to throw anything you want into it, but to cut things at varying thicknesses depending on how tender they are. Carrots and kohlrabi and any hearty greens (broccoli leaves, or storage cabbages) should be sliced very thin. Napa Cabbage and zucchini can be sliced medium. And any romaine or tender greens can be cut into wider ribbons (1/2” or better). This allows for different textures, but also so that the whole thing doesn’t become a mush pile in just a day or two.
-1 head of Napa Cabbage chopped
– (and/or) 1 head of Romaine lettuce (preferably a mix)
-2 carrots shredded or whittled into curls with a veggie peeler
-1/2 head of broccoli into florets
*Feel free to add/subtract or substitute almost anything you like (chopped kohlrabi and broccoli leaves, sliced salad turnips, kale, celery, radishes, etc.) Amounts are used for example only.
-1/2 cup mayonnaise (Homemade is best!)
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 Tbsp soy sauce
-1 Tbsp cider vinegar
-1 Tbsp Lemon or lime juice
-1 tsp Chinese mustard or horseradish
-2 tsp salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp fresh herbs chopped (basil, dill, cilantro, or mint)
-Dash of fish sauce
-1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
-1 Tbsp sesame seeds
-Mix dressing ingredients together in a jar with lid and shake. Set aside, can be made ahead.
-chop, shred and slice remaining ingredients
-Add enough dressing to coat and toss thoroughly.
-Best if allowed to sit for an hour before serving.
-top with finely chopped scallions, chives, or green garlic before serving.
-1 part macerated strawberries (pureed)
-1 part bourbon
-2 parts club soda
Puree strawberries with sugar (or maple syrup) until smooth. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 10 mins.
Mix strawberry sauce and whiskey in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly.
Pour into a glass with an ice cube and top with club soda. Stir to mix and enjoy!
*garnish with a strawberry or cucumber slice!
-Kale or Chard
-Sugar Snap peas