WEEK 5: June 15 – June 21 2009 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share:  Bunch of Kale, Peas, Beets, Kohlrabi (or Turnips), Strawberries, and Head of Lettuce.

 Week 5

Recipes, Information and Suggestions: 

New to your share this week we welcome glorious Beets.  Beets are a highly nutritious and wonderfully versatile food. You will either have golden or red. Beets are loaded with Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.  The beets and the greens are both edible. The greens have a higher iron content compared to spinach. They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron while the sweet beet root has some of the minerals in its greens to a lesser degree, it is also a remarkable source of folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars. It’s iron content, though not high, is of the highest and finest quality that makes it an excellent food that is blood building. This renders it highly effective in treating many ailments caused by our sometimes toxic environment and surroundings. Some believe beets are the secret to longevity…if not immortality ;->. The following recipe makes a nice meal. However, roasted beets (360 degree oven, 45 minutes) with warmed greens and goat cheese  does stand alone wonderfully as well….. 


Before you sauté the onion, toast the walnuts in the Dutch oven until they’re fragrant. Cooking the beets along with the rice renders a beautiful burgundy color. Yields 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)


  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  Arborio rice
  • 1  tablespoon  minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2  teaspoons  finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 3  cups  finely chopped peeled beets
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1/4  teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 6  cups  finely sliced Swiss chard or your beet greens
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4  cup  chopped walnuts, toasted

Preparation:    Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add rice, ginger, and rosemary; saute 1 minute. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add beets, water, salt, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until beets are tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in chard/ beet greens; cook 5 minutes.  Add cheese, stirring until blended. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts. Enjoy~~~~

Your Peas  this week are either Snow, Snap or a mix. The Sugar-Snap peas are deliciously plump and full of sugars. Occasionally you will get a plump Snow pea mixed in, and in that case the pod will be much more fiborous than the perfectly edible raw sugar-snap pods. Snow peas are best enjoyed stir-fried or cooked. We are likely nearing the end of our Spring peas.  Please see past posts for more details on peas.

You will find a nice bunch of Kale this week in your share.  After a week off from kale, hopefully some of you are ready for more again! This wonderful food is one of our favorites…let me count the ways….

The toss up this week is going to be either Turnips or Kohlrabi in your share. Other smaller successions of plantings have yielded more than we were expecting. We have enough to bring you one or the other for another week despite the cabbage worms and the hot weather! We are aiming to bring you this week, what you likely missed out on previous weeks when we had the toss up…..we hope you get what you want,  but please remember there will be fall plantings as well.

On Turnips :  http://orchardhillblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/summer-turnip-recipes.html

On Kohlrabi : http://www.prairielandcsa.org/recipes/kohlrabi.html

Your Lettuce this week again will be a head of the various types we are growing.

Lastly, yes it is true, this week we have Strawberries for you all! We are very excited that the harbinger of the berry season has arrived and it feels all the more like summer time in Oregon is officially here (even though we technically have another week to go). Each half-share will receive a pint of delicious Hood Strawberries. The berry-share members will also be recieving 2 pints of the Hood Strawberries this week. Our berry-share has finally begun….earlier than we were expecting. 

I doubt we have to suggest any information on how to enjoy strawberries. They contain a healthy dose of Vitamin A and C and only 50 calories per cup. Prized in ancient Rome for their medicinal uses, strawberries are recognized as having more vitamin C than some citrus fruits. They are also high in fiber, folate, potassium and antioxidants, making them a natural means of reducing the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers. Often they are gobbled up before you make it home! I want to say a quick note on storing them, if they last….refrigerate in a colander or so that air can circulate around them, do not cover them or they will mold more quickly.  Strawberries do not continue to ripen after they’ve been picked, so we pick them, especially Hoods, at full ripeness.  Also leave the caps on until you’re finished washing and are ready to use them. Removal of the cap expedites the breakdown of the sugars and the fruit. Do remove the cap and stem prior to freezing, however.

FARM NEWS:  Well as mentioned above, the berry-share has begun. So for the next 10 weeks berry-share members will be receiving their two pints of fresh berries, regardless of what the weekly vegetable share may bring. 

Some new crops on the not so distant horizon are the cooler fava beans and summer squash. We have several different types of summer squash for you this year, which we hope you’ll enjoy.  There will be summer fresh beans before we know it as well.   All the melon plants and eggplants are in the ground and smiling through their happy flowers. Tomatoes and cucumbers are flowering as well and soon to form the first fruits. The greens will slowly start to decline as the new summer crops take center stage…we are nearing the transition.

We hope that all of you are able to utilize your share’s each week and are not merely adding to your compost piles. Let us know more how we can help, if you are having trouble getting through it all. Many things can be froze for later, however in our experience the spring greens and lettuces do not freeze well at all. Leftover greens are best given to rabbits and chickens….or you just eat more like a rabbit yourself during the Spring, eating local, season. I’ll try to have more information on preserving the harvest for you as we go….until next time~~~~


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