WEEK 7: June 29 – July 5, 2009 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share:  Chard, 2 Lettuce Heads, Ishikuri Bunching Onions, a 1/2 pint of Blackberries (either ‘Black-cap’ Raspberries or ‘Metolius’ Blackberries),  and Farmer’s Choice (some possibilities are Cabbage, Beets, Kohlrabi, Broccoli/Cauliflower mix…….).

 Week 7

Recipes, Information and Suggestions: 

Here we are already to week 7! We hope you all managed to put last week’s share to good use. Last week’s newsletter fell short of  recipes and farm news, but I think we can do better this week with more new items and new information to share.

New to the share this week you’ll find Ishikuri Bunching Onions. They are more like your traditional scallions. To us they grew more like baby leeks, but then formed bulbs, making them an onion/scallion mix. They have a nice and mild onion flavor. Green onions and scallions are just immature onions that are pulled before the prominent bulb forms and their tops are still green. Traditional scallions do not have bulbs where green (spring) onions often have small bulbs. All parts, bulb, greens and top are edible. Recipes often call for using just the white/red part  and/or just the green parts. Generally the white/red part is cooked and the green parts are used in fresh preparations or in a pinch as a substitute for chives. We also find the flower-tops having wonderful light onion flavor and so make a nice edible garnish or chopped and sprinkled finish to a dish. Last week some of you received Garlic Scapes and we hope you enjoyed them steamed, sauteed or chopped up and freshly added to a dish. Garlic scapes are the flower/seed stalk that shoots up from the garlic bulb. In case you still have them around, I included a recipe below….as well as many nice recipes for your scallion onions courtesy of Mariquita Farm….

http://www.mariquita.com/recipes/scallions.html

GARLIC SCAPE PESTO

1 pound garlic scapes
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Pine nuts if available

Chop the garlic scapes into 3 inch lengths. Put it in the food processor and process until pureed. Add the parmesan and pine nuts and process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil as the food processor runs and continue until all the oil is combined into the garlic. Store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator. Add to pasta or eat on crackers….Yummy!

Somewhat seeming staples in the spring season share (!) have been your Chard and Lettuce.  This week they both return. Chard will likely be baby greens great for a saute with some fresh goat cheese and walnuts. The Lettuce this week will be two heads of the various types we grow for you. Enjoy those crisp salads in this hot (90’s!) week to come! For those of you who don’t know…many vegetables including greens, carrots and cucumbers can quite reliably be transformed from wilted to crisped up by submerging them in ice water. Time length may vary, but it’s not usually very long before a limp lettuce is made crunchy. Give it a try. Also, I found a very nice site on salad dressings and making them, and linked it for you below.  With just a few basic ingredients you can mix up your own dressing in a snap…..

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2006/09/how-to-make-salad-dressing.html

Well we’ve finally decided to allow ourselves a ‘Farmer’s Choice’  item in the spring season share. We have several things that have been left in the fields and thus continued to offer their bounty,  moreover they must be passed on to our members before we can do a turnover of the beds. Waste not want not….however, not enough of one particular thing will make it as a main item for everyone. So, you have one surprise item in your share this week. As mentioned above, it might be something you’ve already had such as the Beets with greens or the Crussiferae Blend (broccoli and cauliflower). Or it might be a few small Kohlrabi or even a larger Cabbage head. We grew a few types of spring cabbage such as ‘Dwarf Ox-heart’, ‘Savoy’ or ‘Red Express’ and all are fair game. Less likely you may find carrots or even a basket of plums……..the possibilities are many! Please enjoy the surprise what ever it is for you!

Lastly, we are excited to bring on more berries for everyone in this weeks share! Each half-share will include a half-pint of Blackberries. They will be either ‘Black-cap’ raspberries or ‘Metolius’ early Blackberries. The full-share member’s will of course get two half-pints. These two types of berries are very different. The ‘Black-cap’ is a black raspberry and has a very unique flavor. Hopefully everyone at some point this season will get to try the Black-caps. They are very seedy little berries, but quite popular in Europe and sought after by many pastry chefs. The ‘Metolius’ blackberry is one of the earliest blackberries on the farm. It’s flavor is a mix between the wild Himalayans and a Marion berry…..somewhat tart and tangy, but with a nice sweetness too. Whichever berry you get this week, I hope you will enjoy them fresh or over something sweet. The half-pint is also a nice amount of fruit to add to a muffin recipe. Personally, we’ve been enjoying milkshakes and smoothies often! Here’s our own little berry thief caught in the act with a strawberrry at our NE pick-up last week……;->

Busted

BERRY-SHARE: Member’s will receive two full pints of ‘Metolius’ Blackberries OR two full pints of ‘Black-cap’ raspberries this week. Fruit picked any given day, depends on the ripening of the crop and the weather, so it might be different depending on the day. This is Week 3, so 7 more to go in our 10 week berry-share.

FARM NEWS: Much is afoot on the farm these days. Each day we check the zucchini and summer squash and they are quickly building up nice fruits for you all to likely count on next week. Fava beans are close at hand as well. Most all the fall baby Brassicacea crops are planted in the ground now and getting established for their longer season. Cucumbers, melons and peppers are all flowering nicely and starting to think about forming nice fruits. The tomatoes are gaining girth as well as setting many fruits now. Tomatoes setting fruit are one of my most favorite things to see in early summer on the farm!

Subsequent plantings of the turnips and radishes have been a struggle to maintain their health and vigor. Cabbage worms as well as flea beetles are doing a fine job at dessication. Our floating row covers are a challenge in the wind…..organic certified neem oil has been helping, but only to a short degree. We hope to include some more of those crops for you soon, however it may be Fall before those items make their way into your share’s again.

The berries are coming on quickly now, thanks to the heat. We may even have Marion’s by next week!  The blue-berries are our last berry and I am noticing one per cluster starting to turn blueish….Hopefully all is on target for a lovely berry season in the valley. I have noticed a fabulous cherry season out there this year. We may be able to include some cherries for you, working with a sister-farm nearby. I’ll keep you posted….We hope to have cherries for our members as soon as our trees mature…but that will be a few years yet.

All the pick-up locations seem to be running smoothly and it is so nice to get to talk to all of you each week. I’d like to put up some photos soon of the various pick-up’s and member’s. I wish that Kip and I could personally come meet our Wednesday drop-off folks downtown someday, but hopefully we will get to meet you at one of our 2 scheduled gatherings this year. I’ll have more information for everyone on that soon. Thanks so much to all of you for joining our farm and being a part of Community Supported Agriculture!!

Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend….more soon….Enjoy!

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