Week 5~ June 25-July 1, 2012 ~CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Fava Beans, Peas, Garlic Scape, Arugula/Cilantro, Mixed Lettuce Greens and a Farmer’s Choice item.

Fava Beans: The extra-labor-intensive food delight is ready to make it into your kitchen. Fava beans have a distinct flavor and creamy texture that makes them a great addition to a wide variety of dishes. When the flat, wide beans are shelled and blanched, they adopt a vibrant grassy hue and buttery texture that enriches any meal, and their rapid cooking time makes it easy to incorporate them into a quick weeknight dinner — or into lunch the following day. We love them quick-blanched and warm in a side dish, or cold in a salad as well. Thing is it takes some work getting to them. Last year I linked the following from ‘Seasonal Chef’ and am doing so again, They have some great and helpful information http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0506b.htm .  Fava beans are one of the oldest plants under cultivation, and they were eaten in ancient Greece and Rome.

Peas: Again some tasty peas for your table. We are picking the young sugar snaps and snow peas together. Delightfully sweet eaten raw and yet more sweet and tender when stir-fried or sautee’d.

Garlic Scape : More tasty tendril’esque-tops  for your eating pleasure. I was asked if cutting the tops hurts the bulb garlic crop, and the answer is no. It actually helps the bulb garlic form better heads, as it changes gears and focuses on storage energy rather than seeding energy.

Arugula/Cilantro: The dynamic duo of tender herbs is still lingering in the spring share….Why not try this week, what was forgone last week? Hope you are enjoying it. Yes, perhaps we could have forced one or the other on you last week and then again this week, but isn’t it much more fun to choose? We think so!

Mixed Lettuce Greens: We’re doing more cutting on beautiful cut-and-come-again Lettuces this week for everyone. Lots’a lovely lettuce in a bag, as we like to say. Lettuce share folks are getting a head of Endive, or if you prefer, you can double up on your bagged mixed lettuce.

Farmer’s Choice: The point of the farmer’s choice item is for us to use up the smaller parts of crops that, for whatever reason we end up harvesting less than what we planted for. The delicious yet mysterious random item of our choice! Some of you may get the last of the spring radishes. Some may get the spring turnips, which despite our best efforts about 70% are now bolting. Moreover some of you will get kohlrabi, the strange little sputnik-type cabbages. We are also going to try to get small scallion onions and maybe even more rhubarb out.

Berry-Share: We have to skip this week for our berries. Sadly the strawberries are at the end of a very short season. And the black raspberries, blackberries and blue berries are all a week to 10 days out yet. We had to do this same thing last year as well! Of course I don’t like skipping a week and prefer to keep you in berries continuously for the season, but either way we will be certain to get you all the 20 pints you’ve paid for one way or another.

Lettuce-Share: Due to mixed lettuce greens in the regular-share again this week, you can take a nice freshly harvested head of Endive. Or double-up on the bagged mixed lettuces if you prefer. Endive is a chicory and thus has a bitterness to the greens when eaten raw. It will happily spice up a dull salad, or lightly steam or saute’  to tone down the intense flavor.

FARM NEWS:  Some of you have asked about missed share’s. If you know in advance that you might miss a share pick-up, I am more than willing to make one of our other pick-up locations work for you. We can even coordinate leaving you a bag at wherever works best for you. However, when I get a call later Thursday for a missed share on Tuesday, there is very little, if anything that can be done. I leave the farm everyday by noon’ish-thirty so please try to be understanding of our busy farm schedule. We appreciate it! And as always, please send someone in your place if you cannot make it. We love that the best. 🙂

Where has June gone? This month has truly flown by! We are about done with the first shelling bean plantings and the pumpkins are finally in the ground (about 3 inches tall!). But this tricky weather has had us on our toes, doing the not so graceful ‘farmer’s shuffle’. Some of our crops have been fooled into already thinking winter, as well as summer has gone by! Bolting bi-ennials even! We have no choice but to chalk it up to more lessons learned in the farming experience in the great North-West. But, also some things have worked out in our favor and the future still looks bright for the beets and carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, potatoes and corn. The plantings in our new cold-frame really look fabulous and we hope that means nice and relatively early tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers for you. Also the summer squash plants are starting to reach nice size and flower. We still have large amounts of food ahead for you. Early July however, is the time the window closes for all of our fall harvests and winter planning harvests to get sown. We are looking pretty good, but since winter harvests are new to us, there will be a learning curve. We are reading up and staying up, taking advantage of these long days to get the most work in as is humanly possible. Luckily we have Grandma and Grandpa Love right next door to extend a helping hand or two with our little ones. We are very grateful! Now if we can just get more heat of summer smiling down on our crops, things will be much better. We hope it won’t be another year without summer!! Thank-you for supporting our little piece of earth and our abilities to grow your beloved vegetables and fruits with love.

Your Farmer’s,

Kip and Amy

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