This is what the spring CSA is all about! Lots of beautiful, tender greenhouse greens to lift your spirits through these last grey days of winter. If you’re not ready for salads yet, consider incorporating some fresh greens into your favorite soup. You can also use just about any green in place of basil, and whip up some excellent veggie pesto for a heartier pasta dish (claytonia, kale, and spinach are some of our favorites for this trick, check out the recipe link below!) We’ve also included some other links to inspire your kitchen adventures this week…
Happy Wednesday! Our greens really loved the spring-like weather of the past few weeks, they grew like crazy! Your spicy salad mix, spinach, claytonia, and kale are all harvested from the greenhouse, so they are very tender and would be excellent raw. The brussels sprouts were harvested from our garden Saturday morning before the extreme cold, they are so sweet! Just pluck them from the stalk prior to cooking.
You’ll notice we left the tops on your rutabaga and black radishes this week. They are excellent for sauteeing, steaming or braising. The rutabaga greens are reminiscent of broccoli. Black radishes are quite spicy! We were drooling daydreaming about stir frying them with the joi choi. We hope you enjoy your shares this week…plenty of greens to keep you feeling great and nourished!
Can you spot the surprise items in week 3’s share? (Hint: there are 2!)
Clockwise from top left:
French Breakfast Radishes
Our CSA member volunteers have lovingly termed this type of spread a Priapi Box O’ Greens. Indeed!
Use first: radishes, lettuce, claytonia, tatsoi, mushrooms (store best in a paper bag)
Store a bit longer (1-2 weeks): spinach, curly kale, joi choi, parsley
Good for a month or more: carrots
You will notice the tops of your radishes are beautiful, tender and fresh. One of our favorite preparations for a radish of this caliber is to: rinse your bunch of radishes without removing tops (we even leave their little roots on, but you can follow your heart on this one). Set a pan on your stovetop with a small amount of water covering the bottom. Cover and gently steam your radishes until greens wilt — be careful not to overcook! This will only take about 5-7 minutes on med-low heat. Remove from heat and drain water, garnish with a bit of butter and salt, and enjoy! This is a fabulous accompaniment to scrambled eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! How are you getting creative in the kitchen this week? We would love to hear your favorite recipes from eating ‘out of the box’.
We would also like to remind you all to return your empty CSA boxes to your pickup location, or the farm. The waxed boxes are super durable and we reuse them many times. Not only is this earth friendly, it also helps keep the cost of the CSA down. Here’s a little video on how to properly collapse your box for transport.
Vic, Mary, and Bethany
You Should Consider Joining a CSA Farm this Season
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a personal relationship between a farmer and eater. You join the farm as a member and you get a box of food from the farm throughout the growing season.
As our culture and economy becomes more homogenized and centralized, CSA is the opposite. It is about a personal relationship between a farmer and the CSA members. It is an intimate connection between local farmland and your dinner table.
You get the freshest possible ingredients from a farmer that you know and the farm gets advance knowledge of demand so he or she can focus on growing healthy food and getting the food to you.
In world of intractable problems – take your pick: political and economic instability, nuclear weapons, global warming, and on and on – joining a CSA is a positive act that you can take today that has profound impacts on your health, your local economy, and the environment.
CSA farmers spend money with other local businesses which circulates money in our local economies. CSA farmers take care of their land. CSA farmers treat their employees well. You know all this because you can go visit your CSA farmer and see for yourself. CSA keeps small scale, local farms in business so they can continue producing food for you.
To be frank, joining a CSA is not the easiest path to eating healthy. You can continue to shop at the grocery store and maybe visit the farmers market a few times throughout the season. However, joining a CSA puts you in partnership with a local farmer. A CSA membership enriches your life with high quality food as you spend your food dollars in a way that you will feel good about.
The investment you make in your CSA farm is modest. The average CSA share costs $25/week during the season, so that is $100/month. That’s probably less than your cable bill and less than your cell phone bill — for food grown with care in local soil and delivered directly to your neighborhood! There usually is some up-front investment, though most farms will offer payment plans (if not, ask your farmer for a payment plan if you need it!).
Thank you for supporting local farms and making the commitment to a CSA share. Your support makes all the difference and keeps our farms running. Visit our CSA page here.
If there is something that is preventing you from joining your CSA farm, you should let your farmer know so they can improve their program in the future!
Founder, Small Farm Central
Spring CSA Week 2
Happy Wednesday, veggie community! Here’s what you’ll find in your box this week:
Spicy salad mix
We are excited to see longer days and loads of sunshine. We are also busy planning and planting for spring! Are you planning any gardening projects yourself? Don’t forget, that as a CSA member you receive 15% off any purchases made at the garden center — or any of our farmers markets!
On to vegetables, lots of beautiful greens in your box this week. In your spicy salad mix you will find tatsoi, arugula, mizuna, baby mustard and baby red russian kale…some spicy greens, and some mild. This mix is pretty versatile, and while it makes a lovely salad you can also steam it lightly for a side to whatever you’re having. Speaking of salads, we wholeheartedly recommend that you try your spinach raw before cooking it. It is tender and sweet and lovely for salads, and the ultimate loophole for enjoying more of it (we have all heard complaints about how spinach ‘cooks down to nothing’). Dandelion greens can be bitter eaten raw, sweet spinach would balance them well (and we like a citrus forward olive oil vinaigrette, with a little honey on them, too!) If you find your dandelion too bitter, try sauteeing them or incorporating them into soups. Your liver will thank you for it — they are majorly detoxifying. Your carrots and sweet potatoes will bring some more sweetness to veggie dishes this week. We’ve posted a few links below for some recipe ideas…if you make something you love, we would love to hear about it!
Vic, Mary, and Bethany