This weekend’s Farm Share will most likely include:
Cabbage, Garlic Scapes, Salad Mix, Spinach, Kale, Tatsoi, Turnips, Cucumber
(See recipe suggestions toward the end of this newsletter.)
This is for our Farm Share CSA members who pick up:
~ on Saturday @ the Farmers Market @ St. Stephen’s
~ on Monday @ Summer Lake
(pictured below: Pepper plants)
Variation in precipitation is nothing new. There will always be times of lots of rain and very little rain. We are not alone or unique, but it still hurts to experience record setting rain. The potential 2 inches of rain in the forecast for Saturday brings with it potential to really damage some vegetables here.
(pictured below: the good folks from Shalom Farm visited last week for an afternoon of work, a farmer-training tour, and a lively potluck.)
We’re certainly willing to harvest in the pouring rain (we tried to get a picture of ourselves soaking wet on Tuesday of this week as we harvested for CSA and the online farmers’ market…but it was just too wet for a camera to survive!). We’re willing to set up our market booths in the rain…please do still come visit us at the markets this Saturday! (Brandermill and St. Stephens.)
(pictured below: discussing organic high tunnel management during last week’s tour for Shalom Farm)
We can’t work our beds to plant too soon after sustained or during hard rainfall, but we’re willing to double up the effort to catch up after things have dried out. Sometimes this makes us set up a planting crew to work with us on a Sunday in order to be in line with the requirements of the weather. Rain for 12 out of the first 17 days in May makes things difficult but isn’t necessarily dire. But simply too much rain for the plants to be able to grow? Zeesh. We don’t know how this will play out over the next few days and weeks. Stay tuned, and to our CSA Members we say: Thank you! We remain confident that we will grow and provide for you a fair return on your investment with us, but there may be a dip in our harvests as a result of the upcoming, additional rain. We have our brains and hearts on the success of the season as a whole, rather than on only a particular week. Thanks for your trust in us as growers and your solidarity with us while we are all subjected to weather realities.
To our farmers market customers, we say: Please do visit our market booth on Saturday, even in what is forecasted to be a “deluge.” We’ve grown some really wonderful food for our community recently, and we’d love have it make its way into your kitchens. We also have our self-serve farmstand stocked and invite you to visit, make your selections, and leave your money in our payment box. PS – The farmstand is dry under the cover of our barn roof.
(pictured below, from front to back: Mizuna, Rainbow Chard, and flowering Arugula plants.)
Tomorrow the wonderful Kristin Kimball of Essex Farm is speaking in Richmond, hosted by the Chrysalis Institute. We highly recommend attending! Get tickets here.
This week’s harvest includes:
Purple Pak Choi, Tatsoi, Rainbow Chard, Garlic Scapes, Hearty Greens Mix, Kale, Microgreens, Salad Mix, Spinach….and our Organic, Naturally Leavened Bread.
*What’s with all the greens? We specialize in both salad and cooking greens because they are such a wonderful foundation to a healthy diet. “These dark, chlorophyll-rich greens are bursting with nutrients such as folate, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Folate is essential for the production of red blood cells while the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene protect against disease by scavenging free radicals.” Spring and fall are the best seasons for greens, so enjoy them while they are here. (Things with seeds inside of them dominate the summer months: tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, eggplant, etc.) In general, it’s a great idea to rotate ways you prepare the greens: Salads (switch up the dressings), in Soups, in Stir Fry, Braised (simmered in liquid), Roasted, or mixed into a Casserole or Quiche.
Check out our Recipe collection on Pinterest, organized by vegetable.
Rainbow Chard is not in our Farm Share this week, but it is available for our Market Share members to choose, or for anyone to purchase from our market tables this Saturday. It is stunning and delicious! We recommend Swiss Chard with Parmesan or Swiss Chard & Sausage Bread Pudding
Cabbage – Options abound! We love Cabbage braised in broth, with onions and garlic and served with any protein. Cole Slaw options include Classic American from Bon Appetit orTraditional from Fine Cooking, or Asian with Ginger Tahini Dressing,
Garlic Scapes – are the tender and tasty, curly, edible tops of garlic plants. (The garlic bulb will be harvested in late June.) Saute them alone with butter and salt or cook them on the grill for a unique and delicious side dish, or add to any recipe the way you would use onions or garlic. Use them for Pesto with Pistachio and serve with pasta, or see this list for even more ideas.
Turnips – With the cool temperatures this week, we are enjoying rare May soups. This Turnip & Potato soup also calls for Radishes, if you have any left from last week. Feel free to sub turnips for any of the radishes called for in that recipe. As that recipe tells, radishes and these sweet turnips are mainstays for small CSA farms like ours and we hope you love them as much as we do. We also add turnips (cut into fourths) to a simple soup with broth and greens (kale, pak choi, cabbage, etc.) If you haven’t had them roasted yet, try Roasted Turnips & Carrots with Rosemary. (Feel free to improvise based on what you have. No need to include Parsnips or Sweet Potatoes if you don’t have them.)
Purple Pak Choi/Bok Choi or Tatsoi – Use these interchangeably. Make a raw salad from the purple variety to preserve the color, such as this Asian Pak Choi & Cucumber Salad, or cook it in a Stir Fried Bok Choi with Ginger & Garlic. Use it just like you would Spinach or Kale. We served it as a massaged-dressing salad this weekend, using our favorite Lemon-Garlic-Honey Vinaigrette dressing. Different shades of vegetables provide an importantly diverse nutritional profile, so enjoy this burst of purple!
Kale – As stated above, Kale can be used interchangeably in recipes for any hearty green or spinach. Remember to slip in vegetables for breakfast by including it in an omelette, orQuiche, or on toast with Ricotta & Mushrooms. Whole Foods offers a recipe for Roasted Kale. Or drink your kale in a Kale-Apple Smoothie
Spinach – Spinach Salad with warm Bacon Dressing is a favorite. Or mix it with ourSalad Mix and serve with Blue Cheese Dressing, or any of your favorite dressings.
2016 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up Saturday, May 21st at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the Farmers Market @ St. Stephens. Everything remaining after pre-orders will be available for purchase at the Brandermill Green Market and at the Farmers Market @ St. Stephens.