Our own spinach – fresh, green, juicy – together with the first strawberries of the season – huge, red & sooo sweet … That salad was the star of our dinner!
Our own arugula – tender & spicy – a bunch of local asparagus, a handful of our mint, drizzled with a light dressing … Outstanding! (recipe link below)
The first fresh produce of the season is always an amazing treat!
While we are privileged to have an almost limitless selection of (domestic & imported) produce available to us year round, there is no denying that fresh, locally grown, in-season produce is the best! By July we might be taking it for granted, but not right now.
It is the 1st week of our CSA program for 2020 and we’re excited – excited and a little scared.
Our numbers are up by more than 2/3. We’d like to say that it is because we grow the best vegetables around. And indeed some of the increase is from members telling their friends & family about their good experience being part of our CSA. But most of the increase is no doubt due to the crazy times we’re living in now. People are concerned about their food. They want to know where it comes from, how it is grown, who has handled it. They have questions about food safety & dependability of supply. Farms & CSAs seem to be the preferable option to grocery stores. We are grateful for the confidence & trust our members have in us – and we’re working hard to keep it.
The weather seems to be settling down. After the prolonged cool spring, we have already experienced some extreme heat, then some very welcome & much needed rain followed by a cold weekend. Now this coming week looks quite good. Everything is growing very fast now (including our nemesis – weeds!) and we’re racing to seed & plant and take advantage of the sunshine.
Tomatoes, zucchini & cucumbers were planted last week.
Now we are mulching & putting in the posts to stake them. Mulching with straw after a good rain is ideal as the straw will prevent the soil from drying out & keep it moist for the tomatoes. It also prevents weeds from growing.
A lot of the tomato plants already have blossoms.
What’s in the box?
Spinach, arugula, green garlic, mint bunches & rhubarb.
- This is shaping up to be a great year for spinach on our farm. We’ve made 5 or 6 plantings already and every one of them is thriving. (usually we have more success with lettuce than spinach, but this season it’s the opposite and our lettuce is spotty & slow).
- Arugula is delicious – a bit spicy & nutty. Use it in salads, on pizza … Both the arugula & spinach (and all the greens that you will receive this season) have been rinsed once to remove any field soil. You may want to wash them again. Store them in a bag in the fridge. They usually last at least a week.
- Green garlic is a fresh garlic plant. At this time of year the bulb has not yet formed below ground, and the green top is still tender enough to eat, like a scallion or green onion. Green garlic is milder than fall garlic bulbs. Use them raw (eg. sliced into salads or mashed with goat cheese for a spread) or cooked (sautéed with scrambled eggs maybe) anywhere you would use garlic. They are also delicious coated with olive oil & tossed whole on the barbecue. Store green garlic in the fridge.
- We love fresh mint! Delicious & refreshing in fruit salads, drinks etc. We often make a simple syrup with the mint leaves and add it to our iced tea. (recipe below)
- Rhubarb is a perennial crop which means it grows every year. It’s not a lot of work but yields an abundant crop. Because we have more CSA members this year, there will be less rhubarb in your share. There will not be enough to make a pie, but almost as good and way easier & faster – make a rhubarb crisp or crumble. We also enjoy stewed rhubarb. Chop rhubarb and cook in a saucepan with a bit of water until tender. Add sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup) to taste. We sometimes add apples or other fruit to cut the tartness of the rhubarb. Delicious on it’s own or poured over ice cream, pudding or custard.
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint, rinsed
- 1 cup water
Add sugar, mint, and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat.
Leave the mint leaves in the syrup as it cools for about 15 minutes. Strain out the leaves, and bottle the syrup.
Store mint simple syrup in a glass jar in the fridge. Use within a year.
Remember to check out the recipes on http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. This is a great website with loads of recipes & vegetable information – including that great asparagus, arugula & mint salad we recently enjoyed. (https://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com/csa/raw-asparagus-salad-with-arugula-and-mint)
As a member of our CSA you have access to 900+ recipes, templates, storage and preserving tips, pantry stocking suggestions and vegetable prep videos, organized by vegetable and created using CSA Produce. Log in using the access key you received in a recent email.
Our pawpaw trees were in bloom this past week – the most unusual but beautiful blossoms on the farm!