Here’s a shot of our compost pile today – perhaps a strange picture to start off our CSA season!
The greens strewn on top are spinach & chard leaves, and a few tomato plants.
The spinach was for the CSA shares this week – beautiful, lush, green, delicious spinach – until it was attacked by bugs (leafminers) and changed to this …
On the underside of the leaves are rows of tiny white eggs waiting to hatch and cause more damage. So we pulled the whole patch. Swiss chard too. And now they’re in the beets.
A bunch of our tomato plants in the field are dying too. We haven’t figured out the cause yet. And the weekend winds possibly ruined the cucumbers (waiting to see if they pull through).
A difficult start to the week!
But stuff happens sometimes!
And now the good news …
There is lots more spinach already growing and we continue to seed weekly. (We spent a few hours this morning covering our next plantings with insect cover to hopefully protect them. Fingers crossed that spinach will be in your CSA box within a week or two.) We’ll seed more chard as well. And we have plenty of tomato plants for replacements.
Most vegetables are looking good! A wonderful, soaking-in rain on Friday provided much needed moisture to the crops. Sunshine is forecast for much of this week, so things will really grow.
What’s in the box?
Lettuce mix, radishes, bok choy, arugula, green garlic, rhubarb.
All our lettuce & various greens are rinsed once to remove field dirt. You may want to wash them again. Stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, they should last at least 1 week.
Our lettuce mix is a delicious blend of different kinds of red & green lettuces. It makes a beautiful salad!
The radishes this week are called French Breakfast radishes. Long and pink with a white tip, they have a similar taste & bite to the more common round red radish. In France they prefer them very small, barely as thick as your baby finger, but I think they taste just fine at this size too.
Bok choy is one of my favourite green vegetables. It can be added to your salads, but most often is sautéed or stir fried. We like to cook some garlic or onion in a bit of oil (olive or sesame) for a couple of minutes, then add the bok choy and continue cooking until it is wilted & still bright green – around 5 minutes or less. Season with salt & pepper to taste. We usually grow several kinds of bok choy – white & green, small & mini, tight heads or looser heads. Some prefer hot weather while others like it cooler. This ensures we always get a harvest.
Arugula is delicious – a bit spicy & nutty. Use it in salads, on pizza. If you find the taste a bit strong on its own, combine it with our lettuce mix for an amazing salad.
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.
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. But there should be enough to make a small pie, or – 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.
Here is our go-to recipe for fruit crisp. It is quick & easy and great with our rhubarb!
Aunt Elvira’s Fruit Crisp
Cut up rhubarb (or your choice of fruit) and put in a pie plate.
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Sprinkle on top of the fruit.
Bake for 12 minutes in the microwave, or 20-25 minutes in the oven or toaster oven @ 350F. (while the oven takes longer than the microwave, the top will carmelize nicely and get a lovely brown colour)
*** As a member of our CSA you have access to http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com. This website has 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 at sign up or ask us to send it to you again.
Around the farm this week …
Flynn & Sage encouraging us to keep our heads up, even on a difficult Monday.