Here's most of the 2014 Crew. Still smiling, and we're halfway through the season. It's probably because of all the fried squash blossoms I've fed them this year!
Whoa! We are halfway through our CSA season. That came up fast. On the one hand it seems like summer has just started, what with the relatively cool and easy weather. On the other hand, at the farm we can totally feel ourselves cresting the hill that is the growing year. In fact, this cool breezy morning felt an awful lot like autumn here in the valley! The long downhill into fall isn’t exactly like coasting, but it certainly demands a lot less energy than the start of the season. Our last transplants were seeded into flats in the greenhouse last week. Our final rows of fall crops were seeded into the field this week. And most of the earliest crops we seeded this spring have already been tilled in and replaced with fresh, new plants and lovely, weeded aisles. The look of the late-summer garden is a mixture of bare, cultivated dirt and crazy overgrown patches that house long-growing plants maturing among the annual weeds. Basically, barely controlled chaos populated by frogs, toads, snakes and birds of all species. This is where we get to work everyday, and on top of that, we get to eat like kings and queens. We hope you feel like kings and queens when you open your shares this week, too. Here’s what’s in the box:
Sweet Corn – Yippee! These little ears are a special variety called “Spring Treat.” We love harvesting in the little stalks, which barely reach our heads (specially since it means sweet corn for lunch!). Enjoy these in the next day or two, since that is when the sugar content it at its peak. Every hour out of the field reduces the sweetness of the kernels. The crew likes to enjoy sweet corn Chicago-park style, which is slathered in lime/butter/mayo and sprinkled with chili powder salt.
Summer Sweet and Sour Salad Mix - The return of salad! We aim to give you a fresh-eating green in every single box of the season, and while we are largely successful with that, we can’t always provide lettuce as that green. It gets bitter in the heat, bolts in a dry week, and in general is fussy through the top of the summer. However, we’ve got a nice mix here that incorporates the first cutting of the late-seeded lettuces. We grow these in the shade to prevent all those problems listed above, which means they grow slow, but taste sweet. In addition, we’ve also tossed some big Asian greens, small sorrel leaves and baby arugula in here with nasturtiums, calendula petals and viola flowers
Arugula – Folks tend to either love or hate this Italian green. I personally can’t get enough of the bitter/sweet/pepper-y taste. I like arugula salad with a light buttermilk dressing for breakfast next to a fried egg. But I also love the leaves sprinkled liberally over the cheese on a grilled pizza. And sautéed with olive oil over pasta and tossed with parmesan – yum!
Head Lettuce – These lovely little heads are so welcome after a few weeks without tender greens. The rows we grow these in spend part of the morning in the shade so we are able to grow non-bitter head lettuce at the end of the summer. Full Shares have bodacious red Lolla Rosso heads and the Shorties have the diminutive spotted Mayan Jaguar variety.
Cilantro and Summer Savory – Hooray! The cilantro is coming into it’s own just in time for tomatoes! Terrific in salsa, wonderful in eggs, fabulous in curry. Roll it into spring rolls with basil. We LOVE cilantro here at the farm, but we know some people think it tastes like soap! The summer savory is a great addition to all summer squash sautees and pairs great with basil, too.
Tomatoes – We’re just now starting to pick tomatoes every day. Soon we’ll be rolling in them, but this is just the first small harvest of our mixed heirlooms. You could have red, orange, purple, yellow, green or black fruits in here – but everything we’ve packed for you is ripe and ready to eat!
Basil - We actually had to cut the stalks back last week, rather than just pinching leaves off the top, because the plants were getting leggy. So the harvest is a bit small this time around. The important thing is to not let the plants go to flower, because they will stop producing. So if you planted our basil plants at home, be sure to keep cutting them!
Summer Squash and Zucchini – These gorgeous fruits are summers most versatile crop. Eat fresh with dip, sautee lightly with olive oil and any herb, shred into baking, or slice into thin strips with a potato peeler and use as a low-calorie pasta to serve with your own pesto!
Kale - These robust leaves petered out for a few weeks in the hot and dry days, but now they are back and sweeter than ever. Enjoy raw, massaged with vinegar, or cook up into anything. Kale and eggs is a big favorite here this year. You can actually have green eggs and ham!
Scallions – More gorgeous bulbs and greens! Use both.
Kohlrabi – One of our favorite little crops of the year! Who couldn’t love a veggie that looks like an asteroid, tastes like a sweet cabbage and can be nibbled like an apple? You can do a lot of things with this little guy, but we only gave you one since many aren’t sized up yet. We are growing “Gigante” ones for the fall that should be the size of a softball or bigger! I mostly eat these raw in the field like an apple, but for those of you who don’t love cabbage as much as I do, we recommend dicing this one into small straws and enjoying with mustard or dip. Or dicing it and adding to a stir fry or sauté. You can find a lot of other ideas on the Farmer Kriss pinterest page, including several nice recipes for salads that combine kohlrabi and apples!
Broccoli/Cauliflower (Full Shares Only)
Garlic – These bulbs are also freshly dug and need to be stored in the fridge rather than the pantry. Use soon in pesto! Or combine with your summer squash and toss with basil and olive oil for a wonderful Italian saute.
Don't forget to visit the Farmer Kriss Pinterest Page and the Recipe Blog on this site to see lo