CSA Week 3: June 21-25

So the original plan was to start this blog for the last 2 months of the winter share so that everything would be straightened out and ready to go for the summer season. Obviously that didn’t happen but hey, better late than never. So as I wrote a couple months ago, we’re hoping this blog will serve several purposes: to give people a sense of what is going on at the farm and to tell CSA members what will be in their shares ahead of time as well as offering some ideas about how to prepare some of the items in shares.

The last month has been extremely busy here at the farm (a big part of the reason this blog is being started in the third week of the CSA season). We’ve finally gotten all of our field tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants transplanted into the fields. The corn was transplanted into the field this past Friday and today we (finally!) got the potatoes planted. All while trying to keep up with greenhouse tomatoes – most of which have long since passed me in height, the weeds, and the harvesting for farmer’s markets, restaurants and of course, our CSA.

Tomatoes and Peppers in the greenhouses.

On the animal front, we’ve started a new group of pullets (young laying hens). We have several groups of meat birds, the first of which were “harvested” this past Wednesday and are available fresh at the South Royalton and Norwich farmers’ markets, as well here at the farm during the Monday CSA pickup. Charlie, our Devon bull, and his group of ladies have produced 9 new calves. And most importantly, Randy, our young sow, had her first group of piglets on the last day of May. They all received names last week and if you come to pick up your share here at the farm after 5, you can find one of us and we’ll introduce you to Randy and her 9 piglets. They’re pretty cute ….

Randy and her crew.

The oldest meat birds

On to this week’s share:

* Those who have their shares delivered on Friday will be receiving Bok Choy (flea beetle-free!) instead of Kohlrabi.

Preparation tips and recipes:

Basil/Mint/Oregano – If you don’t have any immediate plans for these herbs (or if you’re already tired of Basil), you always can dry these bunches for later use. Simply hang the bunch from a nail or string in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Kohlrabi – Hopefully you’ve all become acquainted with Kohlrabi the last couple weeks and realized that it’s that strange purple or green bulb. Kohlrabi does not need to be peeled (although it can be) but it is best to trim away any tough parts. It’s great raw in salad or even eaten like an apple with a taste like a mild radish. Cooked, it adds a great crunch in stir-fries and provides a cabbage-like taste when cooked longer.

Garlic Scapess – With the warm days of summer upon us, garlic scapes are making their first appearance! Garlic scapes are the beautiful green curly tendrils that split from the stem of garlic. The scape is the immature flower stalk and harvesting it forces the garlic plant to devote its energy to producing a larger bulb. The scapes have a mild garlic flavor and are delicious chopped like scallions and put in omelets, stirfries, rice, or pasta. They also are great tossed with a little salt and oil and thrown on the grill or even eaten raw (if you really like garlic). Garlic Scape pesto is a great treat and freezes well, too. Feel free to try out these yummy recipes with the scapes in your share:

Garlic Scape Pesto
• 6-7 garlic scapes, chopped

• approx. 1 c. olive oil

• 1 c. grated parmesan or asiago cheese

• pine nuts, to taste

• fresh tomatoes
Using a food processor, combine scapes and olive oil. After this is blended to the desired consistency mix in the cheese by hand. Add to pasta and garnish with pine nuts and fresh tomatoes.

Lemon Scented Pasta with Garlic Scapes and Veggies

(Serves 2 as a main course or four as a side dish)

1/3 box of spaghetti

5 or 6 garlic scapes sliced thinly

6 Sun dried tomato halves sliced thinly

3⁄4 c. fresh corn

1⁄2 c. flat leaf parsley

Zest of one lemon

Juice of one lemon

1 c. chicken stock
Cook the spaghetti till al dente and set aside.

Sauté scapes and tomatoes till fragrant then add the corn, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer lightly.

Turn the heat up a bit; add the chicken stock and pasta and toss everything to coat and until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve garnished with additional parsley.

Kale/Beet Greens/Swiss Chard – These cooking greens are quite versatile and can be prepared any way you would use spinach. Kale in particular is great added to soups. Any of them are great stir-fried with other vegetables or simply sauteed with a little onion, garlic, and maybe a dash of lemon juice, vinegar, or soy sauce depending on your taste. Both Kale and Chard have tougher stems than leaves so one option is to separate the leaves from the stems and cook the stems slightly longer than the leaves, although cooking everything together results in a nice variety of textures.

Bok Choy – The Bok Choy that the Friday share members are receiving this week should be much nicer than previous week’s. We were able to cover this Bok Choy to protect it from the flea beetles. Bok Choy is great stir-fried by itself or with other vegetables (Kale, Chard, Beet Greens, Garlic Scapes, Kohlrabi, anything really). I like to add a little soy sauce, garlic, and fresh ginger.

That’s it for this week (thanks to Dashaina for reminding me to finish the bit about the cooking greens – sorry it took until Friday to happen). Please let us know what you think and please add any recipes or cooking suggestions you may have in the comments section (or you can e-mail them to me. One of the benefits of a blog (as opposed to a weekly e-mail) is that it allows many people to share their ideas, recipes, etc. Feedback of any kind is much appreciated and can be offered in the comments section or sent to me at jpsmith09@gmail.com.

Have a good one!

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