West Hartford CSA Pickup June 13th 2013

June 13, 2013 at 11:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Harvest Notes June 13th 2013

Early season CSA shares are full of greens. We are sure that you will get your fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and phytonutrients in June. Remember that in addition to lush salads, you can throw most greens into just about any cooked dish- whether the recipe calls for it or not!

Young Red Russian Kale These young leaves of kale plants are more tender than fully grown kale – making them perfect for raw salads or sandwich greens as well as all of the delicious cooked recipes we are used to: kale chips, soups, casseroles, stir-fries, frittatas and so on.

SpinachThis is a perfect week to try making some saag panner, spinach gratin, or a simpler dish of scrambled eggs with spinach. These fully grown spinach leaves are probably best cooked, although they would also make a good salad or sandwich topper.

Red Romaine Lettuce Heads This lettuce has an incredibly crisp heart, great for salads or sandwiches.

Salad Mix A triple washed mix of baby lettuce, baby beet greens and baby mustards – this is pretty fancy stuff.

Salad Turnips (also called Hakurai Turnips) and Greens These juicy and mildly spicy turnips are quite different from fall storage turnips. Try them on salad, as a conduit for hummus or spinach dip, roasted, or sauteed. Don’t forget to enjoy the greens raw or cooked. They have some flea beetle nibbles which, some say, increase antioxidants in veggies.

Mint Use this herb as an accent to salad dressings, stews, iced tea, or just in your water glass for a refreshing bit of natural flavoring.

Pea Shoots This is our first year growing pea shoots, the young, crisp, mild greens of pea plants, and we are really enjoying their delicate pea-like flavor. They are quick and easy to prepare in a simple stir-fry or in any of these salads and dishes.

STORAGE TIPS:

  • Store greens (salad, lettuce, spinach, mint, turnips greens, pea shoots, etc.) in a loosely packed bag (plastic or cotton) in the crisper of your refrigerator. Leave bag gently open rather than twist-tied shut or wide open to incoming air.
  • All veggies store best dry so wait to wash them before use.
  • Always twist or cut the greens off of their roots for crops like turnips, carrots, and beets and store in separate bags in the refrigerator.
  • Store dry roots in plastic or cotton bag in the refrigerator.

News from the Farm

This Season’s CSA Outlook is Sunny Despite Major Weather Challenges

The first CSA harvest of the season always feels like a bit of a miracle. All of winter’s planning and spring’s hard work take the shape of lush bunches and full crates. This year’s harvest is particularly profound amidst some truly worrisome weather. We have had over eighteen inches of rain in the past three weeks. For reference, our area usually gets about forty inches of rain per year.  And more rain is coming down in sheets as I write. Many of the plants’ roots are struggling to breathe in sopping wet soil. Disease also spreads more rapidly under such wet conditions. This excessive rain arrived after a devastating hail storm that killed thousands of early season plants.

What does this mean for our carefully planned CSA season? A few things will shift including less spring broccoli and no spring cauliflower as well as the introduction of pea shoots, a quick season crop that we snuck in to fill out the harvest. Cucumbers and zucchini will be late this year because we had to replant after the hail. You are receiving young kale this week rather than full grown kale for the same reason. In general, fruiting crops will be slow.

Overall, however, the outlook is good. We have three fields and one of them, the Kaplan Family Farm, is on a well-drained slope. The past few years have taught us that extreme weather is becoming increasingly common in Earth’s changing climate. In response, we planted a bit of everything on our most secure land. We should thus be able to fill your shares without much of a hiccup, although our farm’s overall bottom line will take a huge hit from the loss of other sales we had planned on.

While harvesting kale yesterday under a sprinkling grey sky, one of the Adamah fellows, Ashley, noticed how hard it would be for farmers to ignore the extreme weather patterns of climate change in the way that people whose livelihoods do not depend on the weather often do. Our modern food system generally obscures the way that consumers affect the environment and the way that the environment affects consumption. The relationship between local farms and CSA members is a truly innovative and transformative model that brings eaters closer to the realities involved in their sustenance. Thanks for joining us on the journey and for your commitment to engaging with the relationship between regional weather and the food on your dinner plate. We promise to always put you first through the season, no matter what it brings.

If you haven’t already seen it, check out our digital farm tour.  We made it earlier this spring when our fields were much drier.

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