West Hartford CSA First Pickup of the Season! June 19th

June 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Welcome From the Farmer

Amidst the hustle of weeding beets, trellising tomatoes, and getting ready for the first CSA harvest, we squeezed in a very important occasion this week- our daughter Tzuf’s first meal. She absolutely devoured the 2013 Adamah carrot we’d saved over the winter, peeled, boiled, pureed, and mixed with breast milk.

There are a million and one things to worry over as a new parent but one thing we are 100% sure about is that carrot. Tzuf’s first food was grown without any chemicals whatsover and the hands that grew it did so with love and respect for the earth. It is a big deal to feel so certain about the healthfulness of the first food that went into our baby’s mouth and it is a big deal to get to share that same certainty with all of you.

The concept and details of a CSA can feel like a lot to wrap your head around. Rather than showing up at a grocery store anytime to purchase the produce that fits a given recipe or craving, Jewish Local Greens members show up on Thursday afternoons at a Synagogue to pick up a mix of what is fresh in season. Why bother with the hassle of paying up front and the strict pick up time?

CSA membership supports the local economy and ecosystem. Adamah, the farm that supplies vegetables to JLG, is an educational farm so your membership also supports the learning journey of a community of young leaders. CSA produce is picked fresh so it tastes better and is more nutritious. Compared to buying at a farmer’s market, our CSA provides an excellent value. And in addition to all of those excellent reasons, you also have the piece of mind that every ounce of food from your share is fit to feed the infant of the people who grew it. If that isn’t a worthwhile food label, I don’t know what is.

tzuf'sfirstmeal

2014 Produce Outlook

So far we have had excellent growing conditions and the plants look fabulous! The Adamah fields are filled with healthy, vivacious rows of green. The next few weeks will be abundant with greens so get your salad spinners ready and put your multi-vitamin on the back shelf. Spring came late to Connecticut this year after a long, cold winter but apparently no one told the Zucchini and summer squash because they are about to start fruiting. In general our summer crops (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.) have used these past few hot weeks and regular rain fall to make up growth after the cool temperatures that lingered into April.

We are growing on four very different fields this season in order to keeps our eggs out of the same basket and keep us resilient. If we get hit by drought we have a field that can still succeed and vice versa if it is another floody year.

Come visit the farm and see it for yourself! There are lots of good times to visit Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, where the farm is located, including Adamah Farm Vacations, week long offerings throughout the summer for families and individuals to get a taste of farm life, and on July 6th which Beth David’s Rabbi Adler and congregants will also be visiting from West Hartford. Check out our calendar at hazon.org/isabella-freedman/upcoming-events/.

taliaandmollywithtools

Harvest Notes

Lettuce Heads We have two oak-leaved varieties in the share this week to make gorgeous lime green and deep red salads. You can expect lettuce heads weekly until high summer.

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

Salad Turnips (also called Hakurai Turnips) and Greens Unlike the storage turnips that many people are used to, these are very juicy and delicious raw. Try them as a snack on their own, on salad, as a conduit for hummus or dip, roasted, or sauteed. Some of the turnips have a bit of pest damage in the form of brown marks that can easily be cut out. The greens are also delicious and a bit spicy raw or cooked.

Chard These colorful leaves are in the same family as spinach and you can use it similarly in your kitchen.

Bok Choi This lush Asian green really wears the vitamins and minerals encapsulated in its dark green head like a badge of honor. Leaves have some bug bites taken out of them, which some say increases antioxidant amounts. Try it raw in Asian salads or in a stir-fry.

Sugar Snap Peas Like cherry tomatoes, these sweet snacks may not last the car ride home. If you don’t devour them on their own, they make a crunchy addition to salads or stir-fries. You will want to remove the string from the back of the pod before cooking.

Scallions It is easy to tell from the taste that these come from the same plant family as onions and garlic. They are often called spring onions because they are the first alliums to be harvested each season. Their delicate flavor works well raw in salads or in stir-fry but can be used in most recipes instead of onions. You can expect garlic scapes as the next alliums in your shares with garlic heads soon to follow. Leeks will come mid-summer and onions should bulb up by later summer or early fall.

Cilantro This parsley relative can go so far beyond the salsas it is usually associated with! I made a delicious bok choi, tofu, scallion, turnip, and turnip green curry over the weekend and chopped up fresh cilantro for the top of each bowl.

Mint This herb makes a simple, calming tea or can be used in cooking. You can even just drop a bit in cool water to make it more refreshing!

Storage Guide for This Week’s Share

CROP

SHORT STORAGE LIFE

(eat first)

MED STORAGE LIFE

(4-10 days)

LONG STORAGE LIFE

(2-6 wks)

STORE IN FRIDGE IN BAG

STORE ON COUNTER

FREEZES WELL

Lettuce

*

*

Turnips

*

*

Turnip Greens

*

*

*

Chard

*

*

*

Mint

*

*

*

Bok Choi

*

*

*

Sugar Snap Peas

*

*

*

Salad Mix

*

*

Scallions

*

*

*

Cilantro

*

*

*

taliapotatohilling

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