Monday, June 14, 2010

CSA Newsletter Week 4

June 15, 16 and 19

Love those fresh herbs! As days get longer and we near the summer solstice, plants are concentrating more and more of their energy in vegetative growth-- producing strong leaves, stems, and shoots. After the solstice, plants put relatively more energy into blossom, fruit, and seed production. Culinary and medicinal herbs harvested for their leaves are usually at peak potency leading up to the solstice. In ancient lore, mid-summer's day was the day slated for harvest of (leaf) herbs to be dried/preserved or made into medicines.

The annual garlic harvest approaches! The dates for the celebratory work-party and potluckin' shin-dig are July 10th and 11th this year. Mark your calendar. We pick and hang garlic while the sun shines and enjoy food and fellowship in the evenings. Camping is allowed. Musicality and merry-making are encouraged. It's always a wholesome friends-and-family affair, and we hope you'll feel comfortable joining in. Please RSVP echocsa@gmail.com.

In your box this week:
  • Parsley.
  • Kale.
  • Salad Mix.
  • Basil.
  • Mint.
  • Scapes.
  • Bok choy.
  • Turnip.
  • Fennel.
  • Beet.
  • Peas.
  • Napa cabbage.
  • Head lettuce.
Let us know if you are ever short an item in your box. We will usually have extra of that or something similar at the market, and it's easy enough to just make it right on the spot.

Louis talks about weeding the taters.

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Fennel and Mushroom Salad with Mint

1 large fennel bulb (or 2 smallish)
3/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, halved if large, then thinly sliced
scant 2 tsp dijon mustard
2 T white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work, too)
3 or 4 garlic scapes, minced
1/4 C olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T fresh mint, chopped
fennel tops, chopped

Remove fennel stalks, if attached. Quarter the bulb lengthwise and cut away the core. Remove the outer layer if it is thick and fibrous. Slice the bulb crosswise as thinly as possible. Transfer to a bowl and add the sliced mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and scapes. Slowly whisk in olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Add vinaigrette to salad along with mint. Toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chop a couple of wispy fennel tops, and add as a garnish.
-adapted from Fresh from the Farmers Market by Janet Fletcher

Happy Herby Solstice Pesto

1 bunch basil
1/2 bunch parsley
4-5 garlic scapes (or 2 garlic cloves)
salt to taste
1/3 C olive oil
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 handful toasted nuts (pine nuts or walnuts) or seeds (pumpkin or sunflower)
1 whole bok choy (butt end cut away)

Rough chop basil, parsley, scapes, and bok choy. Process all ingredients together in a food processor (fitted with s-blade) until a paste forms. (Leaf herbs should be mostly indistinguishable from one another).

Thistle in flower. So pretty, but watch out!

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Please contact us if you can't identify something in your box, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

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