Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CSA Newsletter, Week 3 - June 15 and 18

Steady rain on the farm this week has bolstered lots of vegetative growth and somewhat easier weeding! Freshly weeded and mulched potatoes are looking beautiful. Hat tip to our very wise farmers for companion planting the taters with catnip, to keep flea bettles off their leaves. Focus turns now to summer crops and repelling insects-- interplanting eggplant and peppers with alliums, planting lots of zucchini to ensure plenty of healthy flowers and, later, fruit. Tomatoes are brimming with flowers. Sweet cicely seeds have come ripe and sweet. Oriole nests abound. In the woods, folks are spotting big patches of deer mushrooms... Summer solstice approaches.

potatoes, mulched and hilled up

Big thanks to CSA folks for the help on the farm and at market. Farmer/foodslinger Derek says, "Free coffee and burrito at Local Burrito for volunteers!" If you're interested in volunteering for markets, find the sign-up sheet on the CSA clipboard down at market, and mark a slot.

See those scapes on the market table? The beginning of garlic harvest is just a few weeks away! Stay tuned for info on the Garlic Fest. And feel free to get involved in the planning. I am busily brainstorming designs for a garlic stalk/leaf labyrinth. If anyone has ideas, please shoot 'em our way (echocsa@gmail.com).

On the table:
  • Garlic scape. The seed pod of the garlic plant, which curls as it grows tall and then slowly uncurls. They are most succulent when still curled, with an asparagus-like texture and a mild garlic flavor. Harvesting the scape helps the plant to concentrate growth energy in the bulb. Scapes can be diced and added to salad dressings, soups, sauces, marinades, stir-fries, scrambled eggs. They can be sauteed in oil or butter to accompany potatoes... Scapes store well for weeks in the fridge, but used fresh is always best! To preserve them for longer, scapes can be pickled. Check out this lovely recipe: http://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com/blog/pickled-garlic-scapes-flowers-coriander-lavender-and-black-pepper.htm.
  • Head lettuce. What to do with so much lettuce? Throw a handful of leaves into a mixed berry or berry-banana smoothie. Lettuces can be full of vitamins A, K, C and folate and manganese as well. Try the lettuce soup recipe below.
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy, the last of it for a while.
  • Mint
  • Oregano. Add whole oregano leaves and diced scapes to chickpea or other bean salads.
  • Turnip
  • Dandelion
  • Broccoli. The leaves are great sauteed or steamed along with dandelion, beet, and/or kale leaves. (All cook in about the same time.)
  • Kale
  • Peas-- sweet, crisp, and yummy! Try a garlic scape and pea stir-fry.
  • Beets
  • Salad mix. Toss some finely chopped dandelion leaves, peas, mint, and grated beet with your salad mix, and dress with a scape-balsalmic vinaigrette.
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Recipes

Lettuce Soup
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely diced (or 4-5 scapes)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 head of lettuce, washed and cut into thin slices or several handfuls green lettuce
  • 5 cups of water (0r broth)
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped fresh basil (or the same amount of oregano or of beet, broccolini, and dandelion leaves, chopped)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onions and sprinkle with a little salt, reduce heat to medium and saute until onions become translucent. Then add the garlic cloves and saute for a minute or two.

Add the water and potatoes and some salt and pepper. If you have thick, tougher lettuce leaves, add now as well. If you have thinner, tender lettuce, simmer for ten minutes, then add. At this point, simmer for about another 7 minutes, then add the quarter-cup of chosen fresh herbs (or greens). Simmer until everything is soft and add vinegar or lemon juice. Then blend in a blender! Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

zukes flowering and fruiting

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Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, 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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