Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer CSA: EARLY KICK-OFF THIS WEDNESDAY

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!  We sent off a mass-email to our members last week about the possibility of starting our Summer CSA early.  Well...we got a lot of feedback, and it all seems to be more on the positive side!  A lot of you can't wait for it to start, and we've got more vegetables in the ground than we know what to do with....ready for the harvestin'!

SO IT IS OFFICIAL: SUMMER CSA BEGINS THIS WEDNESDAY!

With Summer CSA beginning, this is also means that the time has come for the rest of your CSA member dues.  We expect the rest of your payment at your first CSA pick-up.  If you are having any sort of difficulty, we are flexible and can work with you.  (If you don't remember how much you owe, contact us for an invoice.)

If you're signed up for CSA pickup at the Iowa City Farmer's Market on Wednesday, we'll expect to see you there!  We'll have your first box ready and waiting!  For those signed up for ICFM Saturday pickup...we'll see ya in a week!  (Note: If you don't remember which pickup you signed up for, we can look that up for you.  Just email us.)

In order for this message to be effective, PLEASE EMAIL US A QUICK NOTE THAT YOU RECEIVED THIS!  We DON'T want anybody to be in the dark about our early CSA start.  If we do NOT receive an email from you, we will call you before Wednesday!

SPECIAL NOTE: With Summer CSA starting, this also means the beginning of our Work-Trade arrangements!  This year we are once again having CSA members sign-up to hand out our CSA boxes at the market pick-ups.  Email us if you are interested in this particular Work-Trade position.  If you are doing Work-Trade/would like to Work-Trade some of the cost, now is the time to contact us.  

OOPS: ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE!  Our resident Echollective mushroom farmer Will will be offering a special oyster mushroom CSA for those interested.  Please inquire by email: echocsa@gmail.com or echofarmers879@gmail.com

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What to expect in your first CSA box:
  • Salad Mix
  • Braising Mix
  • Spinach (bag)
  • Arugula (bag) 
  • Cilantro bunch
  • Spring Radish bunch
  • Asparagus bunch
  • Rhubarb bunch
  • Pac choi head
  • Head lettuce
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Recipes

Bok Choy Recipe (www.steamykitchen.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

1. Start by trimming the stem off - don't trim too much - just the end. Cutting the thick stem off will ensure that the bok choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
2. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger with a microplane grater. Grating the ginger helps break up the tough fibers! (and yeah, sometimes when the ginger is nice and fresh, I don't even bother peeling off the paper-thin skin)
3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top.

 Spring Strawberry Spinach Salad (allrecipes.com)

  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed
  • 10 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

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 In farm news, organic farming continues to be an incredibly busy job.  Spring madness rages on, and the list of things to weed, plant, water, wash, box, pack, and deliver grows ever longer.  Saturday Farmer's Market was a great success!  Our booth was slammed by customers and people who ordered our weekly CSA boxes, and the Market itself was packed with folks who were probably either tickled by college graduation celebrations, or buying products to make a splendid Mother's Day meal on Sunday.  We sold out on lots of stuff.  People were hungry for our spring radishes, asparagus, and rhubarb especially, but everything else was literally flying off the table as well.  What we came home with in the market van was considerably smaller compared to what we left the farm with!  (Plus now we have a whole lot more room for stuff in our walk-in cooler!)

Pulling out our biggest and freshest pac choi heads has left a trail behind in our greenhouse beds to fit in our first newly transplanted tomato and basil starts, inter-planted with sprouting zucchini!  We have those tasties to look forward to in a couple months.  We still have a lot more room to make for seedlings to get in the ground: more tomatoes and basil, peppers, eggplants and onions!  Meanwhile, our beets have really swelled and spread out their leaves...peas have put out their first blossoms...new spinach and kale has grown to harvest size, and more lettuces and kale varieties are on the way.  We also spent until late Thursday finally getting our broccoli starts into the fields!  Then an accidental hose-break and the consequential flood gave them plenty of water...uh-oh!  Accidents happen.  But hey, they won't be thirsty for a while!

Our resident pigs been really having a go at their assigned farming task that they do best: weeding!  After which, they promptly eat the spoils.  Their pens are moved every week so they get more weeds to root out (particularly that pesky thistle!) but we're quickly realizing that they need more space to weed for the duration of the week.  The last time they were moved, we found the entire pen weeded (I should actually say it looked tilled and tractor-ed) by morning!  They are really doing a fantastic job, and hopefully that field will be a whole lot more manageable next year.  Those little folks have really grown too: Will estimates them to be at about 80 lbs.

Our barn kitties are also growing in size, and opening their eyes.  In a week perhaps they will be wandering around, distracting us from farm work.  Two boys, one all black, one a (probably longhair) tabby, and three girls, two all black and one tabby.  (For reference, look at our farm photos to see Survivor, our tabby from the previous litter.)  Hey, want a kitty?  In six months they will be take-home-able well-trained mousers (Mama Macy is a very good teacher), and if they are anything like their older sister Survivor, will be very people friendly and cuddly.  We plan on keeping one of the black ones to further propagate the farm's witchy-cat tradition, and two of them may already be spoken for...so that leaves a couple kittens left for the pickin'.  (Of course, you gotta wait for them to grow up.)

That is all I can recollect concerning the latest and greatest.  Hope to see you soon at one of these markets!

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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!


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