Tuesday, June 22, 2010
CSA Week 4
The first day of summer is behind us, we are into the fourth week of the CSA season, and your farmers have begun to settle into a routine with the twice-weekly harvests and distributions. We hope that the CSA has become part of your routine, too--that the pick-ups are easy and familiar, and that you've begun to rely on the weekly supply of vegetables. Please remember, if you ever have any questions during pick-up and neither Joshua nor I are near the stand, please find us in the fields--we're nearby, and we'd love to say hello and answer any questions that you have. Here's what's in the share this week:
Swiss Chard, bright lights
Lettuce, red and green varieties
Summer Squash, zephyr
Sugar Snap Peas
Notes about the food:
*Chioggia Beets are one of three beet varieties that we grow. They're distinguished by their light-red skin and by the bullseye pattern of red and white stripes in their interior. Definitely cut one in half and take a look--they're beautiful. The stripes will usually blend to a uniform pink when cooked, but consider trying these beets uncooked as well. They are sweeter, with a less intense "beet" flavor than their standard dark-red counterparts, and they are delicious sliced thinly (a mandolin is the perfect tool for this) and lightly dressed. And don't neglect the greens: The food value of a bunch of beets is superb, because the greens are as edible and nutritious as the root. Lightly steamed, then dressed with balsamic vinegar and fresh-ground pepper, the beet greens make an excellent side dish.
*We are growing (or trying to grow) at least 45 distinct fruit and vegetable crops. When planning what to grow we make decisions based on what will be successful in our region and climate, and also on other, more subjective, criteria. Which is to say, we tend to grow food that we like to eat. Such is the case with kale, of which we are growing an abundance, and which you can expect to receive in a majority of this season's distributions. The variety this week is starbor, a type of green curly kale, one of three varieties that we grow (the others, which have already appeared in shares, are red russian and lacinato). Because it will be prominent throughout the season, we'll continue to provide notes and cooking suggestions about kale. This week, because it is officially summer and a cold drink is a nice way to start the day, I'm going to suggest that you consider it as an addition to any smoothie that you might make in a blender. Take my word for it: kale's not as odd an addition as it might sound, and it will add vitamins A, E, and C, as well as iron and protein to your drink. Try this (but we're talking about smoothies, so whatever. Be creative.):
Put 1 banana, 2 cups chopped kale, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1-2 tbsp ground flax seeds, and 1/2 cup rice milk (or soy milk, or almond milk, or milk milk, or yogurt) in a blender, and blend until smooth. The smoothie will be a rich green color. On a hot day, add a few ice cubes before blending.