This week we distributed our first CSA shares. I hope all of you that received the harvest have enjoyed eating the fruits of our labor as much as we have enjoyed growing and giving them to you. Our first share included:
~Baby Beets w Beet Greens
Here is a slideshow of this lovely harvest.
A few ideas of what to do with the parts of your harvest:
If you have never used beet greens before, you’ve been missing something really wonderful. I use beet greens in the same way I would spinach: in salads, omelets, or braised. I even recently used them in an artichoke dip to rave reviews.
This is one of my favorite crops of the year. I love the cabbage sliced thin and mixed into a salad. It is great in chicken enchiladas or fish tacos. If you have just too much cabbage to manage in one week, you can cut it up in thin slices, steam or blanch for just a minute or less, then rinse immediately in cold water. Place this into freezer bags and freeze: you will have a great addition to stirfry, burritos, or enchiladas.
An Asian Slaw that I love goes something like this:
~Chop 2-3 cloves garlic, and about 1 T of ginger.
~Sweat these on med-low heat in just enough olive oil to cover, just until the garlic starts to go translucent.
~Cut a half-head of cabbage thin (essentially shredding it). If I have it, I like to add a bit of red pepper or carrot cut very fine, just to add some color.
~Add the garlic/ginger to the cabbage. Add about 2T tamari soy sauce, 3-4T umi plum vinegar, 1T toasted sesame oil, 1/4c toasted sesame seeds, and some garlic powder and red pepper flakes. You may want a bit more or less of these dressing ingredients, depending on your taste, and the size of the head of cabbage.
The key with this is to let the slaw sit for 20min or a half hour, giveing it a few stirs during this period. The salt in the tamari and vinegar will wilt the cabbage and this really brings the whole thing together. We had this for supper the other night with some grilled halibut and roast sweet potato, it was wonderful!
What to do with Parsley?
Well we all know parsley as a great garnish, but really what else is there to do with it. Well, I have been finding this harvest of parsley particularly flavorful. (Perhaps because it overwintered?). I have been enjoying it mixed in with the greens of a salad. You can also very easily hang the bundle upside down anywhere that is not too damp and not in direct sunlight, and the leaves will dry for your season’s worth of dried parsley. Once the leaves are “crunchy” dry you can rub them off the stems into a small mason jar to be stored.
I also wanted to be sure to note to you all that Parsley is a really wonderful digestive aid. The reason they started putting that bit of parsley on the side of a plate wasn’t just for pretty, but to aid you in digesting your meal. If you have an upset stomach, or are battling an kind of stomach bug, munching on sprigs of parsley will not only help you feel better, but can really help battle a gut infection.
This lovely treat of early spring entices us all with its strong tangy flavor, and I think our bodies crave it for the vast array of nutrients that it provides after the long winter’s fast-from-fresh-things. On the farm, a pot of rhubarb sauce doesn’t stick around for long. If we’re not eating it plain like apple sauce, we mix it in with yogurt, or drizzle it over ice cream. I have mixed it in my smoothies as well. You can also freeze it and save it to mix with strawberries (that should be in your share with in the next few weeks) for a pie or other dessert.
The lettuce and lupines I’ll trust you know what to do with!
I wanted to note a couple things to all of you about what may be in or on your produce:
We do our very best provide you with veggies free from the majority of soil, mulch, and any other debris from the field. Anything that grows in the ground (like beets and carrots) or very near the ground (like lettuce) is soaked and/or rinsed. That said, there is a good chance that there may still be a bit of grit on your lettuce, or some mulch caught in the tops of your beets. Please always check your produce to be sure it is as clean as you wish it to be before eating. We also wanted to note to everyone that we use sea weed (eel grass that has washed up on the beaches and marshes) to mulch many of our crops. We love the stuff, as it provides wonderful soil nutrients, while also keeping down the weeds and keeping in the moisture. So you should know that if you find any little strips of grey/black (some people say it looks like shredded paper) in your lettuce, it is only sea weed. Nothing unsafe to eat or particularly strange.
Up and Coming
Looking forward to next week’s harvest, you can expect some very beautiful broccoli heads, likely more lettuce and cabbage, other flowers, and perhaps, –maybe but only maybe– some strawberries! Maeve found the first ones starting to pink-up just yesterday. Much depending on the weather, there may be enough to pick next week. But if not, don’t despair: soon, I promise!!