Week 9: July 27th
We are nearly half way through the CSA season, can you believe it? I hope you all have enjoyed seeing the changes in produce as the weeks go by. Remember when it was only radishes and spicy mix? Now there’s so much variety we thought to ourselves, is this overwhelming? But I believe that vegetable overload is the best type of overload so here’s the goodies for the week:
Celery (best for cooking)
Purple Top Turnips
- Our neighbors have been loving the unclaimed CSA shares, so no need to feel guilty for not making a week! But, we do love getting notice if you’re not going to be around, so feel free to shoot us an email, text, or message from the website.
- Wax boxes are starting to look on the low side, so any that you can bring back are so appreciated!
Fleeting tomato season and yummy leeks!
It’s here, just when I thought it would never arrive. We’ve been harvesting around 120 pounds of cherry tomatoes and now around 150 pounds of “slicer” tomatoes a week. Everyone is probably familiar with a cherry tomato, small round, snackable. Slicer is the term we use for the large tomatoes that you cut up for sandwiches, salads, etc. We stray from calling them heirlooms because we do not grow true heirlooms, and believe that the word has become disconnected from the meaning. Most seeds labeled as heirlooms have been bred at least a bit for greater resistance to disease, better growth, and more production. A true heirloom is passed down for generations while maintaining the integrity of the plant genetics, though this usually results in a fairly weak plant. Hybrid plants are also bred for deliciousness, so rest assured you will still love the flavor! Lastly, consider this your official PSA: do NOT put tomatoes in the fridge! I suggest an airtight container on the counter to keep the fruit flies away, and maybe eat them in the first couple days.
Another newbie to the shares are leeks! Andy and I visited France over the winter and everywhere we went the French walked around with a baguette and a big beautiful bunch of leeks sticking out of their market bags. When we visited a farm in the Western countryside, they prepared us a simple yet incredible pasta with leeks and butter. I came to the realization that they are such an underrated vegetable. Our leeks are smaller than the ones you find in the grocery store, but I have found that more of the stalk is tender enough for use, so there’s still a lot of cookable veg there.
One last note, the celery in the shares this week I would classify as “cooking celery.” It's a bit on the over mature side, but still softens nicely for mirepoix, stir frys, or braising. I recently found a simple recipe for a gin and celery cocktail, so go wild and find fun ways to use it up!
First of all, I know I use a lot of Bon Appetit recipes, I’m sorry. They just are so consistently good, actually use the vegetables that we grow, and have interesting preparations that don’t require processed food. This week’s recipe is for charred leeks with honey and vinegar, just as easy as it sounds! I usually think of potato leek soup or some other hardy cold weather preparation, but this is a perfect summer side dish. Serve it alongside your steak, grilled eggplant, BLT, or whatever meal needs a vinegar-sweet-allium compliment!
This week was all about the upgrades. We had built structures for two “caterpillar tunnels,” which are essentially small low tech greenhouses, and finally got to pull the plastic and finish the build on our 100 foot tunnel! The caterpillar tunnels will allow us to have more protected culture for healthier plants in the summer and more season extension in the winter. They are both at our field on Buchanan and Humbolt, so feel free to drive by to check them out!
Another big upgrade in the works is purchasing a BCS! A BCS is a small walking tractor used by many farms our size. You can switch out the implements so that the tractor can be used for many different purposes. We got attachments for a flail mower, compost spreader, tiller, and bed shaper. This will make the process of taking out old growth so much faster and less hard on our bodies! I’m a little intimidated because it is pretty large and heavy and has a clutch that I’m not totally great at, but it’s going to be a great learning experience!
Whew! Big update to go with the big share this week! Enjoy this mid summer bounty :)
Amy and Andy