CSA distrubution #3 & newsletter

Our next CSA distribution will be Monday April 16th and Thursday April 19th. This gets us back on our usual M-Th delivery routine (last week was flipped to provide a buffer after spring break). Our goal is for shares to be weekly from this point on, though there’s always the possibility of skipping a given week for some reason. Also please consider joining us for either of the April member events; we have two RSVPs for this Saturday afternoon, which will happen rain or shine, and none for the late April dinner. We’d love to have you, and there’s lots to see including goat kids (there are now 7), baby chicks, lots of cute young vegetable plants, and more.

PRODUCE
We hope you enjoyed last week’s share, as this one will be almost identical. A few members left comments here on ways they’re using the produce; feel free to share your own experiences or ideas on this post’s comment thread. We’d hoped to try some of the shared recipes by the time of writing, but have been too busy (we’ll get to them soon, though). Here’s an updated discussion of the coming share’s contents:

Pictured above: Packing last week’s share. Kim Watkins, on the left, is working for us this year to help out with harvest and share packing. She will also be delivering the Thursday share. Photos by Joanna.

NEW baby radishes: Likely but not guaranteed, these are growing and getting close to ready. A small amount this week with many more in the pipeline. Sweet, crunchy radishes great for salads, stir fries, pickling, or just eating right off the stem. First ones will be red & pink, with more color mix and some spicier ones in following weeks.

Perennial leeks: We harvested the biggest ones first, so the size may start to get smaller. Think of them as leek scallions.

Garlic scallions

Green onions (for all shares this week)

Spinach: Smaller leaves and smaller quantities, but not yet bolted and still tasty. Won’t look ideal, with some ripped or yellow leaves, but just fine from a culinary standpoint. Great for salads or cooking; if you’re still trying to work through last week’s share, try blanching and freezing some for later use. It’s impressive, and sometimes depressing, how much spinach compresses when you cook it. But frozen spinach makes a great later addition to soups, lasagnas, and so much more.

Sorrel: Many plants are putting on flower stalks, but it still tastes great to us. A nice addition to salads.

HERBS

We’ll be offering a good number of herb bundles to each household again. We don’t have quite enough for everyone to get everything and maintain a steady harvest, so we’re going to work on providing options through the survey. The survey question may be formatted a bit differently this time because some folks had technical difficulties if answering the last survey question pertaining to herbs on a phone.

Thyme: Starting to flower a bit, but we still think the flavor is good.
Oregano

Mint
: Mint is abundant at this time of year, so we’ll offer an option for extra quantities of mint this time. If you have a dehydrator, it dries very nicely for an addition to winter tea. 
Lemon balm
Chives and/or garlic chives
Tarragon
Sage:
Also starting to flower, and we also think the flavor is good.

EGGS (SOLD SEPARATELY)
From pastured hens fed certified organic feed mix, fresh weed trimmings from fields, cooked on-farm meat & fat scraps, kitchen wastes, and other on-farm supplements. Eggs are $6/dozen and will be no more than a week old when distributed. Yolks are bright yellow-orange; these birds are great foragers.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM

The past week has been a whirlwind of work including weeding, planting, transplant/greenhouse management, frost protection nearly every night, goat kidding, chicks hatching, and more. This Saturday’s member even will be a great chance to see the results of all this work, and enjoy tastes of some good farm food.

Above, double layers of freeze protection on strawberries, young chard, and potatoes. These got us through several nights in which temperatures dropped below 30, and the chickens’ water froze even at the top of our orchard ridge.

Above from left to right, starting sweet potato slips from our own stock, baby scallions in the greenhouse, lush tomato plants itching to get outside once we’re past frost danger.

Enjoy the food, and we hope to see many of you soon.

3 thoughts on “CSA distrubution #3 & newsletter

  1. Totally agree with the spinach. I’ve got a favourite farmer here in Toronto that has been bringing overwintered spinach and it sounds just like yours… slightly yellowed or ripped leaves but absolutely delicious. Surprisingly delicious, honestly.

    A couple other uses for it, now or with blanched later on:

    > Shakes. A great way to start the day for those either on the go or whatnot. Here’s some inspiration for options. http://www.rawlicious.ca/Rawlicious/Menu.html

    > Indian food. Palak paneer is our personal favourite, but you’re not limited to that. Paneer can be substituted for with other fresh cheese, like a haloumi or I think curds would work well. Ricotta and cottage cheese are the right flavours but wrong texture… you generally want chunks. We fry the cheese in a bit of oil and then toss into a bowl of water. Gets ride of most all the oil that way and adds a lot of depth of flavour. Get an onion/garlic (or other alium) mixture happy, ideally with ginger and certainly with Indian spices of choice, then add the spinach and chopped tomatoes (we started with dried tomatoes we lightly reconstituted) and potentially some extra liquid because once reasonably cooked you want to puree. Our extra liquid was yogurt, so use the term liquid broadly! Once hot/pureed adjust seasoning to taste, add the paneer in and then eat with flatbread and/or rice. Look up recipes online for other tips etc.

  2. Joshua,

    We can’t wait for our milk supply to return, so we can get started on all the dishes that fresh cheese allows (like your suggestions above). We’ve used our feta as a reasonable substitute for paneer, as it has a solid, chunky texture that holds together. I do want to make the real thing some time, though.

    Everyone,

    This evening we used two member recipes from last week, the koftas and the lemon balm pesto, for a very nice dinner. Made fried rice using baby carrots, new radishes, garlic & onion scallions, eggs, and the lemon balm pesto, and topped it with fresh-ground goat koftas made pretty close to the posted recipe. Very nice combination.

    • I forgot your milk isn’t in yet. Our favourite cheesemaker (Ruth, who you met) has just recently restarted with the fresh cheeses, although she of course has multiple sources and multiple types of animals. I don’t think she’s had any fresh goat yet, or at least not much. And the sheep we’ve noticed has started off remarkably more “sheepy.”

      Finally found a reasonable egg source, btw, although this time of year I’m sure makes it easier! A group of Amish farmers have gotten together to be able to get their eggs graded and legal for sale at markets and in select stores. $5-6.50/dozen is the going rate. Not certified, but pretty widely trusted. One of the farmers also does pigs and the only way you can order his pork is by mail! (Maybe remind your customers who want you to have a cell phone it could be worse!)