Community Supported Agriculture
I would just like to continue to encourage all of you to get involved with supporting your small, local, organic farmers through participation in community supported agriculture. If you buy a "share," you'll not only receive a box full of locally harvested in-season fresh organic bits of heaven (weekly), but your farmer--like our Farmer Vicki--may also send you weekly updates about the farm that make you want to quit your job and run away to join the farm! Read the email that I awoke to yesterday below with Vicki's lovely description of life on the farm, the contents of our first spring box, and her suggestions and recipes for using these first vegetables:
"I awoke this morning to a storm rolling through. The wind was whipping and the rain was pounding. The wind has continued blowing and gusting, but the rain is gone for now. We have managed to get out to start preparing the field for planting, but I really wanted some rain first. The first things we plant are slow to grow or slow to germinate, so disking out one flush of weeds before planting makes our lives lots easier. What we want are some warm days and a few rains. The weed seeds then come to life anxious to greet a new year. This first germination is called a flush. Other flushes happen during other seasons also, but this first one is crucial to get on top of. So, now that is has rained (and I hear we are getting more), I will start going out into the field to dig down just a bit to see if I can see little tiny plants germinating. I am looking for the white root stage, when the root is tender and white and has but just a teeny little sprout of a leaf. That is the ideal time to disk the field to kill them off. The weather does not always permit our getting out there at the right time, but as long as we can get them dealt with prior to them growing to a half inch. Any weed taller than a half inch is much more difficult to kill as they often have a tap root that will resprout. So, here's hoping that we get the conditions we are looking for.
The hoop houses are looking fine and I am very happy with their growth. I anticipate many item being ready for our next boxes, but do not want to pick too much yet. Be prepared for greens next week. We do save veggies over the winter to start the year, so we are good to go.
Please be sure to save your box each week to return for reuse. Our larger drop off sites will have a green lug available for your box to be stored in until we pick it up. The box should be flattened, which is very easy. Turn your box upside down. Place your fingers on both edges of the box where they almost touch each other. Apply downward and outward pressure toward the outside edge. The box flap will fold in half on each end to slide out of the flaps that hold it together. If you pull up on the flaps, the box will rip and will not be able to be reused.
Cabbage - Cabbage is one of the super foods and also one that I love. I like to cook a lamb sausage with carrots and onions until the carrot is almost tender. Then I add chopped cabbage at the end and toss until tender. A spicy sausage is excellent. And, my cole slaw recipe: grate cabbage, a small onion (to taste), two carrots together. Then add a scoop of salad dressing or mayonnaise and a tablespoon or maybe a bit more. Toss together. It will seem dry at first, but place in fridge and let it sit for a couple hours and the cabbage will begin to weep. Stir again and it is ready to serve. The carrot does give it a touch of orange color, so if that is unappealing, cut back on the amount of carrot you use.
Celeriac - This funny looking veggie is a relative of celery and tastes like a mild fresh celery. I like to steam it with carrots and turnips as a side dish. But, it is also great grated and used in a salad. Many of the chefs I know steam it and then puree it to make a delicious cream sauce.
Tatsoi - a small Asian green that tastes a bit like mild spinach. It can be cooked, but I usually eat it raw in a salad. You can save the stems to chop into a soup or stir fry or roasted veggies. They are also great in a smoothy or in juicing.
Corn meal - this is from Three Sisters. They do not grow or process and wheat in their facility.
Dried Cayenne - just crunch them up to use in cooking or as a spice. They will keep for a long time. Cayenne is said to purify the blood.
"I wasn't going to spend my life doing what had already been done." - Georgia O'Keeffe