[CSA]: Week 3 of 19

Around the Farm

The heat this week is helping a lot of those summery-crops move along much more quickly! Not sure what I mean?

There are certain crops that L-O-V-E the heat... think of them like those crazy Floridians of the plant world. Crops like tomatoes, melons, corn, peppers, eggplant and sweet potatoes are all loving the heat and the additional soil moisture from the lovely rains we've received. Those two things combined equals crazy growth! Yahoo!

Meanwhile, the cool-season crops like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and escarole are all just trying to survive. They wilt drastically during the day and the little heads they are trying to produce are weirdly formed or, will go to seed quickly. Their objective on Earth is to reproduce so, when they sense that temperatures are about to get too hot for their babies to successfully sprout, they hurry up and make seeds.

Ah well... maybe this just won't be the year for the cool-season things. Unfortunately, the excessive rain early in the spring (late April/early May) prevented us from planting the cool-season crops earlier or, those hot days earlier this month would've propelled them into production sooner.

What's on the way?

Cucumbers! (from the field... much more reliable than hoophouse)

Zucchini/Summer Squash/Patti Pans

Broccoli (fingers crossed)

Cooking Classes @ Swallowtail

Our friends Kelly and Colleen are at it again! Last year, we tried to have a few CSA cooking classes but, for many reasons, we were unsuccessful. 

So, they have decided to offer their services as chef and nutritionist in a different way, to all folks in the area! Check out these upcoming classes, held at Swallowtail farm, just north of Mason.

The Menu

Please Choose 6

  • Garlic Scapes

    • the flowering portion of the garlic plant, excellent chopped and used as a sub for bulb garlic.

  • Green Onions

  • White Bok Choy: Joi Choi

  • Greens!

    • Probably 2-3 kinds to choose from:

      • Dinosaur/Lacinato Kale

      • Red Russian Kale

      • Collards

      • Rainbow Chard

  • Fresh Herbs

    • We'll have Sage, Oregano, and Mint.

  • Basil

  • Red, White and Blue New Potatoes!

    • "new" indicates that they are harvested before the plant has finished its lifecycle. The taters have extra thin skin and buttery flavor!

  • Purple or Green Kohlrabi

    • Both taste the same and the leaves can be cooked along with your kale/collards.

    • Peel the outside and use the tender, crisp inside for dipping!

Maybe List

In this section, we'll feature items we hope to have enough of but, aren't particularly sure about.

  • Greenhouse Cucumbers

  • Lettuce Mix

Recipe Ideas: Red Russian Kale

The more peppery of the kales, with thinner, more tender leaves, is great when arugula may be scarce.

Use it in any kale salad, sauteed, steamed or added to the end of a soup. Sadly, I have many great soup recipes with kale but, this isn't exactly the weather...

But, a former farmhand and now friend, Megan, has been crazy about turning this into pesto. I finally looked up a recipe and loved it!

We loved it spread onto toasted bread, tossed into warm or cold pasta or spread on a sandwich. Get a recipe for Tuscan Kale Pesto here (RR can easily be subbed). 

The classic go-to for kale is to saute it with a little olive oil, salt and onions/garlic with maybe add a little splash of vinegar at the end. 

If you're not in a cooking mood, kale salads are refreshing, hearty and interesting in flavor and texture. The idea is to merge the velvety kale with something sugary, something acidic and something crunchy or more hearty. I have yet to discover the perfect kale salad...

But, this one from Minimalist Baker is pretty darn good!