Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

August Second

Here is a guest Worker-Share Perspective Article from a first-year Worker Share member, Megan from Viola, WI! 

My name is Megan, I am a worker share at Small Family Farm CSA.  I work Thursday mornings at the farm and I love that every Thursday morning is different!  My family and I are new to this area and we are thoroughly enjoying settling in and beginning the process of putting down literal and proverbial roots.  I was fortunate enough to hear about the worker share program through a full time farm employee, and knowing my husband and I's first garden season here would not produce what we would like to have available to us, I decided to take advantage of the worker share program as a way to supplement our own garden produce.DSC 0356

I have been fortunate enough to always have had exposure to gardens and garden produce.  As a child both my parents were passionate about the role a garden played in providing for our family.  Of course if you would have tried to tell me then that one day I would describe my experience in our family's garden as fortunate, I'm sure I would have rolled my early and late adolescent eyes at you! 

I developed my own interest in gardening in my twenties starting by planting flowers, moving into herb garden beds, and finally into small garden plots which expanded every year to accommodate more and more veggies and a desire to cook and feed myself and husband a balance of good, healthy, wholesome food.  My parents may have not fully realized it at the time, but through our work in the garden they inexplicably taught me about hard work, the benefits of such work, the role sun, rain, and temperature has on our food, the importance of each of the seasons, and the value of homegrown food.  These experiences later fostered in me feelings of confidence when I dug my own gardens, planted seeds, cared for plants, and later accepted with thanks the fruits of these plants; often turning them into pint upon pint of homemade salsa, pizza sauce, dilly beans and the like to be enjoyed months down the road.  By subscribing to Small Family Farm CSA you show an interest in these things as well; the role the weather plays in the food available to you each week, seasonal eating and the confidence gained in handling, preparing, and eating of a generous variety of vegetables.  Would I have purchased, known how to prepare and enjoyed eating a crisp, sweet kohlrabi on my afternoon salad if it hadn't been in my CSA box?  Probably not.  In this way we all continue to grow through these experiences and this connection to the land, seasons, and our food.

Growing, preparing, and preserving the food of my family gives me a sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishment which I also see reflected in my fellow worker shares, the full time employees at the farm and Adam and Jillian.  I know this mentality must also be reflected in everyone who subscribes to the Small Family Farm CSA as well.  Not everyone has the space, interest or passion to garden and that is okay.  However, knowing where our food comes from and joining in that process to the best of our ability, perhaps through educating ourselves about seasonal produce, shopping at the farmer's market or joining a CSA gives us a more well-rounded, enriched connection to our food, our surroundings, our community, and each other.  This experience has a value difficult to find on a traditional grocery story shelf and I, for one, am happy and proud to be part of it.DSC 0349

Soooo….What’s in the Box?

Green Top Carrots-  Glorious, beautiful, and sweet carrots!  We had a lot of fun cleaning these guys up for CSA boxes.  A little work to clean up the tops, but they are fun to see in the whole form like this.  Did you know the greens are edible like parsley?  Carrot top pesto! 

Green Onions-  We didn’t think there were quite enough green onions left out there for another CSA giving, but we had almost exactly enough.  Next week will be the beginning of standard, white onions! 

Broccoli-  Handsom heads of broccoli for everyone this week!  Stunning.  Keep them very cold and get them home and into your fridge if you want them to last.  We go to great lengths to get broccoli hydro-cooled as quickly as possible after harvest and then it is lovingly iced immediately after being hydro-cooled and rushed to the walk-in cooler.  Follow our tradition with broccoli and cauliflower and keep it cold to keep it fresh! 

Cauliflower-  And we’re not sure we’ve ever had such gorgeous summer cauliflower.  Ever.  This is really fun!  Same as broccoli, keep it cold to keep it fresh!  We keep some of the outer leaves on the broccoli and cauliflower to protect the heads turning transport.  You can also eat those greens if you’re really a greens-user.  The greens are actually more nutritious than the broccoli and cauliflower itself.  Use like kale or collards. 

Metechi Garlic-  Metechi is the name of this variety.  We only grow hard-neck varieties here in the ‘north country’ that over-winter well.  Fresh, raw garlic like this has a thick, juicy membrane around each clove of garlic that is surprisingly thick.  After garlic has been cured it has a paper-thin layer around each clove, but this garlic is still very fresh and new.  Farmer Adam peeled some of the dryer, more un-attractive layers of garlic off of the outer bulbs so your garlics really look clean and glow for you when you pull them out of the box.  The plants grow to be a few feet tall, but we cut them down before curing.  Enjoy! 

Celery- Wow!  Another week of this amazing celery.  Local celery that finally puts California celery to shame.  This stuff is GREEN folks!  And it has flavor!  Local celery has a bad rap for being a little tougher, greener, leafier and having a stronger celery flavor.  But I'm going to ask you think about this vegetable in a whole new way.  We're not pumping it full of water like they do in California, it is grown locally (and that's a big one!), and it is grown in nutrient rich soils on a farm you know and love.  Also, the greens can be used in soups, stocks, salads or however you can get creative with them.  Local celery does have a stronger celery flavor than California celery, but let's view that as a 'plus' for local celery, and not a 'negative'!  We had "Aunts on a Log" for a snack a couple times already this week!  Have fun! 

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  4-5 per member.  Zucchini and Summer Squash production is waning.  We are still harvesting every other day, but the plants are slowing down now.  We can still expect another week or two of squash, so we hope you’re not squashed out just yet.  Don’t forget that it is very, very easy to just chunk or grate zucchini and summer squash, stuff them into freezer ziplock bags and freeze without blanching or any other prep. 

Cucumbers-  6-7 Per member.  Cucumbers are still going very strong.  A heavy harvest, but a lovely one!  All winter long I dream about eating cucumber, so this year we are getting our fill of them at our house.  Cucumbers and summer squashes both prefer a 50 degree storage temp.  So you may notice that they don’t keep perfectly in your fridge because it is probably a little too cold in there for them.  Don’t plan on holding onto them for too long!  More coming next week!

Pickling Cucumbers-  7 picklers per member.  This should be enough to fill a couple quart jars with.  Fresh picked picklers picked a little larger than what we would normally like to pick them, but we’ve been so busy keeping up with the other harvests on the farm, these took the back-burner.  Do you love pickling cukes?  Let us know! 

Curly Green Kale-  Because life with Kale in it is much better! 

Basil-  Basil prefers to be stored in a glass of water much like fresh-cut flowers.  Refrigerators will turn basil black if they are stored too cold.  Basil is a heat-loving, sun-loving plant and it is not a long-lasting herb.  Remember that you can always pluck the leaves from the stems, lay them out to dry in a dehydrator or low temp-oven and have your own home-made dried basil this winter.  There is also enough basil here to make a small batch of pesto, so take advantage of that opportunity! 

Lettuce-  One or two small heads of lettuce per member this week.  Peak-season lettuce is hard to grow, so even though we may be tired of lettuce, we can at the very least appreciate how difficult it is to get summer lettuce.  

Next Week's Best Guess-  Red cabbage, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, white onion, celery, red leaf lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower, herb.  

Carrot Top Pesto

Chef T's Basil Pesto-

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Breakfast Casserole Recipe