July Fifth

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I want to congratulate you on your decision to eat fresh, local, organically grown produce this summer!  You opened up your checkbook and you voted for a kind of change that I believe in the depths of my being to be one of the most transformative social, economical, and even spiritual ways that we can achieve a healthier future for our families and communities.  You paid for it with your hard-earned dollars and now you’re literally eating it up.  Finding ways to use those salad turnips, kohlrabi and dill bunches is nothing short of a challenge for most folks.  And you’re doing it! 

I feel a little extra inspired right now by a book I’m reading called “Deep Nutrition” by Catherine Shanahan.  She digs deep and talks extensively about why healthy fats and organ meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, bone broth, and fermented foods are paramount to health.  She looks at “blue zones” around the world (people who live in the healthiest, happiest cultures around the globe) and discovers what they all have in common.  If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, no worries, we foodies who care deeply about plants and animals and how they are raised have much more in common than whether we eat meat or do not eat meat.  All meat is NOT created equal. 

Even more interestingly, she talks about epigenetics which is how our genes express themselves based on the health of the genes themselves.  She says that our genes do not determine our destiny and what we eat and how we live can help our genes ‘remember’ to express themselves in their fullest, most beautiful potential.  Catherine says our genes are literally forgetting how to function because they’re so nutritionally starved.  A lacking in good nutrition causes clogged arteries, asthma, abnormal bone formation, infertility, and arthritis to name a few.  If we aren’t careful about what we eat and how we live, (avoiding canola oil and sugars at the top of the list) the damage that we do to our genes will not only affect our own health, but the health of our off-spring if we are healthy enough of a culture to continue to reproduce. 

I know these subjects are heavy, and emotional and can trigger a strong response for some people.  Food and the culture we build around it is something that is very, very hard to change unless we are deeply intentional.  I thought twice and thrice about sharing all of this with you because broaching political subjects is not good business.  I’m not thinking like a business person now, I’m thinking like I’m your community member and friend who cares about your health and not like someone who is selling you something.  Food is strangely political in the desert of convenience foods we live in.  Healthy, wholesome food does not come wrapped in plastic, it does not have an ambassador, a good marketing agent, and it is not cheap. 

What I love hearing and what gives me hope is that healthy food makes beautiful, strong, fertile, happy people.  The connection to beauty and health was interesting.  We are attracted to beautiful people because they exemplify healthy genetics.  Our eyes and intuition tell us that a person is healthy and health is attractive.  And you, my beautiful friend, are already upholding one of the pillars of health that Catherine declares leads to optimal health-eating your veggies!  Keep it up! 

Writing the newsletter on this subject was more a distraction for myself from talking about the drought. The farm is in a ‘severe drought’ zone now.  We have received a few small amounts of rain in the last two months amounting to 6/10, 4/10, and 4/10 inch which fell on the surface of the ground and quickly evaporated in this hot weather we have been having.  None since last week. 

Congratulations are due to Farmer Adam for keeping the farm and crops alive with the wonderful, amazing, magical powers of drip line irrigation, a little honda pump, and our trusty well.  And Congratulations to you, again and again for sourcing your food from a small-scale organic vegetable CSA farm and for eating your veggies!  The returns on your investment are immeasurable! 

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What’s in the Box?

Kohlrabi x 2-  Two kohlrabi per member this week.  Kohlrabi leaves are edible and can be used like kale.  Peel them and enjoy their apple-like crunchy and crispy texture with veggie dip, lightly salted or match-sticked onto salads.  They can even be fried up like a potato if you like!

Swiss Chard-  We were very excited to offer swiss chard this week.  Chard is in the same family as beets and spinach.  Chard has some of the earthy flavor that beets have with much of the same texture and smoothness that spinach has. 

Green Top Beets-  Fresh beets with their leaves left on them.  The greens on the beets can be used like swiss chard as a cooking green.  A bonus green in your box this week! 

Broccoli x 2-  Two gorgeous heads of broccoli per member.  Broccoli likes to be kept very cold, so get your broccoli home and in the fridge as soon as possible this week! 

Lettue x 2-  Red oakleaf lettuce this week.  The heads were smaller and more compact.  I love the color and shape of these leaves, such a rare treat!  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

Garlic Scapes-  Garlic scapes are actually the garlic plant’s effort at producing a seed head.  They sprout out of the base of the plant and we snap these guys off so the garlic plants put more of their effort into growing a larger blub of garlic rather than putting their effort into make a seed head.  Lucky for us all, garlic scapes are delicious to eat!  Best edible part of the scape is from the base of the scape up to the little nodule.  Past the little nodule, it is technically still edible, but much chewier.  Garlic scapes can be used anywhere you would cook with garlic, but with less intensity than actual garlic cloves.

Bunching Onions- Our frist giving of green onions is always very exciting.  Also called ‘scallions’, ‘bunching onions’ or ‘green onions’.  They can be used from the base of the white onion all the way to the green tips.  Wonderful on fresh salads of all kinds!

Zucchini or Summer Squash-  This week was our first harvest of the summer squash and zucchini plants.  Much more summer squash and zucchini to come!  Summer squashes like these prefer storage at 50 degrees temperature.  The counter is a little too warm and the fridge is a little too cold, so pick your preference and plan to use them up because more are on the way! 

Basil-  The basil plants were looking so good that we had to grab it while it was looking so perfect!  Basil does NOT like refrigeration.  Basil will turn black in the fridge and prefers to be kept like cut flowers in a glass of water on your countertop.  Un-bunch your basil and allow them to sit in a shallow glass of water and plan to use up this precious herb soon! 

Next Week’s Best Guess:  Kale or collards, green cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, summer squash and zucchini, bunching onions, garlic scapes, fennel, parsley, romaine lettuce

Recipes:

Beet Greens Fritatta

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Swiss Chard Stir Fry with Noodles

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Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard

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Basil Olive Oil Cake with Whipped Cream

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Garlic Scape Pesto with Basil!

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