Small Family Farm CSA

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Small Family Farm
Below are current issues of The Weekly Dig Newsletter, from Jillian Varney, owner of the Small Family Farm. Stay up to date on what's happening on the farm!

June Thirtieth

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The farm received a blessed 1 ¾ inches of rain on Saturday this week. The rains came slow and fell softly over the course of a whole day. We feel lucky because other townships around ours receive as many as three and five and up to 11 inches of rain. We evaded downpours and torrential rains that could have caused soil loss and crop damage. Now the soil on the farm is moist and the crops look happy and undamaged and your farmers are satisfied for another week.

The rains on Saturday actually gave us a bit of a ‘rain day’. My brother and his family came to stay for the afternoon and overnight on Saturday and Adam got to actually spend time with family rather than being on the tractor all day. We played board games and made dinner together and watched the kids play. Even in the summer months, if family comes to visit, Adam always stops in for a quick visits but is right back out the door again after lunch. It is rare that we get an all-day rain on a weekend day and we get to spend time as a family. Saturday was a bit of a blessing in that way as well.

The strawberries are the only thing on the farm we felt the most sorry for. Strawberries are needing to be picked almost every day and it’s hard to keep with the patch. Strawberries do not love to be wet and we need to pick them during daylight hours when the crew is available for picking. We’ve been needing to dance around the rains pertaining to harvest and have had to pick them on the wet side at times. We’re hoping they make it to you safely, but perhaps this week you should eat them up quickly, as though you would let them sit around for very long before gobbling them up. There is no comparison to the flavor and texture of locally grown, seasonal strawberries!

The rains make more than the crops grow. This week we will be very busy trying to catch up on our weeding. The strawberry and pea harvest have been taking up a lot of crew time, but this week we’re going to prioritize weeding many of the crops that have been trying to compete with the weeds that could use a little help. It’s very difficult on a farm like ours with so many crops that need attention, deciding what is the most important task at hand when there are SO MANY important tasks that need to be accomplished. But I have to trust, as we have made it through so many seasons in the past, that we’ll catch up like we always have.

We put up what I feel is a really ugly deer fencing all around the perimeter of some of our fields this summer. We have ‘gates’ for entering these fields and the fencing is a bit of a hassle as we’re always needing to remember to open and close these gates. The beautiful vegetable landscape is encased in an 8 foot high plastic netting to keep the encroaching deer population from mowing down our lettuce, strawberries, beets, swiss card, carrots and more. But the ugly deer fencing is sure paying off. We’re finally able to keep the deer off the crops we have learned that they favor and are drawn to. We have yet to see them begin to take out crops they have historically left alone.

Your farmers and the crops live to fight another day on Salem Ridge Road.

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Soooo….What’s in the Box?????

Swiss Chard-  Swiss Chard never looks as good as it does in the Spring/Early Summer like this!  I love how the leaves look so smooth and healthy and vibrant!  Swiss Chard is in the same family as beets and spinach.  Chard has some of the earthy flavor that beets have and all of the smoothness that spinach offers. 

Red Oakleaf Lettuce-  The red oakleaf lettuce is very tender and soft.  It has all the tenderness of a lovely spring lettuce, lacking some of the crunch.  It is very smooth and colorful and nutritious and a fun variety to try out for the foodie in us all!  

Romaine Lettuce-  Beautiful heads of romaine lettuce.  Romaine is also a Spring treat.  We love to make home-made caesar salads with crutons and a caesar dressing.  Romaine leaves are also a fun gluten-free wrap alternative.  Fill the leaves with rice, hummus, meat, cheese or whatever you like!  

Cilantro- Nice little bunches of cilantro this week.

Sugar Snap Peas – A small giving of .25 lb per member. The pea patch is waning, but still producing flowers. We’re hoping to keep picking them as long as they produce.

Strawberries- Another quart per member this week. Strawberries don’t last long, so eat them up quick! This variety (Cavendish) ripens fully with some white still on the berry- it’s tricky to pick them, but we love the flavor!   We’re hoping to get one more week out of the patch before it is done for the season.

Kohlrabi-  More kohlrabi!  You may have received either a green or a purple kohlrabi.  The purple and green kohlrabi have the same flavor and texture on the insides.  Their texture is very similar to that of an apple, but they have the flavor of a broccoli stalk resembling a little of cabbage or even turnips or radishes without the spice.

Broccoli- One head per member. This is about the last of the first succession of broccoli. We thought they did pretty well considering all of the stresses of the spring weather changes (frost followed by several 90 degree days). The next plantings are looking great and were hoping for a good supply of broccoli this year!

Garlic Scapes-  These are actually the garlic plant's efforts at making a seed nodule.  The plant sends out these scapes in mid June and it is the garlic farmer's responsibility to snap these off so that the garlic plants invest more of their energy into making larger bulbs under the ground rather than sending its energy up to make a big seed head.  Lucky for us all, these scapes are delicious to eat and a satisfactory supplement to garlic while we wait for garlic harvest in about a month.  They're a very rare seasonal treat.  While you can eat the entire scape, the part of the scape that is most commonly eaten is from the blunt end where it was snapped off of the plant all the way up to the little nodule.  Above the nodule the texture changes a little and it's a bit more chewy.  Garlic scapes will keep for a while, but we recommend using them up in your cooking anywhere that you would normally use garlic.  They have a much more mild flavor without all of the heat and intensity of actual garlic.  Enjoy!

Green Onions-  Because life is so much better with onions and we're still waiting for onion bulbs to size up! 

Summer Squash or Zucchini – 1 or 2 per member. Summer squash harvest has begun! The production starts off slow, but will pick up soon. We will pick them every other day for 5 or six more weeks for a steady supply of this summer treat!

Next Week’s best guess: Bunching onion, Garlic scapes, zucchini and summer squash, fennel, kohlrabi, lettuce, kale or collards, broccoli and/or cauliflower, green cabbage, hopefully strawberries and peas!

Recipes

Swiss Chard Fritatta

Easy Caesar Salad with Romaine Lettuce

Zucchini Fritters

Home Made Oriental Salad Dressing

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June Twenty-Third

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At least once every season I like to pay tribute to our helpers. They are the behind-the-scenes bodies, minds and souls of our farm breathing life and energy into the work we are doing. Without people willing to do this kind of work, even for 3.5 hours a week, our Small Family Farm would simply not be where we are today. We need people willing to get their hands dirty, work in the heat, work in the mud, and stretch their comfort levels. Lucky for us all, we have a thriving community of helpers interested in deepening their level of connection to where their food is grown and assisting in the movement of community agriculture.

We have a crew of 10 employees working between 1-4 days a week, depending on their own availabilities. These helpers are the backbone of the farm. They have an interest in organic agriculture and they are drawn to work using their bodies and working outside. They have grit and perseverance and loyalty. I am proud and grateful and amazed by each of them. These folks become friends and spend time together outside of work too!

What makes our farm even more interesting is the Worker Shares. Our Worker Shares work a 3.5 hour shift each week earning themselves a Weekly CSA Share in the farm. They are an eclectic bunch of helpers that arrive on their designated day of the week according to the shift they signed up for because they have flexibility with their other jobs. They bring a fresh energy to the crew and their unique backgrounds that gives the rest of us full-timers a lift. Some of them lead fishing trips for a living, some are local artists, cardiac rehab therapists, DNR workers, organic inspectors, archeologists, musicians, teachers, and stay-at-home parents. We have had retired sociologists, veterinarians, accountants, journalists and even others from a longer academic background. You can imagine how interesting the conversations in the field become!

This newsletter was inspired because last Wednesday night as three worker shares and myself were out weeding parsnips together, we discovered that all three of them had Anthropology degrees. It felt like a serendipitous moment. For the first hour we talked about how each of them are using their degrees now and the work they are doing. Simon works for a company called Ashoka that finances social entrepreneurs and Heather knew the historical background of the Indian Emperor of the Maurya Dynasts that ruled most of the country of India from 268-232 BCE. Julia is a corporate trainer using Applied Anthropology in teaching adults and building training programs. We talked about emotional intelligence, and the ‘growth mindset’ verses the ‘fixed mindset’. Three and a half hours flew by!

How blessed are we to have such an extensive array of backgrounds and helpers showing up at the Small Family Farm every week? I love how the ancient art of farming calls to us all. No matter your race, sexual identity, or income, we all long for a connection to our food, the earth and other humans. When this connection is strengthened, so is your spirit and the community at large. I love standing (or kneeling or squatting) in a field with every one of these people handling plants, scraping the earth, and letting the sunshine kiss our skin and wind blow in our hair while we nurture our primal connections together. I also love that I get to share these experiences with you. Thank you for reading your newsletters and for staying connected with us!

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Soooo….What’s in the Box????

Lettuce x 2- Everyone receive two heads of lettuce this week. You may have received either the green buttercup lettuce or the red oakleaf lettuce. These very special Spring varieties of lettuce are so tender and delicious. It gets difficult to grow these fun varieties once the weather gets got. These varieties are not bolt resistant. It’s so fun to share them with you now! Be sure to wash your lettuce leaf-by-leaf to make sure all soil and dirt is washed out of the crevices.

Green Curly Kale- The kale was looking so amazing, we decided to give it again this week. Large bunches of beautiful kale again this week!

Strawberries- 1 quart per member. We grew a variety called Cavendish this year which is a new variety to us. A trademark of Cavendish is that they will have white spots on the strawberries, different from other varieties in the past that need to be picked all red. Cavendish can have white spots on the berry and the berry will still be very juicy and sweet and ripe.

Sugar Snap Peas- .66lbs per member. A hearty giving of sugar snap peas this week! Picking peas takes up lots of time! But we feel that they’re worth every minute of it. Everyone loves to snack on peas. The entire pod is edible. They’re a wonderful addition to salads of all kinds!

Hakurai Salad Turnips- 1.5 lbs per member. We spent a lot of time last week cleaning the tops of the turnips so we could bunch them, so this week we decided to cut the tops off in the field and just wash and bag the turnips. We discovered that we saved a lot of time doing it this way and we were also able to give you all more turnips since we saved so much time not having to clean the greens up.

Kohlrabi x 2- Kohlrabi is the apple of the brassica family. Kohlrabi is in the same family as kale, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. The leaves can be used in cooking like kale as well. Just peel your kohlrabi with a pairing knife and enjoy the crispy insides with a veggie dip, grated on salads, pan fried, or any way you can dream up!

Bunching Onions- The first giving of bunching onions is always modest. They will continue to bulk up a little and in future weeks they will be a little bigger. You can use every part of these scallions from the roots to the tips of the greens in your salads of all kinds! Yum!

Broccoli- The first broccoli harvest of the season! We are now harvesting broccoli every other day to cut the heads that need to be picked. You and expect more of these summer treats in the next few boxes!

Garlic Scapes- These are the long, curly shoots with a little nodule towards the top. Garlic scapes are the garlic plant’s effort at making a seed head. We snap these off to tell the garlic plant to put more effort into making a larger garlic bulb rather than putting it’s energy into making seeds. Lucky for us all, the scapes are edible and delicious. The edible part is the part from the blunt end up to the start of the nodule. The part above the nodule is of course edible, but it gets a little chewier, I usually toss that part out.

Next Week’s Best Guess: Broccolic, kohlrabi, chard, lettuce, bunching onions, garlic scapes, strawberries, cabbage, zucchini?,

Recipes

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pie (no bake) Jillian's absolute favorite pie EVER!  

Kohlrabi Oven Fries

Freekeh Salad with Chicken, Kale, Kohlrabi and Asiago 

Nacho Kale Chips

June Sixteenth

The farm is like an adolescent child right now. The crops are all young and tender and ‘growing up so fast’. The crops are healthy and strong and it seems as though nothing can stop them. They would grow up to the clouds in their own minds if not for their encumbering and limiting genetics. The lettuce is tender and the kale is crispy. The rows of vegetables are defined and youthful looking. We even found some time to do some brush hogging around the farm this week to manicure some of the driveways between fields.

Farmer Adam has turned himself into a full-time irrigation machine. Although a very exhilarating storm rolled in with style on Friday night last week pouring down water from the sky on a hot and sticky summer evening, your farmers were left feeling like it all ended a little too soon. We picked up the rain gauge after the storm had passed and measured a mere 2/10th of an inch.   We exchanged a look of knowing and allowed the water to empty from the vessel with a dropped arm. We were grateful for the rain, but only temporarily satisfied. The farm is streaked with dripline now and the sound of the generator pumping water down the veins of the rows is almost constant now.

Thankfully, we have access to gasoline, plastics and electricity and the glorious groundwater that flows so beautifully and freely up from the depths of the earth into our holding tanks. All of these things make it possible for us to grow beautiful, organically grown produce in a drought season. In the evenings as we hold our hands around the dinner table, we offer a genuine appreciation for our access to a deep and bountiful water table flowing magnanimously beneath our farm.

The field crew arrive bright and early each morning with their work boots, sun hats and water bottles. I feel inspired by the hardworking helpers we have that show up ready to get out there and harvest, weed, dig, wash or do whatever it is they’re directed to do with smiles on their faces and a shared belief in the agricultural community we are building. This summer we have three young people who are working on our crew who are talking seriously about starting farms of their own. These are people with a grounded perception backed with experience on this farm of what it takes to run a vegetable production farm.

Adam and I don’t always paint the most glorious picture of farm life for a young farmer. We are cautionary to prospective young farmers. We are fostering and forewarning. We unintentionally inspire these young people. But what I am realizing is that the inspiration is momentous. Without these youthful young eyes, I am uninspired. Without you all buying and voting and cheering us on, the effort and energy it takes to keep this up would be unsustainable.

Today I am thankful for ripening. Ripening strawberries. Ripening young humans. Ripening and aging small family farms. I am thankful for mowed grass and bountiful water tables and sugar snap pea vines filled with delicate white blossoms. The season is so young and full of potential bounty.

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Sooo….What’s in the Box????

Green Oakleaf Lettuce- Two heads of hoophouse grown green oakleaf lettuce.

Cherry Bell Radishes- Generous bunches of radishes. This is the final giving of radishes for the season.

Hakurai Salad Turnips- These turnips are not what you often think of for the flavor and texture of turnips that you see in the Fall. Hakurai salad turnips are delicious eaten raw on salads or with a veggie dip. The greens are also edible.

Kohlrabi- One green kohlrabi per member this week. Peel the kohlrabi with a pearing knife and enjoy the crispy insides sprinkled with salt, raw on salads, with a veggie dip or even cook them into a stir fry or fry them like French fries. The Apples of the brassica family. Kohlrabi are wonderfully versatile used any way you can dream up!

Green Lacinato Kale- Lacinato kale is the favorite variety of kale lovers. The first kale harvest of the season and the leaves are tender and crispy and looking lush and beautiful! Check out the kale and lentil salad recipe contributed by one of our worker shares. Elizabeth says her kids love this recipe!

Cilantro- A favorite item for CSA members! Cilantro is lovely on taco salads, with Thai food or even in a home-made cilantro lime salad dressing.

Sugar Snap Peas- A modest .33 lbs per member. This was the first sugar snap pea harvest of the season. We are hoping to give a larger bag next week! These are a healthy snack just eaten raw, but a nice addition to a stir fry, spring rolls, or any way you like them.

Potatoes- 2 lbs of potatoes per member. These were overwintered potatoes from last season. They kept beautifully in the cooler all winter long. Some members received reds, some golds, and some russets. It was a bit of a mix of varieties we had left from last year.

Next Week’s Best Guess- Lettuce, sugar snap peas, broccoli, garlic scapes, strawberries, kale, hakurai salad turnips?, kohlrabi, cilantro? Bunching onions?

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Recipes

Warm Lentil Kale Salad with Olives, Almonds and Cumin

Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

Sweet Radish Relish

 

June Nineth

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The 2021 growing season is sure kicking off with a bang!  Last week we finished planting our tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and got a parsley planting in.  This week we will continue planting our second succession of sweet corn, continual lettuce plantings, fennel and basil and another Strawberry planting for 2022 harvest!  A CSA farm is unique from other farms in that we are always planting something.  We are always weeding and always harvesting. 
 
The heat on the farm has made Farmer Adam turn into something of a wild man.  The only thing he can think or talk about right now is irrigation.  He is fully in the zone.  We picked up another stash of 2 inch blue layflat, dripline and a mess of connectors this week in an effort to get water to all of the plants on the farm that need it.  It has been more than 2 weeks since we have gotten rain and some of the transplants that went in two weeks ago are looking like they must have water at this point.  Our hardworking nephew, Sam, is out there laying dripline while Adam hooks everything up, fills the irrigation tanks, starts up the generator and monitors the process.  By the end of the day on Monday Adam finally had a look of relief in his face that I haven’t seen for a little while knowing that the crops that needed water the most got a good soaking. 
 
This heat and the beginning of what looks like and feels like a drought year is a little frightening for a farmer.  Sever storms, erosive rains and high winds are more obviously fearful, but a long moisture debt, lack of rain in the forecast and a long stretch of 90 degree and upper 80 degree weather in enough to instill a little fear in a vegetable farmer as well.  We think of some of our summer vegetables as loving the heat, but truly, most vegetables thrive in an arid 65-75 degrees, even tomatoes, peppers, melons, and corn.  Think of California’s climate where most of the country’s vegetables are grown.  Temperatures in the high 80’s and 90’s induce plant stress that can actually slow their growth and impact their yields-especially the cool weather loving ‘Spring’ crops like peas, lettuce, radish, turnip, cilantro and broccoli. 
 
The good news is that it is still quite early in the season.  There is still time for the tables to turn.  We are getting water to the plants (even if it is loads of extra work!).   It could start raining again.  The temperatures could cool off a bit.  The field crew hasn’t said a word of complaint and everyone’s spirits are still relatively high.  Everyone is happy to split the day up with harvesting and then washing the vegetables in the shady, wet and cool packing shed in the afternoon.
 
We are seeing our first Monarch butterflies, fireflies, inchworms and lots of June bugs (or “May Bugs” as my 3-year old calls them) clumsily flying in the evenings and singing their buzzy songs.  Even the flies are in full force.  It sure feels like summer!  The children are swimming almost every day in the pool we set up for them last summer at home on the farm.   Our 5 month old puppy even lays around in the heat like he’s an old dog and I feel we have been given this one small reprieve. 
 
In the evenings there is grilled asparagus and hamburgers and potato salad and pac choi salad with yummy crunchies on top.  There are ceiling fans and ice and the rosy cheeks of my children and their summertime eyes gleaming like the sun itself.

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Sooo….What’s in the Box????
Pac Choi- These are the Asian style vegetable with the white stems and green tops! Pac Choi can be tricky to grow in the Spring because the flea beetles love it too, but we cover it with remay and grow them in the hoop houses to get an early start on greens for the first boxes! These are wonderful in stir fry or in an Asian style salad raw!
 
Cherry Bell Radishes- Big, juicy red radishes with their greens attached. Don’t forget that radish greens are edible! They are wonderful wilted or even raw in salads. These radishes have a bit of a bite that I attribute to the dry spring we had. Radishes will be mild when there is plenty of rain during their growing period. Radishes are a welcome treat in these early days!
 
Red Buttercup Lettuce or Green Oakleaf Lettuce- Also hoop house grown! We get an early start on spring lettuce by planting it in the greenhouse. I love how tender the Spring lettuce is, especially these buttercup and oakleaf varieties, SOO lovely.
 
Spinach-  Two 1 pound bags. Wow!  This is the very largest spinach giving ever on our farm!  We had a bumper crop of spinach this Spring that we needed to harvest last week because of the hot weather that makes spinach plants bolt (or go to seed). We were hoping to save that extra pound for the Week 3 boxes but we didn’t trust that it would hold in the cooler.  We noticed that since it was so tender it might not keep as well as Fall Spinach or thicker walled spinach grown in cooler temps.  Spinach is wonderful on pizza, wilted spinach salad, in quiche, or even in a spinach dip. Such a versatile cooking green that fits in everywhere!
 
Asparagus- 1 pound bunches for everyone. Asparagus is the one crop that we do buy for our CSA members each year because we would need to have acres of asparagus to get this weight we need to share with everyone. Additionally, it wouldn’t be seasonal eating if Asparagus wasn’t on the menu!
 
Overwintered Shallots- It’s hard to believe that these little guys were actually harvested last summer! They’re terrific keepers and they slept soundy in our cooler all winter long waiting for this moment to be delivered to you! They might want to sprout if you keep them at room temp, so we recommend keeping them in your fridge, or better yet, gobble them up! Shallots shine in sauce, dressing and marinade recipes, but can also be used just like an onion.
 
Herb Packs- These herb packs contain thyme, oregano, mint and basil. Each plant should be transplanted either into your garden or into larger pots and set in your window. There is simply nothing like fresh herbs for your summer cooking and even your Fall Soups!  All of them will do better in full sun.  Mint, thyme and oregano are perennials that will even overwinter if planted outside. 

Next Week's Best Guess-  Lettuce, cilantro, cherry bell radishes, hakurai salad turnips, kohlrabi?, overwintered potatoes, kale. 

Recipes:

Wilted Spinach with Chopped Radishes and Shallots

 Asparagus Bacon Quiche

Roasted Radishes with Brown butter, lemon and Radish Tops

June Second

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I like to use the first Newsletter of the season to introduce ourselves. For many of you who have been returning CSA members for several years, it’s like hearing your Aunt Helga or your mother re-tell the same story you’ve heard them tell 1000 times before. Just call me Aunt Jill, humor me and smile and nod as though you’ve never heard this one before. For this is what we’re doing here in the CSA model, we’re cultivating a relationship between the farmers and the eaters and we’re a little like one big family after all.

The Small Family Farm was born out of the romantic idea of epitomizing all that a small family farm could and should be. We envisioned a farm, run by a family with children on small acreage complete with the chicken coop, cows in the pasture and flower beds with glorious fields of organic vegetables. You can even picture the little rainbow and the butterflies passing by while the sun is shining and big white fluffy clouds overhead.

Adam and I bought the farm in the Spring of 2007 with 63 CSA members our first year here. We had just finished one season at Adam’s brother’s farm with 23 members the previous year. Today we are entering our 16th year of running our little CSA farm packing 385 boxes each week. We have three small children ages 3, 6, and 9. We still hold onto our romantic vision that propelled us to where we are today with a much more grounded approach to farm life and all that it takes to keep a farm like ours in production.

My husband, Adam, is the skinny guy with the big beard in the pictures. He’s quiet, consistent and extremely hardworking. He’s a cultivation geek that loves to check the weather constantly. He obsesses about plant diseases, and all things related to temperatures in vegetable farming from germination temps to storage temps. He has an impressive memory for all the trailed experiments we’ve done on this farm. He does daily field walks checking out the progress of the crops, studies soil agronomy and will talk all things vegetable farming all day long.   Interesting fact is that his first dream job was to become a rock star and he loves to watch UFO documentaries.

I’m the farm-her who writes these newsletters. You can blame me for “starting it all”. Before we had kids Adam used to work a full time job and I was the primary farmer. I was the one with the stars in my eyes for CSA Farming. I’m the idealistic, dreamy gal who believes in community agriculture but is grounded enough to know what it actually takes make a ship like this sail. I like to drive tractors, be outside, and work hard. I have passed the farming baton to Adam who has taken our farm to a whole new level.  Motherhood has transformed all that I ever thought was important in life and I manage to sustain a work/family life balance that feels a little like a super-woman status.  Do all mothers feel this way?  Raising loving, empathetic, respectful, creative, healthy, and wholesome humans has become my primary focus, but the farm still gets plenty of my time as well.  

I would be remiss if I didn’t attribute some of our success, well, a lot of our success, to my mother. She has 5 acres next door and lives just a few-hundred-feet-walk away. She’s a big part of our family and she’s been helping and supporting us since the conception of our farm. We have joked that she’s my wife. She’s an amazing cook and has been fueling our hardworking bodies with the bounty of the farm harvest to keep us in action in the fields while she literally keeps the home fires burning. She does laundry, helps with the kids, mows the lawn and countless other errands to town that save us hours of time every day. I honestly don’t think we would be where we are today without her. Certainly my kitchen would be messier, my children’s manners may not be as good, and my laundry would pile much higher before I eventually got to it.

And YOU, you’re a part of the story too! A small handful of our CSA members have actually been with for all 16 years of our farming career. Some come and go and then come back again. Some have been with us for the last several. But every CSA member is braided into the history of our farm. I believe that we’re cultivating much more than vegetables out here. Thank you for being part of our story! Thank you for reading your newsletter and for knowing your farmer. Thank you for your new or ongoing love and support of our farm and organic agriculture at large! Yee Haw!

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Soooo….What’s in the Box????

Pac Choi- These are the Asian style vegetable with the white stems and green tops! Pac Choi can be tricky to grow in the Spring because the flea beetles love it too, but we cover it with remay and grow them in the hoop houses to get an early start on greens for the first boxes! These are wonderful in stir fry or in an Asian style salad raw!

Cherry Bell Radishes- Big, juicy red radishes with their greens attached. Don’t forget that radish greens are edible! They are wonderful wilted or even raw in salads. These radishes have a bit of a bite that I attribute to the dry spring we had. Radishes will be mild when there is plenty of rain during their growing period. Radishes are a welcome treat in these early days!

Red Buttercup Lettuce- Also hoop house grown! We get an early start on spring lettuce by planting it in the greenhouse. I love how tender the Spring lettuce is, especially these buttercup varieties, SOO lovely.

Spinach- ½ pound bags. A very bountiful spinach year so far! We will have another, even larger giving to share for next week! Spinach is wonderful on pizza, wilted spinach salad, in quiche, or even in a spinach dip. Such a versatile cooking green that fits in everywhere!

Asparagus- 1 pound bunches for everyone. Asparagus is the one crop that we do buy for our CSA members each year because we would need to have acres of asparagus to get this weight we need to share with everyone. Additionally, it wouldn’t be seasonal eating if Asparagus wasn’t on the menu!

Overwintered Shallots- It’s hard to believe that these little guys were actually harvested last summer! They’re terrific keepers and they slept soundy in our cooler all winter long waiting for this moment to be delivered to you! They might want to sprout if you keep them at room temp, so we recommend keeping them in your fridge, or better yet, gobble them up! Shallots shine in sauce, dressing and marinade recipes, but can also be used just like an onion.

Herb Packs- These herb packs contain thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage. Each plant should be transplanted either into your garden or into larger pots and set in your window. There is simply nothing like fresh herbs for your summer cooking and even your Fall Soups! I would recommend that your rosemary was put into a pot of it’s own and babied a little. Rosemary loves water and sunshine and will require a bit more attention than the others-which will thrive just about anywhere-and will overwinter too!

Recipes

Radish Spread

Pac Choi Salad with Sesamee Dressing

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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