In Your Box:
Welcome to our first week of produce delivery! We are thrilled to be offering you the first harvests from our garden this year, and we thank you for your support as we kick off 2013.
I’ll try to not belabor the point too much, but obviously the growing conditions this year have been far below ideal. We have been met with a constant flow of challenges, beginning with an eternal winter, snow in May, a hard freeze on Mother’s Day, weeks without sunshine in May, temperatures well below normal, and a “June Monsoon” complete with record rain, hail, and damaging wind.
All of this weather has left this poor farmer frazzled. One of the most debilitating tasks I perform is to select and germinate a seed for you, plant it, tend it, and watch it die for reasons beyond anyone’s control. This has been the case with so many crops this year, including cabbage and cauliflower (frozen), bok choy and tat soi (flooded), spinach (heat-stroked), head lettuce and Swiss chard (hail) and others.
My aim for the rest of this season is to stop beating myself up over failures I can’t control, and instead celebrate the crops that have endured this spring. We ask that you bear with us as we provide you with the “survivors” of 2013. And if this is your first experience with a CSA, know that it’s not always like this! Most years, we have a bounty throughout the summer and more freedom to pick and choose what goes in the boxes.
That said, the box this week contains the brightest promise of spring—Strawberries! If any of these survive the drive home, we’ve included a recipe with rhubarb, below. We also have a Salad Mix of various leaf lettuces, and hopefully not too much grass… We’ve weeded these and triple-checked to get the grass out, but the weeds have been relentless this year and we’ll rely on you to make a final check.
One of the less familiar crops this week is Mizuna, which you’ll find in a small bunch. This Asian green has jagged leaf edges and is closely related to arugula, which we’re hoping to give next week. Try these raw, mixed in a salad, or lightly steamed into most any dish. We like ours in lasagna or over noodles.
Also, we’re including sorrel for the first time ever. This is the only perennial green that we grow, and it is a great stand-in for spinach. We’ve added it as a bunched crop in the bag of your salad mix. It’s usually eaten raw in a mixed salad, to capture its intense lemon flavor. If you’d rather try it in a soup, an internet search for “sorrel soup” has some good ideas.
All of this week’s crops should be refrigerated, and will keep for at least one week.
Please remember to return your boxes weekly. These cost us just under a couple dollars each, but we are able to reuse them all year. Also, it is helpful to save room at delivery sites and to save me time in loading if you collapse the boxes. To do this, flip them upside down. The shorter ends fold up and out, allowing the longer sides to fold up and the whole box to smash down flat. Thanks for your help!
Also, please note that we will be delivering boxes over the 4th of July weekend, including Thursday delivery on the 4th itself. If you will be out of town and don’t have anyone lined up to get your box, please let us know so that we can split up your box with other members. Thanks!
Remember that all of our old recipes are stored on our website, www.foxandfawnfarm.com. Click on the crop you’re struggling to use to find any archived recipes using that crop.
Coming soon: Kale, green onions, arugula