In your box:
–Baby beet greens
–Head lettuce, “Grandpa Admire” or “Red Romaine”
In accordance with the rules of my union, I am only allowed to complain about mosquitoes in newsletter for once during the whole season. I hate to use up my chance so early in the season, but…. The Horror! Early June came and went with just a few mosquitoes and none until after 9pm, so I thought that maybe we were going to catch a break this year. Instead, they were simply increasing the size of their army and fasting until they were ready to be unleashed upon the mammals of Fox and Fawn Farm. Mosquitoes in the house. Mosquitoes in the daytime. Great, noisy swarms in the early morning. Say I’m minding my own business, poking around in the strawberry plants for bright red berries? Each leaf I move out of the way awakens a sleeping mosquito who then takes vengeance on my ears for waking him up. So perhaps I’ll go weed the garlic, since someone told me that mosquitoes hate garlic? They love garlic and they love eating any poor mammal that goes anywhere near them. It’s enough to make me pray for a frost so that they’re all killed off for the year. Alright. No more complaining about mosquitoes for the rest of the year. But did you know we have deerflies, too?
Your box this week is mosquito free, but it does contain a couple new crops in addition to some of the usual veggies we harvest in the spring. Our cabbage and broccoli plants have bounced back fairly well from freezing up six weeks ago, so with any luck they’ll be ready to join us in a couple more weeks.
We’ve once again harvested a bountiful picking of salad mix. I forgot to mention last week that this is a different mixture from last year and contains some leaves that are a mottled blend of green and red coloring. I realized today that these might look diseased if you’re unfamiliar with them, but this is indeed how they are supposed to look. Enjoy!
One of the new crops this week is the bunch of baby beet greens. These are from my first thinning as I give many of the beets a little elbow room. Beet seeds, like chard and spinach, are often twins or triplets. So for every seed I plant in the ground, I’m likely to get a cramped family of beets. Couple this with the fact that my seeder plants the seeds much too close together, and the result is way too many beets in too small a space. I end up culling about 80% of all the beets in the row, which gives the remaining crop plenty of room to expand its roots. Thankfully, the baby beets that don’t make the cut are perfectly edible and quite delicious. They are a good stand-in for spinach or baby chard, and can be eaten whole. To use them, first strip off any unsightly yellowed leaves and wash thoroughly. Because these beets are so small, you do not need to separate the root from the leaves. You can munch on them raw, but they are also great cooked into a quiche or omelets. You can also enjoy them as a lightly cooked side dish. In a wok or frying pan, heat a little olive oil and toss in the bunch along with finely diced garlic scapes, if you desire. After two or three minutes the leaves will be wilted and taste great warm.
Another new crop this week is the turnips. Before you start whining about how much you hate turnips, hold on! These are SWEET turnips and taste incredible and only a little bit like their more bitter brothers and sisters. These are the Hakurei variety that have become so popular as of late, and it looks like we have enough to last us for two weeks of harvesting. The greens are edible but unsightly, so I won’t judge you for composting them. The white root should be washed but does not need to be peeled. Just slice it to bite-sized pieces and serve (some like a little salt dashed on top). It is great plain but can also be grated onto a salad or sauteed in a stir-fry. Just give them a chance!
We’ve had a few people ask about delivery for next week with the 4th of July holiday, and we want to confirm that delivery will go on as usual next week. If you happen to be traveling and will not be back in time for your box, feel free to have a friend pick up your box for you. If you’ll be gone and don’t have anyone lined up to take your produce, please let me know so that we spread out your vegetables in the other CSA boxes and avoid anything going to waste. Thanks!
Also, please remember to return your boxes each week and to collapse them so they don’t take up too much space at our delivery sites. To do this, turn the empty box upside down and fold up the short end pieces on the long ends of the box. Once these are popped up, the box folds flat like an accordion for easy storage. Thanks for your help with this. Enjoy your veggies and have a great 4th of July weekend!