In your box:
–Cabbage (red or green)
–Head lettuce (“Grandpa Admire”)
Our highlight this week is the first of our cabbage. I’ve never been a reliable cabbage grower, and as a result I grow three kinds of spring cabbage with the hope that one or two will do well. This year it looks like the stars have aligned for success with all three kinds: red, green, and Napa cabbage. This week most boxes will receive small red cabbages, with the pyramid-shaped green cabbages coming next week. It looks like all of the cabbages will be reaching maturity at about the same time, so be sure to use up this week’s cabbage before your next box so you don’t get over-run with cabbage. These keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you only need half of a head for a recipe, just put the remainder in a bag in the fridge and it should keep its quality well for up to a week.
Our box this week is largely a repeat of last week, but there are changes on the way. This is the last week of turnips and garlic scapes, while salad mix has its days numbered and scallions will soon give way to full-size sweet onions. So please bear with the greens for another week—it will be fall before we see many of them again. Our tomato plants are looking great and have hundreds of flowers and little green fruits forming, and with some more heat we’ll be munching delicious heirloom tomatoes in no time.
We’re off to a great start with zucchini, and hopefully the harvest will make up for three straight years of lackluster harvests. People often wonder what the difference is between a zucchini and a summer squash, and even more than that wonder how to spell zucchini. As far as their relationship—zucchini is a kind of summer squash, just like crooknecks, patty pams, and zephyrs. We grow four different kinds of summer squash, so in newsletters I just refer to them generically as summer squash. My favorite looking squash are the zephyrs, which are half green and half yellow. But the green and yellow zucchini are the most abundant, so you can expect a lot of those this year.
Squash should be rinsed but do not need to be peeled. They should be kept in the fridge and keep for 7-10 days. Squash can be eaten raw, cut into sticks and served with dip. They can also be grated into salads for a modified cole slaw. Squash can also be cooked into soups and stews, but to retain their texture we recommend adding them to the pot for just the last 5-10 minutes. Squash are also great on the grill—slice them in half and cook for 3-4 minutes near the center of the heat and then 8-10 minutes on a cooler part of the grill after basting with oil or your favorite marinade.
The squash this week are of good size, but at some point in the season I will doubtless miss some for a couple days too many and find some real whoppers out in the field. If you get any that are too large to deal with, or if you start getting a little fatigued with all the squash, they can always be used in a zucchini cake (recipe below). If they start piling up in the fridge, you can grate them into a freezer bag or container, juices and all, and store until you have enough saved up for a zucchini cake. And yes, it still counts as a vegetable in cake form.
Our spring raspberries are coming in nicely, so some of you will receive them in your boxes this week. We don’t grow enough to supply everyone each week, but we keep track of which boxes receive raspberries so that everyone receives them equally. We’ve started picking into half pints this year so that we can be sure to get through our whole CSA list this summer. Full shares will receive one full pint.
It’s a good idea to be careful with your box each week—I always cringe when I see someone pick it up by one handle and let all the produce flop around inside. Raspberries are very delicate, as are the tomatoes we’ll begin picking in a couple weeks. Treat them kindly!
Expected next week: Summer squash, cucumbers, kohlrabi, salad mix, beet greens, cabbage, green onions, basil, and kale.