In your box:
–Head Lettuce (“Grandpa Admire”)
–Vivid choi (full shares)
Welcome to our 2019 CSA season! I was a little worried a few weeks ago that we would not be able to have much of a growing season this year, but thankfully the constant rains have subsided and we’ve been rewarded with some very pleasant weather after all we’ve been through this past winter and spring. Our fields are in pretty good shape, the weeds are mostly under control, and it feels pretty good to be a farmer again.
This week’s box is heavy on salad ingredients, which have been thriving with the moderate temperatures we’ve had during June. We do have many more salad items coming your way next week, so be sure to use up what you’re receiving this week to make room in the fridge for your next box.
Our spinach this year has been by far the best spring crop I’ve ever grown. The leaves are getting a little on the larger side now, but they are still tender and sweet so you can either use them in a salad or cook them down in any recipe calling for spinach. We’ll have another couple weeks of spinach coming your way as long as we don’t get too much heat and humidity soon, which cause the spinach to go to seed and lose its sweet flavor. Half shares are receiving 4 ounces and full shares 8 ounces, if you’re using a recipe that calls for a certain quantity.
This week also brings our first bok choy of the season. This year I’ve experimented with a lightweight netting to cover all of our sensitive Asian greens, all designed to keep the pesky flea beetles off of the leaves. The results are much better than we’ve had in the past, although a few beetles have still managed to sneak their way in and left just minor cosmetic holes on some of the plants. My stock answer for “what do I do with bok choy?” has always been: stir fry it. But last year I found a recipe for a casserole that uses bok choy and that tastes amazing. I’ve included it below and you’ll definitely want to use it if stir-frying isn’t your thing. The “Grains and Greens” recipe works with komatsuna as well, which we’ll be harvesting in a couple of weeks. You can also use arugula, chard and kale for the greens if you like. Full shares are receiving one head of bok choy and one vivid choi, which is a purple variety that can be used in the same way as regular green bok choy.
If you’re unfamiliar with bok choy, the whole plant is edible and delicious. Store it in your fridge in the hydrator drawer, and simply peel off the leaves from the base stem when you’d like to use some. The white stems have a nice crunch and benefit from about 5 minutes on a wok if stir-frying. The green leafy part can be separated from the stem and lightly wilted for just a minute or so.
Nearly all of the produce in your boxes has already been washed, though some delicate crops (Berries and tomatoes) and some impractical ones (beans and many herbs) have not been washed by us. It’s a good idea to wash everything again before feeding your family—it helps keep the veggies fresh and ensures the cleanest and safest possible produce.
The bottles of kale pesto in your box this week are a bonus gift from our friend Mary Jane Miller, who is the head chef for Freak Flag Foods out of Minneapolis. Freak Flag makes a delightful variety of organic, non-GMO sauces for all purposes, and their products can be found at area natural food stores and Lunds & Byerly grocery stores. For more on Freak Flag, be sure to visit their website: www.freakflagfoods.com. Mary Jane had a few boxes of the pesto she was looking to donate, and we’re excited to pass on a jar to each box today.
Expected next week: Salad mix, spinach, radishes, bok choy, head lettuce, kale, and strawberries.