ATHENS HILLS SUMMER CSA:
WEEK TWO (June 29--July4)
A hearty welcome to our Athens Half Share members who are receiving their first shares of the Summer 2009 CSA season this week! Thanks so much for joining us for what promises to be a bountiful season. To make sure that everyone gets off to a great start, I’ve included some of the same important information as last week, particularly the notes to the right. These tidbits, plus those included in your welcome letters will help answer some of the questions that may come up as the season progresses. However, you are welcome to contact us anytime throughout with your thoughts, suggestions, questions or concerns. We love to have those lines of communication open from the beginning, so don’t be shy.
As many of you know by now, I am expecting my first child anytime now, and am taking time off from the farm starting this week. Rob, our trusty Mushroom Guru, will be taking over for me as CSA Coordinator while I am out preparing for, and then enjoying, my new baby & family. He, along with Becky, will be your CSA contacts here at Green Edge. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be more than happy to help, so give them a call or email anytime. I am hoping to return in some capacity in the early fall, so keep your eyes out for me then.
Everyone here is excited for the season and having great folks like you who support us through the summer & autumn make those hot, humid, stifling days that lay ahead worth all the hard work. I hope you have a wonderful week and thanks again. Enjoy your shares this week!
Claudia (on behalf of Kip & Becky, Dan, John, Cale, Rob, Penny, Eric, and our interns: Corey, Becky & Julia)
(Check out the rest of the newsletter for serving suggestions, storage advice, etc. for each of these vegetables.)
Salad Mix (We have a delicious and beautiful array of lettuces that we combine to make this mix. You can find a couple of romaine varieties, red & green leaf lettuces, some butter heads, and others cut and mixed for your salad-eating pleasure throughout the season.)
Sunflower Microgreens (These gorgeous, healthy & crunchy delights are similar to other sprouts that you may have seen before only they are grown in soil instead of just water. This means they are more nutritious and delicious.)
Mushrooms (This week’s fungi of choice are our fantastic oyster mushrooms. These wonders come in a variety of colors so don’t be surprised if you receive white, yellow or blue oysters throughout the season—they are all delicious.)
Beets with Tops (You can't get much more out of these late spring beauties. Their roots are soooo delicious & sweet and the leaves are vitamin-packed and wonderful sautéed as you might do with any of our greens—a little butter or olive oil and some garlic and onion helps to makes this veggie into a great side dish.)
Carrots (So sweet and crunchy, they’ll be hard to resist. You know what to do with these gorgeous late spring gems :))
Sweet Basil (Yum! Yum! One of my favorite tastes of summer is here to stay. See the back of this newsletter for the best way to store it so that you can savor it throughout the season.)
Summer Squash (Crunchy & fresh, you can't go wrong with eating these any which way you choose. Zucchini, yellow & patty pans are the varieties you'll enjoy this season.)
FYI ALL MEMBERS…
●Just a reminder that starting with WEEK THREE we will no longer print out copies of the newsletter. Instead you will be able to find it posted on our weblog at: www.greenedgegardens.blogspot.com
If you would like to receive the newsletter via email each week, please let us know ASAP, so that we can add you to our list. Thanks for helping us do our part for Mother Earth!
·In the same vain, please return any of our wax boxes &/or green cloth bags from your previous shares when you pick up your next share.
●We are so happy to host yet another Open Farm Day this summer. Come join us Sunday July 19th, from 2pm-6pm for farm tours, a potluck dinner, and fun, fun, fun!
·Please make sure that you check your name off of our lists each time you pick up your share--this helps your host solve any problems should they arise.
●If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pick-up location, hours, etc. please contact your pick-up host first. Most likely, they will be able to help. If not, we will be more than happy to answer your questions.
●We are looking forward to a great season and we hope you are too! Enjoy!
SO WHAT IS THIS VEGETABLE AND WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
To get us all started off on the right foot, I thought I would include some history, serving suggestions, and storage recommendations for each of the vegetables in this week’s share, in lieu of recipes. I hope you find these helpful and if you have anything to add, please feel free to comment on our blog—we would love to hear from you!
SALAD MIX: Fresh salad is certainly something folks crave when summer rolls around so I thought that I would include some tidbits that can help you enjoy it throughout the week. I would first recommend that you wash the mix before serving since we have only triple rinsed it before packing it up. In the summer the shelf life can be extended by spinning it dry after washing, or by placing a paper towel or two in the bag along one side to capture some of the moisture. Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. We try to grow varieties that will do well in the heat, but sometimes temperature, etc. can cause damage to the leaves that will shorten its shelf life after harvest. If you notice this, just be sure to enjoy the salad earlier in the week, so that it doesn’t spoil before you’ve had a chance to use it.
SUNFLOWER MICROGREENS: This particular “micro” is the hardiest of the five that we grow and the most substantial. Unlike sprouts, our microgreens are vitamin and fiber-packed, all of which helps to maintain a healthy diet. Add these beauties to your salad mix, your sandwiches, make a bed of them to lay your eggs or pasta on for an interesting and tasty presentation. If you would like more information on their nutritional value, please email us.
OYSTER MUSHROOMS: Delicate and delicious, these fungi are not only colorful and fun to look at, they add a lovely flavor to most salads and entrees. Since these mushrooms are so light and on the fragile side, you won’t need to cook them for very long—3 to 5 minutes at most if you want them to maintain their integrity in your dish. They can also be enjoyed raw as part of your salad or as a garnish. Whichever way you decide to use them, just cut them from their base and enjoy their light earthy flavor.
CARROTS: Biting into one of these this past weekend, I found myself in a sort of veggie heaven that I had been waiting for all winter. So bright and colorful you can count on them to be delicious and nutritious. Think about shredding them along with some raw beets on top of a salad to add vibrant colors and tastes to a summer favorite. Store these fantastic roots in your crisper drawer and they’ll keep for a least a month (if you can stand to wait that long to enjoy them).
BEETS with TOPS: As many of you know, beets are chock full of wonderful vitamins and minerals that help keep us healthy. The leaves are iron-rich and make a great cooked side dish similar in taste & consistency to Swiss chard & spinach. The roots make a stunning impression grated raw on top of a salad, or as a slaw. If you are going to enjoy them cooked, wait to peel them until you've boiled them. The peel can be easily removed then with your fingers once the beets have cooled a bit.
SUMMER SQUASH: We grow a tasty medley of summer squashes that thrive in the heat of the season. Our zucchini, yellow & pattypan varieties can be enjoyed raw, but also do well grilled whole alongside your favorite meat, fish or other veggies. Marinated or not, their flavor suits any barbeque or picnic. If you find that you prefer to cook them on the stovetop, try adding them to a pasta dish, pizza, stir-fry, or curry. Store them on your countertop if you anticipate eating them right away, or in the crisper drawer of your fridge if you want to save them for later in the week. They should keep this way for a least a week if not more.
SWEET BASIL: When this fragrant herb hits the scene then you know it’s summer. The best way to store your bunch of basil is to fill a glass jar or cup with water and place the bunch in it as you would a bouquet of flowers. If you keep the water filled, you should be able to keep the basil for at least two weeks this way. The stems will even start growing roots! The main thing to avoid when storing basil is moisture and cold, both of which rot the leaves almost immediately. So, only wash the leaves right before you use them.
I hope you find this information helpful. You can find recipes for your veggies in next week’s newsletter, but don’t forget it will only be available on the blog, or you can sign up to receive it via email by contacting us ASAP. Enjoy your share and keep in touch.Have a wonderful week!