With the exceptional cool weather lately, we are off to a slower than usual start for this season. Cool nights make for wonderful sleeping, but they don’t do the veggies any favors. The plants are all healthy, but just not as mature as we would hope, or as we have planned. But each day, things are growing and soon ‘abundance’ will once again be the watchword.
Driving by the east field this evening, the newly planted crowns of asparagus fans were waving in the wind. With the 600 that were planted last year and the 600 from this year, we hope to have lots to harvest in two years time. The rhubarb is also up and thriving. There’s not quite so much of that planted. Soon the crew will be cultivating and mulching which will keep the soil moist and reduce the amount of time for weeding.
This has been a week filled with challenges. At one point towards the end of last week, we had no working coolers. That only lasted a few hours, but the tension was not any good for any of us. The refrigeration unit on the delivery truck also broke. Fortunately, we don’t need that every day and there is a back-up diesel motor for it. More progress was made in bringing our newest walk-in on line, but the 1st start was disappointing, and sent the repairman away shaking his head. He’ll be back though, and hopefully will find the problem. I believe that for farms that harvest and sell in the same manner as us, refrigeration is the biggest vulnerability. Keeping product at the proper storage temperature is critical to the success of this venture.
Work continues for the crew - planting, weeding, harvesting, and packing are the norms. At this point in the season, lots of time is also spent trellising the tomatoes: heirloom, slicing, and cherry. And soon we will be able to taste the benefits of those efforts. YUM! YUM! Have a great week!
From all of us at Green Edge,
Becky (Kip, Dan, Mark, Rob, Theo, Penny, Emily, Matt T, Brittany, Michelle, Josh, Matt C., Natalie, & Miranda)
Mushrooms or Cucumbers - Mushrooms can tricky sometimes, and this week proves it! Many will receive oyster mushrooms; a few will receive shiitake; but others will get cucumbers. More info on page 2.
Sunflower / MicroMix Microgreens - Some of you will get our more delicate mix this week, and some will get sunflower. The MicroMix has a tangy flavor, and does not store as long as the sunflower.
Dill or Cilantro – Each herb has such a unique flavor that it’s hard to compare or contrast them. Both are an exciting addition to tossed salad. If you got dill last week, you will get cilantro this time, and vice versa.
Basil – The official start of summer for us begins with the 1st bite of basil. Whether it’s pesto, in salads or some other yummy dish, summer isn’t truly here without it.
Kale – Truly our most popular green after spinach! Kale doesn’t do too well when it gets really hot, so we’re happy to have it now. This is the last time for kale until the cool fall weather. Kale chips or pesto are some of the popular recipes.
Sorrel – A perennial herb with an amazing lemon flavor! It is versatile and hearty. It make a wonderful pesto, is a robust addition to salad, or makes a great addition to a tuna salad sandwich.
Beets – Two veggies in one! The roots make one meal and the greens are another. Some like them raw, but most prefer them roasted or steamed.
The bread from The Village Bakery and Café is Country Wheat made with 100% whole wheat Prairie Gold flour. It’s rich, rustic and heartily delicious!
The cheese from Integration Acres is Alexander, a natural rind tomme made from raw goat's milk. Aged for well over six months, it's a salty snacking cheese, or a perfect stand-in for Parmesan when grated on spaghetti.
CLINTONVILLE COOP – 614-261-3663, 11 am-8 pm
ECOFLORA – 614-266-1618, 12pm-7pm
DUBLIN TREK BICYCLE 614-791- 8735, 3-7 pm
HILLIARD POWERSHACK 614-506-3086, 4-7pm
NEW ALBANY – 614-216-9370, 12-8pm
ATHENS COMMUNITY CENTER - 740-592-3325, 12-8 pm
HYACINTH BEAN – 740-594-9302, 12-6pm
BELPRE 304-488-3620, 3-6 PM
Please remember to call your host first if problems arise. Since they are closer to you, they can usually resolve the problem. Feel free to call us if the host is unable to help you – 740-448-4021 Thanks!
Plan now for your task of returning your CSA cloth bags. If you return those bags clean and dry, it helps us so much. We begin the season with plenty of bags and hope to keep them all circulating throughout the season. Thanks for you efforts!
A NOTE ABOUT MUSHROOMS: SHIITAKE OR OYSTER?
The simplest way to discern the difference is to look at the fungi’s growth pattern. If the mushroom is loose from the others and has a single stem – it’s a shiitake. If the mushroom is part of a cluster and the ‘leaves’ are fan-shaped – it’s an oyster. Shiitakes are hearty and have a much stronger flavor. They will take a little longer to sauté than the oyster. Remove the stem from the shiitake cap before using. (Although, many of our market customers insist that they chop and sauté the stem as well). Oysters have a more delicate flavor. They are more brittle and dry. Remove the ‘leaves’ from the base of the cluster at the point where the stem becomes more tough than you like. Storage for both is the same. Place the paper bag in a crisper drawer of the refrigerator. This should keep them from becoming slimy if you forget them. Instead, that will probably dry and be excellent for soups, or for re-hydration by soaking. If, like me, wasting food is hard to do, try this trick for using the stem and cluster base. Place the stems in a small saucepan with salted water. Simmer them for about an hour and a half, then strain the liquid into a container. Let it cool some and then freeze it. When frozen, remove to a plastic bag filled with other frozen broth-sicles. They are wonderful for cooking rice or adding to a rich soup stock.
A NOTE ABOUT MICROGREENS:
Many folks are new to the term ‘microgreen’, so we want to explain what they are. To quote from an article found at www.localmemphis.com:
“Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination. They are usually about 1-3 inches long and come in a rainbow of colors, which has made them popular in recent years as garnishes with chefs.”
They are grown in soil unlike sprouts that only use water. The sunflower microgreens we describe as ‘juicy, crunchy.’ They will store for about one week (results vary with refrigerators). The other variety you will receive is called simply MicroMix. This mix is a combination of red and green radish, red kale, pac choi, and buckwheat with some sunflower occasionally added. The flavor is much more robust and tangy, the stems are more delicate, and therefore sometimes don’t store for quite as long.
Here is a live link to the article from Memphis: Tiny Microgreens Packed With Nutrients
3 medium beets, scrubbed, leaves trimmed olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat beets lightly with oil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and Roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and slice into ¼ “ thick slices.
3 large beets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh kale, cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup chopped cashews
¼ cup dried cherries
2 Tbls golden raisins
½ cup apple cider
½ lemon, juiced
1 Tbls Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls olive oil, or more to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Trim roots and stems from beets. Coat beets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place beet onto prepared baking sheet.
3. Roast beets for 30 minutes; turn beets over and continue roasting until tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour more. Let beets cool. Peel skins from beets and cut into 1” cubes. In a large bowl, toss cooked beets with kale, cashews, dried cherries, and golden raisins.
4. Whisk apple cider, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and cider vinegar in a bowl. Slowly drizzle 2 Tbls. olive oil into apple cider vinegar mixture, whisking constantly, until dressing is combined. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend before serving.
Pesto (‘paste’ in English) can be made with any green you have on hand: spinach, cilantro, sorrel, arugula, dill, green onion… You can also use almost any nut instead of the traditional pine nut. Raw or roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds are also terrific. Be daring and experiment!
from allrecipes.com (A repeat from last week, for our new members. Check the blog post from last week for more tasty pesto recipes.)
1/3 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
~Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. ~Gradually mix the pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and basil in a food processor, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Tear the leaves off the center rib of the kale and tear into large pieces. Place leaves in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss until completely coated.
Divide kale between 2 baking sheets lined with parchment. Arrange in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until crisp. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with brown sugar. (Be sure to place the kale in a single layer on the sheet tray. Overcrowding will steam the kale rather than crisping it.) Serves 2.