Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In the Share - Week 1

LETTUCE (F/P) Big, beautiful heads, or at least they were before the hail on Sunday. We still think they are fabulously tasty, raggedy leaves and all. Full shares get a Regina di Maggio ('May Queeen') butterhead and a leafy New Red Fire. Partial shares get a choice of one.

ASPARAGUS (F) The early spring brought the asparagus on in March this year, so it will soon be left to fern out for the season. Partials will get their share next week.

STRAWBERRIES (F/P) Our “June bearers” are bearing in May instead this year. Lucky for us we were able to protect the blossoms and ridiculously early fruit from the spring frosts with a layer of row cover on at night, off during the day to allow for pollination of the fruit.

LEEKS (F/P) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the leeks were extra early as well. These are the leeks we over-wintered from last fall. You have to pull them before they begin to develop a flower stalk. We harvested them over a week ago and kept them cold in the walk-in cooler to keep them fresh.

BOK CHOY (F/P) Tom and I are living on stir fry right now and bok choy is our favorite go-to ingredient. If you have yet to embrace the choy, check out Tom’s link in his post for a how-to for this most delectable dish.

SPRING ONIONS (F/P) Usually the first onions of the season are dainty ones, not these big boys. 

CHERRY BELLE RADISHES (F) Bright red and juicy radishes add that necessary zing to every dish or cook them briefly to reduce their heat.

HERB CHOICE (F/P) Cilantro, dill or mint. Partial shares get a choice of radishes or herbs.

NEXT WEEK: More lettuce, radishes, herbs, onions and strawberries. Kale, Hakurei turnips and arugula.

Rebecca here. I write the weekly post on what is in your share and the farm report. Make sure to read the post below mine for Tom’s take on how to use your share this week. He likes to focus on the more unusual items in the share and he also loves to talk about food preservation. The farm has been a flurry of excitement this week with the CSA season beginning. With the warm spring the crops are way ahead of schedule. Never have things looked so good so early …

… and then the hail storm came on Sunday. Luckily, the pebbles were pea-size but they can still rocket right through delicate lettuce leaves. And they did. This, my friends, is the life of a farmer. We fall in love with our butterheads and then they break our hearts.

And so this is my welcome to you all to the CSA season. You have chosen to join with us in the roller coaster ride that is farming and we thank you for that. We promise to do everything we can to protect our food supply from the vagaries of nature, but we also promise that there will be highs and there will be lows this season. We will have bumper crops as well as crop losses. There will be hail, but there will also be strawberries.

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