The CSA season is here, so welcome to week 1. We have been gearing up for this day since the first seeds were planted in the greenhouse back in February. It is time to start harvesting.
We do our best to give you crops are at their peak, and the lettuce could not be better. It is only so often during the year when this salad green is so tender and crisp at the same time. In last week's blog I recommended focusing on making some good salad dressing for the next month.
If you check out our group page, you find another suggestion, lettuce wraps. Stacy Cook revived a link to our friend Heather Hands' blog of 2009. The butterhead leaves are especially suitable as wrappers or scoops. You can make whatever filling suits your desires.
The spring herbs are in peak form too. We moved the mint out of the field beds and into our home herb garden. The area they are thriving in has been a repository for greenhouse compost the last 10 years. The mint is the happiest we have ever seen it and the sprigs are first cuttings and fragrant. The chive flowers are at their edible best, with just a little crunch. The slight anise taste of tarragon goes well with fish, chicken, in a salad dressing, or to garnish a slaw.
One item new to our share list this year is field pea shoots. These greens are actually one of our cover crops, and we feel they represent a way to make an important connection between you and our soil.
One of the premises of our farming method is "you are what you eat, so you are what your plants eat." We feed our vegetables field peas by growing them, turning them into the soil, and letting the life in the soil digest them and release nutrients to the plant.
When we eat pea shoots the same thing happens. Bacteria in our digestive system break the pea shoots down so our body can utilize their nutritional content. It reminds us that our life is reliant on a host of other living things to perform that most important task of eating. It also reminds us that we must treat agriculture as a biological process, and not a chemical one.
The pea shoots are a sweet green for any type of salad. We chop them and use them as an ingredient in just about any type of fresh salad we make.