CSA Newsletter–Week 5

newsletter with photoSince I find flour and dirt equally satisfying mediums, playing in the kitchen is as fun as playing in the garden. Perhaps knowing this, Luke, one of our subscribers and also my son-in-law, sent me this video from The Kitchen Vignettes: A Farm to Table videoblog. It demos the making of a scrumptious looking Semolina Gnocchi Stuffed with Asparagus and is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Very Clever. Very Creative. Not to spoil it but… the asparagus dances! Take a look (it’s 3 minutes long), and be inspired.

From Field to Market

I called this "The Embrace of the Carrots" when I posted it on Facebook

I called this “The Embrace of the Carrots” when I posted it on Facebook

Assorted Berries (strawberries, marionberry, raspberry)
Assorted Lettuces (Sylvesta, Buttercrunch, Red Romaine, Speckled)
Gourmet Greens & Mustard Greens
Rainbow Chard, Collards & Assorted Kale
Red Potatoes
White Spring Onions
Snap & Shelling Peas
Nante Carrots
Purple Top Turnips
Maybe a head or two of green Farao cabbage & Early Snow Cauliflower
Oregano & Mint

The New and Less Familiar

Turnips are a root vegetable in the brassica family–and they are making a bit of a comeback. Our version is a white-on-the-bottom, purple-on-the-top variety. This bulbous root used to be a poor pheasant food–eaten by people who couldn’t afford finer fare. But they are showing up in Farmer’s Markets and CSA crates and backyard gardens again. They have a spicy bite like radish or arugula, especially when allowed to grow big–like the  ones you will see in The Market. So they are best added to other vegetables dishes–chopped up in a salad, stewed in a soup, or roasted alongside milder vegetables like potatoes and carrots.

But I hadn’t read all that when I fixed my first turnip last week. And so frankly, I was seriously underwhelmed. In fact, after Mark and I tried some of it the chickens got the rest. Knowing what I now know I’ll fix them differently next time, and harvest them younger! Jamie fixed some young all white turnips in a similar way that were great–much more what I expected. I used the mashed turnip recipe in Asparagus to Zucchini and expected something like mashed cauliflower–which I love.

Experiment, and let us know what you do with turnips–and how you liked it!


Scent Survey Results:
For all you who voted on your favorite scented herb–mint won–so you’ll see it in The Market again this week.  Lavender came in a close second, and Rosemary third.  Though people said if the question was about flavor, rather than scent, they would have voted differently.


Tip of the Week: Potatoespotatoes

Are you wondering why you get so many potatoes every week? Here’s Mark’s answer:  men want potatoes more than chard (and strawberries more than kohlrabi). But Mark would also tell you it’s because organic potatoes are hard to find. Most farmers who grow conventional potatoes plant a separate crop for their own consumption. Potatoes are typically grown in a sea of pesticides, because growing them in the same place year after year means they inevitably attract a pest particular to potatoes (say that 10 times!). We rotate our crops every year, which is a primary way to avoid hard-to-control pests that otherwise make organic farming nearly impossible. So enjoy these pesticide-free potatoes! This is likely your last week to get the early red potatoes, and then we’ll be taking a couple weeks off potatoes until the Yukon Golds are ready. Your early reds will keep for a month if kept in a cool, dark place. Don’t refrigerate them though, as this turns the sugar in the potato to starch.

You are also getting lots of braising greens every week–and you will all season. So experiment with ways to fix them and let us know what you like! They are very good for you–full of vitamins and minerals. We braise greens once a week–and really like them, which surprises us, because they never look as good as they taste. I’ve figured out our favorite ways to eat them, which usually involves either butter or bacon. Below is my standard recipe, though I’ve also braised just a few and then added it to egg frittatas most every week. What are some of your favorite ways to use chard, kale and collards?

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Recipe of the Week: Braised Greens

Last week I served braised greens with roasted red potatoes, some shelled peas steamed in the microwave for 30 seconds, scrambled eggs and a slice of homemade molasses wheat bread. A delicious simple supper!

Prep approximately 8 cups of braising greens (if you have left-overs from the week before add them. Braising greens will keep a couple weeks in the fridge, but you’ll get the most nutrients out of them if you eat them within a few days).
Chop 2-3 bunching onions
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.

Over medium to high heat melt 1-1 1/2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and add onions. Cook for 2 minutes and add garlic and greens, stirring to coat. Turn heat to low, add approximately 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar and cover. Cook about 15-20 minutes until soft. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste). Turn off heat if you have an electric stove and let greens continue cooking as the burner cools. Otherwise, continue on low another 5-10 minutes. Stir and serve. Serves 3-4 as a side.

Note: Greens can be lightly braised in a couple of minutes, or cooked for a long time until they are really soft. There isn’t a “right” way to do it. I like mine soft and with all the flavors blended well. Also note that ratios of all ingredients are flexible and to be determined by taste.



  • I have to say I love greens in smoothies. A banana, some tofu (optional), 3/4 cup milk of choice, 4 or 5 greens with stems removed, and a cup of frozen strawberries. Good stuff.
    Also, kale pesto has become a favorite: 1 or 2 bunches of kale, head of green garlic, 1/2 cup of walnuts or almonds, and 3/4 cup olive oil. Snap peas dippe in this are delicious!

    Looking forward to trying your farm out tomorrow!

  • Thank you for your suggestions, Brandon. I keep hearing about green smoothies. Nancy even brought me some samples… I’ve generally preferred to chew my greens, but must admit that Nancy’s smoothies were very good!

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