Fern Creek CSA–Week 3

newsletter with photoWhat temperature fluxuation we have had! From blistering hot to cool rainy days! Mostly crops in the fields have weathered it well (“literally”–as newly-turned 6-year-old Auden would say), although the berries do not know quite how to respond. Still, we have berries for you this week, though we are nearing the end of the strawberries.

I pickled scapes for the first time this year and enjoyed sauteing an un-pickled one with a spring onion, some snow peas, and a sliced baby zucchini to eat alongside our eggs for breakfast this morning. If you haven’t discovered this yet–try sauteed vegetables or braised greens as a side for morning eggs. I’m learning that most any vegetable is happy to be eaten early in the day, especially if sauteed in a bit of butter, and that Mark and I are equally happy to do so!


New in the Market Corner choc

Chocolate is the feature for this week. All the cocoa we use comes from Mama Ganache, a company that only sources organic and fairly traded cocoa from the farmers and cocoa traders that supply the world with chocolate.  All cocoa comes from countries near the equator (as does coffee). When we buy fair trade cocoa we help communities flourish that have less wealth than we do in the US. The industry has a dark side, so we work to make it easier for those who come to Fern Creek to eat with an eye toward justice when it comes to chocolate. 1 pound (16 ounce) bags of excellent Dutch processed baking cocoa will be in the Market this week. Since I buy it wholesale in bulk I can offer a price that is comparable to  what you pay for Hersheys or other similar non-fair trade, not organic baking cocoa.

I’ve also made up some more Premium Hot Cocoa Mix which uses the baking cocoa, fair trade organic unsweetened chocolate bars,  organic sugar, and the vanilla I make from fair trade and organic vanilla beans–another product from equator countries. This Cocoa Mix falls  between European drinking chocolate (where one drinks about 1/3 of a cup of super thick and rich chocolate) and American hot chocolate (a thinner variety we drink in 12-16 ounce mugs). Mark and I drink this in 8 ounce cups and feel like we have just had dessert.

Finally, while supplies last we will continue to carry Theo Chocolate bars (we order chocolate in the spring and fall since it can melt in transit if shipped in the summer). Theo Chocolate is made in Seattle by a mission/ethics-driven company that ensures workers are paid a fair wage at every stage of the process–including those who work in their Seattle factory churning out some of the most delicious chocolate bars I’ve ever eaten. These too, are fair trade and organic.


New from the Field

Bilko Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage is a Chinese cabbage, and it and Bok Choi are in a different family of cabbages than the green and purple ones you will see later in the season. Napa, like Bok Choi, works great in stir fries or can be sliced thin for salads and slaws. One of my favorite ways to use some is in spring rolls dipped in peanut sauce. Like seemingly EVERY vegetable, this one is a powerhouse nutritionally–not that I think we should mostly eat vegetables because they are nutritous–I’m just sayin. Green and white cabbages help protect against stomach ulcers, and breast, bladder, and lung cancers.


Washed & drying beets

Washed & drying beets

Beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, and can be eaten without adding a bit of salt, or oil or butter because they are delicious all on their own. They are also a power vegetable and good for you in lots of ways. They help lower blood pressure, have anti-cancer properties, boost stamina, fight inflammation, help detoxify your liver and purify your blood.

The greens are eatable too, as you can tell by the bites already taken from these beet greens! (The white row covers you see are our effort to keep from sharing your vegetables with other critters who would like a first stab at them). You can add beet greens to other braising greens, or braise them alone, or add tender ones to salads.

Mostly I eat beets because they are delicious–and especially like them steamed or boiled, though I’ve grilled slices, grated them raw into salads and veggie burgers, and roasted them. They are, as Norman Wirzba originally said (and I repeat often enough!) God’s love made delicious and nutritious.


Anticipated in The Market 

Cascade Delight Raspberries orberries
Strawberries (assorted)
Red Ace Beets
Bilko Napa Cabbage

Lovelock Lettuce
Salvius Romaine Lettuce
Snow & Snap Peas

Spring Onions
Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian & Siberian)
Mesclun Mix
Herbs (Mint, Basil)

Pick Two
Zucchini (first of the season!)
Bok Choi (last of the season!)
Icycle Radish
Extra Greens


Recipe for the Weekwinterbowl

The Summer Bowl with Ginger Tahini Dressing

I need to post this recipe officially, and putting it here will motivate me until I take a picture of it. The one pictured is a “winter bowl” and has an alternative dressing and perhaps more ideas. You can make the parts for this bowl ahead and store them in your fridge to have a super easy supper any night of the week. I like the bowl at room temperature, so if the greens, beans and grains are cold, bring them to room temp or heat the beans and grains briefly in the microwave.

For the bowl (to be serve in individual bowls):
Mentally divide each bowl in thirds. Put a generous helping of thinly sliced kale in one third, a generous spoonful of some kind of bean in another (I re-hydrate and cook up any one of our dried beans for this), and a generous spoonful of some grain (brown rice, quinoa, a medley).

To the top of each bowl add one item from each category below:
sauteed tofu, roasted pinenuts , hazelnuts, sliced boiled egg
sliced fresh berries, raisins, chopped apples (or whatever fruit)
a sprinkle of some mix of sliced leaves of mint, basil, cilantro, chives, parsley (I use two)

OPTIONAL: Add sliced spring onion or something pickled (slices of pickled beets are wonderful)

Top with the Ginger Tahini Dressing (the recipe came from last year’s apprentice, Lisby who got it from her sister, CSA member–Meghan Rogers Czarnecki. Thanks to you both–we use this recipe often! My adaptations are minor–mostly I turn the heat down, and use less mayo).

Ginger Tahini Dressing (AKA: The best dressing ever)

1/3 c. mayo
2  T. soy sauce
2 T. sesame oil
3 T. rice vinegar
2 T. tahini
2-4 cloves garlic
2 T. fresh ginger (peeled and chopped into chunks)
up to 1/8 tsp. cayenne (I use a scant 1/8)
1 tsp. cumin
salt to taste

Blend all that in a bullet blender if you have one, or mince the garlic and ginger and put it all in a jar and shake it well until it’s combined. Store in the fridge and use it on any salad.


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