Fern Creek CSA–Week 5

newsletter with photoThe longest day of the year is behind us, ushering in the first day of summer. The ripening heat of summer is here–not that we haven’t already had some interspersed with lots of June rain!june-flowers

We celebrated the Summer Solstice simply with a few new friends. We lit a fire in the gazebo and roasted marshmallows for S’mores while birds, a few bats, and our conversation meandered around.  The lovely long day still had a bit of light to give when Mark and I headed for bed around 10:15.

For the northern hemisphere the Summer Solstice occurs between June 20-22 every year and this year it fell on June 20th. This day marks the point in Earth’s annual journey around the Sun when we are most directly tilted toward it. The word solstice comes from Latin, combining the words for “sun” and “to stand still” which is what it seems to do on this Very. Long. Day.

Worldwide and throughout history the day has been celebrated with an assortment of religious and cultural holidays, festivals, and rituals. I appreciate it as a day to pay attention to changes brought by each season, and to reflect on God’s sustaining grace that, every year since the beginning, has seen Earth through its annual journey from new birth, to rapid growth, to harvest, and to dormant rest.

Here’s to a big YES to Summer!

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New Jam U-Pick

The coming of summer means waning berries, though you still have a few opportunities to get raspberries and blackberries this week. When you come you may also be able to hop over to the strawberries and still find some among the Puget Summer and Bentons. If you want to just to get strawberries let Mark know (mark.mcminn@gmail.com) and he’ll be able to tell you what is still available.
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New From the Field

While the coming of summer means waning berries it also means the explosion of other vegetables. You’ll see a lot of new things showing up in the Market in the coming weeks, especially a variety of summer squashes, and this week, an assortment of cabbages to choose between.

About Cabbage
The Red Express and Early Green Cabbages are more tightly packed heads than the Napa and Bok Choi you saw earlier. These are great for slaws, sauteed into stirfries, used in salads. The outer leaves can be steamed and used for wraps. I should have some acronym for vegetables particularly good for you–in terms of antioxidants, vitamins, cancer-prevention–Cabbages would be in that mix. Experiment with different ones as you see them and have access to them.

Walla Walla Onions

Walla Walla onion

Walla Walla onion

Along with Burgerville customers, we eagerly wait for the Walla Walla onions to arrive. Onions provide layer upon layer of flavor whether caramelized, roasted, sauteed, or eaten raw. Walla Walla onions are a sweet onion, meaning less pungent, mostly because they contain less sulfur and more water. That means they don’t store as well as the more pungent varieties you’ll get later in the season, so enjoy these while we have them! Mark brought one in from the field so we could celebrate summer with our first batch of Walla Walla Onion Rings (recipe below). We ate it alongside the best veggie burgers I’ve ever made (link below), and grilled zucchini steaks (described below). I’ve never had an onion ring that surpassed this one… but that may be because I like to be able to taste the onion rather than eat mostly fried batter! This recipe is lighter on the batter than what Burgerville (and most places) serve.

Since Walla Walla onions don’t keep as well as the Cortlands, Cippolini, and Red onions, you’ll see more of these in the coming months, although we’ll intersperse others as well.

Baby Turnips

Purple top turnip (this is NOT a baby turnip. It's sitting along side an avocado!)

Purple top turnip (this is NOT a baby turnip. It’s sitting along side an avocado!)

Turnips are one of those root vegetables making a bit of a come-back. Baby ones can be eaten raw in salads, or they can be roasted, boiled, steamed, or sauteed. The greens are also eatable, and can be braised or steams like other greens. Honestly, this is not one of my favorite vegetables, but if you haven’t tried it, you should. Those who like turnips really like them, and how will you know if you don’t try them??

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Anticipated in the Market

Red Express Cabbage

Red Express Cabbage

Cascade Delight Raspberry
Columbia Star Blackberry or Marionberry
Puget Summer & Benton Strawberries
Buttercrunch or Lovelock Lettuce
Butterstick & Crookneck Squash
Zucchini
Assorted Cabbage (early Green, Express Red, last of the Napa)
Walla Walla Onions
Spring Onions
Basil and Oregano

Pick Two
Snow and Snap Peas
Rhubarb
Kohlrabi
Patty Pan Summer Squash
Turnips
Extra Greens

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Recipes of the Week–A Perfect Summer Supper

The Ultimate Veggie Burger.

Make the burgers early in the day, or a day ahead so they can chill. The recipe makes 6 large burgers, and we eat two and freeze the rest for other days.

We eat the burgers on a bed of lettuce or arugula or open-faced, so the full flavor of the burger can be appreciated. Add condiments of choice.

Zucchini Steaks

Since you’ll have the grill going anyway (though we’ve cooked the burgers inside and liked them equally well), grill some vegetables. These zucchini steaks pair well.

Slice zucchini long-wise into 4-5 strips about 1/3 inch thick. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, or brush with a balsamic olive oil dressing. Grill about 4-5 minutes on each side. Optional to brush the second side after turning.

onionrings

Walla Walla Onion Rings. On the recipe I advise against making these overly much, but encourage you to definitely make them some. Definitions of overly much and some is up to your discretion!

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