Welcome to the first week of the 2017 CSA season!
We are excited to share our farming journey with you and will have updates every week throughout the CSA season, and periodically throughout the rest of the year. Our goal is to aid in connecting you to the farm. Please let us know of any suggestions or ideas you may have for our CSA – we want to know what you like and perhaps what you weren’t so fond of in your basket.
Well, spring has finally sprung…we hope. It was a long time coming this year. Record setting rains, that seemed to never end, delayed the tilling in the fields. As a result, we did not get as many spring crops planted as early as we wanted. While that reduced the amount of produce we had for the first few Farmers’ Markets, we’re still in good shape for the CSA season. Luckily, we were able to use some of our early season experiments from the high tunnel to have something to show at the Shelton and West Olympia Farmers’ Markets. This also allowed us to have some small-scale produce to sell to Evergreen United Food Coop, a new Shelton business that takes produce from local farmers to chefs in Seattle. We’ve also learned a great deal about what works early in the high tunnel to improve our planting for next spring.
What’s New on the Farm: Lots and lots of transplanting! This week we put more beans, squash, lettuce, onions, mustard greens, corn and a few others in the ground. We are experimenting with early carrots in the high tunnel, and if they can win out against the grass (sigh) then we should be able to enjoy some orange goodness soon. Our kids love the fresh, living taste of a garden grown carrot! There is nothing so rewarding as pulling a beautiful, orange carrot out of the ground and taking a bite!
This Week’s Full Share Box:
French Breakfast Radishes* or Easter Egg Radishes (best eaten fresh - storage increases the spiciness)
Hakurei (Salad) Turnips (salad turnips are lovely sliced and eaten raw - you can also sauté the greens)
Spicy Mustard Microgreens* (these are so nutritious and tasty but they will perish quickly - use as garnish on almost anything)
Kale Bunch* (SO many ways to enjoy kale - see flyer)
Kale Raab (tender and delicious - the earliest spring raab from overwintered kale)
Young Rainbow Chard* (young and tender - best sautéed and served over rice or in the morning with an egg)
Snow Peas* (my kid's favorite snack - they love to eat them right off the plant!)
Baby Mustard Greens (a nice mild spicy green - sauté with mushrooms and onions and serve with a potato)
Zucchini (small but tasty and tender - eat fresh or bring out the sweetness with roasting)
*Half share items
Veggie of the Week - Kale: The Power Green
We love to grow kale! Kale has been grow in Europe since the Middle Ages when it was the main green vegetable for most of the year. It is highly nutritious – it has the highest amounts of phytochemicals found in brassicas.
Storage: Kale stores best wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. For the most nutrients and best taste use in 3-4 days or blanch and freeze for later.
Oh NO! My kale wilted! No worries – just chop it up and give it an ice water bath. It will perk right back up!
Prep: Strip out the center stem by tearing or using a knife. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. You can use the stems, too! Dice them and sauté them first to soften them or even quick pickle them.
Cook: You can eat young, tender kale raw in salads or use in a smoothie. It can be tenderized by massaging with olive oil for a minute or two. Large leafed kale is best sautéed, or added to soups. We love it sautéed with onions for breakfast with a poached egg on top. Yum!
Kale Potato Soup
(Inspired by Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana)
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 links Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 cups veggie or chicken broth
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 cups kale, finely chopped
1 cup milk of choice (or heavy cream if you want a real treat)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and onions. Brown sausage and remove from pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and spices and sauté for 1 minute. Add sausage back into pot. Add broth, potatoes and kale to the pot. Cook on high until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is a great way to introduce kids to kale. Our kids love it and we have slowly added more kale to our diet. Now they always say “put in more kale!”
Paul and Andrea Miller