2017 CSA Week 3

A great big Thank You to all our users who are bravely testing our online systems. We're working hard to make sure the “site-switch” and “vacation hold” features are working right. Thank you for your patience. Also, thanks to our intrepid customers who tested the “extras pickup” feature, which works like an online store for picking up extra produce at the farm. That went well, and we hope everyone finds it convenient. It was a little late coming up this week, but we'll try and have the following week's list ready by Friday PM. Also, thank you all so much for your positive feedback about the information about how to clean and store your produce.

This year, you might have noticed an intruder in some of your vegetables. The above-average amounts of spring rain have created an unprecedented amount of water around the baseboards of our hoop-house. Due to the amount of compost and the minimal tillage we use on our farm, we are happy to report absolutely zero standing water in our vegetable fields. However, the soggy soil at the baseboards of the hoop-house coupled with our usual heavily hay mulched walking paths has created a slug issue in the hoop-house this spring. After this spring, we'll be reevaluating our heavy use of hay mulch in the hoop-house!

We don't like there to be bugs in your produce. Not only do we want the produce to be 'clean' of dirt, but clean of bugs as well. Your baby romaine, salad turnips, and Napa cabbage this week are all coming out of the hoop-house, and though we will be soaking them once after they are harvested, you should also soak them in cold water as you're prepping them for your table just to make sure there isn't a slug hiding away in the leafy greens of those veggies. Our standard for what passes as high quality enough to sell is different from what you may get from 'California organic' produce from the grocery store. There is a cost to produce the “perfect” look (and by “perfect” I mean exactly uniform and free of bug damage) of those bags and bundles of veggies. They lack in flavor and don't hold for a whole week in the fridge. I know one part of those bug free leaves is a huge amount of produce being left in the field or in the packing house, due to aesthetic damage. Our produce has better fresh vital flavor and will last longer in the fridge….and this spring...until next week when all the produce is coming from the field instead of the hoop-house...it may have a slug in it.

Now, in other exciting hoop-house news, last week we flipped the beds where the earliest bok choi, radishes, and arugula had been and planted the first of the summer crops! Peppers, basil, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers are in the ground. People are often surprised to hear that late May is one of the busiest times on the farm. With our intense short season there is an incredible push in late May to get the warm season vegetable crops in; we have a small window of time to do this after the soil has warmed up but soon enough that the crops will mature and produce before we get a hard frost in mid-September. (Gah!) This week, we are planting more tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, and sweet corn. We are also continuing with our normal weekly plantings of herbs, bi-weekly seeding of salad greens, and regular schedule of every 3-4 weeks planting successions of beets, carrots, green onions, and heading kohl crops (broccoli, romanesco, cabbage, and cauliflower).

We are going into this 'busy week' a bit behind from last week's Wind Event. Sustained 20-35 mile an hour winds from 3 am until 8 pm last Wednesday doesn't just mean we lost a day of field work but also that we spend time Tuesday getting ready for it and now this week when we go to flip beds, lift row cover to harvest and weed we will be removing the hundreds of extra sandbags we laid down to get ready for the epic gales. The extra prep time is worth it though, as we are really happy that we came out of the wind store with Zero Damage; just some very thirsty plants that got extra irrigating Thursday. Tired farmers got extra ice cream!

Arugula - partial bag 
Baby Romaine -- one 
Radish - partial bundle
Pea Shoots - partial bag 
Napa Cabbage - 1 small or ½ large
Tatsoi - small bundle
Collard Greens - partial bundle

Arugula - regular bag
Baby Romaine - two
Radish - regular bundle
Pea Shoots - regular bag
Napa Cabbage - 1 medium
Tatsoi - bundle
Collard Greens - bundle

Arugula-we are loving arugula right now paired with a creamy homemade dressing and topped with chopped pea shoots and radishes; it's such a fresh combination of lovely spring flavors.

General Salad Making Tips
Making dinner is a whole lot less daunting if I have a big salad all ready to go in the fridge and put it on the table; look! Dinner is half way there and all I did was take a bowl out of the fridge .
~4 quart Pyrex bowl with lid ~ The 4 quart size perfectly fit this weeks arugula and chopped baby romaine. I like chopping the greens as more greens will fit on a plate when chopped.
~ zyliss 'salad knife'~ I'm not into kitchen gadgets but I love these weird plastic serrated knives; you cut greens with them and they don't wilt or get brown on the edges….magic?
~I like to keep some salad toppings stored in smaller containers (early spring that's radishes, salad turnips, cilantro, and dill) chopped up and ready to top the salad.
~We eat salad after every meal with lunch and dinner this time of year; no extra plate, no extra bowl. I also like that as I don't want my salad to fill me up; I want the other stuff and then the salad is like the most satisfying lovely thing to eat after a meal. That must be a lot of salad you may be thinking...yes, we go through about 5 lbs of salad greens/week! So I like to make salad prep easy.

Baby Romaine - We love these little romaine lettuces and will often make some ground beef or beans for lunch and use them to stack other good food on; ground beef topped with braised radish tops, topped with homemade herb dressing and wrapped up in romaine. It's good stuff!

Napa Cabbage - This is one of our favorite spring vegetables and my go to is always to make a lovely peanut sauce stir fry. Last year we also made Tracy's napa cabbage slaw with raw napa and LOVE it!

Tatsoi - Sometimes called 'Asian spinach' this lovely tiny Asian green is one of my favorites. Like bok choi, you can eat it stem and all finely chopped and sauteed. You may also like the leaves raw in a salad as they are very tender.

~Have a great week!~