We are excited to offer several new crops into the boxes this week.  We have shifted into the next chapter of the CSA season with the introduction of beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and zucchini.  We do have more salad greens planted, but it will be a while before they are ready to harvest.  Coming soon will (hopefully) be carrots, kohlrabi, chard, cucumbers and beets.  Our sweet corn is just starting to tassle, so that means that the ears of corn are not far behind.  And the tomato plants are laden with green growing fruits.  Oh summer!

In your box this week:

  1. Zucchini / Summer Squash: This is your big chance to really enjoy and savor these, the first zucchini of the season!  Soon enough they will be a constant companion in your fridge, so this week be sure to appreciate them in their new and novel loveliness!  [FYI, we refer to these interchangeably as zucchini or summer squash, no matter what color they are.]
  2. Green and Yellow Beans: Two pounds this week to get you started.  Try blanching them (boil until lightly cooked) and then having them cold in the fridge as an easy snack for at home or work.
  3. Cabbage: This beautiful little cabbage is a savoy variety called Alcosa.  If you can’t get to it right away, it will keep well in a plastic bag in your fridge.
  4. Cauliflower! If the sun hits the cauliflower while it is ripening, it can turn it a yellow or even purple color.  So if you notice any extra color on yours, you can thank the sun!
  5. Coriander: usually you see these when they are riper as little dried brown balls.  Coriander is the seed of the Cilantro plant, and these green little balls add a bright fresh cilantro taste to your dish.  Or, you could just eat them plain instead of breath mints!  Because these haven’t fully ripened on the plant, it is best to keep them in your fridge and use them fresh (as opposed to trying to dry them).
  6. Chamomile: pop off the flower heads (yellow middle, white petals) and steep in freshly boiled water for tea, hot or cold.  Add mint and/or sweetener if desired.
  7. Broccoli:  the head, leaves, and stalks are all excellent for eating.  Try shredding or chopping the stalk for a simple slaw.
  8. Hakurei Turnips: If you are eating the lovely leaves (raw or cooked), they will last longer in your fridge if you cut them off the white root.  (I often snip off the roots and throw them all back into the same bag.)
  9. Bok Choy: Our working member Maggie and I were talking about how the caterpillars found the Bok Choy during the past week, and I was telling her about how plants produce antioxidants when they are getting attacked, and it changed how Maggie thought of the holes in the Bok Choy.  She thought it might make a difference for you too, and requested that I pass it along.  So this week while you are eating hole-y Bok Choy, you can rest easy knowing that there were in fact no pesticides used on it, and that it is actually HEALTHIER than last week’s Bok Choy that didn’t have holes!  And as fellow CSA farmer Greg Reynolds says, “Holes don’t taste like anything!”

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With our usual harvest helper Natalie out of town this week, we’d like to thank our other working member Maggie and our volunteer Tony for stepping in and helping out with the harvest and other projects yesterday and today.  Last year when Tony volunteered with us we coincidentally did the same job as today — pruning and staking the tomatoes.  He is quite adept at it, and I hope we can turn this into an annual tradition!

We were a bit worried about the strong storm that blew through on Saturday night, but we are grateful and happy to report that we had no major damage.  We were without electricity for the night, and there are a few crops that blew over a bit, but they will be fine.  The rain gauge had almost two inches of water in it, but with such strong winds there is no telling how much rain we actually received.  The folks in the towns just south of us seem to have gotten hit harder, and as I drove the veggies down to Anoka this afternoon I noticed quite a few trees blown down along the way.

We would love to hear how you are using the harvest.  For example, CSA member Lana is a doula, or birth assistant.  She used the chamomile from last week to make tea for a mother who had just given birth to twins.  She then dutifully held the babes while the mother tried to get some rest.  (I’m sure they had to twist her arm!)  It’s poignant for me to know that our chamomile was used in such a delicate and loving moment.  Thanks for sharing, Lana!

Have you found (or made up) an awesome recipe you’d like to share with the other CSA members?  It doesn’t have to be as monumental as a birth story– a tasty meal idea would be perfect!  Just leave it in a comment and we will paste it into a new post.

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