CSA Share Update for July 10th-13th!
Greetings all, Happy Saturday!
I hope that everyone had great Independence Day celebrations! We enjoyed an afternoon at the lake with friends and family, and it was great weather too!
Pardon the late CSA Share Update this week please; I try to make sure to get this information out on Fridays so our members can meal plan if they choose to. This week our Friday was really our Tuesday because of the holiday week rescheduling, so yesterday I was picking, packing and delivering CSA Shares. On a normal weekly basis, the update will be posted by Friday.
Was your CSA Share box hard to open this week because it was so full? It’s because in the beginning of the farm season when leafy greens are in harvest, the boxes seem more “full” than compared to in a few weeks when we won’t have as many options for greens to offer. The CSA Share size doesn’t necessarily refer to the fullness of the CSA Share, but the amount and quality of the varieties of produce that are included. Sorry if it was hard to open the boxes, it was hard to close them too! Some of the boxes are like trying to pack a Tetris puzzle because there is a lot to fit.
Today Ben is tilling the kohlrabi field and part of the lettuce patch, which is also prepping the soil for the next planting. We started muskmelon, zucchini, and cucumbers about a month ago in the greenhouse that are now ready to be transplanted into the field. After Ben finished tilling today, we will have to wait to plant until it rains, which is supposed to be Sunday night. The field in Zimmerman is not irrigated at all, relying on rain completely. This is not uncommon in our style of vegetable farming, which is much different than a monoculture farm that grows field corn or soybeans for instance with large overhead watering systems.
This week in your CSA Share: Red Romaine Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale, Zucchini, Red Radishes, Broccoli and BLUEBERRIES!
This will likely be the last week with romaine so please enjoy! We will continue to harvest swiss chard and kale into the mid-summer season, as they are not cold crops and continue to produce all season long unlike the lettuces.
Zucchini is one of our favorite vegetables in our house. We use it in baking, stir frys, salads, mixed roasted vegetables, even shishkabobs. You will notice that zucchini grows fairly clean, it grows upright from the center of the zucchini plant. We don’t ever wash zucchini in advance to putting it in the CSA Shares because if you get zucchini wet it will soften much quicker than if you didn’t wash it. Please wash all produce thoroughly.
Zucchini is a prolific producer, it is the one variety on the farm that we joke about being able to literally “watch it grow”. Many folks with home gardens will attest, if you don’t pick it every day the zucchini can double or triple in size overnight!
We will be purposefully picking zucchini at different sizes this season. While generally preferred when they are small or medium, the larger zucchini are beneficial for baking (shredding), fritters, or zucchini “boats” filled with sauce, cheese, even noodles, etc. Some even use the larger zucchini for vegetable lasagna in replacement of the traditional noodles! Just wanted to go over this so it isn’t a surprise in the season if your zucchini come big, small, or anywhere in between!
To keep zucchini, my book suggests refrigerating in the hydrator drawer for up to a 4-6 days. In my experience, it does last longer than a week in the fridge. Make sure not to wash zucchini until you are ready to use it.
When we decide what goes in the CSA Shares, we are trying to accommodate for all of our members, some who like certain produce varieties a lot, and others who don’t like it as much. Radishes are a great example, we have to accommodate for the folks who love them, but also for those who don’t. I hope our members know that I keep both preferences in mind when making decisions about what is getting packed each week. This will likely be the last week of radishes until the fall.
BLUEBERRIES! This is a seasonal treat that we are so excited to share! We are working with JQ Fruit farm from Princeton. It’s about 15 minutes from the field we farm in Zimmerman. Blueberries will store for up to 6 weeks if kept at about 40 degrees. Most refrigerators are at about 60 degrees, which will keep the blueberries for about 3 weeks, if they last that long!
They do also have a U-Pick berry option available at their farm. If you would like more berries and a fun outing, they have all of their hours listed on their website. http://www.jqfruitfarm.com/