CSA Weekly Update for July 23rd- 27th!
This week we are seeing a lot of changes in the fields. We’re starting to see little bell peppers, little melons, baby winter squash varieties, and so many more. This is a fun time of year because we are about to have a large number of new produce varieties all the sudden.
At this time of the year we are transitioning from all of the field work to harvesting A LOT. We talked this spring about how it’s important to keep the weeds down to maintain plant health. Now that we’ve progressed this far into the season we aren’t worried about the weeds as much.
Our focus has transitioned to harvesting. We need to harvest every day to stimulate the plants to keep producing. If we skip a day or two of harvest, the existing fruits will continue to grow larger and larger which takes away from the overall plant health. The plants would stop producing so many flowers (everything comes from a flower!) and it would result in a lower harvest. So, we continue with harvesting everyday (sometimes twice a day) so that our plants are as healthy as possible!
This week in your CSA Share you can expect:
Sweet Corn, Purple Potatoes, Summer Squash, Pickles, Slicers, Kale, Cabbage/ Cauliflower, and Dill.
Sweet Corn! Wowza, this year has had a weird weather pattern. It was so cold this spring that we were planting sugar snap peas with only about 6 inches of thawed ground, as opposed to normal where it’s 12 inches. We kept thinking corn would be later because of how cold our start of the season was, but this past couple weeks of SUPER hot weather have really pushed the plants to produce. For the corn, in the whole share you can expect a dozen, and the half shares get a half dozen. If you ever want more corn, just send me an email and I can make note of your order and bring it along with your normal CSA Delivery. I ask for 2 days notice with orders if possible.
Sweet Corn is harvested FRESH! If you’ve never had straight-from-the-farm-fresh sweet corn, you’re really in for a treat! Make sure to refrigerate your corn (in the husk) as soon as possible to keep it fresh. The longer you wait to eat it, the more sugars will turn to starch, which is the (natural) chemical process of sweet corn loosing it’s flavor. By refrigerating the corn, you’re slowing down the process of sugars turning to starches and keeping it fresher for longer.
So why does it say Cabbage/ Cauliflower? We started practicing a new method of harvest a couple of years ago and really like it. This upcoming week you will see either cabbage or cauliflower, and then the following week you’ll see whichever of those two varieties you didn’t get this week. The reason we spread the harvest out over two weeks is because not all plants grow at the same pace. Naturally, there is variation. In the cold crops like this, there is a LOT of variation. For example, while some cauliflower heads are big enough to be their own dinner, others are just starting to develop heads and are about the size of a baseball. Since we want to make sure to provide a quality vegetable, we split the two weeks with two varieties only harvesting the larger ones. What you really need to know: When you see it on the list, know it could be either one of the two, but not both.
Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is actually a mass of unopened flower buds that will burst into edible yellow flowers if allowed to mature. In spots where the leaves uncurl a little early, the sun turns the cauliflower slightly yellow or brown. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and potassium. It provide bioflavonoids to prevent cancer. Cauliflower does not keep well. Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week but will taste sweetest if used within a few days.
We aren’t using pesticides so there is a possibility of having a worm in the broccoli or cauliflower. Don’t worry, we take measures to make sure they don’t go home with you. We soak it overnight and essentially drown the worms so they fall out of the heads. There is still a small possibility of finding a small green worm in cauliflower or broccoli, but they will be right on the outside of the vegetable (they don’t go into the veggies).
Cabbage has a remarkable storage capacity. Just stick dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for 3 months with high humidity!
Green cabbage is good fixed any way: raw, in salads, cooked, steamed, braised or fried. Red cabbage has a sharper flavor and coarser texture so it needs to be cooked longer. Eat raw grated cabbage in your salad. Cooking celery with cabbage helps cut the strong cooking odor of cabbage. Briefly steam slivered and rinsed cabbage for 5 minutes. Top with butter and a pinch of salt and pepper or grated cheese. For the best cabbage in my opinion, stir-fry or braise it until slightly browned.
PURPLE POTATOES! Yes, they are really purple on the inside. This is one of those fun varieties that we grow just for you!! We are trying to offer you new produce varieties for your family. The purple potatoes don’t taste much differently but you can see the difference in everything you cook. Purple Mashed Potatoes anyone?! Moisture can cause potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. New potatoes, which are young and thin-skinned, may be refrigerated if you don’t plan to eat them within a few days. We suggest refrigerating these purple potatoes because their skins are so thin.
This is the week of slicers. You can slice them and add them into your salad, or as a healthy snack for your work week, but cucumbers have many ways of preparation! Last week I posted 3 recipes for pickles, and cukes are able to substitute for pickles in any of those recipes.
Keep the cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep them far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus which accelerate their deterioration. Slicing cucumbers are often peeled. Pickling ones are not. If the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out. Scoring the skin of a cucumber with a fork or zester gives it attractive stripes. Slice, dice or cut into chunks according to recipe.
Have a wonderful week, Thank you!!
~The Farmer’s Wife