This Week's Share: Lettuce, Spinach, Popcorn, Scallions and More

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Here we go -- week 1! 

Just a reminder: there is a new location and a new pick-up time for the Dupont Circle pickup this year. For those picking up at Dupont today, your pick-up occurs on Tuesdays, 6-8 pm behind Dupont Circle Physicians Group at 1737 20th Street, NW. You can find the pick-up on the south side of S street between 19th and 20th. There is parking for the doctor's office in the alley just behind 1737 20th Street, and the table will be set up in those parking space. Here is map of the location

And with that, here's what you'll find in this week's CSA Share:

  • 1 pound choice lettuce + kale + collard greens
  • 1/2 pound choice spinach + arugula + spicy mix  
    • The spicy mix is pretty large. You can either chop it up and eat it as a salad or you can wilt it in a pan with olive oil and serve it as a side. 
  • 1/2 pound garlic scallions
  • 1 pound popcorn on the cob (see note below about how to cook it)
  • 2 seedlings (options include kale, rosemary, blue potatoes, lettuce, chile peppers, oregano and a few parsley plants. We will not have tomato plants this year. We hope to have basil in the coming weeks to offer you.)
  • A half pound bunch of asparagus (if you didn’t get it last week at the Meet 'n' Greet) or a similar amount of rhubarb (we're still in the process of harvesting the rhubarb right now)
  • One pint strawberries. We’ll definitely bring berries to the Dupont pickup. For those picking up at the farm, you can pick as much as you want from the field. 

 

How to Cook Your Popcorn Kernels

Not sure what to do with kernels of corn? Here are three options: 

  • Either clean out microwave and watch it pop off the cob (super entertaining!)
  • Or put it in a paper bag to pop in the microwave
  • Or twist off the kernels sort of like you’re ringing out a towel and pop on the stove (so much less fun, and who doesn’t at least have a neighbor with a microwave, or a microwave at work for this fun little stunt?)

Let us know how you cook yours! 

 

On U-Pick this week:

If you want to come and u-pick, you can find a map of the fields and locations at the Wash Station when you arrive at the farm, denoting where to find the fields listed below. Here's what's on offer. 

  • Strawberries are back on the u-pick list from now until the end of the day on Saturday. E and D fields.
  • Herbs: Oregano, onion chives (edible flowers), garlic chives, cilantro (a little), sage, sorrel, thyme, lemon balm.  We killed off our mint because it was growing out of control.  We’ve re-planted a little into a planter, and we intend to plant more.  We’re looking for a really good spearmint. If you have some growing in your yard that you like, please bring us some plants! 
  • Kale, collards and lettuce from the D field.
  • Any flowers are always fair game.  

 

A preview of next week: 

Here's what you can expect in next week's share: 

  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce, spinach, arugula, spicy mix, Swiss chard
  • Kale, collards
  • Seedlings (potentially)
  • Loose kernels of popcorn (probably about a half pound)
  • Asparagus
  • Herb bunches
  • Radishes or  turnips (probably a choice of the two, but not sure yet)

In the meantime, do you have questions? Comments? 

Leave them here on the blog! 

 

Photo above via TheBittenWord.com 

 


What do I do with this popcorn?

<p>Even better than surveys, it's popcorn time.</p> <p>Before you can pop your popcorn, you need to dry it. We tried drying a few test batches for you in a warm oven, but we've had a tough time getting the popcorn to the ideal 13% moisture level. I suspect it's a little too moist right now, and with a few hours in the oven, our popping success raised from 10% of kernels popping to 50%. But perhaps we are over-drying it, because we can't seem to improve on 50% popping success. In years past, we've recommended that you keep your popcorn in your pantry for a month or so before you pop it, which worked well for me at least. Next year, I hope to get access to a moisture meter (most corn growers keep one if they hope to store their corn in a silo). </p> <p>Until then, here are my suggestions...</p> <p>To Dry:</p> <p>1) Leave the popcorn in a paper bag--not plastic. In a month, test a few kernels. If they pop, then pop the rest and enjoy!<br />2) If you want to eat it now, you're welcome to try the same thing I did. Leave the popcorn in the oven at it's lowest setting (100-200 degrees) for an hour or two, and give it a try. </p> <p>To Pop, follow the same procedure you would for store-bought microwave or regular popcorn:</p> <p>1) Microwave: Put the loose popcorn or the whole popcorn cob in a closed paper bag in the microwave. Set it for ten minutes, then allow it to pop until the rate of popping slows down. Don't pop it for the full ten minutes or it will burn! (My microwave took about 6 minutes.) If you want to watch the kernels pop off the cob, you can leave it out of the bag.</p> <p>2) On the stove: Cover the bottom of your dutch oven or some other heavy, lidded pot with a good amount of oil (my parents used to use 1/4 cup oil and a 1/4 cup popcorn). Heat the oil until a few test kernels pop. Then add the rest of your popcorn and shake vigorously while it's popping. Again, remove it from heat when you hear the popping slow down to one pop every couple seconds. </p> <p>In general, don't season the popcorn with your butter, salt, parmesan, tamari, etc. until it's popped.</p> <p>If you have a little time and curiousity, I recommend the kid-friendly Jolly Time&nbsp; <a href="http://www.jollytime.com/kids_corner/science1.asp">Popcorn Science</a> site. They have a much better review of the science of popping corn that's interesting for kids and the young at heart.</p>