This is Jared Planz, the Assistant Vegetable Production Manager. (Fortunately, no masks are necessary when we're working far apart from each other, which makes for better photos.) He's picking zucchini in this photo, wearing the 4-pouch harvesting harness, which is about 80 pounds when full of squash. None of the rest of us carry as much weight as he does while picking, which is a good analogy for his farming skills overall. When he's not planting, weeding, harvesting, pounding stakes, spreading mulch or managing workers, he's designing our web sales platform, taking professional-quality photographs, camping, and parenting his almost-2-year-old son with Elissa. Phew!
- NEXT WEEK THERE IS NO CSA SHARE. We have noticed over the years that the vegetable harvest wanes a bit in that period when the hot weather makes greens bitter, and the tomatoes haven't ripened yet. It also coincides with our own exhaustion--we're up to our eyeballs in harvesting garlic, mulching & twining tomatoes, planting sweet potatoes, and weeding. So we take the first week of July off from picking and throw all our energy into field work, and a much-needed day off. We account for this missing week from the get-go--you'll still get 26 weeks of vegetables by the middle of November without including this one. To reiterate--we do have veggies for you this week, but there will be no vegetables for you on July 1st, 2nd or 4th.
- U-pick is not open at the moment, but it will be soon for herbs and flowers. We'll send you a note as soon as it's available.
- Let's all shout out a giant thanks for this wonderful, vegetable-growing weather. Your crops are growing great. You'll remember we had that surprise frost in mid-May that set back our planting schedule a bit. For that, we'll have to wait a little longer than normal for our first tomatoes and peppers. But they'll come in due time. The Colorado potato beetles and flea beetles did a number on your eggplant before we had a chance to come to their rescue, so they'll be particularly delayed. July is so suspenseful! We're excited to see how it all comes out.
This week's share
- 1 head FRESH garlic. You'll notice that they're super-easy to peel when they're fresh. But treat it the same as the dried ones. Sitting on your counter, it will dry on its own within a week.
- 1 bunch green onions (also known as scallions, spring onions and bunching onions)
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch chard or collards (not yet determined)
- 1 pound cucumbers
- Several zucchini
- A combo of purple-top turnips and a small kohlrabi
- Choose: beans, arugula or fennel (this is your only shot at fennel until fall)
Remember, after this week (June 24, 25 &27), your next share will be July 8, 9 and 11. Don't come next week! When you get back we'll have some goodies waiting for you:
- Green cabbage
- Red onions
- Continued: beans (more), cucumbers (more), squash (fewer), garlic, kale & collards (ending soon), chard, basil
- Jessica LaGarde shared this frittata recipe on our Facebook Group that looks like a delicious way to use zucchini. Thanks Jessica!
- You've been getting a lot of green onions and zucchini. Can't use them all? Both of those are good candidates for freezing or drying. To freeze green onions, chop them up, lay them out on a baking sheet for an hour or so to dry so they stay separate instead of freezing into a big glob, and then pour them into a ziploc bag. I recommend storing the green parts separately from the white and light green parts, since they cook a little differently. They can be used this winter for cooking, but don't expect to use them as a fresh garnish, since they'll be mushy (but flavorful!) when they thaw. Freezing zucchini (or any squash) is the same. I slice them into rounds, freeze them on a tray and then bag them up. To dehydrate the onions and squash, I use a dehydrator, and the process is almost identical to freezing (put it on a tray, turn on the dehydrator). If you don't have a dehydrator, put them in your oven at the lowest setting (you're aiming for about 125 deg. F).
- Have you ever tried grilling or roasting whole green onions? Or using them (chopped) as a pizza topping? The results are surprisingly fancy, and nothing makes a kitchen smell fantastic like cooking onions.
- Here's a simple recipe for a quinoa salad with scallions. I would replace the snap peas with lightly-steamed green beans, and replace the radishes with turnips and/or kohlrabi, since they're in your share this week. If you don't have gobs of mint growing somewhere near you, then (A) you're not trying very hard, and (B) you can substitute with basil, which will be different but also delicious. (Mint grows well with lots of water, so plant it under your nearest leaky faucet. Don't have a plant? Rip one out from a friend who has too much--trust me, you have one of those friends.)
- Let us know what recipe ideas you need! We're here to help. Reply to this e-mail or, better yet, post a question on the facebook group--your fellow CSA members are a great resource.
Have some fun this week--you deserve it!
Carrie and the entire Clagett Farm Team