Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #1
Large shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, scallions, chard, dill, broccoli, snow peas, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and radishes
Small shares: strawberries, garlic scapes, chard, dill, carrots, sugar snap peas, crisp head lettuce, and radishes
Dear CSA members,
Let the harvest season begin! Here we are at the first week of CSA deliveries for 2015. We want to first recognize and THANK you all for your support this spring. As you know by signing up for a CSA you are investing your food dollars in a small, local, organic, farm. By providing us with upfront money to keep the farm and our 10 employees going in the late winter and early spring when we don’t have produce to sell, you truly help sustain our business. Now it’s our turn to return the favor with all the fresh organic goodness that we spend so much time, care and energy producing for you!
It has been a warm, dry and busy spring here at Wobbly Cart. Days have been long and hot, more like August than June. This unseasonably warm and dry weather has been pushing our crops ahead of normal, which is great, IF we can keep up with the irrigation and demanding harvest schedule. Which can hard when the staff and infrastructure aren’t quite at August levels yet! Luckily we have hired several new crew members this week, and are rolling out a lot of brand new drip irrigation to help keep up with the watering.
I am very pleased that the early onset of strawberry harvest was not mutually exclusive with CSA receiving a taste of our small strawberry plot! We don’t dedicate a lot of land to strawberry production, and mainly have them around to add fruit variety to our CSA boxes. I was worried that they were going to come on early and be done before we had enough produce to begin CSA. It all worked out pretty well, as the Monday morning picking was bigger than expected!
Some of you who are to the world of CSA and/or local, seasonal eating may not be familiar with the garlic scapes that are in this week’s box. Garlic scapes are the elegant goose necked flower stalks of the garlic plant. They emerge this time of year as the garlic matures and it is best for the final product of the bulb if we snap them off. As an added bonus they are delicious to eat and can be chopped and used just like garlic in any recipe, blended up into a pesto, braised whole and much more. They keep for a long time in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator so no need to worry about using them up right away.
Speaking of using things up, we thought we would share some suggestions for using up the produce in your CSA box each week. Amazingly, one of the biggest complaints (and there are very few complaints) we get from CSA customers is that it is difficult to use up all the produce from week to week! We all know that eating more organic fresh produce is certainly in accords with living a long healthy life, so it’s great we have all taken a first step in getting there, by joining a CSA!
Next, be creative and inspired. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Cook at home with our recipe suggestions, or check out new cookbooks and food blogs. We will try to make suggestions for good books and other resources throughout the season. Sautee vegetables with your eggs in the morning, make a green juice or smoothie, have a salad for lunch! If you have time to prepare a lunch for yourself the night before to take to work, you can avoid eating out in restaurants and use up more of your vegetables
You might be surprised with how your tastes change when you get a weekly (and daily) dose of ultra fresh organic vegetables. Suddenly over processed and fast foods don’t taste so great any more… you can really taste the excessive salt, sugar, and artificial additives. I also find my kids will quickly devour our farm fresh produce while shun grocery store stuff. It works well for me to set out a snack tray with fresh carrots, radishes, snap peas etc. and allow them to graze on it throughout the day. I am actually amazed at how quickly a large share disappears in our house of four! As well as how much the grocery bill goes down once the harvest season begins again.
We would love to have you all share ideas, storage tips and recipes with us, as well successes and failures you’ve had with the produce you have received. It would be nice to have a lively discussion with interested CSA members and also get new ideas for good recipes to try! Maybe a face book CSA group would be the way to accomplish this dialogue? I will work on setting one up this week for us all to share on!
Thank you so much and have a great week,
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Garlic-braised broccoli: Bring 4 qts of water to the boil in a stockpot, and add 11/2 tsp of salt. Cut 1 lb of broccoli into 1-inch pieces (stems peeled if desired). Add to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes, then drain and cool slightly. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the broccoli. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, add: 1 thinly sliced garlic scape, and 1 small red chile pepper if desired. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove and discard the chile. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Serves 4). (Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.)
Roasted Garlic Scapes: Preheat oven to 350. Rinse scapes and pat dry. Cut into smaller pieces of desired size, or leave whole, and place in a 9×13-roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with good sea salt. Optional: add cracked pepper or other herbs/spices. Roast for 24-35 minutes, until softened, browned and just slightly crispy to your liking. Remove from oven and enjoy hot or chilled.
Brown Sugar Strawberry Tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor whirl 1-cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and ½ tsp vanilla and pulse until fine crumbs form and dough just begins to come together. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 -inch round tart pan with a removable rim. Bake until the edges are golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then gently push tart crust from pan rim; set on a plate. In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat ½ cup crème fraiche, ½ cup whipped cream, 2 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp vanilla until thick. Spread in the cooled crust. Arrange 12oz of hulled and sliced fresh strawberries in circles on top. Chill loosely covered, up to 4 hours and serve. (From the April 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine.)
Simple Stir Fried Snow Peas: rinse and trim ends from 8 to 10 oz of snow peas. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, over medium high heat. When oil is hot add several tbsp chopped garlic scapes or to taste. Stir-fry briefly, and then add snow peas and ¼ tsp salt. Stir-fry briefly then add 1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce or to taste. Stir-fry for another minute and then serve over rice. (Total stir-frying time is 2 minutes).
Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar: 30 minutes to an hour before serving; thickly slice 2 pints of fresh strawberries, add 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature. When ready to serve place a serving of strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Top with freshly grated lemon zest. Serves 4.
Baby lettuces with goat-cheese dressing, pistachios, and pink peppercorns: for the dressing: in a food processor puree 4 oz goat cheese, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tsp salt until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. Divide up 4 cups of lettuce leaves amongst 4 salad plates. Drizzle each serving with ¼ of the dressing and sprinkle with roasted and salted pistachios, fresh tarragon leaves, and coarsely crushed pink peppercorns. Serves 4. (From May 2013 issue of Country Living Magazine)