Summer CSA 2023
Thanks to the River Market Coop and photographer Scott Streble, the summer status of our field and our family was captured last Thursday afternoon.
Hey CSA Members!
THANK YOU for an incredible first week. First of all, thank you for leaving your yellow CSA totes at the dropsites, not a single one went missing. You all rock! Keep leaving those and remembering your bags, and remind anyone you send to pickup your share to do the same.
Second of all, thank you to for sharing your gratitude and photos of your veggies through the week with me! With our CSA model, I don’t actually get to see any of you in person, but luckily, in our digital age, text messages, emails, and social media keep us all connected. I appreciate the Instagram shoutouts and the photos of your beautiful veg! It means a lot and please keep sharing your culinary creations with me. As the summer goes on, I am hoping to host some recipe challenges and share some other ways to engage with our CSA community!
This week on the farm…
Was HOT. HELLO SUMMER. The solstice has passed, and this is where everything really comes to life. All the plants (and weeds) have kicked into high gear and pretty soon here we’ll be rolling in the summery veg. We saw our first rain last Sunday evening, and we got a little more on Saturday afternoon. But after 4 whole weeks with no rain, it’s just not enough. We’ve been irrigating like crazy to keep everything alive, but there’s just something about rainwater that gives the plants vibrant energy.
This week also brought on some of the summer pests we battle each year. Our zucchini plants fight cucumber beetles and squash bugs; our potato plants fight the colorado potato beetle; and our brassicas (radish, turnips, kale, broccoli, cabbage) fight flea beetles. Each type of pest enjoys a particular family of crop and as farmers we work really hard to manage pests at an early part of their life cycle. One thing that sets us apart from other organic farms is that we haven’t sprayed ANY chemicals (even the certified organic ones) on the crops we sell to eat. Unfortunately, that choice has led to more crop loss than I want to admit, and this year we’re working even harder to squish bugs and ensure our plants are healthy to fight off the pests.
Sadly, the pest pressure is just so intense that our hands can barely keep up with the hatching populations. We’ve been talking deeply this week about selectively implementing some of the certified organic sprays (literally every other organic farmer uses these…) to help kill off the pests an save our crops. It’s super hard to make these decisions as farmers because we don’t want to expose our earth and our bodies to any type of chemicals, but at what cost? All this work we put into planting and growing food, just to watch them be eaten away by massive pest populations? It’s definitely a moral dilemma we consistently think about. I’ll be as transparent as possible about how we manage pests, and what decisions we end up making, so you can be informed about how your veggies were raised, but please reach out with any questions! Or let me know if you want to have a pest squashing party, any ones we can kill off by hand makes a huge impact!
All in all, we love this work and it constantly challenges our minds and our bodies to make the best decisions for our soils, earth, and community. Thanks for being a part of that <3
Keep reading to see what veg will be in your box this week! I also have some fun recipes for you to try and some tips on how to keep your veggies fresh all week!
In your box….
Here are photos of what you’ll find in your box this week!
Rainbow chard, red beets, salad turnips, basil, lemon balm, butter lettuce, garlic scapes, and nasturtium flowers.
Rainbow chard, salad turnips, basil, lemon balm, garlic scapes, and butter lettuce.
We’re starting to see some roots and summer colors mixed into our CSA box this week. More to come soon! I saw some summer squash in our patch today, so I know those will join us in the near future.
BEST STORAGE PRACTICES:
Greens: Any and all greens (kale, chard, lettuce etc.) do best in a cool, humid environment. I recommend soaking your greens in cold water when you get home, then drying them (using a salad spinner works best!), then putting them in a gallon ziploc bag, or damp towel (if you’re trying to reduce plastic!) and placing them in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
Roots: All roots are stored best in a cool, humid environment. When you get home separate the tops from the root (take the green leaves off your beets!) for the longest storage possible. Then wrap in a damp towel, or place in a ziploc bag and store in the fridge.
Herbs: I always place the stems of my herbs into a small jar of water, then store in the fridge for maximum herb life.
Basil: DO NOT GET YOUR BASIL WET. I REPEAT, DO NOT GET YOUR BASIL WET. The leave will instantly turn brown and go slimy if they get wet. I recommend wrapping in a dry towel, then putting your basil into a lidded tupperware and placing in the fridge for the longest storage.
Recipes for the week!
This week you’ve receive some FUN veg. I always try to include unique veggies in your CSA through the summer, so you can try new things (or enjoy an old fav).
This week we harvested a HUGE bunch of basil and some garlic scapes for everyone. That means it’s pesto making time! Read below for my garlic scape pesto recipe:
Garlic Scape Pesto
1/2-1 cup olive oil (start with less, add more if needed)
juice of one lemon
one bunch of basil
1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
5 garlic scapes
1/2 teaspoon salt
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup grated parmesan
Directions: Measure out ingredients and place into a food processor, or high powered blender. I used pretty much my whole basil bunch (tender stems and all!), but I always take away the woody center stalk, it just doesn’t blend well. You can also roughly chop the garlic scapes before putting into the processor/blender. Remove the flower bud of the garlic scape before using.
I stored mine in glass jars and freeze the extras for the winter! I doubled the recipe because I had more basil, so I’m not sure how many jars you’ll end up with. Enjoy!!
LEMON BALM SUN TEA
Finally, (wow if you’ve read this far, thank you!!) you all recieved a big bunch of lemon balm. It’s a lovely herb in the mind family known for its sunny, citrus smell and is commonly used in tea.
You are welsome to dry the bunch (with a food dehydrator, or in the oven) for future use, but you can also make lemon balm sun tea with the fresh leaves. Simply pack the leaves into a jar, pout hot water to fill the jar and place in the direct sun for 4 hours to steep. Strain and enjoy!
Sun tea is a great way to capture and drink the suns rays, and enjoy the benefits of lemon balm, but please read this article about the best practices for making sun tea before trying.
Enjoy everything this week!
Sunshine and soil,