Welcome summer. The season that we Minnesotans to eagerly look forward to, fill up with fun, and then all of a sudden, it’s fall. Knowing that summertime is full of vacations and complicated schedules, for you half share members, if you plan on being out of town during the week you would normally get your box, just let me know and I would be happy to switch up the schedule so you can get your box the following week instead. And with that thought in mind…
SLIGHT SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR 4th OF JULY: Since July 4th is on a Monday, many offices are also closed on Tuesday as well. So the delivery to St.Cloud offices, Good Earth Co-op, and Vital Images will be on Wednesday July 6th instead of Tuesday July 5th. All other deliveries that week will remain the same for those of you who pick up your box in Mora, here at World Headquarters, or at City Center Market Co-op in Cambridge.
So now… back to the veggie boxes. Just as our weather is transitioning from spring to summer, so are the crops transitioning from cool weather to warm weather produce. So here is what you’ll find in your box this week.
Sunflower shoots – a handful of these nutty, tender, and delicious sprouts from sunflower seeds. These are best enjoyed raw, either on a salad, or just as a snack. Storage: keep the plastic clam shell it comes in closed and store in the fridge.
Rosemary plant – I have an exceptionally good crop of rosemary this year. You’ll be seeing it again in future boxes, but for this first appearance, you will get a rosemary plant. The great thing about having a plant is that you have three options: 1.) put it in a window, water it, and let it grow big and tall. It has the potential to grow as big as a floor plant in just a couple of years. 2.) cut it up and use it in your favorite dish right now as a fresh herb. 3.) completely neglect it, let it dry up, then use it as a dried herb in your favorite dish. So you can’t go wrong in any of these scenarios.
Wombok – I know… you’ve never heard of womboks, right? Well neither did I until we had a WWOOFer from Australia stay with us for a few weeks. One day she mentioned to me “You have some huge womboks in the hoop house!” My immediate reaction was “What?! Womboks??!” and I pictured these hungry little monsters, like Tasmanian Devils devouring everything in sight. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and it turns out that a wombok is the Australian translation for Napa cabbage. Whew. Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a popular, tender and mild, oblong-shaped cabbage used in stir fries, slaw, kimchee and more. Here are some recipes to try. However, they are also quite a bugger to clean. As they grow, the leaves are spread out wide and relaxed, so dirt and grime easily drops down inside. So pay close attention to clean it thoroughly before you prepare it. Storage: in a sealed plastic bag or container.
Arugula – This spicy green made it’s first appearance a couple of weeks ago, as one of the ingredients in the salad mix. The full share members found it in their box last week. As the spring season comes to a close, so do some of the early greens, including arugula. This is also a fancy green that is often used in fancy dishes at fancy restaurants. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a pesto. Here are a few recipes to try if you’re not familiar with it. Storage: in a sealed plastic or glass container in the fridge.
Farmers Choice – As the season transitions, I have some crops that are finishing up, while other crops are just starting to emerge. Since there are not enough of each of these crops to put in everyone’s box, you will find one of these items in your box: radishes (the last of the season crop, and don’t forget that the greens are edible too) OR cucumbers OR zucchini OR scallions.
Lettuce – The lettuce season will soon be coming to a close as well. It has always been my desire to try and have lettuce make it all the way to the tomato season. But since lettuce is a cool season crop, and tomatoes are a warm season crop, it can only be one or the other. Doesn’t seem fair, since BLT’s are such a great summer treat. Anyhoo… I digress… I think I might be able to eek out one more week of lettuce after this, before it all starts to bolt. So this week you will find some combination of romaine, and/or heirloom bibb lettuce. Storage: in a sealed plastic bag, or plastic or glass container and store in the fridge.
REMINDER: Please return your wax produce box and cooler packs to your pick-up location so I can re-fill them for you with more fresh, organic produce throughout the summer.
Here is the schedule for this week:
Good Earth Co-op, St. Cloud – Tuesday around 10:30 am
St. Cloud Offices – Tuesday between 10:00 to 11:00
Vital Images – Tuesday between noon and 2pm
Made of Mora – Thursday by noon
Sapsucker Farms World Headquarters – Thursday after noon
City Center Market Co-op in Cambridge – Friday 10:00 am