Now that it is mid-July, there are many crops that are just starting to emerge. It’s so much fun to see them ripen up and even more fun to harvest ’em, pack ’em, and deliver ’em for you to enjoy. However, while the crops are indeed ripening up, it’s only just the beginning of the season, so what we have this week are the over achievers – the first little bit that is ahead of the rest of the crop of their kind.
But first… just a reminder for the full share folks THERE IS NO CSA NEXT WEEK. The CSA boxes will resume for everyone the week of August 1.
So here is what you’ll find in your box this week:
Kale OR Broccoli – Broccoli is one of those emerging crops right now. While there will soon be an ample supply of broccoli in the next few weeks, this week there are not enough broccoli heads for all boxes. So the broccoli heads will be randomly places in boxes, and the remaining boxes will be finding kale. Now kale is the super food for really cool people. Everyone knows that really cool people eat kale. And eating kale makes you really cool too. As a fellow cool person, I too love kale, and my favorite way to prepare kale is to simply chop it up, then sautee in olive oil and garlic. Kale chips are another fave of mine. And here are a few more recipes for you to try. Storage: both broccoli and kale can be stored in your veggie drawer in your refrigerator and will last for up to two weeks.
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – Since this is the very first little bit that is ripening up, you will find just a VERY SMALL PORTION of tomatoes. I debated as to whether I should just eat the entire harvest of ripened tomatoes myself, or to share a very small portion with you all. As you can see, I opted to share them with you, so you can have just a little taste, knowing that there will be much more coming throughout the rest of the season. I’ll explain more about the characteristics of heirloom tomatoes, and how to store them in the next newsletter. Storage: If you haven’t already eaten your small portion by the time you bring your box home, keep you tomatoes on the counter. Do not put them in the refrigerator as that will significantly reduce their flavor.
Fennel – Confession… I have tried for five years to grow fennel and have failed…until this year. The biggest reason for my previous failures is because I would get greedy, thinking “if I just leave them grow for a little longer, they will get a little bigger.” But every time I thought that, the fennel would just bolt. So this year, I opted to pick the fennel while it was still pretty small. I decided that it is better to have small fennel bulbs than to have no fennel bulbs. If you’re not familiar with fennel, it is a lovely veggie, a member of the carrot family, with white stalks and frilly, lacy, leaves. I like to just roast it and add it to salmon dishes, but here are a handful of recipes to try. Storage: keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Peppers – I’m growing about 10 different varieties of peppers, a combination of sweet and hot ones. Some are big, some are small, some are yellow, some are green, and eventually, if left on the plant for a long enough time, all varieties of peppers will turn red. You will find a combination of hot and sweet peppers to enjoy. Storage: Just like cucumbers, they can be stored either on the counter or in the refrigerator veggie drawer. Choice is yours.
Turnips with greens – Hakurei turnips are a small white turnip that looks like a radish. In fact, you can even eat them raw like a radish if you like. Otherwise there are a number of delicious savory recipes to try. And don’t just cut off and throw away the greens. Just like radish greens, turnip greens are also delicious. Yes, I know, these greens have already been enjoyed by some sort of toothy little bug, but don’t let the bug bites bother you, it’s just cosmetic. After all, when you get a bug bite on your arm, you don’t just cut it off and throw it away, just because it now has a couple of little red bumps on it, do you? Storage: keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Cucumbers – one or two for you to enjoy.
Zucchini – yes indeed. You’ve already had some practice with this versatile veggie.
Good Earth Co-op in St. Cloud – Tuesday by 10:00 am
St. Cloud offices: Tuesday 10:00 – 10:30 am
Vital Images – Tuesday between noon and 1:30 or so
Made of Mora – Thursday by noon
World Headquarters – Thursday noon or later
City Center Market Co-op – Friday 10:00 am