Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2nd CSA Pick-up

I just got home from the second Charlottetown CSA pick-up. I really enjoy the pick-ups, getting to see everyone and chatting about their favourite and not so favourite vegetables. The grab box got a lot of use today, switching beet greens for chard, onions for chinese cabbage, radish for turnip and so on.

This weeks shares included lettuce mix, spinach, Chinese cabbage, Joi Choi, summer turnip, green onions, strawberries, red radish, beet greens, swiss chard and strawberries. The large and the small share do not always have the same items, we try to mix it up a bit every week to keep from getting the same things every week. The grab box works well that way as people can swap otherwise unwanted veggies for those which they know they would enjoy.

Most of the strawberries in the shares this week are from Hughes Hills Farms in Kelly's Cross. I picked them yesterday for the Charlottetown shares and will be picking on Thursday for the Summerside shares. I thought our strawberry patch would be fine for another year of picking but I'm afraid the dear old patch has come to an end. The berries that are there are very small and seedy, I picked for over an hour and only got 6 boxes and that was from 8 rows, so needless to say it was slow going. I had planted new plants last year but we had to get our septic system replaced and the construction machinery that was here basically drove over all our plants and killed them, what a bummer!!! So off I drove to Gary and Kelly's organic strawberry patch and picked away the remaining boxes that I needed for today's pick-up. Gary and Kelly Hughes grow certified organic strawberry's and they have a u-pick so if your looking for more berries they have a great patch with o-so tasty berries. Normally the philosophy of a CSA is to share with the members only the produce and fruits which you have ready at that time, but since Strawberries were on our original list and I know people love them, so I decided to bend the philosophy a bit to be able to have strawberries, even if it is only for 1 week.

Recipe Ideas

Mushroom, Mustard Swiss Chard

2-½ Tbsp olive oil
1 large bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves, garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp plain or Dijon mustard
½ lb mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, finely shredded, including stems

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saut̩ the green onions and garlic for 2 minutes until softened and tender. Add mushrooms and cook 4 Р5 minutes more. Add the chard, cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until chard is tender but still crisp. Mix in mustard and heat 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir and serve immediately.

Lori's Joi Choi stir-fry
"put about 2 TB of olive oil in a skillet and heat. chop choi roughly and add to the hot pan. Stir fry for a few minutes, until just the choi is tender. Remove from heat. Add a good splash of soy sauce and a few drop of sesame oil and serve. So good!"

Summer turnip

Summer turnip is really nice eaten raw or you can also steam or boil until soft. It is very similar to the fall rutabaga's we eat just a little sweeter and much prettier.

Add sliced strawberries, toasted almonds, sliced green onions, cubed feta or goat cheese to a plate of spinach and lettuce mix and voila, an instant supper masterpiece

Beet Greens

The beet greens are getting on the large size so you will want to cut away the stems from the greens. Some bunches had some tiny beets there so you might be lucky enough to have some baby beets for supper as well.

Farm News
Things are going very well here on the farm, we had our first CSA open farm day on Saturday and it was great to see everyone who came out. We are looking forward to hosting at least 1 open farm day per month. The weeds are pretty much in control except for the top section which is currently under attack by cornspurry and pig weed. I started the daunting task of hand weeding the beets today after harvesting for the CSA and the weeds are thick!!!! But with a little elbow grease and hopefully the babies nap well I should be able to get the worst of it cleaned up this week.

The peas are just starting to flower which is very exciting news for pea lovers, we have both snow and snap peas, yum. The potatoes are looking awesome this year and the superiors are flowering and are looking like in a few weeks we will be able to include them in the boxes. The early carrots (Nelson, Napoli and Morkum) are all looking really good and I enjoy snacking on the odd carrot that I find big enough to munch on.

Hope this finds you well and eating your greens!!

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