Hello Food Farmers, 11 June 2012
We want to welcome back all of our returning members and our new Food Farmers. We are sending 165 shares to over 250 households this season. In spite of our best efforts, there may be some errors we didn’t catch. Please let us know if you have any problems. It’s your first share pick-up day for this season, so here is a reminder of what you need to do!
Sometime between 4:00pm and 7:00pm you arrive at your pick-up site to find a stack of reusable plastic boxes. Before you take your box, you check the site for messages or a paper copy of Notes from Food Farm (unless you have signed up for the email version!) On one of the boxes, you find a sticker with your name on it. That’s your box of veggies!
Opening your box is the best part. The first few deliveries will contain lots of greens (this is northern Minnesota, after all). The quantity and variety pick up rapidly as the season progresses. In fact, later in the summer the challenge is often, “How do I use all of this?” Successful use of your share requires a different approach to meal planning than the conventional way. Instead of making a menu and then getting ingredients, try waiting to see what’s in your box and then planning accordingly. There will always be at least one recipe featuring produce of that week in the Notes from the Farm. You could also Google a vegetable and search for recipes and nutritional information from the drop down menu. Also, the Food Farm Cookbook is available for $10 and is a great resource.
It is very important that your share box be returned – clean – each week!
Some folks have trouble remembering to return their boxes each week. You may bring bags to transport your share back home, leaving your box at the site. Please clean any veggie bits and moisture out of the box before leaving. Or, you might try emptying, rinsing and drying your box as soon as you get your share home and putting the box right into the trunk of your car so you don’t have to remember it when you leave to pick up next week’s share. A box that sits for a week or more with moisture and veggie bits is not pleasant for us to deal with!
As you look at your box of veggies today try to guess what vegetable you are receiving 9 weeks earlier than last year. If you guessed CUCUMBER you are right. This spring we planted cukes in the ground in a greenhouse on April 13th. The luscious beets, baby lettuce mix and spinach are grown in the greenhouse, as well.
The bad news is we probably won’t be able to send any SNAP PEAS this year. The 8 inches of rain we received between May 22 and May 30 washed out the seed of three successive plantings. More than $125 worth of seed and all our hopes for one of your favorite summer treats, down the drain. Also, the first and third plantings of the brassica family – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower – are heavily retarded in growth due to the same drenching. The plants that have survived are stunted and will produce very small heads. Fortunately we have six successive brassica plantings, and the others are looking more promising. Another quirk we are noticing this season is a proliferation of moths in varieties we rarely see. They are producing numerous caterpillars which are munching the leaves of plants even in our greenhouses, so you will notice some holes in the spinach especially.
FOR EGG SHARES ONLY! REMINDER! Eggs will be delivered to your summer share pickup site TODAY, and each week for the summer share season. The eggs will be available only during normal summer share pickup time – 4pm to 7pm. There will be a cooler at each site containing the number of dozens needed for Egg Shareholders only. PLEASE CHECK OFF YOUR NAME WHEN YOU REMOVE YOUR DOZEN FROM THE COOLER! Empty cartons may be left when you return your veggie share box each week, please stack them neatly and return only one-dozen-size, clean, serviceable, cardboard egg cartons.
Today’s share: Green-topped Beets, Cucumber, Baby Lettuce Mix, Pac Choi, Rhubarb, Spinach
CELESTIAL SOUP with SPINACH Easy to make and very delicious!
4 green onions, minced ¾ t. salt 1 t. peanut or sesame oil 2 T. soy sauce
6 cups chicken, vegetable broth, or water 3 cups (or more!) spinach or other greens
Mince scallions, chop spinach, place everything in a deep bowl. Bring liquid to a boil, pour over chopped veggies. Cover and let stand for a few minutes & serve. You may add splash of lemon juice to each serving. Makes 6 servings
Beet Raita with Dill, Lime, & Honey from Jackie Falk
¾ cup plain yogurt 2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 ½ t. honey 1 ½ t. fresh lime juice
½ pound beets, washed & grated
Whisk together the yogurt, dill, honey, & lime juice in a bowl. Add the beet and mix thoroughly. Chill & serve cold. Raitas are usually served with spicy dishes to cool the palate. Makes 1 cup.