CSA – Week #2

This man harvested your lettuce and is happy about it.

Greetings again from the farm, where things are going well and growing well.  I find it extremely hard to believe that this is the last week of June but excited because of all the new veggies coming in the next few weeks…cherry tomatoes!…scallions!…peas!  The harvest went well this morning, and it went quickly thanks once again to a number of extra helping hands.  Joining Andrew, Christina, Sonya, and I were workshare CSA members Derek Kotasi and Vanessa Fairbrother of Auburn.  Also, we have a new WWOOFer on the farm for the next week or two, Rosy Kirby, all the way up from North Carolina to see Maine and learn a bit about farming.  (Our previous WWOOfer, Alex, left after the Portland Farmers’ Market on Saturday…good luck and thanks for all your help, Alex!)

Harvest helpers Vanessa and Derek

The second CSA share of the 2011 season contains the following:

3/4 lb of garlic scapes
1/2 lb bag of spinach
2 heads of lettuce
CHOOSE ONE: 1 bunch of Swiss chard -OR- 1 bunch of Red Russian kale
CHOOSE ONE:  1 bunch of French Breakfast radishes -OR- 2 bulbs of fennel -OR- a kohlrabi
1 head of Napa cabbage (a.k.a. Chinese cabbage)
1 bunch of herbs: Sage -OR- Parsley -OR- Mint
1 pint of strawberries
For 1/2 share members picking up for the 1st time this week:  2 seedlings (assorted herbs, veggies, and flowers)

The appearence and harvesting of garlic scapes is always an exciting time here.  Those funky, curly thing-a-ma-bobs are actually the undeveloped flower of the garlic plant.

The flavor is similar to garlic cloves but much milder.  You can chop up the scapes and use them raw in salads or use them in cooking for anything that calls for garlic.  One of our favorite things to do with garlic scapes is to make pesto.  Simply process the scapes with olive oil and some walnuts or pine nuts, and you end up with a quick and delicious pesto.  The harvesting of the scapes is also beneficial to the garlic down the road.  Since the plant doesn’t have to put its energy into flowering anymore, it can redirect its resources down under the soil to make strong, healthy heads.

Also new in the shares this week are kohlrabi and fennel.  The former is wonderful grated raw into salads or grated and sauteed with butter and sage.  Fennel is great in salads, too, and adds a unique flavor to stir fries and roasted veggies.  The fennel fronds can also be added to salads.  Napa, or Chinese, cabbage is great shredded as the base for an Asian salad or sauteed and added to stir fries.  As noted last week, check out the website’s Recipes page for more ideas about how to prepare these and other veggies in this week’s share!

Folks, we want to get the word out that the next farm potluck is coming up soon, and it’s a special one for several reasons.  First, the specifics:  Come on over to the farm on Saturday, July 9th from 6-9 PM for food, fun, and conversation, and bring a dish to share!  The 9th also happens to be John’s birthday, and…THERE WILL BE CAKE.  Also, there are plans afoot to get a wiffle ball game going after the feast…feel free to join in or root from the sidelines!  And, we’re excited to have Sonya’s dad and stepmom visiting all the way from Florida starting on the 9th.  Ron Theriault did us all a huge favor during his last visit to the farm by building the spiffy veggie cooler in the barn for us.  So…come celebrate the start of the CSA season, John’s birthday, meet Sonya’s folks, meet some of your neighbors and fellow CSAers, etc., etc…  We hope to see you on the 9th!  In the meantime, enjoy your veggies!

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