As the first week of summer is upon us, we are geared up and getting ready for our summer harvesting!! This time of year is hectic, but so enjoyable. We have accomplished so much on the farm since the beginning of our growing season in February. The spring battle is nearing an end, and I love love love, finally harvesting so many wonderful things all at once. It brings me so much joy to see the shares changing week by week, and always being able to offer new items: celery, fennel, kohlrabi and now onions, and potatoes! All our hard work and my winter crop planning, and early spring greenhouse seeding’s paid off, and are continuing to pay off. I know we are about to get in to the sometimes monotonous summer shares, but I will do my best to continue to keep some new things coming! We spotted the first melons and winter squash on the vine this week!
Two weeks ago we harvested our first potatoes, this week our first onions (see picture below!). Both of these crops are in the ground for quite a long time, potatoes 3-4 months, and onions about 4 months. This spring we persisted on our onion crop and it finally paid off, while some may be small, to us it is an incredible victory. We battled crazy spring freezes, heavy rain, and then thick weeds, but sure enough our persistence and desire to provide everyone with onions paid off!! Our garlic is curing beautifully and will be appearing in the shares all summer long to enjoy with what will very soon be an abundance of tomatoes!
This week begins are allium marathon. (alliums are the plant family, onions, leeks and garlic are in). In the share today we have scallions, spring onions and leeks!! It was a goal of mine when I set out crop planning for the CSA this season to provide an allium in every CSA share, as I believe they are vital to much of the cooking we do on a weekly basis, and I very much want to provide these for you, so you can really try and eat everything local and from our farm! I also try to provide a consistent amount of root crops, first radishes and turnips, then carrots, beets, and now potatoes, late summer- early fall sweet potatoes, and then back around again to the beginning, completing the cycle with delicious fall Jerusalem artichokes. This week ends our lettuce and greens extravaganza, but do not fear, we have one final succession of lettuce ready next week, and sorrel!
I thank everyone for your continuing support and faith in us each week to provide you with what is sincerely a share of our farm veggies.
Recipes and Nutritional Information:
– From CSA member Hannah Lima
**this week we left our roots on our onions and leeks for you. This a time saver for us in the washing department, and they are actually edible and nutritious! Toss them in a salad or in a soup to add texture!
Carrots :are a yummy way to get more than a days’ worth of Vitamin A. This abundance of vitamin A helps keep your skin and eyes healthy while also acting as an antioxidant that may reduce your risk for cancer. Here’s a dippable way to enjoy your carrots and get your daily dose of Vitamin A.
Carrot Hummus – Serves 10
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 16 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped (scallions or spring onions can be used in place of garlic)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or any other fresh herb you have on hand
In a covered small saucepan, cook the carrots in a small amount of boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until tender; drain.
In a food processor, combine cooked carrots, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and kosher salt. Cover and process until smooth. Stir in parsley.
Nutrition: 43 calories, 9g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 2g protein
Leeks: are a sweeter member of the onion family providing Vitamin A which helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, Vitamin C which works to heal wounds and maintain a healthy immune system and folate important for heart health and cancer prevention. Here’s a great recipe that makes use of your carrots and leeks.
Creamy Carrot Leek Soup – Serves 8
- 2 lbs. carrots
- 3 large leeks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 Tb. butter
- 1 Tb. fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 1 cup springy white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream or Crème Fraiche
- Salt and Pepper
Trim the carrots and chop them into rough 1/2 inch chunks. Trim the root-end off the leeks and cut the white section into quarters. Slice across into small 1/2 inch pieces. (Save the greens for homemade stock.) Place the chopped leeks in a colander and rinse thoroughly–they are often sandy.
Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the butter, carrots, leeks and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Then add the thyme, lemon zest, stock, wine, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir and cover again. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the soup looks murky and the carrots are soft.
Ladle the soup into a high-powered blender. (You might have to do this in two batches.) Place the lid on the blender and open the top vent for steam. Lay a dish towel over the top of the blender and hold firmly as you turn the blender on. Pressure from blending hot liquids can blow the top off and burn you, so be careful–open vent, cover with towel, hold tight! Puree until smooth. Then add the sour cream to the blender and puree again.
Pour both batches back into the sauce pot and stir to blend. Serve warm.
Nutrition: 197 calories, 20g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2g protein
-Here’s another great leek soup that also makes use of fennel
Potato, Leek and Fennel soup – serves 8
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 cups sliced leeks (white and ale green parts)
- 2 cups sliced fennel bulb (reserve fronds for garnish)
- 14 ½ ounces vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 lbs. potaoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and fennel and saute until leeks are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add broth and potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to same pot. Rewarm soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve.
Nutrition: 114 calories, 21g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 2g protein
Fennel: is a good source of Vitamin A and C and potassium. This anise flavored vegetable is used for heartburn and loss of appetite. It is also used for upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis and visual problems. With all of these benefits it’s hard to believe this nutritious vegetable only contains 27 calories per cup. The fennel tops can be used in pesto or steeped in hot water and then chilled for a refreshing licorice flavored tea.
Shaved Fennel Salad – serves 6
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin coins
- 2 small fennel bulbs, cut thin
- 2/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ½ cup pistachios
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Combine zucchini, fennel and dill – toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside and let marinate for 20-60 minutes. Just before serving toss with pistachios and feta cheese. Adjust seasoning by adding more salt or lemon juice.
Nutrition:144 calories, 16g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 4g protein
Potatoes: provide 620 mg of potassium, more than a banana. Potassium is essential to the body because of its role in attaining optimal muscle performance and improving the nerves’ response to stimulation. Potatoes also contain 45% of your daily vitamin C requirement helping heal wounds and maintaining connective tissue.
Cucumbers: contain up to 95% water while providing only 8 calories and meeting 10% of your Vitamin K need per ½ cup – a great way to add guilt free crunch to your meals.
Quick Cucumber Pickles-
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon mustard seed
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 2-4 small red chiles
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 ½ cups fresh dill fronds
- Prepared cucumbers
Cucumbers: Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt. Arrange 4 small cucumbers, sliced 1/8 inch thick, on sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a second layer of paper towels. Let stand 15 minutes, and then pat dry.
In a medium saucepan, combine white vinegar, sugar salt, mustard seed, celery seed, red chilies, and ground turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Arrange prepared vegetables and dill fronds in one or more jars. Pour hot brine into jar to completely cover vegetables and seal jar. Refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours (or up to 1 week). Enjoy.
—Also here is a recipe for Borscht that uses a large amount of this weeks share: beets, fennel, onions and cabbage.