CSA Newsletter Week 2

Harvest Rhythms

CSA pick-up June 8 & 11

With the second week of CSA, we are falling into the rhythm of harvesting.  The harvest gives structure to our weeks and breaks up the tasks of weeding, seeding, transplanting, and maintaining the fields.  Even on rainy days, I look forward to the harvest as the culmination of crops signifies full plates and meals that hold all the energy of the soil and seed, sun and water.

In the fields we are always making decisions on how to protect crops from pests.  While we haven’t had animals to contend with in the past (unless you count the sheep, who we said goodbye to last summer), there are flea beetles and colorado potato beetles and cucumber beetles…those beetles!  We don’t use any chemical pesticides, so our method of choice is to cover the vegetables with remay, a white row-cover, and bury the sides so no beetles can get in to the tender leaves.  The remay covering the bok choi, however, had a few tears and blew off a bit, letting flea beetles in.

We debated about pulling it since the leaves were nibbled early on, and we weren’t sure how it well it would do as it matured.  As we debated, the bok choi kept right on growing, and though you’ll see some speck-size holes in the leaves from the flea beetles, we decided they’d be better on the plate than in the compost.  We hope you’ll agree!

Coming up on June 20th is our first CSA volunteer work day.  Come get your hands in the soil with us and grow a deeper connection to your food at Good Heart Farmstead.  From June through September, we’ll have a CSA volunteer day every third Saturday of the month, from 10:00-2:00, with a farm lunch included.  This is a great way to learn more about how your food is grown and to cultivate the community of the CSA.  We’ll send out a reminder next week.

See the CSA harvest list and recipe below.  If you have favorite recipes you’d like to share, please send them our way and we will put them in the newsletter.

In Good Heart,
Katie and Edge

P.S. there are still shares available!  Please spread the word to your friends.  Veggie & Herb shares will be pro-rated for folks who sign up now or later in the season.  Farm Stand Memberships can be purchased anytime through the season.

photo: fresh cilantro

Harvest List:
Mesclun Mix
Choice of Kale or Chard
Salad Turnips
Pac Choi
Tokyo Bekana
Choice of two herbs: chives, oregano, sage, cilantro

Not sure what to do with the Tokyo Bekana?  It’s a mild Asian green that works well raw in a salad, or lightly sautéed or wilted on top of a hot dish.  Below is a recipe for an Asian Greens salad, in which you can use Tokyo Bekana alone or in combination with bok choi.
Salad ingredients

1 bunch of Tokyo Bekana and/or bok choi

Green additions such as cilantro and/or chives

Prepare the Greens:

Cut the very end of the stem off all the bok choi and Tokyo Bekana leaves. Coarsely chop the remaining leaves and stems into ½ inch pieces. If you are using scallions, cilantro or another vegetable, chop it up and add it to the choi. Wash the greens and get ready to toss them with the dressing.

Sesame dressing ingredients

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons agave syrup (or honey in a pinch)

Add all dressing ingredients to a bottle and shake, shake, shake.

The “Crunchies”

1 teaspoon canola or mild-tasting oil
1 bag of ramen noodles (use only the noodles, not the flavor packet)
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Prepare the Crunchies:

Lay an unopened bag of ramen noodles on the counter or floor and whack them with a meat tenderizer until they are fully crushed. Careful, the bag might pop if you get too excited while you do this! Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add the oil. When it is warm, pour in the crushed noodles, discarding the flavor packet. Add the almonds. Stir occasionally and cook until the noodles are just golden brown.

Combine everything in a salad bowl, toss and enjoy!

source: From Scratch Club

We got a note from our CSA member Sandy on the wonderful properties of sage and how it can be used:

Sage has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work well in the mouth.  A sage leaf, chewed slightly and packed next to a sore gum will usually bring relief.  You may have to do it twice.  Leave the leaf in a good long time.

For mouthwash, chop sage until fine, place in a glass jar (I use a pint size.). Cover with vodka so liquid is at least 1 inch over chopped leaves. If you can get organic vodka use that. Alcohol is necessary to draw out the essence of the sage.

Cover jar. Shake once a day.  Place out of direct light, in a cabinet or closet. In 2 weeks you can strain the leaves from the liquid or let it steep longer. Use a funnel to pour strained liquid (tincture) into small glass bottle.

To use, place about 1/2 ounce of water in a cup and add up to an equal amount of sage tincture.

If you have spilanthes flowers and or calendula flower petals add them to the sage leaves and you have an even more effective mouthwash.  This is also good for a gargle to ward off a sore throat or a cold.

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