We had a great week last week with only a few missed/missing people. I just want to remind you all to try to read through the letters because questions you may have will often be answered in the letters – so please try to give them the once over in order to save yourself and me unnecessary frustration. There are handy tidbits in the side-bar too.
This week you will find more greens (chard, arugula, or kale), lettuce, and radishes. All the leaf lettuces are really good food for you, high in calcium, potassium, and have at least 8x the vitamin A of iceberg lettuce (no I am not knocking iceberg, but if you are going to eat salad, it might as well really count). You will receive many varieties of lettuce over the course of the summer: Black Seeded Simpson is the frilly light green one, New Red Fire and Red Sails are our red-leaf types, Romaine with the dark, thick, long and broad leaves (yep, there’s a red-leaf Romaine too), Buttercrunch/Bibb/Boston which is very soft, smooth and green, several oakleaf types (which have leaves shaped like oak leaves), and French Batavia, a large, red-tinged, crisp lettuce, and which is, perhaps, the farm favorite for versatility and consistent flavor. Our lettuce is never sprayed for insects so you may come across a few from time to time. We find a real time saver, as far as meal prep goes, is to wash all the lettuce at once. The best way to do this is to fill a large bowl, or your sink, with salted water, break all the leaves off your lettuce heads and immerse them in the water. It is OK to leave the lettuce soaking for a while. Then drain, rinse and dry. A friend asked me why salted water…well, it causes any aphids or other insects to let go their grip on the produce, which a plain water soak might not do (remember, we don’t spray). At this point we wrap the whole leaves that will not be used in damp cloth or paper towels and then in a large plastic bag. Lettuce will keep this way in the fridge for a week or more! Some say plastic is a bad thing, but I find it holds the moisture in better. You still have to eat it the same week. For those of you who are doing this for the first time, you may find that whipping together a salad and having a leaf or two on a sandwich is now a simple thing and you’ll do it! This method works well for all greens.
We grow an assortment of summer squashes: zucchini, yellow summer squash, and Cousa, a light green, Mediterranean summer squash. I can never be sure which will appear in your box over the season, so now you know. Summer squashes are any of the soft skinned beauties harvested in these months and you may use them interchangeably. There are also 4 types of kale and different colors of Swiss Chard—just to keep it interesting.
Remember to return your boxes to us from week to week; if you need help collapsing them, ask. Please do not tear them.
We have boatloads of birds still coming to the feeder and many we hear or see around the farm. There must be 5 nesting pair of Bobolinks , and tonight, on a walk to see the tomatoes, I heard the Redstarts, Yellow Warblers, Towhees, Hermit Thrush, Peewee, Orioles, lots of different Sparrows, and much more. If you are a birder, it is a good take out here. The crops are looking pretty good and we hope it stays warm now. We don’t really need to experience another growing season like last year. The raspberries are ripening, so if you want o plan a trip out the farm , we will gladly welcome you harvesting a few! The kids are done with school, and I assume yours are too—so have fun. When you decide there is too much energy with the little people, just head on out, the drive and then the walking, fresh air, and eating will put them right to sleep!
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman