Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CSA for Tuesday, August 14th!

Reta in the beans! Thank, Reta!

I've been having some interesting discussions, particularly with new CSAers, about CSA baskets and seasonal food.  CSA makes you a more spontaneous cook: one never knows what one is going to get in the basket, so the menus for the weeks' meals are formulated after pick-up.  Some people have changed their weekly grocery shopping day to the day of pick-up, or the day after.  Most interesting, to me, is some of the 'newbies' discoveries about seasonal food!  Many didn't really know things in the garden have 'their time', and then are finished.  In a world where we go to the grocery store and buy beans from different places in the world six or eight months out of the year, they were surprised to find that fresh, local beans are available for about three weeks!  That's it!  The little plants grow, flower, set beans and then are done!  The same with peas, raspberries and more!  Summer squash is a slightly different story: as long as you keep picking, they keep flowering and producing.  It's interesting to see how 'removed' people have become from the knowledge of growing food.  Anyone who does even a bit of gardening is somewhat more aware of the cycles; people who grew up on a farm or had a grandparent on the farm remembers the 'bean picking time' - a chore some grew to dislike, apparently!

The Spiralizer!
We have Reta, a Thursday CSAer, to thank for some of todays' beans!  Reta volunteered to come spend some time this morning and I really enjoyed her company.  Reta is one who remembers picking beans on the farm - and she was pretty good at it even though, apparently, I gave her some of the toughest rows!  It was kind of funny when I assigned her a couple of rows that turned out to have been picked before, then took one for myself that had obviously not been picked!  I didn't do it on purpose, really!  I could literally fill a bucket in half the time!  She also helped scour the patch for cucumbers for everyone!  What was neat is that Reta brought along a gadget we've talked about called the 'Spirallizer'.  I wasn't familiar with it when she mentioned it at her CSA pick up so she did a demonstration today.  It's kind of like a mandolin, but it cuts fruits and veggies into spiral shapes of different widths!  Really neat to see Reta turn out 'spaghetti' from a 'Goldrush' zucchini.  I really like this little thing - I'm going to cruise online for when later tonight, after CSA and goat milking!  You can make pasta shapes (raw zucchini salad with little spirals or actual zucchini spaghetti!), and chip shapes using everything from summer squash and potatoes to fruits like apples!  Really cool little gadget!  Thanks for sharing, and coming to help, Reta!!!!!

Speaking of summer squash...they keep on coming!  Wish the carrots and beets would grow soooo enthusiastically!!!  Here's a few neat things I've found or been shown this week:  garlic-grilled Patty Pan with chia brown rice, sounds good!  And, if you're not cruising our Facebook page, CSAer Natalia shared this recipe for zucchini butter!  I've had a couple of great comments already from people who have tried it!

Today, everyone is getting what is probably our favorite potato.  Out of thirty varieties, that's saying something!  We have our favs for roasting, and our fav for the BBQ, but when it comes to an all around potato this is the one we pick the most.  We've dug 'Sangria' for you today:  a red skinned, white fleshed potato.  It is always creamy and smooth, with good flavor.  It is awesome mashed, we usually eat it cut into chunks and steam it.  We use it frequently in scalloped potatoes.  It is not the best choice for tin foil packs on the BBQ, as it will get a little mushy.  We've taken it at somewhat small sizes; it's an awesome storage potato so you will see it again later in the season!  Enjoy it now, unpeeled, in potato salad or the classic mashed potato!

So, for the FULL SHARES:  4 lbs. 'Sangria' potatoes, onions, Swiss chard, 'Papaya Pear' squash, zucchini, assorted Patty Pans, lb. 'Dragons Tongue' beans, 1/2 lb. yellow wax beans, English cucumber.

For the PART SHARES: 3 lbs. 'Sangria' potatoes, onions, Swiss chard, 'Papaya Pear' squash, 'Goldrush' zucchini, assorted Patty Pans, lb. 'Dragons Tongue' beans, 1/2 lb. yellow wax beans, slicing cucumber.

SINGLE SHARES: 2 lbs. 'Sangria' potatoes, onions, Swiss chard, 1/2 lb. 'Dragons Tongue' beans, 'Goldrush' zucchini, assorted Patty Pans, slicing cucumber.

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