Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First CSA Share of 2014 - Not Much in the Basket!

We're sorry - the spinach didn't make it!
The first CSA share of the season! Later than most years due to odd, very odd, weather!  And not a big share, at that.  This year has seemed more of a struggle then any other.  After a long cold winter, a long cold spring has made gardening challenging.  In the last month, a few weird storms have set us back even more.  At least we're not flooding, like some of our neighbours!

Veggies struggled early on.  We basically lost the spinach: it was tiny and yellowed and much died in cold, wet soil.  As the temperatures have improved, some has come back but only to go straight to seed!  I've never seen spinach two inches high with four poor leaves flowering.  It's a goner!  Some of our winter squash was washed out, as well as some of the beets and carrots.  We've replanted all, but it's rather amusing to see Delicata squash coming up eight feet down the hill from where it was planted!  The early planting of radishes have cracked from too much rain and have baby bugs tunnelling in them, so they're getting plowed under.

There's not a lot to say about today's harvest so I figured we'd start with some basics.  Here's a great link to storing and keeping your fresh vegetables and fruits: http://www.thekitchn.com/the-kitchns-guide-to-storing-fruits-and-vegetables-tip-roundup-176308.  This one is worth bookmarking: it has basic tips as well as links for specific vegetables and fruits.  We bring our vegetables as 'fresh from the field' as we can, with a basic rinse but I wouldn't consider them well washed.  We recommend getting everything out of plastic as soon as you can.  Here's a good link for vegetable 'washes', very useful for store-bought veggies which are more likely to have waxes, pesticide residues and such.  Our veggies are just...somewhat dirty but the washes are helpful to keep them fresh longer.  Since this first few weeks will be all about greens here's a great link for DIY salad dressings.  Homemade salad dressings can be made free of extra sugar and additives, and can be made fresh in small quantities.

The rejected lettuce will make excellent goat food!
So today is simple: Everyone gets a bag of Grand Rapids lettuce, a bright green, frilly lettuce perfect for salads or sandwiches.  Everyone gets a bag of Red Sails lettuce, pretty in a salad.  There are winter onions, in the ground since last fall.  Some are starting to go to seed, so if the stem is very hard it cannot be used, otherwise all parts will be very tasty in salads or cooking.  Everyone is getting Swiss Chard, a variety called Rainbow Lights with bright coloured stems.  Chard can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach: braised, sauteed or simply steamed.  We've used it in a quiche and it was very good!

So, a slow start to our CSA, but it's all fresh and chemical-free!  Just FYI...the raspberries and the beans are coming very well.......

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