Yearly Archives: 2024

Week #4. Final box of June Share.

This delivery wraps up our June Share.

We hope you enjoyed our experimental 4-week June Share.  We think it went quite well.  I like that we were able to include most everyone’s spring favorites.  At this point, let’s assume we will do this again next year.  Watch for emails over the winter.

What’s next?

Our next farm offering will be organic plum (Roma) tomatoes, for sauce, freezing or canning.  The tomatoes are often ready around the Labor Day weekend.
– We plan to host on-farm u-picks so you can come harvest ripe plum tomatoes.
– We might offer pre-picked plum tomatoes for sale as well.
I’ll send emails to all of June Share members plus everyone on our email list.  

I might offer a pop-up sale in fall, something similar to a CSA box or a smaller version of our Storage Share from other years.  Just watch for emails from me.  

Willy Street Coop and Outpost Natural Foods and Basics Coop will stock our produce through the summer, fall and winter.  Next week, we begin planting carrots for those 5 lb bags to deliver all winter!  Now we just need a dry spell to get the carrot seeds in the ground.

Strawberry Wrap-Up


The welcome team was ready!


There were a lot of berries ready to pick!

Our berry season came to a dramatic end during the u-pick on Saturday.  People came at 9:00am, hustled and hurried home with lots of berries.  The picking was good until the downpour.  But you all are tough and everyone was in a good mood once the rain stopped again.  However, the heavy rain on Saturday … and Saturday night … and Monday night have damaged the berries.  Our berry season is finished.  We hoped to pick for this week’s delivery but the berries are gone.  Instead, we put that picking time into sugar snap peas and have an astonishing 1.75 lb for each box!  I do not think we’ve ever delivered that many peas at once.

Thank you all so much for joining our June Share this year.  We are honored by the trust you have in us.  Please enjoy this last delivery.
Beth & Steve

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #4, June 27, 2024

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ B group

Sugar snap peas, ~1.75 lb
Napa cabbage
Zucchini &/or summer squash, ~3 lb
Cucumbers, ~3
Silver Slicer cucumber, 1 or 2
Kohlrabi, 1 or 2
Scallions, 1 bunch
Basil, 1 sprig
Rhubarb, 1.25 lb

Sugar snap peas.  These peas should be eaten pod and all.  They are delicious raw, or very lightly cooked or stir-fried.
Preparation: They will need a quick rinse to remove faded gray blossoms.  Here’s how to remove the strings on each pod.  Snap off the stem end and pull the string down the concave side of the pod (the inward-curing side).  Throw away the string and eat the pod.  The thicker pea pods will usually have a string along both edges.  Remove them when you snap off the stem.
Storage: Refrigerate.

Napa cabbage (large, pale green cabbage with crinkled leaves) – Napa cabbage is an interesting vegetable, useful for both fresh, raw salads and for cooking.  Its most famous use is fermented kimchi.  I like to prepare a fresh, unfermented kimchi.  Same seasonings, but it’s ready to eat right away.  You will be amazed at how much shredded napa cabbage shrinks when prepared this way.  See here for an example, but cut the salt in half (or even further): Grilled Flank Steak with Kimchi-style Coleslaw.
Storage:  Napa stores very well.  When refrigerated, it will keep for several weeks.  Peel off the outer layer and it will be ready to use.  Here are a few preparation ideas from the ‘Asparagus to Zucchini’ cookbook.
– Chop raw napa into green salads.
– Substitute napa in traditional coleslaw.
– Chinese cabbage cooks quickly.  Steam 3-5 minutes, or until leaves are wilted down but remain slightly crisp.
– Substitute napa cabbage for common cabbage in recipes, but reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes.
– Napa cabbage is the main ingredient in egg rolls.  Try making an egg roll mixture to eat as a cooked side dish instead of preparing time-consuming egg rolls.

Zucchini & summer squash –  Zucchini and summer squash need refrigeration but do not do well at very cold temperatures, as they will soften and form pits in their surface. Refrigerate these squash but in the warmest part of your fridge.  

Cucumbers – We have been waiting for these!  You’ll receive green slicing cukes or a white variety called Silver Slicer.  These smaller cucumbers are thin-skinned, like pickling cucumbers, with delicious flavor.  No need to peel the Sliver Slicers.  For that matter, there’s no need to peel the green cucumbers either, unless you receive an unusually large one. 
Storage: Store at room temperature for a few days or refrigerate in the warmest part of your fridge.  Cucumbers get chilling injury if stored too cold.

Kohlrabi (pale green, round vegetable with thick skin and attached leaves) – Crunchy and sweet, kohlrabi is a great addition to salads.
Storage: Kohlrabi bulbs will store for a month in the refrigerator. Remove the leaves if you plan to store for more than a few days.
Uses: Kohlrabi are good peeled and eaten out of hand, or added to sandwiches, or added to salads. It makes a nice salad on it’s own. You can grate it, slice it, or cut it into matchsticks. It’s also good cooked.

Basil – The basil is very tender so we washed them very gently.  Expect to wash again to remove grit.  For this harvest, we cut entire plants.  It is lovely stuff.


Green slicing cucumbers and a Silver Slicer cucumber.


This week’s tender basil.

RECIPES by DEB

ground turkey and snap pea stirfry
Photo credit Christopher Testani

Spicy Skillet Ground Turkey and Snap Peas

From the New York Times
Combine the sugar snaps and scallions in this week’s box with ground turkey to make this spicy stirfry, and you can add more fresh basil if you don’t have mint – or simply omit the mint.
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pasta primavera with shrimp & sugar snaps
Photo credit Sidewalk Shoes

Pasta Primavera with Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas

From Sidewalk Shoes
In addition to sugar snap peas, scallions, and the basil that you will find in this week’s box, this recipe also calls for fresh parsley and arugula. But Primavera recipes are forgiving in terms of what veggies you use, so you can sub in what you have and certainly amping up the amount of sugar snaps will work just fine. The images in the post show snow peas rather than sugar snaps, but they’re pretty interchangeable too! And 3 cups of dry penne (or other pasta) is about 12 oz. or 3/4 of a pound.
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Photo credit Leah Maroney

Pickled Kohlrabi

From The Spruce Eats
These kohlrabi pickles will keep in the back of the fridge for a long time and can be served as a condiment with hamburgers or brats, or any other sandwiches. The recipe also suggests chopping them up for coleslaw and adding some of the brine to the dressing, or serving them as a garnish in your martini!
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Napa slaw
Photo credit Kellie Hatcher

Crunchy Napa Slaw

From Mountain Mama Cooks
This crunchy slaw will put a good dent in the Napa cabbage in this week’s box, and also calls for sugar snaps and scallions. You can sub in the basil for cilantro and julienned or grated kohlrabi could stand in for carrots.
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Magic sesame sauce
Photo credit Molly Yeh

Magic Sesame Sauce

From Molly Yeh, My Name Is Yeh (“yay”)
This week’s box contents, and the weather, suggest cold spicy noodle salads. If you’re like me, you’ve tried a ton of cold peanut and/or sesame noodle recipes – and there are plenty of them out there online! – but this simple sauce from food blogger and TV cooking show personality Molly Yeh is really simple and dependable. You can make it with either tahini or peanut butter and it’s enough sauce for 8 ounces of noodles. It can also easily be doubled, and can be topped with torn fresh basil, scallions, zoodle-ized zucchini, or thinly sliced cucumbers, as just a few possibilities.
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Zucchini Muffins with cinnamon chocolate
Photo credit Justine Doiron

Zucchini Muffins with Cinnamon Chocolate

From Justine Snacks
Zucchini season has come early this year, and this muffin recipe deserves a try. It has just enough chocolate and it’s not too sweet, and the muffins keep well and seem to actually taste better after a few days. The recipe is written for 6 jumbo muffins, and does provide measurements for making regular size. I made regular size muffins and got 13, and didn’t have any of the cinnamon chocolate left for the topping, so if topping is important to you, made some extra!
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A couple of go-to recipes for 3+ pounds of zucchini


Photo credit James Ransom Food52

Best Zucchini Butter Recipe – How to Make Jennie Cook’s Zucchini Butter

From Food52
There are quite a few versions of zucchini butter out there and it is sometimes attributed to Julia Child. Wherever the recipe came from it’s a versatile way to preserve zucchini. I don’t even drain and squeeze the grated zucchini, because the extra juice will reduce in cooking and make the butter more flavorful. Zucchini butter can be made dairy free, and is great in eggs, on toast, and can be frozen. Many people’s favorite way to use it is in smitten kitchen’s zucchini butter spaghetti.
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Zucchini tian
Photo credit RecipeTin Eats

Zucchini Tian

From RecipeTin Eats
Here’s a nicely laid out version of a classic Julia Child recipe, Tian de Courgettes au Riz (Zucchini Tian). This is another recipe with many versions online, for example smitten kitchen or DebsLunch, but I find this one from RecipeTin Eats easy to follow.

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Week #3. Farm News.


We have two boxes of strawberries for everyone this week.

Farm news

Wow, that was a burst of heat and wind this week.  Most of our crops love the heat.  It’s striking how much the zucchini plants grew.  We were surprised to have zucchini in your June 13 boxes, just as we were surprised to have strawberries for you on June 6.  It was an early spring but now crops are settling into their usual schedules.

There was a three-week rainy spell in May and June, totalling 7.5 inches here at our farm.  That is as much rain as we got last year in all of April, May, June, July, August and September combined.  What a striking difference.  Seven and half inches is a lot for three weeks.  Less than 7.5 inches in six months is extraordinary.  So we are not complaining about rain this year.

Strawberries dominate our life right now.  The four u-picks we hosted have been fun but time-consuming.  We spend a lot of time in the fields judging which varieties are ready to pick, then strategizing harvests and u-picks.

We are thrilled to have two pounds for you this week.  The crew groaned when they learned that we needed 94 pails of berries but then I showed them the field section ready for harvest.  It was great picking.

Final berry u-pick?
Saturday June 22. Reservations required.

This is probably our last berry u-pick of the season.  I will post the reservation link here in this blog and here once I am ready to open reservations to the public.  Tipi CSA members, I sent you the June 22 link via email, earlier today.

Thanks,
Beth

Farm photos



It takes a team to pick your berries. From left at top, Ari, Maggie, Aly, Ben, Ava and Madelline.  Not in photo, Simone and me.


How’s that for a pretty field?  Three beds of zucchini and Zephyr summer squash, plus two beds cucumbers at left.  These will be harvested for next week’s CSA box, then for Willy Street Coop and Outpost Natural Foods Coops.


Zucchini love the heat.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #3, June 20, 2024

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ A group

Strawberries, 2 lb
Lacinato kale
Zucchini &/or summer squash, ~3lb
Fennel, 1 bulb with fronds
Red bibb lettuce
White salad turnips (just roots, no tops)
Scallions
Garlic scapes, a handful

Next week’s box will probably contain snap peas, napa cabbage, zucchini, scallions, basil and more.

Strawberries – The berries are coming on strong!  As usual, they are perishable so refrigerate and enjoy soon.  

Lacinato kale (bundle of grey-green textured leaves) – This is our most beautiful cooking green and a super food!  Use like any kale.  
Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.

Zucchini & summer squash – The plants love heat and have really taken off. 
Storage: Zucchini and summer squash need refrigeration but do not do well at very cold temperatures, as they will soften and form pits in their surface. Refrigerate these squash but in the warmest part of your fridge.  

Fennel (bulbs and lacy fronds) – Fennel is a ‘swing vegetable’; it can be used raw or cooked.  Clean well and slice as thinly as possible for use in raw salads.  It is good simply prepared with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and shaved parmesan cheese.  Cooking softens and sweetens fennel, and mellows its anise flavor.  Both the bulb and leaves are edible.  Here are ideas from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse about how to use fennel:  ‘It’s strong anise characteristic seems to suit fish particularly well.  … We use fennel all the time.  We add the feathery leaves to marinades for fish and to numerous salads, sauces and soups and we use them as a garnish, too. … The bulbs are sliced and served raw in salads in various combinations with other vegetables, parboiled for pastas; caramelized and served as a side dish; braised whole; or cooked in vegetable broths & fish stocks.”

White salad turnips – We are sending just the white roots this time.  The tops had too much insect damage so we cut them off.

Scallions (bundle of green onions) – These are useful raw or cooked.  Thinly-sliced raw scallions can be folded into biscuit dough or sprinkled on top of soups or salads.  Terrific garnish for pasta dishes.  Think pad thai. 

Garlic scapes (curly green things) – Garlic scapes grow at the top of garlic plants.  We snap off the young scapes to direct the plants’ energy into forming garlic bulbs underground.  Use scapes as a substitute for garlic cloves.  They can be minced, mixed with olive oil, and added to stir fries or simple pasta dishes.  The scapes can be sautéed, but will not brown like garlic cloves.  Expect them to retain their crunch even when cooked, and to be milder than garlic cloves, closer in pungency to the green garlic we’ve sent.


Lacinato kale


Garlic scapes

RECIPES by DEB

zucchini casserole
Photo credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Zucchini Casserole

From Sally’s Baking Addiction
I’ve tended to turn to the Sally’s Baking Addiction website for sweet baked good, but here’s a savory, substantial recipe for zucchini, and of course once you’re at the site, you can follow links to sweet zucchini muffins and bread, etc. You can use either fresh or dried herbs in the casserole.
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strawberry icebox cake
Photo credit: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling Debbie Wee

Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe

From The Kitchn
Here’s a fun no-bake dessert for these hot days. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of strawberries, but if you’d like to reserve some of this week’s strawberry haul for plain eating, I tested it as a half-batch in an 8×8 pan. You’ll only need one pound of strawberries and 1 3/4 cups heavy cream. I left off the chocolate, too.
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Here are two options for fennel salads: the first is mainly fennel, the 2nd includes zucchini and greens.

fennel salad
Photo credit: Recipe Tin Eats

Fennel Salad

From RecipeTin Eats
This shaved fennel salad is, as the author says, quick and easy to make if you have a mandolin. If you don’t, a sharp knife will do it, or the slicing blade of a food processor. There are only 5 ingredients in this salad, fennel, lemon, olive oil, onion, and Parmesan. If you’d like a salad with less focus on the fennel, see the next recipe.
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fennel, arugla, and feta saladPhoto by Heidi Swanson

Shaved Fennel Salad

From 101 Cookbooks
This fennel salad is from a cookbook titled Super Natural Everyday and made available online at 101 Cookbooks by the author, Heidi Swanson, and it was also in a late June newsletter from last year. It features fennel and zucchini, two of the vegetables we have in this week’s boxes, and is served over arugula, but you can certainly sub the Red Bibb lettuce instead.
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Photo by Susanality

Zucchini Baba Ganoush

By Susan Spungen, From Susanality
This recipe uses zucchini in place of eggplant to make Baba Ganoush, an idea that’s new to me, but looks like a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini. The recipe provides suggestions for charring the zucchini using a gas grill, your oven’s broiler, or charcoal, especially if you’re grilling something else.
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Thai kale Salad
Photo credit: Minimalist Baker

Thai Kale Salad

From Minimalist Baker
Lacinto kale is great in salads since it’s usually more tender than other varieties, and this recipe gives it a nice twist with a Thai style peanut dressing. The salad is topped with raw tofu that’s been tossed in sesame seeds, and provides instructions for roasting the tofu if you prefer your tofu cooked. Thinly sliced salad turnips would be a good substitution for the carrots and radishes in the salad. And if you’d rather prepare the kale as a Caesar salad, the tahini Caesar salad dressing in last week’s newsletter would work great on kale.
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Roasted radish tacos
Photo credit: The New New England

Roasted Radish Tacos with Spicy Lime Sauce

From The New New England
OK, you might be wondering why a recipe for radish tacos is included this week, and it’s because the basic principle of the recipe is to roast early summer vegetables and use them for taco filling, and there are a couple of ways to sub in the veggies we have in this week’s box. One method would be to roast chunked salad turnips in place of the radishes (they’re similar in water content) and proceed with the recipe. Another method would be to roast zucchini cubes in place of the radishes and shred salad turnips to top your tacos in place of the cabbage called for in the recipe. The recipe also strongly recommends a brand of corn tortillas that I have never tried – they do seem to be widely available if you’d like to give them a try.

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Week #2. Weekly + BW/B. Berry U-Picks.

U-Picks by reservation

The berries are doing great!  We will host several berry u-picks in the next few days.  Reservations are required.  Tipi members, check my email for links to reserve a picking time.  Everyone else, join our email list so we can send you the reservation links.

Grit, grit, grit

This week’s produce has seen a lot of rain over the last month.  The Romaine and asparagus need washing to get rid of grit.  See last week’s notes about how to wash your greens efficiently.  


Cut your lettuce heads at one and a half inches above the base, then discard the base.  In one stroke, you’ll eliminate a lot of dirt behind.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #2, June 13, 2024

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ B group

Strawberries, 1 lb
Asparagus, 1.25 lb
Button mushrooms, 12 oz
Zucchini or yellow squash, 2 or 3 ct
Romaine lettuce
Spinach, 1 bunch
Mixed red & green kale, 1 bunch
White salad turnips, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, lettuce, white salad turnips, zucchini, cooking greens, scallions and more.

Strawberries – The berries are doing great this week, soaking up the sunshine.
Storage:  Refrigerate and eat soon.

Asparagus – This is the final harvest.  Enjoy!

Button mushrooms – These organic mushrooms are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms from Wisconsin Dells.  We bring in mushrooms from Mary and Ed every spring because they combine so perfectly with our spring vegetables, for salads, quiches, etc.  
Storage: Here are Mary’s suggestions for storing the mushrooms:
– Store separate from leafy greens, which hasten mushroom aging.  
– If storing for more than a few days, remove from the box and refrigerate in a paper bag with holes punched in the side.  Keep dry.  
– Don’t wash to clean, just wipe with a damp cloth.

Spinach – This batch will be best cooked.

Kale – We’re sending mixed bunches of red and green leaves this time, just because they are pretty.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

White salad turnips (see photo) – I know that returning members look forward to these sweet and delicious turnips, which taste nothing like the turnips that are harvested in fall.
– Storage: Cover and refrigerate.
– Uses: Both the turnip roots and tops are edible.  The roots are excellent raw; Slice and add to salads.  They can be cooked and are especially good when lightly sauteed in butter.  Stir as little as possible so they brown on at least one side.  The turnips greens are excellent cooked.  Treat them like mustard greens.
– Our favorite use:  Slice the roots very thinly and combine with a mixture of rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil.  Eat immediately or marinate.

Zucchini  – We have the first harvest already.  This is early!  
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

RECIPES by DEB

Crunchy Celery, Radish and Turnip Salad-Slaw in Blue Cheese Sauce

From Food52
If you have radishes left from last week you could add them to this salad, or simply omit – and if you do that, you might have extra blue cheese sauce, which could be a good thing, because it would be tasty on other salads!
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tahini caesar

Tahini Caesar Salad with Olive Oil Breadcrumbs

From Familystyle Food
I love crunchy home made croutons in a salad, but recently I’ve been finding that toasty breadcrumbs are also a great way to top a salad, especially one with a creamy dressing like this. The recipe’s method of essentially making croutons first and then crumbling them to make the breadcrumbs sounds messy to me. Alternatively, you could make the crumbs first in a food processor – or purchase – and then brown the crumbs in the olive oil in a skillet. And throw a little garlic or green garlic in as the crumbs toast!
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bucatini with sausage and kale

Bucatini with Sausage & Kale

From Taste of Home
This recipe is a version of a common combination for pasta: some kind of greens, sausage, and cheese. Some recipes also include heavy cream, unlike this one, making this version healthier! But if you are in a mood to indulge, you could add 1/4 to 1/2 cups cream when the sausage is browned. Bucatini is like fat, hollow spaghetti, so a different long noodle like spaghetti or linguini or fettuccine would work here, or you could also use a short pasta like penne.
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spinach mushroom melt

Mushroom Melt Grilled Cheese

From Frugal Nutrition
Here’s a quick and easy way to eat up the mushrooms and spinach from this week’s box, without turning on your oven. The recipe supplies a handy multiplier to help you figure amounts for up to six sandwiches.
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any greens pesto

Leafy Greens Pesto

From The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
As most CSA members most likely already know, you can make pesto with lots of other types of greens and herbs, not just basil. I’m pretty sure there’ve been recipes for kale and even broccoli pesto in prior newsletters. The nice thing about this recipe is that it provides proportions for using just about any type of greens, and there’s also a dairy-free variation.
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Photo by Robby Lozano

Easy Upside Down Sheet-Pan Asparagus Tart

From Serious Eats
If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen Dominic Franks’ upside down puff pastry recipes, as well as others. The topping/filling ingredients are laid on a pan, then covered with a sheet of puff pastry. This helps the toppings cook, for example in this recipe where there’s no need to precook the asparagus, and also helps the puff pastry rise and brown, then the dish is flipped for serving.

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Week #1. The June Share begins.

Hello everyone!

We are back, with an action-packed box.  There are unexpected strawberries in this box, the result of a mild winter and early spring.  These members receive a box on June 6 (unless they rescheduled):
– Weekly Shares
– BiWeekly/ A group.

If you don’t remember your share type, log in online and look at your scheduled dates under Orders.

Strawberry u-picks.

Keep your fingers crossed – it looks like a good strawberry year.  We doubled our berry field and expect to have lots of u-pick opportunities.  Reservations required, as usual.  I will offer reservation links to these groups, in this order below.  There will probably be just a few hours separating the groups, so watch your emails.
1. 2024 Tipi CSA members – You folks get the first chance to reserve a picking time.  Watch for emails with instructions to place a reservation.
2. 2022 and 2023 Tipi CSA members and our u-pick email list – This is the second group to receive offers to reserve a picking time.  Watch for emails from me.
3. When there are still open reservation slots, I’ll offer them on our U-Pick berry page and on Facebook.


Spinach (left) and komatsuna greens (right).  Both are bundled with a rubber band but you can tell them apart by the stems.  The komatsuna stems are thicker and resemble bok choy stems, which they are related to.  

There will be grit in your produce this week, a side effect of recent rain. We appreciate the rain, but those were intense downpours! 

Thoughts:
– Cut your lettuce one and a half inches above the base and you’ll leave a lot of dirt behind.
– Expect to spend extra time cleaning this week’s greens.  Let’s talk about how to do that efficiently.


Cut your lettuce heads at one and a half inches above the base and you’ll leave a lot of dirt behind.

How to wash greens efficiently and to maximize storage life

Washing and drying your lettuce, spinach, and other greens prolongs their storage life.  And they will be ready to use on busy weeknights!  Here’s our approach.  It works.
1.  Fill your sink or a basin halfway with cold tap water.  If you have two sinks, fill one sink partway with cold water.
2.  Chop your lettuce, spinach, escarole or other green to the size you wish.
3.  Dump it into the water and swish around gently but thoroughly.
4.  Working in two batches (for average lettuce head) or more batches (big spinach bunches, Romaine), pull handfuls out of the water and drain in the basket of a salad spinner.
5.  After all the greens have been rinsed one time, dump the water.  Rinse the sink/basin and refill with cold tap water.
6.  Repeat the process.
7.  Spin your greens dry and store in a dry container.  They store much longer when spun dry.

This works because …
– pre-chopping the greens frees soil trapped in the head.
– the large amount of water washes and dilutes away the grit.
– By pulling the greens out of the water, you take advantage of the draining action to pull the grit with it.
– Drying (spinning) the greens before storage reduces spoilage.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #1, June 6, 2024

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ A group

Strawberries, 1 pint
Asparagus, 1 lb
Shiitake mushrooms, 8 oz
Red leaf lettuce
Spinach, 1 bunch
Komatsuna greens, 1 bunch
Salad radishes, 1 bunch
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Rhubarb, ~1.5 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain strawberries, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, green garlic, tender cooking greens and more.

Strawberries – Eat soon. This week’s berries look a little rough but are tasty.  They survived many recent storms. We are lucky to get those storms out of the way early in the berry season. We have good weather ahead and the younger berries will be in good shape for the u-picks.
Storage: Refrigerate.

Asparagus – This is my favorite spring treat!  
Prep: Wash your asparagus thoroughly to remove hidden grit.  Submerge in water with the tips pointing down, soak briefly, then swish vigorously and pull out of the water.  The draining action helps pull the grit out of the asparagus tips.  Repeat several times.
Storage: Asparagus is perishable, so eat it as soon as possible.  Store in a paper towel, cloth or paper bag, then wrap loosely in a plastic bag.  The paper bag protects the asparagus tips from direct contact with the plastic bag.  The plastic bag keeps the asparagus from wilting.
Preparation: We snap our asparagus at harvest, rather than cutting.  Therefore, there is no need to snap the stalks to remove fibrous ends.  For the same reason, it is not necessary to peel the asparagus stalks.  It’s OK to trim the cut end a bit.
Cooking:  If your asparagus stalks vary greatly in size, you will want to cook the thicker ones longer.  Put an empty steamer pot over water, and bring the water to a boil.  Add the asparagus.  Cover and steam over medium heat until just tender.  Use two forks or a spatula to turn the asparagus during cooking, rotating the bottom spears to the top.  Drain and serve.  Alternatively, you can lay spears flat in the bottom of a broad pan, with ½ inch of water.  Also excellent broiled or grilled.  Good dressed with vinaigrette, or with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Shiitake mushrooms – These are from Hidden Valley Mushrooms, the same people who grow button mushrooms for us.  I love shiitakes cooked with spinach or other greens.  Shiitakes must be cooked.  A small subset of people can have a toxic reaction to raw or undercooked shiitakes.  Once cooked, they are harmless.  And tasty!  Lightly sauté in butter and add to any dish.  We use ours in frittatas, as well as sautéed and mixed into pasta salad or any dish.  Sautéed shiitakes and spinach are a great topping for pizza or rice bowls, e.g. bibimbap.
Storage, general: Refrigerate in a dry paper bag, but not in your crisper drawer with other vegetables, especially brassicas.  It’s OK to put a loose plastic bag over the paper bag but don’t close.  Mushrooms are perishable so use soon.

Lettuce – The lettuce very tender so handle gently.  
Storage:  Refrigerate in a bag or other container.

Spinach – This spinach is OK for salads but probably better cooked.
Storage: Refrigerate in a bag or other container.

Komatsuna greens (bundle of dark green leafy heads.  See photo) – This is our favorite spring cooking green.  They are similar to mustard greens but with great flavor and are more mild than mustard greens.  We’ve enjoyed learning to grow them over the past few seasons.  
Preparation: Use in any recipe that calls for mustard greens or bok choy.  Use both leaves and stems.
Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.

Salad radishes – These are so good right now; tender, crisp and not too spicy.  They are great in salads or thinly sliced on sandwiches.  A few years ago, I was served open-faced radish and butter sandwiches on toast and was impressed with how tasty they were.  Use good quality butter.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

Cilantro (small bunch, fragrant leaves) – Used in both Mexican and some Asian cuisines.  Good to season stir-fries, salad dressing, salsa, etc.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

Green garlic (looks like scallions, tastes like garlic) – Last fall, we planted garlic cloves that grew into the stalks we harvested this week.  If left to grow until mid-summer, the slim white bulb on this week’s garlic will divide and form the usual cluster of cloves in a garlic bulb.
Preparation: Green garlic is more pungent than scallions, so slice thinly and use sparingly when raw.  It mellows when cooked.  Chop and add to any cooked dish that would benefit from garlic.  Use the white bulbs and pale green stems.  Avoid the dark green stems and leaves, as these are fibrous.

RhubarbStorage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag. FYI, 1.75 lb of rhubarb yields 5 – 5.5 cups when chopped.
Stewed rhubarb: This is the simplest way to prepare rhubarb. Chop rhubarb into one inch chunks. Stir over medium heat with a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan. The rhubarb will release moisture as it cooks. Stew until it softens and falls apart. Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar. Eat warm on its own, over vanilla ice cream, on pancakes, etc.
Storage:  Refrigerate.
Preserve: Rhubarb is extremely easy to freeze. Wash, chop and pop it in a freezer bag. That’s it; no need for blanching. When baking muffins or cakes, add the frozen rhubarb directly to the batter.

RECIPES by DEB

Spanakopita spirals

Spanakopita Spirals with Flaky Phyllo Dough

From Well Seasoned Studio
Rolling the phyllo and filling into cigars and then spiraling them is a fun alternative to the more traditional layered spinach cheese pie. You can bake the rolls in a heat-proof skillet as shown here, or I recommend a 9 x 13 metal pan, lined with parchment. If there’s not quite enough spinach in the box, sub in a few leaves of the Komatsuna. And a little green garlic to season in place of the fresh oregano would also be nice.
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Radish salsa

Radish Salsa

From The Live-In Kitchen
Here’s a quick, fresh salsa using the radishes and cilantro in this week’s box. You can sub some green garlic for the clove of garlic called for, and if you don’t have a fresh jalapeño, try using jarred pickled jalapeños or canned chipotle chile to add some heat to your salsa.

The following two rhubarb recipes, one savory and one sweet, each only use a small amount of rhubarb – so you can easily make both with what’s in the box!
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rhubarb salad dressing

Rhubarb Dressing (part of Rhubarb Salad with Little Gems, Hazelnuts & Parmesan recipe)

From Justine Snacks
The rhubarb dressing pictured is one component of Justine Doiron’s salad, but possibly the most versatile. Doiron’s full salad recipe calls for hazelnuts, Parmesan cheese, little gem lettuce, and strawberries. I used the blender method to make the dressing and poured it over a salad of leaf lettuce, Parmesan, and a few almonds, and I’m sure it was just as tasty.
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swirled rhubarb

Swirled Rhubarb Bars Recipe

From King Arthur Baking
These bars are like a butterscotch brownie with tart rhubarb jam swirled in – that is, delicious. The recipe says to melt the butter in the same pot you made the rhubarb jam in, but I don’t think doing this imparts an additional essence of rhubarb into the bars, and you still end up with the same number of pots to wash!
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asparagus with sauce gribiche

Asparagus with Sauce Gribiche

From Girl on the Range
Sauce gribiche is a traditional French sauce that compliments asparagus and just about any other green vegetable. The recipe provides instructions for grilling the asparagus but you could also roast it in the oven or even steam it before adding the sauce.
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chicken shiitake stirfry

Chicken Shiitake Mushrooms Stir Fry

From Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!
This quick chicken and mushroom stir fry can be made with boneless chicken breast or thighs, or you could omit the meat and use tofu.
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indian spiced chick peas and greens

Indian Spiced Chickpeas and Greens

From The Curious Chickpea
This vegan curry can be made with any greens including the Komatsuna in the box, and you could add some of the spinach as well. The recipe allows you to adjust the heat level to your taste, too.

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