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.


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)
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


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.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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.
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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