Week 6 is here, and so is Summer.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July last week, and that you've all been enjoying these long, sunny days and warm evenings. Now that the rain has finally let up a bit and we've had some significant heat, some of our crops are thriving. You might notice that the bags are already starting to get a little heavier-- no more pea shoots and asparagus, but heavy cauliflower and cabbage are rolling in.
Here are some reminders and details about the program that are good to highlight:
You don't need to show up at the very beginning of the stop.
We will be at each of our scheduled stops until the very last minute we are supposed to be there. In order to avoid a bottleneck at the beginning of our time at your stop, you do not need to come at the start time. In fact, we usually have a big rush at the beginning (very often in Lakewood and Middleburg Heights), and another rush at the end (Beachwood), but we're as cool and calm as cucumbers during the middle. So if your schedule permits, come and visit us during the middle, and maybe we'll even have a minute to chat!
If you can't eat it all, blanch, shock and freeze it.
As the Summer goes on, and the bags get bigger and brighter, you might find that it's tough to eat all of it during the week. One of the best ways to really get the most out of your share is to follow these guidelines:
- First: Eat the most perishable items
- Second: Try what's least familiar
- Third: Prepare what's most familiar
- Fourth: Freeze or store the rest
1) Most perishable items, like our berries and tender greens, are best eaten the day of, if possible. If you need to wait a few days longer on your berries then gently wash them in a vinegar-water solution (1 cup vinegar per 3 cups of water), and allow them to dry on a paper towel. Then loosely wrap in a dry paper towel, put back into a container, and keep in the fridge. Salad and other tender greens can be revived in an ice water bath and then spun dry right before eating.
2) Maybe you've never had kohlrabi or garlic scapes, and if you don't meet them head-on, they might languish in the back of your fridge. We try to provide you with enough recipes to inspire you to cook something with all of your ingredients in the newsletter, but if you don't see here something you'd like to cook, then check our website and search for archived recipes from previous seasons.
3 & 4) After you've eaten what you're the most familiar with cooking-- i.e. fresh pasta, tomatoes, broccoli-- then look at everything else you've got and decide what needs to wait in the freezer. One of our customers sent us her favorite resource for how to freeze your produce, and there are loads of other great resources online. Quick tip-- wash, dunk in boiling water for a few minutes till bright in color, and then shock in ice water for the same amount of time they spent in hot. Dry, and pack tightly in freezer-safe containers. Suck out all the air using a straw inserted into an open corner of the bag and seal, or use a vacuum-sealer. Add the date (we use a Sharpie pen on first aid tape so the bags or containers can be re-used), and pop in the freezer for up to 6 mos.
Have any other tips or tricks? Please send them our way so we can share with the rest of the Forkers!
Monthly Installment payments are due on the 1st of each month.
You should be receiving payment reminders from our automated system about making payments towards your account balance, but it's a good idea to earmark the first of each month as the day your monthly installment is due, if you're on that plan. You can bring a check or cash to any of the stops, or pay using a credit card online.