June 1, 2013

letter head csa

"No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green it wakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer


Greetings of Peace~

The first romaine heads will be harvested for this week's share.  It was rather gratifying to pull and taste the first ones yesterday, having seeded them in the greenhouse in March.  The mature heads, with their crunchy stems take longer to mature then the spring mix, which is seeded denser directly outdoors to create a carpet of young leaves of a mixed lettuce variety.   The spring lettuce mix sent last week and this week, may not return until the fall.  We cut it back pretty hard, as it turns bitter in the heat, and it sure was hot this week!  Hope you enjoy the early spring treat. 

Your share will include two varieties of romaine, Freckles and Paris Island Cos. The Paris Island Cos is likely what you are most familiar with, as it is a commonly seen green romaine.  The freckles, is spotted with red "freckles", seen below.  I find them to both be delicious.  We discovered today, they make great wraps.  You can stuff them with hummus, tuna or chicken salad, or a variety of other creative ideas to make a great little roll up.  Works best with the crunchy stem in the center, so the flexible broad tip of the leaf can wrap around to contain the stuffing.  My kids love them!

The micro greens in your share are the young mix greens that you may or may not recognize.  It is a mix of young kale, mizuna and choi.   They are seeded as a mix and then cut very young to make a nice tender spring mix.  They make a colorful addition to a salad, are wonderful in green smoothies due to the milder taste that accompanies the younger leaves, and can be enjoyed lightly sauteed, not needing as much time to cook as mature greens.  I added a handful to a bowl of lentil soup last week (when it wasn't quite so hot and warm soup was attractive) and the warmth of the soup was just enough to steam them during serving.

The young sprouts in your share are sunflower sprouts.  This is the first year we have grown them.  They are seeded in trays in the sunny windows of the greenhouse to sprout up, and be trimmed in a weeks time.  They are a bit labor intensive, but worth it.  You can serve them in a variety of ways as well, on top of soups, sandwiches, salads, or just munch on them raw.  I found this website, sharing some of the health benefits of sunflower sprouts, along with a recipe for a Sprout to Life Shake.

Another leafy green in this weeks' share is Mache, also know as Corn Salad.  We are also growing and eating this for the time this year, as it is a new addition to the CSA.  The leaves have a subtle floral flavor and seem to do best in raw salads.  A farmers market customer told me they are very popular in France, as it is common in the culture to grow many cold hardy plants for season extension, and will continue to grow even in snow.   They were seeded outdoors in February for the first two shares of the season. We hope to plant more in the fall for winter harvest, as we have adequate tunnel space to begin to create more year round production.

The sweet white turnips are on the way!  We'll take the first harvest this week, with more beds maturing later.  They are a household favorite for us.  This turnip is mild, crisp and tender.  They can be served raw or lightly cooked.  I often chop them up with apple slices for my kids as a simple raw snack as they are subtle enough in flavor to be munched on raw.  I like them grated on a salad as well, or sauted with a little olive oil and salt for breakfast.  They have just begun to mature, so I won't know until the morning how many we'll have for each share, but hope more will be on the way in the coming weeks, God willing.

Yokatta-na is another that is not as common, as least in my trips to the local store.  It is an Asian green, similar to bok choy. It can be prepared raw in salad mixes or cooked in stir fries. The deep green tender leaves, though flavorful, lack the mustard "bite" found in so many Asian greens. When young and fresh, these leaves are great simply dressed with some olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  When I am wanted to add some greens to my breakfast, I sautee them lightly with a chopped scallion serve over an egg.

As there are so many greens that may be new to you all this year, I thought it would be helpful to identify them in this newsletter.  It's the time of year salads abound.  I welcome them after months of cool weather and find a crisp raw salad can be complented in so many ways.  We hope you'll enjoy exploring ways to prepare the abundance of spring greens while they last, before the long warm days begin to give life to summer fruit.  More beds of green beans, summer squash, and cucumbers were seeded today!

Thank you for joining us this season to share in the harvest and all of it's beauty, nourishment, and healing. 

Please contact us any time with questions.  You are always welcome to come visit!

   Sunflower Art
Peace and Blessings~ 

Halima Willett


This Weeks Harvest

Sweet White Turnips 
Spring Scallions
Romaine Lettuce~
(Paris Island Cos and Freckles)
Spring Lettuce Mix
Micro Greens~
(Kale, Mizuna, and Choi)
Sweet White Turnips
Sunflower Sprouts

Mache Salad

Māche Salad with Blood Oranges, Pistachios, and Pomegranate


2 tbsps orange juice (fresh blood, regular)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 T shallot (minced)
       (substiute scallion)
 1/2 tsp honey
 3 tbsps oil
2 blood oranges (regular)
4 ozs mache
 1/4 cup natural pistachios
 (shelled, toasted)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
(dried cranberries)

Whisk orange juice, vinegar, shallot, and honey in small bowl. Gradually whisk in pistachio oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Using small sharp knife, cut off peel and white pith from oranges. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release orange segments. Divide māche among 4 plates. Divide orange segments, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds among plates. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Sauteed Turnip with   Hard-Cooked Eggs

6 Large Hard Cooked Eggs, each half quartered
1 Scallion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 T ghee or butter
1 bunch of radish or turnip, quartered
1 t ground cardamom
1 t crush coriander seed
1 t sesame seeds
1 t ground cumin
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
freshly squeezed lemon juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T)
1 t paprika

1. Arrange egg pieces in a shallow dish.  Scatter scallion over eggs and season with salt and pepper.
2. Melt 1 T of ghee or butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the turnips; stirring until tender.  Set aside to cool.
3.  Over low heat, melt the remaining butter or ghee and add the spices, stirring constantly, so they do not burn, until fragrant.  Set aside in bowl to cool.
4. Put yogurt in a bowl.  Add the cooled spices, cilantro, lemon juice, and paprika; stir to combine.
5. Arrange the cooked turnips over the eggs and scallions.  Pour the yogurt sauce evenly over the dish.  Serve immediately.