We hope you enjoyed your first box and were able to find your pick-up site without too much trouble. The fact that I didn’t receive a barrage of phone calls Wednesday night tells me things went pretty well. Today promises to be sunny- our one day of summer this week. I will be glad when”June-uary” is over and we can have an actual warm stretch. Tell me that will happen, right?Even though we don’t particularly like the chilly days and drizzle, most of the plants like it just fine. They just grow a little slower. I’m sure they appreciate the mild, consistent weather, and are grateful there are no bouts of 104 degrees like my friends and family are experiencing in Oklahoma right now.
Peas or snow peas
A WORD ON BOX CONTENT: We harvest all day Tuesday and a little on Wednesday for your boxes. We go out with a list of what we want, but until the crops are picked, we won’t know how much we actually have to give out, especially with weighed items like peas. I write the newsletter on Wednesday morning right before we pack the boxes. Sometimes something appears on the list above, but it will not be in your box. This can happen for several reasons. 1.) Certain crops we deliberately rotate around the pick-up sites. Not many folks want cilantro every week. 2.) Sometimes there is just not enough of a given crop for everyone, so we take turns with that as well. 3.) Sometimes we don’t know there isn’t enough until we are in the midst of packing and the newsletter is already written. I will try to denote which items on the list are rotational. Rest assured we keep careful track of who gets what and keep it pretty even.
4th of July-There WILL be a delivery July 4th despite the holiday, except for BIIA and NRB folks. I’ll send a separate email to you guys with some options on how to get a box that week. The crops still need to get picked on a consistent schedule and our delivery truck is in use Thursday-Sunday, so we are unable to change the day.
PICK-UP HOURS: Here are the pick-up hours for each site. Please observe the set pick-up hours. Call host if you will be picking up after the set time so they know to expect you. Our order of delivery is usually as follows, though occasionally we have to change it for various reasons: Tumwater, NRB, Eastside, Westside, BIIA. It takes about a ½ hour at each site. We try to leave the farm by 1:00, though as the boxes get fuller, it takes longer to pack and therefore harder to be gone by 1:00. Please don’t come significantly early, as you will probably have wasted a trip.
Tumwater (aka South Capitol) 1:45-8:00
COOKBOOKS: They are being printed this week. I hope to have them in hand this Friday. Weekend folks will get them and the rest of you will get one next week. In the meantime, all the recipes are online at our website.
NAMETAGS: Don’t switch nametags if your box is on the bottom of the stack. Many people are splitting shares and sometimes one person will show up and take half the stuff and leave the other half for their split person. You don’t want to end up with half a box, do you?
HERBS: Who doesn’t need their own little kitchen herb garden? Fresh herbs greatly enhance any meal. We are currently selling mint, thyme, oregano, and sage plants at the Market in Olympia and Yelm. If you come down by July 8th and identify yourself as a CSA member, we will sell them to you at half price ($1.50 each). Most herbs do very well in pots (2 gallons or bigger) so even if you don’t have garden space, you could still plant herbs. Sorry, basil is not part of the deal.
VEGGIE ID FOR TODAY’S SHARE: You should be able to recognize everything this week, but I will give you a refresher course on peas. We grow three types: shell, snow, and snap. The peas are just starting to ripen. Our first planting of shell peas did not fare well in the cold, wet spring but the next two plantings look good. We will hand out shell or snow peas today. The snaps might be ready next week.
PEA ID: Shell peas, also known as English Peas, are the ones you open up and eat the peas inside. They can be eaten raw or cooked. The pods are tough so you will know right away who is who and which is which. Snap peas can be eaten pod and all. They are plump and super sweet. They are great raw, especially in cold pasta salads. Snow peas are flat and broad. You might be used to seeing a small anemic version of snow peas in the stores. We find that if we let the peas get bigger, they are so much sweeter and enjoyable. All these peas are delicious raw. We hardly ever cook them. They make a great snack for when dinner is being prepared, especially for kids who are complaining about how starving they are and just can’t possibly wait until dinner is ready. (I have kids, I know.)
CABBAGE: These little cabbages are crisp and sweet. You can add shredded cabbage to your salads, use in lieu of lettuce as a burrito topping, or follow one of the recipes below.
STRAWBERRIES GALORE! You get lots today. By the time I got out to check on the crew, they had already picked beyond the number of pints I was planning on. Lucky you! We pick the berries ripe, so you should eat or freeze them right away. This variety is clearly bred for yummy flavor and not a long shelf-life (like those flavorless berries you get in the store). That is part of the beauty of CSA eating. We can chose varieties based on flavor rather than how well they can hold up on the long trek from California, Mexico, or Chile!
STRAWBERRY U-PICK: If anyone wants to u-pick ($12 flat), let us know. You can come next Monday or Tuesday, but let us know if/when you are coming. To properly maintain a berry patch, we have to pick at least twice a week. We are having a hard time keeping up (my freezer can only hold so much) so we are offering it to you. If you don’t want to u-pick, call to reserve an extra ½ flat ($15) or full flat ($28) to pick up with your next CSA box or at the Olympia Farmers Market Thursday-Sunday, or Yelm Market on Sunday. The abundance is fleeting, so get them while you can. This week is probably the height of it.
RECIPE IDEAS: Most of what you get can be enjoyed raw. We often put out a plate of raw carrots, peas, kohlrabi, turnips, etc. on the dinner table to accompany the rest of our dinner. They are like refreshing little palette cleansers. We also get the most nutrition out of everything when it is raw. You could also try the following recipes. Click on the recipe links below:
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Spicy Cabbage Salad
Coleslaw with Creamy Celery Seed Dressing
Cabbage and Peanut Slaw
Turnip Gratin-you can use kohlrabi in this as well