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Middle Way Farm 2015 CSA - Week 6
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What's in the Share

For Delivery Wednesday, July 8


Standard Share
Also available for custom order unless otherwise noted
 
Baby Leeks - 1 bunch (Standard Share only)
Basil -
A few tips  (Standard Share only)
Beets (no tops) -
1.5 lb bag - $3.50/bag or 2 for $6
Broccoli - ~1 lb bag  - $3.50/bag
Cabbage - 2 heads (1 green, 1 red) - $3/head or 2 for $5
Carrots (no tops) - 1.5 lb bag - $3.50/bag or 2 for $6

Garlic Scapes - 1 bunch - $1.50/bunch or 3 for $4
Green Beans - .75
 lb bag - $3.50/bag or 2 for $6
Green Onions - 1 bunch - $2.50/bunch
New Potatoes - 1 quart - $3.50/quart or 2 for $6
Parsley - 1 small bunch (Standard Share Only)

Available for Custom Order
 
Cabbage, Chinese - 1 head - $2.50/head  or 2 for $4
Kale - $2/bunch or 3 for $5 - choose Winterbor (green curly) or Redbor (red curly)
Turnips - $2.50/quart (1.5 lb) or 2 for $4.50

 
Seconds* Produce
 
Kale (seconds) - $1/bunch or 3 for $2.50
 

*Seconds is a term we use on the farm to describe produce that is not marketable or is leftover from CSA packing, farmers market, etc. This is usually the produce that the crew and I eat. The only thing to be aware of is it will be older and have reduced shelf life than the "firsts" you normally receive, hence the reduced price! Offering seconds is a way to cut down on some of the waste of dealing with a lot of highly perishable produce and while giving you a cheaper price for a still perfectly good to eat product. 
Available for Bulk Order 
  1. Beets, Pickling (small) - 3 lb bag - $9
  2. Carrots - 6 lb bag - $10.50
  3. Green Beans - 2.5 lb bag - $7.50

Berry Patch Farm Fruit Share
 
Black Raspberries (most likely) - 1 pint

Every other week share - EVEN Number Week

Sandy Hill Farm Egg Share

Every other week share - EVEN Number Week

Plant Starts Available for Custom Order

All plants are $2 each or 3 for $5

Basil
Aroma - Hybrid green Italian type, slow to bolt


Perennial Herbs 
Rosemary - tender perennial
Garden Sorrel - early season, perennial lemony green
Winter Savory - perennial version of summary savory

Parsley 
Flat leaf - Italian type
Dear CSA shareholders,

It was great weather for killing weeds today, finally! Mid-80's, sunny, windy, dry. Its felt more like May or September the last few weeks with the rain and cool temperatures. The persistent haze from the Canadian wildfires the last week and half hasn't helped! I usually try not to work on Sundays but with rain coming tomorrow, I made an exception to get some critical weeding done and do tractor tillage in preparation for planting more green beans and fall carrots tomorrow. Hence why the newsletter is getting out a little bit later than usual this week! 

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July and are having a good summer so far. 

Your farmer, 

Jordan 

Eating with the Seasons

I have described being in a CSA share in the past as "eating with the seasons". With spinach, radishes, kohlrabi and other spring crops gone till fall, it feels like a good time to talk about seasonality. I recently heard a great piece on NPR about how German grocery stores have always practiced seasonal sourcing of produce, meaning that they have a more limited selection in the winter and short stints for highly seasonal produce in the growing season months. This is basically what locavores in the United States have been calling for in recent years, so its very interesting to see that a wealthy, industrialized country already has seasonality engrained in its food culture, without having to go through a local food movement. 

Seasonal eating means enjoying limitation. We often look at having unlimited selection as the pinnacle of comfort and freedom. We can have asparagus and strawberries 365 days a year, thanks to Chile, New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere growing regions. We can eat tomatoes in the dead of winter, thanks to southern Florida's sub-tropical climate. The truth is though, unfortunately, that this out of season produce is really a facsimile, a pale imitation of  what truly fresh, in-season produce can taste like. When you see a strawberry in February, its exciting, but when you bite in, its underwhelming. 

As I've experienced seasonal eating over the last 6 years, I've learned to really value particular seasons as they come and go. The value of particular varieties of produce comes from their limitation rather than their everlasting abundance. I think of seasonal eating as meaning great flavor and enjoyment for a short period of time, rather than mediocre flavor year-round. 

I strive as a grower to extend seasons as much as possible through multiple plantings and multiple varieties. Other local growers have pioneered techniques such as heated greenhouses, unheated high tunnels, overwintering crops, and cold storage as methods for extending the local season early into the spring and late into the winter. Even with my limited space, experience, and infrastructure, I plan to offer a fall share in November and December and a spring share next May, meaning that you can eat Middle Way Farm produce 8-9 months or more out of the year. Doing your own preserving can push the seasons even farther. Other local farms are also pushing their seasons year-round, and there is yet more to be done in season extension in Iowa. 

The goal of seasonal eating is not the austerity of the past, when cabbages and potatoes might be the only produce available all winter. I'm not so much of purist that I never eat out of season produce. I love mangoes and bananas, use lemons frequently in cooking, eat lots of citrus in the winter, and I eat out in restaurants my fair share year-round. But by using the lenses of seasonality, I am drawn into the brief periods of local abundance that mark our seasons and years. 

Place Your Custom Share Order!

What's New in the Share

Baby Leeks- These are the equivalent of a green onion in relation to a mature onion. Every year I need to go through leeks around this time of year to weed and thin out spots where multiple plants are growing, so you get to enjoy those thinnings. Use these just as you would regular leeks - great sauted with or in place of onions and garlic, excellent paired with potatoes, classic in soups. Cut off the root end, chop up the white stem and as much of the green leaf as looks good to use. Store in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for about a week. 

Basil - This is just a preview of the basil season to come as I trim up the plants early in their summer growth. The pungency of fresh basil is so much more apparent than the dried herb. Mince and use in place of the dried herb in cooking or roll the leaves together and cut into strips (chiffonade technique) for garnish. DO NOT PUT IN THE FRIDGE. Basil will turn black if exposed to cold. Keep it on the counter out of the sun, wrapped in a damp towel, and use within a few days. 

New Potatoes - The first potatoes of the season! These ones have tender skins which flake off easily when handled and washed. They also do not store as well as a cured potato, so keep them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge (not on the counter) and use them within a few weeks. They are extra tender and flavorful right now, so just boiled and served with a little salt and pepper is about all they need! 

Parsley-  Chop this up and add it to your new potatoes! This mild tasting garnish and fresh herb is versatile and goes great with just about any cooked vegetable or in a salad. 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Smashed Red Potatoes and Leeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, rinsed thoroughly and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c. milk or soymilk
  • salt + pepper to tast
NOTE: Parsley, basil, green onions, and garlic scapes from the share would all be good additions to this recipe

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover red potatoes with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes or until easily pierced with fork.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine potatoes and milk in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or potato ricer, mash until potatoes reach desired consistency. Fold in leeks and season with salt and pepper.

What's on the Horizon...What's on the Way Out


Kohlrabi is done for the spring and spring broccoli will be done after this week! 

Salad mix will return next week and should be available just about every week for the rest of the season if all the plantings get in on time. I've also got some baby kale and arugula just about ready to go for next week as well.  Zucchini and cucumber should be available next week. 
Testing garlic bulbs today to see if they're ready to harvest. Notice how the tops of the cloves begin to separate from the stem as they reach maturity. If left in the ground past this point, the cloves will completely separate from the stem and the bulb will fall apart. Timing is everything!
Zucchini is on its way! Probably next week for CSA delivery. 
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