June 1-6, 2009
What's In Your Basket?
- Tillamook and/or Seascape Strawberries
- Sylvesta Green Butterhead Lettuce
- Crunchy Royale Radishes
- Green Globe Artichokes
- Genovese Basil
- Black Summer Pac Choi
- Hakurei turnips
- Kale & Chard
We're thrilled to be able to include some of our favorite tastes of summer in the very first Harvest Basket of the season - among them, basil and strawberries. June will be a month to savor these early treats, as well as some of Spring's signature crops: kale, chard, spinach, and the sweet, buttery hakurei turnip (coming soon!).
Also remember that these early Harvest Baskets will be leaner than those that come later in the season. We strive for an average value of $25 of produce each week, which means that as the season progresses the baskets will get heavier (literally!) with summer's bounty. Enjoy the first harvest!
And finally, we recommend that you wash your produce before eating it. Technically, we only "field-rinse" the produce, so it is not legally considered to be "washed."
Produce Tips - How to Eat It, Cook It and Keep It!
- Some people love the spicy bite of a spring radish, but if you want a less sassy mouthful, peel your radishes. All of the heat is in that red skin; the meat of the radish is tender, juicy and sweet!
- Also, radish tops are great in stir-fy (they belong to the same family as mustard greens). Don't toss 'em - chop them up with your Pac Choi and sautee with a little rice vinegar, tamari or any other seasonings!
- If you want your radishes to last longer in the fridge, cut the tops off and store the roots in a ziploc in the crisper.
- We are choke addicts here at Valley Flora. We usually prepare them the simple old-fashioned way in a steamer basket. It usually takes 30-45 minutes in a regular steamer basket with plenty of water, depending on size, or 8-14 minutes in a pressure cooker. The bigger the choke, the longer it takes. Check for done-ness by plucking an outside leaf. The chokes are ready when a leaf plucks off easily. Dig in and eat your - its - heart out.
- Check out our easy ailoi recipe and turn your artichokes into a great vehicle for mayo, balsamic and capers.
- This week's share includes enough arugula to make yourself a batch of arugula pesto. If you don't want to run those beautiful leaves through the blender, add it to a salad or use it as a bed of greens under fish.
- OR, try the unusual combination of arugula and strawberries in this recipe from www.epicurious.com (a great online compilation of Gourmet and Bon Appetit recipes): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Strawberry-and-Arugula-Sala...
- Great sauteed, stir-fried, or eaten raw, this succulent green keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
- In the unlikely event that any of your berries are still left by the time you get home, folks say that their berries store best in an airtight container in the fridge with a damp paper towl lining the bottom.
- Whipped cream anyone?
On the Farm....
Now that the soil temperatures have warmed up and the nights are hovering near 50 degrees, we are putting lots of summer and fall crops in the ground this week: pepper plants galore, as well as an entire block of winter squash (for your eating pleasure come October...). We are also prepping fallow ground for some summer cover crop plantings of buckwheat and sudan grass. In the greenhouse, we're already seeding fall crops like chard, kale and cabbage, which will be planted in early July. Farming is one of those things where you are living 6 months in the future and every day in the moment - all at once....
As for the present moment, don't forget to visit the
to check out the new recipes this week, and to share your own recipes with other farmsters.