Week 6 of the CSA!

  • Purplette mini onions
  • Fava Beans (more on the favas below)
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Snap Peas - a big ol' heap of em!
  • Strawberries

On Rotation:

  • Cucumbers - the cukes that have been on rotation the past two weeks are a trial variety we planted in our field tunnels in early April - an early Persian type. They are delicious and the cucumber beetles agree! Our first month of production was hobbled by the cuke beetles, who were voracioulsy sampling every single cuke on the vine, leaving them scarred, contorted, and unsaleable (i.e. we ate a lot of ugly cucumbers in June :)....).The plants seem to be finally growing through it and we're getting some nice smooth cukes now, but some of them still show minor signs of scarring. They're unaffected inside so just peel them to reveal the sweet, nearly seedless cucumber within. Persian types are sought after by chefs for their sweet flavor, firm texture, few seeds, and lack of watery-ness. I'd say this greenhouse experiement has indeed yielded the tastiest, ugliest little cukes I've ever had!

Fava Beans

Chances are, if you haven't been a CSA member before you've likely never eaten (or prepared) fresh fava beans. You're in for a real treat, but a quick word of wisdom from one busy working parent to another: you might want to make this a weekend project. Even better if you can invite some friends over for a fava fest because many hands will help. Your favas are showing up in the pod, but unlike the sugar snap peas in your share, you don't want to eat the pod. The beans are nestled in a downy mattress inside, but wait! The beans themselves have an outer skin that, while edible, is a litlte tough and dingy and diminishes the culinary exquisitness of a bright green, peeled, fresh fava bean. SO, here's how you get to fava nirvana:

  1. Shuck the beans out of the pod and discard the pods
  2. Drop beans into boiling water and blanch for 1 minute
  3. Drain the beans and shock them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process
  4. Squeeze the beans out of their skin, using your fingernail to open a slit in the skin. Just like making blanched almonds. Kids love the squeezing part, especially if you don't mind fava beans shooting all over your kitchen.

Here's an illustrated how-to: https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/how-to-prepare-fava-beans-gallery

They say that one pound of beans in the pod will yield about one cup of shelled favas. You're getting 3 pounds in the pod this week, so it should give you an ample amount to do something fun with. Epicurious has a mouth-watering gallery of recipes worthy of a glance: https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/fava-bean-recipes-gallery. I want to eat every single one of them. 

But if, like me, you might not have time to shell favas to make a gorgeous recipe - even on a weekend - you could consider this excellent alternative: grill your favas in the pod. This is my favorite utilitarian way to eat them, especially at a backyard BBQ with friends. You put the whole pod on the grill and cook them until they're charred. Then you open up the steaming pod - careful, HOT! - and your beans will be perfectly cooked within. You can nip the skin of the bean with your teeth and then squeeze them straight into your mouth. It turns favas into a fun community feast instead of a dinner party chore and they are deeeeeelish! Have a salt shaker on hand if you love NaCl as much as I do :)

Bulk Green Beans by Special Order

Were on a leguminous riff this week: snap peas! favas! green beans!

We have a limited planting of early green beans happening right now and can fill a few speical orders for CSA members who want to double down on canning dilly-beans or putting some in the freezer. It'll be a brief season - a few weeks max - so email us if you'd like to order for delivery to your CSA site. Five pound bulk bags are $25. We need your name, pickup location, a daytime or cell number, and the quantity of green beans you'd like in 5 pound increments. We can't guarantee we'll be able to fill all orders, but we'll try!