Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wed/Thursday - Week # 1



Hi,

I am very excited to be writing our first newsletter of the season! I will be sending one every week to tell you what you can expect in your share and remind you to pick it up.  I will normally send the newsletter out Tuesday night, instead of the reminder, but this week we did not finish packing the share until very late at night and I have been out working until now.  The newsletters will include information about what's in your share, what's coming in/out of season on the farms, helpful cooking/prep tips, and any other special topics we'd like to share that week. I have also just launched our CSA Blog earlier this week, where I will also post all the newsletters (if you want to check out the ones from our Sunday delivery, you might get somewhat of an idea of what to look forward to next Wed/Thurs).

To aid easier/wider interaction and keep these newsletters from becoming too long, I will reference recipes, topics, and events on here with links to more complete information on the blog. We also encourage all of you to share your own recipes, special events, comments, questions, feedback and thoughts on the blog. If you have something you'd like to share, please email us and we will post it for you.

Each week, I will (try to) include a photo with everything in the full (top of the page) and small (bottom of the page) shares. As you can see, this week we have a bounty of green vegetables to share with you; including red dazzler and romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, scallions, fresh oregano, and fennel, in addition to cornmeal, and some of our yellow tomato puree. If you are not acqainted with the local food seasons, spring is the time for greens, and we have lots! We will not usually include our grains or our tomato purees in the shares, but we don't have any other vegetables available this week that aren't greens, and thought they would be good to balance the share out.

Some of you might have noticed that your greens have odd tears in them.  That is due to a really bad hailstorm we had on the farms over the weekend.  You can read more about it here.  The greens are still perfectly fine to eat.  The storm affected each of our farms a little differently, and we are still assessing the damage, but we know that at least some of our greens were totally destroyed.  Depending on how things turn out, the next couple weeks might be a little 'light'; in which case we will make up for it with more produce later in the season.  Over the summer, I'm sure you will come to understand more of the ups and downs of a growing season with us--it's all part of the CSA experience!

I have also received many questions about strawberries.  One of our farms does have a lot of strawberries planted, but due to the unusually warm spring and several late frosts, the season has been extremely short and hard to predict this year.  The first strawberries we sold were during the Strawberry Harvest Party, just 2 weeks ago, and we were able to include them in our Sunday CSA shares, but already there were not enough left to include in this week's share.  Unfortunately, it seems like the season has for them has already passed, and we will not be able to include them again.  Although I know this is something our customers tend to be very excited about, I assure you that there are many more varieties of produce to be excited about that we already have--and more are coming into season very soon.  Maybe this is a great time to discover some other great spring produce to get excited about--like kale.

We have also included the "Simply in Season" cookbook to all of the shares on our Northern route (everywhere not in the Pittsburgh area) today (except Namaste). This is something we did last year that a lot of our members really enjoyed, so we decided to do it again. It's a very easy to use cookbook that is ordered by the seasons.  We had a lot of the books left over from last season, but have had more people sign up this year than we had anticipated.  We ordered more last week, and they just came in today, so every location that did not receive the cookbooks this week, will get them next week.

Our CSA blog has only been up for 4 days now, and we have already received several recipes from our Sunday members, including a juice recipe for "green lemonade", a recipe for collards stuffed with sweet potato and feta, and one for easy wilted collard greens with millet cake. In addition to those posts, I have already received many emails and pictures about great recipes people have used in the cookbooks we included this week. I encourage you to utilize these resources and share your results with us.

I know many members already know, and were (rightly) upset about the timing of the deliveries today.  For those of you that didn't notice--we ran into a few problems early in our deliveries, and at least in our Pittsburgh route, were running about an hour late to all of our locations.  I apologize for this, and will send another email addressing it later in the week once I've had a chance to go over some of the issues.  There were some other issues that occurred at various pick-up locations that I will also address in the next couple of days once I have more info on those as well.

A lot of you already like/follow us on Facebook/Twitter, but if you don't already, it's a pretty nice way to keep in touch. We will share all of our blog posts on there as well as other updates, and we always appreciate any input/feedback you provide there as well.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

I hope you enjoy these first fruits of summer!

-Mark

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