Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week # 6



Hi,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying this 'cooler' weather. This week we have another early summer bounty to share--though this is probably the last week I will be able to say that. Our small shares this week have cucumber, summer squash, beets!, green beans, hot banana peppers, red oakleaf lettuce and green kale. In addition to that, our full shares have extra cucumbers and summer squash, beets with greens, cauliflower, and basil.

By now, I hope you are all becoming expert chefs with summer squash. Though there have been dissapointingly few squash recipes submitted--it's such a versatile vegetable that I'm sure you're making lots of interesting creations. My favorite way I prepared them lately was to slice them into strips, (olive) oil a glass baking dish, throw them in with some pasta sauce, put some bread crumbs on top, and bake for ~20 mins at ~350. It was delicious, and could scarcely be easier to make. New this week is our green beans; which, as you will come to see throughout the season, also come in purple and yellow. These aren't the frozen or canned green beans from your elementary school--these are fresh, crisp, slightly sweet, and packed with flavor. Green beans can be prepared almost any way, but steaming, boiling, or stir-frying seem to be most popular. We have also included some of our red beets; which you might know are cousins to the chard you have been getting lately. Beets are a very versatile and long-lasting vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked; shredded into a slaw, sliced into salads, pickled, roasted, or of course pureed into borscht. They have a wonderfully distinct, sweet, earthy flavor to them. The beets this week are a mix of red (deep red all throughout, bleed when cut/cooked, very sweet), gold (orange on the outside, gold all throughout, less sweet, earthy, but in a different way from the reds, and don't bleed), and chioggia (red and white concentric circles when sliced, about the same flavor as the golds, also don't bleed). We have also included a bit of our first peppers of the season--hot banana peppers; which I hope you are all already acquainted with and will enjoy. Hot, slightly sweet, and a little tangy, they make a great addition to almost any dish--and are great pickled.

In our full shares this week we have included additional amounts of cucumbers and summer squash that I hope you will enjoy. In addition, the beets we have included have their greens on them. The greens have a taste that largely resembles chard, and should definitely not be overlooked or wasted. If you don't think you can eat the beets this week, they will stay in your fridge for quite some time, but make sure to tear off the greens and eat them soon, because they won't last more than a week. We have also included a good bit of our cauliflower; which I think goes really well in saucy dishes, and our basil--which, as you know--is my favorite herb of all, and goes great in almost anything; even just water.

The beets are our first starchy vegetable of the season, and we are hoping to include at least one starchy veg each week from now on, with more coming as the season continues until they dominate the shares in the fall. As more beets come into season, we will probably rotate through each variety, as well as the first of our new potatoes; which should be just getting ready to harvest in the next week or so. Our tomatoes are just about coming due in quantities large enough to include in the shares, and we expect to rotate through each of our many varieties of those throughout the summer. The same is true for our peppers, though they will be a little behind the tomatoes. We have a few more varieties of beans we will rotate through as well, and we will start with our first onions of the season in the next couple weeks as well--so there's lots to look forward to.

We have been working hard on getting the Online Store operational, and you should receive an email early next week anouncing its official opening and how it works, so look out for that. Also, next week we will be just about 1/3 of the way through the season, and so will be providing a feedback survey and season re-cap. I hope you will take the time to provide us with your feedback, as it is really useful to us and will help us shape the rest of this season and next one to be as good as possible for you.

Please remember to return your bags.

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

Enjoy!

-Mark


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