A few of our early spring beds: pictured here are green and purple kohlrabis!
In the share this week, May 7th 2019
2 heads mini romaine lettuce
1 bunch sweet onions
1 bunch radishes or salad turnips
1 bag salad mix
1 bag mustard greens mix
1 bunch green garlic
1 bag pea shoots
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
Welcome to the first farm share of 2019! I feel honored to be able to do this work that I love for so many lovely people in our community. We can’t thank you enough for your support of the farming we do here!
We’ve been working hard for the last month and a half, getting many of our beds prepped and planted. The weather in April this year was really quite warm, a little wetter than is ideal, but we can work around that. We have so many tasty veggies goodies in store for you!
We have a couple of big changes for this season, including the new Farmigo system that will allow members to add extra items or swap a couple of items (for those that chose customizable shares). We’re still working out some of the kinks in this first week, but I’m hopeful that this software will really streamline our operation and make your CSA experience even more valuable. I love that I will be able to offer you all the first pick of some items that we may have in more limited amounts (like the rhubarb this week), or enable you to add a bunch of extra tomatoes or extra salad or extra anything when you know you’ll need it for a party this summer. You’ll have to let us know how this system works out for you as we progress through the season.
The other thing I’m particularly excited about this year is the really awesome folks I have working with me. I was lucky enough to find a farm apprentice (Cole) who has committed to working with us for at least two years. This kind of commitment gives us the stability to invest in some new infrastructure and tackle bigger projects through the year, and gives Cole some job security and the promise of a little higher pay. It’s really a big deal to me, because it can be quite difficult to find folks who are willing to put in the hard work we do for relatively low compensation. Although, as I always emphasize, there are tons of non-monetary benefits to working on a farm: free ‘gym’ membership, fresh air, free veggies, good company, etc 😊. In addition to Cole, I have several worker shares lined up that are helping throughout the season with planting, harvest and weeding in exchange for their CSA shares, a summer intern who will be starting next week, and a retirement gentleman who wants to stay busy and work a few hours each week. It’s quite a crew and I’m finding that I’m really needing to hone my management skills so that we can be our most productive. It’s a good way to stretch my skills, and honestly I love that I get to wear so many different hats as a farmer. You certainly don’t get bored doing this job!
One of our workers shares is helping out with recipes as part of her hours – thanks Maria! We have a few less familiar items in the share this week- pea shoots and baby mustard greens- and Maria has found some yummy recipe ideas for these items. Let us know what you think!
GRITS SMOTHERED WITH MUSTARD GREENS
· 3 cups water
· 1 cup uncooked corn grits (see notes)
· 1 reduced sodium vegetable bouillon cube
· 3/4 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk or dairy milk
· 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
· 1 large onion diced
· 2 medium garlic cloves minced
· Pinch cayenne pepper (see notes)
· 1 teaspoon celery salt
· 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
· 2 bunches mustard greens (coarsely chopped)
· 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
1. In a small covered pot over high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the grits and vegetable bouillon, and stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover the pot and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk to prevent sticking or lumping. Stir in the milk, cook for approximately 2 minutes, cover, and remove the pot from the heat. Set aside.
2. While the grits are cooking, heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cayenne, celery salt, and mustard, and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Pile the sliced mustard greens into the pan and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, until the greens are just wilted, tender, but bright green. Allow the greens to reduce in volume before you start stirring.
3. Pour the hot grits into a large casserole dish or serving dish. Cover with the cooked greens and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Look for whole grain grits (such as Bob’s Red Mill) made from whole corn, rather than degerminated corn. Some brands of grits call for different amounts of water; adjust the water as necessary according to package directions. Variations: Try wild greens, such as dandelion greens, sorrel, or chickweed, in this recipe.
SIMPLE LEMON PASTA WITH PARMESAN AND PEA SHOOTS
· 2 heaping cups fresh pea shoots or pea tendrils
· Zest of 1 large lemon
· 1/4 cup lemon juice
· 1/3 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
· 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
· Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
· 1/2 lb. spaghetti
· 1/2 cup pasta water (reserved from when you cook the spaghetti)
· Kosher salt, to taste
· If your pea shoots are particularly long, chop them into halves or thirds so they’re a bit easier to manage. Set aside.
· In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. (I like to do this while I’m waiting for the pasta water to boil!)
· Cook spaghetti in very salty water until al dente.
· Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water (I just ladle some of the hot water out of the pot and into a measuring cup).
· Drain spaghetti and immediately add it to the mixing bowl with the lemon-olive oil mixture. Add reserved pasta water and toss to combine. The heat from the pasta will warm the sauce and melt the parmesan cheese.
· Add pea shoots to pasta and toss until parmesan has melted into a smooth sauce and pea shoots have softened slightly.
· Taste pasta and add a pinch of kosher salt to taste.
Top pasta with additional parmesan cheese for garnish and serve immediately