Hello everyone! We would like to welcome you to the kick-off of the 2015 season. We are thrilled to have each and every one of you enjoying our vegetables on your table with friends and family and appreciate your support of our farm.
My name is Jen and I’m the Harvest Manager at SIO; on behalf of the entire SIO crew, I will be writing the blog this season (in addition of course to Katherine’s wonderful recipes!) where each week we will try and capture some of the exciting highlights, lessons, innovations, and inspirations happening on the farm.
We will also provide information about the share that could include storage tips, varietal information, or special notes about unusual crops or conditions as they arise. We plan to feature one or two crops each week- each and every vegetable has a unique and interesting story that can be traced from seed to plate- and oftentimes far, far beyond!
We look forward to introducing our farm crew as well, so look for a short bio each week where you can meet the amazing and talented folks that are your farmers. Even though this is the very first week you will be receiving our produce, we have been hard at work seeding, transplanting, weeding, and more for several months in preparation and anticipation of this very week. Now that it’s finally here, we are ready to harvest the freshest, most delicious food for all of you to enjoy!
Your Share This Week:
- Bok Choi
- Kale: Red Ursa
- Lettuce: Romaine
The early weeks of the share provide an opportunity to showcase all of the wonderful greens that thrive in our bioregion. The beginning of the season will be ripe with vibrant spring greens of all shapes, colors, textures, and flavors. They are all a real treat to work with in the kitchen, and provide a welcome nutritional kick to launch us into summer. Enjoy them while they’re here, we hope you find them as nurturing and satisfying as we do!
The tender greens in the early weeks are sensitive to warm weather so as a preventative measure, we will drape a moist paper towel over (and sometimes under) the produce in order to maintain its moisture and provide some ambient cooling. You can compost the paper towels, or wrap certain crops in them before storing in the refrigerator.
Fresh Young Garlic: You’ll find young garlic in your share- essentially immature garlic that has not reached full size or maturity. When you prepare it you will notice small bulbs forming as well as all the layers of wrapping that would later on dry, cure, and tighten to form the papery skins that enable mature garlic to store for so long. We opted not to peel (or wash) these beautiful bulbs because we wanted to showcase the beautiful purple skins of this variety dubbed as ‘Bangkok’ that was originally acquired at a market in the Thai capital. All the parts of the garlic in this week’s share are edible.
Baby Bok Choi: We also opted not to overly process or wash these tender little gems so they would last longer in your fridge (although as good as they are, we don’t think they’ll make it very long before you want to devour them). Give them a quick rinse right before you prepare them to remove any soil that may have stuck onto the stems or the ends.
Kale, Red Ursa: This kale has become a favorite on the farm as far as ‘Red Russian’ types go. We get our seed from local producer Wild Garden seeds out of Philomath. Over the course of the season you’ll hear lots about where we source our seed and all the hard work, stewardship, and love that goes into developing and maintaining high quality genetic diversity that is adapted to our specific bioregion and cultivation methods. This early in the season the Red Ursa kale has very broad, lush, and sweet leaves that cook down very rapidly. As this particular variety gets older, the leaf shape changes quite dramatically and it appears more and more frilly until it finally has a very lacey texture.
Mizuna: This mild and tender mustard is a member of a special group of vegetables known in Japan as ‘Kyōyasai’- comprised of over forty specialty vegetables that are produced in the area surrounding Kyoto. Just as we have a mild climate and rich soils, Kyoto experiences similar conditions that have enabled farmers to turn vegetable production into a high art befitting of Kyoto’s position as the cultural center of Japan. These vegetables are prized for their exceptional nutritional value, taste, color, shape, and seasonality.
This year we are again working with Katherine Deumling and her SE Portland based Cook With What You Have cooking school. Each Monday afternoon we will post our blog, which will include photos, crop notes and farm news. This post will be followed on Tuesday morning by a CSA Recipe post from Katherine who will be providing you with weekly recipes, storage tips and other cooking tips related to your share.
Washing Your Weekly Share
Please remember that all produce you receive in your shares is a raw product. Every vegetable should be washed before using.
Your CSA Share Container
Each week your share is delivered in a Reusable Plastic Container (RPC). You are welcome to take the container with you and return it empty the next week, or you can transfer the items into a bags you’ve brought and leave behind the container at your pick-up site. This season we are again working with IFCO, a company that manufactures and distributes RPCs. Each week we return the used containers to IFCO’s North Portland site, and pick-up clean and sanitized containers for packing CSA shares. Please make sure to collapse (fold down) and stack your container when you leave it at your site, and you can place the white plastic lids in the designated recycling container at your site. Alternately you can collect the white plastic lids at home and bring them to any location that accepts recyclable plastic films. If you bring your container home please be sure to return it to your pick-up site the following week. We are charged a fee for every container we do not bring back to IFCO.