Welcome to week #2! We are excited to present to you more of our spring favorites.
As always this early in the season, all of the crops in the share will be the happiest if stored in your refrigerator inside of a plastic bag.
In Your Share This Week
- Spring Turnips
Escarole: While it resembles a green head of lettuce, escarole is one of the handful of chicories we grow at SIO. It is slightly bitter…I like adding the more tender inside leaves raw to salads, and braising the bitter outside leaves. Escarole provides a good source of vitamins A and C, and is high in fiber and iron. Chicories (escarole, frisee, raddichio, among others) are more cool-weather resistant than lettuces, so you can expect to be seeing more of them closer to the end of the CSA season.
Lettuce-Salanova: Like the mini heads you received last week, salanova is a lettuce we started seeding and planting only two years ago. It has been happily growing into substantial heads in our salad mix field, and this is the first time we are introducing it to CSA members. We hope you enjoy either the red or green type that you received!
Parsley: We mostly grow flat-leaf Italian parsley- which is native to the Mediterranean region (think Southern Italy, Tunisia) and enjoys a large presence in Lebanese, Brazilian, and Italian cuisine. You can liven up just about any dish with parsley, and it makes excellent sauces and pesto that can be used like a condiment or a rub. Its packed with nutrients, especially Vitamin A and C. You can keep your parsley on the countertop in a jar of water (rather like a flower bouquet), but I prefer to rinse it with cool water, give it a vigorous shake, and then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. It will generally store for at least a week with no problems.
Scallions, Shimonita: These amazing scallions are well-known in Japan, but less common in America. They can grow to the size of a leek and have a nice, long harvest window (unlike regular scallions, which reach that peak of perfection and then sail past it in the seeming blink of an eye). It’s also fascinating that the green tops are inflated tubes…when you squeeze the tops there’s definitely air in there!
Hakurei Turnips: Like kohlrabi, turnips are in the brassica family. Hakurei turnips are a Japanese variety, and are also known as salad turnips. They have a sweet crunch when you eat them raw, and they also taste great when cooked with their tops!
Remember to check out Katherine’s recipe blog for tips on what to do with this weeks’ veggies!
In The Fields
Due to the extremely wet winter and spring, we got off to a bit of a late start this season! Our fields were too wet to till and prep (wouldn’t want our tractors to get stuck), so our first transplant got pushed back about two weeks. This resulted in us having to get a lot of work done in a shorter amount of time, and we are so fortunate this year to have so many returning farmers who jumped right into work already knowing what to do. June is always a very busy time of the year for us; we are bed prepping, seeding, transplanting, irrigating, weeding, harvesting, and getting things washed and out the door. This is my fifth season here at SIO and all of this is going more smoothly than I have ever seen, thanks to our experienced team. Moods are high, our veggies are growing beautifully, the birds are providing us with lovely song every morning harvest, it is quite a wonderful sight.
One of the results of having our first transplant get pushed back is that, last week, we had thousands of lettuce heads all fully grown and needing to be cut at the same time! Thanks to Jesse Olian, who became our restaurant/wholesale account manager two years ago (and who is pictured back left, with his hands out), we were able to sell 3,000+ heads of lettuce last Friday, making Thursday the grandest lettuce harvest day in SIO history. The overcast weather was on our side that day, and we filled the entire truck with bins of romaine, leaf, and butter lettuces (coming to you this year, too!) This picture was taken by yours truly at 11:30am on Thursday, June 8th, and is one of my favorites.