Please do not stress out when you see your first box of spring greens! You have two weeks to eat them before you get another CSA Harvest. They will still be in good shape in two weeks if you treat them correctly because they were just harvested a few hours ago! However, the goal is start eating them right away! Eating greens as salads makes them last a bit longer. Greens disappear quickly when sauteed or put in a blender for a smoothie. Don’t stress over the names; but if you want to know them, you might consider checking out the web site Photo Album entitled “Vegetable Identification” to see photos of some of these first spring vegetables. The veggies are shown in the approximate order of their appearance in your CSA Box—although, of course, this will vary slightly from season to season.
Each season I get questions about using vegetable washes. I have never used these, but I understand that some CSA Members want to do so. The first layer of Fairview soil will be washed from your CSA vegetables. I typically do a triple wash in my kitchen sink before preparing greens such as lettuces, choi, tatsio, romaine, collards, escarole, and endive. This removes any remaining soil from the leaves. Some seasons will have more soil than others depending on the type of rain we receive and the plant’s stage of growth at the time. I suggest putting on some relaxing music, filling your kitchen sink, and rinsing to your preferred level. After draining the leaves slightly, place into clean bags so that you are ready to prepare you next meal. When we prepare and eat food slowly and consciously with intention and awareness, we can better appreciate the food we eat and eat it in a spirit of holiness.
In your CSA box you may find bugs, slugs, and weeds—things you don’t find in that bagged lettuce at the grocery store which has been triple washed for you. (I recommend that you wash even store-bought bagged lettuce thoroughly!) And YES! You must eat the leaves with bug bite holes! If it is good enough for the bugs to eat, it is good enough for us humans to eat. When I pack the CSA Boxes, I try to pull off the yellowed leaves which happen when plants get stressed from too much rain or too high temps—like 80 degrees in May! You don’t have to eat the bugs or slugs—although, they could be considered protein. And if I hear a bee buzzing in a bag after I have packed the box and tied the bow, I will open the bag and let it out. We need to keep our bees here on the farm to pollinate our crops!
Do you have at least two (2) refrigerator/freezer thermometers in your home? If not, we recommend you purchase one for each of your refrigerators and freezers! A thermometer is your number one food safety tool and can be purchased for $6 – $8. The food safety zone should be clearly marked in red. Place it in a prominent location and KEEP AN EYE ON IT. This handy gadget will help you to keep your veggies fresh and it will ensure your dairy products and meats are “in the zone” as well. The proper temperature range will be printed on the side of your CSA Box.
CSA Members picking up this first week have been notified. I HAVE NOT yet sent out emails for the second week CSA Member pickups. Be patient. They will come in time. It takes two weeks to get our CSA up and running; but then you can expect veggies every other week going down the calendar! I do recommend reading back a couple of Blogs as there may be tips or hints not repeated. The veggie contents will remain similar for the next week or two. This is SEASONAL, GOURMET EATING!