Happy first week of our Summer/Fall share. Thanks so much for joining in on the harvest with us!! This is one of my favorite seasons and I can't wait for the coming months. As much as June, July and August are "summer" I feel that we are just now entering the real summer and the crops are beginning to reflect that. Hurray for melons, peppers and cherry tomatoes. We also have lots of other goodies just around the CORNer (haha, OK I tried).
A couple of notes for those of you who are new to our CSA:
+ Some weeks we pack certain things outside of the boxes. Please pay attention to what the label on the flat says as they aren't always for both shares. For example, this week, the cherry tomatoes are for the large farm share only (don't worry mini folks, you'll get your turn soon)!
+ On this blog I will always include cooking tips, occasional fun facts and ways to best store your produce. You may wonder why your tomatoes aren't in your share box – that's because they don't like to be cold or wet, and we want you to enjoy your produce in its best form! I hope you find this sort of information useful.
+ We try our best to send out quality produce every week. Sometimes the reality of the farm dictates what is sent out (cucumber beetles having their way) but I will always explain the whys and hows and flavor is always our highest priority above anything else (although who doesn't love the most gorgeous looking [insert fav veggie here]). We strive to never let it happen, but occasionally one of us will miss something and you might get a wonky squash or a melon that is slightly past its prime–feel free to let us know and we will make sure to replace it the following week.
+ Some people ask why their carrots, onions or chard aren't bunched? Any type of "packaging" of produce adds labor and thus cost to the value of the crop. We try to keep labor down and conserve resources so that we can give you the most veg we can! I love the way a bunch of carrots looks, but since we don't need to display them on a produce shelf, who needs the twist tie?! The only time we will bag things is when, for quality's sake, the produce just cannot get wet (basil, green beans) or when it would get all over the place (salad mix).
I think that is all for now, if you have any questions please feel free to ask!
We are so thankful for your support and excited the next 16 weeks!
LETTUCE: Half of the folks received a red romaine and half received a red leaf that very much looks like a red romaine. A pretty looking lettuce with good flavor that can stand up to a dressing!
SHISHITO PEPPERS: These are my favorite lil' dudes!! The finger-length, green, thin-skinned peppers are mild but not too sweet. People warn, much like their Padron counterparts that one in ten can by spicy–but in my four years of growing them I've never met a single Shishito with a kick. I like to toss them in olive oil and cook them in a pan until they skin starts to blister. Once off heat, sprinkle some fancy salt and voila! We treat them like finger food and munch everything but the stem. hey are always devoured by whoever is around before they even cool down! Shishitos are one of my must-have veggies every time I go camping (yes, I am that person that brings a cast iron pan camping).
NABECHON SCALLIONS: If you have had our share before you have probably had these guys. They just grow so well here and are so tasty! I feel like scallions are one of those things you can't complain about having in your fridge – that is unless you despise onions, sorry if that is you!
MELONS: Woowoo! We have two types of melon right now – the smaller Sivan with bright orange, super sweet flesh and the wonky, warty looking Prescott Fond Blanc. Both are cantaloupe types and both are so fragrant and delicious! Our Prescott patch had some bummer pest issues so everyone may not get this variety – next year we will definitely grow more! Did you know that early Egyptians and Sumerians displayed melons in their art dating back to 2200 BCE? They are all over the historical record including Romans trading them throughout Asia and Europe. In the 16th century, melon seeds were brought from Armenia to the papal domain of Cantalupo which is where the name comes from! They weren't introduced to the United States until the late 1800s. How lucky are we to be able to grow them in the Pacific Northwest!
SALAD MIX (Large Only): A beautiful mixture of lettuces that vary in color and texture. Great for an ad hoc salad. So many things in this share you can throw in! Our restaurants and grocery stores love our every-changing mix and you can find it around Portland year round! Some include Ataula, Lechon, Chesa, Dove Vivi, Imperial and so many more!
CHERRY TOMATOES (Large Only): Finally! Usually we put cherry tomatoes in our hoop houses so we have them way earlier than we did this year. That's ok though because now we are so excited. The two varieties we decided to focus on are Sungold and Sakura. Sungolds are those quintessential deliciously sweet orange guys and Sakuras are the slightly larger but firm, flavorful and very sweet.
MARKETMORE CUCUMBER (Large Only): A perfect, dark green cucumber. Would be super tasty in a tomato, melon, basil salad! (or if you eat those cherry tomatoes on accident right out of the pint, a cucumber-melon salad is also fantastic).
SUMMER SQUASH (Large Only): Either the Italian heirloom Tromba D'Albegna or our delicious green zucchini Dunja. Savor both as fresh squash is on its way out!