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Archive for June, 2008

Garlic Scape Art

We thought they were too cool looking for the crisper drawer. *alyson bagin

Thanks Alyson!

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How to store your share

Member Sonoko writes:

I just ran across this terrific article about storing fresh produce.  Think it’s something the CSA group might find of interest?

I’ve been referring to an invaluable sheet my first CSA handed out many years ago for storing-your-share details: check it out! — Karina

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Radish Recipe

Member Amy writes:

I have to admit, I’ve never been a radish lover, but I came across this recipe and I think I’m hooked! (Or perhaps it was the fact that these radishes were so fresh and organically grown!) They’re much milder when they’re cooked, so if you love that bite, you might want to stick with raw. If you want to share this link, it’s the last recipe on the bottom of the page (Radishes with Pasta and Radish Greens). Thanks again for this great new experience!

Amy Richardson

Thanks Amy!

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2nd Share, 24th June 2008


here’s a photo of the 2nd share:


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Letter from Farmer John: June 24 2008

Hi Folks,

These are times that try men’s souls!

This is the time of the season that is perhaps the most difficult for me and my workers. We have begun harvesting substantial amounts of produce and yet still a great deal of planting to be done. We are battling the first batch of summer weeds, which grow so quickly that they rapidly overtake many slower growing crops. There are irrigation lines to be run, sprinklers to move around, and trellis to be put up for the peas, cukes, and tomatoes.

I have hundreds of melon plants ready to be transplanted as well as herbs and flowers. It is time to plant the pumpkins and winter squash and the edamame soy beans, and in the greenhouse we must begin planting all of the fall crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and radicchio. If I can just make it through these next few weeks it will all be downhill from there! Not really, but that’s what I like to pretend.

The first planting of summer squash is growing nicely and beginning to flower, so we should have zucchini in another 2 weeks. My first planting of string beans has germinated well, and I expect to begin harvesting them in about a month.

One bit of bad news is that I did not receive the sweet potato plants that I ordered. The company I ordered them from advised me that due to an extended drought last year and a very cool spring this season, their production was substantially reduced and they could not fill my order. I am very disappointed because I enjoy growing them almost as much as eating them, and I had planned to double my plantings from last year and try several new varieties. I will try to source some locally grown sweet potatoes to purchase and include in the shares this fall.

The share for this week will be: Red Boston lettuce, radishes, peas, kale, bok choy, and choice of escarole or endive (frissee). Those who did not receive broccoli last week will get broccoli instead of kale.


Farmer John

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NY Times article on Garlic

Appropriately enough, there was a NYTimes article all about the different types of garlic that are around – including our friend the garlic scape. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:

Their graceful form gives few clues about their function. Garlic scapes are pencil thin and exuberantly loopy, and emanate a clean and mildly garlicky scent. At the top of each is a tightly closed but bulging bud. I contemplated sticking them in a vase with the peonies, but ultimately realized I’d rather eat them.

Since my cookbook indexes came up empty in a search for scapes, I called my dad for advice. “Garlic scapes?” he said. “Do you mean green garlic?”

He was referring to the tender crop of garlic that also appears in the market in spring, bulbs still attached to their green floppy tops. Having become addicted to their juiciness and musky sweetness, I always make a point to buy plenty when I see them.

But no, I told him, scapes look like curlicue tulip stems.

At the time he didn’t know how to cook them either, so I decided to wing it.

Since the scapes reminded me of extra-long green beans, I treated them as such, cutting them into two-inch lengths, blanching them and tossing them with a lemony vinaigrette.

They had a gently spicy undertone and an exquisitely fresh green, mellow taste. Unlike regular garlic, which needs some kind of vehicle to carry its intense flavor to the mouth, scapes are self-sufficient; vegetable and aromatic all in one. Ever since that first batch, I gleefully buy scapes whenever I can, using them in salads, soups and pesto.

Although they’ve been gaining a following over the last few years, he [Bill Maxwell, of Maxwell Farms in Changewater, N.J.] said, scapes came to market “when someone figured out they could make money from something they were cutting off the garlic plant and getting rid of.”

Peter Hoffman, the chef at Savoy, added, “At some point someone realized the scapes were tender and delicious.” He suggested that I sauté them with other vegetables or soft-shell crabs, or even grill them whole to show off their curves.

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1st Share, 17th June 2008


A photo of my share for the week!

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Letter from Farmer John: June 17th, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We have finally arrived at the week you have all been waiting for- the first delivery. It will be a small one as the first delivery usually is, but there’s lots of good stuff on the horizon.

We have begun picking peas, both English (shell) and sugar snaps. The broccoli has begun to head up, but unfortunately the plants are still rather small and hence will produce small heads. The quality looks good though, and it just means that we will need to put 4 or 5 in a bunch instead of 2 or 3. This was caused by 2 very cold nights (25 degrees) in early May that burned the outer leaves of the plant and set back it’s growth. Extreme cold stresses plants and stress induces flowering. I am having a similar problem with the escarole and the red spinach.

I was delayed in writing this update because I wanted to address the issue of the current salmonella out break in tomatoes, and have been doing some reading on the subject to be better informed on the mechanism of the contamination. Unfortunately the FDA and the CDC don’t seem to have a very good handle on this subject at this point, even though these outbreaks have been occurring since the early 90’s and there was a serious outbreak in 2004. I just received a letter from the NJ Dept. of Ag. stating that NJ has been added to the list of “safe” states. However since they have not been able to pinpoint the source of the contamination the concept of determining safe states or regions seems rather dubious and contrary to the norms of epidemiological investigation.

From what I have learned so far it seems probable that the source of the contamination is in the post harvest end of the industrial food chain. Large wash tanks that are used in the packing houses may be implicated in cross contamination of the tomatoes. I don’t expect to begin delivering tomatoes for another 6 or 7 weeks, so hopefully there will be better information available by then. I will plan to write more on this subject when we begin the tomato harvest.

The share for this week will be Red lettuce, choice of Sugar snap peas or English peas, broccoli, broccoli leaf, red spinach, garlic scapes, and choice of oregano or cilantro. The broccoli leaf can be used the same as Kale, steamed or sautéed, and also makes a great base for cream of broccoli soup. (Sauté the leaf with onion adding some water at the end to finish cooking, then put into a blender with milk or cream) The garlic scapes can be grilled or chopped finely and sautéed to add garlic flavor to a dish, such as the spinach or broccoli. They keep a very long time in the fridge, so don’t feel like you need to use them up quickly.

Enjoy! Farmer John

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