Monday, August 5, 2013

CSA Newsletter - Week #7 (2013)

Hello members!
Every year, we take a survey at the end of the CSA for feedback, in hopes of improving our service.  We take all results into consideration and I think we're doing better than ever because of it.  The one thing I haven't been able to improve on is getting the newsletter out early, and now with a baby, I'm finding it even more difficult to get it out on time.  At least when it is ready for viewing, the list of vegetables is more accurate than if it were to go out on the weekend - a few days in the garden can make a big difference.  That being said, I apologize for my tardiness!
So here we go with the Week #7 list:
  • celery
  • sage
  • onions
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • zucchinis
  • cucumbers
As a member pointed out last year, celery is on the "dirty dozen" list which means, conventionally grown, it has a higher amount of chemical residue from exposure to pesticides and herbicides than other fruit and vegetables.  Health experts agree that if you only buy a few organically grown items, you should chose those items on the dirty dozen list to reduce your exposure.
Celery is great raw and dipped in salad dressing or peanut butter (a childhood favourite!)  It is one of three ingredients in mirepoix (the other two ingredients being onions and carrots) the base for many soups, stews and braises.  As a matter of fact, you will receive all three ingredients this week, so get ready to make a soup or stew that you can freeze and eat on a cold winter day, when the lush green garden and fresh vegetables are merely a distant memory (sigh!)

The onions and carrots are still small at this point but you can expect full-sized portions in a month.  If you manage to spare your carrots from being eaten on the way home from the pickup, try pickling them (this recipe also works for beets and shallots which you will receive later this season.)  You can eat both the bulbs and greens of your baby onions.

You will receive both varieties of garlic this week (Music and Korean Purple) so you can either hold a garlic tasting at your home, inviting all of your garlic-enthusiast friends to behold the subtle differences (throw in some Chinese garlic for comparison - it will blow your mind!) OR try this garlic chicken recipe!  An even easier way to get the most out of your garlic is by roasting it (whole cloves) with other veggies, such as zucchini, carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc. and tossing with this roasted garlic vinaigrette.  Garnish your creations with our herb of the week: Sage!  This recipe from Jamie Oliver looks amazing: English Onion Soup with Sage and Cheddar.  His recipes are usually simple, rustic and delicious.  Here are a few other things you can create with sage:

If you think you've had enough kale, you can freeze it in a ziplock bag and add to soup or stew in the winter.  When you take it out of the freezer, it crumbles in your hand - no need for chopping!

Enjoy the veggies and happy long weekend!

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