News from the farm: April 28, 2010

What's going on at the farm?

Reminders:
-If you do not pick up your shares within the designated pick up time you will lose your share for that week.  You can have a friend or neighbor pick up for you, or, you can let me know by the Monday prior to the Wednesday pick up via email that you would like to hold your box.  You can then request a double portion at another time.
-Remember to not tear your boxes when opening them!  Slide those flaps out nice and gently, we can reuse them for years if they don’t tear.  Also, remember to return your box the following week, if you chose to take your veggies home in it.  You are also welcome to bring a bag to unload your veggies into and leave the box at the pick up site,  if you don’t want to have to remember the box next week.
-Eat!  And ask me questions via email if you have any about the produce you have received.

Produce!

Strawberries:  They have just started to ripen, most likely next week full shares will get two pints.  Remember, return you pint containers with your box at the pick up site next week!  All berries are high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, but strawberries contain the most vitamin C of any berry.  Strawberries actually contain 60% more vitamin C by weight than grapefruit and 8% percent more then oranges. They also contain Ellagic acid, which may help prevent certain types of cancer.
            Strawberries are among the most perishable of fruits and should be kept for no longer than a few days.  Keep them in the refrigerator and make sure they stay dry. If you have space in your refrigerator, store them spread out in shallow bowl or plate (do not wash them until you plan to use them). You can also freeze strawberries and save them for later- just rinse them off, chop off their caps and store them in a plastic bag. Strawberries are so delicious you can just eat them straight out of the box, but they’re also good mixed in with yogurt or granola, baked into muffins, added to pancake batter, blended into smoothies, or tossed in a fruit salad. They’re also really good tossed in salads with spinach, walnuts, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. And though it can take a fair amount of fruit, making strawberry jam or preserves is a fun process with delicious results. 

Radishes: As relatives of kale, cabbage, and broccoli, radishes were first cultivated thousands of years ago in China. Radishes were then passed along to Egypt and Greece, where they were so well loved that the Greeks made gold replicas of them. Nowadays there are many different varieties of radishes eaten worldwide. A good source of vitamin C, radishes can be served many different ways- raw, steamed, pickled, cooked into soups. Their green tops are also edible- they have a bite similar to mustard greens and arugula.
            You may find several different radish varieties in your box this season. The long, cylindrical radishes are called D’avignon and are a traditional French breakfast variety (which you have received this week).  You may  also find a traditional red globe variety called Rover which has a mild taste. Amethyst radishes are the bright purple globe shaped radishes- their white flesh is crisp and mild. And last but not least, Pink Beauty radishes are pastel pink in color with a nice, tender texture and taste. To store your radishes it’s best to remove the greens unless you plan to eat them right away (the greens will suck moisture from the root and shorten the roots shelf life. You can save the greens to cook or add to soups or salads later if you would like. Keep your radishes in a plastic bag in your refrigerator hydrator drawer- they should keep for a week or two.
            Radishes can be served raw or cooked. To cook them you can boil whole or sliced radishes in an inch or two of water until just barely tender,, or try sautéing with olive oil in a stir fry.  If you find the taste of raw radishes too sharp, try steaming them for a milder taste. You can steam them whole until they’re just tender and then slice them up and use them as you would raw radish.  Raw radishes are great in salads and you can also use them as you would cucumbers in yogurt sauces or with a vinegar dressing. Radishes also taste great when sliced up with oranges and splashed with lemon juice and salt. Radishes can also be substituted for turnips in many recipes and can be used in soups and stews- just chop them up and add them in the last few minutes of cooking. 

Turnips: Turnips have a long history- they were enjoyed by the Romans and throughout the Middle Ages and first brought to America by French colonists. You can eat both the turnip root and greens- the root is a good source of vitamin C and complex carbohydrates, while the greens, which taste like mustard greens, are a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and iron. While some turnips can weigh in at 50 pounds, the variety you’ll see in your box this season is a much smaller turnip called Hakurei- a white turnip with a sweet, mild taste and a crisp texture.
            Unless you plan to cook them right away, cut off your turnip greens and store them separately from the turnip roots- that way they’ll both keep longer. Store both the greens and roots in plastic bags in your refrigerator crisper. The greens should keep for a few days, while the roots can be stored for a week or two. Cook turnip greens as you would other greens- they should only need to be cooked for a few minutes. Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked- if you find their flavor too strong, boiling or braising them will give them a milder flavor. Raw turnips are great sliced up in salads or used as a garnish for soup or greens. You can roast turnips in a hot oven along with other root vegetables- just chop them up and toss them with a little salt and olive oil and roast them for 30 minutes or so. Add chopped up turnips to soups or stews. You can also steam or boil turnips- cut them into thick slices and boil them in an inch of boiling water until just tender. Once cooked, you can mash turnips with other root  veggies and serve them like mashed potatoes. Or serve slices of steamed turnips topped with some dark sesame oil or a vinaigrette. 

Next Week:
Strawberries!
Green Garlic
Kale
Radishes
……And more I am just not sure yet what it is going to be J

Recipes:

Summer Spring Rolls (Radishes)

1 package of rice paper (you can buy it at your local coop or grocery store. It looks like hard translucent sheets)
1 cup of rice noodles
3 carrots, sliced into thin strips about 2 inches long
3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into thin strips about 2 inches long
3 green onions, sliced into thin strips
¼ head of cabbage, sliced or chopped
5 radishes (or turnips), sliced into thin strips
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped OR 1 bunch of mint, chopped
Optional additional fillings: shrimp, tofu, chicken, beef, etc.
Peanut sauce

What's in the box?

Full Box
Crop Amount  
 

Strawberries (1 pint)
Spinach (1 lb. bag)
Lettuce (2 heads - 1 red leaf, 1 romaine)
French Breakfast Radishes (1 larger bunch)
Turnips (1 larger bunch)
Baby Boc Choi (1 bunch)

Half Box
Crop Amount Price
 

Strawberries (1 pint)
Spinach (½ lb. bag)
Lettuce (1 head)
French Breakfast Radishes (1 bunch)
Turnips (1 bunch)