Dear CSA members and farm friends,
Welcome to week 2 of our 12 week fall and winter CSA season. The fall is prime time for growing organic veggies in Mississippi. We are loving the cool mornings and clear sunny afternoons on the farm and the crops look great!
Last week we spent several afternoons working on planting our passive solar greenhouses to crops for the winter months. The tunnels are now full of young celery, lettuce, Bok Choy, fennel, kale, chard, carrot and arugula plants. This week will likely be the last week that we put vegetable transplants and seeds into the field.
Our next big project will be to get our winter cover crops planted. Winter cover crops are used to protect the soil over the winter, and they help to build soil fertility for future crops. Some of the winter cover crops that we plant are rye, vetch, oats, peas and wheat.
As most of ya’ll have likely noticed, it is really dry right now, the last rain that we had was 3-4 weeks ago, we have been running irrigation 24 hours a day to keep things growing and are anxiously awaiting a good rain.
We are having a bit of trouble with deer eating our salad greens, primarily lettuce, spinach and chard, I think the dry weather is exacerbating the problem. If you are a bow hunter looking for a convenient place to hunt, let me know and I will introduce you to some animals fed on artisanal salad greens.
In the share this week:
- mustard greens
- salad turnips
- baby arugula
- easter egg radishes or parsley
- baby bok Choy
- sweet potatoes
If you missed your share last week, let us know and we will make it up to you somehow. If you want to sign up, let us know and we will prorate your share. If you couldn't sign up but want a share this week, let us know and we will have one for you for $30. Also, we have quite a few outstanding payments, if you haven't paid, please bring payment this week or set up a plan to pay in installments.
Thanks for choosing to buy fresh, local and chemical free. Young farmers are the future of food!
What Do I Do With…?
One of the quintessential Southern greens, mustard greens taste just like … well, mustard. I once tried them raw, and though they have a delicious bite, they gave me terrible reflux. So cook ‘em, and cook ‘em good, I say. Add them to your slow-cooked soups and stews, as you would any dark leafy green, such as collards, turnip greens, kale or chard. Sauté them, or go for the “traditional” crock-pot method of slow-cooking them for hours with a bit of ham hock and a lot of broth, then serve alongside a generous helping of corn bread for sopping. Although mustard greens and collard greens are two very different vegetables, they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
Arugula’s small tender leaves pack a peppery punch that makes a great addition to salads, in sandwiches, on top of pizzas and pastas, or just devoured right out of the bag—my favorite fall snack! Store in a plastic bag in the fridge for just about two days. Since arugula doesn’t keep long, I feel no guilt about grabbing a handful every time I pass by the fridge.
Wash leaves, trim stems, and pat the leaves dry before using. Store in a closed plastic bag in the fridge for a week or more. Cook and add to soups, stews, quiches, casseroles. Bake into chips. Eat raw in salads or smoothies. Sauté, steam, cream. Is there anything this vegetable can’t do?
Both the greens and the roots are edible, but be sure to store them in separate plastic bags in the crisper. Use the greens within a week; roots keep for a couple of weeks. The greens are great added to soups and stews or on their own, as in Simple Southern Turnip Greens. The roots can be sliced and eaten raw in salads or roasted and eaten whole.
Easter Egg Radishes
Same as with salad turnips: cut off the leafy green tops and store the roots in a loose plastic bags in the fridge. The greens are technically edible, but very bitter, so most people just compost them. If you want to make use of the tops, check out these ideas . Radish roots have a crisp, peppery taste that works well sliced and served raw in salads and sandwiches. For a milder taste, roast your radishes with turnips and root veggies of a similar size.
Store in a cool dark pantry (not the fridge!), if possible, in a loosely covered paper bag to allow for circulation. Keeps about a month.
Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer for several days. Tastes great steamed with a bit of butter, lemon, and salt, or check out our roundup of great zucchini recipes submitted by our CSA members.
Wash just before use, or to to wash ahead of time: remove leaves from stem, wash and dry, then wrap in paper towels and store in a large plastic bag in the crisper. The paper towels will soak up any excess moisture, and the plastic bag will keep the air from circulating too much. Remove immediately any leaves that become slimy. Should stay fresh for 7-to-10 days if stored properly. This week’s Romaine is somewhat bitter due to high daytime temperatures, so Will recommends grilling it.
Bok Choy tends to wilt after a couple of days, so I always try to use this vegetable first. Wrap, whole, in an old dishcloth or plastic bag and store in the fridge. Bok Choy is most often added to stir fries or simply sautéed.
What Should I Eat?
Radish and Rye Sandwich (recipe to come!)
Grilled Romaine (recipe to come!)