Dear CSA members and farm friends,
Welcome to week 9 of our 12 week fall and winter CSA season. A bit of rain started falling early this morning, and it looks like we've got potential for more throughout the day! The rain is a welcome sight for our dry land, and, while it's not the most motivational weather for the Monday after Thanksgiving, I am happy to see it.
If you are like me and have been eating your weight in pie and turkey over the last four days you may be excited about getting some more fresh veggies in your life. We are calling this week's share the “detox box,” as most everything in it can be juiced or put in smoothies.
In this week's share:
- green leaf lettuce
- curly kale
- Napa cabbage
- red Butterhead lettuce
- broccoli or cauliflower
I serve as the board president of the Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network (MSAN), a non-profit group that seeks to promote local organic farming in Mississippi. MSAN is a great organization, and a couple of weeks ago we put on our semi-annual food summit in Jackson. Throughout the weekend I had the chance to speak with several researchers that have been studying the state of Mississippi's food system, and I came away with a renewed belief that local food can change the state of Mississippi. Some of the statistics about the current state of affairs:
We import over 90% of all our food, buying over 7.5 BILLION dollars of food from out of state each year.
While we grow and export lots of corn and soybeans, most of that money leaves our state to buy the inputs needed to grow the corn and soybeans.
Our healthcare costs are on track to exceed our GDP.
I believe that more of our local farms should be feeding local people. Local food offers the potential to build wealth in Mississippi, to create jobs, to improve our health, and to create an even stronger cultural identity.
Thanks to everyone that makes the effort to buy local food. While change may not come from the top, our grassroots efforts have the potential to change our place in the world for the better.
Broccoli or Cauliflower
Dill is most often used in pickling, or with fish, in egg dishes, in cheese spreads, or on vegetables. Add a few sprinkles of fresh dill to omelets and lettuce salads. The traditional way to store dill is wrapped in slightly damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. I prefer to store mine on the countertop, in a glass of water. Either way, dill will keep about a week. Toss when the leaves start to turn very dark, or show other signs of mold. If you cannot use up all the dill right away, try the ice-cube freezing method. Or check out these 8 Recipes to Use Up a Bunch of Fresh Dill.
Separate the greens from the roots, then store them separate plastic bags in the crisper.
Trim the leaves and store them in plastic bags in the fridge for a couple of days or place them in a glass of shallow water on the counter for up to a week. Store the stalks in a plastic bag in the crisper for a couple of weeks.
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.
Red Butterhead and Romaine Lettuces
Remove leaves from stem and wash in cold water. Add a little ice to the water if lettuce has wilted on the way home from the market and needs perking up. Spin or pat dry. 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.
Football shaped, with thick, crisp stems, and frilly leaves. Also called Chinese cabbage, it is milder and sweeter than Green Cabbage. Works well raw in salads, stuffed in dumplings, or my favorite—roasted. Does not keep as long as Green Cabbage, so store it in a plastic bag and try use it up within a week of harvest, before the outer leaves begin to wilt. Is your cabbage piling up? Try these 15 ways to eat it down.