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Waverly Farms CSA Box 6/25/15

Posted 6/25/2015 12:43pm by Patti Rosenberg.

Waverly Farms, LC
Fresh, Local, Sustainable


Dear CSA Members, 

This week's box is for Weekly CSA Members and Monthly Protein Share Members.  After this week, the next box will be July 9th-11th, since we don't deliver during the week of July 4th. 

Lucky for you, this will be a short newsletter. Like most if not all of you, I was running around... I cannot say it because I can't bear the thought of such a horrific fate for my chickens.  Suffice it to say that our dear Marissa has been on vacation all week and we've become quite dependent upon her! 

This week has brought us quite a bounty of produce at Waverly Farms! With all the hot weather and decent rainfall we've been getting, many of our summer crops are really starting to come into their own. This week's harvest reflects that with a broad range of vegetables, some of which will probably not be seen again until the weather cools down a bit in the fall.  
 
Since we will not be delivering next week because of the holiday, it might be a good idea to prepare and store some of the produce so it will last longer.  A new CSA member reminded us that we had not included much about storage, so we've included the proper storage methods for each vegetable below. A few general tips on storage:
 
1. Yikes! I can't deal with this right now!  If you get in a bind and just can't deal with all of these veggies, leave them in the large plastic bag that contains them all and place them on a shelf in your refrigerator loosely packed with the open end tucked under the weight of the body. This will get you through a few days.
 
2. My Veggies have wilted. Summer heat causes some greens to dehydrate that's why grocery stores have misters on their veggies all day. If your greens dehydrate and become limp, place them in tap water for 10 minutes and they will usually perk up, then store them as recommended below. If they've been left too hot too long, they may not bounce back, but this works 90% of the time.
 
3. Should I prep them now or during the week? Taking time to prep saves you loads of time during the week and guarantees that you'll eat more veggies. 
 
CSA Harvest Shares - Weekly Members

Summer is in full swing with...

  • Snap Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Beets
  • Head Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Scallions
  • Green Peppers

Snap Beans-  These tasty treats are great raw (we've been snacking on 'em in the field as we pick 'em!), steamed, or sauteed.  Try them sauteed over pasta with a cream sauce!  My favorite recipe, if you have any good bacon, is Skillet Green Beans. Here, also, are 31 Green Bean Recipes for you to click through, including Green Bean and Grape Pasta.

Storing Snap Beans: Keep them in the plastic bag unwashed in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or, to freeze them, wash them thoroughly and remove the tips. Prepare a bowl with ice and water to stop the beans from cooking too much, then put the beans in a pot of rapidly boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they are bright green. Remove them from the boiling water and transfer them immediately to the ice bath. Remove excess moisture and put them into an airtight container or freezer bags. Beans will last in the freezer for up to 1 year. 

Cabbage and Carrots:  Combined with our carrots, cabbage makes a terrific July 4th slaw, such as this recipe for Cabbage, Carrot and Cranberry Salad. Try this Carrot and Cabbage Detox Salad. You can substitute the dressing if you don't have tahini, and throw in your cucumber, too!

Storing Cabbage: Cabbage needs to be cold and can store in the refrigerator for quite some time - up to and exceeding a month, especially if you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, which retains the Vitamin C levels. Concerns about plastic residue on food stored in the refrigerator inspire some to use alternatives, such as air-tight Tupperware-type or Pyrex-type containers closely matched in size to the cabbage.  

Storing Carrots: Carrots go limp when they lose moisture and those pretty green leaves pull moisture out of the root. Remove the leaves, wrap carrots tightly in plastic or Ziplock-type or reusable vegetable storage bags, and put them deep into the coldest part of your refrigerator. If using Ziplock or reusable storage bag, place a small wet paper towel in the container to act as a humidor, but make sure the carrots don't get too wet.  

Cucumbers:  You got a taste last week, but now they're really coming in! Try Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill (chilled). You can make Better Than Store Bought Pickles in under an hour, or try this very healthy Cucumber with Black Beans and Feta Salad or any of the other Healthy Cucumber Recipes from Eating Well magazine. 

Storing Cucumbers: Oops! We've been doing it wrong all these years. According to a study at University of California at Davis, cucumbers do poorly at temperatures below 50 degrees. They are vulnerable to "chilling injuries", including water soaked areas, pitting, and accelerated decay. Store cucumbers on your counter, but not near bananas, tomatoes or melons because they are also highly sensitive to ethylene. No wonder people pickle them!

Summer Squash -  Yellow and Zucchini squash are great sauteed with onions and garlic. After the onions and squash brown a bit in the pan (with 2 tblsp olive oil), I add greens and 1/4 cup water, then cook until the greens are tender. This is yummy. But, I'll confess that Spiced Zucchini Bread Muffins are way better and the perfect addition to your summer picnic.
 
Storing Summer Squash: Many of us leave our squash at room temperature, but this is wrong because it loses up to 30% of its flavor and vitamins as it respires (breathes). Best to put it in a plastic bag, wrap the bag tightly around the squash to remove as much air as possible, and store it in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Doing this preserves flavor and vitamins.
 
Beets - This is the last week we'll have them until fall time, so you'll need to develop a good relationship with beets this week!  Many are on the small side, but are just as tasty as the large ones! I love Eating Well magazine, and here are their Best Beet Recipes
 
Storing Beets: Separate the greens from the roots so roots will stay dry. Store roots in a plastic bag, wrapped tightly to remove as much air as possible, in your refrigerator. Beet roots will last 2-3 weeks. Beet greens need to be washed, trimmed to remove the tough part of the stems, and placed in a plastic bag with a paper towel and cooked (sauté) within 3 days. 
 
Head Lettuce:  Lettuce does not like heat, so this might be the last time we have lettuce until cooler weather. Enjoy it! When we first started CSA boxes, I would say, "Lettuce again?", by the third year, I learned that it is to be eaten in Spring because it does not grow in summer. Here is a picture of Grilled Lettuce from a fancy restaurant. It looks delicious!! I could easily see beets instead of figs with the feta and orange. A bleu cheese dressing might be too heavy, so try a lighter Buttermilk–Goat Cheese dressing: Pulse 1/2 cup buttermilk, 3 ounces softened goat cheese, 2 tablespoonswhite wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon each olive oil and horseradish in a blender until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon each chopped dill and chives. 
 
Storing Lettuce: Dan the Produce Man offers a YouTube suggestion for Storing Lettuce for 3 Weeks. The key is to tear, not cut it, wash and dry it, store it in a plastic bag and then he uses a straw to suck out excess air. 
 
Swiss Chard -  This beautiful rainbow mix will be the "go-to" green for a while since it grows so well in warm weather when other greens can't survive.  Great sauteed in some olive oil with some garlic or onion.  This colorful green will wilt if left out too long, so re-hydrate if it's looking a little droopy.  Eat as soon as you can to prevent it from going bad, and see this article from Whole Foods about the significant benefits of Swiss Chard. 
 
Storing Swiss Chard: Wash, remove the tough colored stems, spin or pat dry and store in a plastic bag for up to 5 days, removing as much air from the bag as possible. 
 
Scallions - These lovely members of the onion family are fabulous on the grill. Simply cut them lengthwise in half, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and grill until they are soft and tender.  Or, just use them in your sautéed vegetables and salads.  This is the last of them until fall-time. They'll last for a week or so in the fridge, especially if kept in a bag
 
Storing Scallions: Three options: 1) place them in a jar and cover with 2" of water, place on your window sill and they will not only stay fresh, but continue to grow. Replace water every 2-3 days. 2) same as #1, but place a plastic bag over the top and keep them in your refrigerator. 3) wrap them in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag wrapped tightly around the onions. Remoisten the towel if it dries out. Replace the towel if it becomes too wet. 
 
Green Peppers - A mix of varieties, some bell-shaped, some more conical. This is the first harvest of green peppers, so they are green (immature). We've picked them green to encourage more growth on the plants. All peppers change color as they ripen. Once the plants are a little bigger, we'll allow the fruits to mature to their red, yellow, orange, or purple colors. For meat lovers, try Southwestern Steak and Peppers. Everyone may enjoy Vegetarian Mexican-inspired Stuffed Peppers

Storing Peppers: The ideal temperature for peppers is 45 degrees, but they will last in your refrigerator for about a week in a plastic bag. For longer shelf life, you can freeze peppers and there is no need to blanch them first, unlike other vegetables. Simply cut, slice, dice or whatever, and put them into moisture- and vapor-proof containers and then into the freezer. To keep them from sticking together, lay them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer to freeze, then, once frozen, bag them and return them to the freezer. 

Protein Shares - Weekly and Monthly Protein Members

Protein Share members will enjoy Goats-R-Us Cheese, Top Sirloin Steak, and Hamburger.  Top sirloin is a fine cut so be sure to thaw it in your refrigerator for 5 days before cooking it. This helps tenderize these lean cuts. Some of us leave it on the counter the last day for further tenderization. It will hold up will to marinades and cook 25% faster than store bought beef (a phenomenon that I still cannot explain). Included in these 10 Easy Sirloin Steak Recipes are steak kabobs, which look absolutely delicious and use pepper and onions. 

There you have it. Recipes and storage. We hope this helps you enjoy the amazing food grown by our family of young farmers.

Happy Independence Day!

Your friends at Waverly Farms, LC

Stuart and Patti Rosenberg, owners
Richard Hendley, gardener
Waverly Farms, LC
www.waverlyfarmsvirginia.com
214-914-0323 (Patti's cell)