CSA Newsletter: Week 3

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Broccoli (All Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days. 

Snow Peas (Only Small Shares who did not receive Broccoli) // Peas are very perishable. Keep them in the fridge and eat within 2-3 days for best flavor. Snap peas are best eaten fresh, but snow peas can be used in cooking (and taste delicious) after a few days.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.

Romaine Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Rainbow Chard (Small Shares Only) // Do not wash chard before storage. Wrap in a plastic bag and try to remove most of the air from the bag. Store in the fridge and try to use within a few days.

Collards (Large Shares Only) // Refrigerate in a plastic bag until ready to use. Do not wash before storing.

Zucchini (Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // These are the first zucchinis of the year which means they are imperfect. Imperfect produce always needs to be used quickly so store these beauties in your fridge and use within a couple days. They will get soft after that.

Cucumbers (Only Small Shares who did not receive Zucchini // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Turnips (with greens!) // Store for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, ideally gently wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use the greens as quickly as possible.

Scallions // Store in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator and try to use within a week. If you use after a week, you can peel off the dry and/or “slimy” outer layer of the scallion.

Garlic Scapes // Garlic scapes will last up to three weeks loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge. They also freeze extremely well; just chop and freeze!

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Hello dear members,

I really hope you’ve enjoyed these newsletters so far this season. I’ve really loved taking some quiet time on Tuesday morning before I head out to the fields to harvest our CSA veggies to tell you about our history as a farm and how the season is going to date. I really hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us while enjoying your first couple of boxes of food! We’re so proud of the CSA so far. Despite a weird, cool spring, we think these boxes have been absolutely perfect and we can’t believe we’re harvesting the first zucchini and summer squash already!

Today, I want to spend a little time introducing you to our little farm crew because as I said in the first newsletter, its not just Kyle and I out here each week harvesting your veggies, packing your veggies and growing your veggies. We feel absolutely blessed to have a crew by our side who is dedicated, hardworking, goofy and just as obsessed with growing vegetables as we are.

This is our fourth year managing employees and honestly, it hasn’t always been easy. We have loved and appreciated every one of our crew members past and present, but early on, we were hiring friends and inexperienced hands to help because we were still young in our business and a) didn’t know how to find or retain great farm labor and b) couldn’t pay enough to make the gig very attractive. The folks we found did a wonderful job, but we were quite limited as their managers. Even though we knew we needed help, we didn’t always know how to manage or create systems that others could easily plug into.  

This year, things have begun to shift completely. We have three paid crew members helping us in the field and we are tremendously grateful for all of them. All three have worked for other CSA farms, and training folks who already understand the ins and outs of harvesting, washing, and packing (among so many other things) has helped us become better managers and focus on higher level systems and planning.

We feel so lucky to have these three kickass folks beside us, and perhaps one of the most wonderful parts of our team culture this year is that all three of them feel just as lucky to be working alongside us. The mutual respect and love apparent between all of us fills our hearts with so much joy. It’s the only way we ever wanted to run a business. If we were going to have employees, we wanted to treat them right and be a true team and we truly, deeply feel we have that.

Rebecca is our first ever returning employee and we hope we can figure out how to keep her here for a while. She and Kyle met working together at Kopke’s greenhouses in Oregon. When she expressed interest in working for us, Kyle and I both got so excited. We had already known Rebecca for several years and knew she was amazing at pretty much anything and everything she does. She works hard and gives her full heart to anyone she works for. You can usually find Rebecca alongside Kyle in the field, the only one who can truly keep up with him harvesting pretty much every single crop. These two have such a beautiful team dynamic and I love to watch them work together. Rebecca is also an incredible mother of four and so much fun on and off the farm. Whenever you see activities at our farm parties that your kids are loving, Rebecca probably came up with the idea.

And what does she say about working for us? Rebecca told us recently, “I am truly thankful to be a part of the amazing team at Raleigh’s! Rain or shine, breezy, buggy or hot as hell, I couldn’t think of a better place to spend my summer. We laugh, sing or harvest peacefully in the rain. Kyle and Lauren are passionate farmers that I am happy to call my friends. I have watched their farm grow over the past few years into greatness. Happy to be here!”

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Zoe is new to our farm this year. I first met her at the In Her Boots workshop hosted at our farm last summer through Soil Sisters and MOSES. When I led a tour of our farm, Zoe was always in front, scribbling down notes and asking incredibly thoughtful questions. I knew immediately this woman had more passion for farming than anyone I had ever met and the knowledge to back it up. When we got to talking after the tour, I asked if she was currently farming and where, and I learned that she would possibly be looking for work this year. I grabbed her contact information and kept in touch all winter. From our couple hours together, I knew I loved her. Originally from Illinois, but living in Colorado, Zoe moved back home to take the job with us and we were truly thrilled. She began working four days a week at our farm in April and has been a god send. We’ve never flown through a spring planting season with such ease. She is quick, meticulous, and always willing to learn. She has experience on lots of different size operations as well as farming on her own, and the knowledge she brings is truly tremendous. She does, however, hate being in front of the camera so don’t expect a ton of photos of her this year.

In a letter to us early on Zoe wrote, “Although I learned more [at the Soil Sisters In Her Boots workshop] than I can convey in this space, your utilization of regenerative practices, your commitment to both tradition and experimentation, and your emphasis on maintaining a work-life balance suggested to me that this environment would be incredibly suited to my values as a young farmer.”

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Emily is also new to our team this year. They have two years of experience working with our dear friend Kristen at Blue Moon Community Farm and are currently sharing their time between our farm two days a week and Snug Haven in Belleville. They bring such a beautiful energy to our farm. I’ve never met a crew member more zen—happy with any task put in front of them and never frustrated even if the weather or the system is a little less than ideal. When a day or a task feels daunting, they always remind us to just put one foot in front of the other because we’ll finish, and what’s the point of stressing when we could be enjoying? I love the lightness, comic relief, and kindness Emily brings to our fields.

And they love working for us too. I’ll never forget Emily’s interview this past spring, they asked such thoughtful deep questions about our operation. It was clear they weren’t just looking for any farm job, they wanted the opportunity to work for us. When I asked them what they love about working for us, Emily said, “I am proud to work at a farm committed to looking beyond organic standards to care for the soil and minimize external inputs. I love working with people so passionate about sharing the veggie love.”

I really hope you enjoyed meeting the folks who are growing your food alongside us this summer. Until next week!

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: Salad Turnips ↑

Just like with regular turnips you receive in the fall, salad turnips are a member of the Brassica family. These spring beauties are one of our absolute favorite spring/early summer vegetables even though we’ve never had success growing them ourselves before. These turnips have very tender skins and do not need to be peeled. They are also a bit sweeter than the turnips you get in the fall. You can literally crunch on them just like an apple, slice them thin for salads, cut them into matchsticks for a simple slaw or braise them until tender. The greens are also delicate and delicious. I love to eat them raw in salads, saute them down or add them to eggs in the morning.

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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VEGGIE ID: Garlic Scapes

An edible shoot that hard-neck garlic puts out in the spring. It is the plant trying to flower and reproduce and we have to cut this shoot off before it flowers so that the garlic puts energy into its bulb. Luckily, this shoot is edible and delicate and everything good about garlic in one little crunchy green ribbon. Munch on them raw, mince and put on your asparagus pizza (below), or use in salad dressing. The sky is the limit. If you love garlic, you will love these beauties. 

IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 9-10 of these items in your box next week

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Broccoli

Kohlrabi

Turnips

Beets

Scallions

Chard

Collards

Kale

Snap Peas

Snow Peas

Zucchini

Cucumber

Parsley

Chives

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Asian Style Stuffed Cabbage

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin

½ - ¾ cup kohlrabi; sliced or diced fairly small, optional

2 teaspoons minced garlic scapes

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1 pound ground pork

1 cup cooked rice

1-2 large turnips, shredded

3 scallions, sliced

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 head cabbage

Teriyaki sauce

¼ cup Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

  2. In a large saute pan, warm oils over medium heat. Saute’ mushrooms and kohlrabi (if using) for a couple minutes until mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add ginger and garlic scapes, saute 1 minute more; set aside.

  3. In bowl, gently combine raw pork, rice, turnips, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir in mushroom mixture; set aside.

  4. Start a large kettle of water boiling. Using a paring knife, cut out core of cabbage  in a cone shape, leaving head intact. Drop cabbage into boiling water. Using a tongs, gently peel off outside leaves as they become pliable but still leaving the head in the kettle. Set leaves on a tray.

  5. Using an ice cream scoop, put a level scoop of filling on the stem end of a cabbage leaf. Fold edges in and roll towards end of leaf. Place rolls in a greased 9 X 13 pan with a small amount of the teriyaki sauce in the bottom.  Repeat until all filling is used. Mix hoisin with water in a small bowl, and pour over each roll. Bake 30 – 40 minutes.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

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Broccoli & Kohlrabi Salad // Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Scallions // I've always been a huge fan of broccoli salad (especially when the broccoli is cut into very small, tender pieces as it is here). I love the combination of sweet dried fruits, crunchy roasted nuts, sharp raw scallions, and a creamy, tangy dressing all over a pile of fresh broccoli. This recipe is even better because of the small cubes of delicate kohlrabi. I eat bowl after bowl of this stuff for as long as the broccoli is in season and you really should too!

Vegetarian, Vegan

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Turnip & Bacon Fritters // Uses Turnips (and their greens!) // These beautiful fritters us both the turnips AND their greens! Add those delicate spring flavors with bacon and you’re in for a real treat!

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Market Mac & Cheese // Uses Chard, Scallions, Garlic Scapes // We whipped up this dish on Saturday night and it was so good, I just had to share it. It’ll be added to my blog soon, but for now, follow these instructions.

Bring a large pot of salted boiling water (enough for 12 ounces of noodles) on the stove. On another burner, melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until it just begins to get foamy. Add sliced chard stems (roughly chop the greens for later!) along with sliced scallions and garlic scapes to the butter. Saute for 5 minutes until softened and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add in a 1/4 cup flour, stir and cook for just a couple minutes again until flour just begins to smell nutty. Slowly stir in 1 cup whole milk until its well incorporated into the flour-butter paste (aka roux). Stir until there are no clumps and the consistency is smooth then add in 2 more cups of whole milk all at once. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens a bit.

Meanwhile, boil 12 ounces noodles according to package directions. And cook 1 pound of sliced smoked sausage (on the stove or on the grill) until charred.

Add your chard greens into the milk mixture once thickened and let them cook down for a minute or two. Then add in your noodles and sausage. Finish it all off with a bunch of freshly ground black pepper and 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (we used a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, havarti, and spicy gouda). Top with kimchi and/or microgreens or pea shoots.

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

BLK Sandwich // Uses Lettuce, Kohlrabi, sub Garlic Scapes for Garlic, skip the Basil // Substituting kohlrabi for tomatoes seems a bit strange, I know, but trust me that this sandwich made entirely of vegetables, bread and bacon is simple spring perfection. Andrea Bemis of Dishing up the Dirt, the woman who created this recipe, also happens to be a master of great vegan substitutions like cashew mayo. But for this recipe, which has bacon (and is therefore absolutely not vegan) I sub mayo for the cashews for a quicker sandwich spread.

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Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Pork Meatballs & Crunchy Garlic Chile Oil // Uses Kohlrabi (turnips would also be fine!), Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Scallions //  There is just something I love about a cold noodle salad with warm pork meatballs. This dish is so yummy. My favorite part might just be the garlic scape chile oil— so whatever you do, don’t leave that out!

Gluten-Free (depending on the noodle)

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Cabbage & Snow Pea Rice Bowl with Warm Coconut Peanut Sauce // Uses Cabbage, Scallion, Snow Peas if you’ve got them, feel free to Sub in Turnips for the radish that’s called for // A bowl of warm rice topped with abundant veggies and a creamy, rich peanut sauce? Is there a better way to get through your CSA box? I think not.

Vegetarian, Vegan (with a substitute for fish sauce used), Gluten Free

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Summer Vegetarian Cobbler // uses Scallions, Zucchini (leave it out if you didn’t get any this week), Collards or Chard, Garlic Scapes // Top this summer mix of veggies with fresh homemade biscuits or premade biscuits from the fridge section of your grocery store. Either way, you’re going to love them!

Vegetarian

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

photo by: Dishing Up The Dirt

Collard Green & Turnip Slaw with Spicy Seed Brittle // Uses Collards, Turnips // This brittle is heavenly and would be delicious sprinkled on just about anything but I LOVE that it’s sprinkled over two of my favorite, underappreciated vegetable. Collards are an EXCELLENT salad green and I love them so much. Turnips made into slaw is also one of my favorite preparations of an oft overlooked root vegetable. Give this recipe a whirl. You won’t be disappointed!

Vegetarian, Vegan (without Honey), Gluten-Free

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Alison Roman Inspired Wedge // uses Lettuce, Turnips, Scallions // I love doing plays on classic Wedge Salads this time of year when Romaine is at it's absolute loveliest. Inspired by the incredible Dining In Cookbook by Alison Roman of the New York Times, this is my current favorite wedge. Recipe below.

First I slice my Turnips and a couple Scallions real thin (use a mandoline for the turnips if you've got one!) and combine them in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to quickly pickle them while I prep the rest of the meal. I cook up 10, yes 10, slices of thick-cut bacon (preferably the peppered stuff) either in a skillet if I'm real hungry or in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes if I'm feeling a little more patient, and then pat the browned and crispy slices with paper towels to get the grease off.

In another bowl, I quickly whisk together 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and another 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon until smooth and then spread it evenly onto two (if doing entree salads) or four (if doing side salads) plates. I cut my washed and dried lettuce into quarters, putting one (if serving four) or two (if serving two) onto each plate. I sprinkle the whole thing with turnips and scallions being sure to get some of the vinegar right on the lettuce and I follow that up with a bunch of that bacon. I drizzle it all with a little olive oil and devour immediately using a steak knife and fork. Voila. The perfect spring Wedge.

Gluten-Free, skip the Bacon for a Vegetarian salad

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Photo by: Bon Appetit

Classic Coleslaw // Uses Cabbage, feel free to throw in some Turnips // Everyone needs a simple go to coleslaw recipe and for going on five years, this has been mine, though I do of course make some of my own adjustments. I tend to use whatever cabbage I have on hand (just green or just red— rarely some of each) as well as half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt. I also often skip the carrots if I don’t have any on hand but in this case, you should totally give kohlrabi a try!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free