Flushing CSA: Week 1

Hello Flushing CSA Member,

It's that time of year! *First pick-up is tomorrow - Thursday, June 6th.* We are looking forward to a great 2019 season! We have new faces this year along with our returning members. 

NOTE:Pick-up locationFriends Meetinghouse137-16 Northern Blvd. across from Flushing Town HallPick-up time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
As mentioned in last week's email, Flushing Town Hall has their annual gala and cannot host us tomorrow evening. Starting June 13th, pick-ups will be at Flushing Town Hall.   
As with previous years, we will try to send the newsletter by Wednesday afternoon or early evening once we receive Golden Earthworm Farm's information - this week's box contents,
recipes, news about upcoming events like strawberry picking, films, canning workshops, and other ways the CSA and our network work for you.
Reminder - bring a bag for your veggies. We will have Flushing CSA tote bags for sale if you forget or just would like to buy one to support us.

So here is the run-down on what's the same and what is new:
1) Pick up time - 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Due to the smaller number of members this season the pick up time is one hour shorter. There are just not enough volunteers to start an hour earlier.  
2) Volunteer commitment  - volunteer shifts are now a total of 6 hours in three shifts. Volunteer days/times are wide open - so you can choose now by emailing us even if you have not signed up via Signup. The invite will be sent this weekend. Let us know by the next week or two if you have not received it. Please - it is important that you honor your volunteer commitment; it is part of the cost of CSA membership. As you know, we are an all-volunteer run organization and we need your help to run the season smoothly so you can enjoy your delicious organic produce and add-on items. If the hours are truly a burden, reach out to the Core Team - maybe you have another skill that could fulfill your commitment. We can use all the help you can offer (If you have a teen who needs community service hours, we are a great opportunity) or how about joining the Core Team!
3) Goodale Farms - Ala carte ordering. In addition to signing up for a dairy, egg or meat share, you may now sign up for ala carte ordering. Orders must be in by 12 noon on Monday for Thursday delivery. Just go to their website and use "Flushing CSA" as your shipping location. 4)  Lewis Waite Farm - They have a new and improved website for ordering. Returning members who are already signed up with them need to re-set their passwords.New members must register and choose "Flushing CSA" as their location.Place your order now for June 13 delivery.And now......What's In The Share (note items are subject to substitution) - also check the Golden Earthworm Farm website

A quick note on the “light” box “heavy” in greens!  This is what eating with the seasons looks like!  Salad greens and quick growing roots are what’s in season now!  In just a few weeks, the boxes will be brimming with heavier items and hot weather crops like cucumbers, zucchini, onions and summer delights. Tomatoes come in August, as does sweet corn!  There is always something to savor today and something to look forward to tomorrow!  Now you’re eating like a farmer!  


Mustard Greens Salad Mix
Mustard greens are one of the world’s healthiest foods.  We started growing them a few years ago, but now we’ve perfected their harvest size and variety blend.  Farmer Matt hand-selected eleven different varieties for this custom mix, balancing flavors, leaf textures and colors. I think he nailed it! You can’t buy this in stores.  It’s a CSA exclusive!  Wash and spin dry and dress lightly in olive oil, a splash of vinegar and salt & pepper.  It doesn’t need much.  Let the flavors shine…
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in salad. When to use: Within 5 days.  

Green Boston (Butter) Lettuce
This tender leaf lettuce is also known as Butter or Bib lettuce and it grows well in the early part of the season in the cooler temperatures. The most important thing to know about Boston lettuce is that the leaves are so soft and tender that you must use a light dressing.  No heavy dressings here!  Try my vinaigrette recipe below, or just drizzle with good quality olive oil, vinegar and salt & pepper.  I love to make a special salad with orange sections, red onion and toasted almonds (in my vinaigrette) with this lettuce. 
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in a salad. When to use: Within a week.

Red Boston (Butter) Lettuce
A red leafed variety.  It’s salad season!
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in a salad. When to use: Within a week.

Bunched Red Kale
Don’t say you don’t like kale!  We grow only the best varieties that you can’t find in stores, and this red stemmed variety happens to be the best of the best!  Kale Tip #1 is REMOVE THE STEM!  No one likes the stem, so cut it out.  You can use it in soups, but it’s really too tough to use if you’re going to eat a raw salad or steam the greens.  (I give my stems to the sheep, but if you don’t have any sheep, I understand.)  Watch me remove the stems in this quick video.  Kale Tip #2 is Kale is Versatile!  This variety is perfect for raw kale salads, which last time I checked, is still all the rage.  Its crazy healthy and crazy delicious, so I’m putting my favorite kale salad recipe below.  Kale is also delicious steamed.  Just make sure you steam it until just tender.  If it’s not cooked enough it will be hard to chew and if it’s overcooked it loses its nutrients and best flavor.  So keep an eye on it!  After steaming, I usually transfer it to bowl and dress with olive oil, freshly chopped garlic and umeboshi vinegar. (What?  Never heard of it?  You’re welcome.)  Kale is also delicious thrown into smoothies with fruit or juiced.  I’ll talk more about juicing and smoothies in an upcoming newsletter.  Kale chips, anyone?  Kale in minestrone soup?  I could go on….
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw, Baked (Chips) Cooked (Best in Soups), Steamed, Smoothies or Juiced. When to use: Within a week

French Breakfast Radishes
These are just beautiful, aren’t they?  We can all pretend to be French and eat them with butter and salt.  Sounds strange, but it’s a thing and it’s pretty tasty too.  You can even cook the green tops, so don’t toss them out! 
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator.  Separate the roots from the greens first- then they can be stored in the same bag.  Uses: Raw or cooked. When to use: Within 5 days.

Bok Choi
A wonderful Asian leaf vegetable that is perfect braised, sauteed or gently steamed.  The whole thing is edible – leaf and stem. In fact, the stem has a great texture when cooked.
Storage: In an airtight container/bag in the refrigerator.  Uses: Raw or cooked. When to use: Within 5 days.


FARMHOUSE FAVORITE RECIPES

Maggie’s Favorite Raw Kale Salad
I eat this on a (very) regular basis.

Lemony Soup with Kale, White Beans & Pasta
from The Flourishing Foodie

Mustard Greens Salad with Pears and Parmesan

Perfect Green Salad & Vinaigrette
This will become your go-to dressing!

Ginger & Garlic Bok Choi Stir-fry

Notes from your Farmers Maggie, Farmer Matt, Kelly & the Crew at Golden Earthworm Farm 
Hello from the farm and welcome to our 2019 CSA season!  Nature offers up just what our bodies need to eat this time of year….greens!  If you are new to our CSA, you are in for quite a treat, as many of the items in this week’s box are not commercially grown, so there’s a good chance you’ve never tasted anything like it before!  Mustard salad mix?  Maybe some radishes dipped in sea salt and butter like the French do?  This week is full of so many adventures for your taste buds, let’s jump right in!  
New to this?  After reading through this intro part of the newsletter, scroll down to the “This week in the shares” section and CLICK each item in the list to visit a page on our website with crop photos and information, storage tips and recipes.  Then scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for my suggested recipes.  I promise, they’re good!  

Eat like a farmer!  Over the next few weeks we will all begin to get into the groove of CSA – the changing seasons, the harvests, the rhythm of the week, the surprises in your shares and the delicious new flavors you’ll enjoy!  If this is your first year being part of a CSA farm share, there may be a bit of a learning curve as you learn to cook with a whole box of vegetables that were chosen for you, not chosen by you!  Many of our long-time members have come to embrace (and love!) the fact that the farmers and the seasons dictate the weekly shares.  You don’t have to choose, for a change, you can just sit back and be delighted by the bountiful weekly harvests coming your way…

Here are a few simple tips that will help you get the most out of your shares…

#1 – Produce needs to be stored properly!  I will always tell you how to best store your shares in our weekly crop list.  (See below.) Greens need to be in a sealed container or bag so they don’t dehydrate.  I like to use these Produce Storage Bags, but plain old zip-locks work just as well.  I re-use these plastic bags over and over, but if you are intent on avoiding all plastic, we have also had good results using glass bowls with a fully-sealed lid. Our produce is harvested the day before your delivery, so it should last if it is properly stored. 

#2 – Get yourself a salad spinner!  If you don’t already have one, this will be the most useful tool in your kitchen. Remove the inner colander and use the bowl of the spinner to wash your greens.  Remove any visible soil and put all of your greens in the bowl and fill it to the top with water.  Agitate.  Then transfer the greens to the colander insert, dump out the water and spin dry.  If you see a lot of dirt in the water, you may want to repeat the water soaking/agitation process again before spinning.  I’m sure you’ll find lots of other uses for your salad spinner! 

#3 – Cook with an open mind!  Find your favorite tricks & short-cuts!  There may be items in the share that you think you don’t like. I urge you to try some of the recipes in our newsletter and if you still don’t like it, e-mail me!  I bet I can come up with some recipes that you and your family will enjoy. 🙂  When in doubt, do what we do….  roast it, grill it, throw it in soup, or add it to your juice or smoothie!  We’ll be here every week to inspire you with new recipes and ways to enjoy the flavors of the season!

Enjoy your box! 

Flushing CSA(646) 801-4021
Facebook.com/flushingcsa
FlushingCSA@gmail.com

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