arugula

arugula, bok choy, daikon radish, French breakfast radish, kale, marconi peppers, radish greens, tat soi

Fall 2011 CSA Week 1


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We know that a lot of folks have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between, say tat soi and bok choy, so we like to take pictures of our CSA share items and label them, so our members have a reference once they bring their shares home. I took these pictures at market on Saturday, since I won’t be home on Tuesday when Ben will harvest and then deliver your shares. We usually like to put all the CSA items together for one picture, but since we did this at market, it wasn’t really conducive to our situation. Anyway, the single picture items should be somewhat helpful for identifying your CSA share items. So, as I stated in the email, you will receive the following items in your shares:

SCALLIONS                           ARUGULA

BOK CHOY                           PEPPERS
DAIKON RADISH                RADISHES/
NAPA CABBAGE                  HAKUREI
LETTUCE                              TURNIPS

KALE

Note: scallions, lettuce, and hakurei turnips not pictured

bok choy great for stir-fry

tat soi also great for stir fry, but also salad


daikon radish
you can cook the greens and stir fry the root or eat it sliced, raw with salt
it’s also good in kimchi


red Russian kale (aka ragged Jack)
this is good every which way
you can also save and eat the stems (they require a longer cooking time than the leaves)


arugula
great raw and cooked


French breakfast radishes
you can eat the greens cooked
the roots are great as a snack, in salad, or in a stir fry


sweet gypsy peppers
raw and cooked – either way, they’re tasty!


marconis
these are my favorite sweet peppers, by far



Well, that’s all folks! We’ll try to post more share pictures as the season progresses. Definitely feel free to email us if you have any questions about your share items or what to do with them. We’ve got TONS of ideas :). Thanks for stopping by!

– Patricia

arugula, beet greens, bok choy, greens, kale, mustard greens, radish greens, spinach, tat soi, turnip greens

Happy Autumn!


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Hi folks! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted on this ol’ blog – again – but what can I say? We’re busy farmin it up out here and that leaves little time for blog posts. As the weather turns colder, you can expect more posts. Until then, I’m posting one of our write ups from the first Fall CSA newsletter. It’s all about greens – and I figured lots of folks might be interested in how to deal with the plethora of greens to come this season. I’ve been taking pictures on the farm – some of them are outdated already, but expect a picture blog in the near future. 
As usual, thanks for stopping by! 
 – Patricia 
Greens Galore
By Patricia Parker
Even for greens lovers like us, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the greens (but we like challenge) and root veggies of the fall. I’d like to share a bit of our greens wisdom with the hopes that you find some of our strategies helpful.
First and foremost, it is important to get acquainted with your greens. You’ll be receiving numerous types and varieties, each with their own unique flavors and textures. Additionally, their flavors will change as the weather grows colder (they’ll get sweeter – this goes for the root veggies too!). I recommend trying your greens every which way – starting by trying them raw. I find some greens less palatable raw than others – for instance, turnip, radish, and mustard greens are a bit too pungent raw for my taste. But, when they’re cooked, they’re delectable. And some greens are great raw – like arugula and spinach – and others that might surprise you, like kale and swiss chard (all of them are great cooked). As a general rule of thumb, the more tender the green, the better it tastes raw (and the less time you will need to cook them).
Now, there are countless ways to prepare your greens – you can steam them, sauté them, stir fry them, put them in soups, chilis and stews, eat them with eggs (e.g., as a side, in an omelet or frittata), etc. We’ll provide you with recipes for your greens throughout the season to help spur along your greens creativity. We’ll also give you basic cooking instructions and storage information. If your greens ever start to feel like they’re piling up on you, remember how few greens there are in the summer. You can blanch and then freeze your greens to use them any other time you like. You can also use up lots of greens if you make them the primary course on your plate (e.g., dinner salad or beans and greens with meat on the side). Of course, you can also share with your friends, family and neighbors – and if you don’t have any takers, you can leave them with us and we’ll donate them to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle for you.
Keeping up with your greens can be a daunting task in the beginning, but before you know it, you’ll turn pro!
Note: If anyone would like to share their own methods for keeping up with your CSA share, please send a write-up our way. We would LOVE for CSA members to contribute to weekly newsletters. You can send your write up in an email, as a word file, or as a pdf file. We’ll be sure to place it in the next newsletter.
2011 CSA, arugula, bok choy, cilantro, dill, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, tat soi

Week 1, April 24-30 CSA Share Contents


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Hi again folks! Last year, particularly at the beginning of the CSA season, a lot of the newbies were unfamiliar with some of our CSA share items. So, this year, we’re going to try our best to post pictures of all of the items in the shares each week. We’ll see how long that lasts! With all of the other happenings on the farm, photographs are definitely a low priority. But, we will do our best, because I think they are helpful.

And, just to reiterate one more time, it is not too late to sign up for the Summer 2011 CSA with us. We will pro-rate your share if you come on board late.

So, you will notice one MAJOR thing missing from these pictures – strawberries! They’re in the shares, but we forgot to take the pictures in time. We’ll be sure to include them in the photos next week.

Here’s a shot of the regular share box.

And here’s another.
Tat Soi
Arugula
(for large shares only – large shares will also receive twice as many berries, spinach and lettuce, compared with regular and small shares)

Dill and Cilantro (just a little for now, but much more to come!)

Red Russian Kale

Swiss Chard

Bok Choy

Spinach

Red Salad Bowl (an Oak Leaf Lettuce)

And here’s Bocephus. He’s not included but he wanted to say, “Hi!”
arugula, blue skies, mizuna, radishes, Spring, tatsoi

Blue Skies


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Spring is surely here and ol’ man winter has gone away! Sure, we may get a few more frosty nights but spring is here. Daffodils and flowering trees are blooming, the cover crops are shooting up and the earth is coming to life! Spiders and bees are out too…as are the weeds.Our first crops in the greenhouse are ready to harvest. We have new arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, lettuce and radishes. Look for them on our store. Coming soon are broccoli rabe and turnips.

Sign up for our CSA if you haven’t yet…thank you if you have! See our CSA through our links on the right and down some.

Patricia and I spent the afternoon working. We went to the greenhouse to check on our plants and bring seedlings to the farm. Here’s some of our afternoon…

Us…

me and our first spring radish…

chard, lettuce and broccoli seedlings in soil blocks…

the house…

Patricia peeking through rosemary…

strawberry flowers growing into strawberries…

Seen here, common vetch (the plant) and mycorrhiza (white nodes on the tiny roots), symbiotically related. Vetch supplies nutrients to the mycorrhizae which fixes nitrogen from atmospheric nitrogen which in turn is released into the soil when the plant dies and decomposes. A positive feedback cycle…

Lettuce mesclun growing in the greenhouse…

Scallion seedlings crowned with their dyed seed hulls…

preparing a bed for radishes, turnips and flowers…

Blue skies…

Winter harvest is nearly done and the spring harvest is starting to roll in…We’ll have carrots for another week or two and that will be it until May. No more Chinese cabbage, vitamin green, collards and brussels sprouts. See our store for availability.

This coming Tuesday, March 16th, we plan to have produce pickup at our house, 604 Sasser St., between 4:00 to 7:30 pm. No NCSU delivery this week, spring break. Remember to have your orders placed by Monday evening.

A few of you occasionally may have trouble placing orders. Please make sure you receive an automated confirmation email a few minutes after you place your order. If you do not receive this email your order was not placed and we will not receive it. Please try again or email us your order to shields.ben@gmail.com or call Ben @ 919-800-8898. Also, we do not accept online payments, e.g. PayPal. We only accept payment of cash or checks at pickup.

Purchase of vegetables is made through our online store-
http://www.vendio.com/stores/bensproduce.

Newly available vegetables:
Easter Egg Radish
Tatsoi
Arugula
Mizuna
Lettuce Mesclun
Mixed Mesclun (all the above except radish)

Current vegetable availability includes:
baby beets
brussels sprouts
carrots
collards
scallions
lettuce
spinach
sweet potatoes

Late winter /early spring vegetables will include:
broccoli raab
lettuce
swiss chard
turnips


Be good and eat well,
Ben & Patricia