As a Six Boots CSA member, you'll be able to connect with the people that are growing your food in a way that many people do not or cannot. Of course, you're going to be receiving delicious, freshly-harvested veggies, but really, you can think of yourself as a share-holder in this farm season. You'll get to hear about how great of a year we're having and get a bumper crop of tomatoes if things are going well, and you'll know our disappointment if we have a drought that kills the corn or a sudden stampede of squash eating yetis (hopefully not, obviously). There are so many things that are very wrong with our food system these days, and we want to be part of the recovery process and reclaim our food. This is something that is best done together, by sharing our knowledge and passion for good quality, healthy, locally grown food! But if you're not quite as excited as we are and just want to get your veggies...well, that's ok too.
Lettuce: We have several colorful and delicious varieties, many of which you’ll be able to try over the next few weeks. Our “Speckled Troutback” (A.K.A. Forellenschluss) is a green and red spotted Austrian heirloom Romaine; “Green Buttercrunch” is an classic tender heirloom head lettuce; “Bronze Arrowhead”, a red-tinged oak-leaf style hybrid semi-romaine lettuce, is probably our most beautiful; “Mignonette Bronze” is a crisp 1898 heirloom head lettuce; “Merveille Des Quatre Saisons” is a magenta-colored French heirloom romaine; “Webb’s Wonderful” green heirloom crisphead; and probably more that we’ve forgotten about! Yum!
Spicy Salad Mix: Mixed baby arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, lettuce, and mustards add a great kick to salads and sandwiches. If they’re too spicy for your taste, cook them up instead and they turn out very mild. Try adding a handful to eggs/omelets in the morning!
Green Onions: Bunches of scallions! Be sure to use both the bottoms and the tops. Great in salads as well as stirfries. If you don’t have a place to store them whole, you can prechop and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Radishes: We have a few different varieties. Most of you will get a variety called D’avignon “French breakfast”, which are skinny red and white salad radishes. Other varieties are “Early Scarlet Red”, “Helios”, and “Easter Egg”, all of which are good roasted as well as in salads. Use your radish tops as a cooking green – they won’t hurt you to eat them raw, but do have a less desirable texture.
Cornmeal: Get excited! For full shares, we are grinding heirloom “Bloody Butcher” burgundy field corn saved from last fall’s harvest for you. It makes incredible cornbread! See recipe below. Store in the fridge until you use it.
Garlic Scapes: These may not be ready this week, but it they are, enjoy this limited time treat! These crazy-looking skinny green things are garlic shoots picked before flowering. It actually helps the garlic bulbs form underground to have the scapes pulled off. They have a mild garlic flavor and a slight crunch as well. Chop them up and use as you would use garlic or they make tasty and attractive pickles! We’ll try to feature garlic scapes in a recipe next week.
You will receive a bunch of one of the following cooking greens this week:
Kale: We have both “Red Russian” and “Lacinado/Dino” varieties, both of which we prefer to the more common curly kale. These nutritional powerhouses can be cooked in soups and stirfries, made into “kale chips” in the oven, or sliced thinly and eaten raw.
Collards/Broccoli Greens: These delicious greens get a bad rap from some people due to the common way of boiling them and serving them with vinegar, but really, collards are extremely similar to Kale and be cooked and enjoyed in many of the same ways. Try blanching whole leaves briefly with a bit of steam to soften them and then use them as a low-carb sandwich wrap.
Swiss Chard: The colorful and now well-known cooking green. They are great sautéed with garlic!
You will most likely get only one of the following herbs this week:
Cilantro: This herb is very common in Latin American cuisine, in salsa and guacamole, for instance. We have been using cilantro as a substitute for parsley in our homemade falafel mix!
Mint: Sweet-flavored herb for making teas, juleps, and flavoring in many different types of cooking. For an easy tea, just pour hot water over a handful of mint leaves. Strain out leaves and add sugar or lemon if desired.
Sage: Delicious and fragrant herb goes well with meats and potatoes. If you don’t get to use it, hang it up to dry for later use. Dried sage also makes great incense and is reputed to have medicinal benefits as well.
Oregano: Aromatic herb that dries very well. It adds an excellent flavor to pizza and Italian dishes. Pairs very well with tomatoes!
French Tarragon: Culinary herb known for highlighting meat dishes. Mix with softened butter for a flavorful spread or make a tasty herb vinegar by soaking the fresh or dried leaves in your choice of vinegar. Some people prefer the stronger flavor of the dried leaves.
Parsley: It’s not just a garnish, folks! Parsley is often used in Middle-Eastern, European, and American cooking. Here are some great recipe ideas: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/07/cooking-tips-for-gardeners-cooking-with.html