THE BEET: Volume 15, Issue 7


Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

This Week's Share:

  • Two leaf lettuces
  • Green cabbage
  • Swiss chard and kale (your choice)
  • Bunched red beets
  • Cucumbers and squashes
  • Cilantro or dill
  • Yellow onions
  • A few tomatoes

News from Windflower Farm:

More good things are coming in the next couple of weeks: tomatoes are on the rise, and soon you’ll be getting our first snap beans, sweet peppers, chiles, carrots and sweet corn.

We’ve been harvesting garlic this week. Today alone, Nate and I pulled some 7,000 bulbs! I’m feeling it in my lower back, which I am currently medicating with something called a Hop Nosh IPA left by some recent visitors. It looks like a good harvest, as you can see for yourself on our Instagram page. We should have them all indoors by Monday. Nearly everything has benefitted from the rains of the past two weeks, but not garlic, which prefers dry conditions as it matures. We’ve had to skip one or two in every ten because the wrapper leaves were spoiled due to a Fusarium infection. But if we do a good job of curing what we have harvested, the infected outer leaves will dry and can be removed before it spreads. Look for garlic to be in your shares beginning in week nine or ten.

While on the topic of alliums, I’ll mention that we’ve tried something new in the onion department this year that I’m really happy with. We planted Dutch-grown onion sets last fall, just after we planted our garlic. Ordinarily, we would plant onion seeds in the greenhouse in late February and transplant the small plants to the field in late April. We harvested them this week, just ahead of our garlic. We pulled nearly 200 bushels of these midsized yellow onions and tucked them into our greenhouse for curing.

Beets and cabbage are new to your shares this week. What to make? Cole slaw? A borscht? A cold beet soup?  My favorite way to enjoy beets is as a cold side dish or addition to a garden salad. Simply boil them until fork soft, peel the skin off, chop and refrigerate. They make a refreshing, sweet and healthy treat for a hot day. Too many cucumbers? Keep in mind they are nutritional powerhouses, high in vitamins C and A, and along with magnesium, potassium and zinc. Although I can easily eat four cucumbers myself in a week, I understand that you may be experiencing cucumber fatigue. Nate is making sweet refrigerator pickles as I write (see the recipes below, from Rodale’s Organic Life).  

Have a great week! Ted

 Bread and Butter Pickles at Windflower Farm

Bread and Butter Pickles at Windflower Farm

Dill Refrigerator Pickles
Yield: 1 quart

5 medium cucumbers
1 tablespoon pickling salt, sea salt, or kosher salt (but not iodized table salt)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water 1 head dill or small bunch dill leaves
1 clove garlic (optional)
3 black peppercorns (optional)

1. For the crunchiest pickles, select firm, dark-green pickling cucumbers that have not started to ripen to white or yellow. Cut them into spears or slices, as desired. To increase the crunchiness, you can sprinkle the cut cucumbers with a couple of tablespoons of salt, let them sit for 2 hours, and then rinse and drain before proceeding, but this step isn't absolutely necessary.

2. Place the dill in the bottom of a clean quart jar, peel and crush the garlic clove (if using), and drop that in along with the peppercorns (if using), then put in the cut cucumber. Mix the salt, vinegar, and water in a separate container, stirring until the salt is dissolved, then pour it over the cucumbers, filling the jar right to the top. Pop on the lid and put the jar in the fridge.

Sweet Refrigerator Pickles
Yield: 1 quart

3 cups sliced cucumbers
1 cup sliced onions
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon pickling salt, sea salt, or kosher salt
1 cup cider vinegar
1 ¾ cup white sugar or ⅞ cup honey to taste
1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seed
2 cloves, whole

1. Prepare jar and veggies as for dill pickles. Combine the remaining ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan, bring them to a boil, and simmer until the sugar or honey is dissolved.

2. Put the veggies into the jar and pour the vinegar mixture over them, stirring to make sure all veggies come in contact with it. Cover and refrigerate.

In the News:

There was an interesting article in the NY Times this week:  When Community Supported Agriculture is not what it seems. 

As the article makes clear, these days, there are many more sources for local, organic produce. CHCSA offer top-notch quality, but many of them do not cut out the middle man, which is one of the founding ideas behind CSA's.  We also believe that the other element that brings members back year after year is community--both what Ted offers but also on site. Not everyone values that equally, but it feels like you - our community in Clinton Hill - does, as we have filled our slots, year after year.  Thank you!

Spotlight on the Core!

Sarah Chinn :: Out-of-Season Treasurer

1. What does your job entail?
As out-of-season treasurer, I receive and process deposits for membership, and pre-season payments. I create the records by which we can keep track of member payments, and communicate with members.

2. How long have you been part of the CSA? Of the core?
I joined the CSA its second year, and I started as distribution coordinator the following year. I’ve been co-treasurer for about four years.

3. Where did you grow up?
I was born in London and lived there until I was almost 16. My family moved to New York when I was in my teens. I’ve lived in Brooklyn longer than anywhere else so I think of myself as a Brooklynite more than anything else.

4. What do you do in your real life?
I teach English at Hunter College, and I’m chair of the English department.

5. What's your favorite part of belonging to the CHCSA?
I love seeing my neighbors every week — I love the community. Kids who were babies when I first joined (including my own) are now teenagers! I love that we’re supporting a farming family, and that we get fresh fruit and vegetables every week.

6. What's a veggie you love? How do you cook it?
 My favorite vegetable is probably corn: it’s so sweet and delicious! If I'm eating it the night of the CSA, we put it raw into a salad. I love it grilled too. I love all the stone fruit, especially cherries and peaches, and I’m looking forward to its return next year.

7. Veggie you're not crazy about? How do you use it?
Not crazy about bok choy. I like almost all greens, but choy doesn’t do it for me. I put it in the swap box and take extra collards or choy. And I’m not a huge chard fan either, but we make a really delicious tabbouli with thinly sliced chard.

8. Something no one would guess about you?
I’m a secret Candy Crush player.

9. If you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be?
I’d be a dragon fruit (sadly not available through the CSA).