THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 1

 

Welcome to the 2018 CHCSA Season! 

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

PICK UP TONIGHT

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


This Week's Share

  • Potted purple or Genovese basil
  • Red Russian kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Scallions
  • Lime green oakleaf lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Radishes
  • Fruit: strawberries

Welcome to The Beet!

This newsletter is your weekly guide to all things CHCSA-related: veggie updates, news from Ted Blomgren at Windflower Farm, storage tips, recipes, food articles, neighborhood news, and more. 

We'd love your contributions, so don't hesitate to get involved! If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to send them to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org.

Have a wonderful season! 

 

Extra Shares

If you want to add an extra share—fruit, or eggs—you can do so until June 15 by emailing our treasurers: treasurer@clintonhillcsa.org


News from Windflower Farm

June greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm! Thank you for joining our CSA - we know that you have a number of alternatives to choose from, and we are very happy that you decided to be with us! Your first share of the season will be arriving tomorrow.

This week’s share contents.

Your first share will consist of your choice of potted purple or Genovese basil, which you can keep on a windowsill, plant in a garden, or use in a dish in the next week or two. There will be more potted herbs during the next few weeks. You’ll get Red Russian kale and Swiss chard. You’ll also get a bunch of scallions, heads of lime green oakleaf lettuce and bok choy and a bunch of radishes. Fruit shares will start this week, too, with our own organically grown strawberries. And egg shares start this week with fresh brown eggs from the Davis’s pasture-fed hens. Flower shares will start in another two or three weeks, depending on your site, and then run continuously for the next ten weeks. We hope you enjoy your first share of the season. Next week, we’ll be sending more salad vegetables and radishes, along with arugula and kohlrabi.

If you are new to CSA, know that the first half dozen shares in our 22-week season generally consist of cool-season salad crops and that the shares are lighter than they will be later on. Cucumbers, squashes and sweet turnips will begin to fill out your shares two to three weeks from now, and broccoli will be soon to follow. And by mid-July, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cabbages, carrots and sweet corn should regularly appear in your weekly share. With warmer temperatures, good things are coming!

In the weeks ahead, I’ll use this space to introduce you to our excellent farm team, and I’ll tell you a good deal about the crops we grow and how we grow them. Every week, we’ll post an image or two from the farm on Instagram (here). You can also find us on Facebook (here), where you’ll find recipes and can exchange information with farm staff and fellow CSA members. You can reach the farm by sending an email to Andrea, our membership coordinator, at windflowercsa@gmail.com. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you are thinking.

Have a great week.

Best wishes, Ted and Jan


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Storage Tips

There's nothing quite like seeing the season's first CSA haul laid out on the counter: all the fresh colors and textures, just waiting to be turned into something delicious. But how do you keep your produce looking and tasting tip-top from one week to the next? Whether you're a CSA old-timer or a newbie, there's always room for a reminder about how to properly store fruits and veggies!

Here is a wonderful list of storage tips put together by Ken Schles, a former editor of The Beet. And check here for additional tips about plastic-free storage

VEGETABLES

Arugula: Like lettuce, this should not stay wet. Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Basil: Basil doesn’t like cold or wet. The best method is an airtight container packed with a cold, damp piece of paper, left out on the counter.

Beets: Cut the tops off to keep them firm (be sure to use the greens, too!). Leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them lose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top.

Broccoli: Place in an open container in the refrigerator or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.

Broccoli Rabe: Store in the crisper, best used as soon as possible.

Brussels Sprouts: Leave them on the stalk if possible. Put the stalk in the refrigerator or in a cold place. If off the stalk, store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.

Cabbage: Leave out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt.

Carrots/Parsnips: Cut off the tops to keep them fresh longer. Place them in a closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunked in cold water every couple of days.

Cauliflower: Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge.

Celery/Fennel: Does best if placed in a shallow bowl of water on the counter.

Celery root/Celeriac: Wrap it in a damp towel; store in the crisper.

Corn: Leave unhusked in an open container if you must, but corn is best the day it’s picked or soon thereafter.

Cucumber: Wrap in a moist towel in the refrigerator.

Eggplant: Does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash until ready to use. For longer storage, place loose in the crisper.

Garlic: Store in a cool, dark place.

Garlic scapes: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Green beans: They like humidity but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container is best.

Herbs: Keep up to a week in a closed container in the refrigerator.

Lettuce: Keep damp in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Leeks: Leave in the crisper wrapped in a damp towel or in a shallow cup of water so only the bottom of the stem has water.

Onion: store in a cool, dark, dry place with good air circulation; don’t stack them.

Potatoes: Store in a cool, dark, dry place in a box or a paper bag.

Radishes: Remove the greens so they don’t draw out excess moisture. Place in an open container in the refrigerator with a with a wet towel on top.

Snap peas: Refrigerate in an open container.

Spinach: Store loose in the crisper. Spinach loves the cold.

Spring onions: Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.

Sweet peppers: Only wash right before eating them. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days or in the crisper if longer storage needed.

Sweet potatoes: Store in a cool, dark well-ventilated place. Never refrigerate: sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.

Tomatoes: Never refrigerate. To ripen quickly, place in a paper bag with an apple.

Turnips: remove the greens and store separately. Store turnip bulbs in an open container with a most cloth.

Winter squash: store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Many growers say winter squash get sweeter if stored for a week or so before being eaten.

Zucchini/summer squash: Does fine for a few days if left on a cool counter. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

 

FRUIT

Apples: Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks.  For long-term storage, place them in a cardboard box in the refrigerator

Apricots: Store on a cool counter until fully ripe, then in the refrigerator

Berries: Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing, try not to stack them up too high; a single layer is idea. A paper bag works well. Wash only before you’re about to eat them.

Cherries: Store in an airtight container. Don't wash until ready to eat, as added moisture encourages mold.

Melons: Store uncut in a cool, dry place out of the sun for up to a couple of weeks. Very ripe or cut melons can go in the refrigerator; an open container is fine.

Nectarines (similar to apricots): store in the refrigerator if ripe. Take out several hours or up to a day before you eat them so they will soften at room temperature.

Peaches (and most stone fruit): refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.

Pears: Will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter or in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.

Strawberries: These do best in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture; strawberries don’t like to be wet.