2016 CSA – Week 3: Succession Planting

CSA Box

CSA Newsletter – Week 3


Succession Planting – extending the harvest

While storage crops such as beets, parsnips, and winter squash, can be harvested at one time and sold gradually, berries or tomatoes can be frozen; many of our crops must be harvested right before being sold. Each Monday and Friday, first thing in the morning, the barn crew goes out into the fields to harvest head lettuce to be sold to restaurants, at market, and to go into your CSA boxes. In order to have a constant supply of mature lettuce each week, we plan for successive plantings of lettuce.

Starting in February and continuing through August, a lettuce planting is seeded every week in the greenhouse, 27 plantings in all. Each planting consists of around 80 flats of romaine, butter, oak and little gem head lettuces as well as specialized varieties for the salad mix. That equates to around 13,000 lettuce plants per week! This weekly planting cycle starts a reoccurring cycle of tasks: thinning of newly germinated plants, transplanting of lettuce once the plants have reached the proper maturity, and then finally, harvest of the mature lettuce heads.  As we harvest the plantings each week, we make room in the fields for other crops to be planted, and the cycle continues.

Enjoy your lettuce and the rest of the veggies in your box!

– Lily Walton, CSA Coordinator

We’d love to see what you’re doing with your CSA box! Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram (@gatheringtogetherfarm) and #gtfcsa or send me an email and I’d be happy to share them.

 

Table of Box Contents:

Lettuce ($2.00)

1½ lbs Red Potatoes ($4.50) Store in dry, cool, darkness. Don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.

Spinach ($3.00) Eat fresh in salads or sauté

Scallions ($2.00)Great in green salads, eggs, and on the grill!

Bunch Carrots ($3.50) Remove tops for storage. Eat them fresh, roast them, or add them to stir fry.

3 cucumbers ($3.00) Eat fresh or add to salads

2 zucchini ($2.00) cut into 2 inch pieces and sauté with onions, garlic, or both

2 Dried Sweet Onions ($3.00)

Fresh Dill ($2.00) Add to potato salad, salad dressing, and even savory scones

Sugarloaf Chicory ($3.00) Try it fresh! See the recipes

1 Tomato ($2.50)

Box value at the farmers’ market: $30.50

 

Love the Loaf

Sugar Loaf chicory, or pan di Zucchero in Italian, is one of my favorite greens. Yes, you can braise it or sauté it, but if I’m not drizzling it with balsamic and olive oil and throwing it on the grill, I’m eating it in a salad. If you’ve eaten our salad mix, chances are you’ve eaten sugar loaf chicory raw too! Taste is a very individual sense, but I would encourage you to try chicories raw! Their texture and crunch is wonderful and their flavor is crisp and, yes, a tad bitter. Cut the bitterness with an acidic dressing using such things as lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (any vinegar for that matter).  Add elements of sweetness by putting fresh or dried fruit in your salad. If you’re still not convinced that eating raw chicory is for you, then definitely fire up the grill for a smoky, braised loaf.

 

Recipes:

Make your own Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

The possibilities are endless with salad dressing! I like to make the dressing in the same bowl that I am serving the salad in, before I add the greens.

The basic ratio is 3:1, oil to acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc)

Preparation
In a bowl, add a pinch of salt to the acid and whisk to dissolve

  • (Optional) add an emulsifier such as Dijon mustard, egg or egg yolk, crushed garlic, or mayonnaise
  • Slowly add the oil while whisking until the dressing reaches the desired flavor and consistency
  • (Optional) Add flavor elements such as fresh herbs, minced or thinly sliced onion or shallots, etc

I like let some ingredients such as onions, carrots, or radishes marinate in the dressing before I toss the salad. In the case of chicories, I would toss the salad and let it marinate for a few minutes before eating.

Learn more about dressings and how to make them:

Cooks Illustrated Make Ahead Vinaigrette

Epicurious Homemade salad dressing recipes and tips

 

Cucumber Potato Salad

 Make use of your potatoes, dill, cucumber and onions with this potato salad recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine. Thinly sliced scallions would be a great addition to the salad or they could replace the onion all together.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups slivered red onion, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cucumber, very thinly sliced

Preparation

1. Bring 1 in. water to a boil in a saucepan. Set whole potatoes in a steamer basket and steam in pan, covered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in ice water, then pat dry.

2. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to combine.

3. Quarter potatoes and put in a large bowl. Add onion, cucumber, and half the dressing; gently stir to coat. Add more dressing if you like, or save to use as a dip.

Make ahead: Up to 2 days through step 2. Chill potatoes a dressing separately and slice cucumber just before serving.