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May 31.2017

Posted 7/10/2017 9:31pm by Don Kretschmann.

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   What a blur it’s been the last two weeks!  As we approached the start of the CSA season, we expected to have two extra hands—Erasmo, who’s been with us for 28 years, and his youngest son, Diego, coming from Mexico for the first time.  His two older brothers, Angel and Daniel, were already here for the last several months.  Sadly, Erasmo passed away enroute.  All left for the funeral and have yet to return.  We’ve been scrambling with help from several of Maria’s friends, neighbors, and relatives.  Our heads are just above water with crops to tend, pick, pack, and veggie boxes going out the door.

   If it’s green, it’s in season.  Lots of beautiful lettuce right now and for the foreseeable future.  With the abundant rainfall, all the brassicas—broccoli, cabbage...—are growing like gangbusters.  Our hilltop fields have been a great asset this season as we’ve been able to get in to plant all the tomatoes, peppers, zucs, cucs, beans, and more, while neighbors with low lying land have been delayed.   We’re gorging ourselves on lettuce salads. There’s a bit less spinach this season as weeds have been impossible to impede with wet weather. Enjoy it while it’s in season.

    Incoming: More greens—kale, collards, mesclun greens, parsley, and green scallions. In all likelihood, we’ll have local strawberries next week.  These are one of a very few items we include which we don’t grow and are non-organic.  Local berries are so popular that we feel we should provide them.  If you don’t want non-organic berries, we’ll avoid them for you and substitute other veggies.  We’ll also likely have flats of berries available in the next few weeks, for those who want to celebrate June with real strawberries.

 Next week is cheese week.  If you’ve ordered either of these cheeses, your balance will now show a credit if you had paid to date.  

Hoping you enjoy the start of the season with all the greens, we are sincerely,                                            

Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Housekeeping:  Nest the empty crates together and set them out of the way of others Notes of Note: If for some reason your box is missing, 1. Let the stop host know because often someone took the wrong box and there'll be one left over late in the evening for you. 2. Wednesday stops and ‘burgh Tuesday stops we can easily bring you a box when we pick up the empties the following day--if you let us know in time.  3.  If you are willing to pick up a “makeup” box for one we missed, at a different location (see the list) we can do that. The newsletters go out to all subscribers each week whether you are getting a box or not.  If you send message during the season, please indicate your stop letter and the last name under which the account is listed.  If the name on your check is different than the account name we have, please indicate that name on the memo line. You can access information--like schedule for chickens, recipes, etc. on our website.  We don’t list phone numbers or precise addresses on the public website.  But you can click on the blue link in newsletters, indicating your pickup site location and you will be directed to that information     

In rhubarb season, we invariably start out with Becky's Rhubarb crisp for a few rounds, then on to other decadances...      

Rhubarb Custards:  Butter 6 shallow ceramic dishes.  Toss ¾# diced rhubarb with ¼ c. sugar & divide among     the dishes.  Bake @ 350 deg. Until rhubarb is just beginning to soften.  Meanwhile puree 1 c. milk, ½ c. cream,     1/3 c. flour, 3 large eggs, ½ c. sugar, and ½ tsp salt until smooth. Divide mixture in dishes pouring over rhubarb.      Bake @ 350 deg. Until set, approx. 25 min.  Cool and serve.     It takes nary 15 min. to put together this sauce which is heavenly over vanilla ice cream.  It’s a big hit served over cheesecake.  It's also delicious over pancakes, waffles, poundcake, or puddings.    

Rhubarb Sauce:  Chop 2 c. rhubarb finely.  Cook w/ ½ c. sugar over med. heat 15-20 min. stirring frequently until rhubarb is soft and sauce is thick.

Simple Swiss Chard: Chop stems separately from the greens into ½” pieces; then coarsely chop greens. Saute in vegetable or olive oil, starting with the stems, stirring constantly for 5 min, then add the greens and saute until they wilt down.  Turn heat down, cover tightly, and add a little liquid    if there’s none.  Serve in about 10 min.; salt to taste, and drizzle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.     

Spinach Salad Dressing:  1 med. onion (or chives) minced, 1/4 c. honey or 1/3 c. sugar, 1 tsp. celery seed, 3 Tbs.    mustard, 1/2 c. cider vinegar, 1/2 c. oil.  Blend. We leave out the onions and keep a jar of this in the fridge during    spinach season   

Washing of the greens: We only wash our greens to knock the bulk of rain-splashed soil off the produce.    We don’t claim to have them “table ready”.  Rewash to your pleasure.