In your share this week:
Cilantro or Basil (both for full shares)
Tomatoes (some shares only)
CSA Secret Surprise!
Full shares only:
Little Gem Lettuce
Cucumbers! They just keep coming, with over 100 pounds this Monday (and 40 to 60 more on Wednesdays and Fridays). So everyone gets a full 2 pounds of them to enjoy, including (for most of you) a few lemon cucumbers. If you won’t eat them all fresh (try making raita (see last week’s recipe) or cucumber salad), you can do a quick refrigerator pickle. These aren’t pickling cucumbers, so I recommend using a method that doesn’t heat them so they stay nice and crisp. While you’re at it, you could pickle some green onions or kohlrabi or radishes or really most of the other things in your share. Refrigerator pickles won’t keep at room temperature like canned ones will, but they will keep for several weeks or even a few months in the fridge. I’ll include a recipe below.
You haven’t had radishes in a while, and we’re in some beautiful rotations so I thought I’d throw them in. These are actually coming from our new field, which is looking fantastic. It took us a while to get the pump and irrigation set up, so most of the plantings got shuffled around and delayed. But now most of our fall and winter garden is planted there, and the plants are just so vibrant and healthy. These radishes are abundant and beautiful, and are very tasty and tender even when quite large. Your salad is coming mostly from there, too, as well as the potatoes and green beans. We are seeing some uneven growth, especially in the crops we planted earlier in the season. That’s to be expected in new ground due to uneven breakdown of the pasture. But overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well everything is doing, even in some of the beds that I wasn’t planning to use until next year. The colors of all the crops are so rich, and the plants are vigorous, healthy, and mostly pest free. New ground could have gone a lot of ways. Some farmers I know on Whidbey Island broke into new ground from old pasture this year, and wound up with a terrible infestation of wire worm, a very destructive pest. They told me that their season is going well, except for all the crops. I’m grateful our field has turned out to be so fertile!
Other than the cucumbers, today’s share is a bit lighter than the last few. We are between rotations on a few crops and there are a couple others I want to let size up a bit more. I figured that you’ve had some whoppers and might not mind a little time to catch up this week! But I wanted to add one more thing to what I had, and I didn’t have enough of any one crop, so everyone gets a CSA secret surprise item. It might be carrots, or cabbage, or cauliflower, or bok choy, or something else. There’s nothing new (except for folks who didn’t get beets last week, you’ll be getting beets), so dig up some recipes and have fun with it.
Today’s onions don’t have the green tops, but I think they still need to be kept in the fridge. They’ve started the drying down process, but aren’t dried enough to store at room temperature.
Mark Bittman’s Kosher Pickles, the Right Way
Taken from markbittman.com. From Mark’s headnote: “No vinegar here, so these don’t keep for very long (about a week), but they’ll be eaten quickly enough that you’ll never see one go bad. These are my favorite pickles and those of everyone for whom I’ve made them too.” All true of course, but if you miss your vinegar, you can always add it to the brine after curing or sprinkle a few drops on the pickles directly right before eating. That gives you better control over the acidity anyway.
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 cup boiling water
2 pounds cucumbers, washed (scrub if spiny) and sliced into chips or spears
At least 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large bunch fresh dill, preferably with flowers, or 2 tablespoons dried dill and 1 teaspoon dill seeds, or 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1. Combine the salt and boiling water in a large bowl; stir to dissolve the salt. Add a handful of ice cubes to cool the mixture, then add all the remaining ingredients.
2. Add cold water to cover. Use a plate slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl and a small weight to keep the cucumbers immersed. Set aside at room temperature.
3. Begin sampling the cucumbers after 4 hours. It will probably take from 12 to 24 or even 48 hours for them to taste pickly enough to suit your taste.
4. When they are ready, refrigerate them, still in the brine. The pickles will continue to ferment as they sit, more quickly at room temperature, more slowly in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to a week.
Radish and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mint
This is from The Complete Vegan Cookbook, by Susann Geipskoff-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. The original recipe calls for soy milk, but I would recommend coconut milk or else adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of water. A crisp and refreshing summer salad. Serves 4.
2 Tbsp coconut milk (or 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp water, or 2 Tbsp soy milk)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp honey or agave syrup
Salt and pepper
Combine in a bowl:
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1 ½ c thinly sliced cucumber
1 medium tomato or 1 c cherry tomatoes, finely diced
Toss dressing with vegetables and
¼ c minced fresh mint (or basil)
Serve at room temperature.