A CSA in Queens, NYC. Founded in 2013.

WELCOME ALL TO THE 2017 SEASON OF OUR HUNTERS POINT CSA!

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THE HAUL: MAY 30th /

CSA DELIVERY WEEK 1  

Our first share pickup is Tuesday, May 30th at Alewife from 5pm – 7pm! Come for your share, and stay for Alewife’s trivia night. CSA members get 10% off drinks on Tuesday pickup days!

Please remember to bring:

  • Your one-time $8 cash fee (admin fee + CSA donation to Just Food)
  • Sturdy bags to bring your produce home

NOTES FROM THE FARM:

Welcome to the first week of our 2017 season!  The harvest this week is a full expression of springtime on the farm.  Lots of greens with delicate leaves, bursting with flavor and nutrients.  It’s just what our bodies need after a long winter eating storage crops and produce shipped in from thousands of miles away.  Our kales and lettuces were seeded in the greenhouse back in February, then transplanted out into the fields last month.  The baby arugula and mustard mix are fast-growing greens seeded just about a month ago and ready for harvest this week!

Videos of the Week
– Harvesting the baby arugula with our mechanical harvester.
– Washing the mustard greens salad mix in our washing room.

Getting into the groove… Over the next few weeks we will all begin to get into the groove of CSA – the changing seasons, the harvests, the rhythm of the week, the surprises in your shares and the delicious new flavors you’ll enjoy!  If this is your first year being part of a CSA farm share, there may be a bit of a learning curve as you learn to cook with a whole box of vegetables that were chosen for you, not chosen by you!  Many of our long-time members have come to embrace (and love!) the fact that the farmers and the seasons dictate the weekly shares.  You don’t have to choose, for a change, you can just sit back and be delighted by the bountiful weekly harvests coming your way…

Here are a few simple tips that will help you get the most out of your shares…

#1 – Produce needs to be stored properly!  I will always tell you how to best store your shares in our weekly crop list.  (See below.) Greens need to be in a sealed container or bag so they don’t dehydrate.  I like to use these Produce Storage Bags, but plain old zip-locks work just as well.  I re-use these plastic bags over and over, but if you are intent on avoiding all plastic, we have also had good results using glass bowls with a fully-sealed lid. Our produce is harvested the day before your delivery, so it should last if it is properly stored.
#2 – Get yourself a salad spinner!  If you don’t already have one, this will be the most useful tool in your kitchen. Remove the inner colander and use the bowl of the spinner to wash your greens.  Remove any visible soil and put all of your greens in the bowl and fill it to the top with water.  Agitate.  Then transfer the greens to the colander insert, dump out the water and spin dry.  If you see a lot of dirt in the water, you may want to repeat the water soaking/agitation process again before spinning.  I’m sure you’ll find lots of other uses for your salad spinner!  I really can’t say enough about my love for it.  This is my favorite. 
#3 – Cook with an open mind!  Find your favorite tricks & short-cuts!  There may be items in the share that you think you don’t like. I urge you to try some of the recipes in our newsletter and if you still don’t like it, e-mail me!  I bet I can come up with some recipes that you and your family will enjoy. 🙂  When in doubt, do what we do….  roast it, grill it, throw it in soup, or add it to your juice or smoothie!  We’ll be here every week to inspire you with new recipes and ways to enjoy the flavors of the season!

Enjoy your box!  – Maggie, Farmer Matt & the Crew

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

Mustard Greens Salad Mix – I bet this is new to most of you!  You can’t buy it in stores.  Last year we grew a mustard braising mix, but this year we are trying new mustard green varieties and harvesting them at their 3 week stage, while the flavors are mellow, the leaves are tender and it’s perfect for salads.  We’ve been enjoying these salads with a simple vinaigrette and some toasted pine nuts.  You could also add a little feta cheese and red onion.  Let us know what you think of these new salad flavors!
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in salad. When to use: Within 5 days.  

Red Boston Lettuce – This tender leaf lettuce is also known as Butter or Bib lettuce and it grows well in the early part of the season in the cooler temperatures.  It also loves all the rain we’ve been getting!  The most important thing to know about Boston lettuce is that the leaves are so soft and tender that you must use a light dressing.  No ranch or heavy dressings here!  Try my vinaigrette recipe below, or just drizzle with good quality olive oil, vinegar and salt & pepper.  I love to make a special salad with orange sections, red onion and toasted almonds (in my vinaigrette) with this lettuce.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in a salad. When to use: Within a week.

Green Boston Lettuce – We always grow these red and green varieties in pairs.  They are so beautiful growing in the field and sitting in your salad bowl.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw in a salad. When to use: Within a week.

Bunched Red Kale –  Don’t say you don’t like kale!  We grow only the best varieties that you can’t find in stores, and this red stemmed variety happens to be the best of the best!  Kale Tip #1 is REMOVE THE STEM!  No one likes the stem, so cut it out.  You can use it in soups, but it’s really too tough to use if you’re going to eat a raw salad or steam the greens.  (I give my stems to the sheep, but if you don’t have any sheep, I understand.)  Fine Cooking has an excellent photo tutorial and video to teach you how to easily remove the stems. Kale Tip #2 is Kale is Versatile!  This variety is perfect for raw kale salads, which last time I checked, is still all the rage.  It’s crazy healthy and crazy delicious, so I’m putting my favorite kale salad recipe below.  Kale is also delicious steamed.  Just make sure you steam it until just tender.  If it’s not cooked enough it will be hard to chew and if it’s overcooked it looses its nutrients and best flavor.  So keep an eye on it!  After steaming, I usually transfer it to bowl and dress with olive oil, freshly chopped garlic and umeboshi vinegar. (What?  Never heard of it?  You’re welcome.)  Kale is also delicious thrown into smoothies with fruit or juiced.  I’ll talk more about juicing and smoothies in an upcoming newsletter.  Kale chips, anyone?  Kale in minestrone soup?  I could go on….
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw, Baked (Chips) Cooked (Best in Soups), Steamed, Smoothies or Juiced. When to use: Within a week

Baby Arugula – This arugula is so baby, I think it definitely falls into the “preemie” category.  It’s just about 3 weeks old.  Arugula this young is never sold in stores because it is so incredibly tender and delicate and delicious!  So be warned that you should handle it carefully when washing and dressing.  I think you’ll love it!
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator.  Uses: Raw When to use: Within 5 days.

Radishes OR Turnips – So sorry for this terribly long e-mail. If you got this far, I love you, thank you for reading!  Before I get to the “OR” explanation, I want you to know that these roots store best when they are separated from their greens.  So go ahead, rip off the tops of the radishes or turnips.  I’m not a huge fan of radish tops, so compost those unless you happen to love them.  BUT SAVE THE TURNIP TOPS/GREENS!  They are seriously the most delicious greens – wilt them like spinach and drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper.  I eat them alongside my eggs for breakfast.  Ok, moving on…..  The first seedings of these crops did not come through very well.  It could’ve been issues with the seed, but we think it was more likely the wet field conditions that may have rotted the seed before it had a chance to germinate.  So we quickly re-seeded two morning plantings of each of these favorites so everyone will get them some time in the next few weeks.  Bottom Line — If you don’t get radishes or turnips this week, don’t despair! We keep super careful track of who gets what and we promise to harvest some for you in the next few weeks.  This may happen occasionally through the season, so just be aware that these issues (as well as many others) can cause the contents of the shares to change through the week.  The radishes add such beautiful color to salads.  They are also delish on their own with a little butter & sea salt.  Sounds weird, tastes great! (Olive oil is good too if you’re vegan.)  The turnips do not need to be peeled! They are juicy!  Great raw as a snack, roasted, braised, good all ways, you can’t go wrong!
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator.  Separate the roots from the greens first- then they can be stored in the same bag.  Uses: Raw or cooked. When to use: Within 5 days.

RECIPES:

I try to share recipes that are simple and adaptable for all palates and diets and really showcase the flavor of our produce.  Some are family favorites and some are from our favorite cookbooks or blogs. If you have any recipes that you’d like to share, please do!  

Perfect Green Salad & Vinaigrette – Boston Lettuce salad perfection!
Raw Kale Salad – Use this week’s tender red kale!
Mustard Greens Salad with Gruyere & Anchovies – from Epicurious

Bon appetit! xoMaggie

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ADD ONS:

FRUIT SHARE – begins in July. Exact start date TBD.

LEWIS WAITE FARMS – Orders for first delivery are now open.  Deadline for orders TBA.  Link can be found below.

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U-PICK STRAWBERRIES FOR CURRENT MEMBERS ONLY

This year, GEOF is opening up their field in June for U-Pick strawberries and farm tours!  Please note this offer is open to current CSA members only!  Current members will receive a pass for access to the fields.  For more information, click on this link:

http://goldenearthworm.com/csa-portal-notices/2017/5/10/2017-u-pick-strawberry-schedule

U-Pick Guidelines
• U-Pick is open to current CSA Members ONLY.

• No groups over 6 unless everyone is part of the same immediate family or all current members.

• Please do not bring containers or bags to pick into. We will give you new quart containers for picking.

• NO SMOKING and NO PETS on the farm property.

• Leave strollers and large bags in your car. They are not allowed in the field.

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Lewis Waite Farms: http://csalewiswaitefarm.com/register?csa=fc6f57e492f063c86abe88df66b02999

Looking for / Want to share – a recipe using items from this week’s produce? If so, please check out our Hunters Point CSA FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/hunterspointcsa/
Or the GEOF’s members recipe share FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/660605760780758/

And of course, GEOF’s website has tons of great ideas! http://goldenearthworm.com/cropswegrow/

 

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