At Movement Ground Farm (MGF), we are kicking off our VERY FIRST “Founding Members” CSA program with our FIRST week of the growing season!!
We (inclusive of the farm, Farmer Kohei, the Board, & working volunteers at MGF) got rain Monday, and considering the dry spell Massachusetts had for a while, combined with high temperatures a little unusual for Spring, we certainly are welcoming cloudy, cool, and wet days. The plants certainly need all the water it can get. Take a look at our friend & volunteer, Sandy, among the green rows of thriving veggies while he’s harvesting the very edibles that will be found in your CSA this week!
(It’s exciting to see how well the plants are doing, and how much they’ve grown in the past couple months… Farmer Kohei is a proud farmer parent 🙂 !)
With the veggies all picked, it’s ready to be rinsed, bundled, and packaged to be organized into the specific CSA shares. Most of the produce, though rinsed, may not be clean enough for you to be ready to eat and cook. It’s still processed in sandy conditions and handled just enough to be presentable to you, our CSA members (don’t be surprised if you find some bug bitten leaves or remnants of them, as is the nature of fresh from the farm and organic conditions). Give your veggies a good rinse before you cook.
Hope our Summer CSA members will enjoy this first week!
Before you open your boxes, keep in mind that these will be our reusable packaging for the season so please plan to return them the following week and treat them gently. The lid with “Perishable” written on it slides out (it will bend, do not pull) and this will open the box top and reveal your edible goods.
Here’s what Week #1 Small Summer shares will include:
– mizuna (a leafy, peppery, green similar to arugula in taste)
– Red Rover radish (you also can use their greens!)
– Siberian kale
– bok choy
– Chinese mustard green (or gai choy)
– plus 1/2 dozen eggs* from our very own hens (“best by” date written on the box, already washed)
Here’s what Week #1 Large Summer shares will most likely include:
– the above 5 vegetables in larger quantities
– Hakurei turnips (you also can use their greens!)
– pea pod tendrils
– plus 1 dozen eggs* from our very own hens (“best by” date written on the box, already washed)
( *Typically, we will collect our eggs freshly laid from the hens a couple times a day and leave it unwashed [unless it’s particularly dirty]. Leaving it unwashed means that a natural membrane around the shell is intact. Left this way it can be kept unrefrigerated at room temperature for a while, and can last up to two months in the fridge. Once eggs are washed, it no longer has that natural membrane and will make it more susceptible to spoilage, so it needs to be refrigerated; washed eggs are good up to one month.
Directions for washing eggs before use: Use warm, running water. “Cold water will cause the contents of the egg to shrink, creating a vacuum that will pull bacteria and other nasties into the egg through the porous egg shell. Warm water, on the other hand, will cause the contents to expand against the shell, preventing bacteria from entering. …After washing, store them in…the fridge and use them before any unwashed eggs.”)
- Try treating mizuna like arugula–in salads, using it as the lettuce substitute in sandwiches, making a version of pesto, or even quickly wilting it with other cooked foods like pasta.
- For the radish, you can roast it whole with the green leaves on, or separate it and slice the bulbs thrown into a salad with some of the radish greens. Or try the bulbs cut up into egg salad or chicken salad, thrown into soups, or pickled.
- Kale is a hearty vegetable that has gotten some attention the past couple of years for being very nutritious either eaten raw (i.e. kale salads, kale juiced or blended) or cooked (i.e. in stews, braised, made into kale “chips”).
- Bok choy has a light bite to it (at least the stem part) but can be eaten raw in salad or paired with a dip. You can cook it into soups, use it to dress up your instant noodles, or give it a quick stir fry treatment.
- The Chinese mustard greens have a bright, bitter taste and is equally great in stir fries, soups, or even pickled.
- For the Hakurei turnips (crisp, juicy, and lightly sweet) and the pea pod tendrils (so tender and tasty), if you’ve never cooked with them before the links in the above list are a good start as you get to know the flavor of these edibles.
Farmer Kohei’s Notes:
- Farmer Kohei wants you to be confident in Movement Ground Farm and its commitment to being a local farm you can trust uses sustainable and organic farming methods (that may mean use of crop rotation, cover crops, weeding, etc.) in how we care for the land. Also, the seeds we’ve used to grow our vegetables were carefully selected for being certified organic AND non-GMO (genetically modified organism).
Enjoy these early season veggies which belong to the Brassica family. Brassica related veggies are cold hearty (so ideal for New England), and typically are abundant early in the growing season, disappear as the temperatures increase, and return in the fall. The slight bitterness (and more extreme, in the case of the Chinese mustard greens) of Brassica related veggies are great for detoxing and cleansing your liver.
Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies! Share your cooking stories and pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here. We’d love to feature and keep your recipes to share in the future as part of our community posts.