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CSA Week 1: Jenna's Helpful Hints and Tricks

Posted 6/19/2018 4:44am by Jenna Untiedt.

And so it begins, welcome to the 2018 CSA season! My goal with these short little posts is to help you through your share as easily as possible. I try to be realistic in knowing that everyone is busy, on the go, and looking for a way to add locally grown produce to their dinner plates each week.  

For those of you that are new to our CSA program, welcome! To those of you who are returning for a second, third, fourth, or have been with us for all 8 seasons, welcome back and thank you for the continued support! We are excited for another season and look forward to sharing our labor with you all. 

This week’s post is a bit longer because I like all members to understand what it takes to get fresh produce to you! I wish we could do it with the snap of our fingers, but a lot of hard work and long hours go into what we do. Did you know we hand harvest all of our produce? This is so we can send you the highest quality produce. We start harvesting produce for Tuesday delivery on Monday morning. After harvested, we cool with ice and place in our coolers until Tuesday morning. This process allows us to send you produce that is extremely fresh!  

Our CSA packing crew starts at 3am on Tuesday mornings. We diligently pack each share. If we miss a box, it is never on purpose. Simply let me know and we will make it right! The same goes for produce that might not meet our standards. If something slips through the cracks, just send me and email and we will always replace it. We do our absolute best to grade out any subpar produce, but because we are all human and no machines help with packing, sometimes we miss something. Please know, it is never on purpose and we will stand behind our promise to give you our best quality. If there are any issues, please reach out to me and they will be addressed.  

Alright, now onto the shares for this week. For those of you new to the program, I have the opportunity to stay at my parent’s house each Monday night so that I can sleep until 2:30am instead of my normal hour commute. I cooked most of the box last night and let me tell you- it was awesome! Each week I try to cook as many things as possible from the shares so I can share posts with you all throughout the week. Make sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay inspired all summer long.  

Radishes: I’ll be honest, I am not a huge fan of radishes. But, I loved these last night. I simply grated the radishes and mixed in some butter and spread on pumpernickel toast. It was a quick, easy addition to dinner! These are great to sneak into a stir-fry, add to a salad or each alone as a snack. To ensure you get through them this week, I suggest you wash and prep them as soon as you get home. Cut the tops of, wash, slice the bottom off and store in a bowl with water in the fridge. This will keep them fresh all week long and you can grab them as you need them.  

Lettuce Mix: This was phenomenal. Minnesota lettuce is probably one of my favorite things. I am notorious for buying lettuce at the grocery store and letting it go to waste because I actually dislike the flavor that much. This though, is so fresh! It will also last for weeks! I suggest investing in a salad spinner. Slice the lettuce, spin it, and just grab as you need from the fridge! Salads, substitute for buns on burgers, or an addition to a sandwich are all great options. Enjoy!

Kale: I think kale is my favorite vegetable of all time. I could eat it every day. It was quite funny as I cooked it last night I was told I didn’t need to make the whole bunch, but surprisingly there wasn’t any left after dinner. My mother, who is definitely not a fan even ate some! My favorite way to cook kale is to tear from the stems, tear into smaller pieces, massage a bit of olive or avocado oil onto it and bake in the oven until wilted or crispy depending on my mood. You can always mix kale into your eggs, add it to a smoothie, or add to a soup.  

Cucumbers: Finally, cucumbers that aren’t bitter AND are firm. The worst thing about buying cucumbers in the grocery store during the winter is first of all having them be covered in wax and secondly having them be soft. Yes, I realize I sound very high maintenance, but when raised on a farm your expectations change. These are great to add to salads or just each plain. I love to slice them up and add to my lunch.  

Zucchini: Green and yellow are included for your enjoyment. If you are a parent with young children who don’t like their veggies, zucchini is great to ‘sneak’ into things like banana bread or even spaghetti sauce. Simply shred and add! I personally like to roast the zucchini with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Last night I enjoyed it mixed with wilted kale. Give it a try!   Maple Syrup: The best of the best! Save it for the weekend and make a decadent breakfast of waffles. Just remember, if you run you, this is available at our vegetable stands throughout the summer.  

Raspberry Jam: It is here. The most requested item each season. My gracious mother makes over 3,000 jars a year so that you can enjoy it twice each CSA season. Savor this little jar, because it truly is special. Enjoy on toast or top your vanilla ice cream with a spoonful. It truly is the best. Please note that it is sealed with paraffin wax, so the seal will not be solid on the jar…this is normal. It truly is and old fashioned jam!  

Honey: This honey is spectacular on toast or even for baking. Add to a cup of hot tea for a great natural sweetener. If you are an allergy sufferer, this is a local honey, and local honey can help suppress your seasonal allergies.  

Herbs: Peppermint and Stevia. Which is which? Take a taste of the leaves. The one that tastes sweet will be the stevia, and the mint flavored leaf will be peppermint. You can use these herbs once or add to your garden. These will last a couple weeks max in their current container, so I highly suggest replanting them if you would like to keep them going all summer. There are countless uses for these herbs. I highly suggest a simple google search to find what you might enjoy using these for!  

There you have it, week 1 of the 2018 CSA season. I hope you enjoy this share as much as we do! Spread the word to your friends, neighbors and family that we still have shares available. Shares purchased going forward are prorated according to what week we are on. If you have questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out at anytime!  

Cheers!

-Jenna