Notes from the farm:
Week #1 of the 2017 CSA is here! After a cool and wet spring conditions are heating up at the farm. Strawberries are ripening, greens are looking lush, and the heat loving crops of summer are beginning to perk up. We have spent the last of couple months seeding, prepping and planting thousands of plants that will be cared for and harvested throughout the season as we work to provide a bounty of diverse produce for you to enjoy.
2017 marks our eighth growing year at Massaro as a Certified Organic vegetable CSA farm, and many of you have been part of our CSA since the beginning in 2010. All of us here at Massaro want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who will be with us in the CSA this year, whether it is your eighth year, first year or anything between. By participating in the Massaro Farm CSA you have made a choice that will have profound impacts on your health, your local economy and the environment, and we believe you will have a fun and delicious time doing it!
Returning CSA subscribers will probably remember that the early season harvest is a bit lighter than the mid-season picking, with a good amount of leafy greens in the first month, along with some root crops, and the heavier fruiting crops soon to follow. I trust you have not forgotten our famous strawberries, which will be featured in our first week’s harvest along with lettuce, kale, garlic scapes and more.
Below is a list of important reminders about the CSA, a mini orientation of sorts to help get you prepared for the harvest season. Please read through it to make sure you are ready for the first pickup. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Alyssa, Adam, Tyler, Sara, TW, Dan, Ariana, Taylor, Shannon and Jalyn
In This Week’s Distribution
Our Harvest: Strawberries, Romaine Lettuce, Green Curly Kale, Garlic Scapes, Radishes, Bok Choi, Sprouting Broccoli or Beets
U-Pick: Begins once snap peas and snow peas are ready
Fruit Option: Begins in July with blueberries
Recipes and Cooking Tips
Kale: Packed with nutrients, this leafy green can be steamed or sautéed and served as a side dish, included in soups, stir fries and casseroles, blended in to green smoothies, or baked in to chips for a great snack.
Lettuce: Salads, sandwiches… you know what to do.
Garlic Scapes: These are the flowers of the garlic. You can chop them up and use them just as you would use cloves of garlic. My favorite thing is to brush them with a touch of oil and put them on the grill until they get a bit crispy. Eat them on their own as a crispy garlic snack, or chop those up and add them for flavor to any dish.
Bok Choi: (aka pak choi or bok choy) is a member of the brassica family, related to broccoli, cabbage and kale. It is a type of Chinese cabbage, slightly resemblant of mustard greens or celery. The entire vegetable can be used in cooking, and it can be steamed, boiled, shredded, grilled or sauteed. If you haven’t cooked it yourself before, you’ve probably eaten in in a stir fry, miso soup or noodle dish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, as well as vitamin C, A, and K.
Radishes: crispy, succulent and spicy, radishes can be used in many ways. Slice them and add them to a salad, pickle them, dice them up and use them as a taco topping, or try Farmer Steve’s radish toasts snack: thinly sliced radishes on buttered toast, sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Grilled Bok Choi
1 head of bok choi
1/4 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. In a bowl, mix butter, garlic powder, paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Slice the bottom off the head of bok choi, and remove and clean the stalks. Sprinkle seasoned salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper over both sides of the stalks. Lay the bok choi stalks on the preheated grill. Brush with seasoned butter mixture, cover the grill, and cook until the bok choi stalks show grill marks and the leaves are crisp at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the bok choi, brush with butter mixture, cover, and grill the other sides. Brush with any remaining butter mixture, and remove to a platter to serve.
Sesame Kale with Garlic Scapes and Onions
adapted from thekitchn.com; serves 4 as a side dish
1 bunch kale
2 small onions
2 garlic scapes
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Coarsely chop the kale. Peel and finely chop the onions and mince the garlic scapes. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with the sesame oil. Add the garlic and onions and turn the heat to low. Cook slowly over low heat until they soften and turn golden. Add more oil if they begin to look crispy. When golden and fragrant, turn the heat to medium high and add the kale, stirring constantly. You want the leaves to wilt evenly. Pour in the vinegar and enough soy sauce to dampen the leaves. Cook, stirring, until the soy sauce evaporates somewhat and the leaves are wilted enough for your taste. This might take anywhere from two to five minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Important CSA Notes
Looking ahead on your calendar: The 4th of July falls on a Tuesday this year, so we’ll move our normal Tuesday pick up to Wednesday, July 5th. Pick up hours will remain the same 2:30pm-6:30pm. And of course, if you need to switch your pick up for that week or any other week, please let us know a week in advance so we can plan accordingly.
Communications: We send out a weekly CSA newsletter during the harvest season, and additional messages throughout the year. Please read them. There is often helpful information in them, or important updates that might answer questions you have, and possibly even great photos or fun and funny anecdotes from the farm that you’ll enjoy. Our website is also updated regularly with those newsletters, as is our facebook, twitter and instagram, so you can check us out in the real world and in the virtual world too.
If you have a question, request, feedback, or need to be in touch for any reason, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org is the best means of communication. This email is checked regularly, and we do our best to respond quickly. We’d love to talk with you when you are here on the farm and we can usually be found around the barn during CSA pickup hours, so grab our ears, pick our brains, chat us up or tell us what’s on your mind!
Pick up Days: Tuesday or Friday, please come to the farm on your designated day. If you need to switch days, please email email@example.com to make arrangements. Wednesdays in New Haven, at Cedarhurst Café, Thursdays at Walnut Beach in Milford; *Please Note: Since we have limited capacity for delivery, switching from on-farm pickup to the drop site in New Haven or Walnut Beach is not possible*
Pick Up Times: 2:30pm-6:30pm at the farm; 3pm-6pm at Cedarhurst Café in New Haven; 4pm-7pm at Walnut Beach in Milford.
Bags: Please bring your own bags for your produce. Canvas bags, paper bags and plastic bags can all be used to take home your produce. We do have our own Massaro canvas bags available for sale here at the farm.
What if I miss a week?: If you are not able to make it to the farm to pick up your produce on a given week, you are welcome to have someone else pick up it up for you. Just have them come to the farm and check off your name. Any produce that is not picked up will be donated, so know that it is put to good use! If you do miss a week, please understand that you are not entitled to additional produce any other week.
Produce Donations: Part of the farm’s mission and commitment to the community is to donate produce to local hunger relief organizations. To make this happen, we harvest additional produce for donation on CSA distribution days. Any produce not picked up by our CSA members is added to that donation. Thus, if you can’t make it one week to get your vegetables, know that your produce will go to people in need and is never wasted.
CSA is our #1 Commitment: Our CSA has always been and continues to be our #1 priority and commitment. While the fresh produce donations are at the core of our mission, and while we do offer produce at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants, you, as a CSA subscriber come first. We know how dedicated you are as our CSA subscribers, and your support is essential to maintaining this healthy, vibrant farm in your community. Our commitment to you as CSA subscribers means that we will never sacrifice the quality and quantity of our produce distributed to the CSA. We are grateful to those of you who have been with us in the CSA for many years, and welcome those joining for the first time this year.
Want more of our produce?: We will make extra produce available for sale in the barn during CSA pickup hours. In addition, you can find us at the City Seed Farmers’ Markets at Wooster Square on Saturdays from 9am-1pm, Edgewood Park Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 10am-1pm, and at. You can also find our produce at the Woodbridge Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons from 4pm-7pm in July and August, and at a handful of local restaurants including Zinc, Caseus, Heirloom, Miya’s, Roia and Harvest.
Fruit option still available: Get 15 weeks of fruit from High Hill Orchard when you pick up your veggies. The cost is $90, and includes blueberries, melons, apples and pears. See complete details on our website: www.massarofarmcsa.org
Final payments: If you still have a balance for the CSA, please send in your final payments, or be in touch to work out a payment plan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org