Welcome to the first week of the 2015 CSA! Our trucks have just left the farm filled with CSA boxes brimming with greens! Seasoned CSA members know to expect lots of leafy greens in the first few boxes of the season. These are the fast-growing crops that don't mind cool spring temperatures. I have a lot to share with you in this first newsletter, but let's start with the produce - the best part!
Red Radishes - Am I allowed to admit that I'm really not a huge radish fan? Well, not until I tried them with some feta and spring herbs. (In the recipe section below.) It's a heavenly combination!
Lettuce Mix - Farmer Matt customizes this mix to include the most flavorful and contrasting leaf texture lettuce varieties. These are grown in 10 row beds, so we can't get in there to cultivate the weeds. In other words, you may find some weeds in the mix, but don't despair! (They're all perfectly edible, but easy to distinguish from the lettuce leaves if you prefer to take them out. While I'm washing the mix, I give it a quick look-over and pull out the little grasses and flowering weeds. It takes about 15 seconds per bag.) Don't overdress this lettuce mix with a heavy salad dressing! Try drizzling with olive oil & balsamic vinegar and season with salt & pepper.
Baby Arugula - Exceptionally tender and flavorful. Nothing like the baby arugula you find in those darn clamshell containers at the grocery store! Handle gently - the leaves are so delicate that they will bruise easily.
Mustard Greens "Braising Mix" - Taste a leaf - these mustard greens really pack a flavor punch! I have tried them raw, but they're a bit too sharp for me. Instead, saute them gently or braise them. Try the recipe below.
Red Kale - Hands down my favorite kale variety. And my favorite kale salad of all time is in the recipe section below. Lemon, garlic, breadcrumbs... yum! The leaves are edible, but the tough lower stems are not. Be sure to remove the stems!
All of the bagged greens have gone through one wash at the farm, but we recommend that you wash them once again at home before eating. To wash greens: (1)Fill a large bowl with cool water. (2)Dump in greens and agitate. (3)Remove greens and spin dry in a salad spinner. This one is my favorite.
GET TO KNOW US!
Some of you know us well, others are new to our CSA program and new to our farm. Here's a little background... Farmer Matt started the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm nearly 20 years ago on a small piece of rented land near his family's home. A self-taught farmer, Farmer Matt grew the farm from that one acre plot into one of the first organic CSA farms in the country. We now grow on 80 acres of Certified Organic farmland and serve dozens of communities on Long Island and Queens with our beautiful organic produce. Farmer James joined us in 2005 and will be leaving at the end of this year to start his own farm in Connecticut. We are sad to see him leave after 10 great years working together, but we wish him all the very best as he starts on a new farming adventure.
Our farm production team is comprised of a crew of outstanding employees who maintain and harvest the crops and wash and pack up the shares each week. Their hands are the ones weeding your carrots, harvesting your cauliflower, washing your potatoes and packing your boxes. They are talented, dedicated and committed to the "art" of farming and without their tireless commitment to what we do here, the farm would not function.
Kim keeps our office running and works in our farm shop on Fridays & Saturdays. She's your contact person if you have any issues with your CSA membership. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-722-3302. Rounding out the farm staff are our delivery drivers, Neil and Noe, and Brian and Orlando who run our farmers' markets.
I have always been the one behind the scenes designing our website, taking photographs, developing the CSA program and running the business side of the farm. I'm constantly running (or biking) between the fields, the farm office and our farmhouse kitchen. Farmer Matt and I live on the farm with our two little farmers-in-training, Galen and Zinn. We are so happy you have joined us this season! Please don't be a stranger - come visit us or drop us an e-mail. We love to hear from you! - Maggie
WANT MORE BEHIND-THE-SCENES? FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!
Get up-to-the-moment posts from the fields, the barn, the farmhouse kitchen and more!
VISIT THE FARM
Our Farm Shop in Jamesport is open Fridays from 10-6 and Saturdays from 9-5 all season long. All members receive 10% off their purchases in our shop! Farm Tours are held every Saturday in June at 1pm. Free for CSA members and their families.
STOCK YOUR CSA KITCHEN PANTRY!
New to CSA? The best place to start is in your pantry. A well-stocked pantry can help you get through your shares each week. Alexa Weitzman of Susatinable Pantry shares some great advice in our "Stocking Your CSA Pantry" Kitchen Guide.
VISIT OUR FARMERS' MARKETS
Can't get enough of our veggies? Some of our best Farmers' Market customers are our CSA members! Stock up on more of the goodness you get in your shares at our markets in Islip (Saturdays) and Huntington (Sundays) opening THIS WEEKEND! Visit our website to learn more about our markets and find a map! Brian looks forward to seeing you there!