CSA starts Thursday June 1

From Ammie Chickering, Peacework Farm

The CSA starts this Thursday, June 1! Rochester pick-up is at Abundance’s new location at 571 South Ave. from 6 to 7:30 PM. You will be bagging your own share; please bring your own bags with you! Newark pick-up is at the farm; shares will be bagged for you and placed in the refrigerators (one for Fulls, one for Partials) in the packing shed by 2:30 PM. Rochester members: we now have a 3-door reach-in refrigerator in Abundance’s warehouse instead of our old walk-in cooler. If you can’t make it to pick-up Thursday night call me at 315-398-4007. Let me know the name of the Primary Contact for your share and if it’s a Full or a Partial share. We’ll bag your share, label it with the Primary Contact’s name and put it in the fridge for you to pick up during store hours. Reminder: we are fortunate to have Abundance as our city distribution site. However, they do not run the CSA. If you are picking up your share from our fridge in the warehouse, please let a staff person know that you are with the CSA before going to retrieve your share. If you have questions about the CSA, please call me, not Abundance!

This week’s shares:

Full Shares: over-wintered carrots, over-wintered leeks, asparagus, over-wintered parsley, green garlic, watercress, oregano

Partial Shares: over-wintered carrots, over-wintered leeks, asparagus, over-wintered parsley

Thank goodness for hardy veggies! The weather’s been so cold and wet, nothing we’ve planted this spring is ready to harvest. Everything in your shares is a hardy perennial crop or something we over-wintered from last year. The parsley is a real surprise. It’s a variety from Seed Savers Exchange called Triple-curled we tried for the first time last year and it survived the winter just fine. Normally the watercress in the stream below our well has gone by before the CSA begins. This year, Liz found a patch that has barely started to blossom and is still tasty. We’ll harvest it for the Full shares to try. It’s pretty spicy all by itself but it adds a nice kick to salads or other greens (which you’ll have to get from Abundance since ours aren’t ready yet!). Use the leaves and side stems; don’t use the central stems: they’re very fibrous! Yes, we’re putting lots of herbs in the Full shares. The oregano is really beautiful right now. The nasty insects that hammer it haven’t emerged yet. If you don’t want to use it right away, you can dry it by hanging it in a paper bag in a dry, dark spot. When it’s dry, crumble it into a jar and it will be there when the tomatoes come in.

Wash your veggies! Almost everything we harvest at the farm is washed before we pack it (in drinking-quality water from our spring-fed well). It’s washed to remove field dirt and to “hydro-cool” the veggies before they go into the farm’s walk-in cooler. However, this doesn’t mean they are table-ready! We recommend that you wash your produce at home before you use it ESPECIALLY THE LEEKS!! They were planted last summer, tucked in for the winter with straw mulch and harvested this spring. They’ve had a lot of time to collect grit! We will wash them before we bunch them for your shares but to get them really clean, you should wash them again AFTER you cut them (crosswise or lengthwise). Float the cut pieces in a bowl of water and the grit will sink to the bottom.

Not familiar with leeks? They are in the onion family. Use them like onions in cooking (potato/leek soup is a favorite at our house, pureed with lots of garlic, it makes a thick, creamy soup that’s good hot or cold). They are also good grilled or browned under the broiler, topped with coarsely-grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese. Asparagus is good the same way!

Keeping asparagus. If you don’t want to use your asparagus right away, trim a bit off the bottom of each spear and put them upright in a quart container with 1” of water in the bottom. They’ll keep fresh in your fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Thank you, potato planters! Thanks to everyone who turned out to help plant potatoes on Saturday afternoon. Our crew ranged in age from 5 to 74 and everyone did a great job. It was touch-and-go with the weather and we almost canceled but the soil was dry enough to work and we were able to go ahead. Stay tuned to future Farm Updates for more opportunities to come help at the farm. We’ll need help with weeding (always) and with picking peas and when they start to come in.