CSA Week #8

Crop rotations

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We’ve been busy harvesting, harvesting harvesting! This is the time when our hard work in the spring, and everyone’s patience pays off. We hope you’re enjoying the increased variety in your CSA shares and finding ways to use up all the extra veggies :)

We’re really busy these past few weeks starting crops for Fall harvest and for overwintering. Kale, sprouting broccoli, cabbages, endive and other cold hardy crops are germinating in the cool shady areas of our farms. We’re also replacing rows that held potatoes, carrots and lettuce with more potatoes, carrots, lettuce and beans for the Fall.

Rotating crops is an important part of organic farming practices. Each year, we create elaborate plans to rotate plants from a variety of vegetable families through our cultivated areas. This practice reduces pest presence (it sure confuses those flea beetles and wireworms when we move the turnips and lettuce somewhere else!) and gives the soil a break. Each crop feeds differently on the soil and provides a different function.

Both Arzeena and I value weeds as part of our rotation. It may sound crazy, but sometimes we just let’em grow. Why? Because most weeds are hardy and wily in ways that cultivated crops are not. Weeds can send down deep tap roots, or wild tangled roots to gather nutrients and minerals from the soil. Ideally, before they flower and go to seed, we pull them up and we lay them down around our crops as mulch. (Well, some of them… we don’t do this with couch grass or buttercup!) After awhile, the dead weeds break down and release those accumulated nutrients and minerals in the upper layers of the soil, where they can be taken up by veggie crops.

Organic farmers work to understand the ecology of their farms and work with the valuable natural allies present all around us. Sometimes this takes more work, more time, and more resources – but for us, it’s the only way to farm, as it leaves a better legacy for future generations. And it means tastier, better quality produce for present generations!

What’s in the box this week?

All Shares:

  • Beets
  • Bok choi
  • Salad greens
  • Summer squash
  • Peas or green beans
  • Garlic

Full Shares:

  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Big Beautiful Salad

Here’s an idea. It’s hot. It’s sticky. You don’t wanna turn the oven on. You are considering eating a popsicle for dinner…

How about a Big Beautiful Salad instead?

This week’s recipe is more of a serving suggestion than a recipe. And you only have to turn on the oven to steam the beets.

This recipe serves one. Here goes:

Grab:

  • a handful of salad and throw it on a plate
  • a few peas or green beans and slice up diagonally – throw those on your pile of greens
  • a summer squash – using a veggie peeler, peel a handful of delicious summer squash ribbons or cut tiny squash matchsticks and toss on top of the salad

Steam:

  • 2 beets

Toss the cooled steamed beets on the salad. Top with the following summery dressing:

Coconut Cilantro Lime Dressing

in Extra VeganZa by Pheonix Farm

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp tamari
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cashew butter
  • Dash of chili or cayenne pepper, to taste.

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until the ingredients are emulsified. Serve with Big Beautiful Salad!