First, it is annoying to the box packer to have a nicely filled box which wilts in 10 minutes to become a half-empty looking box. The emotional response is that the CSA is short of good stuff. The main culprits include the Chard and the Mustard – although the Bibb lettuce in the box last week was right in there with the worst of the litter. Now, obviously you tried and true members all know to wash and bag those poor wilted sad Mustard leaves, right? The Romaine was such a stand-up lettuce…
Second, it gets even worse this week because the Next Big Thing is really delicious Asparagus. The annoyance there is that Asparagus doesn’t take hardly any space in the box. The best that can be done for presentation is to try and get it to stand at attention and draw your eye away from the other flat stuff. Cabbage, Bok Choi – those are great for filling the box. Mustard, Chard… well. It is especially grim with the full share boxes – and heaven help those of you who can’t get to your box for several hours…
Perhaps the Asparagus will be so wonderful the wilted mustard is ignored. The curly mustard isn’t as bad as the Southern Giant, though.
While discussing the Asparagus it might be helpful to set expectations. Asparagus grows really quickly, but not quickly enough to pick it all for Wednesday. The Friday delivery would only hear rumors. The plan as always is to portion the crop to the members. Literally counting the spears from half the bed, double portion for the full boxes, single portion for the personal share. Now, if you are anti-Asparagus it would be generous to the rest of your delivery day members to pass or opt out. Generally speaking it is likely that the first week would be 2-3 spears per personal share, 4-6 spears for full share. Fresh with a (well, farmers have simple tastes, just plain mayo is good enough here) dip is great. Asparagus put in the refrigerator in a zip lock can keep for literally 2-3 weeks if you decide you want a bigger meal.
The Arugula is going to town as well, those who had asked for ‘lots’ according to the pick list probably got lots – although it is fully possible that the pick last week was confused enough to cause some “lots” members to be “naughts.” For some reason the list was partially Wednesday and partially Friday members – only figured out as the car was being loaded. There was some frantic swapping happening there – and then, while on the way to the first stop it suddenly was remembered that Wednesday is 7 boxes and Friday is 6 and the car had six boxes. So. Back to the farm to speed-pick. It may be time to consider a home for the mentally confused.
That said, this week will surely be better. Maybe. The only real challenge is that the lettuces this week are from outside, still a bit small so there are multiple heads even for the personal share. Winter Density and Winter Brown – there will be at least one of each for the personal share, and “more” for the full share. Winter Density is a really deep green – and a pretty head. It is a cross between a Romaine and a Butter crunch if you want to impress your family and friends.
New potatoes in the greenhouse are up to the size of a Filbert nut… Carrots are long. It has been mentioned in the past, but the sad fact of life is that the cold and wet stops bed prep, which postpones germination and so outside carrots, beets and turnips are not even started. There is a lot of frustration due to this weather. The highly desired warmer and drier weather might happen staring Wednesday, 5/4. Or not.
So – here is what IS (or may be) in the box:
|Lettuce||Winter Density, Winter Brown – relatively small heads, multiples in the box this week. Getting bigger all the time…|
|Brassicas||Early Kale is effectively a crop failure. Going to seed without ever getting large. Waiting for new Bok Choi and Cabbage – both coming Real Soon Now. So – no brassicas. Shed a tear.|
|Roots||Beets with small bulbs. Young Carrots (SugarSnax54 – a longer carrot, the go-to here) – huge greens on Carrots are tasty – like a Parsley.|
|Greens||Mustard … Lots and lots and lots… If you already voted Mustard off your island you won’t get any…
Chard – bigger small early leaves. Really growing fast
Spinach – Keeps coming.
Arugula – want a lot and didn’t get it? Ask!
Vit – Pretty small, nice taste – not a lot, ask.
|Herbs||Mint, Oregano, Chives, Green Onions. Small portions of Cilantro or Parsley (ask)|
|Misc||Asparagus! If you DO NOT want this delicacy, speak up!|
Coming: Cabbage, Bok Choi, Snap Peas (currently, Peas are about a foot tall and growing fast).
Monthly Update coming Wednesday, 5/4. A list of flower starts for sale will be included.