"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday May 26, 2016
The rhubarb at the farm is ready to be picked, but waiting patiently for the first CSA farm share pick up! I’m sure many of you have found yourself in the same position…
April & May can be the most frustrating months for a locavore… Some lettuces, a few radishes, & maybe some overwintered root veggies, like carrots, parsnips, or leeks are all we have to show for the last month & a half of nicer weather. But…
The next few weeks should change all of that, as June brings the first fruits of another summer harvest season! Here’s what should be expected coming out of gardens in & around Buffalo during the month of June.
First the cold season crops mature, with leafy greens like romaine lettuce, spring mix, kale, mustard greens, chard, butterhead lettuce, & collards. Broccoli is usually ready before June is out & cabbages not far behind. Root veggies like radishes, turnips, & beets are ready first. Green onions & chives, then garlic scapes bring some flavor to the table along with a plethora of fresh herbs. Snap & snow peas give us something sweet along with the earliest fruits like strawberries, raspberries, & of course Juneberries.
So be looking for all this & more at the farmers markets & in CSA farm shares this June. Members of our CSA program can watch the blog & Facebook page each week for a list of what to expect in your farm shares.
However, with all this good food becoming available sometimes our eyes get bigger than our stomachs…
Notice the new addition to the farm blog is our storage tips section. Our CSA members can watch for tips on how to store the items distributed each week, but here are some additional general tips to remember throughout the CSA season.
With all the greens that come at the beginning of the season it’s easy to get maxed out on them. Fortunately plenty of the hearty greens, like any excess kale, collards, chard, & spinach in particular, can be frozen & saved for soups in the cold winter months. Just put chopped dry leaves (chop off the stems) in freezer bags.
Berries & peas on the other hand don’t store well; luckily this usually isn’t a problem, as who can resist their sweetness!
Any fresh herbs that don’t get used right away can always be hung up in a kitchen window for a week or two. Then store the dried herb in an airtight container.
When prioritizing your menu, it’s fine to put meals with root veggies towards the end of the meal plan. These often store quite a while (at least a couple weeks) in an open (not sealed) plastic bag in your fridge crisper. They need the bag to keep them from drying out too much, but sealing the bag locks in the moisture & encourages mold. Root veggies except from this would of course be onions & potatoes, which can be stored dry at room temperature.
Keeping all this in mind & following the specifics listed under our storage tips section will help you get the most out of this summer’s local harvest!