PHCSA Newsletter: Week 2

Prospect Heights CSA Newsletter

Week #2 of the 2015 Season

Sorry about the last minute change to the pick up location last week. This week, we do expect to be in the cafeteria of PS 9 as planned.

It is challenging for an all-volunteer group to keep on top of the details of managing such a robust CSA. Confirming with the powers that be at PS9 that our season had begun slipped through the cracks. That problem is solved now (fingers crossed), but we sure could use some more help in the Core Group. Honestly, it is not so much work when there are enough shoulders to carry the load, and it can be fun to learn more about how it all works. Core Group participation can also reduce the cost of next year’s share. Email us for more information.

In this issue:

  • Pickup Information
  • Distribution Site Relocating for Summer
  • Recipe of the Week
  • News from Windflower Farm

Important Dates:

June 18 – Pick up #2
June 25 – Pick up #3 (at PS9)
July 2 – Pick up #4 (Alternate site)

This Week’s Pickup
Week B

Thursday June 18, 2015, 4:30p -7:30p
PS9 Cafeteria
80 Underhill Ave

enter on St Marks next to the playground
We expect:
vegetables| fruit | eggs | flowers | maple
Lewis Waite mystery boxes | bread | a la carte.

Pickup Information

Don’t forget when you head over to pick up your produce that you may have other orders to pick up as well.  This week, Lewis Waite is delivering the mystery boxes you may have ordered at the beginning of the season, together with your a la carte orders for cheese, beans, bread, etc.  And this is a maple week, so if you ordered maple, even if you are an “A” week half share, you need to head over to get your maple.

Does this sound complicated?  Subscribe to our google calendar and never miss another pickup!

Distribution Site Relocating for Summer Months

PS 9 closes down for the summer and we must distribute at an alternate site. Fortunately, one of our members generously offers the use of her driveway, and starting on July 2, we will be picking up at an alternate location (see emailed newsletter). The hours remain unchanged. Come September, we will be back at PS 9.

Recipe of the Week

What to do with all that chard or spinach?  So many creative ideas are already posted on our website in the recipe section.  Here is a new one for you, a variation of a recipe posted on 101 Cookbooks:

Spiced Coconut Chard (or spinach)

1 shallot (or scallot)
1 large clove of garlic (or 1 stem green baby garlic)
1/4 teaspoon nice salt
1 tablespoon ghee, clarified butter, or sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup finely sliced asparagus (optional but nice)
1 bunch chard, well washed, and chopped or sliced chiffonade style
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted

Place the shallot and garlic on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt, and chop/mash it into a paste.

Heat the oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds, cover with a lid, and let them toast 30 seconds. Remove the lid, stir in the red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute. Stir in the asparagus if you’re using it, let cook roughly another minute, then stir in the garlic-shallot paste and all of the chard. Keep stirring until the chard starts collapsing a bit, and brightens up – barely any time at all – perhaps a minute. Finish with a bit of fresh lemon juice and the coconut, serve immediately.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish.
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 5 min

News from Windflower Farm

CSA Delivery #2, Week of June 15, 2015

It’s a rainy morning here at Windflower Farm. From my kitchen window, looking to the hill beyond our greenhouses, I see three deer. At first they were walking in the cucumber beds, now they are in the strawberries. Jan wonders how they have breached the fence before running up the hill to scoot them out. Organic growers used to suffer their greatest losses from insects, diseases and weeds, but now it’s deer – they are everywhere, and they love vegetables. When Jan returns she is soaked to the skin. She believes she found out how they got in. Later today we will walk the entire fence line and make repairs to the places they have tunneled under or chewed through.

This week’s share will include:

  • lettuce

  • dinosaur or Red Russian kale

  • more scallions from shallots

  • Swiss chard

  • sweet Hakurei turnips

  • bunched garlic shoots

  • potted basil

  • arugula

  • kohlrabi

  • early cucumbers

  • strawberries

An excellent way to enjoy kohlrabi is grated over a garden salad. It also makes a good coleslaw, and, sliced, it’s good with dips. You’ll also get some of our first cucumbers. Your fruit will be strawberries. Your flowers shares will be arranged in bouquets of snapdragon, dahlia, stock, and calendula. The seed company made a mistake and sent her dwarf varieties of snapdragons. Two 200’ beds of flowers will go to waste, and she (and you) will have to wait for the next batch before tall snaps come.

My John Deere is sitting in a heap in our new field. I’ll call the dealer this morning. This spring, we managed to rent a lovely 24-acre hay field from our neighbor, Maryjane. It slopes gently to the south and is protected from the wind by trees on its northern and western flanks. It is a field that I’ve eyed for fifteen years, and now the lease is ours. After taking a first cutting of hay two weeks ago, Jan, Nate and I began laying it out and plowing. The field will increase by half the amount of land we have under cultivation, and give us the chance to improve our cover cropping and rotations. It was in plowing under the old sod in our new field that I damaged my tractor. It was the strangest thing – I hit a vein of shale and somehow managed to drive the tractor off its left rear wheel. It’s possible the two are not connected – the shale and my mishap – but it’s improbable. There was a thunk (shale), then a snap (wheel).  Four of the bolts holding the wheel to the hub on the tractor sheared off, and the other four pulled straight out of the hub. The tractor is now sitting on the wheel which is pinned under its rear fender at an odd angle. The boys down at the dealership will no doubt have a good laugh over that one. The thing is – it’s a new tractor, with just 116 hours, and they are the ones who assembled it. My chief concern is that they piece it back together so that I can finish plowing. I have cover crops to sow.

Best, Ted