Community Supported Agriculture Week #3

Notice the new tab, veggie i.d.  Slowly but surely I hope to get pictures and descriptions of vegetables online so you can identify what is in your crate.  Check out the new recipes sent in by CSA members under the recipe tab!

Garlic Scape Alert

By the way those crazy curly green things are garlic scapes, the flower shoot of the garlic plant.  They can be used like green onion or substituted for garlic, they have great mild garlic flavor.  Use the tender portion from the pointy top to the bottom, discard bottom that becomes tough to cut.

CSA Harvest Days

Harvest days on the Swier CSA farm are full of activity. First one of us stumbles out of the bed and begins the harvest around 5:30 in the morning. We start by cutting the tenderest vegetables, the lettuces and greens. We try to get these out of the field in the early morning and into tanks of cold water for washing and to keep their freshness. About 7:30-8:00 the early harvester gets coffee and a bite to eat while Allma and Ila are getting out the door to the grandparents or to help harvest. The other big Swier gets the tanks washed with bleach water, cleaned, and then filled for the addition of harvested greens. Somewhere around 7:30 Sirah shows up, shortly after that Becky and a little later we look forward to a volunteer or Sonny. They join in the harvest or with washing the tanks. After the most temperature sensitive crops are out of the garden we head to things like radishes, peas, onions, broccoli etc. We try to have all of the harvest out of the field before lunch and in a tank or a cool spot. The share crates get checked and double checked to make sure we aren’t missing anyone. Finally (it feels), its lunch, a time to joke, talk and plan the afternoon, and well… EAT!

In the afternoon, we spin dry all the salad mix and many of the greens in washing machines. We have customized the washers (this year we added a second to keep our processing line moving along) by removing the agitator and locking it in the spin cycle. We scoop out colanders of greens, put them in mesh bags and let them spin until relatively dry. While greens machine gets going, someone else starts to portion out the other harvested vegetables into the crates. Once we get a good amount of spun greens we portion out the bags for CSA shares. Often on these days we are also filling orders from GreenTree Coop (www.greentree.coop), The Brass Café or All about Health. Our goal is to be done by 3:30 so we can pack up the truck and have a timely delivery. We are so thankful for our helpers every year, not only do we get the job done better our day seems to be filled with more laughs and good conversation, good work and good company.

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