2018 CSA Winter March 31st Mint
- Watercress Box
- Collard Greens 10×10
- Salad Mix 10×10
- Dozen Eggs
Fresh mint for this weekend as it marks the last day of our Winter CSA share and the first day of our Spring CSA share, as we formulate our seasonal calendar into 3 month long periods that start in January. Next week marks the beginning of ourfarmer’s market season, which runs from April to December in downtown Charlottesville and south of town at Forrest Lakes (through October). All CSA members receive a 10% discount on purchases made at either of our market stands.
Mint, violets and redbud blossoms are highlighted in photos this week as many will enjoy a mint sauce with lamb this weekend and the violets are blooming here. Redbuds have yet to pop out (budding and opening before the tree’s leaves) but I wanted to remind you of another edible flower that is easily wildcrafted.
And just in case you happen across some violets, consider trying some for a surprising twist. As with gathering any edibles from the wild, be aware to not gather right next to a road substantially travelled to avoid heavy metal accumulation from exhaust.
2018 CSA Winter March 24th Citrus Nasturtium
- Calamondin Oranges
- Nasturtium Flowers
- Nasturtium Leaves
- Salad Mix 10×10
- Chervil Chef Box
- Micro Collard Greens
- 2 Dozen Eggs
It is a real joy to share with you all every week a nice selection of the bounty here at the farm. This time, I would like to highlight that the microgreens selected are my favorite. Certainly other microgreens are delicious, nutritious and beautiful but none shocked me as much with regard to my expectation of how I thought they would taste. Being raised in the south, I was introduced to collard greens early and my experience into adulthood was a tough green cooked for a very long time, regularly prepared with or dressed with a splash of vinegar even if pork/bacon/ham hock, onions, etc were added. Sufficed to say, the end result did not exactly highlight what collards taste like, but rather smothered it. I do enjoy mature collard greens and will scissor cut the tough spine out before dashing them in a hot skillet, making quick work of wilting them just until they are bright green. Well, this week’s collards require no cooking and come in the power packed form of microgreens. Try eating a pinch right out of the box to get a sense of what I’m saying…sweetish, nutty, and satisfying. The first time I tried them, I was blown away. Another fun twist for this week’s menu, the lovely nasturtium. There are leaves which can be a doily by which to pick up the serving or used as a dainty wrap. I have also shredded them for use in salads and egg dishes, like omelettes and quiches. The flowers are lovely in a salad or as a garnish. Mike really likes these both savory or sweet, either stuffed with a crab dip or with a sweet cream (as shown) for desert. There is a nice spicy kick in flavor, but be sure to smell the fragrance for a delightful surprise. To your health and your pleasure!
2018 CSA Winter March 17th Orange Leaves
- Kale 10×10
- Salad Mix 10×10
- Poultry Herb Mix
- Micro Mix
- Orange Leaves
A new idea to add to the menu this week: Orange leaves! My only experience with using a type of citrus leaf in preparing food was with the Thai lime leaf (Makrut) which I like in stir-fry dishes, curries, beverages and to use as a dental application against streptococcus mutans, which I had read about years ago of a traditional use in Thailand. Of course, it serves to reason that other types of citrus leaves are useful and delicious! The most common recipes I found on this topic were for tea, made with either fresh or crushed dried leaves, alone or added to black tea. James Wong at the Guardian blogged about enjoying them in mulled wine and cider. Elsewhere it is mentioned as a wrap for food and marinade in some Mediterranean recipes. There is one recipe idea from Brisbane of a beef and green bean stir-fry with garlic and soy sauce, which I would substitute the Thai lime leaf with the orange leaf. It can be used similarly to bay laurel leaves, leaving whole while adding to simmering foods or rice pot and then removed before serving. But it can also be sprinkled in as thin slivers to your dish, being sure to cook well. For best effect, scissor cut finely across the leaf, ensuring the minimal amount of spine and maximizing the softening of it. You can store your leaves in the fridge to use fresh, pop them into the freezer or dry and crumble them for the tea and spice cabinet. Hope you have fun with this different take on the orange tree! Enjoy