In the Saddle Again

Another CSA season is starting, marking the beginning of our 11th season delivering produce to members’ doorsteps.  The passage of time has compressed the interval between the end of the season and the beginning.  When I was a younger man, it seemed like the nine months jn the “off season” between October and June took a long time.  This past nine months since the last box in October, 2015 zoomed past me as quickly as Christmas break in high school.  Instead of lamenting time under the bridge, however, I absolutely celebrate a new beginning and a new season.  It often brings not just new growing experiences, but also a re-connection with CSA members and farmers market customers.  

The season so far is shaping up well.  We have planted crops in good time and cultivated a number of crops 2-3 times already.  We had a challenge with the soil being really dry through May which had us moving irrigation around (a first for us since I rarely irrigate and I’ve never had to do so in May).  A lot of crops are looking pretty good; I’m especially excited about the peas and potatoes so far.  
I’m sitting in the kitchen writing this blog right now because of the morning’s rain.  We were hit with a little hail even which I’m sure put a few holes in the Romaine lettuce.  
In the CSA box: 
  1. Broccoli: A variety called Packman, this came in earlier than we wanted due to the cold temps in May which caused the plants to set a head prematurely, which makes for small heads.
  2. Swiss Chard: This is great with eggs in the morning (saute and include them), but, hey, chard is even better with bacon!  See recipe below. 
  3. Mizuna: A mild Asian green.  This can be eaten in a salad and used as a cooking green in such dishes as pho or many other Asian dishes. 
  4. Radishes
  5. Green Onions 
  6. Arugula: The green with a band with oakleaf-shaped leaves
  7. Romaine Lettuce 
  8. Red Leaf Lettuce
  9. Spinach: Loose greens in the box.  
  10. Parsley Bunch
Sauteed Swiss Shard with Bacon 

Ingredients
Olive oil, for pan
1 cup bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths, leaves cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Kosher salt

Directions
Coat a large saute pan lightly with olive oil and add the diced bacon, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Bring the pan to medium-high heat. When the garlic has turned a lovely golden brown, remove from the pan and discard. At this point the bacon should start to become brown and crispy. Add the Swiss chard stems and the stock and cook until the stock has mostly evaporated. Add the Swiss chard leaves and saute until they are wilted. Season with salt.
Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/sauteed-swiss-chard-with-bacon-recipe.html?oc=linkback

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