A new season

We have reached a new veggie season. For me, this is year 14 in Otter Tail County as Lida Farm. One growing season will end, and, before I know it, another will begin. My sense of these 14 years runs different than my members and I need to remind myself that some CSA members are experiencing the variety of vegetables throughout a summer for the first time, even if it’s ‘old hat’ to me. This reminder is both exciting and humbling.

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I remember back to my first year as an apprentice. I was 23 years old and decided to go ‘all in’ on this farming thing and live and work full-time on an organic vegetable farm. I was out in the field and seeing cauliflower grown for the first time and eating kohrabi for the first time ever! I remember asking Paul, my farm mentor and employer, if people actually ate this stuff called arugula. Well, fast forward 18 years and now I’m the guy saying, “Sure, it’s a good green with nutty taste…why wouldn’t a person eat arugula?” Or I’m surprised when a customer at a farmers market hasn’t even heard of swiss chard. Either way, the point is the same, we’re not all on the same page when it comes to veggies and it’s part of my job to be your guide to the season and gently introduce different crops to CSA members and farm stand customers alike.

So, I’d like to invite you to take on the season in the spirit of discovery. Let’s try some new foods and together learn some things about agriculture and growing. After all, this is the thin green line of life which feeds us both.

In the box:

  • Arugula: The bunch with a blue band and oakleaf-shaped leaves. See recipe below.
  • Snap Peas: As snap peas, you eat the whole pod.
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Green Onions
  • Spinach
  • Kale: A variety called Westlander that we get from High Mowing Seeds, this has become a real standby.
  • Basil 
  • A couple radishes: Man, this first set of radishes didn’t fly, but part of the bed came thru, so I thought I’d include a couple. They give the box some color anyway.

Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 

Adopted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everybody by Deborah Madison

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

A few green onions, finely diced

5 T olive oil

Bunch of arugula, chopped coarsely and large stems removed.

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , coarsely grated

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted

Combine zest, green onions, olive oil, and lemon juice together with salt and pepper to taste. Assemble salad in bowl and toss with nuts, cheese, and dressing. I associate arugula with Italy, so find your inner Italian and combine this salad with a nice crusty bread like Falls Baking baguette we carry in the co-op and a red wine.


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