Just a friendly reminder, we are taking a week-long pause for the July 4th holiday. Friday the 30th and July 4th we will not be distributing boxes. Last year and the years prior, we had very low attendance for the two pick up dates surrounding this holiday, so this year, we have opted to skip so people don’t miss out on our beautiful produce. Happy holiday!!
This week we have more conventional produce to offer. Most items are probably self-explanatory except perhaps the cherries. The cherries in the box are sour cherries. While some people think they are yummy out of the box, general consensus seems to point towards cooking them. The most common use of these cherries is in pies and jellies. Since you have only a pint, you might find it hard to make a pie. Try pitting them and adding some water and sugar to make a cherry syrup to pour over vanilla ice cream or pancakes with homemade whipped cream. I have also used them in braised pork shoulder. Brown meat, add beer, wine or water to reach halfway up meat in a dutch oven, add onions and salt and pepper and pitted sour cherries, put in 350 oven for 3 hours or so depending on size of meat chunk. Yummy. You could do an abbreviated version of this recipe with chops, stove top…add fresh herbs at the end. Serve with a simple salad.
In this week’s box:
Herb Bouquets (tarragon, sage, dill, lavender)
My garden is a pretty amazing place. It is set six blocks away from my house and tucked down a side street that dead-ends into the open lot that was once a school. There are many wild things there, rabbits, pheasants, deer, chickweed, wild peas, dogs, my daughters. Sometimes it is hard to make order from irregular forms that abound, a burned house across the street with scattered, half-erected beams, the grasses growing for miles, sometimes an errant rose bush or daffodils. On Saturday, I planted scarlet salvia, a perennial that attracts hummingbirds. My kids like it there because we picnic under the walnut tree and have a swing with a 50-foot trajectory. Luckily, the beets that are in the box this Tuesday are not mine, the rabbits have been repeatedly eating all of their leaves and they are as small as pennies, despite having put them in the ground in April. The savory is from Singing Tree Garden, where it grows well, almost wild, taking over half a bed with its pokey dark green leaves. Each one of our gardens grows certain plants well, according to the preferences of the farmer, the soil and the weather. Enjoy each of the fruits our gardens offer.
Mulberries–Fields of Plenty, Occupy Yourself, Food Field
Swiss Chard (Friday Only)–Fields of Plenty
Salad Mix–Food Field
Broccoli Greens or Kale or Radicchio (Tuesday only)–Food Field
Hot Sauce–Food Field
Radishes – Fisheye Farms
We are happy to announce that we have reached membership capacity for the 2017 growing season. We will evaluate our crop production capabilities in July and determine if we can take on new members. Thanks for helping us meet our membership goal!
Hello and welcome to the 2017 season of City Commons CSA! This year marks our fifth season in business and we can’t wait to share our fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers with you. We have been extremely busy over the last several weeks, prepping beds, planting seeds and transplants and hoping for rain and bees to make our gardens grow. Now we reap the first harvest of the year. Spring is green. Our gardens and your boxes prove it.
This week you’ll have plenty to create salads with: Arugula, head lettuce, green garlic, garlic scapes, thyme, strawberries, lemon balm, radishes, salad mix, and pac choi.
Here is a simple and delicious salad dressing recipe:
Mix 2 tablespoons tahini with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or lemon or lime juice). Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/3 cup of olive oil or raw sesame oil. Add minced green garlic (or scapes) and black pepper to taste. Whisk, whip or otherwise stir until emulsion occurs, pour onto salad and serve.
Salad ingredient suggestions:
Salad mix, handful arugula, thyme, lemon balm, strawberries, scapes, radishes and toasted hazelnuts. Tahini dressing from above recipe. YUMMY!
The storage share is amazing this year. One bushel box so chock full of vegetables, we couldn’t even close the flaps.
4 squash (pie pumpkin, butternut, acorn, red kuri, and/or spagetti squash)
Mixed Herb Bouquet
Many of these items will store for 3-4 months. If you intend to store any of the items that have green tops, remove the tops to the peal for best storage results. Hang your herbs upside-down and store squash and sweet potatoes in a cool dark and dry place. Happy eating.
Thank you City Commons members for making this a great season. We have ended the year with a bang. Thanks to the weather (warm and wet late summer/early fall) and our growers, we have a wonderful box to share with you this week.
Tomatoes from Food Field
Spinach from Dulce Diamante
Rutabaga from Fields of Plenty
Turnips from Fields of Plenty
Red and Green Peppers from Food Field and Iroquois
Beets from Fields of Plenty
Carrots from Food Field
Sweet Potatoes from Food Field
Celery from Occupy Yourself and Food Field
Kale from Occupy Yourself and Food Field
Celery Root from Fields of Plenty
Parsley from Occupy Yourself
When ever I see rutabaga, I am harkened back to my days on a small farm in Quebec. The owner of the farm was a Moroccan food enthusiast who loved the yellow turnips for their sweetness and their ability to fill the tummy on a cold day. We used to make a cous cous dish that featured rutabaga, squash and potatoes. I have not tried to recreate this recipe since returning but I have found a recipe that approximates the one we made. Chicken can be substituted with garbanzos and you can add other root vegetables to the stew as you like. The spices are the important part–and the cous cous.
We hope you have enjoyed your season with City Commons. If you have any comments or suggestions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be happy to try to incorporate any ideas into planning for future seasons. Cheers!
Pushing through the last of the eggplant at our house tonight my partner assembled this lovely eggplant gratin. Depending on what’s on hand you could use a different cheese. Also, we added a couple cayenne peppers to the egg mixture because we like it spicy, but you might decide that doesn’t work for you.
- 4 slices of bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- a “crap ton” of eggplant (this is the chef’s measurement, the farmer would say about 2 pounds)
- medium sized onion
- 3 large tomatoes
- a generous handful of arugula (other greens would do just fine, if they are a tougher cooking green maybe wilt first)
- 1/4 pound cheese or a little less (we used feta, anything you have on hand or none at all would be fine)
- other herbs or spices that suit your fancy- we used garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper
Put the slices of bread at the bottom of your casserole dish.
Slice the eggplant, salt, and set aside for a minute for some of the bitterness and moisture to sweat out.
Rinse eggplant and saute in a frying pan with onion until just cooked
Pre-heat oven to 350
Put eggs, milk, cheese, and spices in a food processor and blend
Layer onions and eggplant on top of the bread. Put the greens on top of that. Pour egg and milk mixture over top and finally top with slices of tomato.
Bake covered for about 40 minutes, uncover and then bake for another 15 minutes (cook times may vary depending on the type of dish you use).
Let rest for a few minutes and then serve. Watch all your guests go “Yummm”
Its week 19, the second to last week in the 2016 CSA season. If you have a half-share and were assigned to pick up on odd weeks today is your last week. It seems strange that the season is coming to a close and its still almost 80 degrees outside, but such is a warming world. Maybe soon, we will be able to grow all year long…Today’s box is super spectacular.
Celeriac from Fields of Plenty
Collards from Fields of Plenty
Hakuri Turnips from Iroquois Ave
Eggplant from Iroquois Ave and Fields of Plenty
Sweet Potatoes from Food Field
Tomatoes from Iroquois Ave and Food Field
Cilantro from Dulce Diamante
Tarragon from Occupy Yourself
Scallions from Iroquois Ave and Occupy Yourself
Braising Mix from Occupy Yourself
Celeraic is a vegetable that is a little bit weird and maybe intimidating for the first time cooking with it. It is to be peeled first and the inside is soft and delicate. You can use the peelings in soup stock, you can use the tops for the same thing or use as you would regular celery. I really like celeriac in in soup and stir fry. It is also good roasted with other veggies, tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper in the oven on high heat so it gets brown and crispy. You can grate it with your hakuri turnips, mix with mayo and mustard, tarragon, good vinegar (sweet wine would be good), salt and pepper and mix–remoulade! It is delicious.
Eat your veggies and enjoy!