Fresh and Value-Added Items:
- Carrots 2#
- Mountain Rose Potatoes 2.5#
- Beets 1# : Pink Smoothie Juice (for vitamix blender), Beet Salad (could make without greens)
- Cabbage, Grn or Red: Shredded Cabbage Salad with Cranberries and Balsamic Dressing. I added a little soy and rice wine vinegar to this recipe to taste.
- Eggs-1 dozen
- Raspberry Jam-1/2 pt: Super Simple Raspberry Vinaigrette: blend well 1/2 cup jam, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/8 cup vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Uses for stock.
- Minestroni Soup 1 Qt: Vegetarian based. Roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, water, vegetable stock, carrots, zucchini, green beans, beans, olive oil, oregano, basil, salt, pepper. Add freshly boiled noodles or rice to this base if you like, with some parmesan cheese. You could also add browned sausage or beans to this if desired.
- Mardigraw Soup 1 Qt: Vegetarian based. Vegetable stock, roasted tomatoes, red and green cabbage, carrots, kidney beans, onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, caraway, olive oil, vinegar,sugar, salt, pepper.
- Zucchini 1 qt: shredded zucchini, thaw and drain excess water. Chocolate Zucchini Muffins with choc chips are our favorite way to use frozen zucchini. Vegan Recipe. Non-Vegan Recipe.
- Raspberries 1 pt (frozen): whole berries, keep frozen until you want to use them. Great in yogurt and smoothies.
- Roasted Sweet Peppers 1 cup: Add to dishes to deepen flavor such as spaghetti or chili. Add to pizza toppings, tacos, or create a pasta sauce with them. Red Pepper Sauce Pasta. All the hard work is done!
- Roasted Broccoli 1 pt: roasted broccoli, olive oil, salt, pepper. Add to stir fry or make a quiche. Quiche recipe (sub veg fillings as needed).
Happy New Year!
Jason and I were blessed to be able to enjoy a week’s vacation in St. Lucia last week. It just so happened this occurred during one of the coldest snaps we’ve had here in a long time. Despite worrying a little about how things were managing on the farms on the worst of the days, we enjoyed many of the wonderful things found around Soufriere, which is the bread basket of St. Lucia. One day we hiked the Gros Piton, an iconic mountain that juts out above the seaside, taking a solid 2 hours to scramble up the rather difficult rocky trail. Another day we hiked into the rainforest with a local guide and learned about the many plants used for food and medicine and were able to see the many farm fields scattered along the mountainsides growing plantain, bananas, cocoa, coffee, cabbage, tomatoes, and dasheen (a potato like root). We also enjoyed bathing in sticky sulphur mud found at the drive-in volcano, taking in waterfall views in tropical gardens, and snorkeling the beautiful reef just offshore of a few beaches.
We were able to experience lots of local creole food and enjoyed visiting with local people about living in St Lucia and the history of the island. We splurged one night and enjoyed sunset cocktails and dinner at the Ladera hotel where the view between the two Piton mountains is said to be one of the top 10 views in the world. The view was amazing and dinner on the balcony overlooking the Caribbean was a once in a lifetime experience. By the end, we were ready to come back home and besides a glitch with our airport transfer making the return trip home take a little longer, we are back to life as normal but playing a little catch up.
So I’m sure many of you are also excited to be back into the CSA rhythm of things! I sent out an earlier email with details of when the Winter CSA boxes will be delivered and the details of how to pick up your items for those who may be new to our program. All of the pick-up details and delivery calendars can be found on our website if you need to refer to them anytime on our CSA: Pick-Up Site Info page and CSA: CSA Delivery Schedule page. If you have any questions or concerns, please be sure to email or call Heather about them at anytime.
In each of the newsletters, I provide a list of what’s in the boxes. An ingredient list follows each item along with tips for use or recipes. I try to include a variety of colors to help provide balanced nutrition by eating all your colors/vitamins during the winter. Remember, food is thy medicine!
There will always be 1 quart of vegetable stock, 2 quarts of soup, stored root crops, eggs, and a variety of frozen vegetables and fruits. Items in the fruit category will always include one berry and something else which is usually thought of in a baked item (zucchini, rhubarb). The vegetable stock is made from 98% Suncrest Gardens vegetables and herbs, only the celery is not. Hopefully next year, we will even have our own celery for stock use. Vegetable stock can be used straight as is and should be used within 2 weeks in the fridge as no preservatives are used. It can be refrozen in ice cube trays or smaller containers if that serves you better. I use the stock to saute items in which replaces butter or oil. I also use it to make rice or couscous.
The bitter cold has taken a toll on some of our greens in the hoophouses. They will need a bit of time to recover, but we will plan to have spinach available during some of the Winter CSA season. For now, the cabbage will have to suffice as the “salad” component. I did attach a recipe above with a basic cabbage salad recipe. Jason and I happened to eat lots of fresh shredded cabbage with shredded carrots while in St. Lucia. I find a little hot sauce added in works well for me. The St. Lucian diet follows the seasonal availability of fresh foods and you typically just don’t eat what’s not in season (without paying a lot for it). I could appreciate that philosophy even though I longed for some avocado (which was not in season until June). The increased price to off-season foods helped people follow this which is something we don’t see as inflated as it was there.
The egg layers are coming into full-stride this winter so there will be plenty of eggs of available. If anyone would like extra eggs delivered in your box at $3.50/dozen, send Heather an email.
We also have a good supply of frozen meat for anyone interested. Our selection includes 3/4 of a beef going to Ledeburs the end of the month (from Jason’s farm), frozen whole chickens, ground beef, smoked bacon, and pork chops. If interested, I can provide prices and delivery with your next CSA box.
Later this week, I will open up the sign-up for our 2014 CSA season. This will be done through our CSA: Sign Up/Payment page. I will send out an email with instruction for the process which is similar to last year’s electronic sign up and paperless accounting system. I know there were a couple kinks with Dwolla payments this past year but hopefully those have been worked out. If you know you will be renewing your membership, you can let Heather know via email if you prefer. I have already ordered most all of the seeds for next season and am excited to incorporate some new varieties along with our regular items. We are going to grow some tomatoes in our hoophouses this summer, a procedure which allows us to control the watering cycle of the plants and provide early root heat and lasting frost protection. I also have many heirloom varieties of peppers to grow this summer which provides much delight to me as I am continually drawn into the vast selection, taste, and look of these long savored items. Every year has its challenges, and last year was without a doubt a difficult late spring. The beauty of farming is that we get to try again and we have hope for all the possibilities in the next growing season. I hope that you will join me again in our journey of seasonal eating!
Eat Well. Smile Often.