CSA Week Two
The first week of CSA delivery is under our belts, and other than some obvious hiccups and some procedural questions (more on those later), we're pretty happy with the way things are going. This week's baskets will include leaf lettuce and Sugar Ann snow peas along with spearmint and oregano. There may be a fifth item, depending on our estimate of whether we have enough of that item for all our subscribers--we'll make that decision on Thursday morning, right before we load the truck for delivery.
Something we did not really expect was the number of people who sent us pictures and recipes showing us what they made with their basket items. Kelly made a parsley pesto with her flat-leaf parsley, and salad rolls with the Romaine lettuce. Wendy sent us a photo of her roasted scallions and radishes with browned butter, beet greens and cilantro. We intend to post your recipes and photos in a separate blog post, so please, if you send us anything, let us know if we can share it.
Our recipe this week is very simple but very versatile and uses just one of the items in your basket. You can use Spearmint Simple Syrup as an ingredient in cocktails, as a sweetener for lemonade or iced tea, or for fresh fruit desserts:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup sugar or other sweetener
1 cup water
Combine the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and to prevent browning or sticking. Let the mixture steep for about 30 minutes, then pour through a strainer into a glass jar. This will keep, refrigerated, for about a month. You can make a double batch of this, then pour it into a shallow pan and place it in the freezer. Every thirty minutes or so, stir the mixture with a spoon. In about two hours, it should be mostly frozen but still a bit slushy: Fresh Mint Granita. I will leave the possibilities for frozen mojitos and mint juleps to your imagination.
While the oregano in your baskets probably won't benefit from the sugar syrup treatment, it's still a good herb to have around: sprinkle it on pizza, work it into a pasta with a little butter or oil, some garlic, and a little Parmesan, or do a wet rub on chicken with garlic cloves or shallots. if you still have some left over, save it and the woody stems to throw on the grill just before you put the meat on.
Timely deliveries and communication
We apologize sincerely for the lateness of last week's delivery. A cascading storm of delays piled on the earlier delays (like a late start through the Vista Ridge tunnel) to make my last stop a good three hours later than it should have been. We have taken several steps to prevent this from ever happening in the future, but we'd also like to ask for your help. I am putting your cell phone numbers into my phone's contact list, and grouping each number by your delivery location. That way, I can easily let each person know if we run into a delay getting to their pickup. We got cell numbers for most of you when you signed up for the CSA, but some of you gave us a landline number or an email address. If you think this applies to you, please send us your cell phone number so we can complete our group listings. I promise to use it only to let you know that your basket has arrived, or that it will be late.
If you are missing an item, need to cancel your delivery, or otherwise need to contact Farmer Joel on Thursday delivery days, the best way to do that is by texting to my cell, 503-313-7839. Texting is best, as I will be driving, but can read and respond at the next stop.
We wanted to remind you that eggs are delivered every other week, for a total of ten dozen eggs over a twenty week season. Members who pick up their shares in Beaverton or Southeast Portland received their first dozen last week, while members in Concordia and outer Northeast will get theirs this week. This ensures that every member gets the freshest eggs possible (while reducing the strain on our girls).
Also, we would appreciate it if you could return your CSA containers each week. This week, we are debuting the peck and half bushel woven baskets that we will be using throughout the rest of the season. We would like to get these back promptly so that we don't have to spend your veggie money on more packaging--and the black tubs from the first week are what we use to make potting soil and fertilizer and to harvest your greens.
Let us know if you have questions, continue to share you recipes with us and we hope you enjoy this week's box!
and all of us at Ffynnon Farms