Spring Basket Week 5

Happy Memorial Day!

We hope you are enjoying this traditional start-of-the-summer holiday.  The nice weather yesterday makes up for overcast and rain today, and the warmer temperatures surely signal that summer is really here!  Last week’s temps in the 30’s caused us to cover many of the crops that we had set out in the 80 degree weather the previous days.  Whatever, it’s Indiana weather. We ought to be used to it!

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Swiss Chard

This week is the final week of the Spring Salad Bowl session.  We have fresh salad greens this week, along with radishes, green onions, and your choice of kale or Swiss chard.  This will probably be our last week of asparagus.  We also have fresh eggs in your basket, and if all the stars align, fresh goat cheese.  Keep your fingers crossed! Herbs available this week include thyme, oregano, cilantro and chives.  And we have plenty of rhubarb available too.

We will also have a special Old Loon Farm baked item in your basket this week: our own recipe whole grain granola!  

The Whitley County Farmers Market in downtown Columbia City has been open now for three Saturdays and is really an event you ought to check out, if you haven’t been there yet.  We vend from the Market Street side; come and visit when you’re downtown! You will be amazed at the broad array of foods and beautiful crafts available from the many small farmers and artisans in this and adjacent counties.

More about the greens.  Swiss chard is another one of those nutrition-packed greens that often replaces spinach in summer diets as the weather heats up.  Spinach bolts to seed, and chard thrives in the heat.  It’s a great source of vitamins A, K  and C.  It can be steamed, sauteed, boiled, or baked. Try it in salads, add it to soups, try it as a side vegetable, saute it into a frittata, or baked into a gorgeous quiche.

Early kale is great in salads, soups and is also full of nutrients. It’s another one of the so-called super foods!  Here’s our favorite Kale Salad recipe:  Wash and chop the young kale crosswise, removing the stems.  Crush a clove of garlic and soak it in the juice of 1 lemon for 15-20 minutes.  Add some honey, salt, pepper and olive oil to the lemon juice/garlic mix to complete the dressing. Adjust seasonings to your personal taste. Add dressing to the chopped kale and let the salad set for an hour or two. Before serving, add a handful of dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots, or fresh fruits such as apples or nectarines, and a handful of nuts or toasted seeds.  Toss.   This salad holds well, it’s great left over!

Enjoy your week!

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