The first week of the CSA season has arrived! We are excited to be sharing the first green veggies of the season with you! Fresh salads are always on the menu at this time of year. The spinach is looking wonderful but won't last long with this heat, so we will enjoy it for one week at least (and hopefully two)!
As many of you know, we scaled things back slightly this year to allow us time to take a few adventures as a family and to accomplish some on-farm tasks. Part of the scaling back included not participating in some special events like the Taste Real Rural Romp and Local Food Fest. While we love these events, we are enjoying the extra time we've had to knock off some construction jobs. Just this weekend we finished an interior upgrade to our walk-in cooler and I built a new wash stand.
Another part of scaling back is the addition of 2 weeks off for ourselves during the CSA season. To remind share members, we will be taking the weeks of July 16th and September 24th off. This means you will receive 18 weeks of veggies, spread over 20 weeks. Don't worry, we will provide a reminder of the weeks off as they approach!
Overall, the crops are doing well in the field. We have had some unsettled weather and wind storms but otherwise have had a nice balance of warm weather and rain that the veggies all enjoy. I experimented with starting some crops (such as beets and peas) from transplants rather than direct seeding and I am pleased with the results. The peas are flowering like crazy and we can expect those next week. The beets are also doing well and should be coming soon in your shares.
One negative in an otherwise positive start to the season is the health of our bees. Those that follow us on social media will be aware that we lost all but 1 hive over the winter. This is a loss of 96% of our bees. On inspection, the hives had plenty of honey remaining but no living bees. This points to pesticide poisoning rather than lack of food. We hope to rebuild our hives but it will take a few years to increase the numbers substantially. We currently have honey from 2017 still available (and still delicious). However, we may not have much or any new honey available in 2018.
For everyone who reserved their share with us prior to January 15th, you will receive a complimentary 1kg jar of honey on the first pickup. For the rest of you, there will be honey available to purchase.
Garlic Scapes are a quintessential component of early season veggie shares and we think they are pretty awesome! The scape is the top part of the garlic plant which must be pulled off to allow the bulb to develop fully. Luckily, the scapes are delicious in their own right with a mild garlic-y flavour. We use them thinly sliced anywhere we would typically use garlic. They also make a great pesto that improves with age when stored in the freezer. Here are some interesting scape recipes to try:
Brine Pickled Garlic Scapes
Garlic Scape Pesto
Grilled Garlic Scapes