Monday, October 22, 2012

Designing the shares

The share is a bit smaller today. Beets are in abundance right now, so even though it feels like I'm overdoing it in the shares, that's what has done well this fall. Chard on the other hand is struggling and usually I wouldn't give out chard and beets in the same share since beet greens are so similar to chard, but in this case there is so little chard that I thought they could be used with the beet greens, which are also small. Leeks make their first appearance this fall. There is definitely a bit a dirt in the cracks and the easiest way to clean them I've found is to split them up the middle and then gently separate the layers while holding them under running water. The lettuce holds on for one last appearance thanks to the relatively mild temperatures, at least so far. Finally, there's a bit of coriander (cilantro that's going to seed). This is a little experimental, but it seems to have good flavor so I'd strip the leaves, chop it up finely with a bit of cashew, tamari and lime juice and then toss that on some noodles. Or you could do something else.

The shares I pack each week are designed to an extent in the previous fall when I decide what seeds to order and how much I'm going to plant. Really, the final edit is made on the day they are harvested when I have to decide what is ready now, what can wait, what is good enough to go in, and what just isn't worth harvesting. Frequently some plantings fail outright (many carrot and hakurei plantings this summer), and others do better than expected (beets are a stand out this year). What goes into the shares is controlled to an extent by me, but really it's a strong reflection of what is happening in the field and all the factors there: weather, pest and disease pressure, soil health, etc. To me, this is a big part of what makes CSA special, being tied to a specific place and getting to taste that place throughout the year.

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