Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, Say, Can You CSA? Week 2

Having cleaned out a couple bags of fresh leafy greens from the refrigerator by freezing them, I decided to celebrate in the only sensible way: go get more produce.

Yeah, I know, I know -- I'm a glutton for punishment. But I might as well start the summer off with a realistic view of what I've gotten myself into. From here on out, I am likely to have way more produce than I can eat in a week, even in cooking with others, and I have got to step up my preservation efforts.

I can do that! And so, tired though I was, I headed off to the Bakers' farm after work to pick up my second week's worth of CSA produce.

The Lady Bountiful had another glorious array of colorful fruits and vegetables for us, including two kinds of lettuce, mustard greens, beet greens, carrots, garlic scapes, rhubarb, and three quarts of strawberries. My Dear Papa and I divvied up the goodies on the spot, and he beamed to tuck the beet greens into his bag.

In addition, she handed us each two big bunches of fresh oregano, unsold at last weekend's farmers' market but still looking very healthy. Guess I'll have plenty of dried oregano this year!

We decided, though, that three quarts of berries would not be enough for us to split, so My Dear Papa and I both bought an extra quart. He has shortcake planned, but I'm hoping to make jam and perhaps to dry some berries by the weekend -- if I don't eat them all first!

On the way home from the farm, we stopped by my garden and visited with the Southern Belle and the whole family. I taught her how to recognize the wild edibles in the garden (lambs' quarters, purslane, and nettles) and gave her the green light to weed the rest (hey, she offered!).

And yes, I picked yet more greens. Wow. More pac choi, more mizuna, more lettuce, more amaranth, nettles... I definitely have good leafy greens!

In looking over the garden, I found several other delightful surprises in how things are growing:

The cantaloupe seedlings, like the watermelon sprouts, are jumping up rapidly. (I guess that heat spell over the weekend really kicked them into high gear!)

The Chinese broccoli, or kai lan as I found it's called, is already budding, so I'm guessing that it's almost ready to pick. (And I'm wishing I had more planted!)

I've been following Ed's journal of how his favas are growing, and though I'm a few weeks behind him, I'm excited to see the pods forming quickly. They've definitely been a little funky looking, but I'm eager to give them a try.

And look at those tomatoes! OK, it's not a great picture, but those early fruits are already golf-ball-sized. It's only mid-June! I think these are sure to be picked in July... easily the earliest I've ever had to harvest tomatoes.

So much good produce, both now and to come. Wow!

I guess I'd better get busy, huh?

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