17 July 2003
Dear CSA Members,
I hope you have all been enjoying your deliveries. Response has been overwhelmingly positive, and though there have been a lot of challenges associated with having moved this past year we are pleased with progress and performance and have even managed to have a little fun. Thanks to all of you who have written and e-mailed with your comments, this direct communication between us is part of the very meaning of a CSA and enormously valuable to us as we try to please our members.
That said, this weeks delivery includes: One small head deep red Lollo Rossa, along with a head of green leaf lettuce, a large bunch of arugula (clearly the nicest arugula I have ever grown), 1/2 lb garlic tops, a tender bunch of carrots, a bunch of fresh baby beets and their greens, a bunch of longish purple tinged greens called hon tsai tai, a generous pound of shell peas, a bunch of fresh dill, a bag of broccoli flowers, two pints of raspberries, and a bouquet of fresh cut flowers.
The garlic tops are the last of the season so we included a generous portion. They will last for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. The shell peas will also be the seasons last so enjoy them with that sideways smile I associate with eating the last of something. This weeks box also includes two ½ pints of local organic raspberries. These are a challenge to distribute, mostly because the tastiest fruit is by nature the most delicate. Keep the berries in mind as you unpack your boxes and use them soon. We take great pains to handle all of our produce gently and get it to you as quickly as possible, as I write about the berries it brings to mind some questions I have for you. If we can manage to keep our product in good health, provide ample ideas for using the produce we provide, and stay in touch with the needs and desires of our members we have done a good job. Is there anything we can do at the drop sites to enhance your experience and make pick up and storage of your deliveries better? For example, should we provide a roll of bags at each site? Would a quick checklist of the items in each delivery be helpful? If you have the time please email us with your ideas on this.
Before I end I must ramble on a bit about the Asian greens in this weeks delivery. Hon tsai tai is a close relative of boc choy, the flavor of its leaves remind me of a mild mustard and can be used raw in salads or stir fried or as an addition to soups. The inclusion of Asian greens is new for us this year and I have been doing a bit of learning as I go. Hon Tsai Tai is traditionally harvested for its flowers, and though this goes against years of experience harvesting greens, which we take great pains to harvest before they flower, I will be sitting back and watching the remainder of this crop shoot up deep purple stems and delicate yellow blossoms for future delivery. A quick stir fry of garlic flowers, Hon Tsai Tai, broccoli, and tofu will make an easy entrée this week. Just remember to slowly sauté the garlic flowers first until tender, and then turn up the heat for a quick stir-fry of the chopped greens, tofu, and broccoli.
As always, please call or email us with any questions or comments.