The “Tell” – Springdell Summer CSA Pickup # 11


Hello to our Fellow Springdellians!  The long weekend approaches, summer is waning, the cooler weather is around the corner, and our farmers are still going strong!  This is the time where the share boxes generally start to get even heavier with the larger fruits and veggies of the season.  What a spectacular journey it’s been so far!

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All veggie scraps composted unless otherwise noted.

It was nice to see all the variation between the shares this week! We are looking forward to the pickup tomorrow which will start off our Labor day weekend right!  

Now for a quick work from Jess:

As the season change is just around the corner, I thought I’d bring to your attention a cool trick that I learned from a park ranger during a foraging class many moons ago. This makes a refreshing drink that totally rivals lemonade, and goes great with just about any Springdell dish!

Those plants that you see around with the little red clusters on them? Those are the staghorn sumac plant. (I know, the word "sumac" doesn't exactly scream "bring this home and ingest it", but this plant has no relation to poison sumac.) As the sumac clusters turn from greenish to reddish to a deep dark red, it's a good time to enjoy the goods! If you have a source, grab a few clusters and bring them home.

Those plants that you see around with the little red clusters on them? Those are the staghorn sumac plant. (I know, the word “sumac” doesn’t exactly scream “bring this home and ingest it”, but this plant has no relation to poison sumac.) As the sumac clusters turn from greenish to reddish to a deep dark red, it’s a good time to enjoy the goods! If you have a source, grab a few clusters and bring them home.

Smell these berries, they are reminiscent of a raspberry. The drink comes from simply soaking one or more of these berry clusters in water. The yummy flavor comes from the hairs, so during a dry spell is a good time to harvest.  A little agitation to get the hairs to release some of the flavor can help.

Smell these berries, they are reminiscent of a raspberry. The drink comes from simply soaking one or more of these berry clusters in water. The yummy flavor comes from the hairs, so during a dry spell is a good time to harvest. A little agitation to get the hairs to release some of the flavor can help.

Steep to taste in warm water (no need to boil or anything, as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight). Some folks really squeeze and crush the sumac to get the most flavor and color, but I find that when you do this too much it can get very sour and require more sweetener (not that that's necessarily a bad thing as we have Ben's Maple Syrup and Springdell Honey on hand!)  I find a successful batch to require little to no sweetener, to have a slight pinkish color, and taste like a raspberry or cranberry lemonade.

Steep to taste in warm water (no need to boil or anything, as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight). Some folks really squeeze and crush the sumac to get the most flavor and color, but I find that when you do this too much it can get very sour and require more sweetener (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing as we have Ben’s Maple Syrup and Springdell Honey on hand!)  I find a successful batch to require little to no sweetener, to have a slight pinkish color, and taste like a raspberry or cranberry lemonade.

There are some pretty great health benefits to sumac, and also possible side effects to sumac, particularly if you are allergic to cashews or mangoes.  (I’m allergic to mangoes and have been fortunate to never experience any negative side effects from sumac tea).  Please research with any foraging capers, (just Google “sumac tea” or “cooking with sumac” to see that all the cool kids are doing it and have been for centuries!)  My quick disclaimer is that eating anything wild is an “at your own risk” endeavor, but one that can be enjoyed with proper forethought and knowledge.  So, do your research, then get out there, and enjoy!

If you’re interested in learning more about foraging, there’s a great opportunity to learn much more this Sunday!  Check out the bottom of yesterday’s post for details.  Until tomorrow, sweet and savory dreams!

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