The Springdell Show and Tell – Summer CSA Pickup #5

Hi everyone, Jess here to chat about another week of seasonal veggies.  It’s the 5th week of the Springdell Farm Summer CSA!

For those newer to the CSA model, we’re coming to the point where you’ll start to see certain veggies arriving in greater numbers (I’m talking to you, greens and cukes!) For some, it can feel overwhelming, and that’s normal. You may feel like you can’t eat the veggies as fast as they are coming in, that may be accurate, and also normal. Eating seasonally can be an adjustment, especially when working with fresh picked veggies that are not “treated” with “stay fresh” or other chemical products.  

Here are a couple of tips to help you to make the most of your CSA.

1- Don’t just “pick up CSA”, but also “prep CSA”. In other words, book a small block of time to properly store your veggies when you arrive home with your CSA. CSA produce is at peak freshness upon pickup and needs a little TLC beyond simply unpacking (spoiler alert- you’ll otherwise be quickly disappointed with wilty lettuce, wrinkled squash and foamy cucumbers).  That small amount of prep time after pickup will make ALL the difference, and your fresh and delicious produce will repay you in-kind.  

2- Make a weekly meal plan on CSA pickup day. Your menu doesn’t have to be etched in stone, but having a general ideal of where your veggies are going during the week will ensure that you aren’t going to find forgotten veggies in the back of your fridge. Planning ahead will also help you decide which veggies you might not get to and to consider canning or freezing for later use (your winter self will thank you). Mom’s Budget has some great free printables for menu planning. The few minutes of planning your tentative meals will provide you with a great return on your investment!

3- Use the resources on this blog, we’re here to help! Veggiescope is our Veggie-Pedia for a quick rundown of a description, prep, storage and some recipes for each veggie. Every week, I also post a rundown of real-time CSA veggie musings (see below). Remember to scan the weekly post for quick ideas, and click on the veggie to be taken to it’s Veggiescope page for more detail!

  • Summer CabbageStore in the crisper drawer as-is.  Last week was Slaw and Galuska in our house. This week KrautKimchi, and/or Okonomiyaki.
  • Pickling CucumbersThere is an abundance this week! I’m making up a batch of Sarah’s Refrigerator Pickles.
  • Slicing CucumbersFarm cukes favor the fridge over the countertop. If you still have basil that hasn’t been slated for pesto or another use, try Sour Cream Cucumbers!
  • Summer SquashThis week’s hit in our household was definitely the Summer Squash Custard Pie.
  • Zucchini Squash- Still an experiment, but initial taste tests indicate that zucchini can similarly be snuck into Key Lime Pie, too!
  • Broccoli Crowns- Mine were blanched and saut├ęd in teriyaki sauce.
  • LettuceBe sure to separate all your lettuce leaves from their core and wash/damp dry them before storing as this will minimize wilt. Lettuce wraps make for a great pickup day dinner.
  • Sugar BeetsI separate the tops from the bulbs when I get home to maintain crispness to the bulb. If not roasting up your bulbs right away, rinse, pat dry and store them in a bag in the fridge. The beet greens were blanched right away and stored in the fridge for later use.
  • Rainbow Chard– Chard is best closest to picking day. I blanched the leaves along with the beet greens, and then blanched the stems of both chard and beet greens separately. Chard “Packets” on the grill are also a delicious alternative. If you accidentally let your chard wilt, go for the White Bean and Chard Soup.

Small Shares this week include Cauliflower, Slicing Cucumbers, Pickling Cukes, Summer Squash, Zucchini Squash, Lettuce, Sugar Beets, and Rainbow Chard.  Super Shares include items from Full Shares, plus Honey and Cherry Tomatoes. Single Shares include Broccoli, Slicing and Pickling Cukes, Summer Squash, Zucchini Squash, Lettuce, and Rainbow Chard. Quantities vary by share, with the larger shares receiving the larger quantities accordingly. Please note that items may vary slightly throughout the week depending on daily yield, but share value will remain consistent.

  • Romaine Lettuce(remember, no “stay fresh” on this lettuce, so separate the leaves from the core when you get home, wash, damp dry and store in a lettuce bag.)
  • Salad Mix from Johnny Putt Farm (Littleton, MA)
  • Eggs– I’m going to steam up a bunch today, these are great protein boost on lunch salads.
Meatless Monday’s meal featured an encore of lettuce wraps with teriyaki tofu and veggies. Whip up a jar of Stir Fry Sauce for easy pickup day dinners!
This cauliflower was a hit with the kids, and of course on a night I didn’t take recipe notes. I combined milk and an egg in a bowl, enough to dredge some cauliflower florets. I then rolled the florets in a combo of seasoned panko and almond meal (I probably could have skipped the almond meal but I had some handy). I roasted the florets on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 25 -ish minutes until they were tender to my liking. While they were cooking, I made a sauce of honey, soy, cider vinegar, grated ginger, chili and garlic to taste. I simmered it until it thickened up some and then rolled the cauliflower in the sauce before serving with a tangy cabbage slaw. I think this recipe is pretty close.
The hit of the week, Summer Squash Custard Pie! Nobody in my house knew there were 5 squash in here, and they ate the entire pie in 2 days. If you still have tallow from the Winter CSA experiments, replace the shortening with it for a great crust!
Homemade tortillas are fun if you’re looking for a kid-friendly project. I use store-bought masa for these, one bag makes tons. As you can see, they can even be rolled while wearing rollerblades!
Aside from the corn masa and black beans, this tostada was all farm stand and CSA goodies.
Zucchini Quesadilla, anyone? Thanks to Dani for putting this idea on my radar.
A quick announcement to those that are interested in getting greater amounts of produce for canning and jamming, now is the time to place your orders at Springdell! Reach out to Farmer Jamie by email, and/or stop by the farm stand to get your request on the books for larger quantities of cukes, tomatoes, corn, etc. When the cooler months arrive, you’ll be glad you did!

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Springdell Show and Tell. Thanks for tuning in, everyone!

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.

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