CSA Newsletter: Week 5 (June 18th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you beets OR carrots, fava beans OR shelling peas OR easter egg radishes, snow peas, chard OR spicy salad mix, baby tuscan kale, and garlic. Large share members will get all regular share items plus beets AND carrots, double garlic, and one SURPRISE item. All fruit share members will get cherries again this week!

In This Week’s Newsletter:

Farm Tour this Sunday, June 24th

Another wonderful part of being a CSA member is the opportunity to visit the place where your food is grown. Farm tours are a great way to get further connected to your farm and understand what it takes to grow all of the veggies you receive each week.

We are excited to host our first farm tour of the season for CSA members this coming Sunday, June 24th! The tour will take place at our farm on North 63rd Street from 11am to 2pm.

Stop by anytime between 11 and 2 to take a hay ride around the farm, visit with our goats, llamas and alpacas, and go on a walking tour of the farm and hoop houses. We hope you all can make it!

Directions to Red Wagon’s 63rd St. Farm:

  • From the Diagonal Highway (Hwy 119) turn North on 63rd Street (towards IBM)
  • Go straight through the stop sign at Niwot Rd.
  • Go 0.75 miles past the stop sign and our farm is on the right at 7694 N 63rd St., Longmont.
  • (You will pass Modena Lane then you will see our big hoop houses on the right side of the road. There is a 50mph sign then a “school bus stop ahead” sign. The driveway is right at the mailbox on the right side. Our house is the only house on the right. Sunrise Ranch Drive is just past our house on the other side of the road. If you get to Oxford Rd. on the right, you’ve gone too far.)

Farm Updates

Last Friday marked a momentous occasion for members of Red Wagon’s farm crew, including myself. On Friday afternoon, following one final harvest for restaurants, we celebrated the end of the sugar snap peas. Celebrated, you ask? It does seem strange that anyone would take joy in the passing of such a beloved sweet and crunchy treat. However, for we harvesters and weeders, sugar snap peas can be a daunting and arduous crop. While wading through the rows of unweeded tendrils, we have often compared ourselves to indigenous hunter-gatherers, stealthily searching through the jungle for the elusive sugar snap pod. I have been told that the tilling under of the sugar snaps is traditionally met with singing, dancing and gleeful yips from the farm crew. I’m sure that this year will be no different.

The end of the sugar snaps brings on the start of the less burdensome snow peas, shelling peas and fava beans, which can more-or-less be picked by the handful and do not require special vision enhancement to be spotted.

Harvesting Snow Peas

The first fuzzy glimpses of summer that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago are coming into focus more and more each day. On Friday, our harvest manager Eva bravely unleashed the newest farm crew members into the rows of basil, teaching us how to “tip” the plants (meaning to pluck just the first four leaves from the top). Basil is a crop that reminds me to appreciate the sensory joys of farming. I oooh’ed and aaah’ed through two rows of glorious odors as we plucked leaves from Genovese, lemon, and opal basil.

On my way to the basil rows, I noticed some bright yellow-orange satellites glaring at me from the rows of zucchini that we planted several weeks ago. Summer is truly on its way!

I hope everyone is enjoying their veggies so far and looking forward to what’s to come. I know I am. See you all at pick-up!


Fava Beans 101

Posted by: Mo

Nutty, slightly bitter and rich. Yum. Fava’s take a little effort to prepare but the reward is well worth it.

From the pound of fava’s you get in your share you will get about 1/3 of a cup of beans after you shell them and remove the skin from the bean. First you remove the bean from the pod. To remove the bean from the skin you will need to par-boil or steam them for just a minute or until they turn bright green. Then you just slip the bean from its skin by pinching it gently. Here is a picture of the bean in the four steps described.


Now you can use the favas for any one of a number of recipes. I like to keep it very simple and just enjoy the favas. Here is a very basic recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/gabriel-s-sauteed-fava-beans-117520

If all this seems a bit too fiddly for you, you might like to grill your favas.

Toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt and some herbs if you have some on hand. Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. Grill until blistered on one side – 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins – not undercooked. They will keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill. Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt. To eat: tear open the green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its skin into your mouth. All the char, oil, herbs and fava juices stick to your fingers…so lick them. The whole experience is really tasty.  I hope you try it.

See the bright green beans that have been removed from the pod and then the skin? That’s what you eat.

Spicy Salad Mix

Eva, our harvest manager, wanted me to make a salad with the spicy salad mix. The spicy salad mix has some strong flavors going on so I decided to add more strong flavors to stand up to it. I added raw beets and raw snow peas from my CSA share to the salad mix, along with some nuts, feta and this vinaigrette.

  • 1/3 cup plus olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard

Snow Peas

Raise your hand if you associate snow peas with bad stir fry? Me too.
I have been staring at the snow peas wondering what I am going to do with them. I liked them in the above salad raw.
Then, I was thinking how wonderful those favas were grilled, and I thought, “Why not grill the snow peas?” So I did. It took about a minute, maybe two. You do not want to overcook a snow pea. I salted them and put a little lemon zest on them and boy, were they tasty. Really, really good.

I hope you are enjoying your CSA shares and are trying some new vegetables.

Until next week,

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3 Responses to CSA Newsletter: Week 5 (June 18th, 2012)

  1. Mary says:

    Can’t wait! Here’s one recipe from last week’s box!


  2. Lynn Stein says:

    What a great blog! Delicious recipes and gorgeous pictures. Sharing recipes is one of the things I like best about being part of a CSA. Thank you! It’s Monday night and I am realizing that I still have a lot of greens in my fridge and pickup is tomorrow again! I am making a massaged chard, kale, and turnip green salad. I am adapting the recipe from here http://nouveauraw.com/main-dishes/3-green-salad-kale-swiss-chard-dandelion/. I haven’t finished it yet, so can’t vouch for how it tastes, but it sounds good. Perfect to come home to tomorrow night when it’s too hot to cook.

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