Friday, June 20, 2008

Garlic Scapes

Part of the joy of belonging to a CSA (at least for me) is taking home produce that you've never used before. The first pickup introduced me to Garlic Scapes. According to Just Food, garlic scapes are the seed pods that the garlic plant sends up when its leaves are 2-3 feet tall. Considered a delicacy in many countries, including China and Korea, they have a mild garlic flavor and can be used in any dish that calls for garlic.

Aya, 2008 KWT CSA core member, forwarded the following recipe from the June 18th edition of the New York Times.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip
Time: 15 minutes

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling.

1. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.
2. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.
3. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Have recipes to share? Send suggestions and photos to kwtcsa (at) gmail (dot) com for inclusion on the blog.

Photograph from Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Thursday, June 19, 2008

City Harvest

City Harvest at the first pickup

One of the issues facing any CSA is the remaining produce at the end of each pickup. When members select their own shares, such as 1 quart of arugula or 3 leeks, there are discrepancies. As the farmer and members tend to err for overages (rather than shortages), KWT CSA has arranged for City Harvest to pick up all remaining produce, fruit, and eggs at the end of each pickup.

From their website:
City Harvest, a non-profit organization founded in 1982, is the world's first and New York City's only food rescue program.

Millions of pounds of good, edible food are thrown away each year by New York City food businesses. At the same time, more than one million people are hungry, including nearly 350,000 children and more than 140,000 senior citizens. City Harvest is the link between those who have so much and those who have too little.

This year, City Harvest will rescue 20 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry - including restaurants, manufacturers, wholesalers, greenmarkets, hotels, corporate cafeterias, grocery stores and farms - and deliver it to more than 600 community food programs throughout the five boroughs using a fleet of 16 trucks and volunteers on foot. Each week, City Harvest helps over 260,000 hungry New Yorkers find their next meal.

If unable to pick up or swap your share, it will go where it is needed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First pickup report

Beautiful (warm) weather for the first pickup. Those with a half share of vegetables, fruit, flowers, and eggs ended up with...
  • 1 quart arugula
  • 1 quart mesclun
  • 1 head butter leaf
  • 1 head red leaf
  • 20 spears asparagus
  • 3 leeks
  • 5 garlic scapes
  • 1/2 dozen eggs
  • 2 quarts strawberries
  • 2 spears rhubarb
  • bunch of flowers

Thanks to everyone for making the first pickup a success - with extra appreciation given to the first set of volunteers!

Here's to having more greens than you ever thought you could possibly eat. (May all our problems be this small.) Bon appetit!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reminder: first Full and A pickup tomorrow AM

The first Full and A half share pickup is tomorrow: Saturday, June 14 from 10:30 - 12:00. Pickup location is the East 4th Street Community Garden located between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

Bring plenty of bags or a cart. A $10 cash administration fee will be collected as well as volunteer sign up times. May 27 posting has full details. See you there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Visiting the Garden of Eve Farm

On Sunday, June 8, the Garden of Eve Farm hosted CSA members for strawberry picking. From Kensington/Windsor Terrace, CSA members Tracie Hunte and her friend Jenny, and Gina Duclayan (me), Daniel Radosh, and their kids Milo and Margalit visited the farm. There were also CSA members from other locations in Brooklyn as well as Long Island. We arrived at about 10:15. As you remember, it was quite warm on Sunday, but Eve reassured us it would not be "New York City hot." Chris and Eve gave us a brief introduction to the farm, while sitting under a tree in front of their farm stand. I was surprised to see that they have pigs and goats, as well as the chickens and turkeys that I knew about.

First, we got a lesson in picking strawberries (make sure they're ripe before you pick!), and then took to the fields. Searching for the ruby red berries was delightful. Each CSA member got a free pint of strawberries, but my family picked 4 pints! They were so delicious! Then Eve took us on a short tour of the farm. (Chris took those who wanted it on a long tour of the was warm enough that we were not up for that!) We got to see the pea shoots, kale, and the big dogs that protect (and apparently sometimes eat) the chickens. The dogs are learning, we were told. The chickens are kept within a very large pasture area that is surrounded by a movable electrified fence. Their hen houses also roll. The children were allowed to go into the hen houses to collect eggs. (We later bought 2 dozen and saw one family buying 10 dozen! We also bought lettuce, arugula, radishes, and mint. Yum!) We saw some bee hives that the farm is trying out. They do not yet produce enough honey for sale, but maybe someday.

After the farm tour, my son Milo and I walked the labyrinth that Chris and Eve have set up near their farm stand. Very relaxing. Then we all gathered under the shady tree for lunch. It was lovely and humbling to see the farm. The amount of work that goes into it is phenomenal. It was also great to meet and chat with other CSA members, farm apprentices, and Chris and Eve.

After lunch, it was time to cool off. Eve gave us directions to a nearby beachfront house rented for the farm apprentices. We drove there and parked. The kids changed into their bathing suits and jumped right in. Soon, dozens of other CSA members arrived and many took to the water. The water was cool and calm, the perfect antidote to the heat. We stayed at the beach for an hour or two.

Then Tracie and Jenny took off in search of fruit pies they had seen advertised at another farm stand. We stopped for a snack at a restaurant called the Lobster Roll. It was a great day! I hope many of you can head out to the farm later in the season. There are three more visits planned:

Farm trip dates are:
  • Sun., August 10, Tomatoes
  • Sat., Sept 27 and Sun., Sept 28, Long Island Garlic Festival at Garden of Eve (Volunteers wanted)
  • Sun., Oct 12, pre-Sukkot/Gleaning
Additionally, if you're in the Riverhead, Long Island, area, you can feel free to stop at the Garden of Eve Farm Stand!

Posted on behalf of Gina Duclayan, 2008 KWT CSA core member
Photographs and video courtesy of Tracie Hunte, KWT CSA member

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pickup swap rules, hints, and etiquette

In order for swaps to be successful to all parties, members need to be aware that the number of shares delivered each week are set by the farmer and cannot be modified. The number of shares picked up need to remain stable from week to week; the most successful swaps will be those that are for identical share types. For example, an A week person who gets veggies and fruit can only swap with a B week person who gets veggies and fruit. "Uneven" swaps are okay, as long as the member who bought more understands that for that week, s/he will receive only those items that the other person purchased.

If members agree to a permanent full-season A and B swap, it should be reported to us at kwtcsa (at) gmail (dot) com. The caveat above is true also for those wishing to switch for the entire season. The swap will be most successful if exchanged with someone who has identical shares. Because delivery shares are set, the farmer is unable to change member selections at this point.

One-off swaps need not be communicated to the core group--just give one another's names at pickup. While this may sound confusing, once underway it should work smoothly. Please email kwtcsa (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any questions.

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to swap pickups and volunteer shifts

"A" pickup and want to change with a "B" member? Scheduled to be out of town the weekend of your volunteer shift or during a pickup? Use KWT CSA google group to find another member to swap or help.

The groups web address is:

CSA members from last year are already in the group. New CSA members should receive an invite in a day or two. Once part of the google group, create a new post on the discussion board to communicate. Each post will send an email to all members. If you do not want to receive an email for each post, you can change to digest or no email using "edit my membership."

We welcome you to use this address to:
  • Find someone to pick up your share when you cannot
  • Exchange your volunteer/distribution shift with someone if your schedule changes