Wow! What a Cauliflower!

weekly produce share
Instead of a mound of greens, this week we got a mound of white cauliflower.

At least we didn’t get all greens this week during our pickup, but we did get a couple of cool weather crops. In particular, look at the size of that head of cauliflower. We had to cut it into four pieces just to get it into bags for the refrigerator. It was huge, weighing in at nearly five pounds! Now, you might think that such a huge cauliflower would be tough or woody, but we had some and it’s surprisingly sweet. Yes, we know you don’t think of cauliflower as being sweet, but fresh cauliflower is.

This week’s share:

  • Cauliflower (1 head)
  • Broccoli (1 head)
  • Oranges (3)
  • Red potatoes (5)
  • Dill (1 bunch)
  • Salad mix (1 bag)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — an heirloom mustard green

A Greens Explosion!

weekly CSA produce share
Harness all that photosynthesis and you could power your house!

If there’s anyone out there who doubts that we’re in greens season, he or she only needs to look at the photo above. It seems that, a couple of times each winter, we’re inundated with greens, and this first week back from the annual hiatus is one of those times. And then some. This also gives you an idea that, when you sign up for a CSA, you sign up to have less when crops don’t do well, and, apparently, to fill your refrigerator to the tiptop when you have a greens explosion.

This week’s share:

  • Romaine lettuce (1 head) — the largest we’ve ever seen!
  • Grapefruit (3)
  • Red LaSoda potatoes (5)
  • Celery (1 head)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — an heirloom mustard
  • Hanover Kale (1 bunch)
  • Dill (1 bunch)
  • Michihili cabbage (1 bunch)

The website for the CSA had listed Michelli Cabage [sic] (perhaps Cabbage San Michelle?), but it wasn’t that; it’s definitely a type of mustard green.

Update: It is Michihili cabbage, and heirloom Chinese cabbage. We’ve never heard of it, but that’s okay.

What? No Produce!

Every Wednesday that we’re in town, we post what we picked up from the Tucson CSA. Not this Wednesday, simply because Farmer Frank and his crew are taking a well-deserved two-week break for the holidays. You can be sure that we’re looking forward to next week!

For those who don’t know, joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) creates a contract between you and a local farmer. You provide up-front capital for your shares for a designated period of time, typically 6 or 12 weeks, and the farmer provides you with freshly-grown produce (or other items, depending on the CSA) every week. If a crop does very well, you might receive an abundance, but you also take on some of the risk, so, if a crop does poorly, your share reflects that, too. With the Tucson CSA, we normally get about 7-8 different types of produce each week, and Farmer Frank plants enough variety that we rarely have a dearth of food. If you’re interested in finding a CSA near you, check out Local Harvest. It’s how we found our CSA.

It’s Been Two Weeks!

weekly CSA share
This is a what a full-on greens season can look like!

Yes, two weeks since we picked up our CSA share, and it seems as if we got thrown right into the deep end of greens. Before we left on our trip and put our CSA share on hold, we were getting just a few greens. But, now, with our most recent pickup, we realize that we’re in the midst of a major greens season. We don’t mind, as we’ve learned over the years ways to deal with the abundance of fresh vegetables.

This week’s share:

  • Oranges (3)
  • Sweet potatoes (4)
  • Hanover kale (1 bunch)
  • Red beets (1 bunch)
  • Trombincino squash (1)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch) — traded for another squash
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — an heirloom mustard variety
  • Salad mix (1 bag)

And, it’s time for the farm crew to get a well-deserved rest, so the CSA is on hold for the next two weeks. A big thanks to the farm crew for all their hard work!

PS. You’ll note that we haven’t posted lately — it’s rush season around here — we’ll resume soon.

Nothing to Trade For

weekly CSA produce share
Anyone want a bunch of cilantro? Or, better yet, know what to do with it?

Well, we headed down a bit later than usual to pick up our CSA food (our cat had a vet appointment, and for some reason she won’t go on her own), and really hoped to trade the cilantro that we knew we’d be getting. But, it was not to be. Cilantro is one of those things that people either love or hate, and it appeared that a bunch of cilantro-haters had just gone through the pickup before us. All the trading baskets were full of cilantro — well, there were a few baskets with onions, but we don’t need more onions — so, we brought home our cilantro. Now, we don’t really care for cilantro, so we trade it every time we can; so far, we’ve been lucky getting good trades quite regularly. But, this week, we’ll just have to figure out what to do with our bunch.

Our share:

  • White onions (3)
  • Swiss Chard (1 bunch)
  • Butternut squash (1)
  • Red potatoes (4)
  • Sweet potatoes (3)
  • Salad mix (1 bag)
  • Tatsoi (1 head)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch)

And, from the surplus basket, four lemon cucumbers, just perfect for salads.

Green Lemons? Who’d Believe It?

weekly CSA produce share
We picked up a lot of green items this week, including green lemons.

Well, it’s true. This week we picked up green lemons as part of our share. You might think, “why didn’t they wait until the lemons were ripe to pick them?” They did. It turns out that, in warm areas such as the desert southwest, lemons are often still green in coloration when they’re perfectly ripe. It’s the temperatures that drive the color. When it’s warm, the peels still contain chlorophyll, so they look green. When the weather cools, that chlorophyll leaves the fruit (just as in tree leaves in the fall), and it turns yellow. So, yes, we have ripe green lemons this week.

Our share from Farmer Frank:

  • Green lemons (3)
  • Tomatoes (3)
  • Lemon cucumbers (6)
  • Roasted green chilies (1 bag)
  • Cushaw squash (1)
  • Salad mix (1 bag)
  • Dill (1 bunch)

And, from the surplus basket, one small cantaloupe.

Quick Trading Saves the Day

weekly CSA produce share
Shishito peppers are the best! We love getting them in our share, and, when we can trade something we don’t like for more, well, that’s even better!

Well, the day would have been fine either way, but, thanks to the trading baskets (you can exchange an item from your share for one that’s already in a basket), we were able to leave with an extra portion of shishito peppers, one of our favorites! Yay! And, we hope that someone came along later and picked up an extra share of what we left (a bunch of cilantro).

Our share this week:

  • Eggplant (2)
  • Spaghetti squash (1)
  • Slicing cucumbers (3)
  • Shishito peppers (1 basket)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch) — traded for more shishito peppers
  • Arugula (1 bunch)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — an heirloom mustard green
  • Roasted green chilies (1 bag)