Steve’s Weekly Update for 6-18 &19

 Hello members,

This week’s share is running a little large, as we struggle to mix and match the various opportunities to support our farmers and feed ourselves the best fresh local food we can get.  Having written that sentence, now I present the paradox:  this week we also have our semi annual delivery of biodynamic ginger from Hawaii.  The CSA’s relationship with Papohaku farm in Molokai goes back 10 years or more, and we have been getting a couple of boxes a year of their amazing Biodynamic ginger ever since.  Usually it arrives early in summer, when we have fewer items in the share.  Fresh ginger freezes very well.  It molds in the fridge, so whatever you plan to eat fresh should be kept cool and dry, not refrigerated. It also stays very tasty and workable when frozen  (of course you have to thaw it out to use it).  Since we do not get a lot of it, I suggest that members break it up and freeze it in a zip loc bag and take it out a piece at a time for use in your cooking.

This should be the last week of Shiroz apricots, and the first week of the amazing Saturn Peaches!  The crop of peaches is also much smaller than last year, likely it will last only a few weeks for us.  As far as fruit goes, soon there will also be cherries for a few weeks, and then peaches will begin.  Later in summer we will have some berries:  blackberries and raspberries.  Also some plums, and in the fall, pears and apples.  We will have melons for you when we can as well. We try to have at least one and no more than 2 fruit items for you each week.  If you are a “home canner” you will want to let us know so we can keep you posted about opportunities to acquire full lugs of canning quality fruit (less expensive, needing immediate attention).  Often these opportunities sneak up on us suddenly and we are happy to know who might want to take advantage of them!!!

The saturns we are getting are the ones that would not go out on retail display successfully due to being either too small, or slightly too ripe.  The retail grade fruit will be almost double the price, at COOP or Whole Foods.  This is a special value that CSA members get to enjoy, what also helps the farmer get the fairest return on the fruit.  We do not want to waste this amazing fruit, and hope you enjoy it!  The ripe fruit will need to be eaten pretty quickly, or be refrigerated!

This week’s new produce item is English peas from Salvadore Corona’s Espanola Valley farm, the last farm on the main street of Espanola, across the street from Walmart.  The land that Salvadore is farming has been nearly converted to a strip mall several times in the 14 years he has been there.  As a result of his “land insecurity”, he has been afraid to implement full organic practices there.  Although he does not use any pesticide or herbicide, he uses a small amount of commercial fertilizer each year in late winter, well before planting.  So to be clear, his peas are not purely organic, but under the circumstances his practices are as sustainable as they can we and we hope you will agree with us that the peas are terrific and that supporting Salvadore is also important!  We will also have onions and other vegetables from Salvadore later on this season.

Mesa Top continues with lettuce mix and arugula for your salads, and also some tiny bunches of cilantro.  This week is our first chard offering, and we continue alternating between a bunch of kale and a bunch of collards each week.

And at last we have the first carrots from Desert Gardens in Hatch.

We hope you enjoy this week’s bounty, and want to encourage you to give away what you can’t eat, if you look at the share and the food you are getting, valued in our internal accounting at $27, it is clearly an huge bargain that is also supporting our local farms very well.  If the share is so large that we have the chance to share it with others to be sure it is fully enjoyed, this is a good thing for everyone. And for those of you who want more produce, keep an eye out for Amy’s instructions on how to access our special order system, which is being released on Local Harvest very soon.

Steve Warshawer

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