June 9, 2020 | Volume 11 | Week 1/A
CSA Week 1/A

Happy CSA Startup week! We're glad you're joining us whether for the first time or returning for another season of good food.

CSA deliveries begin this Thursday, June 11. Members who pick up this week:
  • Full Share vegetables
  • Every-Other-Week (EOW) Group A vegetables (Group B begins June 18)
  • Full Egg Share
  • EOW Egg Share Group A
  • Meat bundle subscriber

Our goal is to help you make the most of your produce, however you like to cook and whatever your dietary preferences beyond centering fresh organic vegetables. Recipes and tips offered herein attempt to highlight the versatility of many vegetables as well as help you get to know some of the less familiar veggies you may encounter.

There are usually a few wrinkles at the start of the season, so thanks in advance for your good humor and patience as we work to get them straightened out. Please refer to the message from Janet below and the pre-season newsletter for questions you may have.
Week 1/A Pack List
Pac Choi
Pea Vines
Red Radish
(*Michigan, non-organic)
by Janet Gamble, Farm Manager

Welcome to the 2020 CSA Season! The farm is active with many new crew members eager to learn and dig in. 

This year for farmers has been good for those of us who service direct to consumer markets and other retail venues. We are grateful for this turnaround since the market trend in the past 5 years has been slowly diminishing for CSA farms in particular. We have depended on a diverse marketing base to make the economics work, modifying our strategies while some markets slip and others remain robust. It is our philosophy and belief in a regenerative agriculture (a whole ecological systems approach) that much of what we do is for the future of this land. While we tweak our business plan to also be a protein farm, sometimes it takes priming to see the fruition of such changes. 

We must not forget while we self-isolate and distance that we must reach out and continue to build community. It is in the act of community building, which we need as human beings, to continue on a path towards unification and acceptance.

Community Supported Agriculture means to drill down to the fundamental connectivity that food provides through the act of sitting together and sharing a meal—the nutrition to keep us all healthy. It strengthens local economies, provides nutrition, protects watersheds, preserves farm land, provides jobs, and promotes local/regional food security. I think we have experienced these past few months how vulnerable we are. Eating healthy food is essential for our human potential. 

Farm Collective
Farmers have always bought and sold from each other but only through cooperatives and associations have farmers worked together in the market place. For years, I have been growing food for other CSAs and have bought some things in from other farmers as well. Recently, I’ve given more thought about how to make this perhaps a more transparent and a conscious effort, to translate the need for vegetable farmers in particular to share the burden of production by finding ways to streamline our own farming operations instead of thinking we all have to do everything ourselves.

I came to realize how much better for the land it is if more can be left to build and regenerate. We could have better quality of life if we collaborate by growing less and purchase from other farms that share in philosophy and farming methods. Through our Farm Collective partners, we will be providing other vegetables and fruits to you in your CSA box. We will indicate on the pack list where we are sourcing from.
Box Sizes
All boxes are the same, Full Shares and Every-Other-Week Shares. (EOW) Although there may be times that the EOW Shares will get a somewhat different mix, for instance: everyone will get asparagus at least once. Therefore, boxes will have EOW labels. If you are an EOW member, please take the box labelled for your share type. 

Box and Thermal Bags
Please return your boxes and Farmmatch thermal bags to the drop sites or better yet, please bring your own bags to transfer your items into. That way you don’t have to remember to bring your boxes and bags back. There’s a diagram on the Turtle Creek Box label that has instructions for breaking your boxes down so the tabs don’t rip. Ripped tabs make our boxes un-usable.
Meat Shares
Meat shares will receive meat in an insulated bag that MUST be kept at the site. Please bring your own container to transfer your meat into. Every insulated bag will have a name on it so please take meat from the bag with your name attached.

Egg Shares
Egg Shares will be in a cooler. The cooler will have the names of the members who receive an egg share. Please be sure to check your name off the list. Those of you picking up at River Valley or Good Harvest and are receiving eggs shares will have the eggs in your box. The box will be labeled with your name attached.

Weather and other unforeseeable circumstances
Weather always plays a part in our harvest and availability of crops. Sometimes we just have crop loss due to poor weather conditions that affect how long something will last in the field or because of a disease or insect issue. We do our best to practice as many preventative measure as possible to ensure an ongoing variety and to ensure that you will receive certain items. 

Enjoy your first box of the season!
Lemon Pasta with Pea Vines & Parmesan
Pea vines, aka Pea Shoots or Pea Tendrils are grown specifically to be eaten in the pre-fruiting stage of the pea plant's life cycle. They have a mild pea flavor and can be eaten raw, lightly cooked, or somewhere in between, as with this recipe.

2-3 c. fresh pea vines (aka pea shoots)
Zest of 1 large lemon
¼ c. lemon juice
⅓ c. good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish (see recipe notes)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz spaghetti (any kind)
½ c. pasta water (reserved from cooking)
Kosher salt, to taste

Chop pea vines into approximately 3 or 4" lengths. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil, grated Parmesan, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in well-salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking water. Immediately add pasta to the mixing bowl with lemon-olive oil mixture. The heat from the pasta will warm the sauce and melt the cheese. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing to combine.

Add pea shoots and a pinch of salt, toss until Parmesan has melted into a smooth sauce and pea shoots have softened slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately, garnished with additional parmesan.

Servings: 4
Recipe adapted from: lifeasastrawberry.com
Pac Choi & Radish Slaw
Pac Choi (aka Bok Choy) Both leaves and fleshy stalks of this Asian green are edible and may be eaten raw or cooked. Popular in stir fries. When cooking, add the stalks first as they take longer to soften.

1 head pac choi
1 bunch radishes, tops removed

¼ c. canola oil
2 T. tamari or shoyu soy sauce
juice and zest from half a lime
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 T. maple syrup or honey
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. grated fresh ginger

Wash pac choi, spin or pat dry. Separate leaves and stalks. Cut stalks into 2" slices. Slice stalks vertically into matchsticks. Stack leaves, roll tightly into a bundle, and thinly slice.

Slice radishes, then stack on top of each other and chop into matchsticks. (May also use julienne setting on a mandoline)

Mix dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add radishes, pac choi stalks and leaves; toss to combine well with dressing. Taste and add more lime or tamari if necessary. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Servings: 4-6
Recipe adapted from: earlymorningfarm.com
Rhubarb Scones
A perennial vegetable used more like a fruit, rhubarb has a tart flavor and is usually prepared cooked, with the addition of sweeteners. Only the stalks are edible.
It's easy to freeze: just wash, pat dry, chop and place in freezer bags or containers. For many recipes, it can be added without thawing.

1¼ c. whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. ground cardamom
½ t. salt
½ c. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1½ c. finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed (3-4 stalks)
½ c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. fat-free milk
1 t. vanilla extract
Coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add rhubarb; toss to coat.

In another bowl, whisk cream, milk and vanilla; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently 4-5 times. Divide dough in half; pat into two 6-in. circles. Cut each into 8 wedges. Place wedges on parchment paper-lined baking sheets; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Yield: 16 scones
Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com
Simple Asparagus & Ground Meat Skillet
2 T. oil (more as needed or use chicken broth to lower fat content)
1 LB lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 LB asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1" lengths
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, warm the oil. Add meat and stir fry until browned.

Add garlic and onion, stir fry 1-2 minutes. Add asparagus, continue stirring until asparagus is becoming tender and meat is cooked through. Add parsley, toss until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over cooked grains of your choice, or enjoy as is for a lower carb option.

Servings: 4
Recipe adapted from thegraciouspantry.com
Turtle Creek Gardens, LLC | 262-441-0520 |
Janet Gamble, Farm Manager: farmmanager@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com
Christi Lee Ehler, Newsletter Editor: newsletter@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com