Wow! After all of the indecisive weather patterns and the challenges that came with our Montana spring season, Kate’s Garden is opening her gate for the first week’s CSA share pick up. I hope you are as excited as I am! I am looking forward to meeting you, as many of you are new this year. I will get to see those of you who purchased full shares every week, and for those who are half sharers, every other week. I sent you the information on your scheduled pick up dates in the last newsletter, but you can view it again on my website, where you will find all of the past newsletters and blogs.
There are some general housekeeping instructions that I will clarify for you now, as some of you are unfamiliar with our procedures.
1. Please bring your own box, cooler or bags in which to place your produce, as I do not have extra boxes or bags. Your veggies will be field washed or cloth wiped clean, however, you will need to wash them when you get them home just as you would when purchasing at the store.
2. I encourage you to recycle the produce clam shells, egg cartons and any appropriate packaging that you acquire at the store and bring them with you when you come. I can use them here to send things like beans, peas, herbs, tomatoes, etc back home with you. Even those cute plastic pouches that they are packaging grapes and cherries in nowadays will work! If you are not sure what I can use….just ask! That way I don’t have to buy more plastic and it keeps it out of the landfill. No deli containers, though. They always smell!
3. I am planning on having local, free range eggs available again this year. Marlene, the lady that supplied eggs last year has increased her production this year. Now, f the hens do their job and don’t start molting in this heat, we will hopefully have more eggs. Marlene sells here eggs for $3 per dozen, which is a steal!
4. Pick up time is from 4 to 6 PM. Please be on time. Thursday’s harvest begins early in the morning, so it is a long day for me. I will have the big gate open. Walk down the gravel driveway to the back shop, where we will be waiting for you. You will probably be greeted by Bodie, my German Shepherd. He is boisterous, but friendly.
5. I invite you to take the time to walk through the gardens. I am very proud of them and want you to enjoy them, too!
6. If you are unable to make your pick up day, please let me know ahead of time. I know that some of you are traveling and things come up. I cannot hold your share, or adjust your pick up day as there are so many of you that are picking up every other week. It would be a scheduling nightmare to keep up with it all. What works best with most CSA’s is to make arrangements with a friend or another family member to pick up your share for you. I am sure they would love having some fresh, local produce.
Here is a photo of the Snap Peas growing on the fence along the driveway. They are in flower right now and use their tendrils to help them climb. You have to harvest them everyday day in order to keep them producing, but they don’t like the hot weather, so there is a short window of harvest. I just can’t resist eating a handful when picking them! Yummy, sweet and crunchy!
This first week’s share will include Sugar Snap Peas, Beets with their greens, Radishes, Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Rhubarb and fresh herbs.
Here is a quick and delicious recipe for the Sugar Snaps.
Spicy Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas
1 lb. sugar snap peas
2 T soy sauce (can use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2-3 slices fresh ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 T peanut oil
1 tsp. black sesame seeds or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Remove the strings from the each sugar snap pea by snapping the stem end and pulling the string down the side, then slice each one on the diagonal. (The sugar snap peas actually have a string on each side, but on most of them I only removed the string from one side.)
Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Put the wok or heavy frying pan on the burner and preheat at least one minute. (It should feel very hot if you hold your hand above the wok.) When wok is hot, add the oil and let it heat until the oil is shimmering (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how hot your stove gets.) Add the sliced ginger root and garlic and stir-fry just long enough so that they become fragrant and season the oil, then remove. (Be careful not to brown the ginger and garlic or they will have a bitter taste.)
Add the sliced sugar snap peas and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the peas turn bright green and are just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just starts to coat the peas, about 1 minute more. (There will be some sauce in the bottom of the wok, but not much.) Serve hot, sprinkled with black sesame seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
See you on Thursday! 4-6 PM! Can’t wait to see you all and share the garden’s bounty!