We’re keeping ourselves busy here at the farm harvesting the abundance of food from the fields. The photo above pictures two of our farmers, Kalyn and Matt, carefully harvesting salad mix greens that went into last week’s CSA share. Days we’re not harvesting or at market, we have diverse projects and tasks to work on. Right now, we’re building trellises to provide support to our tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, irrigating the fields and weeding around our crops. At the same time, we’re thinking about next season – we’re propagating perennials like Okinawa Spinach, starting seeds for onions in the potting shed and planting winter squash out in the fields. Whenever we can, we spend time in the gardens, tending to the young and old – the plants put in the ground by those years ago, and newcomers just coming out of the soil.
Thank you to all those who made it out to Agri-Fest in St. Croix last weekend! We had a blast. It was wonderful to connect with CSA members, market customers and farmers from St. Croix and other islands.
Our builder/chef at the farm, Troy, whipped up a delicious coconut-basil pesto – made with all farm ingredients – just for the fair. See the recipe below for another take on pesto, made with arugula. Use your creativity when it comes to pesto- try arugula, basil and parsley all-together for a dynamic, flavorful meal!
You’re invited to our Slow Down Dinner this Saturday, February 23rd with Guest Chefs Negust Kaza of Tutto Bene and Tamla O’Brien of the Red Couch Café. Come indulge in our magnificent season's organic harvest. For more details, including how to make your reservation, see the full announcement here.
Enjoy your produce!
Claudia Seixas & the crew @ Ridge to Reef Farm
This week, we received a message from Cindy, a share member from St. Croix:
We have had a marvelous time making salsa, collard greens and chicken soup, turnips sauteed with a pinch of sugar, the greens! - so fresh and yummy, really loved the beans (the red are so buttery tasting...just boiled with nothing!)...we've pickled the cucumbers and juiced at the end of the week with whatever is leftover (including all stems!). This has made cooking a joy. Thank you all!
I love her enthusiasm and creativity! And was just thinking yesterday how much better salsa makes everything -- so flavorful and versatile, just add a spoonful to soup, salad, rice, stirfry, and of course, fish tacos, and dinner is done!
We're expecting to be up to our necks in tomatoes soon -- seriously, we have entire fields dedicated to tomatoes, and though still green for now, they're getting bigger every day.
Hm....... maybe we should have a salsa contest! Members could bring samples to their pickup points, and we'll select finalists from each location (how could distributing organic produce to happy people at the beach could get any better? Oh, tasting their delicious creations in a competition! :) The winner would earn enough tomatoes to start a major scale salsa operation, along with some serious bragging rights. Extra consideration if you dance the salsa with your salsa!
Well, it's a fun dream for someday, anyway. :)
What can you do with your share right now? I am so glad that Cindy mentioned juicing. This healthy habit is a great way of getting much-needed nutrition without feeling the fullness of all that fiber -- perfect for a cleanse/fast, or whenever you need a power boost into light speed.
Check out the benefits of juicing cucumbers. And lots of juice recipes here! If you don't have a juicer yet, a refreshing alternative is to cut a few slices and add to a glass of ice water. Aaaaaahhhhhhhh....
Speaking of, how are you liking this okra(aahhh :)? The green and purples are so pretty, and I love their crunch and taste so much, I put them into stirfry and couldn't stop munching as I was stirring and frying. There was no okra left in the stirfry by the time it was ready to eat. :)
A nice way to spice up your stirfry is to top it with an arugula pesto. The arugula is a subtle (but flavorable, and favorable, I think) substitute for the traditional basil. Try using a local island nut like almonds instead of pine nuts! We use coconuts here on the farm.
The farm .... <3
Eat and be well, everyone!
View the recipe archives on our website for more inspiration.
We encourage culinary creativity! Send your own recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add it to an upcoming newsletter!
This Week's Harvest
Red Noodle Yardlong Beans
Head Lettuce OR Salad Mix
Kale OR Collard Greens
Basil - We harvest the tips for you, which is the most aromatic part of the plant, but is prone to blackening if handled incorrectly. Just refrigerate it, but don't allow it to get too cold - it will bruise from cold damage. Don't get it wet - it does not require washing, and will blacken if exposed to water.
Bok Choy - Keep refrigerated. When preparing, cut and then wash the ribs and leaves. It has a tendency to collect soil at the base of the plant while growing, this is normal!
Parsley - Keep separately in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Collard Greens - Store in the refrigerator.
Yardlong beans- Store in the refrigerator.
Cucumbers- Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Free Farm Stay for CSA Members! (A $125 value!)
Do you ever wonder what life at the farm is like? Well, we would love for you to experience it with us! Please take this opportunity to volunteer in the gardens, join us for a community dinner, and retreat to your private cabana after dark...
Call us at 340.220.0466 to make your reservations. See you soon!
THANK YOU HOSTS!
Gifft Hill School
St. John 4-6 pm Thursday
Havensight, St. Thomas 11 am -1 pm Thursday
Christiansted, St. Croix 3-5 pm Saturday
Frederiksted, St. Croix 2-4 pm Saturday
FARM WISH LIST
Got some things laying around that we can re-use in the CSA?
Last season we received egg cartons, more reusable bags, a blender, some garden hoses, a trash bin, and other great things that we use and were saved from going to the landfill or rotting in a shed. THANK YOU!
Ridge to Reef Farm @ the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute
PO Box 2903
Frederiksted USVI 00841
Ridge to Reef Farm serves the US Virgin Islands with certified organic produce grown with sustainable permaculture practices (and a lot of love).