From the Field
We've been keeping busy at the farm tending to all of the CSA crops in between (and during!) the recent rains. The plentitude of water means we can take a break from irrigating the fields, but also brings about unwanted weeds, insects and diseases that are challenging to manage in our organic system.
This week we harvested bananas and mangoes for your fill of fruit. Remember, we pick these fruits mature but green - allow up to a week or more for them to ripen fully. You can also use them green in savory dishes like mango chutney, green mango salsa, green "fig" pie and mashed green banana.
Your share this week has plenty of greens - try them cooked together as a medley in a stir-fry. The Vivid Choi can be used much like Swiss Chard or Bok Choy. Moringa is making its first appearance this season - check out the "What's That Food" section for more information on this miracle food.
Your basil is from the first harvest in our herb patch - use it to make a pesto or simply chop it finely and season any dish for a burst of fresh flavor.
Enjoy the harvest,
Claudia & the crew at Ridge to Reef Farm
Photo above: View from the terraced CSA fields at Ridge to Reef Farm
What's That Food?
Native to the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India, Moringa oleifera is often referred to as the "Miracle Tree" for its vast nutritional and health properties, and its potential to boost food security and improve nutrition in developing countries. Many parts of the plant are edible, including the leaves, flowers, pods and seeds.
The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant - they are a significant source of Vitamins A, C, and B6, Calcium, Potassium, and Protein. To remove the leaves, hold the stem in one hand and slide the fingers of your other hand along it. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked briefly just like spinach. You can also make a refreshing, nutritious hot or cold tea by steeping the fresh or dried leaves in water. Try one of the recipes below!
2-4 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/2 cup diced onion, with tops
2 tablespoons lime or other citrus juice
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper
Combine the mango, jalapeno, onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Moringa Leaves Gulay
1 cup coconut milk, diluted with 1 cup water
1 cup tofu
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1/8 tsp. sea salt
6 cups moringa leaves, washed and sorted
4 pieces chili peppers, crushed (optional)
1. Boil coconut milk, tofu, garlic and onion for 10 minutes.
2. Season with salt, stirring the mixture continuously.
3. Add moringa leaves and crushed chili peppers.
4. Cook 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Recipe courtesy Moringa Tress of Life
Guacamole Dip with Moringa Leaves
1 Ripe Avocado (meat scooped and mashed)
1/4 cup Moringa (blanched and minced)
1 medium size red onion (chopped)
1 chili pepper (stem and seeds removed, minced)
1 medium size tomato (seeds and pulp removed, diced)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Cilantro (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Clean and cut Avocado in half, remove seed and scoop out the flesh.
• Mash Avocado and set aside.
• Blanch Moringa leaves on boiling water, minced to almost pasty then, mix it together with avocado.
• Cut tomatoes and scoop out the pulp and seeds, dice and mix with avocado.
• Peel and chop onions and cilantro and mix it to mashed avocado.
• Add in salt and pepper and lemon juice.
• Fold all ingredients together and make sure to evenly distribute everything in the mixture.
• Leave it in the fridge to chill.
• Serve with nachos for snack or as party cocktail dip.
Recipe courtesy Moringa Source
This Week's Harvest
Turnips or Radishes
Basil - Genovese
THANK YOU HOSTS!
Gifft Hill School
St. John 3:30 - 5:30 pm Thursday
Havensight, St. Thomas 11 am -1 pm Thursday
The Pickled Greek
Christiansted, St. Croix 3-5 pm Saturday
Frederiksted, St. Croix 2-4 pm Saturday
Ridge to Reef Farm serves the US Virgin Islands with certified organic produce grown with sustainable permaculture practices (and a lot of love).