This week you'll find some familiar vegetables in your CSA box, along with some new treats. We had our first harvest of Suyo Long cucumbers - as the name suggests, they are quite large, and take on a straight or curved appearance depending on where they grew on the plant's vine. Slice them up for a refreshing and crispy addition to your salad, or soak it in vinegar, salt and sugar for a quick pickle.
You are also recieving bananas this week! Bananas are actually the fruit of an herbaceous flowering plant that is a monocot, which means it's related to grasses (not trees). Bananas are harvested when they are fully mature, but still green. Their sweetness develops as they ripen and turn yellow, which takes a few days to a week once they are off of the plant. Green bananas can be eaten as a starch, like a potato- the simplest preparation is to boil them, with the skins removed either before or after cooking (click the link for this website for instructions).
The other newcomer to your box is the Red Noodle yardlong bean. They are a tropical bean that can be prepared and eaten just like green beans - the only difference is the length (and color). Just chop them up into smaller sections (usually one or two inches) and enjoy!
We're thrilled to be in the midst of the harvest season with you!
Claudia Seixas & Jim Marzluff
R2R Farm Production Managers
WTF (What's That Food)?
Tatsoi is an Asian green in the Brassica family, with a taste that's milder than mustard greens, and a texture and appearance similar to bok choy. Other names for it include chinese spinach and rosette bok choy; its leaves grow on a long stem and together form a rosette cluster.
Tatsoi is delicious and versatile when cooked in a stir fry or soup, and can also be eaten raw.
This nutrient-dense green's popularity is growing, and with street cred like this, it's no wonder why: they are high in beta-carotene and Vitamins A, C, and K; they also have good amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorous and iron.
Enjoy your tatsoi! Let us know what you think, and share with us any creative uses you come up with for it -- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please search our newsletter database to find strange foods and their uses from past CSA seasons.
I love a quick and easy harvest stir-fry with whatever fresh veges and greens are available -- today it was turnip roots (cut into half moons), romano beans (cute into bite-size squares), and mizuna greens and tatsoi (cut into 1" lengths).
After heating olive oil, garlic, roots and beans for several minutes in a covered skillet, stirring occasionally, I tossed in greens for the last few minutes, until slightly wilted but still nice and green. That's it, done. YUM.
Sometimes it's nice to let the flavors of the harvest come through on their own like that. But if you're looking to spice things up a bit, see how long it takes you to salivate at the recipe below. Adding mizuna and mustard greens would give it extra mm's. :)
Remember, no matter what ingredients you use, the only one you really taste is love. We are so happy to grow this food, and the food is happy to grow for you (we can tell by how big and vibrant and healthy it is :) And your happiness makes us even happier! So have fun with your food, let it bring you closer together and nourish your body, mind and soul. We are so glad you are here with us, what a beautiful time to be alive and celebrate! There is abundance in the fields, in our communities, and our hearts.
Gingery Sauteed Tat-Soi with Tofu Steaks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into "steaks" [could substitute fish]
1 tablespoon sesame oil, divided
2 small bunches of tat-soi [and any other CSA veges or greens you want to throw in!]
1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
In a small bowl whisk all ingredients from soy sauce through cayenne pepper.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add tofu steaks; cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet. Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to skillet; add tat soi; once wilted, add sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook just until sauce slightly thickens.
Divide greens on plates. Top with half of the tofu. Drizzle with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately, [with rice if desired].
View the recipe archives on our website for more inspiration.
We encourage culinary creativity! Send your own recipe to email@example.com, and we will add it to an upcoming newsletter!
This Week's Harvest
Red Noodle Beans
Tatsoi (Chinese Spinach)
Green Leaf Lettuce
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).