Welcome to May!
This Weeks Vibrant Share Includes: Sweet Red Kale, Summer Squash, Sugar Snap Peas, Strawberries, Baby Lettuce Mix, Napa Cabbage, Rainbow Carrots, Sweet Onion, and Dill
Strawberries: The beauty of our strawberries is that you can eat them right out of your CSA box. Unlike the majority of strawberry producers in the south, our strawberries are grown organically in the straw. This means we use straw mulch rather than the conventional black plastic and we use natural fertilizers like chicken manure and a boric acid bait sprinkled into the straw to deter bugs and other insects who want to taste the fruits of our labor before you get to. This year we did not spray our strawberries with anything at all, instead we took extra care in cleaning the field everytime we harvest strawberries so that there are no lingering or overly ripe berries enticing the various sweet-toothed creatures. Enjoy your grown-in-straw, strawberries.
Dill: Eat dill and get a good night’s rest. The flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in dill’s essential oils, activate the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones in our bodies which have calming and hypnotic effects, thereby helping people get a good night’s sleep. Try this herb on fish, on top of pasta’s, in salads or salad dressings like this one our co-owner Amy made for our 2018 spring farm tour last March. Dill Dressing
Sweet Red Kale: This purple stemmed variety has tender leaves more so than other varieties of kale. Eat the leaves chopped up in salads or lightly sauteed with onion and garlic. Although they are edible, you may want to strip out the mature purple stems, no amount of cooking will soften them.
Rainbow Carrots: The trendy rainbow carrots are growing in popularity among foodies all over the country and it’s no surprise. Not only are they delicious and particularly beautiful they are just as healthy as the typical edible orange tuber everyone knows and loves.
Eat this now- Rainbow Carrots- Time Magazine Carrots are jammed with a wealth of nutrients, and medium-sized sticks are only 25 calories. Standard orange carrots contain vitamin A, and the other hued carrots are equally healthy. Here’s a brief break-down:
- Orange: Beta and alpha carotene pigment. This promotes vitamin A production by the body, which is essential for healthy eyes.
- Purple: Anthocyanin, beta and alpha carotene pigment. Purple carrots typically have an orange core, and their pigment-related nutrients may provide additional vitamin A and prevent heart disease.
- Red: Lycopene and beta-carotene pigment. Lycopene is the same red pigment that gives tomatoes their deep color and is linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer.
- Yellow: Xanthophykks and lutein. Both are linked to cancer prevention and better eye health.
- White: The nutrients don’t come from the pigment but from the fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
“We want to expand the color and taste palate for consumers since we are so sorely lacking in fruit and vegetable consumption in the U.S.,” says Simon. “If we can get someone to eat another serving of carrots because it has an unusual color, that benefits our consumers. We have a problem not only with low intake of certain nutrients, but with obesity. Fruit and vegetable consumption is always listed as an area [in which] we can do better.”-Time Magazine
Napa Cabbage: The flavor of napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It can be used raw or cooked, and the leaves can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. Try this cabbage with a little tropical twist… For your next slaw, combine 2 cups of diced mango or pineapple, a finely diced jalapeño, 1 cup of mayonnaise (or substitute), 2 cups of shredded napa cabbage and 4 tablespoons of rice or red wine vinegar. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight, and serve.
Sugar Snap Peas: Sugar snap peas are a cool season, frost hardy vegetable, growing the best in Florida during the early spring months. Our peas and other legumes help increase the nitrogen content of our soil, which is beneficial in growing tomatoes and cabbages. All you single ladies out there you better start checking those pea pods..There’s an old wives tale that says If a girl finds nine peas in a pod, the next bachelor she meets will become her husband.
Baby Lettuce Mix: A stunning mix of different colors, shapes and textures, enjoy this baby lettuce variety because it’s almost too hot to grow this type of lettuce. Enjoy this baby mixture tossed with some sugar snap peas, rainbow carrots and a refreshing Dill Dressing.
Summer Squash: Our summer squash variety is made up of Yellow crookneck, Patty pan and Zucchini. They all cook the same, simply cut or slice and enjoy them steamed, sauteed, baked, grilled or a variety of other ways.
Sweet Onion: Known for their mild, even sugary, taste these onions contain more sugars and fewer sulfur-containing compounds than other onions do. Not that I am endorsing this.. but you should know that onions may cure baldness. Go ahead rub head with the onion. The onion juice supposedly encourages hair to grow “thick as thistles.” Note: You may have to sleep alone, but at least you’ll have hair!
Check back next week for the Weekly Share blog post!
Peace, Love, & Good Clean Food -Shani