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Spring CSA Week 5 | Phenology

Week 5: May 9 - May 12

 

Reminder: Pickup is Thursday 3pm - Sunday 8pm 

at 13197 10th Street S. Afton, MN

On the farm, we blend a lot of scientific fields – botany, chemistry, entomology. This week we’ve been thinking a lot about one of the more niche fields: phenology. Phenology is, essentially, the study of seasonality. It looks at how climate influences the timing of things like bird migrations, insect emergence, and tree flowering. And as you might guess, we are phenologically ahead of schedule this year.

 

As you turn into the drive today you’ll see beautiful flowering crabapple trees in full bloom; last year they bloomed a week or two later than this. The forsythia blossoms have come and gone, when last year at this time they were still bright yellow. The flea beetles and potato beetles have arrived earlier than normal.

 

And the plants in the greenhouse are following the same pattern. Compared to our planting plans, seedlings are showing that they’re ready to be planted out days and weeks ahead of schedule. It’s yet another example of how growing vegetables year-round requires constant adjustment and readjustment. It requires blending some artistry in with all those scientific fields.

 

One of the more noticeable phenological shifts that happens each year on the farm is our transition from our winter Persephone Mix salad to our main season Farm Mix. When the cold-loving crops like mizuna, mustard, and baby kale start to grow too fast and flower, they tell us that it’s time to make the transition to a mix of crisp, delicious lettuces. And this week is the week! Phenology in action!

 

We’re already more than halfway through our Spring CSA. We hope you’ve been enjoying the fresh veggies coming out of the fields as much as we have. Please remember to bring your purple bags back each week so we can reuse them!

 

Have a seasonally advanced week,

Ashley, Chris, Hallie, and the 10th Street Farm Crew


 

In Your Bag This Week


Flavor Mix microgreens: Mild and tasty, these make an easy salad on their own or can add some color to any other salad. Try them on eggs or sandwiches – or anything, really! Store in a bag in your fridge.


Arugula: Peppery greens that add zip to a salad. We love arugula dressed simply with oil and salt. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Salad Turnips: Also called Hakurei Turnips, these fresh-eating turnips are tasty and versatile. Slice them up with hummus, sauté them, roast them in the oven, or even try them on the grill. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Celery: Tender new celery shoots full of flavor. Perfect in chilis and soups. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Rhubarb: Did you know that not all rhubarb is red? Our green heirloom variety is sweet and crisp, perfect for both sweet and savory uses. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Head Lettuce - Little Gem (half share) or Bibb (full share): Mini romaine heads or big buttery Bibbs. Crunchy, fresh, and great for everything from lettuce wraps to salads and sandwiches. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Sunflower Shoots (half share only): Crunchy and nutty flavor, these are a great substitute for lettuce on sandwiches or wraps. Store in your fridge.


Farm Mix salad (full share only): Our main season mix of lettuces. Delicious with just olive oil and salt, or dress it up! Store in a bag in your fridge.

Bok Choy (full share only): So versatile! Use in Asian-inspired dishes like soups and stir fries, or just chop and add to anything for a bit more flavor and nutrition. Store in a bag in your fridge.


Cilantro microgreens (full share only): All of the flavor with none of the chopping! Add these to soups, sandwiches, pizzas, or tacos. Store in your fridge.

 

What should I make with what’s in the bag?


We’ve got rhubarb in the bag this week! The perfect time to whip up a rhubarb crisp or maybe some rhubarb sauce to spoon over vanilla ice cream? Or, if you’re not a sweet tooth, try using its zip to accent something savory, like this rhubarb roasted salmon. If you’re looking for a way to cook up your hakurei turnips instead of just snacking on them raw, this turnip & turnip green sauté is delicious. Speaking of sautés, we haven’t tried it yet but this recipe for sauteed arugula with raisins and pine nuts is intriguing – maybe a good one for folks who aren’t such a fan of the bitterness of raw arugula.


If you've found a recipe you're loving, please send it our way! We're always looking for new things to cook and who knows, maybe it'll make its way into an upcoming newsletter...


Have a great week!

 

We wash everything in your bag but we wash them in bulk so some things may need an extra rinse at home. Please bring your bag back next week so we can re-use them! Thanks!

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