It’s that time of the season when we are ready to welcome our shareholder to the farm for an afternoon of food, fun and well…more food.
This is your first pickup this spring and although we have gotten off to a weird..spring weather wise we do have some crops that are ready and more on their way in the next few weeks. Now those of you that have been with us as shareholders in the CSA program know spring crops start our slow and then..they tend to come on in droves..get those salad spinners ready and if you don’t have a salad spinner…run..get one asap…you will thank me for it in May. We have a big wedding here on the farm this Saturday which is why we are hosting this gathering on Sunday. Again mother nature time table here on the farm…crops ready to harvest don’t like to wait. One of the crops is Asparagus. It needs to be cut while the shoots are tight and closed and want to got home with you freshly harvested and not setting in some cooler for days on end. It is so delicious and tender right now I can’t wait to put it into your baskets.
I understand if some of you can’t make this gathering and pickup and for those of you I will also set Tuesday after 4pm aside for you just email me and let me know you need to schedule a pickup for that day. Madisoncreekfarms@gmail.com
CSA Gathering & Pickup
April 22nd 1pm.
Madison Creek Farms
1228 Willis Branch Rd. Goodlettsville, TN.
Home made Pimento Cheese & Pasta salad w/ fresh spinach and black olives
Lavender short bread cookies
This is an important part (this gathering) starting off your CSA season…if you can make the gathering please try…you will love it and you will have a far better CSA experience because of it. It’s your investment…your food…and your farm. Oh…and did I say…it will be fun? see y’all on Sunday.
Can’t wait to get ya…back on the farm! Peggy
CSA Shareholder & Staff writer
The spring greens
Geographically speaking, you CSA members are all southerners now. Anywhere in the vicinity of this farm is well below the Mason Dixon Line, so you are all part of the fabric running through our southern heritage. With this proud, new social label, there are two things I must teach you. First, when you mention the two words ‘southern’ and ‘food’, one of the top five words that WILL be mentioned is greens, period. I’d bet my CSA share on it .
True to the planting calendar, greens will be in your first pick-up basket this season. Most greens are cool weather crops and abundant in early spring and late fall in our CSA baskets. Greens date back to prehistoric times and are one of the oldest members of the cabbage family. They originated in the Eastern Mediterranean.
But in the early 1600’s, the settlers got their first taste of greens when Africans started arriving in Jamestown. During slavery, greens were one of the few crops they were allowed to grow and harvest for themselves. Over the years, it turned greens into a staple traditional food even after salves were emancipated in the 1800’s. Cooks kept handing down their greens recipes from one generation to the next.
Dark greens are one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition on the planet. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
The star nutrient in greens is Vitamin K. A cup of cooked greens provides nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K. Vitamin K research has found:
- It regulates blood clotting;
- It helps protect bones from osteoporosis;
- It may help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques;
- It may be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthritis;
- And it may help prevent diabetes.
For you low carb, paleo, primal diet folks, greens are almost carbohydrate free. What carbs are present are packed in layers of fiber making them very slow to digest. Vitamin K is also a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to put dressing on your salad, or cook your greens with oil.
To enjoy your first batch of greens in the most traditional way without making things too complicated, try this recipe from Gina Neely from Down Home With the Neely’s on Food Network. I have personally tried this one and it’s delicious.
Little tip: if you don’t have ham hocks, don’t worry! You can use leftover ham chunks or ham bone from your Easter dinner if you have some left. Or, you can just use bacon. Brown up the bacon first then cook the greens in the bacon grease as the recipe states. Use the crisp bacon pieces to sprinkle over the greens after cooking.
You also don’t have to make this many greens. We probably won’t be getting that many greens in our baskets anyway. For the amount of greens we will be getting I would use a pinch of sugar (a teaspoon maybe), enough water to just cover the greens, and a half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. And if you try cooking your greens like this and don’t like them, then we need to have a talk!
The second thing I want you to know is this is your CSA. Take ownership of it. Come prepared to get to know your farm community. Bring a pen and notepad, seriously. Go up and introduce yourself to strangers. Shake hands. Ask questions. Open up. Find out who has tried vegetables you haven’t tried yet and glean some knowledge. Volunteer recipes if you have a great one to share. If you don’t know what something is, find out from someone who does.
If you have never tried something-DO IT! I mean that. It’s ok if you fail at cooking it. And it’s ok if you find out you really don’t like it. But before you completely give up, see if someone else has had your same experience and find out if they can help you learn to like it.
We’re not that different. No matter where each of us originally has come from, north, south, east, or west, we already have something in common-local, organic, slow food and the love of adventure. So get out there and have some fun!