spring CSA, week 11

This week’s CSA pickup brought the first freshly-harvested vegetables from Maryland! The radishes and the romaine lettuce were grown and harvested on Maryland farms. Everything else (except the bread, eggs, and potatoes) is still from out of state though; besides the radishes and romaine, we have grapefruit, orange, cucumber, sugar snap peas, green beans, and North Carolina strawberries at perfect peak ripeness. Still, spring has finally come to Maryland and by the time the summer CSA starts up, everything will be from Maryland or Pennsylvania farms.

CSA pickup week 11

Casey at the farm said that their strawberries were probably going to be ready in about two weeks, which is also what the folks at Larriland Farm are predicting. I can’t wait to go out and eat dusty perfect fresh-picked strawberries.

When we get radishes from the CSA, I like to saute up the radish greens that very evening. If you let the greens sit in the fridge connected to the radishes, the greens will suck the moisture out of the radishes and then they’ll both wilt, so you have to cut the greens off right away anyway. Radish greens have a lot of bitter, complex flavor. I just melt a bit of butter in a pan on medium-high heat, toss in the greens with some salt and garlic powder (they don’t need pepper; they’re peppery enough on their own), and stir the greens around until they’ve wilted and turned bright green. Voila, radish greens: a healthy snack (though it would probably be healthier if I didn’t saute them in butter).

cooked radish greens

Pickup at the farm this week was also special because it was the first non-rainy week that there were herbs available to pick. (They don’t let you out on their herb plot when it’s muddy — something to do with bacteria that might be on your shoes.) I picked myself a teeny bouquet of flowering chives, flowering thyme, and a couple of branches of oregano.

flowering herbs

The picture is dominated by the tall chive stalks, but you can see the little thyme blossoms beneath. Flavorful and decorative, too.

Finally, I dropped by the farmer’s market yesterday to pick up my annual lemon basil plant (I kill one of the poor things every year, but they’re so good in summer salads), and picked up a huge bundle of green garlic on impulse. The farmer told me that he’d put garlic bulbs in the ground two weeks ago, and just in that time they’d sprouted to easily two feet in length; he crushed a leaf and had me smell how beautifully garlicky it was. Now the bundle is sitting in some water on my counter. I’m looking forward to mincing it into scrambled eggs, slicing it into soups, and turning the rest into some tasty pesto…

I’m so glad that spring is finally here.