CSA Week 18

This Week’s Harvest

Farm News

This week’s box is a great sampling of all the vegetable families we grow at Mile Creek. The summer CSA boxes have been loaded with solanums, a plant family that thrives in the warm weather. These include eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Other than the starchy potato tuber, most solanums we eat are technically berries. This week we hang on to some remaining solanums, but soon the boxes won’t include any at all. The warm season plants will make way for the cooler crops, which mainly belong in the brassica family. This week’s brassicas include cabbage, braising greens, and broccoli or cauliflower. We have 4 other plant families represented in this week’s box. Alliums are the onion family and we typically use the bulb, like this weeks’ sweet onions and garlic. They get their onion flavor from chemical compounds they produce. There is a particular onion crop pest that has prevented us from growing leeks. We can grow and harvest garlic and onions before the onion fly settles in, but leeks stay in the ground much longer and the fly lays its eggs on the stalks and the maggots hatch and eat the food source they happen to hatch on, making it inedible for us! This is also why we do not grow scallions/green onions all season long. But onions and garlic get harvested end of June/early July and then store for the rest of the season out of harm’s way. Another plant family we have this week is the Apiaceae and includes the carrots and fennel. This family is more commonly referred to as the umbellifers, from the umbel flowers they produce. It is a very aromatic one, including many herbs like dill, parsley, anise, cilantro, and caraway. A favorite characteristic of this family for me is that they are the host plants of swallowtail caterpillars. We also have a members of the cucurbit family (which I wrote about at length in the week 15 blog) present this week- the watermelon is the last of our summer cucurbit and we also have a winter squash, the delicious honeynut. Finally, the lettuce that makes up the salad mix is in its own family. I actually learned something new today about our vegetable plant families and that is that lettuce belongs to the aster/sunflower family, Asteraceae! Come to think of it, the yellow flowers that lettuce produces once we are done do resemble asters. This week’s box has so many vegetables I nearly forgot about a few as I typed up this blog up! Enjoy!

Recipes

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess…) cilantro, red onions, roma tomatoes, cauliflower, napa cabbage, bok choi, salad mix, golden beets, kohlrabi, jalapenos

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