This week has flown by! All of your farmers have been so busy that they haven't had time to update us about what's going on around the farms.
It looks like most of you are getting the hang of the new share customization and checkout system. We've gotten some great feedback about the move. There are a few members each week who forget to click the "Apply Store Credit" button before you check out, so your card is charged for the order. If you do that, your credit from this week will remain on your account to use later.
It's time to pay your second installment for your CSA Share if you're on the payment plan. I'll email invoices early next week, so watch out for them. Your second payment is due by June 30.
Remember that CSA members have sole access to the store from Friday morning until Sunday morning. On Sundays, we open the store to the public, so for the best selection you will want to customize your share on Friday or Saturday.
We have a contest going in our 2023 CSA Members Facebook group. Plus, we're sharing news and recipes there. Head on over and send us a request to join!
This week we have our first zucchini. It's salad season, so take your pick of lettuce and mixes.
We've had a super busy week at Philsons Bushel & a Peck Farm. Many of you know that we're building an on-farm meat processing facility to sell the meat that we raise. On Tuesday the wall covering materials were delivered. It's important to have walls that we can clean and sanitize daily. On Thursday Eric made a trip to eastern PA and purchased a refrigerated semi trailer that will be part of our cooler space. The trailer that he chose can have three different zones, so products can be stored at various temperatures while they await final processing. And a big deal for me...Eric finally got my garden tilled this week and I've started planting! We're only a couple of months late, but there are still lots of veggies that we can grow. They filled my small kitchen garden with garlic last fall, so I couldn't even plant lettuce or beets this spring! I'm just glad I have my CSA share until my garden begins to produce.
It's all about garlic scapes this week!
What’s a Garlic Scape? Garlic scapes are the curly flower stalk of hard-necked varieties of garlic. Removing the scape in June allows the plant to put more energy into formation of the garlic bulb, increasing bulb size by up to 30%. Scaping the plant produces a larger, more flavorful garlic bulb later in August, and the scape just happens to be edible as well. Scapes taste mild and sweet, like chives or scallions, but with a hit of unmistakable garlicky flavor. Raw garlic scapes are crunchy like green beans or asparagus. Garlic scapes start out tender, but get tougher as they mature. Incidentally, if you don’t cut the scape off, it will eventually straighten up and bud into a flower.
How to store: Garlic scapes keep well in a plastic bag in the fridge for two to three weeks. They will also keep for a few days (and will look beautiful) in a glass with a little cool water in it, on the counter in a cool room. Change water daily.
How to Prep: Raw garlic scapes are crunchy like green beans or asparagus, but you can eat scapes raw or cooked, whole or chopped. To prep, just trim and discard the stringy tip of the scape and the bottom woodier part of the stem. Cut crosswise, either minced or in large sections, depending on how you will use it.
How to Freeze Garlic Scapes:
Wash the garlic scapes.
Chop garlic scapes into 1/8- to 1/4- inch sections. Or just leave them whole for freezing.
Place garlic scapes into a cheesecloth bag or fine mesh strainer and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. This is important to kill any bacteria or micro-organisms.
Immediately dunk them into a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process.
Spread garlic scapes thinly on a cookie sheet and freeze. Freezing initially on a cookie sheet helps prevent clumping.
Place frozen garlic scapes in a freezer bag or sealable plastic container and store in the freezer. Use within a month.
Or better yet, make pesto and freeze that!
White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip
1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
2 cans (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
Directions: In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough puree. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.
Garlic Scape Dressing
Make this dressing to top your beautiful head of lettuce this week. It also makes a nice dressing for a pasta salad, or use it as a marinade for chicken breasts. Makes about ¾ c dressing.
1 oz garlic scapes
¼ c olive oil
¼ c white wine vinegar (or balsamic)
1 heaping tablespoon honey
1 T Dijon mustard
¼ t salt Pepper
Directions: Throw it all in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Simple Roasted Garlic Scapes
1 Bunch of garlic scapes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F for 20 minutes. Wash and then chop the scapes into smaller more manageable lengths. Brush a roasting pan with olive oil. Lay the scapes on the oiled cookie sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Serve with a dish of melted butter to dip them in.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Adapted from www.foodiewithfamily.com
Yield: 2 Pints of Pickled Garlic Scapes
2 bunches garlic scapes (washed and trimmed)
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
Additional ingredients PER PINT:
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon mustard seed (not ground mustard)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds (not ground coriander)
Directions: Coil each garlic scape and insert into a sterilized Mason jar. When you have filled the jar to within 1/4 –inch of the top of the jar, coil or break any extra scapes and stuff them down into the center of the jar. When the jars are full of scapes, add the spices to each pint jar. Set aside.
Bring the apple cider vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Carefully pour the boiling brine over the garlic scapes. The garlic scapes will probably pop up and look like they are trying to get out of the jar. Use a butterknife to push it back into the jar.
Wipe the rims of the jars, then fix the lid tightly into place. Let the jars come to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for 6 weeks before opening and tasting.
The pickled garlic scapes will store well for up to 8 months when stored tightly covered in the refrigerator. If at any point the scapes stick above the brine and develop mold, remove the entire scape that has mold. The rest should still be alright.
Have a great weekend! Your farmers are very thankful for the recent rains to make the veggies and hay grow!