What to expect with this week's CSA share.
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Lexington Community Farm
52 Lowell Street, Lexington, MA
Week of June 10, 2015 (Week #1)

In This Issue

What's In Your Share This Week

In the Farm Stand

Pick Your Own Crops This Week

We do our best to predict what will be available but the CSA newsletter hits the press before the week's harvest begins.  That means that sometimes you'll see vegetables at the stand that aren't on the list, and sometimes vegetables on the list are not actually ready for harvest.

Additional  storage and preparation tips plus many recipe ideas can be found on the LexFarm website.

Notes from the Field

The rhythm of a farm is often dictated by the weather.  Early on, I was seeding plants for seedlings sales at the farm stand, hunkered down in the greenhouse during the short, cold days in March.  It has been fun to watch the farm come alive as the warm weather arrived.  As the green flush of rye grass seeded by last year's farmers began to emerge, so did volunteers, interested neighbors, and a community of stakeholders.
Most of a farm crew's day to day tasks include planting, weeding, and harvesting.  The balance leans heavily toward planting in the spring, and as the temperatures increase, much of our time will be spent managing weeds during the long days in the middle of the summer. Finally, as the fall approaches, the time comes to harvest many of our crops.
Year to year, and farm to farm, the rhythm varies slightly.  I look forward to sharing my observations with you through our newsletter, as well as getting to know all of you and this new place.
An unusually warm and dry May has caused pests and diseases to arrive earlier than expected.  It has been a challenge to keep plants watered and to manage the early arrival of insects like leaf miner and fungal diseases.  Fortunately, we will still have some great produce for you in the coming weeks.  We are excited to starting our CSA and meeting all of you on the farm!

- Tim Hines, Lexington Community Farm

Featured Vegetable: Greens

All About Greens

Selecting:  Select greens that are vibrantly green and look crisp and healthy.  Avoid greens that are yellowing or wilting.  Remember that the greens from root vegetables, such as beets, radishes, and turnips, are edible.  I add them to the mix when I'm cooking other greens.

For bok choy, look for dark green leaves and crisp, not wilting, stalks.

Storing:  Greens can be wrapped loosely in a damp paper towel and stored in a bag or container.  It is best to cook them soon after you bring them home, but they should keep for about a week this way.  Do not wash the greens until you are ready to cook them.

Preparing Bok Choy:  You want to eat the stalks as well as the leaves of bok choy.  Baby bok choy can be eaten whole.  For more mature bok choy, you'll want to separate the leaves from the base.  Use a sharp knife to cut off the root close to the base, but preserve as much of the white stalks as possible.  Stalks and leaves can be diced or chopped to add to stir-fries. 

Freezing:  I find that most leafy greens can be cooked and frozen for later.  The stalks of bok choy and chard do not freeze well, just the leaves.  My method is to sauté them first, though Jackie blanches them.

Here's what I do:  I fill the sink with cold water.  Then, I separate the leaves from the stems.  Usually, I just run my fingers along the stalk from the stem up to the tip, as you might do with herbs, removing the leaves as I go. I tear the leaves into pieces, about 2-inches square, and place them in the sink to wash.  I discard the stems.  Once the greens are in the sink, I swish the water around to agitate the leaves.  The dirt should fall to the bottom.  Then, I lift the greens out of the water and transfer them to a large bowl (this is so I can move the greens from the sink to the stove without making a mess). 

Now I heat some olive oil in a large pot over high heat.  When the oil is hot, I throw in a smashed and peeled garlic clove, let it sizzle for a few seconds, then add the greens by the handful to the pot.  They shrink a surprising amount, so if the pot seems full, just wait a few seconds.  When all the greens are in the pot, I cover it, reduce the heat slightly, and let the greens cook until they are tender.  Chard, spinach, or beet greens cook in a few minutes; they are ready as soon as they are wilted.  Tougher greens like kale, mustard or collards take longer.  Just keep tasting them until they have the right texture for you.  Once the greens are cooked, there might be extra liquid in the pan.  Transfer the greens to a colander to let any excess liquid drain off.  If you like, you can chop the greens finer, before or after freezing.

Here are instructions for blanching greens for freezing.

To cut the bitterness of the some greens, including broccoli raab and kale, cook them in butter or oil or blanch in boiling salted water for a minute or too.

The frozen greens can be thawed and served as is for a side dish, though I usually add them to savory tarts, like quiches, or frittatas.
- Betsy Pollack

Recipe: Uncreamed Spinach

Creamed spinach, the steak house classic, is a treat, but I find it too rich for an everyday meal.  This lighter version keeps the familiar flavors of sauteed onion and nutmeg, but leaves out the cream. You could also try this with other greens.

2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds
10-16 oz spinach, trimmed and washed (not dried)
Salt, pepper (black or white), and ground nutmeg to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add onion and nuts, and sauté until the onions are tender and the nuts are browned.  Add spinach and cover until spinach is wilted.  Uncover  and allow some of the extra moisture to evaporate.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg (freshly ground if you have it).
Betsy Pollack is a LexFarm member with a passion for cooking.  She tries to eat as mindfully as possible, thinking about where food comes from, geographically and otherwise, eating seasonally, and supporting local agriculture.

More Ideas for Greens

Spinach, chard or other greens can be pureed into a velvety green soup.
Spice up bitter greens, such as broccoli raab or mustard greens, with bacon, vinegar, and honey. 
Arugula is always good in a salad.  For something warm, try wilting it with sautéed shrimp and serve it over rice.
Make a cooked greens salad like you get in Japanese restaurants.  Branch out beyond spinach.  This can be made with any green, or combine a variety of mixed greens.  It's simple and delicious. 

Chard or other tender greens provide the foundation for fritters.
Top a bowl of rice with greens and chorizo.
Layer lasagna with greens.
Fill a quiche with sautéed greens.  Try a classic version with custard or, perhaps, with a vegan filling made from chickpea flour.
This fabulous tart is filled with greens and ricotta and topped with Gruyère.

The LexFarm website for lots of ideas for greens from last year.
Compiled by Jackie Starr & Betsy Pollack

Keeping Your CSA Share Under Control

Getting into the swing of how to make the most of your CSA share each week can be challenging.  These articles provide helpful tips for devising a strategy that works for you: from The Kitchn, Serious Eats, The Christian Science Monitor, KRRB, and Greatist


Remember that you have an assigned pickup day.  CSA distribution sessions are:
  • Wednesdays 3-7 pm
  • Thursdays 3-7 pm
  • Fridays 3-7 pm
  • Saturdays 9 am - 1 pm
If you can't remember which day you were assigned, email to find out the correct day.

Invitations were sent to join a Google Group to help shareholders that occasionally want to swap pick-up days find another shareholder to trade with.  If you did not receive your invitation or are having trouble joining, send email to for assistance.

If another member of your household wants to receive their own copy of the weekly newsletter, just let us know.

On Sale at the Farm Stand!

Our new farm stand manager Jaclyn Fishman has stocked the farm stand with other locally produced foods to complement your CSA share.  Check out what's on the shelves and in the coolers. 

The farm stand is open to the public, so tell all your friends to stop by!

Farm Stand Hours:
Wednesdays-Fridays: 3-7 pm
Saturdays:  9 am - 4 pm
Sundays:  11 am - 4 pm
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or to add another member of your household to the mailing list for this weekly CSA newsletter, send an email to


Tim Hines
Farm Manager

Jaclyn Fishman
Farm Stand Manager


LexFarm Board of Directors

Allison Guerette, President
Carolyn Goldstein, Vice President
Ralph Clifford, Treasurer
Amanda Maltais, Clerk
Susan Amsel
Mark Gabrenya
Marcia Gens
Whitney Kakos
Linda Levin
Susan Schiffer
Mary Rose Scozzafava
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