6.7.17 Wisconsin Grown | Part 6
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last Wisconsin Grown post; not for lack of amazing Wisconsin produce, but simply because several weekends of travel means we missed the last few weekend farmer’s markets. We had a blast traveling from Chicago to the Apostle Islands and everywhere in between, but we’re so excited to be back again because things are really starting to happen in the vegetable department.
First off, my garden is in! Most years, I tend to grow both plants from seed (those that mature and ripen relatively quickly) and transplants (those that need a little extra time and have to be started indoors before the last frost dates), but this year I decided to just stick with transplants only. My reasoning being that most of the seed plants I usually grow (greens, lettuce, beans) are things we are already getting in spades from our CSA. Therefore, I made the executive decision this year to focus my garden bed on veggies I wanted more of on top of our CSA bounty.
I have had zero luck in the past sprouting my own transplants indoors, so I usually buy them pre-sprouted from someone who knows what they’re doing. After having such great success last year with my seedlings from Raleigh’s Hillside Farm, I knew I had to get more seedlings from them for this year’s garden. I love that they have such an awesome selection of heirloom plants, and the plants themselves are just gorgeous. Here’s what I got for this year’s garden:
Heirloom Tomatoes: Yellow Brandywine, Carbon, Green Zebra, Sunrise Bumblebee, Sungold
Italian Frying Peppers: Carmen, Escamillo
And of course, our garden also has plenty of awesome perennials that keep coming back each spring, including raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, hops, lemon balm, and chives. I’m especially excited about our hops this year - they are looking super healthy and hopefully will be well established enough this year to finally start producing cones.
The other big news on the veggie front these days is that our CSA has officially started! Like last year, we’ll be getting a big box of veggies each week from Plowshares & Prairie Farm in Argyle Wisconsin. After all the delicious produce they supplied us with last year, I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!
For those unfamiliar, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it’s a wonderful way to both support local farms and get tons of fresh, local produce. The way it works is that you buy a share in a local farm in return for a delivery of the farm’s produce each week during the growing season.
Starting this week, we’ll be getting a CSA box each week for 20 weeks. And while it’s definitely awesome to get a box of beautiful, fresh produce each week, sometimes figuring out what to do with it all can be a little daunting. Especially when you don’t get to choose what’s in your box. Sometimes you have to get a little creative to make good use of what you’ve got. So once again, it’s my hope that these weekly rundowns of what we’re cooking with our CSA share will not only help me to stay on top of all that delicious produce, but can help inspire others as well.
For now, we’re so excited to kick off the CSA season this week! Here’s what we’ll be cooking:
As we know from years past, the first few CSA boxes usually consist of lots of greens, and this week is no exception to that rule. Several varieties of hearty greens - Kale, Spinach, Braising Mix, and Turnip Greens this week make me think something like Food52’s Fried Greens Meatlessballs or perhaps these Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Pickled Greens are in order.
And while I tend to serve the aforementioned pork chops with a side of mashed potatoes, this week’s Turnips are making me think I should forgo the potatoes and opt for Things I Made Today’s Mashed Turnips with Goat Cheese and Leeks instead.
When it comes to Bok Choy, I find it’s hard to go wrong with some Grilled Bok Choy with Miso Gochujang Butter.
We’re gonna keep things super simple with our Green Garlic this week and whip up some of Alice Waters’ Spaghetti with Green Garlic. Plus, I’m thinking a nice salad made from our Lettuce Mix and plenty of Goddess Salad Dressing will round things out nicely.
Radishes are going to make a nice addition to our salads this week, and those that don’t find themselves in salad form are getting sliced, salted, and piled atop buttered bread for a snack.
With plenty of Chives this week as well, I foresee myself lunching on tasty things like 101 Cookbooks Soba, Chives, and Creme Fraiche, and with any luck, I’ll have leftover chives to whip up a batch of Epicurious’s Cheddar Chive Scones for breakfasts as well.