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Greentree Naturals CSA Newsletter - June 11, 2008

Fresh from the Garden News

It's hard to believe that we still had snow on the ground just six weeks ago.   Every year is different and brings its challenges for growing food.  We have learned to be patient with whatever nature gives us and know that with perseverance and tender loving care, the gardens always give us a bountiful harvest.

Having fresh food again is such a celebration of the season.  I had finally given up eating salad from the grocery store a couple of months ago, and have been anxiously awaiting this first harvest of the season! 

For those of you that are new to this CSA concept, the idea is that you receive a share of our gardens.  This means that you will be eating whatever is fresh from the gardens each week.  This is a different way of eating for some of you.  Everything that you receive from our farm is  fresh & certified organic.   During the season, we will  make efforts to connect with other organic farmers in the region with the hope of coming up with some certified organic fruit and berries that we do not grow.  We are hoping to bring in organic peaches, apples, pears and cherries from Rice, WA.

I am hopeful that each of you will make a trip to visit the farm and see where your food is being grown at least once this summer!  I know that you all have busy lives, but this would be a nice break for you and we would love to see you here!  Call us and let us know!

I have received notes from some of you saying “we don't like peppers” or “no cucumbers please”…. I'm sorry, but this is pretty much an issue that you will need to deal with.  We do what we can to provide you with the best that our gardens have to offer, but making up special bags and being able to keep track of who likes what is more than we can manage.   If there is something that you don't like, please share it with a friend or neighbor.  We do our best and work long hours to bring you your weekly share from our gardens here at Greentree Naturals.

As the season progresses, your bag will be filled and over flowing with a wide assortment of veggies.  For  these first few weeks, it will be lots of greens.  Be patient, more is coming!!
If you end up going out of town, please make arrangements with a friend to take your bag of goodies in your absence. 

Those of you that are paying monthly will be billed the first Wednesday delivery of every month.

Anytime you have questions, feel free to call or email us!

What's Happening on the Farm...

We have been in a planting frenzy, and now are mulching everything, preparing for the heat that will eventually come.  We need warm soil to plant the beans and corn, so we are waiting to plant them.  The sugar snap peas and snow peas are growing well, and with any luck, we will be enjoying those sweet, crisp pods soon.

Summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes & peppers are all inside hoop houses, so they are warm & growing well.  It will still be a few weeks before we get to dine on them. 

We harvested 36 pounds of salad mix today, which is a record. Just multiply your bag of salad by 36 for a visual!

Ryan Arnold is our summer apprentice.  He just graduated from UI  and is studying sustainable building techniques.  Wendy Coffman has returned to volunteer with  us and we are grateful to have the help whenever we can get it.

What's in the Bag

  • Salad Mix—Always double washed!  We grow 37 kinds of lettuce and rotate the varieties all summer.
  • Shallots—These have been stored from our fall harvest and are still delicious!  Use like onions.
  • Swiss Chard & Kale
  • Bambino Garlic—These are baby garlic; use just as you would regular garlic!
  • Rhubarb—There are four cups worth in each bag, which is about what most recipes call for.  Custard pie recipe on the back!
  • Baby Turnips—The greens are also good to eat!  Sauté with shallots in olive oil.
  • Thom's Grape Jam—Made with organic sugar from our own grapes.  This is one of Thom's favorite things to do in the winter.
  • Herbs—Greek Oregano and Chive flowers.  Break up the chive flowers in your salad for a burst of flavor!


Rhubarb Custard Pie

  • 1 9-inch pie crust
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp freshly nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups Diced Rhubarb

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the all ingredients except pie crust together and pour into pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes and cool to room temperature before serving. You have just enough rhubarb to make this pie! 

There are large and small pieces of rhubarb in your bag; the larger pieces need to be sliced down the middle lengthwise a couple of times, then chop into small pieces about 1/2” size is good. It is sweet and tart.

There are lots of good recipes for rhubarb, so explore them and enjoy. We love this custard, but I often make a simple quick rhubarb bread that freezes well. My mother used to eat it with salt, but I never acquired a taste for it raw.
If you can't make the time to use the rhubarb, just chop it up and freeze it for later. It will keep well for up to 6 months in the freezer and you can pull it out to use some other time if you like.


Turnip greens are coarse, have a slight bite, and look very similar to radish leaves. It is good to blanch them before cooking. They do well combined with other greens and cooked lightly with oil, vinegar, hot sauce, ground red pepper, sugar, garlic or onions. Cut the greens from the roots and store roots separately until use. Keep dry greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

I don't know if we will grow turnips again. We have tried them out for a couple of years, and just can't seem to grow pretty ones. They are susceptible to a variety of pests, which is what makes them so ugly.  Just cut off the ugly part, its all good to eat even if it doesn't look so appetizing. I think this is one vegetable that you either love or hate.  At any rate, we will grow more beets in stead of turnips. I will be planting golden beets for late in the season just to try something different.

We will experiment with the amount of salad mix that you get so you are not overwhelmed by greens.

We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?
-  Wendell Berry



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