Youth Farm CSA Newsletter: August 20th (week 12)

Courney and Paige with a fury catapillar.
On the farm… We have an exciting week ahead of us with two different workshops at the Youth Farm taking place.  On Tuesday, a friend, and former owner of a flower shop here in town is going to come on out to the farm to give a flower arranging class for all the teens. It should be a real nice time to spend a morning, harvesting flowers, and learning some trade secrets for arranging bouquets. Then on Wednesday, Garden City Harvest’s own Dave Victor, who just recently finished his masters degree with a focus seed saving, will join us for a seed saving workshop. We will cover some of the basics of why and how we save seeds, and then take a look at what we have going on at the farm as far as seeds are concerned.  I am really excited to bring some of our community’s knowledgeable people out to the farm to share their passions with the teens.

In your CSA share this week: Expect to find broccoli, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, chard, beans, carrots, beets, cauliflower, basil, fresh garlic, zucchinis, walla walla sweet onions, parsley, a variety of peppers, lots more cucumbers, maybe some corn and— as always — a few surprises.  Also a reminder, we always have clippers around during CSA pick up, so feel free to take a moment and pick some lovely flowers.

On the cooking front: I was talking with a gal during the CSA the other day, and she had some questions about freezing and what not, so I figured it could be nice to talk on that a bit instead of giving a recipe this week.

Blanch, cool,  drain, and bag. That is the way to freeze for things like broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peas, greens, and corn.  The method stays the same for each of the above only the time and preparation changes. Start with super fresh veggies, trim away any rough edges or stems, and do a quick wash. Get a pot of water to boil, you can either steam your veggies (not submerged) or boil them (submerged).  There is lots of good info on the inter web that will tell you specific times.  Broccoli for example would require about 3 minutes of boiling or 5 of steaming. So after you have your veggies all blanched and brightly colored now you want to immediately stop the cooking process. You can do this best by putting your goods in a bowl with ice water for a few minutes.  Get your veggies good and cold then transfer them to a colander for drainage. The next step is to put your blanched, cooled and dried a bit veggies into freezer bags.  The bags do not need to be fancy but they should definitely be for freezer storage, trust me here.  Finally take a straw, insert it into the bag, close the zipper around the straw and suck the air out. Moving as quickly as you can pull the straw out, while closing the bag.  You should have an air free freezer bag full of winter meals. 

None of these steps are particularly hard but I have found that the quality of my frozen winter meals has gotten better as I have paid better attention to cook times, cooling, draining, and bagging. More later on veggies you can just throw in a bag and freeze.   

If you would like more information about the Youth Farm and our goings-on, please check us out at www.gardencityharvest.org and www.Youthhomes.com, and check out more blog posts!