All posts by Sunnyside CSA CG members

Discovering Pea Shoots

Just because the CSA summer / fall season is over and we’re not getting weekly deliveries doesn’t mean there is a shortage of organic, healthy vegetables.

While we love our root veggies as much as the next person, I was excited to spot this bright bag of green at the farmers market this weekend.

I’d never had pea shoots before. Like baby spinach, the leaf is mild and tender. But in contrast, the stalks are slightly woody, crunchy and bright.

They are delicious as a salad on their own and a great way to top a sandwich or add some depth to a simple bowl of soup.

Don’t forget to support your local greenhouse growers this winter!

American Meat Screening in Sunnyside

We are proud to present the first Queens screening of AMERICAN MEAT, a movie that should appeal to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Proceeds from the screening, as well as from the refreshments we’ll be serving, will benefit our 2012 Subsidized Shares, which goes to help our neighbors secure vegetable shares at a reduced cost.

Join us for a post screening panel with:

Euripides Pelekanos, co-owner of Bare Burger
Tom Mylan, Meat Hook’s butcher
Memo Salazar, editor of American Meat

There will be a panel discussion after the film with the filmmakers and other special guests!

AMERICAN MEAT is a new documentary about the farmers who raise the meat we eat. Unlike a lot of recent food docs, this one is not trying to scare you with horrible stories about the treatment of animals. It does, however, take a good, hard look at our current system and offers up some alternatives, as well as personal farming stories, on the challenges we are all going to be facing very soon if we want to keep eating burgers and wings.

If you are interested in watching the film, please RSVP so that we can have a head count. Everyone is invited, but RSVP’ing would help us out a lot! Email us with “CSA Movie Screening” in the title: events@sunnysidecsa.com

When: Friday, December 2; Doors at 7:15, screening at 8
Where: All Saints Church basement; 43-12 46th Street, Sunnyside (7 train to 46th Street / Bliss)
How Much: Free with suggested donation of $5.00 to benefit our subsidized share program

Free Popcorn! Wine, snacks, and refreshments available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the Sunnyside CSA Subsidy program.

VOLUNTEERS! If you haven’t fulfilled your volunteer hours, or if you feel like helping out with this event, we need help with the setup and selling tickets & refreshments. Please email our coordinator at events@sunnysidecsa.com

Oyster CSA in Sunnyside

OYSTERS!!!
This winter we will be offering oysters once a month from Widow’s Hole Oyster Company. These are fresh, raw oysters raised 100 miles off the Long Island coast.

When: Pick up days (weather permitting) will be December 13, January 17, February 7, March 6, April 10 and May 15 (these coincide with Lewis Waite pickup dates.)

Cost: $12/dozen- that’s a buck an oyster! You can order as many as you’d like, but we are asking folks to commit to at least 1 order per delivery date to ensure meeting our minimum with the fishermen.

How: We will begin sign-ups and have more information at the next pick-up. We’re still figuring out the ins and outs of this, so if you have any questions, please email special_products@sunnysidecsa.com
For more info on the oysters, their website is http://widowsholeoysters.com

In the Box: Summer, Week 17

photo: Ulla Kjarval

Letter from the farm:
We have a limited size share this week, but you’ll notice that we’re moving straight into fall with cooler weather crops such as winter squash and head lettuce. We will be harvesting more root crops in the coming weeks, as well as more potatoes and hopefully some nice fall greens by early to mid-October. Everything has been delayed this season because of the wet summer, but we should get back in the fall crop groove in another few weeks.
Maggie

Vegetable Share
Shallots, 1 small bag
Scallions, 1 bunch
Red Beets and Greens, 1 bunch
Red Onions, 1 quart
Green Beans, 1 bag
Red Batavian Lettuce, 1 head
Green Batavian Lettuce, 1 head
Acorn or Butternut Squash, 1-2 pieces, depending on size

Fruit Share
Bosc Pears

Herb Share
Winter Savory
Chives

Lewis Waite Farms
Today is a pick up for LWF!

*As always, please keep in mind that the list is subject to change, depending on what’s going on at the farm.

In the Box: Summer Week 16

photo: Ulla Kjarval

Letter from the farm:
Both the onions and potatoes will last for a few weeks (or even months under the proper conditions) so keep them stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. The green bean crop is beautiful this year, so enjoy a full 3/4 lb share this week! If you can’t eat them all now, you can blanch them (drop them in boiling water for a few seconds) and freeze them in ziplock bags.

Garlic chives are delicious chopped finely into scrambled eggs, and I love making salad with chopped scallions, dried cherries and toasted almonds this time of year!

We’re busy seeding the last of our fall crops and harvesting winter squash and potatoes. We’ll be back next week with more news from the farm…

Maggie

Vegetable Share
Carrots, 1 bunch
Scallions, 1 bunch
Fennel, 1 bunch
Red Onions, 1 quart
Green Beans, 1 bag
Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1 quart
Garlic Chives, 1 bunch

Fruit Share
tbd

Herb Share
Orange Mint
Thyme

Lewis Waite Farms
Place your order now for next Thursday’s pick-up!

*As always, please keep in mind that the list is subject to change, depending on what’s going on at the farm.

In the Box: Summer Week 15

photo: Ulla Kjarval

Letter from the farm:
Despite last week’s hurricane, we have managed to pull together a relatively diverse share for everyone this week! We hope to distribute corn to everyone at least one time. Some of you received it last week, some this week, and hopefully the rest of you will get it next week. You’ll notice that there are worms in the ears. This is normal for organic corn! (Conventional corn is heavily sprayed with toxic insecticides to keep the corn silk worm out.) Just cut off the tip of the ear where the worm is and the rest is perfectly fine to eat!

Don’t forget to eat the tops of the beets! You can cook the beet greens just like spinach– either sauteed or gently steamed. They’re delicious!

This week we’re harvesting the new planting of green beans, so there is a small amount in the share this week and more to come over the next few weeks.

This is the last week of cherry tomatoes and probably the next to last week of red tomatoes. The cherry tomato plants were destroyed in the hurricane, so they’re finished. The red tomatoes had been severely weakened by late blight despite our constant monitoring and preventative spray regemin. The hurricane finished off the second planting which was not looking good before the storm, so we’re just finishing up harvesting from the first planting and then we’ll be done. Last year was a stellar year for tomatoes and this year was just ok. It’s all part of the ups and downs of farming.

The farm fared relatively well from Hurricane Irene. We lost the rest of our diseased peppers, eggplants and some of the diseased tomatoes, but all in all, we were extremely lucky. Many of our farming friends upstate NY had entire fields flooded and have lost all of their crops. You can find out more about the farmers who were affected by the storm here.

**The red tomatoes need to ripen for a few days on the counter until they reach a uniform, deep red. Please be sure to wash the tomatoes before eating. We have been spraying them with an organically-approved copper spray to protect against late blight infection. The copper spray will wash off with a little soap and water.
Maggie

Vegetable Share
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, 1 pint
Red Beets and Greens, 1 bunch
Baby Leeks or Scallions, 1 bunch
Red Tomatoes, several pieces
Green Beans, 1 bag
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Corn or Acorn Squash, 5 pcs / 1 pc

Fruit Share
tbd

Herb Share
Chives
Thyme

Lewis Waite Farms
This is a LWF pick up week.

*As always, please keep in mind that the list is subject to change, depending on what’s going on at the farm.

Iron Chef Contest | Sunnyside CSA Style

Welcome to September, neighbors!
It’s time to get ready for our very own IRON CHEF event! Here are the details:

When: Saturday September 10th. Set up at 4:30, tasting 4:45-5:45, schmoozing and grazing till the park closes!

Where: Sunnyside Gardens Park

How it works: An abundant vegetable from our farm share box delivered on Sept. 8th will be chosen as the featured ingredient in this contest of culinary prowess. Contestants will be asked to create an inspired and unique dish featuring this ingredient. It need not be your own recipe but you need to make the recipe your own! Bring a friend! Challenge a friend! Eat, be merry, and quite possibly be crowned Sunnyside CSA Iron Chef!

Contestants will be responsible for setting up, labeling, and maintaining the presentation of their dishes throughout the judging hour which will be from 4:45-5:45.

If you need a grill, we are happy to provide one with notice, but please keep in mind that you will need to get there early enough to fire it up in time for judging.

Once the judge/tasting panel has tasted each entry, family and friends can dig in pot luck style. CSA will supply non-alcoholic refreshments, utensils and paperware. Feel free to BYOB (in cans ONLY-no glass).

Entries will be judged on:
1) Taste Is the dish yummy? Can you taste the key ingredient prominently?
2) Creativity/Originality Has the key ingredient been featured in an unusual manner?
3) Presentation Did the chef take care to consider color, texture, smell?

The judge/tasting panel will rate each dish using a scale from 1 to 5, 1 is fair and 5 is most extreme excellence.

The Fine Print:
Entry fee is $10.
75% is a donation to our subsidized share program. 25% goes in the prize kitty for the Sunnyside CSA Iron Chef.

** Please note that although this event is sponsored by the Sunnyside CSA, you do not have to be a member to enter!

We MUST have at least 8 contestants signed up no later than 9/4 or we will have to cancel the event. Please email us ASAP if you are interested!RSVP to events@sunnysidecsa.com

In the Box: Summer Week 14

photo: Ulla Kjarval

Letter from the farm:
The farm fared relatively well from Hurricane Irene. We will provide a full update on the state of the crops in next week’s newsletter.

**The red tomatoes need to ripen for a few days on the counter until they reach a uniform, deep red. Please be sure to wash the tomatoes before eating. We have been spraying them with an organically-approved copper spray to protect against late blight infection. The copper spray will wash off with a little soap and water.
Maggie

Vegetable Share
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, 1 pint
Long Green Pepper or Green Bell Pepper, 1 piece
Red Tomatoes, 5 pieces
Cucumbers, 2 pcs
Zucchini
Baby Leeks , 1 bunch
Baby Arugula, 1 bag
Basil, 1 bunch
Surprise Item!

Fruit Share
tbd

Herb Share
Cilantro
Lemon Thyme

Lewis Waite Farms
This is a LWF pick up week.

*As always, please keep in mind that the list is subject to change, depending on what’s going on at the farm.

In the Box: Summer Week 13

photo: Ulla Kjarval

Letter from the farm:
This week marks the half way point of the CSA season and we have a spectacular harvest to celebrate! As we’ve mentioned before, our summer crops were delayed a few weeks, so they’re all coming in now. This will probably be the last week of peppers — so cut them up and freeze them if you need them for recipes this fall. Our pepper plants are dying of a root disease caused by excessively wet conditions.

Shallots! Shallots are not onions, but they are part of the Allium species. They have a mildly sweet onion flavor that some say also has hints of garlic. I like to use shallots in dressings and in place of onions in delicately flavored dishes.

**The red tomatoes need to ripen for a few days on the counter until they reach a uniform, deep red. Please be sure to wash the tomatoes before eating. We have been spraying them with an organically-approved copper spray to protect against late blight infection. The copper spray will wash off with a little soap and water.

The tomatoes are finally coming in well, but it has been a lot of work to get them to this point! Late blight was detected on tomato and potato crops here in Suffolk County and we’ve had to be diligent about our organic spray regemin to prevent it from taking hold. Some of you may remember back to 2009 when pretty much all of the organic farms in the Northeast lost their tomato crop. We managed to save many of ours back then, and this year we were on top of it right away to ensure a good harvest. That said, the plants are definitely weaker than they are in a healthy year, so we’re harvesting as much as we can, while we can!


Maggie

Vegetable Share
Shallots, 1.25 lb.
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, 1 pint
Long Green Peppers, 1 piece
Green Bell Pepper, 1 piece
Red Tomatoes, several pieces
Green Beans, 1 bag or Zucchini, 2 pieces
Baby Carrots or Baby Arugula
Baby Watermelon, 1 piece
Nicola Potatoes, 1 quart
Cantaloupe Melon, 1 piece

Fruit Share
tbd

Herb Share
Pineapple Sage
Thyme

Garlic Share
Garlic

Lewis Waite Farms
Don’t forget to place your order by Sunday for next week’s LWF delivery.

*As always, please keep in mind that the list is subject to change, depending on what’s going on at the farm.