The solstice is still nearly two weeks away but summer is here! The spring is off to a roaring start and we have the strawberries to prove it! Welcome and welcome back, everyone, to another year in Hedlin Farms 2015 Community Supported Agricultue program, a box of crops, from us to you!
All this sun means everything is running two to three weeks early from average, but it feels even earlier than that after weathering a couple late springs in recent memory. Some years we’re just barely starting to pick strawberries by now, but this year we’ve been picking since the third week of March! We had to bump up the boxes by a week to accommodate, but fear not, we’ll stock you up while the season lasts, and we’re seeing color break in the raspberries already so those won’t be far behind.
No drastic changes in the works this year, although we are keeping the bulk of our fresh market production here at the home place where we should be able to keep a closer watch on all these vegetables of ours—and that’s especially important in a year like this when irrigation is already a daily necessity, rather than a weekly problyoughta or worse, one of those springs where we’re making ourselves busy in the greenhouses while we wait for everything to dry out.
Here is a simple Strawberry Spinach salad recipe I am (still!) partial to. The spinach and strawberries are in your boxes and the rest should be easy to track down. The avocado you may have to search out on your own, but we can certainly help you out with the cherry tomatoes and the Breadfarm bread at our farmstand!
If you feel (as I do) that humans shouldn’t live on salad alone, then may I steer you to this remarkable strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe from The Smitten Kitchen. You can follow the link to her equally formidable pie crust in the recipe or take the link from here if you are working from a hard copy of this newsletter: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/pie-crust-102-all-butter-really-flaky-pie-dough/
Sic semper strawberries,
P. S. On the order of some housekeeping notes, we are trying a new packing system this year. You will receive 2 reusable shopping bags with each share, which you can use to transport your bounty. We will pack the shares and deliver to the drop sites in reusable totes and you can transfer to your shopping bags, or t0 a paper bag if you happened to forget yours. Unfortunately we have not yet received the bags from the printer, so we will have to start out with paper bags.
We are hoping that this system will cut down on waste, and get your produce to you in the best condition possible.
Also please do not forget, if you have not picked up your first round of strawberries, you can still pick them up when you come to get your share.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to fold my gently into quarters, to transfer it more easily, then unfold it in the pie plate.)
Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.
Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.
Well, dear friends, it’s August and I hardly know what to say about that anymore…this is August served neat. No ice, no mixer, no nothing.