Week #1

June 6-11, 2019

Nicolette Ratz, Farmer Training Program

Welcome to your 2019 Community Supported Agriculture with Calypso Farm!

Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s a rich and dynamic experience to partake in, so thank you for upholding the support in CSA! The weekly barrage of vegetables begins today and we hope you are as excited as we are. It’s been a journey from seed to food, starting all the way back in March. The seeds are planted and nursed in a warm greenhouse until germination; seedlings are further raised in larger hoop houses until mature enough to withstand conditions outside; herbs, flowers, and vegetable starts are transplanted into prepped beds of compost and soil; and, after weeks of irrigation, cultivation, and growth, harvesting brings the process along to your kitchen. Please enjoy the bounty of your locally grown vegetables!

On the farm, the weekend rains were nourishing, allowing plants to soak water up through their roots while the farmers could relax knowing nature was irrigating this time. As Sunday evening signaled a close to the weekend, an unfortunate shift from rain to hail occurred. Though the ice fell for a short time, it left some greens with unwanted piercings. However, do not fret! The edibility of your food is unchanged and the visible story of survivorship is a reminder of the interconnected relationship between life and its surrounding climate – plus your Bok Choy is now a little punk. The great news is that every plant is still very much alive and thriving, waiting to join your CSA share later this summer!

Through the transitional phases of spring, the farm was crawling with more field workers than local students as school ended for the summer. The Farmer Training Program welcomed five new out-of-state participants – myself included – to begin a five month long educational immersion in land stewardship and farm ecology. Nearly every tool has been touched over the past few weeks. After a small pause in education to fit in the hard work and Memorial Day Plant Sale (a wonderful success this year), the school gardens and farm camps are welcoming students again this week.

And if that isn’t enough excitement, this Farm Note would not be complete without the mention of Calypso’s newest residents: Dodecahedron and Polygon! Two curious and strong lambs birthed by mother Flip-Flop just two weeks ago. Their cries, resembling the childish word, ‘Ma!’ are an endearing addition to the sounds of Calypso as we walk the fields. Flip-flop has proven to be a wonderful guardian, assisting the lambs in a smooth transition into the social rankings of their herd.

The roses are blooming, bees are busy, and Alaskan folks are out in full swing enjoying the abundance of sun. What are your hopes for the upcoming summer?

What’s in this week’s share?

In your share this week you will find the leafy herb, lovage. Unfamiliar to myself until arriving on the farm, I have found it to house a strong and useful flavor for culinary endeavors. Related to celery, it can be used in soups, breads, pesto, and more. Give it a taste and you will find it has a bit of a kick like fennel or anise. Start off lightly adding it to dishes to find out your level of preference for this bold flavor. Additionally, this herb was once thought by some to induce love but the name is actually of a less romantic origin, relating a region in Italy – oh, well, at least the flavors are lovely! The herb is rich in Vitamin C. For the adventurous cook, a recipe for lovage is included in this Farm Note, as well!

In addition to lovage, you will find Bok Choy, salad greens, mustard greens, and chives in your share!

Recipes & Suggestions

Lemony Lovage Pesto
Recipe by: Kevin Lee Jacobs
Yields about 2 cups of pesto

3 ounces lovage leaves (about 5 cups when not pressed down)
The grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
4 ounces slivered almonds
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 ounces cream cheese
Olive oil

Put the lovage leaves, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the machine a few times just to break up the ingredients. Then remove the lid, and add the Parmesan cheese, salt, nutmeg, and cream cheese. With the machine running, slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube until the desired consistency is achieved. 
Garlic and Ginger Bok Choy
Recipe by: Steamy Kitchen
Makes 4 servings

1 pound bok choy, washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Vegetable oil, for stir frying

Cut each bok choy down the middle, lengthwise. In a wok or sauté pan, pour in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add in the garlic and the ginger. Turn heat to medium-low and let the oil slowly heat up, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar and the salt, stir well.

Add the bok choy and toss the bok choy with the garlicky, gingery flavored oil. Pour in the water and cover to let the bok choy steam for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Uncover, drizzle in the sesame oil, toss again and serve.
Sausage & Greens Soup
Adapted from Simply in Season

½ lb sausage
¼ cup chives, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups milk
1-3 cups spring greens, chopped
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Brown meat in soup pot and drain all but a spoonful of fat. Remove meat. Sauté onions and chives in reserved fat until soft. Return sausage to soup pot. Add chicken broth, potatoes and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, 10-15 minutes. Add milk and greens and cook until tender. Garnish each bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

We truly hope that you enjoy your shares each week and that you explore new ways of using your produce! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you ever have any questions, need to change your pickup location, are lacking recipe inspiration, or would like to share a recipe of your own!