Harmony Valley Keeps it Fresh and Local

My family is nearly 6 months into our Harmony Valley farmshare, and it's astounding to think about how much has changed for us. We're making soup out of things like celeriac these days, and the other day I ate a fresh lunch consisting only of things I picked from the garden 5 minutes before. My family hardly recognizes me. We don't even keep beef jerky or gummy worms in the cupboard anymore. Crazy.

Here's another confession I'd like to make, just between you and me - when I got this week's farmshare bounty, I took a half dozen of the mini-sweet peppers, washed them off, and ate them raw while I was putting the other stuff away. I know - it sounds crazy, but it's true. Even more shocking? They were fantastic.

Here's a look at the rest of the stuff we got from Harmony Valley this week, with a photo and descriptions straight from their email newsletter:

  • Italian or porcelain garlic: The Italian is an average sized bulb, and should look familiar to you since it is the variety that has been appearing in boxes thus far this year. Porcelain is recognizable by its slightly larger bulb size, with far fewer and much larger cloves. Like the jumbo crayons given to preschoolers, I find the Porcelain garlic's larger cloves easier to work with.
  • Red & Yellow onions: Raw onion is higher than cooked onion in sulfur compounds, which offer many health benefits. So remember to have a few raw onions each week in your sandwiches or salads.
  • Leeks
  • Red potatoes: Cube and fry potatoes till lightly browned, stir into scrambled eggs with chopped spinach and Cheddar cheese and perhaps some crumbled sausage. Breakfast for dinner?
  • Carrots: Try carrots in butter, baked until tender, with a pinch of spice such as nutmeg or cumin.
  • Butternut & Delicata squash: The smooth flesh of a baked or steamed squash blends well into rolls, pancakes, sauces, or custards. The Delicata is completely edible, including the shell/rind/skin!
  • Broccoli: Serve heaps of steamed, buttered broccoli with poached fish and a wild rice pilaf. That sounds good.
  • Baby bok choi: Chop leaves and thinly slice stems to make a quick Asian cole slaw. Toss with shredded carrot, onion, and your favorite dressing. Or try whipping up a vinaigrette with sesame oil and rice vinegar or lime juice. Don't forget to keep baby bok choi in a plastic bag if you won't be using it right away.
  • Peppers: -Jalapeños: Want to make your own hot sauce? Simply use a blender to puree raw or roasted hot peppers with a little bit of vinegar and salt. Results will be better if you take the time to peel your peppers. And don't forget gloves! -Mini sweet: Tasty, adorable little peppers make a wonderful raw snack. Open the plastic bag they are packaged in to allow them to breathe, or transfer to a paper bag. Store in the fridge either way. -Ukraine: Add roasted and peeled peppers to a chicken and rice casserole.
  • Arugula: Serve up a nutritious breakfast of poached eggs, tucked into a nest of steamed arugula. Top with fresh ground black pepper and a few shreds of sharp cheese.
  • Romaine lettuce: Try a salad of chopped Romaine with broccoli florets, sliced radishes, thinly sliced onions, and grilled chicken breast in an orange sesame dressing.
  • Red radishes: Make a simple salad of sliced of shredded radishes and onions stirred into a little bit of sour cream with salt and herbs.

One more thing - did you notice that radishes are back? Harmony Valley, you spoil us so!