Category Archives: 2020 CSA

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 13

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday August 13, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • basil
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • green beans
  • summer squash (multiple variety and colors)
  • sweet onions
  • swiss chard
  • tomatoes

Tentative produce list for August 20

  • garlic
  • kale
  • shallots
  • zucchini

Farm updates…

Farm staff is busy harvesting a lot of vegetables and as you may have noticed, the list of weekly produce is getting longer and richer. In your bag you may see only some of the vegetables listed above though. For example, you will receive Swiss chard or cabbage, but probably not both. Still, we promise your share will be rich and with different kind of vegetables. We also wanted to advise you to refrigerate your sweet onions, as they are not meant to be outside in this hot and humid climate. And now, some more interesting updates from the farm…

Sauerkrauts coming soon!

We are very excited to announce that we are working with Fab Ferments, a very reputable and super healthy locally based company, to use our cabbage (yes, we did cultivate a lot of cabbage this summer…) for sauerkrauts! We are currently offering pre-orders for $10 per jar (16 oz-454 gr.) – We will accept pre-orders from this week until the end of August. After that, sauerkrauts will be $12 per jar. We will initially do a batch of 80 jars, so there is limited availability. If you are a fan of fermented foods and love the benefits your body receives from this lively food, please leave your pre-order and your name when you go to pick-up your weekly share. We will make sure to save your jar. We will process sauerkrauts at the beginning of September so that they will be ready by October.

FALL CSA 2020

The Fall CSA program will begin on August 27 and many of you have already secured your share. As our cultivated field keeps growing in size, we have some more CSA spots left. Feel free to share our website or CSA program with your friends and family, we’ll be happy to include them in our pick-up list.

Volunteering Stories: Gleaners Ohio

The Institute for Food is very grateful to the work and presence of Gleaners Ohio in our farm. They work hard and come from different places and distances, including Hamilton, Cincinnati and Columbus just to spend a few hours at our farm. They glean and then re-distribute and donate the bulk of the harvest to their community. It can be local organizations, food pantries, and meal facilities that serve food insecure people. Sue Plummer is the main point of reference for Gleaners Ohio, and she has been coming with her group of volunteers to MU farm since last year. The farm not only is grateful for their help, but is also happy to know that our vegetables are going in the plates of families and communities at risk, especially in these very precarious times. Currently Gleaners Ohio has 125 volunteers registered, and last year they gleaned over 5300 pounds of produce on 10 farms in 6 different counties. Last week, they gleaned from our farm around 500 pounds of green beans to donate. They are doing a great job and we feel honored to be able to help them in their mission! Below is a link if you are interested to learn more about Gleaners Ohio:

What to do with your produce this week

CABBAGE

This week we should give some attention to cabbage and its amazing properties. Cabbage is often overlooked despite its impressive content in vitamins and minerals. It is rich of vitamin B6 and folate, both essentials for energy metabolism and the normal functioning of the nervous system. In addition, it is loaded with antioxidants. Cabbage is also rich in Vitamin C. If you want to improve your digestive system, this crunchy vegetable is also full of gut-friendly insoluble fibers, which are known to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. For example, sauerkrauts are a great addition in your daily meal to help you keep your digestion healthy and regular.

Cooking with cabbage

We are happy to post a suggested recipe from our CSA member Rick Ingersoll. Although we received it a couple of weeks ago, we thought to wait to focus specifically on cabbage before sharing it with you. Rick says it is a simple but very good dish. He cooks it in a cast-iron skillet with a tight-fitting lid, similar to a Dutch oven.

Braised Cabbage

This week we posted a long blog, hopefully we were able to engage you till the end. Remember, we love to hear from you and will post anything you would like to share (pictures of your dishes with our vegetables and recipes) related to the CSA produces.

Enjoy…

and stay tuned for more updates from the farm!

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 12

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday August 6, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • carrots
  • cherry tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • green beans
  • hot peppers
  • slicers tomatoes
  • zucchini

Tentative produce list for August 12…

  • garlic
  • green beans
  • onions
  • napa cabbage
  • swiss chard
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Farm updates…

It has been an abundant summer so far. Sun and rain have been alternating nicely and our valuable staff has been doing a lot of harvesting at the farm in the last days. So… get ready for big bags!

As we announced last week, it’s time to give credit to the generous help and support we receive from our volunteers. We begin this week by introducing to you…

Annika Goldman

Annika helping us to get ready for the CSA pick-up day

Annika Goldman is a graduate student in clinical psychology. She learned about the farm and the work-share opportunity from her friend and, since the beginning of the summer, Annika has been coming to the farm regularly. She loves vegetables and every time she comes she learns something new about farming practices. One thing she learned recently, for example, is about the healing properties of garlic. Her appreciation to know where the food comes from has been growing. She hopes to continue to volunteer once the semester begins. Annika thinks the people at the farm are really nice and finds her time at the farm very relaxing.

What to do with this week’s produce

It’s time to talk about eggplant, another star among the summer produce. Eggplants belong to the plant family of Solanaceae, commonly known as nightshades, which also include tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes. The ancestors of eggplants used to grow wild in India, before being introduced to Africa and then into Europe. For centuries eggplants were used in Europe mainly as a decorative garden plant than as a food. Only in the 18th century eggplant lost its bitter taste and begun to be appreciated in many European countries and the cuisine of Italy, Greece, Turkey and France.

Cooking with eggplants

Eggplants are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamin C, K, B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, potassium, fiber and more! The fiber in eggplants does more than helping with digestion, it also helps in improving heart health. Let’s explore some yummy recipes together!

Eggplant Parmigiana

https://cookieandkate.com/italian-eggplant-parmesan-recipe/

Bulgur Wheat Salad Tomato Eggplant

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/bulgur-wheat-salad-tomato-eggplant

Ratatouille

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/ratatouille

We hope you are continuing to enjoy your produce and remember, if you come up with some recipes you loved while using our vegetables, contact us! We are always happy to include them in our blog!

SUMMER CSA 2020 -WEEK 11

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday July 30, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • beets
  • bell peppers (or green beans)
  • eggplant
  • kohlrabi
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Tentative produce list for August 6…

  • carrots
  • Chinese cabbage
  • green beans
  • sweet onions (Vadalia)
  • zucchini

Farm updates…

Charles, who is in the photo above holding some beautiful beets, has been busy pruning tomatoes in the last days. Why would you prune tomatoes? By pruning tomatoes, for those who, like me, are curious or don’t know, you help the plant to produce more fruits and to ripen earlier. So, pruning tomatoes will give greater and longer yields. This week we also want to make an overdue acknowledgment. Considering these unprecedented times of isolation and social distance, we are particularly grateful to the support we receive from our volunteers. There is enough space at the farm to keep physical distance while enjoying some healthy time outdoor, under the sun, and surrounded by lush greens. We have graduate students and adults coming regularly to help at the farm, and we are planning to introduce them to you in the following weeks. Their presence makes the difference!

What to do with this week’s produce

We are happy to share with you some of our CSA members favorite recipes that they cooked with last week’s produce. Katherine Durack and her husband prepared roasted green tomatoes and eggplant, and Calabacitas. They loved it! Here is the good news, you’ll have eggplants and also tomatoes this week so you can try their recipes. Here are the links

Roasted green tomatoes and eggplant

https://www.thedailymeal.com/roasted-green-tomatoes-and-eggplant-stacks-recipe

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Pam Hopkins sent us a recipe you could also use this week, as its main ingredient is beets. Below is the link Pam shared for pickled beets. She made some substitutions and said it turned out really well! Pam used onions from CSA, replaced honey for sugar and apple cider vinegar for white vinegar (same amounts). Here is the link:

Pickled beets

https://www.upstateramblings.com/refrigerator-pickled-beets/

We are very happy to see you are following our blog, and that you are sharing your favorite recipes. It is a pleasure to continue to post them.

Enjoy your greens and…

Stay tuned for more updates from the Institute for Food Farm!

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 10

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday July 23, 3;30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • cabbage
  • eggplant (double share)
  • garlic
  • hot peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Tentative produce list for July 30

  • beets
  • kohlrabi
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

Farm updates…

Although we are finally seeing some rain, it has been pretty dry in the last weeks at the farm and we have had to use a lot of irrigation to keep our vegetables happy and healthy. Charles has been spraying Neem oil for pest control. If some of you are curious about the properties of Neem oil, it’s interesting to note that this organic non-toxic spraying solution suppresses diseases in plants and interfere with life cycle of pests without affecting the beneficial insects, mammals and amphibians. Neem oil comes from the Neem tree which is native to the Indian subcontinent, and when used in organic farming not only works as an insecticide, but also as a fungicide.

What to do with this week’s produces…

Zucchini is a summer squash, and another popular produce of this period of the year that comes in many varieties and types. You may have already noticed them in your last week’s share. While they may have similarities, they come in different shape, color, texture and flavor, and ideal use. Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit. Last week we talked about the origins of tomatoes, and we clarified the so often connection people make with Italy. Similarly, the origins of zucchini may also be surprising. While squashes originated in the Americas, the long dark green zucchini variety was first developed in the early 1800’s in Italy.

Zucchini is rich in several vitamins like Vitamin A and C, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese, among others. Raw zucchini offers similar nutritions as the cooked version, but with less Vitamin A and more Vitamin C, a nutrient that tends to be reduced by cooking.

Cooking with zucchini

Below are a series of yummy ideas on how to use our zucchini varieties, from sautéed zucchini, grilled zucchini, zucchini pasta, zucchini lasagna, stuffed zucchini, zucchini bread, etc… Also, if you would like to share with your CSA fellows some of your favorite dishes you prepare with your weekly produce, we’ll be happy to post them.

Sautéed Zucchini

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/38045/sauteed-zucchini-recipe/

Zucchini pasta with tomatoes

https://www.thespruceeats.com/easy-and-delicious-zucchini-recipes-2217746

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/our-best-zucchini-recipes

Enjoy and…

Stay tuned for more updates from the Institute for Food Farm!

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 9

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday July 16, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • Basil
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes (red and green)
  • Institute for Food Salsa jar
  • Extra item(s)

Tentative Produce List for July 23

  • American shallots
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini


Farm updates…

This week CSA bag will include a mixture of green and red tomatoes. Some green tomatoes will ripen into mature red tomatoes after a couple of days, others can be eaten green right away. Check the recipes below for some suggestions on how to use them. The farm is continuing to do well. As organic farmers, we are used to share our fields with other animal “guests”. As the summer reaches its peak, we have groundhogs sampling some of our tomatoes, rabbits enjoying some of our strawberries, and deers beginning to explore our growing corn. We are looking for harmless and effective solutions, so that our sporadic visitors will find other spaces to inhabit. On the other hand, we would like to share with you that this is also an important moment for the farm calendar. This is the time to focus on the second wave of summer planting and beginning to plant for the fall. More beets, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, corn, squash, and beans will soon be occupying more field rows.

What to do with this week’s produce…

Who doesn’t love tomatoes? Tomatoes, the most popular summer fruit ever! Yes, because technically tomatoes are not vegetables… there are different types and size of tomatoes and they come in over 10,000 varieties. This superfood is rich in nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants including betacarotene and lycopene, which has many health benefits. In the next weeks you’ll receive more of them from the farm. We have planted different varieties and colors including heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, black cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, red beefsteak tomatoes, green tomatoes, and some others that may look new to you. Feel free to ask Stephanie when you pick-up your share, she’ll be happy to share with you what is the variety of the week. 

Some historical and cultural facts about tomatoes: Did you know that originally tomatoes came from South America? People used to be afraid of tomatoes and thought they were poisonous because of their resemblance to belladonna or deadly nightshade plants. The first tomatoes arrived in Europe in the mid 1500’s. Although Italy is today so famous for their tomatoes and their amazing flavor, not only this fruit did not originate in Italy, but their Italian name “pomodoro” literally translates as golden apple. If you want to keep the rich flavor of tomatoes, store them at room temperature and avoid refrigeration.

Cooking with tomatoes!

There are easy ways to include the nutritional benefits of tomatoes in any diet. Below are some links to help you with some ideas, including some recipes to eat and cook green tomatoes, and the famous Italian “caprese” salad, since you’ll have already two of the main ingredients: basil and tomatoes.

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

https://www.thekitchn.com/caprese-salad-260312

https://www.splendidtable.org/story/21-ways-to-eat-tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

https://www.thespruceeats.com/recipes-using-green-tomatoes-3057091

https://www.acouplecooks.com/best-green-tomato-recipes/

Stay tuned for more news from the Institute for Food Farm!

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 8

Cook Field Pick-Up , Thursday July 9, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Rainbow Swiss chard
  • Round cabbage (small)
  • Spring onions (whole share)

Tentative Produce List for July 16th

  • Basil
  • Green tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Institute for Food – Salsa

Farm Updates…

We hope you all enjoyed the past 4th of July weekend and were able to use some of our farm produce. Charles Griffin worked over the weekend to keep our farm up to date with pruning tomatoes and weeding the new section of the field. Our interns finished their scheduled time in the farm and helping with our blog. From now on we’ll supply their much appreciated contributions by adding extra information on what to do with your vegetables.

What do to with this week’s produce

Cauliflower is loaded with nutrients, is anti-inflammatory, and has anti-aging benefits, among other things. It is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. Its ingredients may help strengthen bones, boost the cardiovascular system, and prevent cancer.

Cooking with Cauliflower!

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/54675/roasted-garlic-cauliflower/

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a48476/cauliflower-tots-recipe/

Cooking with Swiss Chard!

Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrition, and with its rainbow assortment of stem colors, it’s as pleasing on the plate as it is to the palate. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/148889/sauteed-swiss-chard-with-parmesan-cheese/

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sauteed-swiss-chard-with-garlic-and-lemon

Enjoy and See You All Next Week

SUMMER CSA 2020 – WEEK 7

Produce this week…

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cone caggabe
  • Fresh garlic
  • Kale
  • leaf lettuce (possibly)

Tentative Produce List for July 9th

  • Carrots
  • Spigarelli (sprouting broccoli)
  • Spring onions
  • Swiss chards

Farm Updates…

Another busy week at the farm. Charles Griffin has been working non-stop to prepare more beds for second planting of beans, squash, carrots and beets, and has almost finished building the washing station. In the meanwhile Stephanie has been planting more parsley and basil and happily planted last Friday, with the help of some volunteers, three rows of flowers, so that in the near future CSA members will receive together with delicious fresh vegetables, also some beautiful colors and fragrance to add in their homes .

What To Do With Your Produce This Week By Intern Leslie Edwards

CARROTS:

Carrots contain beta carotene which gives them that vibrant orange pigment. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A and has an important role in healthy skin, normal vision, and the immune system. In addition, it is rich in other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which support good health. 

The tops of the carrots can be used for salads or herb component and should be cut before storing them in the refrigerator. Similar to kale, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator by itself or in a container. Keep them away from apples, pears, potatoes and other ethylene gas producing fruits/veggies since it’ll speed up the ripening and wilting process.

They’re great to eat raw as a snack with your favorite dip or cooked into a stir fry. When carrots are grated, they can be easily added into casseroles, salads, or even cake and pancakes! Have some fun and get creative like the recipes below:

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/my-favorite-carrot-cake-recipe/

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/carrot-macaroni-and-cheese#spotim-comments


KALE is a member of the cabbage family with many different types.


You’ve probably seen green curly kale in the grocery stores, but there’s also Redbor kale which has vibrant purple leaves or Lacinato kale which has a long tradition in Italian cuisine.

It provides many health benefits as it’s rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Vitamin K is important for bone health and wound healing, and vitamin C has an important role in immune function.

For storage, wrap it with a damp paper towel, seal it in a bag or container, and put in the coldest part of your refrigerator. It should be in good shape for a week! It can also be enjoyed raw or cooked. Massage it with some olive oil and add it in a salad (try using it with the other produce from this week) or sauté it with garlic and olive oil for a side. Some other popular usages include blending it in a fruit smoothie or baking it for a crispy, kale chip. Try some recipes below! 

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spaghetti-aglio-e-olio-with-lots-of-kale

ENJOY AND SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!

summer csa 2020 – week 6

Cook Field Pick-up, Thursday, June 24, 3:30-6pm

Produce this week…

  • Broccoli
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • Garlic tops
  • Kohlrabi (double share)
  • Spring Onions
  • Swiss chard

Tentative produce list for July 2nd

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cone Cabbage
  • Kale

Farm updates…

Summer days at the farm are getting busier. Farm staff and director Charles Griffin have begun to fertilize another acre, and for those who may wonder (like I did) the Institute for Food Farm uses only certified organic chicken manure as fertilizer. They started to get ready for more summer crops and also preparing the seeding for the fall in the greenhouse. Last week 86 pounds of produce were donated to TOPPS (Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services). TOPPS received also some seedlings to start their own vegetable garden. Stay tuned for more news from the farm!

What to do with your produce this week by intern Laila Ettefagh

FENNEL:

What is fennel?

  • Fennel is made up of a pale white bulb that looks similar to an onion with long green stalks and bright green feathery fronds
  • It is part of the umbellifereae family and is closely related to carrots, parsley, and dill

Fennel has a multitude of health benefits!

  • It is rich in potassium, vitamin A, fiber, and does not contain any cholesterol!
  • Potassium can help to properly regulate blood pressure because of its role in the dilation and contraction of the blood vessels
  • It can improve brain function, help cardiovascular health, relieve the digestive tract, and help with respiratory disorders 
  • Fennel also has properties that can help prevent obesity and have anti-aging effects

You can receive all of these benefits and enjoy the delicious taste offered from fennel!

Cooking with fennel!

  • It can be served raw or cooked!  
  • Raw fennel is crunchy and similar in texture to celery with a savory flavor, while cooked fennel becomes less strong in flavor and more tender as it cooks
  • Fennel is best stored in the refrigerator, especially in a paper bag, and can last up to five days
  • Make sure to remove any very tough outer layers of the bulb and to remove the triangular core 
  • The feathery fronds can also be used! 
  • Try using fennel like you would use fresh herbs as a garnish for dishes!

Some recipes include roasting or braising fennel with potatoes and other vegetables to serve as a side dish:

Fennel can also be shaved thin and served raw in a refreshing salad with apple and walnuts!


SUMMER CSA 2020– WEEK 4

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thurs., June 11, 3:30-6:00pm

Produce this week…

  • Chard (double share)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce heads
  • Spring onions
  • Turnips (topless)

Tentative produce list for 6/18…

  • Cut lettuce
  • Green onions
  • Kale

Farm updates…

Be prepared for a couple more weeks of spring greens. Charles has been busy planting. This week he seeded sweet corn, summer squash, carrots, and beets. Expect broccoli and cabbage soon. We are now in full irrigation mode because of the hot weather.

What to do with your farm produce this week by Hannah Brown

Are spring onions the same thing as green onions (scallions)? The simple answer is no! While they are very similar in appearance, spring onions have bulbs at their base. Green onion plants will never produce bulbs. They are both members of the Allium plant genus, which also includes garlic, chives, leeks, and shallots. This group of plants is well-known for its pungent flavor and smell. This is caused by cysteine sulfides and other related compounds produced by these plants. Flavor potency actually depends on the sulfate levels within the soil they are grown in. Sulfur-free farming of Allium plants will result in a loss of this characteristic flavor. 

Spring onions are typically harvested in the springtime, which is where their name comes from. Due to their early harvest, the immature bulbs provide a more tender, milder onion flavor compared to a fully mature onion. You can incorporate them into your recipes just like you would with a regular onion. They can be enjoyed as a whole plant (raw, roasted, grilled, etc.) or the bulb can be cut off and consumed like a pearl onion. Nutritionally, they are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and iron. 1 cup chopped will also provide about 3 grams of fiber.

Here are some great spring onion recipes to check out!

Pickled Spring Onions

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/pickled-spring-onions-how-to-pickle-onions-recipe.html

Braised spring onions with chives

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butter-braised-spring-onions-with-lots-of-chives-51161200

https://www.tastingtable.com/cook/recipes/spring-onion-jam-recipe-sherry-vinegar

Summer 2020 CSA–Week 3

Cook Field Pick-Up, Thursday, June 4, 3:30-6:00pm

Produce this week…

The simple pleasure of a bag of fresh produce each week that still smells like the earth and comes with the prospect of shared meals is a wonder. This week, especially, it embodies all the promises of a community that cares about and supports diversity in all its forms. As a CSA subscriber, you are part of a community that connects people to each other and to the place you inhabit. Our CSA includes over 100 subscribers. Beyond the community of subscribers, we also have community members who have donated CSA shares to the Talawanda Oxford Food Pantry (TOPSS); added to these shares the IF farm donates almost 50 lbs of produce each week to TOPSS. We also have interns on the farm who are learning about healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy food; and volunteers helping farm staff. I hope, as you enjoy a meal this week made with produce from your share, you will think about the living, breathing life of soil, plants, food, and people, and all the interconnections between them.

  • Carleton
  • Chard (double share)
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (Butterhead)
  • Parsley plant

Tentative produce list for 6/11…

  • Green onions
  • Kale/Chard
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Turnips

Farm Updates…

Carleton is an Asian green that flowers in the late spring and so it is seen a signifier of progression from spring to summer. You can eat the flowers on the Carleton in celebration of this seasonal transition. Also, be aware that Chinese cabbage has been soaked in salt water this week to remove the slugs. You might still find some hanging on. This is a good thing; lots of slugs are an indicator of living, healthy soils. Right now on the farm we are flush with greens. As we move into summer and dryer weather at the end of the month, you should expect a decrease in the number of items in your share. Once the summer plantings catch up, things will increase again.

What to do with your produce this week by interns Hannah Brown (Carleton) and Caroline Kerr (Butterhead lettuce and Swiss Chard)

Carleton

What is Carlton? Also known as Komatsuna or Japanese mustard spinach, this leafy green vegetable is a fast-growing plant typically grown in Japan and Taiwan. “Komatsuna” is a Japanese phrase for “greens of Kamtsu”, a village near Tokyo where this plant was cultivated during the Edo Period (1603-1868). It is a drought and cold tolerant plant that matures in about 40 days, so it can be grown year-round. While it might appear to be an unfamiliar vegetable for some, it is a member of the Brassica family. This is the same plant species that produces turnips, bok choy, and Napa cabbage (which was featured on the blog recently!). Since it is a member of this family, it is not technically a spinach as its nickname might indicate. It can be used in a variety of ways including pickled, stir-fried with soy sauce, added to soups, or even eaten raw in salads. Its flavor is described as sweet, with a mild hint of mustard. Nutritionally, it is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium. 1 cup (chopped) will also provide about 4.2 grams of fiber. We encourage you all to try this out!

Here are some links to recipes that showcase this wonderful plant!

Stir Fry: https://www.oishi-washoku-recipes.com/komatsuna-and-scrambled-egg-stir-fry

This is an extremely simple side dish that only takes a few minutes to make! Not only are you going to get the nutrient benefits of the carlton plant, but also the eggs. Eggs are a rich source of protein, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), folate, and omega-3 fatty acids (if pasteurized).

Green smoothie: https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/243824-green-ginger-smoothie?via=search&search_term=komatsuna

Another very simple, but different way to eat this veggie! Apple and banana will provide added benefits of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. While ginger does not provide a lot in the way of vitamins and minerals, it has anti-inflammatory properties and adds a slight spicy flavor to this smoothie.

Butterhead lettuce is nutrient rich and high in vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy eyes, skin, teeth, and bones. It also helps keep the immune system strong.

Some recipes with Butter Leaf Lettuce

Swiss Chard is packed full of nutrients. It is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. These micronutrients are important for disease prevention. Vitamins are important for energy production and immune function, and minerals are important for growth and bone health.

Some recipes with Swiss Chard