This Week’s Share

nettles

luscious nettles! from little red bird botanicals

People often ask me to describe a CSA share. It’s a little bit difficult, my answer is always, “a fabulous assortment of farm fresh items that make 2 – 4 meals a week.” Better yet, check out some of the photos from our spring CSA. Our members also receive a weekly email with information about what will be in the share, along with recipe tips when I include something new or not often encountered. This week, in addition to getting mushrooms, eggs, kale, parsnips, seedlings, flowers, and fresh herbs, everyone will get a chance to try stinging nettles, an incredibly nutritious edible weed.

We’re still signing up folks for the summer CSA. Don’t miss a chance to take a culinary journey with us this season!

I’ve included in this post the sample email for this week’s CSA members: April is a perfect time to snag a quick lunch from your backyard (please- only if no one is spraying chemicals on the lawn.) Harvest dandelion greens, wild onions, and anything green in your garden that’s just begun to come up in the spring time.

I love introducing our members to new, nourishing foods especially ones they’ve never tried. For the last two weeks, we had dandelion greens at their peak. Now it’s time for stinging nettles. They pack a punch! Be very careful when handling them, in fact wear plastic gloves and/ or use tongs. It’s worth the risk of getting “stung” though, these early spring greens are incredibly good for you. The sting cooks out, I promise. But if you can’t bring yourself to eat them fresh, spread out your share of nettles on a paper bag or dish towel in a dry place in your house. After about a week you should be able to stuff the dried leaves into a glass jar and enjoy stinging nettle tea. I like to throw in a few dried leaves into any soup I am making to nourish sick loved ones.

I read the Washington Post “Food” section pretty religiously. Last week someone posted a question in the Q&A section inquiring about where to find nettles so that she could make a nettle risotto recipe that she’s tried before and loved. It’s true that you can’t really find nettles at the grocery store. Join a CSA is what I say! These past couple of weeks, our CSA members have been enjoying a plethora of wild and foraged items, even weeds. I personally haven’t made nettle risotto but I did find some great recipes on the internet. A quick search pulled up half a dozen.