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The Weekly Fresh Newsletter


Weekly Fresh Thoughts
by Jenn Lause - Weekly Fresh Newsletter Editor at The Greener Grocer

Have I Mentioned My Dad is a Farmer?

Although I didn't technically grow up on our farm, I've always had farming in my blood.  My Grandpa farmed the land in northwest Ohio that my Dad now farms, and I have childhood memories of riding my bike out to the field to bring them lunch.  I loved climbing up on the tractor to ride along for a while, and talking with my Dad about whatever came to mind.  In late summer, we would pull wagons out into the field, and hand-pick hundreds of ears of sweet corn that I sold at a roadside stand.  I found out this week that, for the first time in at least 30 years, my Dad isn't going to have a sweet corn crop this summer.  After he planted corn this spring, excessive rain flooded the entire crop.  And the field was too wet for him to replant in time to harvest before the end of summer.   I know that I could find sweet corn in a grocery store right now, and that later this summer it will be widely available at farmers' markets, and probably even be included in the WFMB.  But my Dad's sweet corn is the best, and I'll miss the opportunity to pick it right out of his field this year. 
Happy (Belated) Father's Day to my Dad and to every Father in your life.

 



What's In My WFMB?

PF = Pesticide-Free / ORG = Certified Organic / IPM = Integrated Pest Management

 

 
Medium

Rolled Oats ORG
from Stutzman Farm in Millersburg, OH
Note - Rolled Oats can be cooked on the stovetop, in the microwave, or used in baked goods.
 
Mustard Greens
from Buurma Farms in Willard, OH


Red Leaf Lettuce ORG
  from Geausa Family Farms in Middlefield, OH

Red Potatoes
from the US

Medjool Dates ORG
from the Bard Valley in California

 Nectarines ORG
from the US

 Sugar Kiss Melon
from CA
 


Large
(includes all Medium items, plus):


Maple Syrup
from Bonhomie Acres in Fredericktown, OH

Greek Oregano  PF
from Janelle at Blue Owl Garden Emporium in Licking County, OH

Half-Dozen Eggs
from Jenie at Manchester Hill Farm in Circleville, OH

Samphire aka "Sea Beans"
from the West Coast



Facts about the Farms (and the Food)

One of my favorite parts about working at The Greener Grocer is talking with our customers about local food.  We are frequently asked:  What is the WFMB?  Is it a CSA?  What should I expect?   CSAs provide a great opportunity for consumers to connect with farmers and for farmers to develop their business, but I think The Greener Grocer's WFMB is a unique program that increases the accessibility of local food.  
This is how I think they compare: CSA = Community Supported Agriculture, WFMB = Weekly Fresh Market Bag

 
Basic concept:  In a CSA, you invest in a "share" from an individual farm.  Customers pay for their share in advance of the harvest season, typically in a lump sum, and get a weekly or bi-weekly "share" of what is produced by the farm during the summer.  With the WFMB, you are a customer of The Greener Grocer, you can pay for the WFMB in one lump sum or on a payment plan, and we work with 30+ farms in Ohio to source what is provided each week.

Timing:  CSA subscribers usually sign up between January and March, and commit to a single season's share that starts whenever the farm begins to harvest a crop (sometimes not until mid-June) and usually extends to late summer or maybe early fall.  You can sign up for the WFMB any time of the year - we have a "Summer" and "Winter" season, each lasting 26 weeks, to provide customers with year round access to local food.

Variety:  CSA subscribers often choose from a fruit, vegetable, or combined share.  While the WFMB is focused on produce, we also regularly include other artisan items, such as grain, local cheese, bread, and other specialty items.

Risk:  CSA subscribers are often assuming some level of risk.  If a farmer's field floods, a certain crop is destroyed by insects or another predator, or simply doesn't produce the expected quantity, a CSA share will reflect that loss.  The WFMB can offer customers more predictability.  Our preference is ALWAYS to provide you with local products.  When availability is limited,  we supplement with organic products.  Sometimes, we include conventional products from the US.

Quantity (related to Risk):  Oftentimes, a CSA provides subscribers with a large quantity of produce when it is fully in season.  This is great for individuals who regularly preserve food by canning, freezing, or some other method, but is sometimes more than what a typical family (or individual) would eat during the week.  Our goal is to include 5-7 items in the Medium WFMB, and 8-10 items in the Large WFMB every week (which is part of the reason why we sometimes source from outside Ohio).  We feel this provides a foundation for an individual's or a family's meal planning for a single week.

Convenience:  A CSA subscriber usually drives to the farm or visits a farmers' market to pick up their share.  The Greener Grocer provides a unique service to groups of friends or co-workers (minimum of 15) who sign up together - FREE delivery to your location.  Other subscribers pick up their WFMB on Tuesdays at The North Market. 

By subscribing to the WFMB you are supporting local farms, local food, and our sister non-profit, Local Matters.  Thank you for your interest in, and continued committment to, eating local.

Recipes
 


Samphire aka "sea beans"

Samphire aka "Sea Beans" are foraged on the west coast and are only available for a short time during the summer.  They are extremely briny and can be eaten raw or cooked.  If you're a salt fiend like me, munch on them raw or in a salad.  If you'd prefer to tone down the saltiness, boil or lightly steam them for a few minutes.   

Sea beans are excellent served as a side or garnish with seafood.  Or, you could serve them with a cold soup.
Note - If you do not receive the Large WFMB, but want try sea beans, they are currently available at The GG. 

Sugar Kiss Melon Soup (inspired by Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis)

Ingredients:
1 Sugar Kiss Melon
juice of 1 lime or 2-3 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. of honey, maple syrup, or sugar (if desired)
water

Method:  Cut the melon into chunks and add to a blender or food processor with a metal chopping blade.  Add 1/2 cup water, lime or orange juice, and vanilla extract and puree until smooth.  Add sweetener if desired.  Add a bit more water if the consistency is too thick.  Blend until slightly frothy.  Serve garnished with sea beans.

 

BBQ Chicken Salad with Red Potatoes

This salad is hearty enough to get you through the work day or can be quickly put together for dinner.  The mustard greens in this week's WFMB will give the salad an extra kick, the homemade dressings can be made in advance, and it can be made vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken.
 

The Medjool dates included in the WFMB are great for snacking or added to oatmeal.  However, I would be remiss if I failed to share that my all-time favorite way to enjoy dates (and most anything else in this world) is stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon
 


THANKS to the READERS who sent me recipes this week...I think you'll like:


Strawberry Crumble

Robyn forwarded this recipe for - Strawberry Crumble from The Second Lunch (adapted from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver).

Ingredients
1 quart strawberries, halved (you could substitute the nectarines from the WFMB).
1/4 cup honey

For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

Method:  Heat the oven to 350° F.  Prepare filling: Mix the halved strawberries and the honey in an 8×8 ungreased pan, (or a 9 inch deep pie plate), and set aside.  Prepare topping: Mix all the ingredients with your fingers until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit mixture and bake at 350° for about 35 to 40  minutes, until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling out everywhere.  Serve warm, with a dollop of ice cream, or a little bit of cream.


 
Now it's YOUR turn!
Share your favorite recipes using local ingredients by emailing jenn@thegreenergrocer.com (and feel free to include a picture!).  
I'll be featuring readers' recipes in future editions of the Newsletter.




If you have any questions about the Weekly Fresh Newsletter, please contact
jenn@thegreenergrocer.com

If you have any questions about your Weekly Fresh Market Bag, please contact
Mattie at wfmb@thegreenergrocer.com
or speak with anyone from The GG Team at (614) 223-1512. 
 

The Greener Grocer

The Weekly Fresh Newsletter is a free weekly companion guide to the Weekly Fresh Market Bag (WFMB). We strive each week to bring you the best local news, a list of what's in this week's WFMB and delicious handpicked recipes using local ingredients. You receive the Weekly Fresh Newsletter because you are a WFMB Subscriber, or (if not) because you like it so much you subscribed to the newsletter anyway (either way, we really appreciate it). It's an honor and a privilege to work alongside you in improving Ohio's food system to be stronger, more local and delicious.


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