Leafy June: Lettuce, Lettuce, Lettuce

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Lettuce tell you what is happening out in the fields… something leafy.  Here’s the deal: This year has been long in starting. In prior years, farms had product to sell in early May… but this year they are just starting to see the green. And, by green we also mean money.  A lot of our farmers need us to buy lettuce (a lot of lettuce) to get the green out of the field and in the bank. So, we thank you in advance for hopping on the bunny trail.

Nutritionists and dietitians rank leafy greens as the easiest and fastest way to bulk up your vitamin intake. Vitamins including A, C, and K practically radiate from these fronds! These leafy veggies fiber you up! They also provide minerals and plant-based substances that can prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. The major players in the green machine powerhouse line up: kale, spinach, chard, and turnip greens. All of which you should be familiar with as a FG subscriber!

 

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Salad Mix 

leafyThis time it’s a spicy mix of lettuce, arugula, and mustard greens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Fridge, or Not to Fridge

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We’ve gotten some questions about which items each week need to be refrigerated, which can be frozen, what’s okay to leave out on the counter, that sort of thing. So! Let’s break down recommended storage protocol for the stuff you get frequently & what you’ve gotten recently.

Lettuce:  If wet, better paper than plastic.  Wrapping in paper towel and then putting in plastic bags is a good plan.

Cooking Greens: Keep them in the coldest part of the fridge (the bottom). Plastic bags are great just make sure the greens are relatively dry.

Tomatoes: This might seem weird, but don’t refrigerate these. It can alter their texture & flavor. Store loose or in a paper bag.

Parsnips, Turnips, Beets & Carrots. Keep them in the fridge in a bag.

Apples, Pears & Peaches: Leave out until ripe, then into the fridge. Or, leave in the fridge to keep them longer.

Freezing: 
Do not under-estimate the power and ease of the freeze. The steps: cut, blanch, dry, bag, and then freeze. Recipes for freezing will tell you to blanch the produce for a specific amount of time. For example, tomatoes need to blanch for about 45 seconds and peppers 3 minutes. Blanching stops enzyme actions, which can cause the loss of flavor, color and texture. If you’re only going to keep the produce frozen for a few weeks you don’t need to blanch.

Freezing makes a great option for herbs, which don’t have to blanch. Better Homes and Garden wrote up a nice article that walks you through the steps. But, all you really need to do is wash, cut away whatever you don’t want, dry-off, and bag.

So if ever you’re wondering about proper storage, feel free to ask! We hate to see anything from the bag go to waste.
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Escarole

escaroleA variety of endive with less bitter leaves. Tastes similar to radicchio. High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Use in salad, wilt quickly with lemon, or add to soup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farm to Table Needs More Middlemen

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Dan Barber is really great chef, winner of several James Beard awards and owner of farm to table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, just outside New York City. He just wrote this New York Times article that postulates the farm to table movement needs more middlemen. Ladies and gentlemen, we are those middle “people”. At Field Goods we work directly with small diversified farms. Diversification of plants is critical for soil health and pest reduction. We purchase based on availability, not on customer choice. Let’s face it- if we only offered what the American consumer wanted we would be the broccoli, carrot, and lettuce delivery company. Diversifying our diet is adventurous and it’s ultimately a healthier choice for our bodies and the planet. Thank you for letting this stuff into your kitchen to help food stay small. After all, farmer knows best! Dan Barber awesome TED talk
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Japanese Turnips 

turnipThese mild and sweet turnips don’t need to be peeled—just give them a good wash. You can cook these or eat them raw. We suggest shredding them and adding to a salad. You can prepare the turnip greens as you would kale or mustard greens. Carly Migliorelli recommends blanching these turnips and serving with a vinaigrette!