Welcome to Green Gate Farms Spring CSA, Week 1!

April 3, 2021

Farm News:

  • Farm Stand and REKO Ring Are Open! Come by the city farm on Saturdays from 10-12 to support our farmstand. To join our Reko Ring online ordering group follow this link!
  • Spring Flower CSA Shares Are Still Available! sign up now! https://greengatefarms.net/shop
  • Flower Power Workshares: Learn how to cultivate organic cut flowers this spring. Farmer Erin is putting her team together for the season…Apply here
  • Spring Veggie Workshares: Learn to grow organic veggies with us at the farm. Follow this link to apply!
  • We’re hiring! Seeking a farm manager and seasonal workers. See www.greengatefarms.net for more information!
  • Green Gate Gift Cards Available Need something special for your friends and family? Give the gift of fresh, organic food! We have Farm Bucks for all your celebrations.

You Can’t Beet It

I don’t often get attached to the crops we grow but the golden beets in your share this week might taste a little sweeter if you knew their struggles making it to your plate.

We planted them in the fall, which came on the heels of a late-summer flash drought so intense that leaves on many trees here turned brown a month early. Supported by drip lines of irrigation, our baby beets grew fast, their dark green leaves waving in the hot breeze. The hungry buck, doe and fawn who eyed them from the opposite side of the fence grew bold enough one night to break in and have a taste. Something in those beets made them keep coming back while turning up their black wet noses at the rows of equally beautiful kale and cabbage. With each nightly feast the row grew shorter and the farmer more angry.

Our fence on this side of the farm was in need of repair but these beets were screaming for immediate protection. The easiest solution was to set up hoops and cover them with row cover. Imagine my astonishment the next morning when I found thirty feet of it torn to shreds. By the end of the week, the entire row was punched with holes, either by hoof or horn, and not a green beet leaf in sight.

I knew from previous episodes of beet-browsing that if the ravaged plants had big enough roots, the energy stored in them would nourish new growth — if (and always a big if) the winter was mild, which it was. By late February, the green leaves were waving in the sun once more. This time the deer were still in post-hunting-season stress mode and not about to show their white tails.

The white that did come was considerably more menacing. Six inches of snow, a quarter inch of ice, and seven sub-freezing days was enough to turn green into instant brown. By now, the farmer had given up on them, yet they managed to slowly come back from the dead as the warm sun urged those green shoots out one more time. Previous springs have brought a third menace — the notorious blister beetles — but the record freeze did its part to knock them down. Now, in the final stretch, they were in a race against thistle, burdock, wildflowers, and Johnson grass. Our brave beets didn’t win but they did well enough to get picked for your share.

Yesterday, just hours after I harvested them, Erin roasted those winter-weary ones that were too embarrassed to be seen in public. I grabbed a particularly misshapen one, still warm in the pan, and stopped to savor its earthy sweet flavor. A little sweeter, no doubt, from all the stress of making it here.

Spring CSA - Week 1 Veggie Share

  1. Beets
  2. Turnips
  3. Green Onions
  4. Lettuce
  5. Swiss Chard
  6. Spinach
  7. Parsley

Food and Flower Snapshot

  • Veggie CSA Spring Season, 10 weeks: March 31st - June 2nd
  • $25 each week, prorated
  • 5 pick-up locations, Wed/Sat; no home deliveries
  • Additional vegetables, herbs, flowers and specialty items (e.g., pickled okra, plants for your garden, etc.) posted every Wednesday on Green Gate’s private Facebook page; touchless pickup at our intown farm is on Saturdays, 10-noon. (8310 Canoga Ave., Austin 78724)
  • Volunteers welcome at both farms. More information on our website.
  • Got a question about your CSA share? Contact your Community Organizer, the volunteer who manages your pickup site and handles any issues that might arise.

Recipes From Kalina:

  • Moroccan Beet Salad - Use your beets and parsley in this simple and delicious side dish!

Moroccan Beet Salad Recipe with Vinaigrette - Taste of Maroc

Use roasted, steamed or boiled beets in this healthy and colorful Moroccan beet salad. For best flavor, allow time for chilling and marinating.

  • Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips - Turn your turnips into these cheesy, crispy, treats!

Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips - From A Chef’s Kitchen

Parmesan Crusted Crushed Turnips are a sophisticated, delicious, low-carb alternative to crushed potatoes!  They’re easy to make and will change your mind about turnips!

  • Easy Sauteed Mixed Greens - Spinach, beets greens, swiss chard, oh my! Use any of your greens in this simple recipe.

Easy Sautéed Mixed Greens With Garlic

New to cooking with greens and just looking for a simple way to prepare them? Here are a few tips to figure out how to better cook your veggies.