We have new farmers this year. They fell into our lap at the last minute and I couldn’t be happier. I’m still getting to know them, but from what I can tell so far we were lucky to find them because their veggies are outstanding.
I had hoped to sign up for a CSA this summer but by mid-June I still hadn’t found a farm that had a spot left for our family AND had a convenient pickup time/location. With three small children, timing and convenience are everything! I thought we would just miss a year of CSA membership and had resolved to frequent the farmers market and spread our business among our usual vendors. When we heard about Tangleroot Farm, though, I was happy to find a CSA close to home. I was especially glad that our new farmers are NEW farmers – experienced working for others, but in their first season farming on their own. We have the privilege of helping a new generation of farmers grow while they help our family grow healthier.
To be honest, at our first pickup day I was a little skeptical. Our trip began driving several miles through the woods on the north east side of Mount McGregor. When we arrived, the only indication that a farm existed at the address was this particleboard sandwich sign at the bottom of a driveway. The gravel led up to an assorted collection of low apartment buildings scattered across a grassy slope. I followed the driveway up and tried not to be nervous. At the crest of the hill, a small valley appeared and I sighed in relief at the sight of rows and rows of green. I was happy to see the humbly appointed farm stand filled with an abundance of freshly harvested vegetables.
We’re not CSA novices. After several years with a few of the larger farms in the area, Tangleroot’s setup is a refreshing change and the right fit for us right now. We absolutely enjoyed our prepacked CSA box in past years, as well as the “you pick (from farmers market stand)” CSA, but there is something to be said for getting food that has literally just been picked and minimally touched (only washed, bunched and set on the table next to the washing shed). Seeing the farm evolve through the season week by week is something I look forward to sharing with my children.
We have had two pickups so far (we signed up late and missed the first two weeks) and have been blown away by both the quantity and quality of the vegetables. Our shares have included the “normal” things we’d expect this time of year – spinach, lettuces, chard, kale, radishes, green onion, assorted herbs, broccoli, peas, etc. Everything has been on par or better than CSA’s we’ve been part of before – you’d never know this is Tangleroot’s first year in existence.
As I looked around the farm the past two weeks, it is clear that Adam and Susan have thoughtfully planned and are taking great care tending to their fields. The neat rows of greens and peas and tomatoes intertwined with companion plantings are as pretty as they will be delicious come harvest time.
Both of the last two weeks we got kohlrabi as part of our share. This easy summer salad is crisp and refreshing – and flexible for substitutions with whatever you’ve found in your CSA share or farmers market this week!
RECIPE: KOHLRABI BLACK BEAN SALAD
- approx 1 cup kohlrabi, peeled and diced
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 small radishes, sliced thin
- 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- the juice of one lime
Toss all ingredients together. Season with salt to taste and refrigerate at least an hour. Just before serving, garnish with chopped avocado.