Happy Spring! Welcome to the 2010 growing season and thank you for participating in Coffee Creek Community and Gardens' C.S.A.  As a shareholder you will receive bi-monthly boxes of farm-fresh produce and eggs, home-style preserved and fermented goods, naturally raised meat and other various treats from the Coffee Creek Community and friends. With each delivery you will receive this newsletter to keep you up to date with progress on the farm and in the community. 
     Being quite early in the season, this first box is more of a welcoming basket, a mere taste of the pleasures to come. The greens and leeks were over-wintered in the garden, proving to be quite the survivors, as the freezes of December wiped out many hopes of winter gardening and food storage.  The unseasonably warm winter that followed has provided much inspiration toward catching back up, and the greenhouse is packed with seedlings soon to transplant into my garden and yours.  Your early investments have enabled me to triple the productivity of the greenhouse, as I prepare to double the size of last year’s garden! 
     Each day is getting longer, warmer and fuller and I find myself buzzing along with the bees, enticing all that I see to grow. Each garden is planned and planted with precision and care, rotating crops and planting companions to ensure health and vigor in the soil and the plants.  Stewardship of this land means much more than growing a few vegetables to bring to the market, and I am committed to raising fine food and maintaining a sustainable ecosystem for our children and our animals as well as the flora and fauna that preceded us.  The raised-bed gardens are not only extremely productive, but also enable me to keep the ground intact, not breaking the existing sod or encouraging erosion. As peas and carrots are planted, invasive blackberry brambles are removed from the creekside and forest surroundings. Fret not! There will be plenty of berries to pick in the summertime, and I hope you will enjoy the Blackberry Raspberry preserves or Concord Grape syrup (check your basket to make your choice, both are low- sugar recipes) with your next pancake breakfast or over vanilla ice cream.   
     Early day-light savings hours coupled with the mild weather has ramped up production at Chez Poulet, the house of the rising chicken, where our laying flock is in full swing.  The nature of the chicken tractor provides a rotating supply of tender spring grass and grubs for our hens to forage, in addition to their take-over of the farm each afternoon, when the doors swing open and chickens cluck freely. I believe you will taste the farm-fresh difference immediately. In fact, you may be so convinced of their superiority that you decide to raise a home-flock of your own.  The next generation of layers and broilers are on the way with the arrival of spring chicks next week. Started chicks will be available with your next order; look for your first broilers in June.
     Enough about my gardens… let’s talk about yours! You may be contemplating a vegetable garden or landscape project for the year and you will be happy to know that shareholders have first priority when it comes to nursery stock, starters and garden consultations. You will receive a list of plants, starts and services very soon. Trees, shrubs, plants, herbs, and veggie starts can be included with your regular CSA order.
     I hope your family enjoys these goodies as much as my family has enjoyed preparing them for you. I look toward this season with you as an extension of our farm and of our family:  we may be sharing our meals around different tables, but we are breaking bread together.
                                                                                  Enjoy, and be well.
                                                                                  Mokey Skinner
                                                                                  and the Coffee Creek Community


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 10 minutes

You will need:
2 T sesame or hot sesame oil
2 medium leeks, sliced 1/4inch thick
1-2 cups washed and finely chopped kale
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 eggs
¼ t white pepper
Chives to garnish

In a large pot, sauté leeks and kale in sesame oil until kale turns bright green. Pour stock over veggies and bring to a boil. Add white pepper. In a bowl, beat eggs lightly so that bubbles do not form. Turn off heat under soup pot, and pour a steady stream of eggs (pouring through the tines of a fork helps to slow the flow) into hot soup. Stir quickly in one direction for one minute to form shreds of egg. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Tips on preservation:
Both kale and leeks freeze well for later use. Just wash, dry, chop, and bag. Use by the handful in soups and stir fries.

Sacred Basil is a savory, floral herb that can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Highly regarded in ayurvedic medicine, it is used to treat fever, pain, nausea, and depression. For tea pour hot water over 1 teaspoon crushed, dried herb and steep for 3 minutes. May be used as Italian basil in the kitchen.
Sage is high in vitamins A and C. It can be used sparingly to flavor meats or pastas and pairs well with other strong herbs such as rosemary and oregano. Try sprinkling some in your next grilled cheese sandwich, or use in sausage gravy.

This batch was made by my dear friends, Nat and Lisa Boggs, with black tea, sugar, and fresh pressed apple juice. Keep sealed jar unrefrigerated for 3 days to carbonate, or refrigerate to stop the fermentation process. I suggest drinking a 2 ounce serving to stimulate digestion, boost the immune system, and please the pallet.

Truffles by Blissful Wunders, Olympia.