The sun is shining and the air is warm, the start of a beautiful day is upon us! May is full of diversity and pleasant surprises; some days it is warm enough to wear a T-shirt while I am feeding the animals breakfast, while other days snow flurries land on my back while I am digging in the garden. Thankfully, the frost has subsided and our more tender annuals are making way in the gardens. Now is a great time to get your tomato and herb starts into the ground. Cucumber, squash, and basil seeds can be directly sowed now with out the danger of damaging young seedlings on a cold night. When transplanting your tomatoes, remove the cotyledons (first leaves that emerge on seedling), and bury them deep, all the way up to the first true leaves. If your garden space does not allow a deep dig, try a trench. Dig a long trench and lay the tomato plants down, with just the tops from the first leaves up sticking out. The plants will start to right themselves within a week. Borage is a companion plant of tomatoes, and is known to make the fruit more flavorful!
    Heavy rains followed by warm afternoons are sprouting seeds and plumping up the greens at Coffee Creek. The first tender spinach of the year is included in your box this week! Please be sure to wash your produce before your enjoy it fresh or cooked in your favorite recipe. Chop the fresh chives to garnish soups and baked potatoes. The chive flowers may be removed and soaked in balsamic vinegar; toss with your spinach salad for a unique and tasty treat! The light green bundle is Moroccan mint, and the darker is a mix of chocolate and ginger mints. These make a great addition to iced green tea, homemade ice cream, or salads. Dry them by hanging the bundle upside down in your kitchen; pour one cup boiling water over one teaspoon dried mint to sooth an upset tummy.

    This batch of kombucha is naturally carbonated by process of fermentation. It contains English breakfast tea and pure, organic cane sugar cultured to promote digestion and immunity. Enjoy two ounces at a time, noting that it is especially beneficial on an empty stomach.

    Roasted hazelnut and mango truffles from Blissful Wunders Truffles are here to tantalize and transfix your taste buds with their hand-crafted chocolate power! The wait is excruciating, I know, but please take the time to let them reach room temperature for maximum enjoyment.

    One pint of chicken soup with wild Minnesota rice has a number of possibilities. A quick and easy meal calls for a simple addition of one cup of water or broth. Heat and serve with crackers or a crusty bread. To make the most of your meal, saute chopped garlic in 2 tbs. butter in a large saucepan. Add celery, 2 cups water or broth and soup base and bring to as boil before adding chopped kale, chard or other hardy greens and one tablespoon of dried squash. Remove from heat and serve hot with crackers or crusty bread. Chicken, basil, and oregano used in this soup were all grown at Coffee Creek, the onions are from Boistfort Valley Farm in Curtis, WA, and the wild rice was hand harvested in Minnesota and given to us by family in the mid-west. I, for one, find a meal much tastier after a proper introduction and history!

    Some of the ways that we use dried summer squash in our everyday cooking: tossing into soups and sauces for added flavor and texture or adding to stir fry to help soak up any extra moisture from frozen veggies used. It is also a great addition to a morning scramble with eggs and other vegetables, or try baking it into breads, muffins and pancakes for added nutrition. Enjoy a new way to use an old favorite!
    In addition to the edibles, there is a special gift from my intern, Kalee. Felted soap, made from local, hand-crafted, natural soap covered with a felted layer of wool for a built in scrubby! Choose one from the basket above your CSA box. Kalee is a great helper in the garden, as well as a talented painter, toy-maker and all around crafty and artistic mama. Check out her website for other hand made and recycled goods:

    I want to once again thank you for your patience and understanding in accepting this late delivery. I am feeling much better after last week's illness and forced down-time. Kalee has now had a chance to prepare and deliver CSA boxes, so all of our bases are covered in case this ever happens again.

    I am sure you will enjoy the collection of treats available for you to pick up now. Next week we will have a regularly scheduled delivery on Wednesday the 26th, available for pick-up after 10am at the Loveday residence. Don't forget to make an extra trip by their home this weekend, as they are having a huge, multi-family yard sale both Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm, with lots of treasure for your finding!                   
Enjoy this day, and enjoy this food!

                                                                   Be well,
                                                                                                                                                                                   Mokey Skinner