Summer is a dreadfully beautiful season I run into kicking and screaming each year. The heat is atrocious and mosquitos make me manic but there are bounties to be had in this season that can't grow in most other places around our country. I cherish my moringa and amaranth harvests, and I look forward to another season of educating our community on the wealth of crops to be had and enjoyed! Most people can hardly believe anything worth devouring grows in our heat and so it's a challenge I shoulder willingly. But now, the mustards are here and the calyces are coming. By calyx, I mean the fruit of that hibiscus roselle plant you've been munching on in farm shares all summer along with our okra, sweet potato greens, and basil! The arrival of our hibiscus flowers signals the official end to our summer bounties and pushes us full throttle into the winter... err "winter" in the case of our lovely subtropical Houston climate.
So, our finale of summer crops winds down these next few weeks with our lingering roselle greens, okra, and some lemongrass for fun and giggles. Remember that greens aren't limited to savory meals, so here's a reminder link to that time we made a delicious fruit salad with the roselle. The okra is great for a gumbo, bhindi masala, or just just good ol' southern fried! Lemongrass is my friend at night in a piping hot tea or when I'm feeling adventurous in the kitchen and wanting to really spice up a stir-fry or curry dish. (Use the stalks of the stems!)
In addition to all the above delights, we also have 4 DIFFERENT KINDS OF MUSTARD GREENS! All are great raw or cooked into your favorite dish be it pasta, pizza, soups, sautés... you name it. I would encourage y'all to taste a bit of each kind raw first, however, to experience the full gambit of flavors each has to offer. The Kyoto and Tendergreens are by far the most mild of our set. (Read: Skip the lettuce and go straight for both of these lovelies when making your next salad, stems and all!) Next in line comes Ruby Streaks. She's got a wild side, but in the most delicate of ways. I would, however, tread with caution before just biting off a mouthful of Golden Frill. She's got a distinct wasabi flavor that will sucker punch a doubting Thomas. Fair warning!
One last note for this Dispatch, if you've been enjoying your CSA, would you take a minute to "share" us with a friend? We're on all the usual social medias...
Or if you're not into that social media thing, no worries! You could call up a friend or send them an email... I guess?... or you could just talk about it the next time you're grabbing a beer if you're into that (you know farmers grow the grains that make the brews that imbibe the peeps... just saying!). Either way, whatever your style, if you like what we're doing and you think we ought to do more of it, we would be so very appreciative of you sharing the good word with others. We're growing our bounties so that we can grow our community because, at the end of the day, food is for sharing. Enjoy the harvest, y'all, and buen provecho.