So believe it or not, we are steaming into June. I don’t know about you, but the this year feels like it is flying by for me. But before we get off on a tangent about years, calendars and the meaning of life, let’s keep it simple and talk food.
For me, June is The pivot point for food production throughout the year. Each month has news faces coming and going from the seasonal food table. Seats at this table can change quickly or linger, but for me, June marks a major shift of how we eat for the next few months. And I honestly could not be happier that we are standing on the door step of such a wonderful time of the year for fun and flavorful eats.
So what the heck happens in June to make it so unique? Well, first off we will see the weather get too warm (ok dang hot) for many local greens. Spinach, arugula, lettuce, chard and kale absolutely hate hot days. They prefer the 70s (like my parents) and call it quits when temps get into the 90s. The sweet greens that we enjoy during the spring turn bitter and the flavor feels like you have been punched in the mouth. Therefore, after June 21st the local greens will have to come from a regional producer this summer for your salads.
But to help ease the hurt of losing our local greens, we have Paul and his 85 acres of Excelsior Orchards in Paonia, CO. We have been working with Paul since 2005 and he is undoubtedly our strongest partner. In 2014 with no lawyers around and with two cups of coffee in hand, Paul and I agreed to buy all of his fruit for that year. He could focus on his trees and we would find happy homes/mouths for the fruits of his labor. That year, we had Excelsior fruit in our CSA boxes for 26 straight weeks. And fortunately for all of us, we have not changed that agreement since then.
Cherries, tart cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, pluots, pears and apples all call his orchard home. Well those and a ton of wildlife, farmers, and some big guard dogs to keep the bears from eating the fruit before we can. We will highlight Excelsior and Paul more coming up this summer, but for now, just know that you are in for a treat this summer. And if you have been with us in previous years and are not new to the rodeo, well you know how special his fruit really is.
June will also see the continuation of melons, tomatoes, cukes, and summer zucchini. Varieties will change as we roll through the summer, but look forward to those being good staples for your summer eating.
Pork, we have harvested 7 more pasture raised pigs to keep up with your demand as the summer grilling season is upon us. Bratwurst links and ground chorizo have joined the awesome team of Breakfast, Italian, and Green Chile sausages. All of these animals were born and raised on pasture and have never seen a concrete pad in their lives. Not many animals can say the same. You can definitely taste the difference in the meat.
Quick tangent on meats for you and for this one I will take you back to elementary school when Mrs. Kitts was telling you that “you are what you eat.” As it turns out she was right. You see as animals eat a higher percentage of their diet in pasture, they have a higher percentage of Omega-3 fats rather than the dreaded saturated fats. This happens because there are no saturated fats in grasses, so the animal cannot inherently produce a type of fat that is not in their diet.
When animals are raised on high fat diets like corn/soy, their meat has less Omega-3 fats and more saturated fats. Basically then, what the animal eats determines how healthy the meat will be that you eat. Taking that a step further, what the rancher feeds the animal will let you know how healthy the meat will be for you and your familia.
And it is because of this “You are what you eat” principle why we only work with the most conscientious ranchers who understand that whatever we do to the animals, we do to ourselves. And whatever we do to this earth, we are doing to ourselves. This belief in causality drives all of the food choices that we offer to you.
Not all of our members choose to eat meats and I totally 100% respect that. But if you are going to eat meats, there are no better stewards than the ranchers that we bring to your table. We are fortunate to have such thoughtful and skilled ranchers so close to our home. Enjoy!