CSA Box #3


Well, the garlic is in! We were glad to get it all harvested and hung to cure in our barns. Amara Farm grows a few kinds of garlic – softneck and hardneck varieties. Ripple Farm grows garlic too, we’re just building up our seed stock this year, but hope to grow a lot more next year for sale.

You can help clean the garlic harvest this coming Friday at Amara Farm (2641 Kirby Rd, Courtenay) at our first CSA member work party! Join us anytime between 3-6 to help us out with polishing up the garlic. We’ll have dinner at 6:00PM, so an RSVP is appreciated, drop us a line at mervilleorganics@gmail.com.

Speaking of garlic events, mark your calendars for The Second Annual Comox Valley Garlic Festival on Sunday August 10! It’s a great chance to stock up on your winter supply of flavorful local garlic, sample and pick up amazing garlic creations (like garlic scape jam and garlic gelato from Legato Gelato!) and enjoy some local entertainment. It’s family friendly, so bring the kids!

What’s in the share this week?

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Fennel
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Salad Mix
  • Fresh garlic!



Fennel is an amazing sweet vegetable that adds a light anise flavour to any dish. You can incorporate it into almost any meal where you would start with sautéeing onions. Here’s a quick recipe for:

Carmelized Fennel & Onions

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • fennel bulb (trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced)
  • yellow onion (large, halved and thinly sliced)
  • coarse salt
  • ground pepper

Directions: In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high. Add fennel and onion, and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover, add 1 tablespoon water, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and soft, 2 minutes.

What to do with it? You can serve this as a condiment or as a pizza topping. You might also want to try making croustini’s with a baguette or rice crackers. You could slather on a bit of goat cheese, a few greens and top with the carmelized fennel and onions. If you were feeling fancy…

Marc Vetri’s Fennel Gratin

This one looks like a hit too!

  • fennel bulb (about 2 pounds, fronds trimmed and reserved)
  • 21/2 cups olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 11/4 tsps red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (freshly)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Trim the base of the fennel and remove all dark and light green parts down to the white bulb. Slice each bulb in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges and remove the cores. Lay the wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and add olive oil to a depth of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each wedge with a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of Parmesan.

Bake until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the oil until just warm.

Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer the fennel to plates and garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

Anne’s tips about zucchini and fennel

I’m sitting at our CSA pick up station at LUSH Valley, and one of our CSA members, Anne Davis was just here and we were chatting about what she did with zucchini last week.

Anne grilled the zucchini with a bit of cilantro pesto and topped it off with some shaved parmesan. There’s a bit of inspiration for you!

She also told me she was at a conference lately where a very lovely salad was served. A bed of greens, with shaved fennel on top. There were also balsamic onions, black olives and sun dried tomatoes.

If you’ve got great ways to eat veggies, drop us a note or let us know at pick up so we can share your ideas on our weekly blog!

Have an excellent week!