Let's Support Our Farmers

Questionable Broccoli...

Last week, the Noltes delivered the cauliflower on Wednesday and we discovered it had rotted overnight. They had picked it Tuesday afternoon, weighed it and bagged it, boxed it and popped it in the cooler. When we opened the boxes on Wednesday we were unpleasantly surprised and so disappointed. We felt terrible for the Noltes and all the work they had done and the loss they took because they removed it from the invoice. We guessed that it's probably a matter of getting the field heat off the vegetables before bagging and packing them so they don't just cook in the bags.

Monday I learned that Nolte was in the hospital since last Wednesday and Miss Betty was doing all the work to get our tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli ready. Today, as we were giving out the broccoli in a share, we discovered it was yellowing already. Now we know that this was picked fresh, so it has to be a similar situation to the cauliflower. The broccoli isn't rotting, but it isn't entirely appealing. I know that it's edible because I just cut the ugly tops off my broccoli from last week and cooked up the rest. It was delicious.

Because we are a CSA and we want to support the Noltes during a tough time, we are committed to taking the loss on the broccoli this week--although as I mentioned, it's not a complete loss, it just needs to be handled a little differently, and perhaps the crown may feed the bugs instead of your family if you find it not to your standard. We do apologize and thank you for your understanding and for your help in supporting an awesome nursery-turned-produce grower in our area!

P.S. The best preparation for broccoli: slice into long thin spears. Put a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add broccoli (be careful of popping oil ig your broccoli is at all wet). Let cook undisturbed for nearly 10 minutes or until charred. Turn the broccoli, and add coarsely chopped garlic scapes or whole garlic cloves smashed with the side of a knife. Salt with coarse sea salt and allow to cook undisturbed until this sid is also charred nicely. You won't miss the crowns at all!

Tip: Expand Your Green Horizons!

These two greens are in the chicory family, and add a sharp bitter character to salads, but mellow and sweeten up a bit when cooked. If you aren't a big fan of the bitter greens, I suggest cooking them to minimize the intensity. They are delicious braised slowly in a broth or caramelized with a high heat saute...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares for 3+ years now.  We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO