Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 15 or 18 extended CSA

First extended box contains:  1 bunch each of beets, rutabagas, tonda di parigi carrots, dill, radishes; 2 bok choy, 1 head escarole, 1 long island cheese pumpkin, 1 pint of snow peas, 2# mix of red and yellow onions.

The carrots are best for roasting.  Their flavor really comes out when cooked.  The pumpkin will keep for a few months so you don't need to worry about cooking it right away.
I made a good salad the other day of: 
1 pint of snow peas, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of radishes, ends trimmed and radish cut into thin wedges and greens cut into 1 inch pieces
1 carrot, julienned
1 small red onion cut in thin slices
1 T ume plum vinegar
1T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
splash of lime juice
splash of tamari
black pepper

6 cups roasted pumpkin (to roast pumpkin, cut into large pieces and bake face down on pan with a little water in 350 degree oven for an hour or until soft)
4 T butter or olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1T smoked paprika
1/2tsp cumin
pinch of cayenne
Melt the butter and saute onions, garlic, and spices until translucent.
To them add:
1 apple chopped
4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup water
the pumpkin (I use the skin too in soup)
Let this all cook together for 20 minutes then puree.
Return to a pot and add:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2tsp thyme
1 sprig sage
salt and pepper to taste
Warm to desired temperature and eat!

click on the link below for:
Braised Escarole Recipe

The picture below shows a tool called a "middle-buster" that we use to dig sweet potatoes (among other things).  It pulls most of them to the surface so we can pick them up and see the rest of the clump still in the ground.  We successfully dug the whole crop yesterday and are pleased with the yield and the quality of the roots.  They are now all tucked away in our basement "curing room" where they will sit at 75 degrees for 10 days to toughen their skin so they can be handled without scraping off their skin.  Also during that time the starches will convert to sugars making them sweet.  You'll be seeing some of each variety we grew in your boxes later.
Digging Sweet Potatoes 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8 or 11 Box

Danver's Half Long Carrots
Your last regular season CSA box for 2014! small share contains:
2# german butterball potatoes, 1 bunch hakurei turnips, 1 bunch danver's half long carrots, 1 bliss pumpkin, 1 black radish, 1 bulb of garlic and 1 shallot, 1 pint edamame.
Regular shares contain:  4# german butterballs, 1 turnip, 1 carrot, 1 pumpkin, 2-3 black radish, 2 garlic bulb, 1 shallot, 1 quart edamame, 1 bunch beets.

Thank you for participating in our farm share this year!  You have helped us get up and going last spring, kept us going thru the summer, and seen us to the fall.  Because of our responsibility to fill your box each week, we stayed motivated to get things seeded, weeded, planted, and watered on time.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we have!  We love what we're doing and you help make it possible for us to continue on this adventure! Thank you, thank you!

The german butterball potatoes and bliss pumpkin can be kept for a month or more if you so desire.  The potatoes have a yellow flesh and are great mashed (as well as all other ways you like potatoes).  The pumpkin is, in my opinion, DELICIOUS!  I steamed one in a pot on the stove the other night to see how they are because it is a variety I haven't grown before and I was impressed.  So much so I think we'll grow more of them and less of other varieties next year.  It was great plain and would make excellent pie or soup.
The turnips are a mild variety, great eaten raw in a salad or dipped in pesto.  They are also great caramelized.  The greens are good eating too!

Black Radish Salad
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 large or 2 to 3 small black radishes
1 shallot, cut paper thin
1 T olive oil
1. combine lemon juice and mustard and add oil slowly while beating with a whisk until it emulsifies.
2. grate the radish and add radish and shallot to the above.
3. salt to taste, toss, and eat immediately.

Hakurei Turnips

Bliss Pumpkins

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

october 1 or 4

small boxes:  1# green beans, 1 bunch carrots, 1# red onions, 1 garlic, 2# russet potatoes, 1 mix root bunch, 1 head of bibb lettuce.
regular boxes:  1# beans, 1 bunch carrots, 1 1/2# red onions, 2 garlic, 3# russet tates, 1 mix root bunch, 1 bibb lettuce, 2 fennel, 1 bunch leeks, some sugar snap peas.

The mix root bunch contains a long white daikon radish, 1 beet, 1 rutabega, 1 turnip (small boxes have a pale yellow turnip, regular boxes have a purple top turnip).  You can tell the rutabega from the turnip by the top.  Rutabega tops are smooth and blueish, turnips are green and rough (pokey).  My thought is that you can use the mix roots and carrots and potatoes to make a soup or to roast all together and enjoy the different flavors beside each other.  The tops can be used to make a nice broth or add them chopped in small  pieces to the soup.  The tops should be cut off the roots and stored in a bag if you don't use them right away.  They will not keep as long as the roots will.  The tops are also good for juicing.
The potatoes haven't been washed and they and the on ions and garlic can be kept outside the refrigerator.
A Good Root Soup Recipe

Next week is the last regular season box!  We will put sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, another winter squash and some more perishable foods in it.  Please remember to bring boxes and clothe bags back.  We are terribly low on the bags and didn't have enough to use for this weeks' boxes.  If you have alot of them, please bring them back.  We wash them so do not worry about washing them first!

Hope you have a good week!

Pictured below are Cate and Hayley who have been picking your vegetables all season.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

september 24 or 27

Chard, kale, and broccoli in the field, wash shed in the background
September 24
Small boxes:  2 heads lettuce, 1 bunch radishes, 1 bunch swiss chard, 1# yellow onions, 1 garlic, 1 buttercup squash, 1# mix yellow and green beans.
Regular boxes: all the above and 1/2# more beans and 1 more garlic plus 1# spinach, 1 daikon radish.
September 27 boxes will be a little different probably just kale instead of chard and no yellow beans I think.

I thought we would put big onion and garlic bags in the boxes this week but we didn't have enough time to clean that many so we just put some in. 

Bake the buttercup squash cut in half until soft in 375 degree oven.  In the meantime saute the chard with or without some garlic and onion and add some goat or feta cheese and salt and pepper.  When the squash is soft, scoop it out and combine with the chard and cheese and put it back in the squash shell and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more and eat!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sept 17 or 20 Box

Pop driving the tractor
This weeks small shares have:  1 bunch baby carrots, 1 butternut squash, 2 buttercup squash, 1/2 # okra, 1# green snap beans, 1# fingerling potatoes.
Regular boxes have:  1 bunch baby carrots, 1 bunch lacinato kale, 1 1/2# green beans, 3/4# okra, 2# fingerling potatoes, 1 butternut squash, 1 large buttercup squash, 1 1/2# chinese eggplant.

If anyone has run out of onions or garlic and want more, just let us know at your pick up and you can get more.  There will be another bag like you got a few weeks ago in the boxes next week.  Those of you who don't want onions and garlic, please let me know and we'll substitute.

The buttercup squash are the dark green ones.  They have very sweet orange flesh that is somewhat dry.  They are great roasted and eaten plain or used for soup and pie.  They will keep up to 3 months in a dry environment (like your counter or cabinet) out of direct sunlight.

A delicious dinner this week could be:
roast a winter squash in the oven until soft (I cut them in half before baking)
roast whole okra and whole baby carrots together tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper
saute the green beans with a little garlic or onion and some thyme

My (Anne) parents came to visit last week.  The occasion was Cyril's second birthday.  I am one of 9 children so having a visit from my folks is a great honor.  We couldn't stop work as the to- do list  is ever so long but they dove right in.  We are about wrapped up with transplanting for the fall and Dad drove the tractor while we planted.  Mom helped prepare the plants to go to the field.  We are building another high tunnel (unheated greenhouse) for season extension and they helped Aaron square it up and drive the posts.  Yeehaw! It was all more enjoyable for their presence!

Our farm is on the Family Farm Tour this weekend.  We are working to get it all gussied up and easy to show.  If you're sad you haven't done enough weeding this year, come on out Thursday or Friday and help us pull a few.  We'll give you some winter squash or whatever else you might want from the field.
This weeks' box is 1 of 4 left.  The last box for full season shares is October 8 for Wednesday pickups or October 11 for Saturdays.  Those of you with credit from missed boxes have until the end of the year to spend your credit. (Credit will not carry over to 2015) Our last market will be the last Saturday before Christmas.  I will let you know next week if you have credit and how much. 
I hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sept 10 0r 13

Small boxes this week:  1 pint of mountain magic tomatoes, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bok choy, 1/2# lettuce mix, 2# butternut squash, 2 bell peppers, 2# red potatoes.
Regular boxes this week:  1 pink wonder tomato, 1 bunch cilantro, 2 bok choy, 1# lettuce mix, 4# butternut, 2 bell pepper and a handful of jimmy nardello and pimentos, 2# red potatoes, 1 1/3# green beans.

To stir fry the bok choy, pull the head apart and wash each rib /leaf.  Tear the leaf off the stalk and set in a pile.  Cut the ribs into 1/2 inch wide pieces.  Cut the leaves into strips.  Saute 4 cloves of garlic in olive oil over medium heat.  When starting to brown, add the bok choy ribs and one sweet pepper cut into strips and salt to taste.  Saute until your desired softness over medium high heat.  Add the leaves and turn off the heat and stir until leaves are incorporated and wilted somewhat.  Remove from stove and add a little cilantro.
Cyril and Addiebelle helping with gathering the butternut squash from the barn.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sept 3 or 6

Small boxes this week:  2 sweet dumpling squashes, 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 bunch of radishes, 1 bunch of arugula, 1/2 # lettuce,1/2 # okra.
Regular boxes this week:  3 sweet dumpling squashes, 4 bell peppers, 1 bunch of radishes, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 # of lettuce, 1# of okra, 3 patty pan squash, 2 # red maria potatoes.

Sweet dumpling is a winter squash best baked until soft and enjoyed with a friend.  We usually cut the squash in half and bake in a pyrex pan with a little water in the bottom until the squash is soft.  A 425 degree oven usually takes 30 minutes.  When they're soft, i scoop the seeds out and we eat the squash almost always plain because they are so full of flavor and need no seasoning.  These squash will keep for a month or so but not longer.  Keep them on your counter until you cook them.  Later boxes will have other varieties that will keep longer. If you want ones to save for colder weather, wait to save those!

Anne's Radish Salad
1 bunch radish (any small variety)
1 small red onion
1T fresh orange juice
1T ume-plum vinegar
1T extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. separate radish tops from the roots.  wash and chop radish tops and place in a bowl with the ume plum vinegar; bruise greens slightly with your hands while mixing with vinegar; let sit.
2. thinly slice radishes and red onion; place in a bowl with other ingredients; add radish tops and combine everything well.  let sit 10 minutes before eating.

Try roasted okra.  Cut the stem off the okra.  Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until done to your preference.

Arugula makes a nice pesto.  I make it with arugula, olive oil, salt, garlic.  I don't add nuts to the pesto but toast nuts and add them to the food right when we are eating it.  The pesto will freeze well.

You can saute or roast the peppers and freeze for later use too if there are more than you can eat now.

an overview of part of the winter squash harvest curing in the hay barn

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 27 or 30 Box

Yesterdays' pepper harvest!  Garret and Elliot load the truck.
This weeks' small box:  1 bunch of arugula, 2 #s of Juliet tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 # baby eggplant, 1/2 # summer squash, 1/2 # lettuce mix, a bag of 3 # of onions and 1/2# of garlic.

Regular boxes:  1 bunch of arugula, 3# of Juliet tomatoes, 1 bell pepper and a pound of paprikas (sweet), 1# baby eggplant, 1/2# summer squash, 1 # lettuce mix, 1 delicata squash, a bag of 5# of onions and 3/4 # of garlic.

It is best for storage crops to be unrefrigerated (like onions and garlic) and so I thought I'd give you a months' worth of these things at once because it is hopefully easier for us to do it right this way.  Typically we make your boxes on Tuesday evening (or Friday evening for Saturday pickups)and keep them in our cooler overnight.  That makes the onions and garlic get damp and so not store as well.  If this just doesn't work for you to get this much at once to store yourself, let us know.  I included a reminder in each bag that says:

Storage Onions and Garlic
These onions and garlic have been cured in our barn and are considered storage crops.  This means they will keep without refrigeration for a few months.  Ideal storage conditions are dry, dark, and cool.  Short of ideal, they will keep best in a basket or bowl in your kitchen cabinet or a corner of the counter that doesn’t get direct sun.  If you want to have your eyes burn less when cutting onions, store them in the refrigerator but it will cut down on how long they will keep.
This bag is meant to be a months’ worth of onions and garlic.  If it is way less or way more than you can use, let us know!
Some of the onions, especially the red ones, are damaged on part of the bulb.  We tried a new method of “field curing” these and some got sunburnt.  I haven’t found any to be rotten that I’ve cut into; it’s a surface burn.  If you find otherwise, please let us know and we’ll replace them!

This week is probably the last you'll see tomatoes in your box.  Try them oven roasted!  Just cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs and roast at 400 degrees until done to your liking.  These are great with pasta, on bread, on pizza.  The baby eggplant is good this way too!  It is also good sauteed in olive oil with salt and a chile pepper.  The paprikas in the regular boxes are a great sweet, thick walled pepper great roasted, raw, or sauteed.

The boxes will start to change to more lettuce, greens, and radishes in the coming weeks as well as winter squashes and potatoes.

Goose beans growing on field corn we're growing for Farm and Sparrow bakery.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 20 or 23

Peppers on the vine
Small boxes this week:  1 1/2 # carrots, 1 # fingerling potatoes, 2 #s of sweet peppers (yellow bells, jimmy nardellos, pimentos, lipstick), 1 bunch of komatsuna, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 pint of edamame.
Regular boxes this week have: 2 # carrots, 2# fingerlings, 3# sweet peppers, 1 bunch of komatsuna, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 pints of edamame, 1# mountain magic tomatoes, 1 # baby eggplant.

Saute 2 to 4 leeks and several of the peppers in olive oil, salt, and some herb ( basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, parsley) until both are soft and the leeks translucent.  Turn off the heat and add the komatsuna (stems chopped thinly and leaves a bit larger).  Let the greens wilt and toss the vegetables with pasta or rice.
Butternut, red kuri, sweet dumpling squashes curing in the barn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 13 or 16 box

Small boxes:  2 delicata squash, 1 pint of edamame, 2 small yellow onions, 1 garlic bulb, 1 red bell pepper, 2 1/2 #s tomatoes, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bunch of komatsuna.
Regular boxes:  all the above plus double the garlic, onion, delicata squash, 1 quart of juliet tomatoes, 1 bunch of sage, 2 sweet paprika peppers, 1 fennel bulb.

The delicata is a "winter squash" that is ready to eat now.  They do not require the curing time that other winter squashes do and are a real treat!  We just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake up side down with a little water in the pan until soft (about 30 minutes at 400 degrees).  Our kids ate 1 a piece the other day when we taste tested them.
The edamame is best cooked in boiling water for about 5 minutes and then popped out of the shell and eaten plain.  A great snack!  Its also good added to salads or stirfries.  It does need to be shelled; those pods would be most unpleasant to chew.
The komatsuna is a green in the mustard family.  It is very mildly spicy and would be good lightly sauteed, eaten raw, or made into pesto with the parsley.
The peppers have really kicked into high gear with ripening!  I don't want to overwhelm you with peppers but if you are a pepper lover and would like more in your box,e let us know at market or via email for those of you who pick up elsewhere and we'll get you more.  The offer still stands with the hot peppers too!  As long as we have them, you are welcome to get some every week if you like!

On the menu this week:
Parsley, komatsuna, and garlic pesto over pasta
Fresh tomato slices with salt
Sauteed onion and peppers with scrambled eggs
Baked delicata squash

oohlala yellow bells

Sweet Italian "corno di toro"

beautiful bells

Round of Hungary pimento

Boldog sweet paprika

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6 or 9

Small boxes:  1 bunch of beets, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 # of "mountain magic" salad tomatoes, 1 bulb of garlic, 3 jimmy nardello SWEET peppers, 1 # of a mix of green beans and yellow wax beans.
Regular boxes:  all the above plus 3 more jimmy nardellos, another garlic, 1 # of fingerling potatoes, 2 # of amish paste tomatoes, 1 small bunch of baby carrots.

The mountain magic tomatoes are surprisingly tasty in my opinion.  It is always difficult and often impossible to grow a good tomato crop organically here because of all our humidity, cool nights, and foggy mornings. This is a variety that was bred right here in Fletcher at the horticultural research station by a man who has devoted himself to breeding blight resistant tomato varieties for the mountains.  (he uses conventional methods for breeding.  no GMOs here!)  I hope you like them.  They're best for fresh eating in salads or salsa.
The Jimmy Nardello peppers, contrary to their looks, are very sweet!  They're delicious sauteed with some onions and eaten with pasta, potatoes, eggs, by themselves.  It is an heirloom variety that has enjoyed much renewed popularity because of how delicious the peppers are and because Slow Food put it on their "Ark of Taste" list.  We also have many varieties of hot peppers.  I tend not to put them in the boxes because I don't know who likes them and who doesn't SO if you do, please let us know at market or in an email and we'll be sure you get as many hot peppers as you want!  We have lots of hot banana peppers right now and they are good pickled if anyone is interested!
This unusually cool weather we're having has the okra in slow motion but we hope to have it for you soon!

Beets and Pasta
Cut the beet root from the leaves
Wash the leaves and save them
Wash the beet and boil until tender, let them cool enough to handle, slip the peel of with your hands and cut into quarters.  Marinate the beets in a dressing of equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the pasta of your choice.
While the pasta is cooking, cut 2 to 4 leeks into thin circles using from just above the roots to where the leaves start; wash them by letting soak in cold water for a few minutes while agitating them; saute until soft in olive oil or butter.
Cut the beet leaves and stems into thin ribbons and toss with the pasta while it is still hot so it wilts them.
Add the leeks, beets and any marinade with them to the pasta.
You may want more crushed black pepper or red pepper, a bulb or 2 of crushed garlic and romano or parmesan shredded on top.
(this is good with sausage too if you like it)

Garret and Aaron trellising the black eye peas.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tomatoes growing in the Hoop house
small boxes this week:  1 eggplant, 2 each of pink wonder and red panzer tomatoes grown in the hoophouse, 1 canteloupe, 1 bunch of yellow onions, 1/2 # lettuce mix, 1 # mix of yellow wax bean and snap beans, 1 red bell pepper, 1 sweet italia pepper, 1 zephyr squash, 2 patty pan squash.
regular boxes have all the above and 1 # more beans, 1 quart juliet tomatoes, 1 bunch beets, 1/2 # more lettuce.

This morning dawned a chilly 48 degrees at our farm and has us in the mind of fall crops.  We are transplanting broccoli, cabbages, kales, cauliflower for your october boxes today.  The winter squashes are looking great and we will begin the harvest of those next week.  They will then sit in the barn loft for several weeks to sweeten up.  All the onions are harvested and curing in the barn.  I'm sure it will get hot again but this cool is a nice break for us.

The eggplant is producing amazing amounts and so I decided to put another one in your box this week.  I hope you aren't getting tired of it.  Sometimes I roast it with salt and pepper and herbs and then grind it up and freeze it to make patties with in the winter.
The peppers are both sweet and will finish ripening all the way to red sitting on your counter.

Bean Salad
Put a pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil.
While you're waiting, pop the ends off the beans and wash them.
Blanch the beans by putting them in the boiling water for just 3 to 5 minutes (just to slightly soften).
Strain the beans.
Make a dressing of:  2 T balsamic vinegar, 1 T ume plum vinegar (or some salt), 1 T red wine vinegar, 3T olive oil, black pepper, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 shallot.
Pour over the beans while they're still warm and refrigerate.
Before serving, toast some sesame seeds and sprinkle over the beans.
Foreground:  Leeks.  Background:  Aaron making beds for fall transplants.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23 or 26

Small boxes :  1 lb. Paul Robeson tomatoes, 1 lb. Juliet tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 bunch fresh shallots, 1 canteloupe, 2 lbs tomatillos, 1hot banana pepper, 1 jalapeno, 1 bulb garlic, 1 italian eggplant.
Regular boxes:  1 lb Paul Robeson, 2 lbs Juliet, 1 bell pepper, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 celery, 2 canteloupe, 2lbs tomatillos, the hot peppers and garlic, 1 eggplant.

Salsa Verde
2 lbs tomatillos
1 jalapeno and 1 hot banana pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 to a whole bulb of garlic
1. peel the dry skins off the tomatillos, wash them, and boil in lightly salted water for 7 minutes or until they are just soft.
 2.Drain, puree them in a blender, and put them in a saucepan with the peppers, half the cilantro, salt, and half the onions.
3.Simmer sauce gently for 30 to 40 minutes.
4.To use for dipping chips in, add the rest of the cilantro and onion fresh along with the juice of 1 lime.  To use it as enchilada sauce, add the fresh cilantro and onion either to your filling or as a garnish on top.

Mom's Freezer Roasted Tomatoes
(the juliet tomatoes are great for this)
In the bottom of a large roasting pan place 1slivered onion tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Halve the tomatoes and place cut side up on the onion.
Throw 4 cloves of chopped garlic on top.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 until all juice has evaporated.  Cool before freezing or use them right away as a pasta sauce or pizza topping.

If anyone want s extra canteloupe melons for fresh eating or to freeze for smoothies, we have lots of them this week and will give you an extra one.  Just ask at market or email me and i'll send you one next pick-up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16 or 19

View from the tractor seat of the crew transplanting parsnips!
Small boxes this week:  1 1/2 lbs nicola potatoes, 1 lb beets, 1 lb patty pan squash, 2 lbs small red tomatoes, 1 each of pink and yellow brandywine tomatoes, 1 bunch of cipollini onions, 1 or 2 each of sweet and torpedo onions (depending on size of onions), 1  zucchini, 1 purple bell pepper, 1 Italian eggplant.
Regular boxes:  3 lbs nicola potatoes, 2 lbs. beets, 2 lbs patty pan squash, 2 lbs small red tomatoes, 1 each of pink and yellow brandywine tomatoes, 1 bunch cipollini onions, torpedo/sweet onion mix, 1 zucchini, 1 purple bell, 1 eggplant, 1 bunch of shallots, 1 pint of blueberries.

Tomato season is upon us!  If you want tomatoes to can or freeze, this week or next is the time to do it.  We have lots of the red ones you have in your box today and lots of "seconds" of all varieties.  For CSA members, tomatoes are $1/lb.  (Market customers pay $3/lb.)  If you are interested, email or call me to set up when you want to get them.  Call Anne at 828-545-2362.  They will slow down significantly in 2 weeks so if you want to do it, do it now!

Nicola potatoes are unsurpassed as makers of a perfect potato salad.  They hold their form well due to their waxy texture.  They also make great shredded hash browns!
Cipollini Onions are sweet and mild and make THE BEST roasted or caramelized onions.
Eggplant recipe ideas

I am running late and cannot give recipes right now.  I'll try to get back to it later today or tomorrow!  Hope you are all well!

Onions curing in the barn loft

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9 or 12

Honey Bees!  Our friend Dave Cowart caught a swarm we had this spring and helped us get it set up at the farm.  Here's to better pollination!

Harvesting fingerling potatoes yesterday.  We had an excellent yield!
Small boxes this week have: 2 lbs. purple viking potatoes, 1 red celery, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 fennel bulb, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1 head of garlic, 1 bunch of torpedo onions, 1 zucchini and 3 red tomatoes.
Regular boxes have: 3 lbs of purple viking potatoes and all of the above plus 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of purple basil, 6 red tomatoes, 2 zucchini, 1 lb of austrian crescent fingerling potatoes.

There is a unintentional purple-red theme to the box this week.  The purple vikings are one of our favorite potatoes.  They have a sweet white flesh that makes great homefries or scalloped potatoes.  The red celery has a stronger flavor than green celery and can be used anywhere you would use celery.  It makes a beautiful broth for miso soup.

caramelized fennel
1 fennel bulb
salt and pepper
safflower oil (or whatever oil you use to saute)
Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cut off the fennel stalks and core.  Cut the fennel lengthwise in half and then cut into 1/4 inch wide wedges.
Add the fennel to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  Drain the fennel and pat dry.  season with salt and pepper.
Heat some oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the fennel in a single layer, cut side down, and cook to caramelize the wedges, 2 to 3 minutes.
This can be eaten by itself as a side dish  or added to scallop potatoes or soup.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July! 2nd 0r 5th

Small boxes this week:  1 white and 2 orange large carrots, 1 large red beet, 3 onions, 1 bulb of garlic, 1 green cucumber, 1 lb of lemon cucumbers, 2 zucchini, 1 bunch of basil, 3 tomatoes, 1 purple bell pepper, 1 head of green cabbage.
Regular boxes this week:  all the above plus more cucumbers, 2 zephyr squash, 1 pint blueberries, more tomatoes.

The lemon cucumbers are a nice, refreshing cucumber for fresh eating.  We do not peel them and mostly eat them like an apple.  We all love to eat them when we're working out in the hot sun and the kids love to eat them any time so I hope you enjoy them too!  They are good cut up in salads or in a salad all by themselves.
 This weeks' menu:
Pesto on pasta, roasted potatoes, bread
 Beet and goat cheese salad
Carrot and ginger soup
Zucchini Hash
Cole Slaw
View of the tomato field and stormy sky

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25 or 28 CSA

CSA boxes lined up for filling
Small boxes this week:  1 bunch of carrots, 2 sweet "Ailsa Craig"onions, 2lbs new potatoes, 2 lbs zucchini, 1 1/2 lbs cucumbers, 1 almost full pint of blueberries, 2 tomatoes, 1 bunch dill.
Regular shares:  1 bunch of carrots, 3 sweet onions, 1 head of romaine, 1 bunch of parsley, 3 lbs of new potatoes, 3bs zucchini, 1 1/2 lbs cucumbers, 1 almost full pint blueberries, 4 tomatoes, 1 bunch of dill, 1 head of garlic.

The offer still stands for pickling cucumbers!  We will pick again friday morning around 9:30.  It looks like they'll still be going strong next week as well.  Come and pick and you can have as many as you want.  Or you can get 1/2 bushel for half price.  (1/2 bushel makes about 15 quarts of pickles).
The early tomatoes are starting to come in!  We are in a race with a racoon who has a taste for the reddest, most perfectly ripe tomatoes.  When I went to pick them yesterday, a little taste-tester had gone along and eaten the best part out of all the best fruits.  Kind of funny and cute but also not so funny or cute.  Anyway, if all goes well there will be a symphony of tomatoes coming your way over the next 5 to 6 weeks. 
For breakfast yesterday morning I had zucchini hash browns.
I sauteed some onion in olive oil and added shredded zucchini right on top of the onion and let it cook about 5 minutes, flipped it and cooked about 5 more minutes then salt and peppered, fried 2 eggs in the same skillet and put it on a plate with some diced tomatoes and cucumber slices.  Twas a lovely breakfast!
We make quick pickles a lot at this time of year:  slice cucumbers into rounds.  Place in a glass bowl and cover with some lemon juice, ume plum vinegar (or salt), apple cider vinegar, and fresh dill and cover and refrigerate overnight (or longer).

We will be harvesting the garlic crop this coming Monday and putting it in the barn to "cure".  The melon patch is starting to make little round, fuzzy, green canteloupes that will ripen in 2 to 3 weeks.  So exciting for the melon lovers!  Lettuce is all done for awhile.  We've started another round of it that you'll see in your boxes mid August.  Beans and okra are sprouting.... you'll see them in 4 weeks or so.  Peppers are sizing up.
Harvesting carrots Tuesday morning

Friday, June 20, 2014


I know many folks who love beets anyway they are presented.  I know some folks who deeply dislike beets mostly related to a childhood experience.  I urge you to give them another try.  Yes, they are very good for you! 

Check this link below for an abundance of information related to nutrition.  I was going to list a lot of the content in my entry but I think that checking it all out for yourself will be more useful.
nutritional content and facts about beets

I will now give you some recipes:

Spicy Beet Bloody Marys
makes 4 cocktails
preheat oven to 400
wrap 3 halved red beets (any color will do) in foil and roast until tender, 45 minutes
remove from oven, open foil, and let cool
in a blender or food processor, blend beets, 3 cups tomato juice, 2 T pepperocini juice, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 T freshly ground black pepper, 2 tsp worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp prepared horseradish, and 1/2 tsp garlic until smooth
fill 4 glasses with ice and 1 1/2 ounces of vodka (or not) and fill to the top with the beet mixture and garnish with celery

Beet Slaw
(I do not peel the beets but if you want them peeled, do that first)
shred 4 large beets using a hand grater or food processor
cut 1 torpedo onion into thin rounds; use the green part of the onion too
slice 3 cucumbers into rounds
chop 1/4 cup fresh dill or parsley
combine all the above in a bowl
make a dressing:
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T dijon mustard
dash of salt and black pepper
pour over vegetables and let sit up to an hour before serving

Roasted Beets and Potatoes
heat oven to 450
cut the beets and potatoes into wedges
toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary or thyme
spread out in single layer on a baking sheet
let cook, stirring once or twice for about 30 minutes ( until a fork easily goes in)
transfer roasted veggies to a bowl and crumble blue cheese over them and eat hot or cold.

Cyril taste testing gold and chiogga beets

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18th or 21

Small boxes this week:  1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 bunch of beets and carrots, 1 bunch of red torpedo onions, 1 pint of snow peas, 1 1/2 lbs of cucumbers, 2 lbs of zephyr and patty pan squash. 
Regular shares have all the above.  You have 1 bunch each of carrots and beets, 3 lbs of cucumbers, 2 zucchini, 2 lbs of new potatoes, 2 tomatoes and a sprig of basil!

If anyone is interested in making pickles, we are in the cucumbers for the next 2 weeks.  You can come and pick your own with us on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday morning and help us pick and you can have them or you can buy them for $22 a 1/2 bushel box (this is half the price we charge non-CSA customers).  Email if you are interested.

For dinner this week:
Beet, cucumber, and onion slaw
Grilled or roasted squash with goat cheese either hot or with romaine lettuce
New potatoes and snow pea hash
Cucumber, bibb lettuce, and butter sandwiches
your beets and carrots in the wash room   

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11 or 14

Freshly made beds for sweet potatoes with garlic and onions in the distance

An overview from up in the cow pasture of pepper rows and eggplant under the white fabric
All boxes this week contain:  1 pint of sugar snap peas, 3 small heads of deer tongue lettuce, 1 fennel bulb, 1 kohlrabi, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of garlic scapes, 1 bunch of beets, a handful of baby squash and zucchini.  The regular shares also have:  1 lb of small cucumbers, 1 head of treviso radicchio, 1 bunch of carrots!

Try oven roasting the kohlrabi and beets together with salt, pepper, and olive oil and after they've cooled, add them to a salad with the deer tongue lettuce.  A good dressing for this salad is:  1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard.  The roasted beets and kohlrabi are also good eaten warm with cannellini beans, scallions and parsley.

Glamor shot of beets in early morning light.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4th or 7th

"Red Maria" potatoes hilled and blooming
Your first box of June contains:  1 bunch of multicolor beets, 1 pint of snow peas, 2 small bok choy, 1 bunch of scallions, 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 bunch of garlic scapes.  "Regular" boxes also contain:  1 pound of baby squash, 2 sprigs of basil, 1 bunch of lacinato kale, 1 fennel, 1 pint of strawberries.

Garlic scapes are the unruly green vegetable in your box.  It is the flower stalk of our garlic and we remove it so the plant will develop a bigger bulb.  You can eat it!  The flavor is mildly garlic and you can use a scape anywhere you would use garlic in cooking.  They also make a nice pesto.
The bok choy is a bit holey as you probably noticed last week.  We are not the only ones who like to eat it.  The holes are from a tiny insect called the flea beetle.  We choose not to spray anything to deter them because the only things out there to use in organic agriculture would harm any beneficial insects and honey bees that happen to be in the field at the same time. 

What's for dinner this week:
  • Stir-fry with snow peas and bok choy.  Try using a different grain besides rice like barley or quinoa or wheat berries.
  • Pesto made with garlic scapes and flat leaf parsley for a mild and delicious pizza topping, spread, or pasta sauce.
  • Roasted beets with beet greens for a salad.
  • Caesar salad.
The potato field in early morning light looking good!