CSA Week 14

It’s Friday harvest time! Your shares have the following this week:

Japanese Eggplant

Cubanelle Peppers

Cayenne Peppers- Salsa ?

Tomato array 🙂

Collard Greens -Here is a recipe for stuffed collard greens from the New York times.   I tend to be really bad with following exact ingredients or amounts with recipes.  I think the main idea with this one is to grab some sort of nut, whatever herbs you have around, rice and tomato.  Personally we tend to throw random pieces of cheese into this dish as well!  Don’t forget, if you are not cooking the collards with some sort of meat, use plenty of butter and even a broth to help break down the leaves as it cooks and give them that melt in your mouth taste.  Don’ be afraid to leave them simmering for a long period of time.  Collards are a prehistoric plant dating back to the ancient Celts, Romans and Greeks.  (and probably farther for all we know.) Channel your ancient ancestry and eat some greens!

Swiss Chard

Hakurei Turnips-the first of our fall planting, these are the sweet and tender ones that you can eat raw or roasted.

Red Potatoes- I am making a nice batch of potato salad as we speak.

Basil- this is the end of it I believe.

Garlic

Summer Squash- Cube and put in your stuffed collard greens.

I am not making any promises about extra stuff not being thrown in your boxes this time of year so look out!   Next Saturday we will be dropping off shares in Worthington and Pittsfield but are taking the week off from attending the market.  If you are a part time Pittsfield member and want to pick up next week please email us so we can set up a drop off point for your produce on Saturday.  Have a great week everyone.

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CSA Shares Week 13- better late than never!

Hi Folks, Sorry I missed the post day this past week.  I hope you are all enjoying the veggies, we wanted to get this up as their were a few items in this past week’s share that were a bit more esoteric than the standard CSA fare.

Tomatoes- lots of the Mariani Romas and Green zebras this week.

Daikon Radish- Those long white ones.  http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/11/in-a-pickle-sweet-pickled-daikon-radish.html this is one recipe for pickled Daikon if you want to try a small batch.  There will be more of these as the fall progresses.

Garlic

Swiss chard

Collard greens

Summer Squash

Japanese eggplants

Potatoes- some fingerling and some of the bigger “Superior” variety which make great baking potatoes.

Turnips-  try roasting these in butter and apple cider vinegar with some salt and pepper and maple syrup.  let them cook in the oven at 375 for quite some time until they are nice and soft.  This cooking method takes some of the bitterness out of them.

We hope you are well on your way to finishing this week’s basket so you can make room for more on Saturday!

CSA Shares Week 12

Holy Harvest!!!!

Today was a long day but we have some great stuff to bring you this week.   Full swing look out!

Tomatoes-  Moskvich, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Indigo Rose and Mariana oh my!

Baby carrots

Basil

Garlic

Summer squash

Japanese Eggplant

Potatoes- Fingerlings this week.

Cayenne Peppers- Don’t forget you can dry these for crushed hot pepper in the winter too.   Cayenne is medicinal as well and can be used for pain and depression.

Swiss Chard

Kale

Black Radishes- This is a beautiful heirloom variety of large radish.  These store well in the cooler months, hopefully we can hang onto some until then.

We have a very full walk in cooler and barn tonight and this is translating into bountiful csa shares this week.  I believe we harvested something in the range of 300 lbs of tomatoes the past several days.   A farmer’s work is never done! We hope you enjoy your meals this week.

CSA Shares Week 11

Hello sunny Friday!  What a harvest this week, we hope you enjoy everything.

Summer Squash- Flying saucers from the second planting.

Garlic

Fingerling Potatoes

Carrots- We had to battle the weeds for several rounds, but we have managed to win the war to bring you these delicious rainbow carrots.  This is the best snack around.

Tomatoes- Lots of Romas this week, the Mariana variety.  This might be a good time for some sauce, although these work perfectly well as a sandwich tomato too.  There are also Green Zebras in your shares.  (Hint-these are ripe when soft, they don’t turn red, hence the name.)

Basil – For your tomato sauce perhaps?

Pumpkin

Kale

Dill

Parsley

Bell Pepper- These are just starting to produce and look great so far.

Enjoy your meals this week!

CSA Shares Week 10

Cabbage – a Savoy variety this week.  Tender and delicious

Basil- We like to make our pesto with sunflower seeds or almonds instead of pine nuts. The best way to store your basil for a few days is to trim the ends and put the bunch into a glass of water.  Leave it in a cool spot on your kitchen counter.

Parsley

Kale

Garlic

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Patty Pan Summer Squash

 

Sick Child = No frills post and farm this week.  😦

CSA Shares Week 9

Wow, we are almost halfway through summer share season!  I hope everyone is feeling great and enjoying the changing flavors of summer.  Your share has the following items this week:

Basil

Dill

Cilantro-  Throw this in with some chopped tomatoes and a hot pepper or two for fresh salsa.

Japanese Eggplants- Eggplant contains a bitter juice which can be removed before cooking.  Cut them into whatever form you need them in for your dish and toss them with salt.  Leave covered at room temperature for 1 hour.  Pat dry with a towel.  The salt causes the bitterness to weep out and makes them taste even sweeter once cooked.

Summer Squash

Potatoes-  This week is the Chieftan variety, a large Red potato.  Add the dill to these for a beautiful potato salad.

Garlic

Kale

Tomatoes-  The darker colored steak tomatoes are the Black Krim, this is a full flavored heirloom variety with plenty of that juicy tomato goodness that you can only get from a farm fresh tomato.  We can’t even eat tomatoes anymore when they are out of season because the mealy things they label as “tomatoes” in the grocery store bear no similarity in flavor to these beautiful fruits.  The lighter colored slicers are the Moskvich, another heirloom variety hailing from Russia.  These are slightly smaller than the Black Krim and have more of a fruity flavor.  My favorite thing to do with these is to slice them, add salt and pepper, some basil leaves and if you have it around, some balsamic vinegar and fresh mozzerella.  YUM!  Of course some evenings we are tired and end up just snacking on whole tomatoes, that tastes pretty good too.   We have 5 more varieties of tomatoes on their way to ripening so the flavors will continue to change throughout the next few weeks.

Eggplant Torta Recipe-  This is from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, a must have kitchen reference.  This book is a dense educational read for any of you wanting to learn more about traditional foods and diets.

This dish can also includesummer squash sliced and cooked in the same way if you want.  Slice eggplants the long way and place on an oiled baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake at 375 until soft, about 15 minutes.

Take and oiled spring form pan and layer the bottom and sides with eggplant slices.  Spread tomato sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice.  (we like monterey jack and Parmesan in ours)  Make another layer of eggplant followed by sauce and cheese.  Repeat once more, or until you run out of ingredients.  Poke holes in the torta with a fork and pour three beaten eggs over the top so it soaks in.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan.   Bake on top of a baking sheet at 350 for about 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly on top.  let it cool a bit before you release the spring form and slice it.

this is like lasagna with no wheat!  The eggplant absolutely melts in your mouth.  You can also serve it with extra sauce.  We are still trying to use up our final few containers of tomato sauce that we made last summer so we have been liking this recipe and hope you enjoy it too!

CSA Shares Week 8

We are inside from another long day of harvesting.  I also just managed to delete this entire post when it was almost complete. (I pressed the save button and was taken directly to the login page, boo wordpress!)  So here goes the abbreviated re-creation.

This week’s share has the following delights:

Japanese Eggplants- The white ones are the Gretel dwarf variety.  You  don’t even need to skin them.

Anaheim Peppers- A medium heat pepper.

Potatoes- The La Ratte Fingerling this week.  This is an heirloom variety from France that will melt in your mouth.  We are also very impressed with its disease resistance.

Garlic- we had a roasted potato dish that included 4 heads of garlic this week.  We may not smell good but we rarely catch colds!

Kale

Summer Squash

Cabbage

Cilantro

Dill

Basil – After we seeded all of our basil this spring we received a call from our beloved Fedco Seed Company.  They informed us that there was some Lemon Basil mixed in with our Genovese seed.  You will recognize this in some of your basil bunches as the smaller leaved variety.  This stuff is great with chicken and fish, but not as good for a traditional pesto.

Next week I will include a favorite dish of mine that involves eggplants and summer squash, a torta.  The computer decided to delete it and I am too tired to re type the whole thing.  🙂  We hope everyone had a great week!  Many tomatoes are looming on the horizon…

CSA Shares Week 7

Hello Members to a lovely RAINY Friday!  It has finally rained enough to make a difference to the parched fields!

This week’s share has the following items:

Cucumbers-  Mostly Japanese Spineless and the Boothby Blond again.

Dill- Make pickles or a tasty cucumber salad with this.

Cilantro- Also great with the cucumbers.

Summer Squash-  We picked several times this week but are still struggling to keep up with these plants. You can make a great soup base for the freezer with these.  Cube them and cook down in a large soup pot with water and onion.  Once they are soft turn the heat off and season them to taste, then puree with a hand held blender or a counter top blender.  You can freeze this and use it whenever as a base to add other ingredients to.  We like to add fresh cilantro and garlic with a bit of sour cream on top.

Garlic

Kale

Potatoes- Nicola again this week.  Nico helped to make some yummy baked fries with these last night.

Eggplants- Japanese

Pumpkins-  (Thank you climate changes)  We were thinking maybe we could move Halloween up to the end of July this year since all of our pumpkins seem to think it is time to ripen now…think of the costume possibilities!  These are sugar pumpkins so try to cook them up into something delicious.  Leave them somewhere you can enjoy them for one week so they can cure a bit as we just picked these today.   Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup?  I know it’s hard, we aren’t really having weather that makes you want to slave over the stove top with warm pumpkin stew, maybe on one of these rainier days…

Cabbage

Beets- After this round beets are on hiatus until the second planting comes in.

Farm Activities:  We have pretty much wrapped up all of the planting for this season, hooray!  The field on Tower Rd is getting pretty weedy so we are preparing to plant it to cover crops for the fall.  Our field at the Charlemont Academy is doing great, see the picture.  About a quarter of the space was cover cropped and our fall planting is fresh in the ground.  The tomatoes are looking beautiful.  As is evidenced by the pumpkins in your share this week, the winter squash is moving right along too.

If anyone has forgotten to bring a tote back lately it is okay, but our pile is starting to look a little scarce…:)

We are teaming up with the bag share project, http://www.thebagshare.org to bring you a supply of reusable produce bags at the Berkshire Market.  These bags were sewn from fabric waste at the cushion shop I work at.  Volunteers sewed bags out of the scrap and they will be available for all to use at the Berkshire market in case they forget their own bag.  This is an AWESOME program, visit their site to find out more.  Not only are we keeping the scraps out of the landfill but we are forgoing the use of a plastic bag!  I read something recently that said part of a revolution can be unplugging from the systems you don’t believe in, this is a great way to do that.

I hope everyone enjoyed the cloudier, cooler week!

CSA Shares Week 6

This week’s share has the following in it to look forward to:

Beets- A mix of our three varieties, Red Ace, Touchstone Gold and Chioggia.  roast these in the oven in the evening when its cooler and save them in your fridge for cold beet salads with nuts and gorgonzola all week. 

Cabbage

Swiss Chard

Cucumbers-  The yellow picklers are an heirloom variety called the Booth Bee Blond.  This is the most flavorful cucumber we have encountered.  It is so important for growers to preserve these older varieties that are disappearing at an alarming rate.  Once they are gone we can’t get these heritage cultivars back!

Summer Squash- Dust off that zucchini bread recipe!  Also stuffed squash is another wonderful dish if you are scratching your head about what to do with these.

Potatoes-  The Nicola variety this week. This yellow fleshed variety is also high flavor and makes great roasted potato wedges and potato salad. 

Parsley

Kale- Don’t be afraid to juice your kale if you are having trouble eating it all.  (Or, you can find a neighbor to share with perhaps.)

Farm Activities-  

This week our fields saw a touch of rain but not enough.  We have lost some squash, chard and a few direct seeded items to the lack of rain.  We have done a tiny bit of irrigating, but this generally goes against our farms philosophical practices to water during a drought.  We are using our stored water from the greenhouse that gave us warm thermal mass back in early spring so we don’t feel too bad. 

       Some members may recall our total crop failure of leeks last year.  Unfortunately it is looking like this season’s leeks may be suffering the same fate.  We faithfully weeded the leeks last week.  Then the 100 degree days and lack of shade from the weeds ended up killing most of them…oops!   We have a few that survived so keep your eyes peeled for a few of them in your shares this fall. 

        The last of this year’s garlic has been picked.  The greenhouse and barn are both filled to the brim with curing garlic so this will be a share  staple throughout the fall.  For those of you with gardens, don’t forget to save a few heads to plant in your own plot for garlic next season.  These hard neck varieties have all been grown in Worthington for several years now and are well adapted to the climate. 

       We hope you are enjoying the changing flavors of this year’s harvest as much as we are!

 

CSA Shares Week 5

Here are your share contents for this weekend:

New Potatoes- The versatile and delicious potatoes are back for this season!  They would be bigger if we got a bit more rain but this is my favorite time of year for potatoes.  The skin on these will rub off easily so they will not store well.  Put them in a potato salad! 

Broccoli- This is the end of what was a great broccoli crop this season.  Broccoli will make a return appearance in the fall…if it rains. 

Hakurei Turnips-  This will be the last week for these as well until the fall. we are still eating ours without peeling them but you could peel the rougher ones in the bunch if you like. 

Radicchio- for a salad or for braising.  I find the Radicchio to have a bit of a bite when raw, but lightly braised or steamed it is amazing, just make sure you leave it with a bit of crispiness when you cook it. 

Summer Squash-  One of our favorite summer squash meals is a honey ginger squash and greens.   Saute onions and minced ginger in butter or oil.  Add thinly sliced squash after onions have yellowed.  Once the squash is almost cooked to your preference add in the greens, a tablespoon or so of honey, a splash of tamari, crushed coriander seed and pepper.  Cook until your greens have wilted. 

Cabbage- COLESLAW for the heat!  You can also quarter these and roast them on a baking sheet with olive oil and salt and pepper if you are cooking during the cooler evenings.  

Parsley- for your potato salad or your coleslaw. 

Cucumbers Tasty Jade-  a crispy Japanese cucumber variety. 

Swiss Chard-  The swiss chard plants have been providing amazing bounty this year.  Our fall planting in the greenhouse is also looking good.  

Garlic- Fresh

Kale – Winterbor variety this week. 

Farm Activities: 

July is quite the month to be an annual vegetable farmer.  The greenhouse is alive and full with baby plants for fall crops that need water, food and maintenance.  The weeds are in full force fighting to take over every last carrot.  Harvesting has become some kind of three day a week marathon sport that involves lots of heavy lifting.  Seeding and planting continue almost at the same rate as June and every last cucumber and tomato plant on the farm begs to be trellised and pruned.  Also, if it doesn’t rain you can lose it all.  By August things settle down as the final plantings are put into the ground and the weeds let up a bit. 

          Our farm is at an interesting scale, Alex and I have one helper, Tyler, and two small children who find destroying plants hilarious.  We continue to try to fine tune our relationship with commercial agriculture each year.   July is the month we find ourselves fantasizing about cover cropping the entire farm for a season and hiding somewhere cool for the summer in a tent. 

          Why are we doing this to ourselves you ask?  Well, a big part of it is our children.  There is a large amount of processed products sold as “foods” that have rocked our country and the world with a global epidemic of self inflicted diseases.  Even some vegetables are grown with pesticides and fertilizers that not only damage the ground that they were grown in but have untold and insufficiently researched long term effects on our bodies.  As organic, bio-dynamic growers we feel obligated to make sure untainted food is available to people in our community, especially our children.  Last night we ate marinara sauce that was processed and stored last summer from our tomatoes.  I have no idea when we last purchased tomato sauce at the store.  Sometimes we forget to go shopping for over a month and don’t notice, we like that.  I think our bodies thank us for choosing to grow and eat amazing food that is ALIVE and has never seen the inside of a store.   We live in an amazing area full of similarly minded people like you who are aware of these things.  We happen to be crazy enough to want to grow amazing, healthy food for you. 

        Thank you, if you made it to the end of my rant and EAT YOUR KALE.:)