Thanksgiving Produce (And Cranberries!)

We will have an abundance of fall produce available at the Ashland Farmer’s Market Thanksgiving sale!  Below is a list of the produce we will have available.  Follow the links to check out special recipes for each item:

Lettuce, Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Celery, Brussles Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Beets, Sweet Turnips, Red and Yellow Onions, Red/Yellow/Blue/Russet Potatoes, Garlic, Leeks, Sweet Potatoes, Rutabaga, Kohlrabi, Celeriac, Broccoli and Winter Squash (Butternut, Acorn, Delicatta, Sunshine, Bon-Bon, Baby Blue Hubbard, Pie Pumpkin and Carnival).

We will also have Cranberries!!

wills cranberries 2017We have bought in 100 pounds of dry-harvests heirloom cranberries grown with IPM practices from my friend Will McAffrey of Spring Rain Farm in Taunton, MA.  He’s a smart, dedicated farmer looking to build a fruit-based farm on his family’s land .  We are happy to be supporting him and helping spread his cranberry love this Thanksgiving.

Below is some information about the cranberries:

Early Blacks – super dark variety discovered in Harwich, MA in 1852, highest in antioxidants of all cranberries, makes a gorgeous deep red sauce

Howes – discovered in 1843 in East Dennis, MA, renowned in pre-refrigeration days for their incredible keeping qualities.  In a walk-in cooler they have been known to last until May.

“Growing practices:
Cranberries are a difficult crop to produce in MA because they are native to here, i.e. any pests and diseases evolved to attack cranberries are here.  As such, it is extremely difficult to produce them organically – that being said, we use integrated pest management techniques to reduce pesticide applications everywhere possible.  The heirloom varieties are a little more resilient as well.
The typical cranberry operation makes 4-5 fungicide and 4-5 insecticide applications a season.  Between scouting for pests, working closely with the UMass Cranberry Station, and a risky technique called ‘late watering’ we only made 2 applications of fungicides and insecticides this season.   On two occasions we did spot treatments of herbicide this summer, meaning we wiped individual weeds growing on the bog but did not spray any cranberry vines themselves (cranberries are extremely susceptible to most herbicides). Most of our weeding is done by hand.
Late water simply means we flood the bog in the spring after pest activity has started, and keep the vines submerged for 30 days.  This drowns any pests present on the bog and keeps other populations from establishing and building at a time critical for their development, drastically reducing our pest pressure.  The water also protects the vines from frost while submerged.  The risky aspects of it are that warm temperature bursts can remove oxygen from the water and suffocate the vine, the vine itself is especially vulnerable to late frosts after the water is drained off, and algae can develop and out-compete the vine for sunlight.
Unlike most growers, we also maintain a large amount of diverse natural area (wetland, forest, and field) around the bogs, leaving most of the habitat undisturbed by crop production.  The cranberry station has noted much higher populations of wild pollinators on our bogs than those of other growers, in part due to our reduced spray program and in part from maintaining this diverse natural area.”

Winter Shares Now Available!

winter share black crate dad

Above is an example December Share.  Photo credit: Jim Sidway.


Pick Up Dates:

Sunday, December 17th
Sunday, January 14th
Sunday, February 11th

If you can’t make one of these dates let us know and we can work something out.
We will reschedule in case of inclement weather.

Pick Up Time: 11am-2pm.

Cost: $155 (value – $225 – read more to learn what will be in the shares)

Click Here to Sign Up!

Shares are limited so they will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

You may not know it, but one of our farm goals is to provide local produce to our community year round.  I have been excited about four season local food in New England ever since I got into sustainable agriculture.  The fact that our greenhouses, barn, cooler and fields are full of food gives me a deep pleasure.  It has allowed us to provide bountiful summer and fall shares, and it also gives us a surplus so we can trial our first ever Winter Share!!  We did not want to offer a winter share until we knew for sure we’d had a good year and we would have enough, and boy do we ever have enough.

Winter is a great time to get cozy and eat soups, stews and roasted veggies.  The produce in these shares is produce that stores very well, and maintains impeccable flavor in storage.  We also will have greens from our tunnels and greenhouses to add leafy variety.

We will do just three large pickups for these shares, one in December, January, and February.

What’s in the shares?  I can tell you, with 85% confidence what each share will be.  That’s because almost all of it (except for some small greens) have already grown, or are close to maturity in the field.  Many are already harvested and are curing in the greenhouse (like onions, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pop corn).  The examples below will change if things happen that are out of our control, ie: the deer jump the fence and eat some carrots before we get them all harvested so we need to put something else in the share.

Example December Share: (Roughly) 5 pounds carrots, 2 pounds leeks, 2 pounds celeriac, 1 cabbage, 3 pounds onions, 4 pounds sweet potatoes, 3 ears popcorn, 1 bunch kale, 1 pound spinach, 2 heads lettuce, 1 bag salad greens, 2 pounds of potatoes, 1 large butternut squash.  Maybe: brussels sprouts, sweet turnips, fingerling potatoes, acorn or other squash, garlic and radishes.

Example January Share: (Roughly) 5 pounds carrots, 1 storage kohlrabi, 2 pounds rutabaga, 2 pounds celeriac, 1 cabbage, 2 pounds beets, 1 large butternut squash, 3 pounds onions, 3 pounds sweet potatoes, ½ pound spinach, ¼ pound pea tendrils, ½ pound lettuce mix, 3 pounds potatoes.  Maybe: Acorn or other squash, fingerling potatoes, napa cabbages, turnips, garlic and radishes.

Example February Share: (Roughly) 5 pounds carrots, 1 large butternut squash, 2 cabbage, 1 storage kohlrabi, 2 pounds rutabaga, 2 pounds celeriac, 2 pounds sweet potatoes, 1 pound beets, 3 pounds potatoes, 3 ears popcorn, one quart fingerling potatoes, ¼ pound pea tendrils, ¼ pound salad greens, 3 ears popcorn.  Maybe: Micro greens, garlic, spinach and kale.

The retail value of each of these shares is around $75.  That makes the total value of the Winter Share $225.  We are offering them to you for $155.

We are really excited about these shares.  If some of the vegetables sound intimidating to you (like rutabaga and celeriac) know that we send them with recipes. A great, simple and delicious fallback for these root vegetables is to chop them all up into ½” pieces and roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (turning once at 20 minutes).  The roasting caramelizes some of the healthy sugars and makes it hard to stop eating these great veggies.

This method of preparation also helps with the other concern you might have: can I fit all this in my fridge?  Well first, squash, potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes don’t need to be in the fridge.  And once you peel, chop and roast a pound each (carrots, rutabaga, celery root, kohlrabi and beets) you will significantly reduce the volume of the share . . . so roast some veggies as soon as you get them home.  Many of these root vegetables would be ok in a cool space that doesn’t freeze (like garage or basement) for a week as you chip away at them!

winter share no fridge dad

The above items would not need fridge space! Photo credit: Jim Sidway.

Or, if you really can’t eat it all, but want to participate you can donate some of your share to the Holliston Food Pantry.  Whatever you don’t want you can leave and we will donate the next day.  Think about it, you are getting a 30% discount, why not donate a little if you can’t use it all?