Fall CSA – 5th (and final) Distribution

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The pea tendrils are much bigger now, but Bob Durling got a great shot of them at the last pick-up.

Wow – last distribution of the fall share.  Can you believe it?  Thanks to everyone on Thursday who was flexible about picking up in the greenhouse.  You helped us make it work and we really appreciate it!  What cold weather!  Believe it or not, we are still managing to pick from the fields.  Your spinach, lettuce, kale, leeks and brussels this week are all coming out of the field! We use extra layers of row cover to keep them from dying during deep freezes like the ones we had last week.  They still freeze, but these crops can handle freezing and thawing if they are growing in cool weather, and it even makes them taste better!!

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We uncovered the spinach this morning and although there was some frost damage, we were able to get a pretty good yield out of these beds.  Looks like Kevin is getting a good stretch in!

We are so grateful to all of you for joining us and enjoying the fall bounty of a small, sustainable New England farm.  Although the weather this season was not perfect, we know that by choosing to farm in New England (and because of Climate Change) each year’s will bring new challenges.

We are proud to still offer abundant, high quality produce in spite of a challenging season.

Our Winter Share is full. If you signed up you will receive an email on a few days with details about pick up.  If you didn’t get a chance to sign up, we will email you in January with information about sign-ups for next year.  The Spring share sells out fast, so when you get the email I suggest signing up ASAP!

But, back to this share. You might still have sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions left (it was our intention) or you might have used them all up (good for you!).  This share is very green, so get ready for some great salads, a coleslaw and maybe a few sautés.

What’s in the share:

Lettuce (mini heads), roughly 3/4 pound

Spinach, roughly  1/3 pound

Kale, roughly 1/2 pound, these are “kale tops” or the tops of the kale plants.  We harvest kale like this when we know the plants aren’t going to survive much longer.  Just use the kale as you would any bunch of kale.  We suggest using the stems and all, just chop them finely, because they are so sweet at this time of year.

Pea Tendrils, roughly 1/5 pound – great for salads or very lightly stir-fried.

Arugula or mild baby mustard greens choice: roughly 1/3 pound (use first, slight frost damage on some leaves, but it still has fabulous flavor raw in salad or slightly steamed)

Cabbage, one medium head, savoy or napa

Leeks and celeriac, one pound mixed

Carrots, Storage Radish, Turnips, Rutabaga and Kohlrabi: 4 pounds mix and match

Butternut and Carnival Squash, roughly 4 pounds

Brussels Sprouts, one pint

You’ll also be able to take some popcorn instead of some squash, cabbage or root vegetables if you choose. Or you can just purchase extra if you don’t want to give anything up!

Eat lots of salads. The lettuce  and arugula/mustard greens should be used first. Spinach chopped and pea tendrils make great salads.  Try a Vinegar Based Cole Slaw instead of a mayo based slaw for a lighter feel.

Also, don’t forget about pesto. This Kale Pesto looks good, but you can use just about any greens (except the lettuce) to make a pesto. Or Pea tendril pistachio pesto.  Remember that pesto freezes really well (I suggested leaving the cheese out if freezing and add it in after  . . . or skip it!).

Winter is a great time for Kale Chips or easy Sauteed Kale, but you might want to go for something more warming, like Kale and White Bean Soup (with potato, carrots and tomato) or something fancier like a Phyllo Pie with Kale, Butternut and Goat Cheese.

Brussels Sprouts are pretty trendy, and delicious, but if you aren’t into them, or have bad childhood memories may I make a suggestion?  Choose a recipe that requires cutting the brussels.  A roasted, whole brussels sprout can have a creamy texture, which might not appeal to some.  By cutting the brussels you allow them to be crispier, which I think is more generally appealing.  Try this recipe.

As for the winter squash – we are still fans of cutting them in half, roasting them at 400 degrees until they can be stabbed easily with a fork and then scooping out and eating, usually just with salt, but butter or maple syrup or brown sugar or whatever is your thing is good too.  But if you want to take it up a notch, it’s great to try stuffing them! Try this recipe from a CSA member for stuffed Acorn Squash (you can use carnival). Here is another great How-To on Stuffing Winter Squash.

Again, thanks so much for joining us for the Fall Share – we really hope you enjoyed it, and if we won’t see you for the Winter Share, you can visit us a Weston Nurseries once a month for the Hopkinton Winter Farmer’s Market, starting December 15thfrom 9am-1pm.

And of course, we hope to see you next year!  We’ll send an email around the first of January with sign-up information!

 

Fall CSA: 4th Distribution

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The Third Distribution
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Plus All the Extra Potatoes, Onions and Sweet Potatoes!

Our awesome photographer took the time to take two shots of the share last week, one with 1/3 of the sweet potatoes, onions and potatoes, and one with ALL of them.  If you remember, we had you collect the rest of the potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions for the Fall CSA share, because they can be easily stored without refrigeration and we had run out of storage space at the farm.

So this week’s share will feel a tad smaller than the last one! 🙂

Remember, about 1/3 of the potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes you took home last time were planned for this distribution.

Ok, have I hammered on that nail enough times?

I’m very excited about this week’s share.  This is when crops start to get extra crisp and extra sweet!  They are storing sugars to use as food to grow seeds when the weather warms up, but little do they know that we will swoop in and harvest them before that can happen, taking advantage of all that sweet, stored energy to feed ourselves during these increasingly cool, dark days.

We have a special planting of smaller carrots that will be bunched and in the share this week.  I recommend washing, not peeling and just eating them straight up.  They are the sweetest carrots you can possibly get your hands on.  I don’t like to leave lots of carrots out in the field for very long – they are a magnet to all mammals, not just humans! Last year we lost about 2000 lbs to deer – luckily our yields were off the charts and we still managed to have a massive harvest even so. But they are so good when they’ve experienced several freezes!

And for those of you Tuesday members who are looking at the above picture and thinking, hey, how come I didn’t get broccoli last week – there will be a broccoli/brussels choice this week for Tuesday. We know people love broccoli and cauliflower, I even tripled my plantings from last year because of it, but it has been a horrific fall for broccoli on our farm.  We lost over 2000 heads to alternaria and brown-bead, both of which make the heads rot before they can be picked.  Bummer.  But I’ll do it again next year, because I know it makes you all so happy.  I’ve been to countless workshops and read numerous books that tell me not to grow the crops that aren’t profitable (read:broccoli), but broccoli is just one of the crops that I can’t help but keep on trying . . .

Spinach is actually going to make it into the share this week.  That’s another crop I try to have on a really consistent basis (we planted enough to have it every distribution, but crazy hot weather at planting then cold, wet weather has really stunted it in the field).

I know the big T-day is coming up.  It’s probably my favorite holiday.  I’m not going to do the big story this year, or tell you how to use this share for that day.  My recommendation is to anticipate eating a lot on the 22nd (and probably the 23rd and 24th if your holiday is anything like mine) and just enjoy your share as a healthy preparation.  Eating lots of raw veggies (like raw carrots, turnips, spinach, lettuce . . . ) is a great way to add some fiber and vitamins/minerals to your diet and flush your system – and it’s not a lot of work!!

If you are really looking for something for Thanksgiving we recommend coming to the Ashland pre-Thanksgiving Farmer’s Market.  9-1 at the Ashland Middle School.  It’s always a blast and we’ll have all the goodies, or you can stock up at the farm stand this week.

Here are a few pictures of what has been going on at the farm this fall:

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We ordered the potting soil for next year – I guess we’ll be doing this again!!
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We’ve been adding row cover to protect the rest of the fall share greens and winter share greens in the low tunnels!  21 degrees in the forecast this week!
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We taught Harvey how to turn the compost pile.

The Share

1 bunch “extra sweet” carrots

2 pounds (still very sweet) carrots

1 bag spinach (amount TBD)

1 bag lettuce mix (amount TBD)

1 head of lettuce

1 lb choice: leeks, celeriac, beets

1 bunch sweet turnips or radishes

3-4 lbs winter squash (butternut or carnival)

brussels sprouts and broccoli (broccoli only on Tuesday, brussels might be on the stalk or in pints, actually amounts TBD)

garlic/shallot pint

Plus aprox. 2.66 lbs of sweet potatoes, 2.66 lbs potatoes and 1.33 lbs onions which you picked up last time.

 

Recipes

Chicken and Sweet Potato Dumplings (I got the idea from my mom, but not the recipe yet, she said it was delicious – this recipe looked good but I’ll share the one she used when I get it)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi (another idea from my mom)

Honey Glazed Turnips (I recommend doing 1/2 turnips, 1/2 carrots for this one)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sauteed Brussels and Shallots

French Onion Soup (For those of you who use less onions and want to eat some up!)

Butternut Squash Alfredo Pasta

Enjoy!