Fall CSA: 3rd Distribution

There are few farms in eastern Massachusetts that exist without some kind of conservation restriction or other subsidy. Agriculture cannot compete with the fast and furious capital returns of residential development, but it has value that is significantly greater in the long run. It is a rare, and precious opportunity to be a part of farm land preservation.

Quick Request: if you live in Holliston, please attend a special town meeting tonight, Monday, October 28th at 7:30pm at the High School. During the meeting community members will be able to vote to approve to use of CPA funds to place an Agricultural Preservation Restriction on the property we currently farm. Although we will not be able to farm here in the future, we believe farmland preservation is important, and especially critical in the ever increasingly developed metro-west area. Please vote to approve the use of CPA funds to place an APR restriction on the property.

We’ve got some great shots of the farm from the last few weeks. What a fall. The exact opposite of last year, when it rained almost every day until November . . . we’ve got almost all the major storage crops out of the ground and we’re working on the rest of field clean up.

Garlic planting at Eliot St this week (hopefully). Compost is ready to be spread, just need to get the gearbox welded back onto the manure spreader . . .
This pretty much sums up my fall.
Deer are the worst. This was a bed of radicchio and endive that they destroyed by punching through the row cover. No more for us . . . the pressure is pretty bad this year. But, being a diversified farm helps us accept these losses. We over-plant as a kind of insurance against all the challenges and unknowns of farming. Even if we lose one crop, there are 60 others that might be thriving.
Carrot yields were amazing this year. We are moving on to harvesting the extra sweet late planting carrots for the next few shares – if you haven’t had them yet, oh boy are you in for a treat!
The greenhouse and tunnels are growing some great greens that will be in your last fall share and then in the winter share.

So, what’s in the share?
(we won’t make you, but we’d love it if you took some acorn squash and some bok choy this week . . . )

2 heads of lettuce
Shallot/garlic pint
Choice of 6: carrots, kale, turnip, radish, scallions, collards, dill, cilantro, spinach, pea tendrils, arugula, bok choy, celery
Mix and Match 10 pounds: acorn squash, delicata squash, butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, rutabaga, kohlrabi, purple top turnip, watermelon radish, beets, leeks

Jess’s recipes

BOK CHOY

If you haven’t already gotten on the bok choy band wagon, now is your chance! Not only is it a powerful antioxidant but it’s also great for your bones, digestion, immune system and your eyes. Oh, and did I mention that it is also incredibly versatile and can be used raw in salads and slaws or cooked up in a multitude of delicious ways? If you haven’t found a bok choy recipe to tantalize your taste buds yet, check out this article with 32 mouth-watering recipes. I lost count of the number of ways I want to use my bok choy this week.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/10-ways-to-cook-bok-choy-besides-stir-frying-it-stew-soup-recipes-gallery

ACORN SQUASH

Acorn squash is one of my FAVORITE fall treats. I have fond childhood memories of roasted acorn squash with maple syrup and bacon on a cool fall night: Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut a small slice from the bottom so it will sit flat on a baking sheet. Put a pat of butter, some salt and pepper, a splash of maple syrup and a few ½” square pieces of raw bacon in the center of each and bake at 400˚ for 45 minutes or so until cooked through.

Or try one of the recipes below:

SLOW COOKER ACORN SQUASH WITH SAGE-CRANBERRY RICE STUFFING

This is another of my favorite ways to cook acorn squash.  I threw this in the slow cooker one morning hoping for the best but not expecting much (if you have a slow cooker you know it’s not uncommon to be disappointed by what you come home to find in it). After a busy day I walked in the door and was hit with the most tantalizing smells of Thanksgiving. As is typical for things cooked in the slow cooker, the color was a little dull but the taste and aromas more than made up for it. We all loved it.

HALLOWEEN ACORN SQUASH SOUP

Here’s a fun one for Halloween night with pumpernickel bread bat croutons!

If those aren’t doing it for you, try one of these!

10 REASONS WE’RE NUTTY ABOUT ACORN SQUASH

CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS

One of my favorite egg dishes involves sautéing a finely diced shallot in a little olive oil (sometimes with a diced jalapeno) and then frying in egg on top. If you find yourself with an excess of them, try out this tasty side dish.

CREAMY ROOT VEGETABLE STEW WITH GRUEYERE CROSTINI

Whenever I see rutabaga, I think of this recipe. Surprisingly hearty for a vegetable stew and the gruyere crostini with fresh rosemary are scrumptious!

WATERMELON RADISH, ORANGE GOAT CHEESE SALAD

If you’re new to watermelon radish, you’re in for a treat. They’re absolutely beautiful and deserve to be show-cased in a salad like this one.

JACK-O-LANTERN CHICKEN SWEET POTATO POTPIES

This is my plan for Halloween night – fill them up on sweet potatoes before the sugar-fest begins!

Brittany’s own recipe for pumpkin pancakes. I’m always throwing a pumpkin or squash in the oven at this time of year, trying to save the ones with a blemish. So I have a lot of cooked squash around. If you ever have extra of any kind of winter squash I suggest giving this a go. Sorry for the chicken scratch – but this hand written recipe pretty much sums up my attitude about cooking. Also, I know its immersion blender, not emersion, give me a break, this was at like 6 am and my toddler was helping me.
YUM!!

Fall CSA: 2nd Distribution

We harvested napa cabbage and broccoli for the Tuesday share today, and what a beautiful day it was!

Good job, everyone. I hope you enjoyed your first fall share. We’ve got another great one, again! Tomatoes are still here, but this is the last time. Make some salsa, or put a thick slice on some bread with a little mayo and salt . . . add an egg and some arugula . . . yum.

We’ve got broccoli this week too! Not a ton, we’ll need to limit the amount per share (you’ll find out tomorrow after we harvest and find out how much we have). This is just the beginning and there should be broccoli in at least the next share, if not the next two.

We did another little video this week, nothing fancy, but we liked the format so we gave it another go. It’s all about carrots because you are getting TWO bunches in the share this week. We did an extra good job growing them this year.

I forgot to mention in there the reason we are cutting the tops off the bunched carrots we are giving out (we bunch them to make it easier for you to pick up your share). 1. We are spraying the tops with a deer repellent that doesn’t taste great to keep the deer form eating all the carrots (and they would, I’ve seen them ruin 1000 lbs of carrots overnight). 2. Even if it weren’t for the deer repellent, the tops are really, really big and we just don’t have enough crates to take up all that space with the tops. I know some of you like to use them, but its either carrots with not tops, or no carrots right now . . . and is an OMRI approved substance, so don’t worry, it’s not toxic, it just tastes bad.

What’s else is in the share?

2 bunches of carrots
1 head of lettuce
1 watermelon (with trade options)
1 pint of shallots/garlic combo

Bunch/Head/Herb Choice (5 items)
Sweet Turnips
Radish
Kale
Bok Choy (really nice right now)
Arugula
Frisee
Collards
Pea Tendrils
Napa Cabbage
An Extra Head of Lettuce
Dill
Cilantro
Scallion
Thyme
Oregano

9 Pounds Mix and Match:
Tomatoes
Broccoli
Onions, Red and Yellow
Acorn Squash
Delicata Squash (probably the last time)
Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes
Green Peppers
Leeks
Purple Top Turnips
Beets
Rutabaga
Kohlrabi

Jess’s Recipes

STEAK FRIED RICE WITH LEEKS AND CARROTS

This stir fry is loaded with veggies and quick enough for an easy weeknight meal. Swap out the steak for chicken or tofu or leave it out entirely. I recommend making a double batch and adding an extra drizzle of soy sauce when you heat up the leftovers.

CIDER BRAISED CHICKEN WITH APPLES AND KALE

This is one of my favorite fall meals. I love that you can make the whole thing in one big skillet!

SWEET POTATO AND TURNIP SWIRL

Turnips can be a tough sell, especially if you have kids but even the kids will love them mashed up with sweet potatoes, ginger and orange zest. This would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving too!

DELICATA SQUASH AND KALE TOASTS

These little toasts make a great appetizer, snack or as a tasty side dish with a hearty fall soup.

RADISH-CARROT SLAW WITH TOASTED SESAME DRESSING

Try out this delicious Asian slaw but don’t toss those radish tops! Radish greens are peppery, like arugula, and are delicious in a salad or you can make them into a pesto or sauté them with a little olive oil and garlic.

WATERMELON SHERBET

Looking for something different to do with your watermelon? Here’s a 3 ingredient sherbet that doesn’t require an ice cream maker.

CARROTY MAC AND CHEESE

Lots of carrots for everyone this week! We made this twist on mac & cheese a few weeks ago with some of our carrots and it was a big hit! The carrots get grated up and look just like shredded cheese (just in case your kids are like mine and are not a fan of cooked carrots).

CRISPY MUSTARD CHICKEN WITH FRISEE

I love the look and taste of frisee but have a hard time passing off “salad” to my children. I always love when I find a recipe that incorporates the greens into the main course like this one. 

STUFFED WINTER SQUASH

This is the PERFECT CSA recipe. It’s super versatile, you can use a variety of squashes, a variety of greens and it also uses leeks and sage and has some grains in there as well. It’s a complete meal in a squash!

USES FOR HERBS & HERB LOADED CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

If you’ve got loads of herbs on hand try something new! Try grabbing a variety of them and chopping them up into your eggs or toss them with your salad greens to shake up your typical salad. If you’ve got more than you can eat right now try an herb butter or pesto that you can freeze to use later. Or try out this recipe – it is chicken noodle soup season after all!

CRISPY SMASHED BEETS WITH GOAT CHEESE

These sound SOOOO good! Tart balsamic vinegar, bright rosemary and creamy goat cheese all combined with crispy beets? Sign me up!

AUTUMN KALE SALAD WITH SWEET POTATOES, BROWN RICE AND BROCCOLI

OK – ONE more. Can you tell I love the fall share? This is another one that uses up lots of share ingredients. I’ll be adding some rotisserie chicken to this and making a meal out of it.

Fall CSA: Week 1

Harvesting Kale.

We’ve had some lovely harvest mornings over the last few weeks. This late summer/early fall is so much better than last fall (remember when it would not stop raining?). The crops are looking lovely and the diversity is amazing. We hope you really enjoy your first fall share.

I made a video, which I have been meaning to do for years now, to talk about what to do when you get the bounty of the fall share home. Forgive us for the amateur nature of the video – we farm full time, so this is a late night/early morning endeavor. I also didn’t use a script.

Fennel goes in the fridge in a bag. 🙂

What’s in the share:
(Please note that when we are providing choices we can’t always ensure that the choices will all be available at the end of the day. We do our best, but we can’t always guess what people will choose, and sometimes we do just plain run out.)

Spinach
Head Lettuce
A Pint of Shallots and Garlic

Choose 3:
Radish, sweet turnip, napa cabbage, kale, arugula, escarole, frisee, carrots, extra head of lettuce

Choose 2:
Scallions, Cilantro, Dill, Thyme, Oregano, Savory, Sage

Mix and Match 10 Pounds:
Tomato, pepper, eggplant, leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, delicatta squash, beets, kohlrabi, fennel

Jess’s Recipes
Learn more about Jess in the first blog of the Spring CSA.

NAPA CABBAGE

Napa cabbage is my favorite type of cabbage. It’s very tender and mild and has a delightfully different texture. They also last a good long while in the fridge. Just tear off the outer leaves as you need them and before you know it, you’ll have worked your way through to the middle. This hearty and zingy chicken salad uses up quite a bit or you can try your hand at making a batch of kimchi!

CRUNCHY CHICKEN AND MANGO SALAD

TRADITIONAL NAPA CABBAGE KIMCHI

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH HONEY-LEMON LEEKS

If you’re just joining us for the fall share, you missed last week’s recipe for Chicken with Creamy Dill and Leek Sauce which is one of my favorites but don’t despair – you can find any of the recipes I’ve posted in past weeks by searching on the Upswing website. Another great way to use your leeks is in this delicious honey-lemon-leek sauté that you serve over chicken thighs:

HOW TO USE FRESH HERBS

Fresh herb choice this week so I thought I’d share some 411 on how to make the most of them. First off, as soon as you get your herbs home, take off the twisty-tie and wrap them up loosely in paper towels or a flour sack towel (I buy a bundle of 10 of these online) and put into a produce bag in your crisper drawer. I found this article for you on great ways to use most of the herbs we have up for grabs this week. Sage isn’t listed in the article but sage is great to use when roasting squash or I love to chop up a little bit and add it to sliced apples that I sauté and serve over a bagel with melted cheese for breakfast or as an after school snack.

ALL ABOUT SAVORY

Savory is another herb that isn’t mentioned in the article above and that doesn’t come up in a lot of recipes but it’s delicious and has a colorful history and getting to try unique ingredients is one of the coolest things about being part of a CSA! Summer Savory (as opposed to winter savory) has a peppery flavor, similar to thyme. It has long been used for medicinal purposes to cure all sorts of digestive issues and was long thought to be an aphrodisiac so was a mandatory ingredient in any love potion. If that isn’t enough to make you want to try it, check out this article with more history and lots of suggested uses.

ARUGULA:
My favorite use for arugula is as a topping on a caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza but if you prefer a more traditional recipe, check out this super simple but very flavorful salad:

AUTUMN CHOPPED SALAD

If you’ve been with us since the spring share you might be growing weary of lettuce but that just means you need some new ideas on how to use it! This chopped salad screams fall with apples, pears and dried cranberries. I plan to substitute toasted pecans for the peanuts but do whatever makes you happy.

KERRI MULLEN’S PORTUGESE FUSION SOUP

My friend and fellow CSA shareholder recommended this soup recipe. She knew it was a winner when all 3 of her kids asked for seconds!

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 medium onions, chopped
1 package vegetarian chorizo sausages, sliced – Lightlife Smart Sausages, but also like the Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan crumbles. Or meat sausages
6 cups vegetable broth
1 pound fresh kale, washed, stems discarded, chopped or shredded into small pieces
1 can kidney beans
2 large potatoes, cubed
½ box orzo
Kosher or sea salt

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add oil and cook garlic and onions until onions are soft. Add broth, potatoes and beans. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. Add kale and orzo and simmer 5-10 minutes or until orzo is cooked. Add more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread.