Thanksgiving Part 2

We had a record breaking Thanksgiving market on Saturday, thanks to all who attended.

I had the great idea of posting something on social media every day of November to highlight what we are thankful for. Gratitude keeps me sane. Especially during this year of losing our land, struggling to find a place to farm, wondering if the last ten years was even worth it, wondering if small scale farming is actually accomplishing what I set out to do. Or did I just make myself so busy and tired that I couldn’t do anything else meaningful . . . like so busy that I couldn’t get around to my great idea about daily gratitude posts . . .

Regardless of the challenges we face, which are real and significant, we are so very, very lucky.

· We have excellent friends and family who have supported us and tolerated our perpetually dirty hands, boots and cars, held our baby, cared for our baby, lent a hand in the fields, given us loans and tolerated raw vegetables as gifts for years on end.
· We have an excellent crew. We work with smart, passionate and kind people who bring their best to work, even when its boiling hot, or bitter cold, wet or otherwise uncomfortable. They even bring their best when the work is frustrating, when we are doing something lame because of a mistake I made.
· We have a great group of work-for-shares who help in the field, help with photos, help with recipes, help at the stand. Trading vegetables for help is one of the most satisfying exchanges we make.
· Our customers are excellent. We are constantly amazed by your exemplary behavior in the stand. You are kind to us and each other, you are patient, understanding and excited about the food we grow. We could not exist without you, and just thinking about you all now makes me second guess my second guessing my life choices of the last ten years.
· We get to eat really well.
· We have health insurance (which we would not have if it weren’t for MassHeath and ConnectorCare, so we are grateful for everyone who worked to have affordable health care in our state – our small business would not exist without it).
· We have a home, access to water, electricity, heat and the internet.
· We are not oppressed, afraid of violence, or otherwise marginalized because of our race/ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.
We do not face immediate and dramatic ramifications of human-caused climate change or other ecological man-made disasters.
· We have each other.

We will have more updates about next year in a email to the whole list in the beginning of December, but we do have a temporary lease on a few parcels of land for next year, and will be offering CSA shares, in addition to participating in the Ashland Farmers Market, while continuing to look for our forever farm.

We have some special treats for sale on Monday. We visited a friend who grows certified organic fruit in Boxborough (yes, for real, the unicorn does exist). It is very, very, very hard to grow fruit organically in our climate. Ed, the farmer, is a very special individual and we were lucky enough to get two bushels of superb fruit.

The apple on the left is Grimes Gold, a “tart citrusy crisp dense firm fruit is excellent for both dessert and cooking: wonderful spicy fresh eating, pies, applesauce and cider.”

The apple on the right is Winecrisp, a new cultivar. “[It] is a modern disease-resistant variety developed by the Universities of Prudue, Rutgers and Illinois and introduced in the 1990s. Flavor, as well as disease-resistance, was clearly a goal in the development of WineCrisp.  As the name suggests, this is a crisp apple with a fruity flavor.

Ed’s farm is aptly named Long Run Farm, since you’ve got to be in it for the long run to make investing in fruit, especially organically managed fruit, worth it. We are very lucky to have a small portion of is absolutely precious harvest to offer.

We’ve also got IPM Heirloom Cranberries, grown by our friend Will at his farm, Old Earth Orchard. Although we are usually skeptical of the IPM description because it is so vague, (as long as you identify a pest before you spray it you are considered to be on the “IPM spectrum”). But, he is our friend, and we have worked together in the past and I trust his judgement. He has two varieties to offer, Howes, which are great keepers and make great relish and Early Black which makes excellent sauce.

What’s in the share?

5-6lbs of butternut (2 medium, 1 large)
2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 bag lettuce mix
1 bag spinach
1 bag pea tendrils or mustard greens
1 pint shallots/garlic
10lbs mix and match: carrots, beets, parsnip, turnips (hakurei and purple top), rutabaga, celeriac, cabbage, onions, acorn squash, potatoes, more butternut and sweet potatoes, watermelon and daikon radish.

And now, Jess’s Recipes!!

This is it people! THIS is what we’ve been training for – THANKSGIVING. That beautiful holiday that combines thankfulness and the most delicious foods. Whether you’re picking up your share before or after Thanksgiving, these recipes will help you celebrate the bounty of this harvest season.


These delectable little toasts would make the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer or live it up and have them for breakfast. Toasts spread with creamy mascarpone cheese, topped with seasoned squash (you could absolutely use your leftover mashed squash here) and caramelized onions and a drizzle of maple syrup.


I’m the first to be skeptical of a cooked cabbage but click on the link and look at these beauties and see if you can resist them. I know I can’t! crispy wedges drizzled with a lemony vinaigrette and dusted with parmesan cheese.


These gorgeous hasselback squashes are surprisingly easy but you can definitely pretend that they were as complicated to make as they look to get out of doing the dishes. I won’t tell.


I don’t know if I can ever eat mashed potatoes again without Crispety Cruncheties.


Gorgeous whole-roasted kohlrabi with feta cheese and jalapenos – talk about a flavor explosion!


I love this recipe for using up whatever root veggies I have left on hand. Parsnips, kohlrabi, celery root, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, you name it and you can use it in this recipe. Coarsely mashed with a bacon vinaigrette with just a touch of sweetness. So good!


This one is great for a mixed crowd that may not go for straight-up pureed turnips. Mix them with potatoes and add some crispy sautéed shallots on top and the whole extended family will be asking for seconds!


What’s the most loved part of Thanksgiving dinner? The stuffing of course! This one has sausage, leeks, butternut squash and kale – it’s practically a meal on its own!


Last but not least – don’t forget the pie! Yes, you can do Thanksgiving dinner all the way from appetizers to dessert with your CSA haul. I love how this pie uses regular and mini marshmallows for the topping. If you have a food torch you can use it to make extra crispy bits on the top if you prefer your marshmallows well done.


One week from the big day.

We’ve got you covered.

An incredible variety of produce is headed to the Ashland Thanksgiving Farmer’s Market, Saturday November 23rd, 9am-1pm @ the Ashland Middle School.

You can definitely get all your sides covered with the vegetables we will bring.

We also want to let our CSA members know what will be in the share so they can plan ahead. Remember, if you are in the CSA you need to let us know if you will be picking up the Monday before or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. You should have received and email with a form, if not, email

What’s in the Share:

5-6lbs Butternut (a really big one or two medium)
2 lbs Sweet Potatoes
1/3-1/2 lb lettuce mix
1/4 lb pea tendrils or 1/3 lb slightly spicy salad mix
1 bunch kale
1 pint shallots/garlic
1/2 lb spinach
10 lbs mix and match: carrots, beets, purple top turnips, hakurei turnips, leeks, celeriac, parsnips, red onions, yellow onions, rutabaga, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, white potatoes, red potatoes, acorn squash, more butternut and sweet potatoes

For those of you without a share, we will have all of this plus a few extras at the Ashland Thanksgiving Market on Saturday at the Ashland Middle School from 9am-1pm. ALL of these items will last until Thanksgiving, but if you want to wait, you can shop at the farm stand from 12-6pm on Monday, November 25th.

See you soon!!

And, extra special thanks to Bob Durling Photography for these AMAZING photos that make our produce look like art.

Recipes for Sides and Mains – Try our new vegetable ordering program!

Here’s what we notice:
1. A lot of people are afraid of vegetables they don’t know, but want to try new things and become more proficient in the kitchen.
2. A lot of people are concerned about food waste, and don’t want to buy food they won’t use.
3. A lot of people are really, really busy.
4. Meal kits, although convenient and a great way to try new recipes, have almost no ethics when it comes to packaging, sourcing, shipping, etc, etc. (except our friend, Laurel of AlFreshCo)

So here’s what we are trying:
1. Selecting specific recipes that use the vegetables we grow.
2. Bundling the precise amounts for each recipe together, so you don’t have to figure out what to do with extra (although we know you could, you’ve just got 500 other things to do).
3. We made a list of all the other things you’ll need to make the recipe, and some suggestions of where to find them at the farmers market.
4. We can either pack up an order for you, or you can come select the vegetables you choose at our market or stand.

Jess Girotti, whose been writing recipes for us all year for our CSA emails, is as excited as we are about the idea of bringing our fresh vegetables to customers with easy to make, tasty recipes. We are grateful to her for putting together this week’s recipe offerings based on what we have available on the farm.

Here’s what’s on the menu (scroll down to see full recipes):

Roasted Acorn Squash with Bacon & Maple Syrup ($4)
Honey Turnips ($4)
Warm Winter Vegetable Salad ($6)
Sesame Bok Choy & Carrot Salad ($6)
Spicy Italian Pesto Noodle Soup ($7)
Autumn Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup ($7)
(There is a minimum of 3 recipes required to pre-order. A $5 packing fee will be applied to orders of less than 5 recipes. Smaller amounts can be self-selected at the farmers market table or farm stand. You can always just come select your own vegetables and then use the recipes provided.)
A printed recipe for each of your orders is included.

You can order these recipes here: Recipe Order Form

Pick Up Options:
Saturday, Nov 9th, 9am-1pm at the Hopkinton Winter Market@ Weston Nurseries OR
Tuesday, November 12th, 12-6pm @ our current location, 28 South St, Ashland.

Please understand this is a very preliminary trial of this idea. We don’t actually have any trouble selling all the vegetables we grow now without making this extra effort, but since we are moving, and hopefully going to a larger place, we are trying this out as a way to reach more people. We understand that a traditional CSA is not for everyone, so we’d like to see if this model works for those who want to be eating more fresh, local, sustainably grown vegetables but need a little more structure and flexibility. (structure=what to do with the vegetables, flexibility=how much and when).
Because it’s preliminary, bear with us, and give feedback! If you’d like to have something like this available to you, maybe even for home delivery in the future, please give it a try. If you are already a CSA member (awesome!) you can use these recipes for this upcoming CSA week, all of these vegetables will be available.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Bacon & Maple Syrup
acorn squash
bacon – Don’t have any? Try Shady Pine Farm
Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS: 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.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve alongside roast chicken, sausages or pork with a robust grain like farro, wild rice or brown rice.

Honey Turnips
1 big bunch Hakurei turnips
Fresh thyme
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey – Don’t have any? Try Little Beehive Farm
Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS: Place butter in a pan on medium heat and melt.  Chop turnips into wedges, about 6-8 wedges/turnip, and sauté in butter until slightly transparent.  Add honey, a pinch of thyme and a pinch of salt.  Let the honey dissolve and sauté just a bit longer.  Serve.  The whole process takes about 15 minutes and the turnips are divine.  A great twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dish.   

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve alongside turkey or beef and a green salad.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad
1 small red onion
3 mini sweet potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
1 small beet, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
1 small turnip, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
¼ cup walnuts (optional)
1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley – Don’t have any? Try one of the other farms
1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cup) – Don’t have any? Try Couet Farm – you can substitute any salty cheese

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice, mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve on its own or as a side dish to chicken or other poultry.

Sesame Bok Choy & Carrot Salad
1½ pounds of bok choy, sliced
2 carrots, ribboned using a vegetable peeler
6 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
½ Tbsp honey – Don’t have any? Try Little Beehive Farm
¾ Tbsp sesame oil
½ Tbsp soy sauce
Pinch salt
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 cup toasted almond slices (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Combine the bok choy and carrots to a large bowl. Combine the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and garlic in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately or let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes to let flavors meld. When ready to serve, give it one more good toss and garnish with toasted almond slices, green onions, and sesame seeds if desired.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Pairs perfectly with a fluffy jasmine or basmati rice and steamed fish (see what Boston Sword & Tuna has on hand)

Spicy Italian Pesto Noodle Soup
1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped
2 small shallots
4 carrots
Fresh Sage
Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ pound ground, spicy Italian sausage – Don’t have any? Try Shady Pine Farm
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup basil pesto
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pound pasta – Don’t have any? Try Auntie Dalie’s
Optional: shredded cheese

DIRECTIONS: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage and shallots, and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the carrots, sage, thyme, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes. Add the broth, pesto, and lemon juice. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions.

Stir the kale into the soup, cooking another five minutes. Remove the parmesan rind. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the noodles among bowls and pour the soup overtop. Top each bowl off with cheese, if desired, and allow the cheese to melt slightly. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of

SERVING SUGGESTION: Add a crusty bread (try Birchtree Bread Company if you don’t have any)

Autumn Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon curry powder, plus a bit more for serving
8 cups chicken broth,
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 apple
2 tablespoons honey – Don’t have any? Try Little Beehive Farm
Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add the curry powder and cook a minute more. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the apples and honey. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then puree in a blender in batches. Be sure to leave the hole in the lid open, and cover with a kitchen towel, to allow the steam to escape.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and more honey if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with more curry powder if desired. (Note: As the soup sits, it will thicken up so you may need to add a bit of water to thin it out.)

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

Recipe courtesy of

SERVING SUGGESTION: Add a crusty bread (try Birchtree Bread Company if you don’t have any) and a leafy green salad.