Fall CSA: 5th Distribution

It’s the last fall distribution! It came early this year. We started the spring share a week early, maybe two weeks early? And it shifted everything forward. We are grateful to be close to the end, and it’s really the end for us this year. No Winter Share. We just didn’t have enough land to grow it . . .

But we will be at the Hopkinton Winter Market at Weston Nurseries on Saturday, 11/21 from 9am-1pm. Stop by for all your Thanksgiving needs!

Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. We usually spend it with family from Texas, Nevada, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. We will video chat, and it won’t be the same, but we will count our blessings none the less.

I finally got to manage a Thursday distribution last week. It was great to see so many of you. I’m sure you’ve heard me say it, but actually interacting with customers makes such a huge impact on my well-being. This year was a particularly challenging growing season – and I went a little too long without catching up with you all at a distribution. I’m so grateful for all of you, but I’d especially like to say thank you to members who have stuck with us through this transition year. It was a big change, and it meant everything to have your continued support. Tuesday members, I’m not sure I’ll be able to be there tomorrow, but let’s just take a moment to be thankful for Shannon (the lovely person who helps in the CSA stand on Tuesdays). She stepped up for us BIG TIME this year and made such positive impact on our operation. We are so grateful for Shannon.

What about next year, you ask? Well, we are just going to have to send another email about that. We are 95% certain we are buying a farm that will allow us to continue operations next year, bring back our winter share and expand to include greater food access and food justice work. And we’ll be able to continue our current CSA pick ups, hopefully with additional days and sites! Also, don’t worry about signing up for a share. We’ll give current members a chance to register first to make sure you don’t miss out.

Our kitchen/office/retreat center.

We managed to do a child-free “retreat” in our kitchen to do some major planning this past week. Kevin and I are an excellent team. We’ve settled into our roles, trust each other, and see enough of each other that we usually are on the same page. Believe it or not, we don’t spend very much time together, it’s more like many moments of overlap throughout the day. It feels like such a luxury to sit together and plan/brainstorm without also doing other work, talking over a yelling child, falling alseep . . . We are hopeful we can take Upswing Farm to a whole other level next year.

Thank you for supporting us, for committing to the realities of not only seasonal production but also to a farm in flux. We couldn’t do this without you.

What’s in the share:

Potatoes (Sparrow Arc Farm) 4 pounds
Sweet Potatoes (Riverland Farm) 2 pounds
Onions 1.5 pound
Carrots (Copper Kettle Farm and Riverland Farm)
Cabbage (red, green or savoy)
Greens Choice: Kale, Frisee, Escarole
Arugula bunch
Head Lettuce: 2
Spinach: 1/2 pound
Mix and Match roots: Carrots (limit 2 pounds), watermelon radish, beets, rutabaga, sweet turnip, kohlrabi

WATERMELON RADISH, ORANGE AND GOAT CHEESE SALADhttps://alexandracooks.com/2014/12/24/watermelon-radish-orange-goat-cheese-salad/This GORGEOUS salad was recommended by a fellow member. I will definitely be trying it!
CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR CARROTShttps://damndelicious.net/2015/11/18/cinnamon-brown-sugar-carrots/A perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. Sweet and cinnamony with a hint of orange.
WHOLE ROASTED CARROTS WITH FRESH GINGERhttps://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/whole-roasted-carrots-fresh-gingerIf you prefer a savory carrot dish, try these whole roasted carrots with a gingery kick.
RUTABAGA, CELERY ROOT AND POTATO GRATINhttps://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/rutabaga-celery-root-and-potato-gratinA fun twist on a traditional gratin.
CHEESY POTATO CASSEROLE WITH BUTTERY RITZ CRACKERShttps://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cheesy-potato-casserole/Take your mashed potatoes to a whole new level. This is a go-big-or-go-home Thanksgiving side dish.
EASY CREAMY AU GRATIN POTATOEShttps://www.foodiecrush.com/au-gratin-potatoes/Not only are these easy, but they can also be made ahead!
THANKSGIVING KALE SALAD WITH MAPLE-ROSEMARY PECANShttps://loveleafco.com/thanksgiving-kale-salad/SO GOOD! A hearty kale salad with scrumptious maple-rosemary pecans, roasted butternut squash, feta, pomegranate seeds and mouthwatering maple-shallot vinaigrette.
ARUGULA STUFFED PORK TENDERLOINhttps://www.giangiskitchen.com/recipe/arugula-stuffed-pork-tenderloin/Pork tenderloin stuffed with arugula, basil and mozzarella and topped with a creamy red wine sauce.
TATSOI WITH OYSTER SAUCEhttps://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/tatsoi-oyster-sauce/Elevate your sauteed tatsoi with this umami packed oyster sauce.
FRISEE AND ESCAROLE SALADhttps://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipe/antoni-porowski-frisee-escarole-salad-recipeThis light salad is a perfect side to balance out your Thanksgiving table.
ESCAROLE, BACON AND ROASTED SQUASH SALAD WITH DRIED APRICOTS AND PEPITAShttps://heatherchristo.com/2017/11/07/escarole-bacon-and-roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-dried-apricots-and-pepitas/This is like Thanksgiving in a salad.
SWEET POTATO AND TURNIP MASH WITH SAGE BUTTERhttps://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250177/sweet-potato-turnip-mash-with-sage-butter/Sweet potatoes and turnip are the perfect match, especially when drizzled with sage butter.
KOHLRABI AND LEEK GRATINhttps://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/275789/kohlrabi-gratin/Kohlrabi and leeks combine in this lighter gratin.
BEET FRITTERS WITH BEET GREENS YOGURThttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/beet-fritters-with-beet-greens-yogurtCrispy beet and potato fritters with a creamy yogurt sauce. All the yumminess of beets without the long roasting time.
ROASTED CABBAGE WITH WALNUTS AND PARMESANhttps://smittenkitchen.com/2019/11/roasted-cabbage-with-walnuts-and-parmesan/These are AMAZING. Crispy wedges drizzled with a lemony vinaigrette and dusted with parmesan cheese. My whole family complained when they heard what we were having but then gobbled them ALL down and asked for more.

Fall CSA: 4th Distribution

Our greens (and many of our field crops) are safe. Some growing in greenhouses, some harvested and stored in the cooler. I wasn’t sure it would happen this year, but our cooler is stuffed to the gills.

I love greenhouse growing (in fall, winter and spring). I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m a control freak and I am allowed a little more control than in the field. We have a really nice crop of spinach, lettuce and frisee/escarole we are “banking” for the last distribution (next week). Believe it or not, all your greens this week will come from the field. We did rush to harvest some before the snow, and some we kept under row cover, and then under piles of heavy snow, but they will come out ok.

When temps get below 28, like they did Saturday morning, that’s when we start to lose crops that are otherwise somewhat cold hardy. But a nice insulating layer of snow can go a really, really long way in protecting those crops from the cold. It hadn’t all melted yesterday when I was at the farm, but I feel pretty confident that everything we left in the field will be ok.

And sweeter! The colder it gets the sweeter our fall veggies get. Plants that can “overwinter” begin creating and storing more sugars when the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. These sugars, which plants as energy when things warm up and the plants convert to seed creating growth in spring. We, however, intercept these plants while still full of sugar (and vitamins and minerals and fiber).

You know what else is sweet? A functioning democracy. Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday. If you can’t make it to pick up because you are voting or volunteering, please just send kevin@upswingfarm.com an email and we can arrange an alternative pick up. The easiest option for us is for you to come to Weston Nurseries on Thursday, 12pm-5pm, but we also have offers from members to deliver shares, or you might be able to pick up at a few other locations.

Tuesday temps are going to drop down to 26 at night from a high of 40. I’m not sure when we will hit “freezing” but as most of you know, our produce doesn’t like to be at less than 32 degrees after harvested. We encourage Tuesday members to come before 5pm this week, but we will be there until 6, as usual.

It’s another great few weeks to be eating local produce. We’ve got great variety in the share and we hope you enjoy it. Our potatoes, coming form Sparrow Arc Farm are here abundantly. Harvest was slowed for them, the rain that didn’t rain all summer to help the crops grow came in a deluge during harvest, slowing down the process and delaying delivery. We were fine to wait.

We love being patient and understanding. It feels WAY better than being demanding and disappointed. Kindness and understanding provide generosity and flexibility but requires little more than grace and patience. We are so grateful to all our customers and community members who are patient and understanding with us.

Jess has some great recipes this week, but I just wanted to add one that I’m really into right now:

Fennel, watermelon radish and shallot salad
One bulb fennel
One watermelon radish (peeled)
One small shallot, or half a shallot
1 tsp balsamic
1TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP orange juice or 1 tsp lemon on lime juice
1 tsp honey
Lettuce, pea tendrils or other salad greens
Instructions: Chop fennel, radish and shallot very finely, but allow for “longer” pieces, no need to dice. Toss with dressing ingredients and serve on top of salad greens, or mix with salad greens.

We hope you enjoy your veggies!!!!

What’s in the share:
brussels sprouts: (roughly 1 quart)
potatoes: 3-4 pounds
mix and match 3-4 pounds: small cabbage, beets, rutabaga, sweet turnips, fennel, green peppers, watermelon radish
carrots: 1 bunch
lettuce heads/mix: (depends on yield)
pea tendrils: 1 bag
herb choices 2: cilantro, parsley, baby celery, thyme, sage, oregano
leeks: 1 pound
shallots/garlic pint
greens choice, choose 1: escarole, frisee, tatsoi (like a combo between spinach and bok choy), sugar loaf chicory
sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkins mix and match

Recipes

SIMPLE LEEK FRITTATAhttps://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/simple-leek-frittataPerfect for breakfast or a quick weeknight meal.
CHICKEN WITH CREAMY DILL AND LEEK SAUCEhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252715/chicken-with-creamy-dill-leek-sauce/Whenever I see leeks, I think of this recipe. This is my favorite way to roast chicken. Not only is it super easy but it makes a whole meal in one roasting pan (although I usually add a salad as well). As an added bonus, cooking the chicken on a base of veggies keeps it from splattering grease all over the oven, causing massive quantities of smoke to pour out of the oven and setting off your fire alarms. While this is a great way to ensure that your family knows it’s time for dinner, I prefer the quieter method used in this recipe.
20 LEEK RECIPES THAT ARE LIKE “ONIONS WHO?”https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/23-favorite-leek-recipes-like-onionsLeeks have a more delicate and slightly sweeter flavor than onions – these recipes really highlight their amazing flavors.
CREAMY MASHED POTATOEShttps://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/our-favorite-creamy-mashed-potatoesLooking for the perfect mashed potato recipe? Look no further. They recommend using a ricer but they’re still delicous if you mash them by hand.
SWEET POTATO VEGGIE BURGERShttps://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/vegan-sweet-potato-burgers/These veggie burgers happen to be vegan as well (but I don’t like to put that in the name because it scares people away). They’re DELICIOUS.
ESCAROLE SALAD WITH RED QUINOA AND HAZELNUTShttps://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/escarole-salad-red-quinoa-and-hazelnutsThe honey vinaigrette and apple contrast beautifully with the slightly bitter escarole and the quinoa adds some protein making this perfect for a light lunch or dinner side.
APPLE, CARROT & CABBAGE CHOPPED SALADhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252998/apple-carrot-cabbage-chopped-salad/This colorful autumn slaw has a hint of cinnamon and orange.
SAUSAGE MEATBALL SANDWICHES WITH FENNELhttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sausage-meatball-sandwichesThese meatball subs are a step above any meatball sub you’ve ever had before. The sauteed fennel in the sauce and the simple basil sauce really take it to the next level.
CREAMY ROOT VEGETABLE STEW WITH GRUYERE CROSTINIhttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-root-vegetable-stew-with-gruyre-crostiniWhenever 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 411https://www.peelwithzeal.com/watermelon-radish-recipes/Everything you ever need to know about watermelon radishes! How to store them, how to cook them, and even how to make a cocktail with them!