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


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!

Fall CSA: 3rd Distribution

I hiked up Mt Wachusett by myself last week. Kevin took Harvey to help him repair a piece of equipment. It was really nice to be away from everything for a half a day. I highly recommend it. I parked at the Audubon Sanctuary and hiked the mid-state trail, but there are lots of other trails and roads. I was impressed with how accessible it was. The photo is of Echo lake, close to the top of the mountain. It was a perfect day.

We took it easy last week. The pictures below might look like I’m a great mom and Harvey is a perfect kid, but honestly, snagging a smiling picture is an accomplishment. It was important to take a little time to be one on one with Harvey without trying to also get things done on the farm, or around the house and to take a little time away from Harvey, because parenting takes a lot of effort. If you feel like a terrible parent right now, don’t worry, you aren’t. That’s what Kevin tells me anyway.

Last Monday was Indigenous People’s Day. As I get older (35) time has gotten a lot smaller. One hundred years doesn’t seem like much. Five hundred is even comprehensible and can be a part of my linear understanding of time as opposed to some abstract, disconnected history. I can imagine New England before colonization and industrialization. I can stand in the forest even with the sounds of airplanes and car traffic humming in the background and imagine no suburban sprawl. No houses that couldn’t easily be re-made with natural materials. No fences.

But there are still people in that imagining. Many Indigenous people who managed a vast ecosystem with the intention of cultivating immense quantities of food to be accessible without excessive work.  The land management practices of Southern New England’s Indigenous peoples were so different from those of the arriving colonizers from Europe, that they couldn’t see what was right in front of their faces. They decided that because the land was not “improved” based on European standards that it must be up for grabs.

Many early contracts between Indigenous populations and settlers in Southern New England are now understood to be a cultural misunderstanding (perhaps deliberate misunderstandings in many cases) with grave consequences. Indigenous people harvested much of their animal proteins through fishing, foraging and hunting. They managed forests with slow-burning fires to create easily navigated hunting grounds. They negotiated land use rights between families and tribes. But there was no concept of land ownership, only land use. Fences would have no use, since there were no domesticated animals to contain (and keep away from the cultivated plots). When they made agreements with colonizers, they most likely understood them as land use, or usufruct rights, not ownership.

What if we had managed to preserve Indigenous sovereignty and adopted their views towards land and ownership? What would the landscape look like today?

Chris Newman, an Indigenous farmer in Virginia, is imagining a regenerative and sustainable food system that goes beyond any fantasies of going back to white settler-owned small farms.  He posted recently on Instagram:

What if agriculture could be completely different?
What if farmers’ compensation and equity weren’t tied to the value and commodification of owned land, or a pipe dream that people will someday pay the “true value” for food?
What if, for every 1,000 acres of “farmland,” only 100 were devoted to intensive regenerative agriculture, with the rest devoted to extensive indigenous management?
What if that 900 acres were managed to produce a diverse, healthy, culturally appropriate diet for free or pay-what-you-can to communities suffering under food apartheid, all in a rich ecosystem expressing its natural character and remaining open to the public?
What if BIPOC farmers spent 10% of their time doing this extensive management and actually got paid for it?
What if we reimagined our ideas of what parks and green space – things the public happily pays for anyway – are, and what aims they serve?
What if tax dollars, institutional endowments, and private fortunes paid for this low-maintenance landscape model?
What if a farm producing 50K chickens for $1M revenue had an additional $1M revenue from extensive land management?
What if half that extra $1M went to real living wages for people in the food system?
What if the other half, free of the need to produce returns for speculative investors, turned that $20 chicken into a $10 chicken?
What if we turned the power of public and large, private purses and landscapes toward an agriculture and ecology that ACTUALLY worked for everyone? What if we did subsidies in a way that actually works?
What. If. We. Won?”

We are not going back to anything. We are going forward and one of our many opportunities for success (if the goal is to preserve our planet by protecting and sustaining the life on it) is to center Indigenous communities whose land we stand on right now.

We are very interested in expanding our vision of food production to be more equitable and sustainable.

Additional Resources (and indirect references):
Hunger For Justice Podcast Series
Commons and Enclosure in the of Colonization of North America
Chris Newman’s Blog
“Changes in the Land,” by William Cronon.

….back to the here and now. It finally rained a lot. Maybe better late than never? I don’t know. What a year. I keep catching up with farmer friends on the phone who I would probably have run into already at some point this year at a workshop or gathering of some sort if it weren’t for COVI-19 and it’s the same story for all of us. Somehow there is still food to harvest and distribute, but we can’t figure out how because it’s been such a tough growing season. It’s nice to have peers who understand. I recommend calling someone you love/admire/respect who you haven’t chatted with recently and ask them how they are doing.

What’s in the share:
carrots: one bunch
radish: one bunch
onions: one pound
sweet potatoes: two pounds
head lettuce: two
mild mixed greens: one bag (a little larger than salad leaf, just cut before adding to salad or lightly saute. We just ate some under lentils and rice and they were lovely.)
spinach: one bag
pumpkin/butternut: 4 pounds
napa cabbage: one head
peppers/eggplant/tomatoes: 1-2 pounds
choose 3: beets, sweet turnips, kale, collards, chard, arugula, fennel, frisee, bok choy, herbs
hopefully brussels sprouts*

*we have a bad case of aphids in the Brussels sprouts this year. We did everything we could to have great brussels sprouts (except for spray them with toxic chemicals). It’s rough. But that’s farming in 2020 for you.

Baby ladybug on a brussles sprout plant infested with aphids. Here’s some more info about aphids on the brassica family, in case you are interested. We are picking the best brussels to put in the share this week but unfortunately, we are going to loose a fair amount to aphids. They won’t be perfect, but we just ate a pint and they were delicious.

Summer CSA: Week 6

Let’s do a photo blog today.

We found the first cherry tomato while weeding around the plants last Thursday. It’ll be a week or two before they make it to the share, but they are on the horizon!

I can’t remember if we posted about the winter squash – but they are growing! So fast! The oats we seeded in the pathways to help hold soil together and suppress weeds are working wonders.

Harvey loves fennel, you might too!

We got to spend a day and half at a friend’s family cabin over the weekend. A Smithsonian Magazine from October 2019 was on the table. Along with articles about how George Washington may have actually fired the first shot that started the French and Indian War (7 Years War), women scientists who have not been credited for their discoveries, and a socialist uprising in Oklahoma 100 years ago, there was an article about how Indigenous people are finally being allowed to forage for some traditional food crops (specifically sochan) in National Parks. (A really good 4th of July magazine.) Imagine instead of intensively cultivating little (or vast) plots of land by turning soil and working tirelessly against nature, working with nature to cultivate vast ecosystems full of food, which is what Indigenous communities did for thousands of years on the very land we stand on today.

Imagination is an important part of “Emergent Strategy” by adrienne maree brown (the book I’m reading and referencing weekly on this blog). I actually was reminded of the book when LeVar Burton interviewed Walidah Imarisha after reading one of Ursula K. Le Guin’s short stories on his podcast “LeVar Burton Reads” (my go-to this March/April when working alone). Imarisha and adrienne maree brown co-edited a collection of short stories entitled “Octavia’s Brood”, “Science Fiction from Social Movements An anthology of visionary science fiction and speculative fiction written by organizers and activists.”

During the interview Imarisha states: “All organizing is science fiction . . . every time we imagine a world without borders, every time we imagine a world without prisons, every time we imagine a world without oppression, that’s science fiction because we’ve never seen that world . . . We can’t build what we can’t imagine.”

It’s important to remember, to know, that we are being fed lies constantly by people and institutions with power who benefit from the short-term profit of the current global/industrial agriculture complex. They say that there is not enough food to feed the world, that we constantly need to improve our yields through chemical input and technology. What we need to know is that there are examples of food production throughout history and around the globe that are capable of producing immense quantities of food in a much more sustainable and just way. We need to imagine the world that is well taken care of, feeding us what we need to thrive.

And always remember that famine is a result of social injustice. Not environmental disaster.

My evolving goal is to be as humble as possible and to listen and learn from people who are already working towards a more just and sustainable food system that steps outside the European/White Colonizer paradigm of food production. Below is a link to the broadcast I mentioned last week which has me thinking intensely about how flawed the paradigm of the family farm actually is, and how we might need to put it aside almost completely in order to move forward towards real, productive change.

Juneteeth Broadcast by A Growing Culture (htttp://agrowingculture.org/hfj). Chris Newman’s presentation begins at 2:55:00 and has been on my mind constantly for the last two weeks. The whole broadcast is important and should be watched.

I accidentally typed ‘sidway.b’ (my maiden name) into a google search the other day (I meant to try and sign into an old email account) and it linked me to a genealogical report on the decedents of “Elder John Strong” and early British Settler in New England (turns out he is one of my ancestors). A quick Wikipedia search revealed:

“He later moved to Windsor, Connecticut, on the Connecticut River where he was a leading figure in the new Connecticut colony. In 1659 he moved 40 miles further up the river to the Connecticut River town of Northampton, Massachusetts—then a frontier town surrounded by Nipmuck[3] and Pocumtuc[4] Indian nations about 100 miles (160 km) inland from Boston. One of the early settlers of the town, he operated a tannery for many years, helped defend the town against Indian attacks during King Philip’s War (1675-1676) and also played an important role in town and church affairs.[5]

A more accurate way to say “helped defend the town against Indian attacks” might be “violently prevented Indigenous people from reclaiming stolen land”. It doesn’t feel good to think about it like this, but it’s the honest way to think about it. I want to live in a society that is just, kind and generous. That can’t begin to happen until I fully acknowledge the long history that brought me here and the means that made my existence possible.

And now on to the share . . . it’s a really good one this week.


Peas (the last)
New Potatoes (quart)
LOTS of Zucchini/summer squash
Head Lettuce (a little damage from hail but actually pretty primo)
Choice of 3 more items (slightly smaller bunches this week so you can choose more items): celery, fennel, basil, cilantro, scallions, beets, radish, kale, chard, extra head of lettuce, cabbage, arugula, bok choy . . .


CRUNCHY ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT DRESSING https://juliasalbum.com/crunchy-asian-salad-with-peanut-dressing/ I love the flavors and textures in this colorful and crunchy salad.

HERBED POTATO SALAD WITH FENNEL RADISH AND MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE https://recipes.oregonlive.com/recipes/herbed-potato-salad-with-fennel-radish-and-mustard-vinaigrette Summer isn’t the same without potato salad. This is a fun twist with fennel and radish. Don’t throw out the fennel fronds – chop them up and toss them in for added flavor and color.

SUMMER KALE SALAD https://www.eatwell101.com/summer-kale-salad-recipe

RAINBOW CHARD SLAW https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rainbow-Chard-Slaw-51169200

Too hot to think about cooking your chard? Check out this colorful summer slaw. If the dressing is more than you want to deal with just use your favorite slaw dressing either homemade or store bought if you want super simple.

SLOW COOKED SUMMER SQUASH WITH LEMON AND THYME https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/slow-cooked-summer-squash-with-lemon-and-thyme This is a great dish to cook up on the weekend and then use it in meals all week. It’s perfect as a side with grilled meats, tossed with pasta or used in sandwiches.

Summer CSA: Week 5

Hail at our house in Bellingham. The hail in Franklin wasn’t quiet as large, but lasted at least 15 minutes (says Tim, the farm owner). We also got between 4 and 6 inches of rain . . . we are having a hard time figuring it out since there are different amounts in all the buckets we leave around as “rain gauges”.
Did I invoke the wrath of the weather when making this art with Harvey on Sunday morning? Rain, humidity, thunder, lighting, “brown” (Harvey’s idea), clouds and . . . HAIL!

It looks bad, I know, and it is bad for some crops, but honestly, it could be WAY, WAY worse. We luckily had a lot of weeds in the pathways and covers over some of our most tender crops to try and keep flea beetle, leaf minor and root maggots out, so they didn’t get too badly beaten. So far the only thing we planned to pick this week that we lost completely is . . . was a super gourmet mild mustard mix that would have been a choice with the arugula and lettuce. We lost a really stellar looking planting of lettuce, but we have another one at Eliot St in Ashland which did not get hail. Plus some of the lettuce might pull through.

Oh well. We have lots of produce, and yes I wish we didn’t lose that mustard mix or that lettuce, and our epic battle with getting a good stand of carrots in 2020 is made even harder by the wash out, but guess what? We are really good at this and it could have been way worse. (If you’ve been with us long enough you will remember the hail of 2017 . . . it was almost the exact same date, June 27th!)

If you all could dial down your invocation of rain though . . . I think 1-2 inches at a time, and a little gentler would result in more of a net gain for the farm. 😉

Quick update on my anti-racism work: still reading Emergent Strategy by adrianne maree brown (see week 4 blog for more). Here’s a really important quote that elaborates on something I read the other day that stated: “White Urgency Is Violence”. I am attending this virtual workshop by Ebony Janice Moore on July 22nd.

In emergent strategy, the author states:

“There is such an urgency in the multitude of crises we face, it can make it hard to remember that in fact it is urgency thinking (urgent, constant, unsustainable growth) that got us to this point, and that our potential success lies in doing deep, slow, intentional work.” – AMB

I am also reviewing the National Young Farmer’s Coalition’s Racial Equity Toolkit and trying to be open to/seek out new information from new voices. I found this article from the Stanford Medicine particularly interesting and inspiring: “All-black ambulance service inspired today’s EMS system.” If you need an example of divesting from police and investing in communities/community care, this one is clear cut.


Beets or Sweet Turnips (if you haven’t tried sweet turnips yet, do it now! wrap in foil and grill!)
Kale, Swiss Chard or Frisee
Radish, Fennel or Broccoli (might be different choices on Thursday)
Zucchini and Cucumbers 2-3 fruits
Scallions or Cilantro
Arugula or Lettuce Mix


GLAZED SUGAR SNAP PEAS AND TURNIPShttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/glazed-sugar-snap-peas-and-turnips-recipe-2107215Super quick saute with just a kiss of sweetness.
HONEY GLAZED TURNIPShttps://www.marthastewart.com/326905/honey-glazed-turnipsThis super fast side dish is so yummy even your kids will eat it!
QUICK-PICKLED BABY TURNIPShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quick-pickled-baby-turnipsDon’t be afraid to try baby turnips even if you’re not usually a turnip fan. Baby turnips or salad turnips are mild and tender and don’t have the bite that some people are opposed to. You can chop them up and sauté them with their greens, dice them and throw them into a fried rice dish, roast them, grill them or slice them up in your salad. You can also pickle them! This recipe makes slightly sweet, slightly spicy pickled turnips but you could use any quick-pickle recipe if this one doesn’t sound like your thing.
SAUTEEED SALAD TURNIPS WITH TURNIP GREENShttps://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/06/japanese-turnips-saute-easy-side-dish-recipe.htmlWhile it’s always a good idea to separate your turnips from the greens as soon as you get home, don’t toss the greens! They’re packed with antioxidants and nutrients and pair perfectly with the turnips in this super simple side.
RADISH AND TURNIP HASH WITH GREEN GARLIC AND FRIED EGGShttps://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-radish-and-turnip-hash-with-fried-eggs-230586Great for breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner, this recipe makes a mouth watering hash from radishes, turnips and green garlic. Top it with some farm fresh eggs and sprinkle with microgreens or pea shoots.
REFRIGERATOR PICKLES WITH CARROTS, CUKES, YOU NAME IT!https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ted-allen/refrigerator-pickles-cauliflower-carrots-cukes-you-name-it-recipe-2119945OK – I’ve been holding out on this one, but I think it’s time. This is my favorite “use up my share” recipe. It works great for the veggies listed but you can also include green beans, scallions, radishes, zucchini, onions, peppers, asparagus. The options are endless. I usually do at least a triple batch at a time and the kids LOVE to make them. They help cut up the veggies and then they build mini jungles in the jars. The tall veggies are the different trees, the garlic is birds, the seeds and spices are the leaves and (I hesitate to include this part but it’s adds significantly to their amusement level) the cauliflower is bird poop. LOL. To finish it off, we flood the jungle with the salty tsunami brine. It’s good clean fun. These pickles are not shelf-stable but will keep in your fridge for about 3 months.
CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-summer-vegetable-tostadasThese tostadas are as pretty as they are delicious. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and throw in some black beans!
BAKED PARMESAN ZUCCHINI FRIEShttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/baked-parmesan-zucchini-fries-3365019Got zucchini? I know you do! While zucchini bread is delicious and is often everyone’s go-to for using up zucchini, it actually uses shockingly little zucchini. These fries are delicious and easy and will use up quite a bit of your stash. I highly recommend adding some fresh chopped dill in with the bread crumbs and don’t use plain breadcrumbs – the panko breadcrumbs make them super crispy.
ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH FETA AND DILLhttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/zucchini-fritters-with-feta-and-dill-2111879I like to slice zucchini into thin strips, toss it with balsamic vinaigrette and grill it for a few minutes on each side but I have a hard time getting the kids into eating it this way. Fritters are a great way to use up lots of zucchini that the kids will still eat. I love the different spin on these with the feta, dill and lemon.
CHARRED VEGETABLE AND BEAN TOSTADAS WITH LIME CREMAhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/270963/charred-vegetable-bean-tostadas-with-lime-crema/While we’re talking tacos we shouldn’t leave out these hearty vegetarian tostadas. They’re a flavor explosion and brimming with good-for-you ingredients.
CARROT ZUCCHINI CAKEhttps://mamasgottabake.com/2013/04/carrot-zucchini-cake/I (Brittany) made this with Harvey, as you might know if you follow us on social media. I did tweak it: I used 2 cups zucchini and 3/4 cups carrot and added 1/2 cup flour. I also made buttercream frosting, because I didn’t have cream cheese.
GRILLED GRUYERE AND ZUCCHINI SANDWICHES WITH SMOKY PESTOhttp://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-gruyere-and-zucchini-sandwiches-smoky-pestoI make these sandwiches weekly during the summer. They’re quick, inexpensive and the whole family devours them. I usually make up a big batch of regular pesto whenever we get basil in the share and freeze it in silicone ice cube trays so I have plenty on hand which makes this recipe even faster. I love the Hearth & Stone Garlic Herb English Muffins (I get mine at Whole Foods) for these but they’re good with whatever kind you have on hand. I frequently swap out summer squash for the zucchini if that’s what I have on hand and they’d be delicious with tomatoes or peppers too.
ZUCCHINI BREAD (OR MUFFINS) WITH OATShttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/zucchini-bread-oatsWe’re up in Maine camping this week so I made up a big batch of these muffins to have on hand for breakfast and snacks. The recipe makes two loaves of bread but I put the batter into muffin tins and reduce the cooking time to 25-30 minutes (makes 24 muffins). I also swap out most of the flour for white-whole wheat flour.

Summer CSA: Week 4

The hero of the share this week? Burgandy purple sprouting broccoli. Outrageously stunning, fun to pick, delicious to eat. What a treasure. So glad we gave this variety a whirl.

So, I was going to write a rain blog, but guess what? I’ve written like five of those over the last 10 years. Click here, to read the rain blog from 2018, the last time it got dry like this. We are on sandy soil right now instead of silt/loam which holds moisture better than sand. Think” hot beach” when you think of our fields right now. We do have irrigation this year (town water, $$$, yikes!!) and we are running some kind of irrigation almost 24/7 to keep plants alive (and growing). A little rain would go a long way.

Instead, I’m going to write a little about the book(s) I’m reading and work I’m doing, in my attempt to educate myself more on how to dismantle systems of white oppression so I can be ready to take action. For years I have struggled with the manifestation of my desire to “be part of the solution”. I studied environmental policy and sociology in college and basically decided it was “too depressing” so I started working on farms so I could be “a part of the solution.”

What an incredible amount of privilege to chose to put aside dealing directly with systemic environmental justice problems so I could go learn how to farm. Second, without all my class privilege I don’t think I could have afforded to say, “hey, it’s ok, I will make almost no money for years so I can learn how to do this job that might not make any money.”

After more than a decade of farming full-time, I’m not sure I’ve done much more than promote an overly idealized, white-colonizer version of sustainability in the form of the “small family farm”.

I’m going to stop here, because I want to make sure you know the things I am watching and reading. And because I don’t have much clarity beyond my need to keep reading, keep listening, even when its painfully uncomfortable, and I need to be ready for change.

The book I’m reading is “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by adrienne maree brown. (I’m also simultaneously re-reading “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, which is one of the foundations for the authors understanding of emergent strategy). I’ve meant to read this book for years. I should have read this book years ago. It sings to me – I almost feel guilty for how much joy I derive from it.

“Emergence is a way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions” – Nick Obolensky
“Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and the mind . . . Emergent strategy is how we intentionally change in ways that grow our capacity to embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.” – adrienne maree brown

Without having finished the book I already know it is an incredible guide, not only for how to work more deliberately support and make space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, but how to reinvent the way I have been trained to exist in the world so that I can be a better collaborator, a better ally, and maybe transform my entire approach to farming and life?

I also tuned in to a portion of the Juneteenth Broadcast hosted by A Growing Culture on Friday as I bagged greens for market. I don’t think you can watch a recording right now, but I think it will be available soon. I got to hear Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms speak for the first time. I’m going to paraphrase, because I can’t yet find a recording to get a direct quote but, during his presentation he said, ‘agriculture in America is the result of Europeans stealing too much land from indigenous people and then stealing African people in order to have enough labor to farm it.’ There is a lot more to what he said than that, and I have since read subsequent articles he has written which clearly articulate other ideas I have been exposed to over the last few years . . . read “Small Farm’s Aren’t The Answer.”

I don’t have presentable takeaways from this work yet, other than I have a growing understanding that I’ve been doing lots of things wrong, perpetuating injustice and there is so, so much room to grow, change and evolve as a person and as a business so the effort and energy I put into the world can directly move us all closer to a “just and liberated world.” AMB

Eastern Black Swallow Tail in the greenhouse last week. Protecting pollinators is important – not as important as social justice and dismantling systems of oppression. We can do both.

What’s in the Share:

The first cucumber and zucchini: 1-3 fruits depending on yield
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Head Lettuce
Choices (2): (lots of odds and ends this week) kale, escarole, scapes, cabbage, beets, extra lettuce . . . maybe a few other things)


WHAT IS PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI?https://www.olivemagazine.com/guides/best-ever/best-ever-purple-sprouting-broccoli-recipes/Purple Sprouting Broccoli is a nutty, more tender version of traditional broccoli and it’s even better for you. Higher in Vitamins C and A, fewer carbs and more protein. You can use it in any recipe that calls for broccoli or try out one of these recipes designed to highlight this variety.
CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-summer-vegetable-tostadasThese tostadas are as pretty as they are delicious. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and throw in some black beans!
SNAP PEAS WITH MEYER LEMON AND MINThttps://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-snap-peas-with-meter-lemon-and-mint-recipes-from-the-kitchn-81633On the rare occasion that the kids and I don’t polish off the snap peas by the time we get home from picking up our share, I love to sauté them which really brings out their flavor. This recipe has all the flavors of the season with Meyer lemon (I won’t tell if you use a regular lemon) and fresh mint.
CURRIED COUSCOUS WITH BROCCOLI & FETAhttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/curried-couscous-with-broccoli-fetaAnother quick and inexpensive vegetarian summer main dish that can be made in advance and served up whenever you’re ready for it. For an extra protein kick you can add grilled chicken or steak.
FRISEE SALAD WITH ROASTED BEETShttps://www.finecooking.com/recipe/frisee-salad-with-roasted-beets-orange-vinaigretteFrisée is a type of lettuce in the chicory and endive family. It has a slightly bitter or peppery flavor and looks exactly like it sounds. Pair them with beets and an orange vinaigrette in this side salad – add grilled chicken for a main dish.

Summer CSA: Week 3

We are loving this cool weather.

Hello Everyone,

Well, here we are in week 3 of the CSA. We haven’t been posting CSA emails on our blog, in part because it makes it a two-step process and we’ve been really short on time, and in part because demand has been so high for our products, we felt bad flaunting sold-out shares. Also, shares haven’t always been the same on Tuesday and Thursday this year, more so than in previous years, and people complaining about fairness in the CSA makes us crazy.

But, the Ashland Farmer’s Market is now open, and although it is different this year, you can still get tons of great farm products (snacking on an egg on locally-grown-whole-grain-sour-dough-toast from Crust right now). As always, we do our best of prioritize our CSA members, but we also love our farmers market customers, and we are excited that production (after a weird and wild spring) is finally ramping up.

This week’s share has the first carrots and peas of the season, as well as more delicious salad and cooking greens and kohlrabi!

What’s in the share:
Carrots (tender, baby – don’t cook, just consume!)
Head Lettuce
Salad Greens Choice: Micros, Arugula, Mild Mustards/Mix
Cooking Greens Choice: Bok Choy, Kale, Swiss Chard, Escarole, Frisee
Peas/Strawberries: (some amount of either or both)
Broccoli (for Tuesday)/Zucchini (for Thursday). Lots more zucchini on the horizon.
Garlic Scapes

This is a garlic scape still on the garlic plant.


GARLIC SCAPE GREEN GAZPACHOPerfect for a steamy night! You can use pretty much any combination of greens in this so it’s a great way to use up any extra greens you have.
ABOUT GARLIC SCAPESGarlic Scapes are the curly stems that shoot up out of garlic bulbs. They will eventually flower but they are typically trimmed off to allow the garlic plant to use all of its energy on making a delicious flavorful garlic bulb. Scapes taste like a cross between garlic, onion and scallions and are fantastic sautéed with eggs or to top pasta, made into pesto, grilled or added to a soup or stir-fry.

KOHLRABI FRITTERSKohlrabi is something that I wasn’t familiar with until I started getting a CSA share but now I get it whenever there is a choice. Also called a German Turnip, kohlrabi is in the cabbage (Brassica) family and has a mild flavor like a cross between a cucumber and a turnip. The whole plant is edible and can be eaten raw but I typically strip off the stems and leaves and if the skin is feeling on the tough side I peel it with a veggie peeler. We love to make these fritters with them and I frequently mix half kohlrabi and half shredded carrots if we have them on hand. Scallions or scapes would be great in here too and I think this week I’ll add some shredded kale too.
19 NEW WAYS TO EAT LEAFY GREENSIf you ever start feeling overwhelmed by greens, don’t despair! There are so many ways to use them up without having salad for every meal.
QUICK SAUTEED ENDIVE, ESCAROLE AND FRISEEYou can either use a combination of Endive, Escarole and Frisee in this or just pick one or two depending on what you like and what you have on hand.
ENDIVE APPLE AND CELERY SALADI love a crunchy salad and this one has loads of crunch and a fantastic combination of flavors.
SNAP PEA SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSINGCrunchy and delicious snap peas served over a super simple buttermilk dressing. It will look like you were in the kitchen slaving for hours!
WILD RICE GRATIN WITH KALE, CARAMELIZED ONIONS, AND BABY SWISSThis is a great recipe to have on hand because you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry or can easily swap them for ones that you do have. The wild rice could be swapped for pretty much any kind of rice and it would be equally delicious with cheddar cheese, fontina or feta if you didn’t have swiss.

News on our Spring Seedling Sale and How to Garden Videos

I don’t know about you, but being cooped up in my house (especially on these rainy days) makes me even more eager to get my hands dirty. On so many levels, COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the gaps in the resiliency of our communities. As a farmer, I’ve thought a lot, always but more so now than ever, on the lack of self-sufficiency in our more industrially-dominated food systems. Without getting on my soapbox (I could go on for days), I want to remind you that buying from local farms, advocating for farmland preservation, and growing your own food are three major ways to increase the resiliency and sustainability of your local food system. In the coming weeks, Upswing Farm will release a series of videos to help you get your garden started, as well as launch our online seedling sale. 

Last week, Brittany shared a video on Seed Starting. This week, I discuss the Garden Planning process. In a nutshell, the five steps to planning your garden are:

  1. Make Observations & Take Notes
  2. Create a Plant Wishlist
  3. Design Your Garden
  4. Map It Out
  5. Buy Materials

For more details, what the full video!

Currently, we have some Early Spring seedlings for sale at our online store for pick up next weekend April 17th and 18th. This is different than ordering for our main event. 

We are hoping to launch the full 2020 Seedling Sale online store early next week! This is a treat. Customers can read descriptions, see pictures, and use this time on the computer to practice some of those research tips from the planning video. You can purchase your plants online for pick up in May. For now, you can browse our inventory for herbs, flowers, and vegetables. My suggestion is to plan your garden out and purchase your seedlings soon, so when the May sun comes around you can jump into planting your garden!

If you are new to gardening or simply want to improve your gardening skills, feel free to reach out to me (Erin) for help! In addition to being the Flower Manager for Upswing this year, I am offering at-home garden coaching, consultation, planning, and installation at an affordable rate. Currently, I am offering virtual planning and Q&A sessions in hopes of preparing clients for a successful year in the garden come May. If you are interested and want to learn more about my services and pricing, email me at tinyfarmer.mass@gmail.com

Happy Gardening!

Erin Espinosa

Farmer’s Special Selection, April 1st and 4th

Our special box this week highlights some delicious fresh greens and flavorful roots. April is an interesting time of year to eat locally in New England. The storage crops are running low but the greenhouse greens are really ramping up their growth. Combining the rich, warm flavors of winter roots with the bright flavors of spring greens makes great meals.

What’s in the Box ($30, a 10% discount on retail prices):
2# purple top turnips
1/3# pea tendrils 
2# carrot
1/2#yellow onion
1/2# red onion
1 bulb garlic
5# russet potatoes
1/3 # Carlton greens 

Recipes for the box veggies from our recipe champion, Jess:

SOUTHERN TURNIP SUPREMEhttps://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/199134/southern-turnip-supreme/Did you know that turnips are high in vitamin C and beta carotene? They can give your immune system a boost and reduce inflammation. If you’re in the mood for some comfort food (and who isn’t!) check out this delicious , immune-boosting twist on a potato salad made with turnips.
TURNIPS WITH GARLICKY BREADCRUMBS AND PARMESANhttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/turnips-with-garlicky-breadcrumbs-and-parmesanThe perfect spring turnip dish that can be made using things you likely have on hand in your pantry.
ROASTED CARROTS, POTATOES AND ONIONShttps://tastykitchen.com/recipes/sidedishes/roasted-carrots-potatoes-onions/Roasted veggies are a go-to in our house. You can use whatever you have on hand – have leftover turnips? Toss them in! Want to make it a main dish? Throw some sausages in (just make sure that they come to temp if they’re not pre-cooked).
GINGER GLAZED CARROT AND PEA SHOOT SALADhttps://noteatingoutinny.com/2009/04/28/ginger-glazed-grilled-carrot-and-pea-shoot-salad/We’ve had some gorgeous spring days and it’s getting into grilling season! If you’re not ready to grill yet, just roast the carrots in the oven.
USES FOR CARLTON GREENSCarlton Greens (also known as Komatsuna or Japanese Spinach) is like a tender bok choy and is packed with nutrients. It can be used in salads, smoothies, substituted for baby bok choy, sauteed with garlic or tossed into soups.
CARLTON GREENS AND BACON STIR-FRYhttps://cookpad.com/us/recipes/151151-komatsuna-japanese-mustard-spinach-and-bacon-garlic-stir-fry
CARLTON GREEN SMOOTHIEhttp://www.tokyoeats.jp/green-smoothie/

COVID-19 -Hopkinton Winter Market Cancelled

As closures and quarantines go into effect in our immediate community and across the globe to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many small farmers, like myself, are left to answer the question: to sell, or not to sell? Despite the need for social distance, people still need to eat and if grocery stores are open, then we should still offer food for sale as well.

Our next two scheduled markets at Weston Nurseries are cancelled, along with several other fairs and events that we planned to attend over the next month. Our total sales for the months of March and April are always the lowest of the year, as the storage crops have mostly been sold and the spring greens are only just getting started. We found out yesterday that market was cancelled and we did not harvest or wash for tomorrow.

We want to ensure that our dedicated customers can still access our produce, so we are establishing an online ordering process. Customers will be able to order produce online that will then be harvested packed by myself or a trained staff person. We are working on establishing a pick up location in the Ashland/Holliston/Hopkinton area, but our site in Franklin will be the pick up location for now.

Until further notice, we will not allow customers to handle produce until they have purchased it.

Our hope is that online ordering will be available in the next few days, ready for pick up by Tuesday next week, but if you need produce earlier, you can order veggies from Laura of Long Life Farm in Hopkinton for pick up tomorrow at her home: laura@longlifefarm.com

We will update with more information on pre-ordering when it is available. We will be able to accept cash, credit card and HIP payments.

As always, thank you for your support.

Winter CSA: 2nd Distro

Your farmers enjoyed a few days on the Cape for New Years and many days with family for Christmas.

Almost immediately after arriving home from Christmas with my parents I drove to the cooler at the farm in Franklin where the majority of our root vegetables and cabbage are stored because I just needed to see them. Give them a few loving, yet judgemental squeezes, and make sure everything was still storing well.

You might put your savings into a bank account, but most of the money I will make from our 2019 season is still in those piles of heavy vegetables stacked in a cooled room 15 minutes from my house, and in a root cellar in Dover. Yes, you already paid for your CSA share, but if the veggies somehow went bad I’d either buy in more to fill your shares or give your money back, so I worry about them, a lot. And I definitely question my life choices once in a while.

We aren’t going to be able to do a winter share next year because of our limited land base, and around Thanksgiving this year, that was feeling like a great thing. Nothing to worry about and monitor all winter. No weeks on end of picking and bags and loading and carrying thousands and thousands of pounds of vegetables through a tiny door, only to pull them out again, bag by bag, to be washed, sorted and distributed . . .

And then I remember that when I started on this venture the systems we are forced to use now were never meant to be long term. I envisioned living on my farm, building efficient, sustainable and ergonomic spaces to store/wash/distribute produce. I still see that for our future, plus LOADS of greenhouse space for spinach, kales, lettuces and arugula. I love the winter share. Bright vegetables and cheery customers during the grey doldrums of a New England winter bring me a wonderful amount of joy.

This share is a little close to the last share (we try to space them about a month apart), so I hope you have been eating up! If you still have produce from the last share, making a big soup or a batch of roasted sweet potatoes might be a good idea for tonight or tomorrow to make room for this new batch of produce.

There are less greens this time. The darkest days of winter kept the spinach small, so we will wait to harvest it for the next share. But we do have lettuce and cabbage!

What’s in the Share:
Pint Fingerlings
Pint Sweet Turnips
Mix and Match 11 pounds: Carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, red cabbage (limited), savoy cabbage, red onions, yellow onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carnival squash
Mix and Match 6 pounds: Butternut, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, daikon radish (white and purple)

Jess’s Recipes

I hope that everyone had a relaxing and delicious holiday season! For the first share of 2020, I thought I’d give you a few light and easy recipe ideas and then I also found some fantastic recipe lists so if you find yourself having a hard time coming up with ways to use a particular share item, these lists will definitely get you out of your rut!


This crispy, bright salad will brighten up any cold January day!


I love learning about food customs in other cultures. This soup (known as Ozoni) is said to bring good luck. It will definitely bring good health!


We just made a double batch of this delicious minestrone and it still disappeared too quickly.


If you’re getting bored with baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato oven fries try stuffed sweet potatoes. I’ve been doing variations on this theme all month. I bake the sweet potatoes for about 40 min. Meanwhile I sauté onions and add whatever everyone is in the mood for: corn, black beans, chorizo. When the sweet potatoes come out, I slice them open and top them with the filling. I sometimes sprinkle them with lime zest and serve them with sour cream and sometimes top them with cheese and broil them up in the oven. Whichever way you do it, they’re delicious!


Rumor has it we’ll be getting some popcorn in this share! Don’t be scared if you haven’t popped popcorn this way before – it’s super easy! Just put one ear in a brown paper lunch bag and fold it over a few times. Microwave for 2 minutes and then top with melted butter and salt.






This pansy is more than 10 months old. It was seeded in our greenhouse late last winter, sat in a pot during the seedling sale and was planted in my garden at the end of may. It’s a Penny All Season variety, and although it wasn’t very show during the height of summer heat, it bloomed, and bloomed this fall and continues to bloom regardless of winter weather. You can even see buds on the branches behind it. I can’t help but revel in the joy I feel every time I notice these little blue blooms.