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: Lettuce Popcorn!! Garlic 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)
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!
We just made a double batch of this delicious minestrone and it still disappeared too quickly.
STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
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!
HOW TO POP POPCORN ON THE COB
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.
We have an abundance of delicious sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut that we need you to eat up this week. We grow the varieties that taste best. Waltham Butternut and Orleans Sweet Potatoes are so sweet you don’t need to add anything! But you can . . .
Where to get them (and lots of other great veg): Saturday December 14th, 11am-2pm @ 28 South St, Ashland MA Sunday December 15th, Noon-4pm @weston nureries Winter Farmers Market (its a fabulous market with outstanding fresh bread, pasta, cheese, meat, honey, syrup and crafts galore!
Here are some great recipe ideas form our friend and recipe guru Jess Girotti!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 1 small butternut squash 1 bunch kale INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 2 Tablespoons Butter 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt Black Pepper to taste 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder (more to taste)
DIRECTIONS: Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add squash and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula, until squash is deep golden brown and tender (but not falling apart.) Remove to a plate and set aside.
Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into pieces. In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and add in the kale. Toss it around with tongs and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the cooked squash and gently toss together.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve as a side dish with chicken or beef, as a main veggie dish, or as a filling for quesadillas or sandwiches.
Recipe adapted from thepioneerwoman.com
HERB ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SWEET POTATO, CARROTS & ONION
UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 1 butternut squash 1 large sweet potato 1 cup carrots 1 sweet onion 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 2-3 tablespoons of olive, avocado, or coconut oil Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, peel and chop veggies and place in large bowl. Drizzle cooking fat of choice over veggies and add thyme, salt and pepper. Mix until all veggies are well coated. Transfer to a large baking sheet and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve alongside turkey or pork with a green salad.
WARM WINTER VEGETABLE SALAD
UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 1 small red onion 1 small sweet potato, cut into 1” pieces 1 carrot, 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 beet, peeled and cut into ¾” pieces INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 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 FoodandWine.com
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve on its own or as a side dish to chicken or poultry.
ROASTED CARROT, SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO SOUP
UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs)-peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 2 onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 3 tablespoons EVOO Salt and pepper 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – OPTIONAL 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Divide the squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and onions between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle 1 tbsp. EVOO over each baking sheet; toss the vegetables to coat. Roast until lightly browned, rotating the pans halfway through cooking, about 25 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine the roasted vegetables and 8 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup, transferring pureed portions to a clean pot; season with salt and pepper. (The soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
In a heavy, medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the pepitas and stir until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and sage and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper.
Stir the soup over medium heat until it simmers. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with the pepita-cranberry mixture and a sprinkling of pepper.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a green salad and crusty whole grain bread.
STUFFED CARNIVAL SQUASH
UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 2 carnival squash 1 onion 3 cups kale 3 tsp sage INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND Olive oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1-2 cups protein — sausage, chicken, pork, tempeh, or baked tofu 1 cup cooked grains and/or nuts — barley, quinoa, millet, farro, rice, walnuts, almonds, pecans 1 cup shredded cheese
DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half from stem to root. Scoop out the seeds. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a baking dish and pour in enough hot water to fill the pan by about 1/4 inch. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and roast the squash until very soft and tender when poked with a fork or paring knife, approx. 40 minutes.
Prepare the filling. Saute your protein of choice in a splash of olive oil until cooked through. Set aside. Chop onion and sage and saute until onions are translucent. Finely chop kale and add to the onions for the last few minutes of cooking time, until wilted. Add protein back in along with your cooked grain/nuts and taste and adjust the spices, salt, and pepper to your liking.
Divide the filling between the squash halves — it’s fine to really stuff the wells and mound the filling on top. Sprinkle with cheese and pop back in the oven until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
UPSWING FARM INGREDIENTS 1/2 small head cabbage, very thinly sliced (1 pound or 5 to 6 cups shreds) 4 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler 5 kale leaves, ribs removed, leaves cut into thin ribbons 1 small leek, white part only, thinly sliced on an angle
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 6 large eggs, lightly beaten Cooking oil – canola or olive
DIRECTIONS: Toss cabbage, carrot, kale, leek and salt together in a large bowl. Toss mixture with flour so it coats all of the vegetables. Stir in the eggs. Heat a large heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with oil and heat until shimmering but not smoking.
Add 1/4 of the vegetable mixture to the skillet, pressing it out into a 1/2- to 3/4-inch pancake. Gently press the pancake down flat. Cook about 4 minutes per side or until browned.
Keep them warm in a 200 to 250 degree oven until needed.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Great with eggs and or sausages. Serve with an Asian dipping sauce if desired.
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
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.
ROASTED CABBAGE WITH WALNUTS AND PARMESAN
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
HASSELBACK BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SAGE BUTTER AND
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 INCLUDED INGREDIENTS acorn squash INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND butter 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 INCLUDED 1 big bunch Hakurei turnips Fresh thyme NEED TO HAVE ON HAND 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
Warm Winter Vegetable Salad INCLUDED INGREDIENTS 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 INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 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 FoodandWine.com
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve on its own or as a side dish to chicken or other poultry.
Sesame Bok Choy & Carrot Salad INCLUDED 1½ pounds of bok choy, sliced 2 carrots, ribboned using a vegetable peeler 6 green onions, chopped NEED TO HAVE ON HAND 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 INCLUDED INGREDIENTS 1 bunch Kale, roughly chopped 2 small shallots 4 carrots Fresh Sage Fresh Thyme INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 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 HalfBakedHarvest.com
SERVING SUGGESTION: Add a crusty bread (try Birchtree Bread Company if you don’t have any)
Autumn Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup INCLUDED INGREDIENTS 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 INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED ON HAND 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 Onceuponachef.com
SERVING SUGGESTION: Add a crusty bread (try Birchtree Bread
Company if you don’t have any) and a leafy green salad.
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
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.
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.
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).
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!
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!
Last week of the Summer CSA! (Fall starts next week, you’ll get an email in a few days with the 411 on the Fall share pick up.)
Thanks to everyone for joining us for the last 16 weeks. It’s been a good growing season and we’ve got a great team working with us this year. We are grateful to be nearing the end of September and not be totally burnt out, but we have done a good job the last few years deliberately trying to take care of ourselves.
It’s hard when the culture of farming (both peer to peer and the perspectives of outsiders) makes you feel like you are only worthy if you are working yourself to death. I fell prey to that culture early on, working endless days and buckling to the culture of “hard-work-one-upmanship”. Sometimes you have to work hard, crazy hours, and sometime you do, as I reference in the Week 12 blog. But, sometimes you don’t, and with careful planning you can take 3.5 days off in September to visit your grandparents and swim in a rapidly cooling, but very refreshing lake.
You know you need it when your two-year-old thinks a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard is vacation.
We are happy to come back and work hard to continue to pull the rest of our storage crops out of the field. Before we left we put row cover over most of the fall crops we will be harvesting in the end of October and November, not because they need more heat, but because the darn dear might eat all of them if we didn’t. But now they are protected (until the deer start kicking through the row cover) and it feels good to have crops set and growing.
We are only 1/3 of the way through harvesting sweet potatoes and we already have over 2500 pounds! We may have over done it!! Luckily it is always my goal to have some sweet potatoes and carrots to donate a bed or two to the Boston Area Gleaners. Sweets and carrots are something they don’t get to glean very often but they are in very high demand. We will let you know if the Gleaners are coming in the next few weeks if you want to join and help harvest for the donation.
We like to wait to harvest storage roots like carrots, beets, turnips and radish until we get at least a light frost. Frost changes the growth habit of they biennial crops and causes them to convert some of their starches into sugars, making them extra sweet, and slowing their growth which allows them to store longer.
We are mostly done weeding and cultivating for the year (yay!) and there is just a little planting to do in the greenhouse, which does require a lot of moving things around, but can be done by a few people in a day. We are saying goodbye to most of our crew over the next few weeks, and those who remain have reduced hours.
I have a little more time for reading and thinking at this time of year, here are a few items of note I hope you are interested in, before we get to what’s in the share:
I read this great article two weeks ago and wanted to put it in last-week’s email but then I was forced to write about our land transition so I didn’t get to bring it up. You should read it to get all the details, but the take away is you can’t just take pills and vitamins if you want to be healthy. Eat a lot of quality produce. It really does matter. Here it is: FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE TRYING TO KILL YOU
I also went to a free NOFA/Mass workshop on soil health and fertility assesment at Chucalogg Farm in Uxbridge. I was feeling particularly down in the dumps and I knew a workshop would help me get some perspective.
I am interested in raising the healthiest food possible while also improving the health of the soil I use to grow that food. It’s one thing to simply use chemical soil testing to figure out what nutrients need to be added to grow a healthy crop, and a whole other thing to try and manage the ecosystem of a soil to produce a really healthy crop. The amazing thing is that we can, as farmers and land managers, actually sequester carbon into the soil by having a LOT of life in the soil. The proxy test is a simple way for farmers to measure the life in their soil, which correlates with the amount of carbon in the soil. Learn more about soil carbon cycle here.
Well, that’s some food for thought. Here is the food for your bellies.
What’s in the share:
Sweet Potatoes! They have been curing for roughly two weeks, but could probably stand to sweeten up a little more. Just leave them in a brown bag in a cabinet (or just dust them off and leave them on the counter for at least a few days). Delicatta Squash (see Jess’s recipes for some ideas) Shallots!! Choice by weight mix and match: leeks, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, onions, potatoes, tomatillos Choice by bunch/item: boy choy, carrots, radish, turnip, kale, lettuce, scallions, cilantro, dill, arugula, escarole, frisee,
Maybe a few other odds and ends
DELICATA SQUASH HOW TO
Delicata squash is here! I am a squash lover in general, but delicata is one of my favorites. It’s loaded with Vitamins A and C and the skin is very tender and 100% edible. If you’ve ever tried to peel a squash, you know how genius this is. The simplest way to cook it is to give it a good wash, slice it into ¼ to ½” thick slices, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until it’s caramelized. If you really want to gild the lily, bring about ½ cup of maple syrup to a simmer in small pot and add ¼ cup of packed fresh sage leaves. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour this over the squash for the last 15 minutes or so of the cooking time. Oh! And you can roast the seeds just like you would pumpkin seeds!
Escarole is in the same family as endive and is a staple in Italian cooking. It can be sautéed, added to soups or eaten raw in salads. It is mildly bitter so in a salad it pairs well with mustardy vinaigrettes, salty cheeses and a bit of sweet from apples or dates. I think I’ll be using mine in this gorgeous Italian soup.
If you’re looking for another use for your carrots and zucchinis, these muffins are a nutritional powerhouse and a big hit at my house. Great for breakfast or as an afterschool snack. They’re made with almond-meal and can be made gluten-free if you’re sensitive to gluten.
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.
Well, the cat is basically out of the bag, we are not going to be able to renew our current lease at Upswing Farm’s current home base, 28 South St.. For those of you who haven’t heard, we may grow a reduced crop of vegetables up the road next year to 22 Elliot St, in Ashland. We’ve had a lease on that two acre parcel, owned by the town of Ashland, where we have been cover cropping for the last two years.
Our business will shift, with Erin taking the lead on summer crop production for the Ashland Farmers Market and a reduced summer CSA, while Kevin and I solidify plans for a fall and winter share (we are deciding between a few options). We will still hold the seedling sale, we have several other places to either construct our greenhouse or rent greenhouse space. But we will not be able to meet our current demand – we will be cutting the amount of land we farm by 80%.
We were hoping to have some perfectly defined plans before we officially broke the news, but since it made it to the local paper under the headline “Upswing Out, Out Post In”, I guess now is the time to say something. It’s still September, I’m still farming full time and Mom-ing almost full time (no afternoon sitter anymore! We miss you Leah!) so there isn’t a lot of time to sit and draft this exactly right.
It’s ok. Really, it’s ok. Accessing farmland in the Metro-West area is next to impossible. Our time at 28 South St has been precious, and we will cherish memories from the last four years for the rest of our lives. We are so grateful for all of the wonderful customers who have supported us and who we have built relationships with.
I’m not sure how to communicate the whole story, it is long and leaves me winded just to think about it, but here is what I want your take-away to be:
We were invited to lease the land in January, 2016 when the tenants, Out Post Farm, decided not to renew their lease on the land. This was less than a month after I resigned from my role at Medway Community Farm. At the end of 2016 we were invited to try and purchase the property for $2.5 million and given an option to purchase for that amount, with a timeline of three years.
We tried our best preserve this farmland, and build a business from scratch, and raise a baby, and stay true to our values. We made contact with the Sudbury Valley Trustees and together worked with representatives from the towns of Ashland and Holliston to get and appraisal and create a collaborative plan to preserve and purchase the property. We were a part of a preliminary offer in the spring of 2018 for the full appraised value of 1.8 million which was rejected.
We believe that our work to save this property was an essential part of convincing the landlord that preserving the farm was a real possibility. When we started in 2016 it had always been his intention to allow the land to be developed after his passing, not believing there was money to preserve it. Now the development rights are being sold to the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program (APR)- a strict program that will keep important land farmed in perpetuity.
We gave up our option to purchase the land so we would not put the preservation of the land in jeopardy.
If you live in Holliston you should vote to approve the town spending $500,000 of Community Preservation Funds for the APR restriction on the property. If you live anywhere else, you should ALWAYS vote to preserve farmland as ACTIVE farmland. Even in my position, I would vote yes if I lived in town.
This is just a transition period for us now, we knew it would be a risk to take on this project, and we gave it all we had to give. This is the second farm in a decade that we have built from scratch . . . and we are tired (and just a little downtrodden).
We have decided that scaling down, but maintaining our presence at the Ashland Farmers Market (the coolest market ever) and giving Erin a chance to take on more management responsibility is a great way to keep the business going while giving ourselves space and time to get some perspective and find a permanent place to farm.
Thank you for all your support over the last four years.
We are fortunate and privileged to be able to choose this lifestyle, even though it can be a struggle. We are grateful that we can live our values on a daily basis – or at least do a good job trying. And our son, at two and a half, knows about ripeness, and roots and seeds. That apples come in September, strawberries come in June, and where the compost pile is. He says he wants to be a farmer like mom, and I’m like, no way, you’re going to have to be an investment banker so you can support us in our old age!
Well, that’s that. The vegetables still need to be picked and enjoyed.
What’s in the share:
The deer ate all the zucchini this weekend. Or at least they took a bite out of every one. Sorry guys. They also ate almost all of the fall dandelion greens. Not sorry?
I had a delightful visit with fellow CSA member Anne Buckley last week and she served up some of this delicious Cowboy Caviar brimming with CSA ingredients. Side note: if you ever have an issue with the NY Times recipes (like it tells you that you have to subscribe in order to view the recipe) just open a new browser window and do a search for the recipe or do the search on your phone. I find that that solves the problem for me.
ROASTED CARROTS WITH HERBES DE HOLLISTON
I was quite the social butterfly this week and also got to
spend a lovely afternoon at Broad Hill Lavender Farm right here in Holliston.
If you haven’t tried any of their products yet – they’re amazing! Carrie made
us some delicious treats all with their very own, Holliston grown, organic,
culinary lavender (check their website https://www.broadhilllavender.com/
for which Farmer’s Markets they’ll be at so you can pick some up). Among these
were some mouth-watering roasted carrots. She sliced them into thin “fries”,
tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper and Herbes de Provence (with
lavender of course and other Upswing Farm herbs) and slow roasted them at 400
for 40-45 minutes. They were amazing.
Hakurei Turnips (or salad turnips) are back this week. This is a super versatile recipe that will use lots of your share items. Slice them up super thin along with zucchini, carrots, beets, fennel, kohlrabi, etc. and toss with a zingy lemon-dill vinaigrette.
I’ve heard the mini peppers are delicious this year. I haven’t actually gotten to try them as my son eats them all before I get a chance. I’m going to try to beat him to it this week and make these for an after-school snack after I pick up my share this week.
I love the combination of sweet, salty and crunchy and this salad accomplishes all of that. One of my favorite things about kale is that you can dress it and it will still keep for a day or two and not go all wilty like lettuce does.
Quick note: there are 4 more weeks (including this week) of the summer share. Fall Share starts the first week of October. Flower share has two more weeks including this week.
Hello, Everyone. Last week I avoided talking about EEE (eastern equine encephalitis) and the aerial spraying of Anvil 10+10, but now I feel like I need to say something. The farm was sprayed on Tuesday night, the 26th, at least based on the MDAR (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources) maps, posted here. We did not harvest produce on Wednesday until after the plants had dried (which is common practice for fruit crops) and didn’t harvest leafy crops until Thursday, all of which were washed, as usual with town water and several of which were covered overnight with products we already use to exclude pests/deer.
Yes, EEE and mosquito borne diseases are scary, and I don’t want to diminish the fear people feel, especially since I am someone who faces exposure on a daily basis. Some of the fear is real, some of it dredged up by dramatic reporting and gossip. If you a concerned about contracting EEE, the best thing to do is avoid mosquitoes. MDAR has a table, that you can use to make sure you are inside during the times mosquitoes are most active, and other tips for how to protect yourself.
For those more scared of the impacts of the aerial spraying of Anvil 10+10 on your health, I feel fairly confident that this was a low impact spray. Anvil 10+10 (based on reading I did last week when I found out about the aerial spraying) contains two active ingredients, one is a chemical replica of pyrethrin, a substance approved for use on certified organic farms that many organic farmers rely on to control certain pest populations. It has been thoroughly tested on mammals and in low doses shows no adverse health impacts. This is what MDAR has on its FAQ page:
“Are there any restrictions on consuming fruits and vegetables from home gardens or local farms? No. The US EPA has established a tolerance (acceptable level) for the product that allows wide-area mosquito application on food crops, fodder crops, pasture and grazing areas. The application is not expected to leave a detectable residue on food crops, pastures, or forage crops. Livestock may graze in treated areas following the application. As always, consumers should rinse any homegrown or purchased fruits and vegetables with water before preparation or consumption.”
I’m not saying I think the aerial spraying was a good thing, but honestly, I don’t think I have the expertise to make the call. I also don’t think we should just accept the decision of the authorities (in fact, I firmly believe the opposite – always think critically, challenge and question, especially when fear seems to make the answer to a complicated question easy) but in this case, based on my understanding of the pesticide used, and the way it was going to be applied, I don’t believe any of us will experience adverse health effects.
I am curious, though, about what monitoring will be done to evaluate the effectiveness of the spray. In our fields, pests that I know would succumb to a direct application of a pyrethrin pesticide showed no noticeable reduction in population after the aerial spray. But, the spray was designed to target flying adult mosquitoes at night, and many of the pests that might succumb to an application of pyrethrin, like the striped cucumber beetle, take cover during those hours.
Also, for those of you imagining pesticides falling like rain, the ultra low volume (ULV) method used to apply Anvil 10+10 essentially creates a fine mist, that falls very slowly, increasing the chances that it will come in contact with a flying adult. The half-life of the active ingredients in this product is less than 12 hours when exposed to sunlight and air. Yes, there are still risks to other, non-target species, which I believe to be the single, greatest argument against broad area applications of pesticides, but this is a pesticide that does not persist nor are they spraying it on a regular basis.
I will admit I got bit by mosquitoes 4 times on Friday, 4 days after the spray. I didn’t realize what was happening because I’m so used to pushing through discomfort, it took me until the 4th bite to notice. Also, it was only 4pm, but I was in the shade, near the wash station making bouquets for market. I got some bug spray which I would otherwise never use.
Of course an aerial spray will not kill all mosquitoes. So how do we know it killed enough to justify the effort and potential adverse impacts to non-target species that are also susceptible to the toxicity of the pesticide?
It is not my intention to sound like an advocate for aerial pesticide applications, especially on such a wide area, I am, on principal, strongly opposed. But this is something that happened, and I’ve done probably four hours of reading in the last ten days to try and learn more about EEE, Anvil 10+10 and the risks/effectiveness of aerial spraying and I can’t come to a conclusion on whether it was the right thing to do. My gut tells me no, but then again, my loved one didn’t just die from inflammation of the brain, and I do worry for my family. But, I doubt the aerial spray actually decreased our risk, or at least I doubt it decreased it enough to be worth the effort, cost, and potential ecological impacts. We live across from the Charles River in Bellingham and they regularly spray the river/marsh at night from a truck. We still can’t go out in the evening without being eaten alive by mosquitoes, so I just can’t understand why the spraying is even worthwhile, if so many can survive.
It might be that when people want to live close together in areas with lots of mosquito habitat (both natural and human made), they need to accept one of the repercussions is mosquito borne diseases and then the subsequent applications of pesticides that will be used in an attempt to control them. Or figure something else out. The main principal of organic agriculture is doing the work up-front to create an environment where plants/animals will thrive, reducing or eliminating the need for chemicals to control pests, diseases and weeds. I’m sure there is something that can be extrapolated from this philosophy and applied to future management of mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases.
It was quiet the whirl-wind last week, despite my email about exiting the ‘exponential season’. Harvey has been spending more time with us on the farm. It’s such a joy to find ourselves finally able to be mostly productive and have him around, but its definitely still a challenge. Thanks to everyone who was flexible and patient with us while we tried to give you change and keep Harvey from coloring on himself with markers and that sort of thing.
The share this week is great, as usual in early September (although we love all the vegetables of all the season . . .). We appreciate the variety of this time of year and we hope you are able to thoroughly enjoy the vegetables we are harvesting now.
What’s in the Share: Tomatoes Carrots Lettuce Choice:Arugula, Bok Choy, Kale, Chard, Celery, Cilantro, Dill Mix and Match by weight: Zucchini/Squash, Beets, Onions (the last of the fresh onions!!), Eggplant, Peppers Pint choices: cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, shishito peppers, mini sweet peppers Melons and Spaghetti Squash
WHAT TO DO WITH THAT SPAGHETTI SQUASH
I wasn’t too familiar with spaghetti
squash until I started with Upswing. It just wasn’t on my radar. Now I adore
them! They’re super easy to roast up. Just slice it in half and scoop out the seeds,
brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and maybe a pinch of brown sugar
if you’re into that sort of thing) and place them cut side down on a cookie
sheet and bake at 400 until tender – about 45 minutes. When they come out, let
them cool for 10 minutes or so and then scrape out the flesh which really is
remarkably spaghetti like. You can top it with pasta sauce and meatballs just
like regular spaghetti, toss it with pesto or try this recipe with fresh herbs
and toasted hazelnuts (it’s one of my favorites):
If you’re wondering what to do with all the spicy (or mild) peppers I’ve got a great solution. My son came home from school at the end of last year with a recipe for jalapeno bagels. I still haven’t gotten the full story on why exactly they got this recipe as a handout, but he has been eager to try them. We made some up last weekend and they are DELICIOUS. He loved helping to make them and while they aren’t “quick”, there isn’t a lot of hands on time. We used half white whole wheat flour and I added salt to the water bath and then pressed some flaked sea salt on them before I baked them. They’re amazing with a little cream cheese (you could even make some scallion cream cheese with your extra scallions) and some everything seasoning or a bit of Mango-Habanero jam from Tangerini’s.
Ah, cooler nights and mornings. I love them because I prefer not being super sweaty and gross first thing in the morning when I get to work, and I like that the weeds stop growing so rapidly. But, I don’t love the onset of fungal diseases in our fields, the slowed fruit production for our summer crops, or the reduced sunlight of the shorter days.
What I really love, though, is the end of what I have come to think of as the ‘exponential season’. It’s the time when everything is growing so fast (weeds included) and there is so much planting, weeding, seeding, pruning, trelling and harvesting to do that it is almost impossible to get to the end of a weekly to do list. But worse than not finishing the list, projects that go unfinished become bigger projects, on occasion snowballing into big disasters.
Imagine this: you’ve got to write a report for work. It’s due Monday at 10am. You should finish Friday but you really want to duck out early, so you decide to come in a little early on Monday to do it. No big deal, right?
Well, imagine that if you don’t do your report on Friday, it will multiply into ten reports that are still due at 10am Monday. And if you can’t finish the reports yourself, you have to pay other people with your own money to help you finish them on time. Or, just forfeit your pay if you don’t get them all done. It’s pretty strong incentive to just write the report Friday, even if it means getting home late.
That’s what its like when we don’t get to a cultivation on time. There are little windows of time where we can do things just right, like kill tiny weeds just as they germinate with a tractor. It takes less than a minute to run the cultivators down a bed. That’s just one farmer and a tractor. Miss the cultivation and it will take 10 times as long to hoe that same bed in a few days because the weeds will be bigger, and worst of all, because the weeds are bigger you most likely won’t kill them all with a hoe so you’ll have hand weed (or pay someone else to) which can take 100 times as long.
It’s stressful. The more organized, well staffed and efficient/smart you are, the less stressful it can be, but timing is everything and the weather makes a huge impact on what and when your timing is. We still will have weather related rushes this year, like trying to get the winter squash harvested before it gets rained on, but its nothing like May, June, July and August.
Everyone knows farmers work hard and are at the mercy of the weather, but I still think a lot of people don’t quite get it, so this was my attempt to help you understand. I’m not complaining . . . just trying to help you understand the deep breath I can take at the end of August. Wow, August is almost over.
Saw my first praying mantis this week. Usually I see one a few weeks before this, maybe I’m just not paying attention. I was harvesting budding golden rod for bouquet filler at the field edges when I saw her/him. Have you ever seen one fly? They look like fairies. A great benefit of having wild field edges is all the beneficials that thrive there.
Kevin saw a little tree frog in the peppers. Can you see him/her? We love all the wildlife we get to encounter, it brings such a surprising amount of joy to encounter these creatures as we go about our work.
And this guy? Not sure what he is, but what an example of ‘you are what you eat.’ This flower is called Dara, its related to wild carrot and comes in shades of pinks, maroons and whites. We love it in the bouquets, and apparently it makes cute, pink worms!
And what about this little guy? Harvey thinks we did a good job laying out the onions to cure. Lets hope its a success, because this was our best onion harvest yet.
Got a lot of tomatoes? Harvey and I had loads of fun making home-made pasta this past week. He helped the whole time, and yes, I basically had to sweep and scrub my kitchen from floor to ceiling afterwards, but it was so worth it. And the pasta was great. I totally botched the recipe by adding way too many eggs (I’m a total space cadet when it comes to recipes), but 3 cups flour (2 all purpose, 1 whole wheat), a dribble of olive oil, a pinch of salt and 6 eggs made some great pasta!
What’s in the Share?
TOMATOES (A little less, the heavy first yields are winding down, but the next plantings are just starting to mature, we’ll be looking at a few pounds/week, hopefully until October or later! CORN – a really good batch of Montauk LETTUCE SCALLIONS (we need to get these out of the field – please enjoy them!) PINTS (2 per small share, 3 per large share – lots of choice, please take cherries!) CHOICE: Eggplant, peppers, beets, carrots, red onions, yellow onions, kale, chard, radish, arugula, cilantro, melons and SPAGHETTI SQUASH!!
Have you been loving the Shishito peppers as much as I have
this summer? They won’t be around much longer so I’ve got THREE recipes this
week that make the most of these amazing little peppers.
SHISHITO PEPPER AND HEIRLOOM TOMATO GAZPACHO
Ahhh – the perfect summer pairing: Shishito peppers and
heirloom tomatoes. This tangy gazpacho can be on your table in minutes.
If you’re having a hard time using up your scallions, don’t miss this article. It’s one mouth-watering recipe after another that feature scallions. Soup, pizza, stir-fry, grilled, sautéed, you name it – there’s something for everyone in here.
Roasting your tomatoes is a great way to get some more life out of them. If I don’t think I’m going to use all of mine up quickly, I roast them and throw them in the freezer to use during the long “no garden fresh tomato” season. Here’s a few suggestions on ways to use them.
Did you know that a tablespoon sized serving of Heinz ketchup has more sugar than your typical chocolate chip cookie? When I realized that, I started looking for low-sugar ketchups but was never able to find one we enjoyed. A few years ago, I decided to try making my own and, while it is a bit of a time commitment (especially if you’re going to can it so it’s shelf-stable), it is soooooo worth it. This is not your typical bottled ketchup.
FAIRYTALE EGGPLANT WITH CASHEW BUTTER AND PICKLED PEPPERS
The pickled peppers and cashew butter are both amazing on their own but when you combine them with the Fairytale Eggplant it’s like a perfectly orchestrated summer harvest symphony.
Hi Everyone, this is going to be a short email this week. I’m giving myself a break (eg: I don’t have time since Harvey only slept 45 minutes instead of 2 hours this afternoon) and giving you the option to broaden your perspectives either through reading or audio.
You probably don’t know that Erin, our super dedicated assistant manager, is also the Development Associate for The New Garden Society, a non-profit that brings garden education and therapy to incarcerated persons in the state of Massachusetts. She never asks for time off, but frequently tells me about staying up late writing grants, evening meetings in Boston, and about the afternoons once/month when she leads a workshop for students in the program.
A few weeks back I received their annual report in the mail and it brought me to tears. If you are interested in garden education, restorative justice, or are curious about the outside work of one of your farmers I strongly suggest reading this document:
Or, if you are interested, I listened to a Freakonomics Podcast during a long car ride this weekend that basically summed up my education as an undergrad. You can’t stop part way, because the first 20 minutes seems like propaganda itself.
For those of you who just want to feel warm and fuzzy, well, here’s a few pictures, but I strongly suggest reading/listening to one or both of these.
What’s in the Share GARLIC: We are giving you a large amount of garlic (1/2 lb small, 1 pound large) this is all the garlic you will get for a while, but use it as you like!. It will last on the counter until February at least, so no rush. TOMATOES CORN LETTUCE/ARUGULA CHOICE PINTS CHOICE: Cherry tomatoes, shishito peppers, mini sweet peppers, fairy tale eggplant, hot peppers BIG CHOICE: Kale, Chard, Scallions, Radish, Fennel, Cucumber, Zucchini, Squash, Carrots, Fresh Onions, Green Peppers, Eggplant, Probably some ripe peppers, more lettuce (below is a pic of last weeks small and large shares – yours would look different if you made different choices)
VERRILL FARM CORN AND TOMATO
TART (USES ONION, CORN, TOMATOES, SCALLIONS)
My mom joined us for camping
this past week and on the way home she helped me brainstorm recipes. She swears
by this tart from Verrill Farm in Concord. They just had their annual Corn
& Tomato Festival on Saturday which, if you’ve never been, is lots of fun
and definitely worth checking out. Put a reminder in your calendar for next
Scallions for EVERYONE this week! My kids are addicted to the scallion pancakes that I listed in Week 4 of the Spring Share (you can find it by searching on the Upswing Farm website if you missed it) but I’m going to try to talk them into switching it up this week. I’m a sucker for a caramelized onion, no matter what variety!
With school starting NEXT WEEK,
I’m starting to think about quick and easy breakfast ideas. My daughter needs
to be on the bus at 6:45 and I have a hard time convincing her to eat
breakfast, especially with the anxiety that comes along with starting a new
school year. It’s hard to resist this zucchini bread though! I use white whole
wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour and make them as muffins (just
pour into muffin tins and decrease the cooking time to 30 min or so).
CAESAR KALE PASTA SALAD
No recipe needed! Grab a bunch
of kale from the choice this week, chop it up into smallish pieces and toss it
with 8 oz of cooled bow tie pasta. Add a splash of your favorite Caesar salad
dressing and top it with crumble whole wheat pita chips and a sprinkle of
parmesan cheese. Perfect for a hot summer night.
I am not a lover of eggplant. BUT I never pass up getting eggplant when it comes around because I adore Baba Ganoush. Not only is it fun to say but it’s also delicious. If you’ve never tried it, you must. You char the eggplant (this recipe uses 3 but you can scale it down based on what you’ve got) which gives it an amazing smoky flavor and then puree it with tahini, garlic and lemon juice. Eat it with pita chips, tortilla chips or, for even more veggie goodness, dip cut up carrots, celery, peppers or cukes in it.
The heat is going to be cranking up again this week – perfect timing for a refreshing chilled soup. If you’re looking for another use for your scallions just swap one bunch for the 2 leeks in this recipe.