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.

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE

Carrots
Peas (the last)
New Potatoes (quart)
LOTS of Zucchini/summer squash
Cucumbers
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 . . .

RECIPES

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.

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE

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)
Peas
Zucchini and Cucumbers 2-3 fruits
Scallions or Cilantro
Arugula or Lettuce Mix

RECIPE CORNER

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
Carrots
Peas!
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Head Lettuce
Scallions
Choices (2): (lots of odds and ends this week) kale, escarole, scapes, cabbage, beets, extra lettuce . . . maybe a few other things)

Recipes:

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!)
Kohlrabi
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.

RECIPE CORNER

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:
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)

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!

CELERY ROOT SALAD WITH APPLES AND PARSLEY

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

JAPANESE NEW YEARS SOUP

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!

ROOT VEGETABLE MINESTRONE WITH BACON

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.

20 WAYS TO USE UP A BAG OF CARROTS

10 EASY BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPES

47 RECIPES TO MAKE ANYONE LOVE CABBAGE

9 SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE WAYS TO EAT RUTABAGA

14 WAYS TO USE A BAG OF ONIONS!

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.

Sweet Potatoes, Butternut and Carrots Recipe Highlights

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.

VEGETABLE PANCAKES

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.



Thanksgiving Part 2


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

What’s in the share?

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

And now, Jess’s Recipes!!

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

SQUASH TOASTS

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 parmesan cheese.

HASSELBACK BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SAGE BUTTER AND PROSCIUTTO BREADCRUMBS

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.

MASHED POTATOES WITH CRISPETY CRUNCHETIES

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

WHOLE-ROASTED KOHLRABI

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

MASHED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH BACON VINAIGRETTE

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!

POTATO-TURNIP MASH WITH CRISPY FRIED SHALLOTS

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!

SAUSAGE AND KALE THANKSGIVING DRESSING

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

TOASTED MARSHMALLOW SWEET POTATO PIE

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.