Thanksgiving Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in the share?

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

And now, Jess’s Recipes!!

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order these recipes here: Recipe Order Form

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

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

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

DIRECTIONS: Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut a small slice from the bottom so it will sit flat on a baking sheet. Put a pat of butter, some salt and pepper, a splash of maple syrup and a few ½” square pieces of raw bacon in the center of each and bake at 400˚ for 45 minutes or so until cooked through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe courtesy of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recipe courtesy of

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

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

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

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

Recipe courtesy of

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

Fall CSA: 2nd Distribution

We harvested napa cabbage and broccoli for the Tuesday share today, and what a beautiful day it was!

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
Bok Choy (really nice right now)
Pea Tendrils
Napa Cabbage
An Extra Head of Lettuce

9 Pounds Mix and Match:
Onions, Red and Yellow
Acorn Squash
Delicata Squash (probably the last time)
Sweet Potatoes
Green Peppers
Purple Top Turnips

Jess’s Recipes


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.


This is one of my favorite fall meals. I love that you can make the whole thing in one big skillet!


Turnips can be a tough sell, especially if you have kids but even the kids will love them mashed up with sweet potatoes, ginger and orange zest. This would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving too!


These little toasts make a great appetizer, snack or as a tasty side dish with a hearty fall soup.


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.


Looking for something different to do with your watermelon? Here’s a 3 ingredient sherbet that doesn’t require an ice cream maker.


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).


I love the look and taste of frisee but have a hard time passing off “salad” to my children. I always love when I find a recipe that incorporates the greens into the main course like this one. 


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!


These sound SOOOO good! Tart balsamic vinegar, bright rosemary and creamy goat cheese all combined with crispy beets? Sign me up!


OK – ONE more. Can you tell I love the fall share? This is another one that uses up lots of share ingredients. I’ll be adding some rotisserie chicken to this and making a meal out of it.

Summer CSA – Week 16 (last week)

This is where your turnips, arugula, lettuce, radish, kale and scallions are coming from this week.

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.

Covering fall crops with a big team is always more enjoyable. I will admit I ducked out early from this task to seed and plant the first of the two low tunnels with sweet turnips and lettuce that we will harvest in November/December.

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.

Kevin tallying his buckets he added to our bulk bin of sweet potatoes. Yields are excellent again.

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.

Fall radish and turnip tops looking lovely in the fall light.

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.

Caro Roszell, instructor at the NOFA/Mass workshop last Monday.

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)
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

Jess’s Recipes


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!


If you’d rather make more of a meal out of it, try these! Stuffed with quinoa and studded with raisins and hazelnuts.


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.


Curly endive is another mildly bitter green that is delicious raw or cooked. I get a little bored with salads (and my kids are not always fans of leafy greens) so I like to cook them into things. 


This is a deliciously different take on a chicken soup. I have had a hard time finding hominy at Whole Foods but they definitely carry it at Wegmans and Market Basket in the Mexican foods section. 


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.

Week 15: Big News

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.

Kevin, Erin and Melissa planting the last transplants of 2019, and the last transplants Upswing Farm will plant in the fields at 28 South St. Still more transplanting to do in the greenhouses for our fall and winter shares.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. We gave up our option to purchase the land so we would not put the preservation of the land in jeopardy.
  5. 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?

Choices: Corn/Tomatoes/Cherry Tomatoes/Spaghetti Squash/Other Pints
Choices: Bok Choy, Kale, Chard, Kohlrabi, Sweet Turnip, Radish, Carrot, Herbs
Choices: Onion, Fennel, Peppers, Eggplant

Jess’s Recipes


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.


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 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.


Here’s another quick way to use your turnips AND bok choy in one recipe.


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.


Here’s a twist – instead of me sending Brittany recipes this week, she sent me this one! Great on its own or layer it into an eggplant parm.


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.


Trying to make the most of the last few weeks of corn for the summer!


This fall spin on spaghetti squash with swiss chard and dried cranberries sounds like a must try!

Summer CSA: Week 13

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.

A little weedy, but the sweet potatoes are looking good.

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:
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

Jess’s Recipes


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):



Here’s another one that combines more of our CSA bounty into one delicious dinner:


This is what I’m going to be making this week with my spaghetti squash – it has all the flavors of a hearty pesto lasagna without all the work of an actual lasagna.


This gorgeous salad is a new spin on a traditional caprese salad, using burrata cheese instead of mozzarella. If you’ve never tried burrata, you’re missing out.


This pasta dish is one of my favorite ways to use cherry tomatoes. Not only ridiculously easy but also delicious and different from your typical pasta with sauce.


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.


Whenever I see bok choy my first thought is usually a stir-fry but I came across this recipe and it looks ridiculously good with ginger, lime and cilantro.

Summer CSA – Week 12

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
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!!

Jess’s Recipes

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.


Ahhh – the perfect summer pairing: Shishito peppers and heirloom tomatoes. This tangy gazpacho can be on your table in minutes.


Have you tried grilling your shishitos yet? If not, this is the recipe to try.


The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting long enough for it to chill before you can eat it!


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.


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.

Summer CSA: Week 11

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.

Crazy beautiful swiss chard.
The greenhouse is FULL of really excellent onions.
Harvey was ‘helping’ us harvest tomatoes late last Monday, and lined up all of our black crates in a long row . . . we filled those crates with tomatoes for Tuesday. Last week we went through almost 1300# of tomatoes. This week the haul is just as heavy, but will start to taper off. Luckily we have two more successions planted which are looking great, so we plan to have tomatoes until after frost (the last planting is in a tunnel).

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.
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)

Jess’s Recipes


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 year!


Loaded with roasted veggies, this pasta dish is summer in a bowl! ‘Nuff said.


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).


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.


Talk about fast – you can have this one on the table in 15 minutes. So yummy and very versatile – great with peppers, tomatoes and celery too!


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.


This one step catch-all recipe is genius for using up whatever you have leftover.

Summer CSA: Week 10

Sunnies are coming in strong this week! Don’t go home without some! Thanks Bob Durling for the great shot.

What beautiful weather we are having . . . it feels more like late August, but I’ll take it. Cool nights aren’t the best for our hot crops, like tomatoes, cucumbers, winter squash . . . temps in the 50’s slow their growth and also increase morning moisture which can lead to an increase of fungal disease. Luckily, despite some disease pressure in the fields, our harvest is going to be bountiful for the foreseeable future.

We are covering the lettuce at night so they deer don’t get any ideas. There were a few getting through/over/around the fence earlier this season, so we aren’t taking any chances!!

And believe it or not, we’ve only got 7 weeks left of the summer share (including this one). If you haven’t signed up for a Fall Share, now is the time to do it, because the price goes up on Sunday! The fall share is ten weeks long, and is my personal favorite. Pick up is every other week, but lots of the produce keeps for more than two weeks, so you get a great variety, and its cooler so using the oven is an enjoyable experience.

Fall CSA, November 2018

So far it looks like its going to be a great fall. We’ve been on time with all of our plantings, the rain has watered them all in very well, and we’re trying to increase the amount of salad mixes, spinach and other greens based on conversations with members last year. Fall is a great time to be eating local in New England.

Want to sign up? Just email me (make sure to include the name you used to register for your summer share) and I will save you a spot, no need to fill out the form. OR you can fill out the registration form and make my life a tiny bit easier 🙂

Today we are harvesting the last of the fresh onions and trying to get as many of the storage onions into the greenhouse before the potential rain tomorrow. We’re having a great onion year. I’m going to put onions in the share this week just to get some of them into your homes and away from the farm since we are running out of places to put them. The onions you are getting in the share are still fresh onions, so they should be stored in plastic bags in the fridge, but they will keep for a while (like a month at least) that way.

If you haven’t just cut an onion in half, brushed it with oil and then grilled it until tender, now is a great time. Just sprinkle a little salt and eat it. Onions are NOT just for adding flavor to other vegetables!!

I also need to get some beets out of the cooler, so we are putting beets in the share as well. This is another one that is great on the grill. I cube mine, toss in a little oil then wrap them in tin foil and put on the grill as soon as it comes to temp. Beets want about 30 minutes on the grill, so put them on first and take them off last. You don’t have to eat them right away, you could put them in the fridge then mix them with some lettuce, sprinkle a little goat cheese and walnuts and have a great salad the next day!

The rest, you know what to do with. Montauk corn this week which is a personal favorite. Tomatoes are coming in hot! Lots in both shares. Tomato salads, tomato sandwiches, eating them like apples . . . we’ve got heirlooms too, so give some crazy tomatoes a taste this week.

I’m writing this email during Harvey’s nap so he and I can go back to the farm and help pick onions. He helped last year when we were hauling them in until 7pm (we got a pizza to eat in the field!!) so we’re hoping for a repeat. He’s been doing so great just hanging with us on the farm while we work. It’s really cute.

Kevin’s got a fist full of shallots in his hand as I type this! We pull all the shallots and onions and lay them to cure for a 3-4 week period in the greenhouse so they will hold until February!!

What’s in the Share
· FRESH ONIONS (The red variety is ‘Red Long di Tropea’ an Italian Heirloom and the white is ‘Ailsa Craig’, a spanish heirloom. Both have sweet and complex flavors, and don’t cure down like other storage onions, so we’ve only got a few more weeks to enjoy them!)

(pint choices)

Jess’s Recipes

Brittany’s got loads of onions, so I thought I’d start by sharing a few winning onion recipes this week:


I don’t think I would have ever thought to put fennel on pizza but trust me, it works. The gouda cheese is a fantastic and the sprinkle of chives on top gives it a splash of color.


The next time you’re camping, or just using a charcoal grill at home, give these beauties a try! You place the whole onion in the spent coals and let it slow-cook for a few hours until it turns into a smoky puree that is amazing in sandwiches, soups, dips, salad dressing or on your burgers and hot dogs.


My mom is camping with us this week, so I thought I’d share one of her recipes. It also happens to be loaded with onions! If you’ve never used a cedar plank to cook your salmon you are missing out. This recipe is a HUGE crowd pleaser and has been in my family for years. It comes from Yankee Magazine so you know it’s going to be good.


What is summer without a good tomato galette recipe? This one has a super simple flaky crust and only a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand.


This is another great stand-by recipe if you’re feeling overwhelmed with tomatoes. Slice, drizzle, roast and enjoy!


Chopped salads are my favorite. I love the crunch factor and they’re different from the same old lettuce salads. This one uses lots of things you’ll find in your share and has a scrumptious feta-lemon-dill dressing situation going on.


My absolute favorite way to do corn on the cob is to grill it. Some people grill it with the husks on but I shuck them and put them right on the hot grill rack. They only take a few minutes, just turn them as they start to blacken slightly or when you hear them popping. If you really want to gild the lily, smear some sour cream on them and sprinkle with chipotle powder and a squeeze of fresh lime. PERFECTION.

No recipe needed – you’ve got this.


Here’s another quick weeknight meal you can make almost exclusively with bounty from share (and some noodles).


I made these the last time we had fennel in the share and they were fantastic! Super quick and surprisingly tasty.

Summer CSA:Week 8 and Goodbye to Morgan

This week we’ve got to say goodbye to a guy who is not only one of the best friends we have, but he has also seeded, weeded, harvested and, as he would like to say, ‘picked up and put down and picked up and put down’ a lot of the produce you’ve enjoyed this year, and over the last nine years.

Morgan Evans-Weiler started working with us part time in the summer in 2012. He’s a musician and artist, but loves vegetables as much as we do (maybe more?), and likes working outside in the heat. Plus there are less violin lessons to teach in the summer. So, for a few days a week, for a few months a year Morgan has come to help us grow food. He won’t admit it, but he could run his own farm at this point, and it has been such a pleasure to work with him and enjoy his company for all these years.

(A good sound track for this blog would start with ‘These are the days’ by 10,000 Maniacs.)

Unfortunately for us, Cornell University admitted him into their MFA program and he leaves this week to get settled and start orientation in Ithaca. As his friends we are happy for him, excited for this new adventure – we know he will make the most of it. But any time a good friend leaves there is always sadness. It’s hard to put into words how important Morgan is to us. Words like smart, kind, generous and creative don’t work to describe him because they are generic, and there is nothing generic about him.

We are so lucky for his help on the farm. He works hard, has a great attitude and is usually the person to remember to bring the ‘jam-box’ to the field. He takes feedback well, tolerates our BS, and knows enough now that his feedback to us is helpful and constructive and helps the farm succeed.

I don’t like to describe any part of our relationship as employer/employee. I know that’s what it is when he works for us and we pay him, but there is a social implication of an imbalance of power that I really don’t like. I need people to work on the farm to meet the goals I set for the business. I need to manage how the work is done and it’s on me to teach them, treat them with respect, make sure there are enough red knives to around and compensate them well in order to achieve what I hope is a common goal of producing great product with minimal impact. My employees really have the upper hand when it comes to power, because I need them.

A skilled farm laborer is hard to come by. Especially for a diversified vegetable farm, where the variety of tasks is so great it takes years to even begin to master them all. This year we raised our hourly to $15/ hour for all adults who have worked with us for at least a year (we do still pay minimum wage for part time high school and college students, but usually there is a lot of training happening, and it takes a while to help them develop their skills . . . every year someone returns they get a $1/hour raise). It still feels like not enough when I have an amazing crew that I can turn loose with limited instruction and get amazing results, but it is a step. We don’t pay overtime, or sick days (but anyone can call out sick any time without fear of losing their job) or offer benefits, but the work is seasonal. A part of why we push towards year round farming is because we want to create year round employment. And it is a great balance for someone like Morgan, who has other pursuits that can be flexible with the farming season. If we can create jobs that provide enough income and security to allow our employees to pursue other interests and passions then I think we are doing something right. Because otherwise we need to hope people are desperate enough, or idealistic and privileged enough to do hard work for low wages, and that’s not the world I want to live in.

We can’t do anything about the fact that the housing market around here is outrageous, but affordable housing would be another important offering we’d like to have for employees if we had land security.

Too many people look down on the work that is done on our farm as menial. Yes, it is hard. Yes sometimes it really sucks. We do whatever we can to prevent avoidable terrible situations, but sometimes its just 90+ degrees and the tomatoes need to be picked, or its pouring rain but CSA pick up is in 5 hours and we’ve got to get 150 shares on the stand. But probably most of the people who look down on this work wouldn’t actually be able to do it.

Try showing up without any training or practice and harvesting a crate of bunched carrots that meets our quality and speed standards (12 bunches in 12 minutes). Then move on to radish, then kale. Now hoe a 450 bed of beets well enough to prevent the need for excessive hand weeding. Now put a 4th string on the field tomato trellis. Now go do the seeding list for this week. Sure, none of it is rocket science or brain surgery, but it requires a lot of training and practice to be a productive employee on our farm. Constant constructive feedback.

And its like this on all farms, everywhere in the world. You don’t have to just eat venison and rutabaga in winter because we can (as a society) ship whatever, from wherever, whenever we want to (regardless of the environmental costs). Yes a lot of product out of season is inferior, but plenty of is it still pretty darn good. And we get to have all of those things because there are people who you will never meet willing to do that work. So, if you like eating and don’t grow all your own food, I suggest supporting social initiatives that advocate for workers rights, and for healthcare for lower wage jobs that aren’t traditionally covered. Because I’m sure you wouldn’t ever expect someone to do all the work to grow your food but deny them access to healthcare, fair treatment or fair pay.


We just took a break and rode the bike path from the Car Quest in Holliston to the park with the lake in Milford (don’t know what it’s called), ate a picnic supper and rode back, just before dark. I feel the need to tell you this since we saw three CSA members on our trip (two of them on a tandem bike!). We are trying to live it up while Morgan is still here, and trying to work off some of the junk food we ate at his going away party last night.

The colorado potato beetle larvae I made for Morgan’s going away party.

I made a pinata for the party. We talked about it in theory a lot this season and on Tuesday last week I decided I needed to make it a reality. I’m a super type-A, workaholic, and only value myself based on what I produce and what other people think of me. I work deliberately to quell this part of my character and occasionally attempt to exist just for the sake of existence or do things just because they bring me joy. Morgan is a role model for me in that respect. He follows his passion and deliberately makes time for and prioritizes his art and his music. So, I decided I had to make this pinata a reality, to honor the inspiration he gives me to attempt to access my creative side.

It took about 5 hours over the course of 5 days (all after Harvey went to bed) and was SO worth it. And we haven’t beaten it with a stick yet, so we still get to enjoy it hanging in the kitchen. And maybe we’ll keep it, to remind us of Morgan. OR maybe we’ll beat it with a stick, have a ton of fun and remind ourselves that nothing last forever. Not even your best friend farming with you on and off in the summer. Unless we move to Ithaca and buy a farm out there . . .

Morgan has handweeded A LOT of carrots over the years
Hot house tomatoes and hot farmers
Our bike ride picnic spot in Milford tonight.

And on to the vegetables, because they keep growing, we keep taking care of them, and we keep picking them.

The share this week is very similar to last, lots of the same produce, lots of choice. We are encouraging you to take beets and onions, because we have a LOT!

The share this week:
Fresh Onions (red and white, both delicious)
New Potatoes
Probably Corn. A note on the corn – sorry Tuesday for the smaller amount of corn. The coyotes plus some confusion on harvest quantities made me afraid we wouldn’t have enough for Thursday so we gave less than we had hoped for. I promise we will make it up to you in the coming weeks!

Jess’s Recipes

This is what I’m talking about! Tomatoes, Peppers, Corn on the Cob, Zucchini – it’s the summer share at it’s finest! Most of the recipes this week are multi-taskers that will use multiple items from your share.


This is equally delicious without the chorizo if you’d prefer vegetarian. I made this ahead and re-heated it so we could enjoy some time at the pool in the late afternoon.


If you are one of the lucky ones that finds some zucchini with blossoms still on the end, here’s how to use them! If you don’t have the blossoms, no problem – these are still delicious without them.


Peppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes – this recipe will use them all! This recipe calls for Italian Frying Peppers but I would just use regular peppers and add a shake or two of crushed red pepper flakes.


I love a good bread salad on a hot summer night! This one has the perfect vinaigrette and will use up tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and some of those onions!


While I don’t love using the oven in the summer, these stuffed peppers are worth it, and your oven will only be on for 30 minutes. Eat your dinner outside and it will be cool in the kitchen again by the time you come back in.


Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things. I like to make up a big batch and then throw them in sandwiches, eggs, on top of burgers and hot dogs, you name it! If you need a few more ideas for your onions, check out this article with 14 new ideas for you.


I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I love a good make-ahead dinner and this one is perfect for a hot summer night. Roasted beets, carrots and shallots (I would use my fresh onions here) are roasted and tossed in a maple-mustard vinaigrette while they’re still warm and then they soak up all that delicious dressing as they cool off.