Fall CSA: 5th Distribution

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

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

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

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

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

Our kitchen/office/retreat center.

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

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

What’s in the share:

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

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

Fall CSA: 2nd Distribution

Harvey and I gathered acorns in our front yard on Sunday. It’s a heavy acorn year, a “mast Year” (I just looked it up, based on a vague memory). Mast years happen every 2-5 years, where oaks make loads of acorns, while other years they make very few. There is no definitive scientific explanation for this, but it has been theorized that in mast years there are so many acorns, some will definitely not be eaten by predators, allowing some oak trees to grow, while in other years, a lower production keeps the population of acorn eating species down.

Anyway. We might make flour. I’ve always wanted to make acorn flour.

Or we might not, but what was really great was doing something slow, repetitive and non-urgent. I’m sure many of you feel the way I do right now (super on edge, high strung, somewhat helpless, verging on hopeless . . . ) although I hope you don’t. It’s negatively affecting my ability to parent. I’m perpetually distracted.

A moment of collecting acorns (and spotting the ones that had germinated and planting them) was just what we needed. Mixed in with writing messages on the driveway to Dad (who was working at the farm) with chalk. “Dear Dad, Goodbye. Please water all the plants on the farm.” It was a great morning.

On Saturday we watched an important new documentary: “Gather”.

It’s about Indigenous American food sovereignty. It’s engaging, optimistic and so relevant. There are a lot of food/soil/regenerative agriculture films out right now, and we were reminded by a social media post by A Growing Culture that much of what is taught/shared/sold as regenerative and permaculture solutions to our food production/distribution problems are co-opted from Indigenous cultures. It’s important to remember that the knowledge and skills needed to produce a lot of food on a little land with less labor still exists. From the home page of A Growing Culture’s website: “Only 19% of arable lands are occupied by smallholder farmers, but small holder farmers make up 94% of the worlds farmers, preserving 95% of agricultural biodiversity and producing 70% of the worlds food.”

We encourage you to watch this film.

And eat your greens!

Hey, it finally rained a little, it has cooled down and suddenly the field of crops that looked the same for about a month burst to life. (We did resort to some irrigation to get us through). We have a lot of lush greens coming your way this week. We know some of you can be overwhelmed by too many greens. Here are a few ways to use up your greens:

Make pesto
Blanch and freeze
Also, eat lettuce and arugula first, pea tendrils and spinach have a much longer shelf-life. We just ate spinach last night from the farmer’s market the week before and it was in great shape. Bunched greens should go in plastic bags. Bok choy will last a long time in a plastic bag – take off twist ties!

For those of you who have been with us for the fall in the past, you know we like to do as much of an open-choice/free-for-all as possible. But this year was a really, really tough growing season, and we want to make sure produce isn’t wasted, so we are going to be a little more specific about what is in the share. You should feel great about this. By joining a CSA and committing to eating what is in season, and what’s available you are supporting a system with very little food waste. We are also, as we said we would, buying in some of the bulk items to supplement the share. This week your carrots and sweet potatoes come from Riverland Farm in Sunderland and your butternut comes from Sparrow Arc Farm in Vermont. If Vermont seems far to you, please know that Matt grew up in our area and moved away to find affordable farm land. The reality is there just isn’t enough farm land in our towns to feed us all, and supporting a regional food system is the way to go.

We think this is a great share.

What’s in the share:
One head lettuce
One bag lettuce mix
One bag spinach
One bag pea tendrils
One bag arugula
One Sugar Pie Pumpkin

One medium butternut squash (A note on these, we bought them from Sparrow Arc Farm, Matt used to run Look Out Farm in Natick way back when, and now farms in Vermont as an important part of the regional food system. Frost came extra early up there and the butternut was not able to be left to cure in the field before packing in the bins. In order to prevent the fruit from stabbing each other with their stems, the stems were removed. Don’t worry, they will still taste great.)
Choose 5 bunches: Beets, Sweet turnips (they are perfect right now, greens too!), radishes, kale, chard, brussels sprouts tops, dandelion greens, bok choy, cilantro, parsley, thyme
Mix and Match 5-6 pounds: Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, eggplant (including fairy tale eggplant, we have a lot, please take some!!!)


BEET AND TURNIP GRATINhttps://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/beet-and-turnip-gratin.htmlA gorgeous and light gratin – no heavy cheese or cream – just garlic and herbs and chicken broth to highlight the beets and turnips. (Fill in with sweet potatoes and or radishes as needed)
GARLIC ROASTED RADISHES WITH RANCH DRESSINGhttps://therealfoodrds.com/garlic-roasted-radishes/Roasting radishes mellows them and gives them a hint of sweetness from the caramelization.
BEET LATKES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND CARAWAY SOUR CREAMhttps://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/dinner/beet-latkes-with-smoked-salmon-and-caraway-sour-cream/These colorful latkes are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
ARUGULA SALAD WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE AND PARMESAN CHEESEhttps://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/arugula-salad-with-olive-oil-lemon-and-parmesan-cheese-recipe-1943201My favorite use for arugula is as a topping on a caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza but if you prefer a more traditional recipe, check out this super simple but very flavorful salad:
CARAMELIZED SWEET POTATO AND APPLE HASH BROWNShttps://www.paleorunningmomma.com/caramelized-sweet-potato-apple-hash-browns/This is one of my family’s favorite fall weeknight dinners. It’s sweet and savory with a hint of cinnamon. We serve this up with some maple breakfast sausage patties from our meat CSA.
SIMPLE LEMON PASTA WITH PARMESAN AND PEA SHOOTShttps://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/simple-lemon-pasta/Two different CSA members recommended this super simple pasta dish bursting with spring time flavors.
PUMPKIN PUREEhttps://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a11184/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/This is my go-to recipe for roasting pumpkins. I roast mine up and freeze in baggies for use in my favorite pumpkin dishes all winter long.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CHORIZO-SPICED KALEhttps://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roasted-butternut-squash-chorizo-spiced-kaleThis hearty vegetarian dish uses the same seasonings as chorizo. Don’t have any Pimentón de la Vera picante? Don’t worry – it’s just hot smoked paprika. You can subsittute with smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne.
FEEL GOOD FALL SALADhttps://www.gimmesomeoven.com/feel-good-fall-salad/Versatile fall salad with simple ingredients that can easily be swapped for what you have on hand.
GRILLED MUSHROOM AND BOK CHOY TACOS WITH ASIAN CILANTRO PESTOhttps://food52.com/recipes/29036-grilled-mushroom-bok-choy-with-asian-cilantro-pestoA vegetarian taco that you’ll want to make again and again.

SUMMER CSA Weeks 7, 8 and 9

The rain storm on Thursday making its way across Massachusetts. Not much more than a half inch, but we were grateful. Thursday members, thanks for finding us in our altered spot. We are inquiring as to whether we can be in that spot for the rest of the summer. If not, it will be back to our usual spot (hopefully).

So, I skipped some of my blog posts the last few weeks and just sent some pretty basic emails out directly to the CSA (it takes about 15 extra minutes to post to both WordPress and Constant Contact). Time was tight, not just because of work but because we were trying really hard NOT to work. Taking time for myself and my family is really important to me, and sometimes, especially when the season is as intense as this one, it means cutting back on some of my responsibilities to make that time available.

There is a pervasive culture in farming of striving to be the person who works the hardest for the longest. I fell prey to it early on in my career and it lead me down a path of constant stress, panic attacks and amplified anxiety. I went to therapy for a year and half, art therapy specifically, and my takeaways were actually quiet simple (but took a lot of effort – I can still feel the physical strain my body went through to come to and accept these realizations, and I’m deeply grateful for my therapist and art therapy as a practice):

  1. I am worth while and valuable, regardless of what I produce (still working on this one daily, definitely not there yet)
  2. Process is more important than product. I’m an incredibly outcome based individual. Enjoying activities (or doing nothing . . . ) simply because of the pleasure of the process is really hard for me. Now, if I’m going to try to create something I work on giving up any expectations about what the results will be and try to be fully present and enjoy the project. And I try to make time for nothing (which almost never happens, but I still try). It’s especially important now that I have a son and need to make space for relaxation and play. Its way too easy to be constantly busy (even if its just in my head). I have to make concerted effort to be present and content without expectations. When this happens for me, it is truly blissful.
  3. Self-care is incredibly important. I’m not talking commercialized self-care. I’m talking (for me): make time to read more than one page of a book before I pass out from exhaustion at night, taking a shower, going to a yoga class with people I love regularly, taking a nap, taking a shower, doing something “unproductive”, saying ‘No’, making time to learn. Speaking my mind.

I struggle with the last part. I have some deep beliefs that I don’t speak about freely. In part because I learned in my early twenties that I was lead to believe that I am special and my opinions are important (and yes I am and yes they are) but so much so that I was taking up too much space. I didn’t listen to or see other people and their opinions so I got quieter because I was trying to make room for others and to just listen.

I love listening, maybe so much-so that I spend too much time internalizing what I listen to and I don’t make space for conversation, except with those I feel very close to. I’m starting to crack out of my listening shell. I hear myself speaking frankly often now, and it feels rich and full and right. Even if it makes other people uncomfortable.

But another reason why I don’t speak up is out of fear of conflict. I have been trained, like so many others, to “be quiet, polite, indirect and submissive, not to disturb the status quo,” as highlighted by adrienne maree brown in Emergent Strategy (I’m almost done . . .!). One of my current goals is to find healthy ways to engage in conflict, rather than avoiding it and teach myself better ways to engage with the world.

Now, a moment just to recognize all of my privilege: I could afford to pay for therapy, I could afford time for therapy, I was exposed to a culture that encouraged me to seek therapy, I can choose to avoid conflict. (I’m sure there is more.)

I’m hesitant to call my anti-racism work self-care, because the point of anti-racism work is to celebrate, protect and uplift Black, Indigenous and People of Color, but experiencing joy, compassion, empathy, human connection, learning and improving my ability to do good in the world are forms of self-care, and my anti-racism work so far has included all of these things.

Yesterday Kevin and I watch a recording of a lecture we signed up for but could not attend live (we are fairly unavailable from 6am to 8pm every day, so unless its a Sunday, we are watching recordings). The lecturer was EbonyJanice Moore, pronounced like “peace”, the Black girl joy expert, womanist, scholar and activist. The lecture was: “White Urgency is Violence“. It was a valuable lecture, and I encourage you to watch it in full. One of the important points she makes is that many of us do not have a learning ethic which requires us to be very humble when entering a conversation about something like Black Lives Matter, and we don’t respect that centuries of work has been going on long before we started listening. So instead of talking, we should listen. And think about what we are hearing, and listen more.

“Deep internal listening over reacting and response,” is one of EbonyJanice’s ethics and lived praxis. Slowing down and really taking time and making space to listen and internalize. “Listening deeply makes it more easeful and pleasurable to learn.”

As someone who loves listening, this makes me feel comfortable. Which I’m sure was not her intention. I have privilege and power and I need to be using that power to amplify the voices of the most marginalized and oppressed people. But it’s one of the valuable points in her lecture and I think worth sharing (watch the lecture for the rest).

Another example of white urgency which came up during her question and answer session, and which I experienced when ordering books from Frugal Book Store in Boston (when all of us white people realized we should own more books by Black authors that center Black people). In particular, especially since we aren’t going to the library now and we are reading the same books over and over (and over and over and over), I wanted to make sure Harvey was reading books that center Black characters. Too often there is a “token” black character who is not the main character in children’s books, or worse, just a few non-white characters depicted in crowds on the playground in the background.

So we ordered books. And a week later we get an email from Frugal Bookstore explaining that they are a small business and they had to hire a company to help them fill orders and they are sorry that our books hadn’t come yet. And they said some people were complaining and demanding their money back. As a small business owner I empathized so deeply with their experience and was not surprised but still enraged that a person seeking to do anti-racism work through purchasing books and supporting black businesses would behave that way. That is the violence of white urgency. How. How can people be so self-centered and impatient? How can they not have thought through what was happening: it’s a pandemic, the state is under a stay at home order, millions of white people are rushing to support black owned businesses and there is ONE black owned book store in greater Boston (if you know of more please share). Scaling a business takes time. Supporting a small business means subscribing to reality, maybe even subscribing to humanity.

Be patient. Listen. Listen more. Think and then listen. And just learn how to wait.

Notes for myself on other things I want to think more about/write about:
The urgency of food production and my daily life
Food donation as a band-aid not a solution
Land. Land. Land.

A few of the people I have been listening to that really touched me this week:
@vanessalgerman “On the Harvest of Sorrow And Cantaloupe”

Thanks for reading, now, onto the share.

House keeping:

BAGS – You can bring your own, reusable bags. You can bring them to the grocery store now, you can bring them to CSA.

SCALES – We started using scales a little bit again last week, just with potatoes. It has been very stressful to count every cucumber and zucchini to make sure we don’t run out. It might not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I try really hard not to run out of an item before the end of CSA (sometimes with choice its just the way it is, I’m not a grocery store, buying tons of food and throwing lots of it out just so I can have a full display for people to get whatever they want whenever they want).
So, there will be a weighted mix and match this week, really simple just cukes/zukes and fennel. I’ll give a weight range so you don’t have to feel like you’re trying to be precise. Try not to take fruits and then put them back. Aim for the biggest thing you want first.
I know this makes pick up a little slower for you, but I have literally spent hours and hours trying to make CSA pick up as fast as possible this year and I need to be spending that time growing food. If enough of you feel strongly about not having scales I can get you an estimate of how many added hours it takes for us to make that possible and maybe we can raise the funds to pay someone to do that work, but our business just can’t afford it anymore. We will still be dividing up the beans and tomatoes this week, so we aren’t doing nothing, but we can’t do it all.

What’s in the Share
Basil (we have to clear the bed). Make pesto. Or just stand your basil in a glass of water like a bouquet. If you change the water once in a while it will start growing roots. I had some from two weeks ago that still looked good on Sunday.
Scallions (we have to clear the bed). Guess what? Stand these guys up in water and they will keep growing too! We are basically harvesting a farm for your kitchen counter.
One Head of Lettuce. We are in between plantings and its a heat wave. Hopefully next week the new planting will be ready.
Green Beans. Not sure how much – have to pick them tomorrow, at least a half pound, maybe a full pound?!
Tomatoes. Same. At least a pound and a half, probably two pounds, or more?!
Green/Purple peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, shishito peppers, tomatillos . . . all in some kind of choice scenario . . . again, have the pick them to determine quantities!


ROASTED TOMATILLO ENCHILADAShttps://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/roasted-tomatillo-enchiladas/This is my favorite way to use tomatillos. I usually make a big batch of the sauce as soon as I get tomatillos in my share and freeze it until I’m ready to make these amazing enchiladas.
GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD WITH TOMATILLO MOLEhttps://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grilled-vegetable-salad-raw-green-moleThis recipe calls for pattypan squash but you can substitute summer squash or zucchini. The amazing tomatillo mole can be used as a dip as well.
SLAB TOMATO TART WITH BURRATAhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/280620/tomato-tart-with-burrata/Tomato tarts are pretty much mandatory this time of year. This is an udpated version with burrata cheese which is amazing if you’ve never tried any.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHISHITO PEPPERShttps://www.paleoscaleo.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-shishito-peppers/If you’ve never tried Shishito peppers they are AMAZING. They’re fantastic blistered in a skillet with a little olive oil sprinkled with salt.
WHITE GAZPACHOhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252619/white-gazpacho/This chilled soup is perfect for a hot summer night (and for using up your extra cucumbers)! 😉
GRILLED EGGPLANT WITH SUMMER MARINARAhttps://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-eggplant-summer-marinaraA slow cooked tomato sauce layerd with grilled eggplant, mozzarella and fresh basil. Serve it family style with hunks of crusty bread for sopping up the extra sauce.
PEANUT ZOODLE SALAD WITH CHICKENhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/280559/peanut-zucchini-noodle-salad-with-chicken/Zucchini, red cabbage and carrots make this salad as colorful as it is delicious.
The farm CRV pulling it’s weight last week at Eliot St.

Winter Share: December

First Winter CSA pick up is this Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm. 28 South St, Ashland. Not a share member? See you at the Hopkinton Winter Market on Sunday, 12-4pm at Weston Nurseries!

Saturday looks like it might be really rainy, so wear rubber boots – its going to be a slop fest! Pick up is in the blue greenhouse. Bring at least two bags, we have extra if you forget.

Butternut, Carnival Squash, Carrots and Sweet Potatoes . . . these are the highlights of the first December share! Luckily, winter squash and sweet potatoes store nicely in your home, at room temperature – and they are sweet and delicious. And carrots are just so easy to eat . . .

And you’ll have to make a choice! Just two of these beauties are coming home with you this week. Greens in December are a wonderful treat, but we have limited greenhouse space, and we don’t have enough of each for everyone, so we’re giving you a choice. Choose two between bok choy, hakurei turnips, pea tendrils and cabbage (napa or savoy).

But everyone gets spinach and lettuce! We know you love it!

And then you get to make some choices: potatoes, beets, onions, kohlrabi (green not purple), rutabaga, watermelon radish, purple top turnips, red and yellow onions, and (not pictured) celeriac and parsnips.

And how on earth could I forget the leeks!!! We just spent Tuesday morning, in the best weather we could have hoped for, harvesting the leeks from the field. They weathered the snow and single digit temperatures with respectable resolve, and after stripping some layers off they are practically perfect. There is probably a lovely and poetic comparison to be made between a December leek and the human condition, but I’m not ready to use up this precious 1.5 toddler nap time to try and write it . . .

I think there are less than five new members in the winter share, most of you have been with us for years now, or at least with us for a share earlier this year. I say it every year (and I said it pretty well last year if you feel like reading it), eating locally in winter in New England can be a challenge, but the reward is pretty spectacular. We get to eat local food we grew ourselves and only really cool people want to eat locally in winter so we get to see all of you once a month. Our spirits get lifted, we see a little silver lining in the grey clouds of our impending socio-political/environmental doom, and we get a great work-out carrying a few tons of produce around in the slush.

This share is great. Eat up. There is lots more to come the first week of January. We had a really good butternut and sweet potato year, so you’ll be getting lots more in about 3 weeks.

What’s in the share (more specifically):

Butternut: 5-6pounds
Carnival and other specialty squash: 3-4pounds
Sweet Potatoes: 4 pounds
Carrots: 2 pounds
Leeks: 2 pounds
Spinach: 1 bag 1/3-1/2 pound
Lettuce: 2 heads
Choose 2: Sweet Turnips, pea tendrils, bok choy, napa/savoy cabbage
Mix and Match 7 pounds: potatoes, onions, watermelon radish, beets, parsnips, celeriac, more carrots, purple top turnips, rutabaga . . . maybe something else I’m forgetting.

What to do with your vegetables:

Jess’s Recipes
(please note, that when I told Jess what would be in the share, kale was going to be a choice but then the deer punched through the row cover and ate it! You can sub spinach or turnip greens for a lot of these recipes)

So many goodies in this month’s share! I tried to mix up the recipes so you’ll have some quick and easy ones, and some that are still relatively easy but fancy enough for your holiday table.


This hearty casserole is perfect for a cold winter night but would also work beautifully for a holiday breakfast or brunch.



Looking for something different to do with your kale than another salad? This one is easy enough for a weeknight and would pair well with pretty much any chicken or pork dish.


Fancy enough for your holiday table but easy enough for any night of the week.


If you need a quick meal to get on the table this soup is great all by itself. If you’re feeling like you have a little more time on your hands (and some burrata cheese in your fridge) then go all out. You won’t be sorry!


1 1/2 pounds Spicy Sausage (casing removed)
2 Parsnips (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
1 Rutabaga (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
1 Butternut Squash (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
2 Golden Beets (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
1 Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
2 tablespoons Flour
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Milk
2 1/2 cups Gruyere Cheese (grated)
freshly cracked Black Pepper
1 Apple (peeled and cut into 1 1/2″ chunks)
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a large saute pan, cook sausage over medium heat, rendering fat. Remove sausage from from pan and discard fat.

2. Spread cut vegetables onto a lightly oiled baking sheet in one layer. Use two baking sheets if needed. Bake for 20 minutes but still firm. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour to form a paste. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Whisk in the wine breaking up lumps and cook for 1 minute. Stir in stock and milk and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minute. Add 2 cups cheese, remove from heat and stir to melt.

4. Combine the sausage, vegetables and fruit in a baking dish and pour cheese sauce over top. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


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
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking oil – canola or olive
Asian Dipping Sauce

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.


Delectable little stacks topped with crispy sage and parmesan cheese. Try swapping out some of the sweet potatoes for regular potatoes or parsnips!



This amazing gratin can be MADE AHEAD and frozen or refrigerated so you’ll have one less thing to stress about when you’re down to the wire.

As always, thanks to Bob Durling, of Bob Durling Photography for the great shots of our produce!


One week from the big day.

We’ve got you covered.

An incredible variety of produce is headed to the Ashland Thanksgiving Farmer’s Market, Saturday November 23rd, 9am-1pm @ the Ashland Middle School.

You can definitely get all your sides covered with the vegetables we will bring.

We also want to let our CSA members know what will be in the share so they can plan ahead. Remember, if you are in the CSA you need to let us know if you will be picking up the Monday before or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. You should have received and email with a form, if not, email brittany@upswingfarm.com

What’s in the Share:

5-6lbs Butternut (a really big one or two medium)
2 lbs Sweet Potatoes
1/3-1/2 lb lettuce mix
1/4 lb pea tendrils or 1/3 lb slightly spicy salad mix
1 bunch kale
1 pint shallots/garlic
1/2 lb spinach
10 lbs mix and match: carrots, beets, purple top turnips, hakurei turnips, leeks, celeriac, parsnips, red onions, yellow onions, rutabaga, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, white potatoes, red potatoes, acorn squash, more butternut and sweet potatoes

For those of you without a share, we will have all of this plus a few extras at the Ashland Thanksgiving Market on Saturday at the Ashland Middle School from 9am-1pm. ALL of these items will last until Thanksgiving, but if you want to wait, you can shop at the farm stand from 12-6pm on Monday, November 25th.

See you soon!!

And, extra special thanks to Bob Durling Photography for these AMAZING photos that make our produce look like art.

Fall CSA: 3rd Distribution

There are few farms in eastern Massachusetts that exist without some kind of conservation restriction or other subsidy. Agriculture cannot compete with the fast and furious capital returns of residential development, but it has value that is significantly greater in the long run. It is a rare, and precious opportunity to be a part of farm land preservation.

Quick Request: if you live in Holliston, please attend a special town meeting tonight, Monday, October 28th at 7:30pm at the High School. During the meeting community members will be able to vote to approve to use of CPA funds to place an Agricultural Preservation Restriction on the property we currently farm. Although we will not be able to farm here in the future, we believe farmland preservation is important, and especially critical in the ever increasingly developed metro-west area. Please vote to approve the use of CPA funds to place an APR restriction on the property.

We’ve got some great shots of the farm from the last few weeks. What a fall. The exact opposite of last year, when it rained almost every day until November . . . we’ve got almost all the major storage crops out of the ground and we’re working on the rest of field clean up.

Garlic planting at Eliot St this week (hopefully). Compost is ready to be spread, just need to get the gearbox welded back onto the manure spreader . . .
This pretty much sums up my fall.
Deer are the worst. This was a bed of radicchio and endive that they destroyed by punching through the row cover. No more for us . . . the pressure is pretty bad this year. But, being a diversified farm helps us accept these losses. We over-plant as a kind of insurance against all the challenges and unknowns of farming. Even if we lose one crop, there are 60 others that might be thriving.
Carrot yields were amazing this year. We are moving on to harvesting the extra sweet late planting carrots for the next few shares – if you haven’t had them yet, oh boy are you in for a treat!
The greenhouse and tunnels are growing some great greens that will be in your last fall share and then in the winter share.

So, what’s in the share?
(we won’t make you, but we’d love it if you took some acorn squash and some bok choy this week . . . )

2 heads of lettuce
Shallot/garlic pint
Choice of 6: carrots, kale, turnip, radish, scallions, collards, dill, cilantro, spinach, pea tendrils, arugula, bok choy, celery
Mix and Match 10 pounds: acorn squash, delicata squash, butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, rutabaga, kohlrabi, purple top turnip, watermelon radish, beets, leeks

Jess’s recipes


If you haven’t already gotten on the bok choy band wagon, now is your chance! Not only is it a powerful antioxidant but it’s also great for your bones, digestion, immune system and your eyes. Oh, and did I mention that it is also incredibly versatile and can be used raw in salads and slaws or cooked up in a multitude of delicious ways? If you haven’t found a bok choy recipe to tantalize your taste buds yet, check out this article with 32 mouth-watering recipes. I lost count of the number of ways I want to use my bok choy this week.



Acorn squash is one of my FAVORITE fall treats. I have fond childhood memories of roasted acorn squash with maple syrup and bacon on a cool fall night: 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.

Or try one of the recipes below:


This is another of my favorite ways to cook acorn squash.  I threw this in the slow cooker one morning hoping for the best but not expecting much (if you have a slow cooker you know it’s not uncommon to be disappointed by what you come home to find in it). After a busy day I walked in the door and was hit with the most tantalizing smells of Thanksgiving. As is typical for things cooked in the slow cooker, the color was a little dull but the taste and aromas more than made up for it. We all loved it.


Here’s a fun one for Halloween night with pumpernickel bread bat croutons!

If those aren’t doing it for you, try one of these!



One of my favorite egg dishes involves sautéing a finely diced shallot in a little olive oil (sometimes with a diced jalapeno) and then frying in egg on top. If you find yourself with an excess of them, try out this tasty side dish.


Whenever I see rutabaga, I think of this recipe. Surprisingly hearty for a vegetable stew and the gruyere crostini with fresh rosemary are scrumptious!


If you’re new to watermelon radish, you’re in for a treat. They’re absolutely beautiful and deserve to be show-cased in a salad like this one.


This is my plan for Halloween night – fill them up on sweet potatoes before the sugar-fest begins!

Brittany’s own recipe for pumpkin pancakes. I’m always throwing a pumpkin or squash in the oven at this time of year, trying to save the ones with a blemish. So I have a lot of cooked squash around. If you ever have extra of any kind of winter squash I suggest giving this a go. Sorry for the chicken scratch – but this hand written recipe pretty much sums up my attitude about cooking. Also, I know its immersion blender, not emersion, give me a break, this was at like 6 am and my toddler was helping me.

Fall CSA: Week 1

Harvesting Kale.

We’ve had some lovely harvest mornings over the last few weeks. This late summer/early fall is so much better than last fall (remember when it would not stop raining?). The crops are looking lovely and the diversity is amazing. We hope you really enjoy your first fall share.

I made a video, which I have been meaning to do for years now, to talk about what to do when you get the bounty of the fall share home. Forgive us for the amateur nature of the video – we farm full time, so this is a late night/early morning endeavor. I also didn’t use a script.

Fennel goes in the fridge in a bag. 🙂

What’s in the share:
(Please note that when we are providing choices we can’t always ensure that the choices will all be available at the end of the day. We do our best, but we can’t always guess what people will choose, and sometimes we do just plain run out.)

Head Lettuce
A Pint of Shallots and Garlic

Choose 3:
Radish, sweet turnip, napa cabbage, kale, arugula, escarole, frisee, carrots, extra head of lettuce

Choose 2:
Scallions, Cilantro, Dill, Thyme, Oregano, Savory, Sage

Mix and Match 10 Pounds:
Tomato, pepper, eggplant, leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, delicatta squash, beets, kohlrabi, fennel

Jess’s Recipes
Learn more about Jess in the first blog of the Spring CSA.


Napa cabbage is my favorite type of cabbage. It’s very tender and mild and has a delightfully different texture. They also last a good long while in the fridge. Just tear off the outer leaves as you need them and before you know it, you’ll have worked your way through to the middle. This hearty and zingy chicken salad uses up quite a bit or you can try your hand at making a batch of kimchi!




If you’re just joining us for the fall share, you missed last week’s recipe for Chicken with Creamy Dill and Leek Sauce which is one of my favorites but don’t despair – you can find any of the recipes I’ve posted in past weeks by searching on the Upswing website. Another great way to use your leeks is in this delicious honey-lemon-leek sauté that you serve over chicken thighs:


Fresh herb choice this week so I thought I’d share some 411 on how to make the most of them. First off, as soon as you get your herbs home, take off the twisty-tie and wrap them up loosely in paper towels or a flour sack towel (I buy a bundle of 10 of these online) and put into a produce bag in your crisper drawer. I found this article for you on great ways to use most of the herbs we have up for grabs this week. Sage isn’t listed in the article but sage is great to use when roasting squash or I love to chop up a little bit and add it to sliced apples that I sauté and serve over a bagel with melted cheese for breakfast or as an after school snack.


Savory is another herb that isn’t mentioned in the article above and that doesn’t come up in a lot of recipes but it’s delicious and has a colorful history and getting to try unique ingredients is one of the coolest things about being part of a CSA! Summer Savory (as opposed to winter savory) has a peppery flavor, similar to thyme. It has long been used for medicinal purposes to cure all sorts of digestive issues and was long thought to be an aphrodisiac so was a mandatory ingredient in any love potion. If that isn’t enough to make you want to try it, check out this article with more history and lots of suggested uses.

My favorite use for arugula is as a topping on a caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza but if you prefer a more traditional recipe, check out this super simple but very flavorful salad:


If you’ve been with us since the spring share you might be growing weary of lettuce but that just means you need some new ideas on how to use it! This chopped salad screams fall with apples, pears and dried cranberries. I plan to substitute toasted pecans for the peanuts but do whatever makes you happy.


My friend and fellow CSA shareholder recommended this soup recipe. She knew it was a winner when all 3 of her kids asked for seconds!

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 medium onions, chopped
1 package vegetarian chorizo sausages, sliced – Lightlife Smart Sausages, but also like the Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan crumbles. Or meat sausages
6 cups vegetable broth
1 pound fresh kale, washed, stems discarded, chopped or shredded into small pieces
1 can kidney beans
2 large potatoes, cubed
½ box orzo
Kosher or sea salt

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add oil and cook garlic and onions until onions are soft. Add broth, potatoes and beans. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. Add kale and orzo and simmer 5-10 minutes or until orzo is cooked. Add more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Summer CSA: Week 14

(Three more weeks of Summer Share, including this week. This is the last week of the flower share.)

Hey everyone. I’m not going to bore you with my moral dilemas or ethical drivel this week. Just some great pictures and a few updates.

One, potatoes are in the share this week! We were late planting the potatoes this year because of wet fields and yields of new potatoes really suffered, but we did a test harvest of all the mid and late season potatoes on Friday and yields look good. Not quiet as good as last year, but surprisingly good, when I had dramatically lowered my expectations based on the new potato yields. We’ll put some cool ones in the share this week. Adirondack Blue and Red are just that, blue and red. Well, maybe more accurately purple and pink, but they are delicious, beautiful and fun to eat.

Sorry for the late notice on onion cleaning. It wasn’t on my radar, and then when it was I didn’t realize how soon it was. So, thanks to those of you who came, we had a great time and cleaned as many crates as last year. It really helps that the onions are bigger, so it takes less onions to fill a crate. French onion soup is something you should all be thinking about making sometime soon . . . we have a LOT of onions.

Zucchini and cucumbers and tomatoes are on their way out. There will still be some for a few more weeks but there will be limits on how much you can take. Although we love having as much choice as possible, when crops naturally start to slow down, we like to make sure everyone gets a chance to get some of the more popular crops. We will be moving into less of a free-for-all choice scenario for the last few weeks of the summer share.

The carrots are outstanding right now. We are having everyone take a bunch this week. If you haven’t ever tried it, grilling carrots whole and then dipping in dressing or your favorite dip is delicious!! I am very proud of the fall carrots.

Peppers and eggplants are still coming in strong. And corn is back this week! We will be picking the ears just slightly under developed because as soon as they reach full maturity the coyotes start eating them, and they can eat hundreds of ears over night. I tasted an ear this morning and it was so, so close. We will wait until just before CSA tomorrow to let them size up just a little more for Tuesday members.

We hope you enjoy your Week 14 share!

Whats in the share:

Melon or Spaghetti Squash
Greens Choice: Arugula, bok choy, kale, chard, cilantro, dill (1 small, 2 large)
Pint Choice: mini sweet peppers, shishito peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos
Tomatoes, Cucumber and Zucchini: Mix and match choice (1 pound small, 2 pounds large)
Eggplant, Green/Purple Peppers, Fennel, Red and Yellow Onions: Mix and match choice (1 pound small, 2 pounds large)

Jess’s Recipes


Lots of peppers this week! Luckily they’re super versatile so you can eat a ton of them in a week and never get bored. I was going to share a stuffed pepper recipe but then came across this article and each stuffed pepper recipe sounded more delicious than the last and I couldn’t decide on just one.


Another favorite way to use peppers is to roast them. You can either cut them in half and broil them skin side up for 15-20 minutes until charred or roast them on the grill whole until they’re soft and blackened and then put them in glass dish covered tightly with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle and then peel off the skins. The possibilities are endless with these: frittata, hummus, pasta sauce, pizza, soup, sandwiches.


Another idea is to sauté the peppers and onions and make fajitas, or a breakfast hash, serve them over an Italian sausage or burger, make a sandwich with grilled chicken and some melty cheese.


As a last resort, if you STILL have more peppers than you think you can use up just slice them into strips and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they’re completely frozen toss them into a freezer bag and you can use them all winter in soups, stews or sautés.


I love new and different summer salads and this one fits the bill. I’ll probably switch out bacon for the “pork cracklings” but don’t let me stop you!


I’ve gotta say, I don’t know if anything can top the 4 Cheese Pesto Stuffed Squash that was in last week’s recipe list, but I’m going to give these a try.


These look AMAZING. Sauteed swiss chard, pancetta and the sweet-tart hit of balsamic vinegar.


If you’re into cooking Mexican food then you’ve probably heard of Rick Bayless. This recipe is one of his (so you know it’s going to be good). I made up batch after batch of these last year with the tomatillos we got in our share. I like to make a double batch of the sauce and freeze half.


While my chickens prefer it when I share the greens with them, I do love a recipe that uses the entire carrot. Oh, and pesto. I love pesto.

Summer CSA: Week 4

For those of you who don’t follow us on social media, the above photo is of the chipping sparrow that has a nest in our sugar snap peas (which are now 7 feet tall!). We manage to leave her alone, although we do have to pick the peas every two days, we just skip over her section. Hopefully the incubation period is almost over because this planting of peas is about to have it’s last harvest tomorrow. Don’t worry, we won’t take the trellis down before she’s done nesting, and there is another planting of peas, so you’ll still get peas for another week or two.

That’s it for content this week. It was a long day preparing for our first flower share pick up tomorrow, plus starting harvest for Tuesday and finishing planting the 4th planting of sunflowers, and the last plantings of eggplant, peppers and cantaloupe!

In case you missed it, we are trying to be more flexible with pick up this week because of the holiday. Please complete this form and let us know when you plan to pick up your share.

It’s a great one! Enjoy!

What’s in the Share
Sugar Snap Peas
Lots of Lettuce
Arugula or more lettuce
Bok Choy
Zucchini/kohlrabi/beets mix and match

Jess’s Recipes

CRUNCHY BOK CHOY SLAW (Bok Choy, Carrots, Scallions)

If you’ve never tried bok choy raw (and even if you have) this slaw recipe with an Asian flair is a must try! Bok Choy is a sturdy green with a lot of crunch that will hold up well even with dressing on it.



This is one of my favorite kale salads. The trick is in “massaging” the kale – kale can be a bit on the tough/chewy side but this quick little trick softens it up and the flavor combination of tart lemons, sweet currants and salty pecorino cheese is amazing. I frequently substitute parmesan for the pecorino.



Still not sure what to do with your kohlrabi? Roasting it is another great way to serve it up. Just toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.



Now that summer is in full swing I love to have a bunch of side salads on hand so when the kids finally come in for dinner I can throw something on the grill and serve it up with whatever salads we have handy. This is a big favorite in our house.



This super easy summer salad is a favorite that my kids can make all by themselves. Keep it in your file in case we get inundated with cucumbers later in the season too. 😉



We’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.



If you’ve never tried burrata cheese you’ve been missing out. It comes in balls that are mozzarella on the outside with a creamy filling. It’s amazing – especially on top of grilled beets with a zesty orange vinaigrette. YUM!



This link has some great ideas for customizing your own signature taco salad. Always a big hit at barbecues or at home on a hot night when you don’t want a hot meal.


Spring CSA:Week 1

Well, I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but its been raining a lot this spring. Believe it or not I try to hold back when it comes to my complaints about the weather. Weather has a major impact on my life, though, so its hard not to talk about it, especially when we are setting records for number of rainy days in April since 1872!!

Rain helps plants grow, to be sure, and the old adage “April Showers bring May Flowers” definitely rings true. But there is a point when the soil is never allowed to dry at all when things get problematic. Air is actually just as important as water in the soil when it comes to plant health, especially annual vegetables. Oxygen is essential for many of the microorganisms that are actively working on the nutrients in the soil, making them available to plants. In fact, a lack of oxygen can kill off beneficial bacteria and allow anaerobic (thriving without oxygen) bacteria to flourish. You’ll know when your soil, or compost pile is anaerobic because it will start to smell like rotten eggs.

What do we do? At this point, we can’t do much. Our worms are active and the tunnels they leave do allow air to penetrate the soil, but right now we are just waiting for warmth, and wind, and sun. (Which we finally got a healthy dose of today. I swear I could see the tomato seedlings growing . . . )

Despite all this our first spring share is going to be great! We grew it entirely in greenhouses, where we control the moisture so we are starting off on a good foot. It’s the 2nd week that I worry about – but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve yet, but nothing as magical as producing food out of thin air.

We are sure you are as excited about fresh greens as we are. First I want to introduce our awesome CSA member, Jess, who is going to be helping me with the recipe portion of the blog this year. Some recipes will still come from me, but Jess has been with us since the beginning, and is always sending me great recipes, so we decided to level up and get her more involved. Here at Upswing Farm we want to empower our customers to feel confident eating the delicious produce we grow, even if it is something you don’t usually eat, or if it feels like more fresh produce than you usually consume (EVERYONE knows you should be eating boatloads of fresh produce – now is your change!). Feel free to ask questions at pick up, or send an email if you are unsure about anything. Don’t worry – there was a time when I didn’t know what arugula and bok choy were too.

Jess and her family!

A little about Jess: Hi! I’m Jessica Girotti and I live in Holliston with my husband, 2 children, 2 cats and 6 chickens. I work full-time from home as a Freelance Bookkeeper and I love to go camping, read as many books as I can get my hands on and to cook delicious things. We started getting a CSA share through Upswing Farm two years ago because we wanted to eat more locally grown food and were concerned about the pesticides and chemicals used in conventionally grown produce. We have been loving our shares! There is nothing like eating produce fresh from the field and our shares have challenged us to try so many new things and have kept us excited about eating more vegetables. When I first started getting my shares though, I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get my family on board with all of the vegetables. This season I’d love to share some of my tips and recipes with you to help you make the most of your share. Even if a recipe doesn’t sound like something your family will go for, it will hopefully give you some ideas on new ways to prepare the items in your share. Happy cooking!

So, what’s in the share:

Spinach: 2 bunches
Arugula: 1/3-1/2 pound
Head Lettuce: 1-2 butter heads
Pea Tendrils: 1/4 pound
Micro Greens: 1 container (container is compostable, but in a commercial facility, so it should probably go in the trash, after you re-use it a few times)
Radishes: 1 Bunch french breakfast

Here’s Jess’s ideas for what to do with it all!

“I can’t believe it’s FINALLY here! The first spring CSA share is something I look forward to all winter. Worried you won’t be able to use it all up? I’m going to share some tips and tricks for making the most of your CSA share and I’ll give you recipes that will help you make the most of every last bite. I’m a busy working mom and don’t have a ton of extra time on my hands and I’m guessing you don’t either so I’ll do my best to pick recipes that are relatively quick and easy and don’t call for dozens of exotic ingredients that you’ll never use again. Here’s my plan for this week.”

1 head Butterhead Lettuce

The spring share is always chock full of leafy greens and I’ve definitely been looking forward to highlighting the flavors of the season in a salad. I’ve adapted a salad from Joshua McFadden’s amazing new cookbook “Six Seasons: A Way With Vegetables” and you can easily keep adapting to include your favorite ingredients. It has the most amazing Lemon Cream Dressing, mint and sunflower seeds. Plus we’re going to use some of the French Breakfast Radishes on there as well. This salad is packed with the spring flavors you’ve been craving. (Recipes are at the end). Don’t have time to make the Lemon Cream? No problem – this salad will still be amazing with a super simple lemon vinaigrette. Just squeeze a lemon over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.


If you’re new to Arugula, it is a vibrant leafy green that pairs well with tangy goat cheese or blue cheese, citrus fruits like lemon, orange or grapefruit and sweet things like dates or caramelized onions. I’m planning on making mine into a pesto that I can toss with pasta for a super quick weeknight meal. If there’s any leftover pesto you can stir it into hummus, schmear it on sandwiches, toss it into soups or freeze it to use later.


I don’t know about you but there’s only SO much salad that I can expect my kids to consume without a fight. That can get tricky with the spring share but never fear! There are always plenty of creative non-salad options. I’m going to use my spinach in a frittata. This recipe should use up what you get in your share this week perfectly. Got a little more or less? No problem. If it’s close just toss it in, a little less will still work out fine especially if you increase the amount of the other veggies. If you have a lot more than you need just shred the extra up and mix it in with your salad or add it to a sandwich or wrap.

Pea Tendrils

These are my favorite! They have a mild, slightly sweet, earthy flavor and I could eat them right out of the bag (and frequently do). This week though I’m going to switch it up and try delicious creamy Pea Shoot Soup with Spring Onions. Can’t find Spring Onions? Scallions will work too.

1 container Microgreens – 2 cups/2 oz.

Packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients Microgreens are such a treat to have! They’re delicious in sandwiches or added to a salad but they also make a great pizza topping. I love making my own pizza and it’s surprisingly easy to throw the dough in the bread machine or Cuisinart but there are many nights when I don’t have time for that. If you’re short on time skip the from-scratch dough and pick up a bag of dough from the supermarket or your favorite pizza shop or, faster still, just use pre-baked crusts or Naan bread. Wegman’s sells them in perfect sizes for individual pizzas and in the summer we through them right on the grill instead of heating up the oven. This pizza sounds amazing with ricotta cheese, pistachios and bacon. I might add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or honey over the top too.

French Breakfast Radishes – 1 bunch

These beautiful oblong radishes are deliciously crispy and milder than a traditional radish. I’ll use some in my salad but I’m definitely saving the rest for these scrumptious little breakfast toasts. I love savory breakfasts and this one screams spring with the radishes, fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon.


Butterhead Lettuce with Lemon Cream, Radish & Mint

1 head heads Butterhead Lettuce

½ bunch of radishes, scrubbed, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 small handful fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup Lemon Cream (recipe below)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp salted sunflower seeds

Lemon Cream – makes ¾ cup

4 garlic cloves, smashed & peeled

½ cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp grated lemon zest

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Combine garlic and cream in a bowl and let sit for one hour. Strain out the garlic, season with salad and pepper and add the lemon zest. Whip by hand or with a mixer until it starts to thicken and then add the lemon juice and olive oil. Keep whipping until light and airy. It won’t be thick like whipped cream but it will have a nice creamy texture. Taste and adjust seasonings. Best if used in one day so scale the recipe down if you don’t think you’ll finish it.

Arugula Pesto: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/arugula-pesto-51116200

Spinach and Feta Fritatta: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/spinach-and-feta-frittata-recipe-2108113

Pea Shoot Soup: http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pea-shoot-soup/

Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese Pizza with Pistachios Bacon and Micro Greens


French Breakfast Radishes on Toast https://www.killingthyme.net/2016/05/09/french-breakfast-radishes-toast/