THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 7

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

 

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Lettuce
  • Swiss chard
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Radishes
  • Green onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Squashes

Letter from Windflower Farm

 

Delivery #7, Week of July 16, 2018

Notes from the farm. 

Good news - it rained! Not enough, but enough for this week. 

The well drillers were here on Friday - a father and son both named Clarence. When I told the elder Clarence that the well they dug for us ten years ago was still giving us over 65 gallons a minute he nodded his head and laughed and attributed the success of the well to the mysterious workings of his dowsing rod. “The water is there, you just have to know how to find it,” he said, pointing to the dusty ground. “Some people believe in the rod, some don’t,” he added.

The younger Clarence, who did most of the talking, identified a site on the top of our back hill as a promising well location. It’s convenient because it is where our son, Nate, might like to build a cabin one day, but, to me, the location is not an intuitive one. Because surface water is found at the bottom of hills, and not the top, it seems logical that subsurface water should be found at the bottom, too. But Clarence explained that while gravity, which is the primary force governing the location of surface water, is also at work under ground, the vast network of cracks and fissures and dams in the bedrock below our feet play a role that cannot be guessed at above ground. “We don’t know if we are standing on a porous substrate that allows water to flow freely downward or if there is impervious rock just a couple of feet below us that has dammed water at higher elevations” he explained.

He pointed out that our first well – the 65 GPM well, which is on high ground – was dug to a depth of 480 feet. And he said that he dug a well for my neighbor in the valley below us to a depth of 350 feet and still found just 12 gallons of water. “We found a high elevation pool over at your place, but you never know.” The cost of the well, he said, would be $10/foot. Plus the cost of well casing and the auger bit. And there would be the pump, the pressure tank and the generator. “All together, we can do it for under $10,000, maybe under $8,000.”

Then Clarence said he’d be back with his dowsing rod once we’ve cleared a way through the hedgerow large enough to accommodate his drilling rig. When he returns, I’ll try very hard to believe in his dowsing rod.

Have a great week, Ted


BYOB = Bring Your Own Bags!

 

Please remember to bring bags with you when you come to pick up your share.

And if you have spare plastic bags at home, bring them along too! We need donations to keep our bag supply topped up for anybody arrives without them.

Thank you!


Volunteering Update


Thank you to all our members who have volunteered these past several weeks for helping to kick off the season on such a high note! We appreciate your time, energy, and hard work, and we could not have done it without you.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to sign up for your CSA volunteer hours for the season as spots are filling up quickly! You can sign up using the following link - http://signup.com/go/ovJPPsq. Friendly reminder to all our members to kindly keep the commitments you sign up for on the volunteer site and prevent last minute cancellations to the best of your ability.

We have had a few instances of members removing their names from the volunteer schedule on short notice, which can leave us short handed on pick up nights. In the event that you can no longer make your shift, we encourage you to utilize the Clinton Hill CSA forum to swap volunteer hours or give other members an opportunity to sign up for your shift. In order to ensure there's enough room on the schedule for those who haven't already signed up for hours, we ask that members sign up through the website to fulfill your hours rather than volunteering without being on the schedule. Thank you all for your continued support! 

Note: This week we can use 1-2 additional volunteers for the early shift (4-6pm). If you are able to help out, please sign up using the above link.

Colby
Volunteer Coordinator
volunteer@clintonhillcsa.org

 

Tomatoes Galore

It's that time of year when every meal seems to involve tomatoes! The Kitchn has a fabulous collection of tomato recipes, from toasts to tarts, sauces to salads. Here's a nice cooling one for hot summer nights. Enjoy.

Asian-Inspired Tomato Gazpacho

Serves 4

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (5 to 6 medium tomatoes)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, roughly chopped
1 slice white or country bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
Salt and pepper

Add the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and fish sauce to a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Chill 30 minutes before serving.

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 6

 

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

 

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Scallions
  • Onions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer squashes
  • Lettuces
  • Your choice of collards, kale or Swiss chard
  • Perhaps a little something else...!
  • Fruit: Yonder Farm’s sweet cherries

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #6, Week of July 9, 2018

This week’s share. 

Your sixth share will contain peas, broccoli, scallions, onions, garlic scapes, cucumbers, summer squashes, lettuces, your choice of collards, kale or Swiss chard and perhaps a little something else. Your fruit will be Yonder Farm’s sweet cherries. Next week you should get more of the same along with our first peppers and tomatoes in your vegetable share and cherries or blueberries in your fruit share.

This week’s projects: transplant cauliflower and lettuces and your last corn. Seed a round of radishes, arugula and a greens mix. Install a new pump and put drip lines on potatoes (a first for us). Run overhead irrigation on greens, sweet corn and beans and run the drip lines everywhere. Weed broccoli. Harvest all the garlic and early onions.

What’s new on the farm. 
 

Dry conditions continue to consume all of our attention. Every two or three hours we switch some plumbing or fire up a new pump. The wet weather system predicted for late last week – scattered storms that would deliver heavy rainfall up and down the Hudson Valley – missed us completely. And there is little chance of rain in the current ten day forecast. The walk in to the pond follows a now well-worn path and - the silver lining - it’s a refreshing escape from the sun. The path is the length of a city block and follows along a creek, over logs, through ferns, around fox dens. When I arrive at the pond’s edge, the frogs all jump in. It’s as though the life guard has given the all clear signal to the kids at the community pool. Starting the pump had been a headache, but the new Honda GX390 we installed last year has proven to be a reliable motor and the new cast iron impeller a significant improvement over the cheaper plastic models we’ve used in the past. With all the practice, I have finally learned how to set the choke and throttle so that it starts with a single, gentle pull. Small satisfaction. The middle pond still has plenty of water, but the back pond is now dry, and without rain sometime soon, we’ll start to experience losses. Vegetables are more than 90% water. We are a little desperate here, but are trying to keep up. Northeastern farmers are used to irrigating, but, unlike California’s vegetable farmers, we are unaccustomed to providing all of the water our crops need. We don’t have canals or federal irrigation projects. The farm is getting a little weedy, and we are behind in our plantings, but, so far, we are keeping established crops watered. We will keep you posted. Now, off to climb on the Sherpa - there are two pumps to turn off for the night.

Have a great week, Ted


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Greens Greens Greens! 


The season of yummy greens continues, and this week we're lucky to have two contributions from Beet readers to help you make the most of them. CSA member John Mahoney sent in a recipe for "Greens and Beans," and Core Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Frosini has some tips on how to store greens if you don't manage to eat them right away...
 

GREENS AND BEANS

John says: "I made this with last week's haul and just wanted to share! It's not anything crazy regarding your typical approach to collards, but it's a pretty flexible weeknight recipe and thought I'd send it in case it sparked any other ideas."

Collards, chard or kale: the choice is yours!

Ingredients
3 strips bacon or equivalent amount pancetta/chorizo/ham/fatty cured meat (optional), chopped into bite-sized pieces or small cubes
1 large bunch collards or other hearty greens (chard, kale)
1 medium or two small onions, halved and sliced
1 garlic scape, chopped (or 2 cloves)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I love organic Better than Bouillon if I don't have stock on hand!)
1 can of beans (I used small white beans, but substitute chickpeas/kidneys/black-eyed peas/lentils/your favorite freely)
Olive oil
1 tbsp (or more/less to taste) apple cider vinegar
Salt/pepper
Hot sauce
 
Instructions
1. Trim the long stems protruding from the leaves of the collards/greens and chop into 3/4-inch pieces, discarding any particularly woody or thick end pieces. Coarsely chop the leaves (no need to fully de-stem). 

2. If using, fry the bacon in a deep pot in a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil (skip oil if meat is especially fatty) until crisp, then remove and reserve, leaving fat in the pot. If not using meat, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter and proceed. 

3. Sauté the onion and chopped collard stems on medium heat until softened and very lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

4. Toss in half the chopped garlic scape and sauté for one more minute.

5. Add the chopped greens, cup of stock, vinegar, and reserved bacon if using and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and black pepper (can omit the salt if using bacon or salted stock)

6. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat until thickest stems are tender, ~15-20 minutes for collards, potentially less for chard or kale.

7. Uncover pot, add remaining chopped garlic scape and continue to simmer until liquid is slightly reduced but not gone, 3-5 minutes more.

8. Drain and rinse canned white beans, add to the pot, and stir until incorporated and heated through. Check for salt & seasoning. 

9. Serve with steamed rice/grains, buttered bread, avocado, or on its own—dressed with your favorite hot sauce

 

FREEZING COOKED GREENS


You can freeze greens raw or cooked. Thanks to Chelsea, here is your option for cooked greens (via Fresh Bites Daily.)


Ingredients
2 quarts greens

Instructions
1. Put on a large pot of water to boil.
2. Tear the greens into usable cooking sizes if they are large.
3. Wash the leaves well.
4. Add the leaves to boiling water for five minutes.
5. Discard the boiling water through a strainer or colander.
6. Run cool water over the leaves to cool them quickly.
7. Once the leaves are cool, grab a handful, squeeze out the water, and place the leaves in a quart-sized freezer bag.


Summer Squash Pizza


Here's a five-ingredient pizza to get you through the summer squash glut, inspired by Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery via Smitten Kitchen. Thanks again to Core Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Frosini for the recipe.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for fingertips
1 recipe pizza dough (below) or about a 2/3 volume of my lazy fitted-to-your-schedule favorite or your favorite, whichever it may be
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 small-medium or 3 large) zucchini or other summer squash, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated gruyere cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

Instructions
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans (as I do) with olive oil. Divide your dough in half and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even. If holes form, just pinch them together.

Use a food processor with a grater attachment or the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), until the zucchini has wilted and released its water. Drain the zucchini in a colander and then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, a fistful at a time. Back in the large bowl (wiped out if still wet), toss the zucchini with the gruyere shreds, being sure to break up any clumps of zucchini. Taste the mixture; it should be seasoned enough from the salt, but you can add more, plus ground pepper or pepper flakes if desired.

Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough(s), going all the way to the edges of the pan and piling it a bit thicker at the edges, where it will brown first. Sprinkle messily with the bread crumbs.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and dig in.

Jim Lahey’s Basic Pizza Dough
This is halved and modified a bit

2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (250 grams) all-purpose or bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) instant or active dry yeast
A heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
2/3 cups (150 grams) room temperature water

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until well blended, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Continue using instructions above.


Contribute to The Beet

Get involved! If you have a local event to promote, a service to offer, or a recipe to share, get in touch via newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 5

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

 

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Peas or bunched pea shoots
  • Bunched yellow onions
  • Purple kohlrabi
  • Potted Genovese basil
  • Garlic scapes
  • A variety of greens, including two heads of lettuce, Swiss chard, a mustard mix and collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Green zucchinis or yellow ‘Zephyr’ squashes
  • Fruit: Pete’s small but delicious sweet cherries

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #5, Week of July 2, 2018

Happy July fourth!

Your fifth share of the season will contain peas or bunched pea shoots. This year, we have grown snap peas and snow peas, both of which are eaten as whole pods either fresh or steamed. If you get your peas in bunched form, keep in mind that the tendrils and leaves and blossoms are good in salads and that the stems are woody and should be discarded. You’ll also get bunched yellow onions, purple kohlrabi, potted Genovese basil, garlic scapes and a variety of greens, including two heads of lettuce, Swiss chard, a mustard mix and collards. And you’ll get cucumbers and green zucchinis or yellow ‘Zephyr’ squashes. Your fruit share will consist of Pete’s small but delicious sweet cherries.

We have begun practicing the siesta here at the farm. We were indoors watching the World Cup after lunch yesterday, when temperatures were in the 90s, and then out planting beans in the relatively cooler evening hours. Irrigating happened all day long, but that was largely a matter of my turning valves and operating pumps. It is early Sunday morning as I write this, the Medinas are harvesting collards and Swiss chard and Jan is harvesting some of the longer lived cut flower varieties. They will cool their harvests, dunking them into tubs of cold well water, in the case of the greens, or into buckets of fresh water in the case of the cut flowers, and have them in their respective coolers before the day heats up (we will harvest your salad greens tomorrow). We will then turn our attention to onions, cucumbers, kohlrabi and squashes - vegetables that are less immediately sensitive to the heat. Processing the onions and kohlrabi – removing stems, roots and bad leaves and bunching - is something we will do in the shade, the Medina’s Mariachi music in the background, something cold to drink at hand.

You are invited to our open house at Windflower Farm on the weekend of August 25 - 26. There will be farm tours, a potluck supper, live music, a bonfire, camping (or staying at a nearby B&B or motel), breakfast prepared by the farm crew, a county fair, swimming in the Battenkill River and the camaraderie of your fellow CSA members from throughout New York. More details to come, including information regarding transportation.

I hope you can join us. And I hope you have a happy fourth of July.

Best wishes, Ted


Pea Shoot Recipe

This week you'll be receiving peas or pea shoots - here's some inspiration for what to do with them, via The Kitchn...

Toasted Farro Salad with Fresh Peas, Pea Shoots, and Herbs
Serves 4

For the champagne vinaigrette:
1 green onion, trimmed and minced
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
Pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the farro salad:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry farro
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 pound fresh English peas, shelled
4 ounces herb-encrusted Capricho de Cabra cheese or goat's milk chèvre, crumbled
1 cup pea shoots and flowers, shoots torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste

To make the vinaigrette, whisk to combine green onion, garlic, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt in a small bowl; whisk in honey and olive oil.

Set a large, wide-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and when hot, add farro. Stirring constantly, toast until farro has darkened a shade and smells nutty and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Fill pot with cold water and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered until farro is tender but chewy, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and and spoon farro into a large salad bowl. Toss warm farro with several tablespoons vinaigrette and set aside.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a vigorous boil. While water comes to a boil, set out a strainer and a large bowl filled with ice water. When water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add peas to boiling water, cook 60 seconds, strain, and immerse strainer with peas in ice water. Drain and set aside.

To assemble salad, toss dressed farro with peas and goat cheese. Drizzle with a few teaspoons vinaigrette and gently toss. Add pea shoots and flowers, and fresh mint, and toss very gently. Finish with a drizzle of vinaigrette and a few twists of pepper.

Zucchini Recipes

You can never have too many zucchini recipes (and therefore you can never have too many zucchini...!) Here are some unusual and delicious ways with zucchini (or courgettes) from Yotam Ottolenghi: a filo pie, a savory porridge, and a salad. Thanks to CHCSA Head Coordinator Ruth Katcher for the link! 


Celebrate Your Independence from Waste!

This Fourth of July, the NYS DEC put out this great guide to throwing waste-free parties all summer long. From the decorations to the food, there are so many ways to make your gathering environmentally-friendly. Many thanks to CHCSA Distribution Manager Stephen Narloch for the link! 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 4

 

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

 

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Lettuces
  • Mustard mix
  • Swiss chard
  • Scallions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Choice of radishes or turnips
  • Zucchini
  • Collard greens
  • Maybe cucumbers!
  • Fruit: Yonder Farm’s strawberries

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Letter from Windflower Farm

 

This week’s share contents. 

Your fourth share of the season will contain some of the usual suspects – lettuces, a mustard mix, Swiss chard, scallions, garlic scapes, kohlrabi and your choice of radishes or turnips. An easy way to use kohlrabi, turnips and radishes is to grate them onto your salad. We have a salad every day, and making it is made easier by grating all three of these root crops and placing them into containers to be used throughout the week. 

The dry weather here has delayed the development of our “early” broccoli, cabbage, beets and onions, but they will be coming along soon. Peppers and tomatoes are also sizing up and will be in shares by mid-July. In the meantime, zucchini got started last week and should be in everyone’s share this week. Cucumbers, which are just beginning, will be in some shares this week and nearly all next week. It’s my hope to include one or both of these last items in your shares for much of the remainder of the season.

You’ll also get collard greens this week. If you are from the South, you’ll know what to do with collards. Traditional recipes are available online. A less traditional way to make use of them is as a gluten-free substitute wrap or tortilla. We steam the collards and then wrap any number of things inside: rice and beans, vegetable omelets, curried chicken. Cooking varieties of greens can be preserved by blanching and freezing. Wash the greens, remove any woody stems and blanch in water. Blanch collards for three minutes and most other greens for two minutes. Drain, let cool, place in a freezer bag and freeze.

Your fruit will be Yonder Farm’s strawberries (our varieties have stopped bearing for the season). Pete’s cherries are coming soon, followed by our blueberries.       

What’s new on the farm? 

We received our first real rainfall in over a month! And we are all greatly relieved. I had made initial inquiries about having another irrigation well dug, and the estimate came in well outside our equipment budget for the year. Still, this weekend’s rain will barely get us through the week. Even our bigger pond is now perilously low. So, I think we’ll use the week to rework the budget.

Encounters with wildlife are a regular feature of life here on the farm. Just the other day, standing waist deep in our larger pond as I moved the irrigation inlet to deeper water, I was stared down by three large bullfrogs concerned with what I was doing to their pond, which is now several feet below normal. 

Perhaps the more interesting encounters have to do with moose, bears and coyotes, but smaller animals also get my attention. I have a small motorcycle – a Kawasaki Sherpa - that I use to scout crops and tend irrigation pumps and valves. I don’t have a license so I’m mostly limited to farm roads. Late Friday night, I was heading down the narrow ravine road a little faster than I should have when I spotted a skunk in the road. I was heading to the pond to shut down the irrigation pump. The skunk was going the same direction I was headed but well below me. The road was steep and gravelly, and I was not going to be able to stop in time. I did not want to be sprayed, nor did I want to hurt the skunk. A small pond was to my right, and a swamp to my left, so turning off the road wasn’t an option. There was nothing to do but hit the throttle. As I approached, I could see its tail stand straight up. Although I passed within inches, it somehow missed me. I made the mistake of telling Jan about when I failed to make a jump over the large irrigation pipe and took a header last week and she has threatened to hide the keys to the Sherpa, so I haven’t told her about this latest episode. 

The fun never ends here at Windflower Farm.

Have a great week, Ted


Contribute to The Beet! 

 

The Beet is your newsletter, so don't hesitate to get involved! If you have a local event to promote, a service to offer, or a recipe to share, get in touch via newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org. We look forward to hearing from you!


Cooking with Kohlrabi  


If you've never come across Nigel Slater's "midweek dinner" series in the Guardian, it's well worth checking out. His recipes show how to turn a handful of simple ingredients into something special, and his conversational style allows lots of room for creativity. The formula is as follows: "the recipe," "the trick," and "the twist." Here's his take on kohlrabi. 

The recipe

Trim a large kohlrabi, removing any leaves, then slice very thinly. Warm a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, lower the slices of kohlrabi into the oil and cook over a low heat until soft. Try not to let the slices colour past the palest gold.

Transfer the kohlrabi to a warm serving plate then put 150g of small tomatoes in the hot pan and let them cook for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Crush them with the back of a spoon as they cook, so their juice forms a loose dressing in the pan.

While the tomatoes are cooking, remove the leaves from a bunch of basil – you will need 10g of leaves – then put them into a blender with 5 tbsp of olive oil and process to a bright green, thickish dressing. Check the seasoning – it may need a grind of salt.

Spoon the tomatoes and their juices over the slices of kohlrabi, then pour the dressing over and serve immediately. Enough for 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish.
 

The trick

The basil oil and the juices from the tomatoes combine on the plate to form a loose dressing. You need some chewy, open-textured bread, such as sourdough, with which to mop them up. I tend to slice the kohlrabi thinly so it cooks quickly, browning it very lightly, as it tends to become a little bitter if overcooked.
 

The twist

The tomato and basil dressing will work with other vegetables, especially thin slices of cauliflower, fried or grilled until lightly crisp, or butternut squash, finely sliced and fried. It is also sensational with a flash-fired steak. You can make the sauce in the time it takes the steak to rest.

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 3

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

PICK UP TONIGHT

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Lettuces
  • Choice of sweet Japanese turnips or red and white ‘Fakir’ radishes
  • Arugula
  • Young mustard greens
  • Scallions
  • Kohlrabi
  • Choice of cooking greens: koji, choy, kale, or Swiss chard
  • Garlic scapes
  • Zucchini
  • Fruit: Strawberries

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News from Windflower Farm

This week’s share contents.

The third share of the season will be coming your way this week. You’ll get more salad items, including lettuces, sweet Japanese turnips or red and white ‘Fakir’ radishes, arugula, young mustard greens, scallions and kohlrabi. You’ll also have the cooking greens, koji, choy, kale and Swiss chard, to choose from, along with garlic scapes and zucchini. Your fruit will be strawberries (primarily from Yonder Farm this week) and rhubarb. Cucumbers appear to be just around the corner.     

What’s new on the farm.

It may be hard to believe, but we have not had a meaningful rain for a month. The farm is parched, and temperatures are ramping up. You’d think it was August the way the lawn is already burning out. Although we expect droughty stretches in summer, spring usually provides the farm with adequate rainfall. So, it seems odd to us that we have been irrigating around the clock. Like most vegetable soils, ours are coarse textured, which means they drain very well. That’s a benefit early in the season, because a well-drained soil warms sooner, and warm soils provide crop nutrients and good growth sooner than cool soils. But our coarse soils are working against us now - some crops are wilting, others are slowing down.

There is little cause for concern at the moment. So far, we are keeping up with our irrigation schedule. Although our back pond is already running low, our middle pond has deep reserves, and our well also appears to have ample water. We have two irrigation reels and miles of trickle irrigation lines to do the job, and most of it is fully functional (although a reel broke down last week, the parts needed to fix it arrived on Friday, and it should be working in the sweet corn by Monday morning). Moreover, the forecast for Monday is calling for afternoon showers. So, there’s room for optimism.

Working with water provided a cool respite from today’s heat. The middle pond is a world away from our manicured vegetable fields. Nestled at the base of a ravine and surrounded by dense woods, the pond is a cool, wild place. As I refueled the pump, I was in the company of tadpoles the size of marshmallows, snapping turtles and Great Blue Herons.    

It will be a huge relief when rainfall comes, but with some effort we can fill these gaps between rains. Here’s a look at today’s irrigation activities. Back pond: we irrigated a field of leeks, a field of cabbages and collards and a block of small greenhouses containing peppers, tomatoes, ginger and basil. Middle pond: we irrigated a field of melons, cucumbers, eggplants and cutting flowers. Front well: we irrigated two blocks of cutting flowers, a broccoli field and a bank of small greenhouses containing flowers, more peppers and more tomatoes. If we water every day at this pace, we can irrigate the whole farm once a week.

Here’s hoping for rain. Cheers, Ted

p.s. It is now Tuesday. Monday's rain never materialized, although heavy rains fell to the north and south of us. We have managed to repair our broken irrigation reel and have used it in the corn and in a newly seeded block. Rain is expected on the weekend. Cross your fingers!

 


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Share Swaps

Don't let a vacation or a late night in the office get between you and your vegetables! If you ever need to swap your share, or find another member to pick it up for you, there's always the CHCSA Forum. You can leave a message explaining what you need, and with a little luck, another member of our community will get back to you. 

(Remember to change your email delivery preference to "send daily summaries" or "send combined updates," depending on how in-the-loop you want to be!)


Neighborhood Notes

Have goods or services to buy or sell? Know of a fun event coming up in the community? Place a notice in the Beet by emailing newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org. It's absolutely free! 

To get the ball rolling, here's a note from lifelong CHCSA member Maggie Hale for any Clinton Hill parents who'd like a night off...

"My name is Maggie Hale, and I'm interested in babysitting opportunities! I'm 14 years old, and I'm going into 9th grade at Bard High School. I'm a lifelong Clinton Hill CSA member, and I would love to get to know some of the kids in the lovely families who are part of the CSA. I have experience looking after my younger cousins, and I have taken a child and babysitting safety class at the 92nd St. Y. I can be reached at 917/841-2572 or through my email: maggienhall@gmail.com. School ends June 28, and I'm around all summer. I hope to talk to you soon!" 


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Can I Recycle That?

One of the greatest joys of the weekly CSA pick-up is the lack of waste. As long as you remember to bring a reusable tote or two with you, there's little to no extra packaging, and nothing to throw away.

But for those inevitable moments in life when you DO find yourself wondering what to do with a particular piece of leftover packaging—pizza boxes, plastic straws, disposable coffee cups—here's a great guide from the NYS DEC. Many thanks to CHCSA Distribution Manager Stephen Narloch for the link. 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 2

 

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

 

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Arugula
  • Salad mix
  • Baby spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Cooking greens or Happy Rich
  • Potted purple + Genovese basil or Thai basil + cilantro
  • Fruit: organic strawberries

Reminders

If you want to make changes to your share or add extra shares (but not flowers) make sure you do so by this Friday, June 15th, by emailing our treasurers: treasurer@clintonhillcsa.org


Letter from Windflower Farm

 

This week’s share contents.

Your second share of the season will be arriving tomorrow. You’ll get arugula and a salad mix, along with baby spinach and lettuce. This might be greens enough for salads all week long! You’ll also get kohlrabi, radishes, scallions and cooking greens or Happy Rich. And you’ll get your choice of potted purple and Genovese basil or Thai basil and cilantro. Our own organic strawberries will fill out your fruit share. Flowers started for everyone last week and it’s Jan’s hope that she can deliver flowers every week for the next nine weeks. Next week, you can expect more salad crops. Sweet Japanese turnips, cucumbers and zucchinis are getting started and, depending on the weather, one or more should be in next week’s share.

What’s new on the farm.

It’s Sunday. Nate is painting a piece of farm equipment he has built, Jan is working in her flower garden and the Medinas are harvesting strawberries.

I’ve just come in from planting green beans with the John Deere and Multiflex seeder I purchased last year. It’s become dry and my tractor kicked up a cloud of dust as it pulled the seeder along. I sprinkled black bacterial spores on the white bean seeds. Once the spores awaken from their slumber, they’ll colonize the bean roots and provide them with nitrogen they have “fixed” from the air. I’ll irrigate these tomorrow as part of a block that includes a new carrot seeding. Three 350’ beds of beans, each bed with two rows, or just over 2000 row-feet. I will repeat this every ten days or so through early August. It is part of a regular seeding I’ll do that includes radishes and greens.

On my way back to the barn, I peeked under the row cover where arugula, a salad mix and radishes have been growing for the past 30 days or so. All three of these will be in your shares this week. We’ll pull them root and all and then bunch and wash them. Bunched, we’ll be able to send them without a plastic bag. For your part, all you’ll have to do is cut them midway up the stem, rinse, dry, and serve.

The locusts finished blooming here a week ago. They grow in groves and produce a powerfully sweet fragrance. The wood is famous for long lived fences, but they are also valuable to farmers as an indicator plant: old timers will tell you that it’s safe to plant your garden once the locusts have bloomed. Last week, believing the threat of frost to be behind us, we planted sweet potato slips, the last of our field peppers, chiles and eggplants and uncovered our cucumbers and squashes.

Have a great week, Ted


Windflower Farm Open House Weekend

 

Dear Clinton Hill CSA members, 

Summer's not even begun, but we wanted to be sure you put theWindflower Farm open house on your calendar. This year, it takes place the weekend of August 25—26 (coinciding with the county fair and best weather for camping and Battenkill River swimming). 

The farm is about four hours north of here, close to the Massachusetts and Vermont borders. On Saturday afternoon, Ted gives tours, so we can all get a look at the baby greens waiting to be transplanted into theground, the long tunnels of ripening heirloom tomatoes, and the mounds that hold potatoes and squash. You can pitch a tent anywhere on thegrounds and take advantage of the most civilized outhouses we've ever seen—they smell like the Plaza Hotel, contain copious reading material, and are larger than our first New York City apartment! (There are also, I think, nearby B&B options.) On Saturday night, bring a dish for a potluck. End the evening around the bonfire, and wake up Sunday morning to a delicious farm breakfast cooked by the Windflower Farm folks. Take a tour of the Davis farm, where you get your eggs and (for winter share members) maple syrup. Then Ted will give you directions to a nearby swimming hole. Best of all, you can spend time with other CSA members from our own and from Ted's other CSAs. Kids especially love theweekend on the farm and find plenty to do. 

If you're inclined to stay away for more than a weekend, there are lovely state parks in nearby Vermont, and we have successfully combined thefarm weekend with a subsequent trip to the Williamstown Theater Festivaland the Norman Rockwell Museum! The New York State Fair is that weekend, too. 

Hope you can make it!

 

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How to Cook Greens

 

It's the first GREEN pick-up week, so to mark the occasion, here are some ideas for how to cook greens! 

Blanching greens means to dunk them quickly in salted boiling water and then cool them down just as quickly with a dive into ice water or a bit of time under cold running water.

Braising means to cook something slowly in a bit of liquid. Tougher, heartier greens like kale and collard greens respond extremely well to some long slow heat in an enclosed environment. 

Sauteeing greens in a frying pan over medium-high to high heat with a bit of butter or oil (and perhaps garlic!) is a quick and tasty way to serve them.

Check out this article for more ideas...

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; WEEK 22

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

As the summer and fall season winds down, it's time for the winter share! Sign up HERE to receive four shares over the course of the winter of delicious greens, storage vegetables, fruits, and other treats. Pickup is on Saturdays in Clinton Hill; find out more HERE and in Ted's letter below. 

This Week's Share

·        Butternut squash

·        Fennel

·        Red and Yellow Onions

·        Sweet Potatoes

·        Baby leeks or kohlrabi

·        Broccoli

·        Carrots

·        Tatsoi or Winterbor kale

·        Romaine Lettuce

·        Sweet peppers

News from Windflower Farm

This week’s share: Butternut squash, another fennel bulb, more sweet potatoes, Red and yellow onions, baby leeks or kohlrabi, depending on your site, carrots, green Romaine and red Crisphead lettuces, your choice between Tatsoi and Winterbor kale, sweet peppers, and some odds and ends of other items. We hope you enjoy this last share of the season. A link to our end-of-season survey is below.

Your winter share signup form is available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/. Please help keep your farmer and his staff off the streets of Valley Falls by joining our winter share. A brief description of the share can be found below, and details related to delivery times, locations and pricing can be found by following the link. We hope you decide to join us!

This week’s share is the last of the season. Where has the time gone? Before saying good bye, Jan and I would like to say thank you. Thanks very much for being a part of our CSA. We hope that your eating has been a little healthier and that you have enjoyed being part of your neighborhood CSA community. Your membership in our CSA provides good, meaningful employment for those of us who work on the farm, and it keeps the 96 acres we call home green, organic and productive. Thanks to all of you for giving us the opportunity to pursue the craft we love. I’d also like to thank the volunteers who make the CSA work. The men and women in your neighborhood who organize the CSA – the “core group” – deserve a special shout out. They work on newsletters and member recruitment, site management and work-shift coordination, and without their dedication and hard work, our CSA wouldn’t exist. Thank you!

We are always working to be better farmers and to make Windflower Farm a better business. So, as part of our ongoing education, we’ll be off to two different conferences this winter where we’ll review our farming practices and compare notes with other producers. And, of course, we want to make sure we are growing the kinds of shares you want. To that end, we ask that you take a few minutes to fill out our survey. It will be ready for viewing in the evening of October 30th. The link is here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/q1v0qpbx1hrniig/

More winter share information: The first winter share will arrive on Saturday, November 18th giving you plenty of time to clean out your refrigerator. The share is delivered on four Saturdays during the fall and winter (11/18, 12/16, 1/20 and 2/10), and includes fresh organic greens (kales, spinach, tatsoi, Swiss chard and more)  from our greenhouses, local pears and apples, our own organic storage vegetables (squashes, onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc.), and a variety of little treats, including the Borden’s cider, our own homemade jam, popcorn and our own Black Turtle Beans. The signup form contains more detailed information, and it’s available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/.

We hope you have enjoyed your shares as much as we have enjoyed producing them.

Please stay in touch – we love your letters!

Our warmest regards, Jan and Ted

 

Dear Clinton Hill CSA members, 

We'd like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you for participating in our 2017 summer season. We appreciate the good cheer with which you've approached your volunteer shifts, even when muddy water from the plastic bins spilled onto your clothes. We love your enthusiasm for all Ted's vegetables and your patience on the rare occasions when there were glitches in the system. We love seeing your little ones picking out bunches of carrots and biting into apples and strawberries. And we very much hope you'll sign up for our winter share and return next summer for another season. We'll be organizing our new season sometime late this coming winter; if you're interested in hearing more about the core group, please email information@clintonhillcsa.org

Have a wonderful winter, and we'll see you next year! 

All our best wishes,

the Clinton Hill CSA core group

 

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; WEEK 21

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • As the summer and fall season winds down, it's time for the winter share! Sign up HERE to receive four shares over the course of the winter of delicious greens, storage vegetables, fruits, and other treats. Pickup is on Saturdays in Clinton Hill; find out more HERE and in Ted's letter below. 
  • We've just finalized our survey about the 2017 season, and we'd love for all members to speak up and share their thoughts on our CSA. We take all responses into consideration when planning for upcoming seasons, so it's vital that you contribute your feelings (good, bad, and otherwise) about this year's share. Take the survey online HERE
  • We'll have a little Halloween potluck gathering at tonight's pickup. There'll be snacks, activities, and kids (and adults!) are encouraged to come in costume :)

This Week's Share

  • Pie Pumpkins 
  • Winter Squashes
  • Fennel
  • Red and Yellow Onions
  • Chiles
  • Pepper or Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Arugula or Swiss Chard
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tatsoi (aka Chinese Spinach)

News from Windflower Farm

Your winter share signup form is available here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/.

We hope you decide to join us! The first winter share will arrive on Saturday, November 18thgiving you plenty of time to clean out your refrigerator. The share is delivered on four Saturdays during the winter, and includes fresh organic greens from our greenhouses, local pears and apples, our own organic storage vegetables, and a variety of little treats, including the Borden’s cider, and our own homemade jam and popcorn. The signup form contains more detailed information.

Fall is a time of transition here. As the farm season winds down, our staff is moving on. As rural people do, the people who work with us have built their lives around the seasons. Sara, a jack-of-all-trades at the farm, is on to run her family’s balsam wreath business. Once that work comes to an end, she’ll work with her brothers in their maple “sugarbush.” In between, she makes time to work on her pottery. Andrea, our membership coordinator, will wrap up the season making herbal teas and hawking vegetables in Saratoga Springs for a friend’s farm. After the New Year, she’ll head down to Laguna Prieta, Mexico to spend some of the winter at the home of co-workers, the Medinas. Sara and Andrea will both help with our winter share when their schedules permit. The Medinas, who have been with us for ten years, will visit family throughout the United States during the month of November, and then will head to Mexico for the winter. They have family with whom to reconnect there, and onion and cabbage and “Three Sisters” crops to tend. We’ll see them back here in April.

Adam, my nephew, is hitching his tiny house to a borrowed Ford F350 and heading west. He and his wife and child are relocating to Boulder, Colorado. Don, our delivery truck driver, will drive a school bus during the winter and spring, and spend any spare time painting, which is his first love. Naomi, who works with Don on the truck, will turn her attention to her move into a new house just a couple of miles from here where she’ll do some nesting and work on art projects of her own during the winter. We’ll see them back here in June. Victoria, Naomi’s sister and our distribution coordinator, left us three weeks ago and, on Friday, gave birth to her third boy. Mom and baby are healthy. I think that daycare is already in place for next season. Salvador and Candelaria, who live in the town next door, will slow down a little. But we’ll see them for a week every month as we work together to prepare winter shares. Jan and I know how fortunate we are that this creative and hard-working group of people come back to us each year.

As for what my family and I will do now – we’ll slow down, too. Several farm projects require our attention before spring, but we’ll ignore them for a little while. We are hoping to spend a couple of weeks away in late November, although we are not sure where.

The peak fall foliage reminds us that, this crazy-warm weather notwithstanding, winter is coming, and it’s already past time to squirrel away storage vegetables and grains and to put up firewood. This week, we’ll finish planting the German white garlic and begin to plant next year’s onions. We’ll cover strawberries and winter greens and finish seeding down rye. We’ll harvest and bag the last of our carrots and potatoes. And we’ll fetch a bean thresher from a friend – it’s a stationary machine for processing the Black Turtle Beans that we’ve grown for the winter share. Our end-of-season project list is long, but we are checking items off at a good pace.

Your last share of the season will be delivered next week. We hope you have enjoyed your experience. We’ll send out a survey – please take a few minutes to tell us what you think.

Have a great week, Ted

Lettuce Fight Wasted Food Together

A Note from New York State's Department of Conservation:

For centuries food has served as more than just a source of survival. Whether it be the morning bagel and coffee shared amongst coworkers, the half gallon of ice cream devoured during times of emotional distress or the smorgasbord of food laid upon the table during a potluck with friends, food remains at the epicenter of our lives. Despite this shared dependency and yet unique relationship we each hold with food, U.S. households waste 76 billion pounds, or 238 pounds of food per person annually equating to a cost of $450 per person (ReFED Report). Say hello to the food waste revolution. There are small changes that can make lasting impacts to the amount of food wasted in your household and save you money along the way.

  • Shop wisely by planning meals and following a shopping list. 
  • Plan portions appropriately and save leftovers for meals throughout the week.
  • Properly store or freeze food items to prevent them from spoiling.

Visit Save the Food, a national campaign to reduce wasted food from households, to learn more about cooking with food you might otherwise waste, proper food storage and so much more.

What can YOU do?

  • Implement small changes to reduce wasted food in your household
  • Spread the word on wasted food using the media toolkit provided by Save The Food campaign
  • Join the NYS Food Recovery Campaign
  • Attend the 4th Annual Organics Summit, March 27th – 28th, 2018 in Poughkeepsie NY

UPCOMING EVENTS

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 20

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

 

  • We've just finalized our survey about the 2017 season, and we'd love for all members to speak up and share their thoughts on our CSA. We take all responses into consideration when planning for upcoming seasons, so it's vital that you contribute your feelings (good, bad, and otherwise) about this year's share. Take the survey online HERE
  • We'll have a little Halloween potluck gathering at next Thursday's pickup (10/26). There'll be snacks, activities, and kids (and adults!) are encouraged to come in costume :)
  • We're having a core meeting onsite tonight at 6:15. Please join us if you're interested in being part of the conversation about the inner workings of our CSA or potentially joining us on the core next year—we have a few spots open! Email us at information@clintonhillcsa.org if you'd like to hear more but can't make it tonight. 
  • The winter share is coming! Watch your email for signup updates.

This Week's Share

  • Red and Yellow Onions
  • Acorn Squash
  • Potatoes or Leeks
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Chiles
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Kale
  • Parsley or Cilantro
  • Fruit: Goldie Apples and Bosc Pears

News from Windflower Farm

Our regular season comes to an end in a couple of weeks (October 31st for Tuesday sites and November 2nd for Thursday sites). If you think you might miss getting fresh greens and other veggies from Windflower Farm, consider joining us for the winter season. The winter share comes less frequently – just once a month – and it includes our organic greens and stored vegetables and the Borden’s fruits all prepackaged in a 1-bushel box that you can take home. The greens include fresh spinach, kales, chard, tatsoi and others, and the stored vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternuts, carrots onions, and more. Our own organic Popcorn and black beans and the Borden’s apple cider and jam round out the winter share. Winter members also have a chance to get the Davis Farm’s fresh brown eggs and maple syrup. I hope you’ll consider joining us. Look for a winter share signup form soon.

Have a great week, Ted

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 18

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • The winter share is coming! Watch your email for signup updates!
  • We've just created a Twitter account. We'd love for you to follow along @clintonhillcsa ! 
  • If you can't make your share, want to swap, or have any reason to get in touch with fellow community members, we invite you to post on our community forum. If you're not already a member, ask to join and you'll be added to the group tout suite!

This Week's Share

  • Spinach
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Delicata Squash
  • Swiss Chard, Tatsoi, Collards or Dinosaur Kale
  • Dill or Cilantro
  • Chiles, tomatoes, green beans or summer squashes
  • Fruit: Golden Supreme Apples and Bosc Pears

News from Windflower Farm

As salsa vegetables give way, fall crops like Delicata squashes and sweet potatoes will take their place. Today’s Delicatas (my favorite of the winter squashes) can be prepared by cutting them in half lengthwise, removing their seeds, and roasting them for 30-40 minutes in the oven until fork soft. Some people add a little butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Their skins, if washed before baking, are also edible. Acorn squashes or more Delicatas will arrive next week, and still more winter squashes will arrive the week after that, so there is no need to hold onto these. Your fruit share will include Golden Supreme apples and Bosc pears from Yonder Farm. Next week, you’ll get Yonder’s Jonagold apples and the Borden’s cider.  

We have been removing spent tomato plants from our “caterpillar” greenhouses this week. We take out the old vines in order to make room for the winter greens we’ll plant next week. The volume of plant matter we’ve removed so far is huge, nearly doubling the size of our compost piles. We have organized those piles into windrows. We start the tomato vines composting in a way that reminds me of how we use a sourdough starter to make bread. We place the fresh green material on the ground, forming a new windrow, then cover it lightly with a layer of compost from the windrow next door. That compost is full of the microorganisms that get the process underway. In a few weeks, we’ll turn the compost for the first time, adding other organic materials, including old straw, hay, weeds and culled vegetables. The process is a slow one, taking an entire season from start to finish. The pile we are starting now is for next year’s fall crops. By the time we have tuned the compost six or eight times, the pile has taken on a uniform dark brown color, and it no longer looks or smells anything like the waste vegetables and plant matter that it is composed of. Once it’s spread, the compost will transform these tired greenhouse soils, restoring them to the healthy condition farmers call good tilth, and giving our winter greens a good start.

Have a great week, Ted  

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 17

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We're looking for a distribution site for our winter share. Each year, a Clinton Hill CSA member hosts the Windflower Farm winter share: four monthly deliveries of veggies and other goodies. In return for hosting, you get a free winter share! What is needed: A front stoop or area in front of your home where you can take delivery of the winter share boxes (note the winter share is prepackaged, so you just need a location for members to pick up their boxes). A place for the truck to unload, ideally on a side street or one-way street where there is room for Ted's truck to stop without blocking traffic. You need to be available, with a core member, for the 1 and 1/2 hour distribution, and to take delivery the same day of the Lewis Waite order. If you're interested, please contact the core at information@clintonhillcsa.org or speak to our distribution manager. 
  • We've just created a Twitter account. We'd love for you to follow along @clintonhillcsa ! 
  • If you can't make your share, want to swap, or have any reason to get in touch with fellow community members, we invite you to post on our community forum. If you're not already a member, ask to join and you'll be added to the group tout suite!

This Week's Share

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Dill or Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Chiles
  • Onions
  • Salanova Lettuce
  • 'Valentino' Green Beans
  • Swiss Chard, Tatsoi, or Dinosaur Kale
  • Sweet Peppers, Eggplants, Summer Squashes, or Cabbages
  • Fruit: Paula red apples

News from Windflower Farm

Your broccoli might have little green worms – do not fear, they are easily washed off. Next week, you’ll get winter squashes and potatoes, but, because this unusually warm weather has prolonged the summer crop season, you’ll also get sweet corn and green beans and tomatoes. It’s been an odd year from a farmer’s perspective: yesterday’s 90-plus-degree temperature was the first day over 90 degrees since mid-June. The spring was cold and wet, the summer cool, and the late summer and start of fall have been strangely warm. Your fruit share will consist of apples. Pears and the Borden’s apple cider will be coming soon.

We don’t waste much at Windflower Farm. Everything that we can send to you, we do send. We don’t go to other markets – we are exclusively a CSA. About one in ten of our shares – our “pantry shares” - go to soup kitchens and soup pantries. The balance of our shares go to neighborhood CSAs like yours. Nothing is wasted in the CSA distribution model. We don’t bring home any unsold crops that have to be tossed out. When you can’t get to the pickup site, your share is hauled off to a nearby soup kitchen where it is used and much appreciated by your neighbors in need. If a harvest is of “seconds” quality here, we donate it to the food pantry in town. If a vegetable is harvested and then the processing team here culls it, it goes to our compost heap (a picture of which has just been posted to our Instagram page), from which it is returned to the soil as “fertilizer.” And if it isn’t good enough to harvest, it is returned to the soil in much the same way that a cover crop is turned under to feed the soil. Cover crops and compost provide nearly 100% of the fertility of our soils here, so they are subjects we take seriously. But we are also serious about waste. I’m curious, how much of the food you take home is wasted? Please let me know, and let me know what we can do in terms of crop selection, quantities and handling to help.     

Like many people who work at home, I like to get away every now and then. Last weekend, I spent the day in a lot alongside Town Farm Bay, on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, where I have been restoring a 40-year old sailboat its previous owner named ‘Destiny’. There is certainly something therapeutic about working with wood (I have been oiling the teak and painting the ceiling) and giving new life to something so long neglected, but I look forward to that point when my therapy takes on a slightly different shape: to casting off, hoisting the main and jib, watching the sails fill with an easy wind, and sitting back. The old boat is up on blocks, but with a little more work, it should be ready for the water next year. I took a break to paddle my canoe in a nearby backwater. A Foam IPA, a nap, and a swim later, and I was back to work on Destiny. The Dog Days of summer.

Here’s hoping your Dog Days are as enjoyable as mine,

Ted 

Waste Not... (Or Not?)

You'll notice that Ted asks an important question in his letter this week: how much of the food you receive from the CSA is wasted? We're curious, too. Is some of your share going to waste? What kinds of veggies? Do you know why? Let us know, as it will help all of us--and especially Ted--plan for next season and serve you better. You can email us at information@clintonhillcsa.org or share on our Facebook page. Sincerely, your CSA Core

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We've just created a Twitter account. We'd love for you to follow along @clintonhillcsa ! 
  • If you can't make your share, want to swap, or have any reason to get in touch with fellow community members, we invite you to get in touch on our community forum. If you're not already a member, ask to join and you'll be added to the group tout suite!

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Peppers or Sweet Corn (beware the worms! cut the tip off before removing the husk)
  • Yellow and Patty Pan Squashes
  • Cilantro
  • Chiles
  • Onions
  • Salanova
  • Collards
  • Swiss Chard or Red Russian Kale
  • Beets, Eggplants, or Cabbages
  • Fruit: Paula red apples

News from Windflower Farm

We have begun pulling the black plastic mulch from the vegetable beds that have stopped producing. We grow squashes, cucumbers, onions, and garlic, among other crops, on plastic mulch and those crops have run their course. The mulch suppresses weeds, conserves nutrients and water and helps warm the soil. Certified organic production in the USA requires the use of plastic mulch over the biodegradable mulch permitted in Canadian and European organics. The biodegradable mulch, which looks, feels and functions just like the plastic stuff, contains a small amount of petroleum, and the USDA has decided organic farmers should not use it. Instead, they would prefer we use plastic mulch and send it to a landfill. I’m not sure it’s the right tradeoff. Wanting to abide by the organic rules, we have been using the plastic product. But it is awful to pick up, expensive to dispose of and fills up landfills. I suspect that we’ll have a truly biodegradable product in the future. In the meantime, we’ll simply mulch less, or mulch with something else. Straw, perhaps, or a living mulch like ryegrass or clover.

A gentle and welcome rain has begun to fall just as we are wrapping up our day and we all got a little wet. Adam got wet taking out the compost – the detritus remaining from our vegetable processing – but he didn’t seem to mind. Nate got wet moving a tractor from behind the box truck. Don, our driver, is not really a morning person, and Nate thought he might not see it when pulling out in the morning. He was already wet from head to toe because he had been washing greens all day. Heidi got wet putting potting soil in a planter from home. Andrea was already wet. She had been washing tubs outside the processing shed when the rain began, and may not have even noticed. She has the best rain gear of anyone on the farm. The Medinas and their boys were working in the corn patch when the rain came. They came racing back to the barn in their old golf carts. It was quitting time anyway, and they saw no reason to get any more wet. But they didn’t seem to mind either - the day was unusually hot for September. Jan just came in the door. It had been raining much harder in Greenwich, where she was getting supplies, and she was disappointed in how little it appeared we’d get. “Just enough to keep the dust down.” We have been irrigating through much of the last two weeks, and she was hoping for a break. I got wet, too. We had come up short in our eggplant harvest, and I dashed out to pick another two dozen fruits. Happily, refreshingly wet. When it has been dry on your vegetable farm, rainfall is a relief. It is still raining - a fragrant, gentle rain – and it might just be enough. A rain to send our carrot roots deeper, and a little straighter. A rain for an afternoon nap.  

Have a great week, Ted

IN CSA NEWS...

Check out what local food advocates are doing to combat declining CSA memberships here.

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 15

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We've just created a Twitter account. We'd love for you to follow along @clintonhillcsa ! 
  • We have a CSA core meeting tonight at 6:15; we'd love any members who are interested in becoming more involved in the CSA to join us! We have an outreach position open; please reach out to information@clintonhillcsa.org if you're interested in taking this over for the 2018 season.

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Bicolor Sweet Corn
  • Beans
  • Dill
  • Kale or Swiss Chard
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Mustard Mix
  • Fruit: Zeststar apples

News from Windflower Farm

We are entering the final third of the CSA season. This is a transitional period at the farm. By the end of September, the crops of summer will have given way to the crops of fall. The cool weather will make our tomatoes and basil disappear first, and then our beans and sweet corn. Frost typically arrives here in the last week of September and, by October, shares become dominated by winter squashes, root crops and hardy greens.

What’s to come in the weeks ahead? Beets and cabbage (along with eggplant) will continue to show up as a weekly choice (has that been working out?), and onions and potatoes will make regular appearances. After a late start, you can expect carrots to arrive every week, beginning this week. For now, we have summer squashes, but acorn and Delicata squashes will show up soon, once curing in the greenhouse has converted their starches into sugars. Butternuts, which require more time to mature, will arrive soon afterwards (we began harvesting them today). Leeks and sweet potatoes will be in your final four deliveries. They both need more time to attain the size we are looking for, and, in the case of the sweet potatoes, they also require a period of curing. Yesterday, we transplanted just over 25,000 seedlings, among the last we’ll put in the field this year. These will be the salad and cooking greens in your October shares and the first greens in the winter share. I’ll miss the crops of summer, but I enjoy fall weather and the foods that go with it.

We have seeded all of our winter greens in the greenhouse, and we’ll transplant them once we remove the tomato plants from our greenhouses and caterpillar tunnels and rework the soil.

We are currently getting three crops in place for next year: strawberries, onions and garlic. For strawberries, we’ve “harvested” the daughter plants - the plantlets at the end of the little runners you see in a strawberry field - and are now rooting them in the greenhouse. We’ll plant them in a week or so, mulch them in October to protect their crowns against frost heaving, ignore them until weeding in May, and harvest in June.

Like many garlic growers, we start over with fresh planting stock every couple of years. Garlic is susceptible to a number of problems caused by small creepy-crawlies like bulb mites and the fungus, Fusarium, and it’s a good idea to get a new start every so often. Ed Fraser, a master garlic grower, something that has come from years of attention to just one crop, is providing us with 300 lb of German White, a porcelain, and 200 lb of German Red, a spicy Rocambol. These are both “hardneck” garlic types, which means they produce their cloves around a central core from which a stalk of scapes emerges. Once we receive the garlic bulbs, we’ll break them into cloves, which we’ll plant right after the strawberries. The clove goes on to produce a new bulb in the year after it’s planted. And planting onions, the third crop we are putting in place for next year, follows immediately on theheels of garlic planting, and the technique is identical to that of garlic. The fall planting of onions is still relatively new here, but I’ve become a big fan. They perform better than spring-sown onions and the work takes place when things are beginning to slow down here instead of during the busy spring planting season.

Have a good week, Ted

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 14

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We've just created a Twitter account. We'd love for you to follow along @clintonhillcsa ! 

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • 'Genovese' Basil
  • Bicolor Sweet Corn
  • Green and Yellow Wax Beans
  • Red Radishes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Various Chiles
  • Cilantro
  • A braising mix consisting of Tokyo Bekana, Hon Tsai Tai and Vitamin Green
  • Your choice between Red Russian kale, koji and Joi choi,
  • Your choice between cabbage, eggplant and beets
  • Fruit: Peaches 

News from Windflower Farm

Today, Monday, we harvested, washed and packed for Tuesday’s deliveries. The weather is beautiful and now, in the mid-afternoon, while we have dry weather, we are weeding. Tomorrow, while Don and Naomi make deliveries, some of us will harvest in the morning, while others will transplant the last of our field greens, including lettuces, kales, Swiss chard and Asian greens. In the afternoon, once it begins to rain, we’ll clip and pack onions and seed winter greens in the greenhouse. On Wednesday, regardless of the weather, we’ll harvest, wash and pack for Thursday’s deliveries. On Thursday, while Don and Naomi make those deliveries, we’ll begin harvesting winter squashes, which we can do even though rain is expected. The delicata are already in, so we’ll move on to butternuts, acorns, buttercups, and pie pumpkins. On Friday, with wet weather still in the forecast, we’ll finish the winter squash harvest and then, if it’s not too muddy, we’ll dig potatoes. If it is too muddy, well, we’ll see. We always have a Plan B. Perhaps we’ll start pulling carrots for next week.

Have a great week, Ted  

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 12

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We'd love to highlight members in our page! Maybe you have a local business or project and want to be interviewed for the Beet to let us know more about your life and work and interest in the CSA? We'd love it! Let us know at newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org.

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • 'Genovese' Basil
  • Potatoes
  • 'Salanova' Lettuce
  • White or Yellow Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Cabbage, beets, or eggplant
  • Fruit: Peaches and Melon

News from Windflower Farm

This week's share is the first of the second half of the season. My nephew, Adam, has been working with us this summer, and he is superb on my cultivating tractors. He lives on the farm with his partner, Laureal, and their son, Abe, in their tiny house. I don’t mean that they live in a small house – we live in one of those – but a bonafide tiny house on wheels. Adam built it himself last winter and pulled it over from Vermont with a borrowed pickup. Everything they need fits within an 8 X 20’ rectangle – living room, eat-in kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms in the loft. Solar panels power their little home, a garden hose provides water, and a composting toilet completes the package. Clearly, living so lightly produces a pretty small carbon footprint. It was the most visited attraction during our open house on the farm. No 30-year mortgage for them, or participation in the attendant rat race, just some thrifty material sourcing, a lot of sweat equity, and most of several month’s wages. As an example of Adam’s frugality, the floor of his tiny house is made from hardwood that was discarded when his old high school gymnasium was renovated. You can see foul line paint just in front of the kitchen sink. Because the tiny house can be pulled to any number of remote locations, they have been able to lay claim to the prettiest spot on the farm, well up the farm road, on a rise overlooking hills to the northwest and the setting sun. Having spent the spring and summer cleaning out my parents' old house (with some courage provided by a can or two of Six Point’s Resin, I tackled the attic last weekend), I can testify to the amount of baggage one might accumulate in a lifetime if one has the space in which to do so. Traveling light has a distinct appeal. With the popularity of the tiny house movement, Adam is thinking of trading his career in agriculture for one in tiny house construction. As his current employer, not to mention his uncle, I’ll do what I can to help him succeed, but I’ll miss how he handles my cultivators.

Have a great week, Ted  

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 11

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We'd love to highlight members in our page! Maybe you have a local business or project and want to be interviewed for the Beet to let us know more about your life and work and interest in the CSA? We'd love it! Let us know at newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org!
  • If you haven't placed an order from Lewis Waite Farm, give it a go! Lewis Waite offers a la carte meat, poultry, dairy, bread, and a number of delicious pantry staples from a variety of farms and small-batch producers. Orders are placed via Lewis Waite Farm’s easy-to-use online platform. You pay as you go, and order only what you want. Delivery to our CSA pick up site is free, and arrives every other week. The next delivery is Thursday, August 3rd, and the deadline to order is Tuesday, August 1st. 

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • 'Genovese' Basil
  • 'Magenta' Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onions
  • Bicolor Sweet Corn
  • Green Snap Beans (still handpicked!)
  • Kale or Spinach
  • Choice of pointy ‘Carumba’ cabbage, ‘Zephyr’ summer squash, sweet peppers, or eggplant
  • Fruit: Peaches

News from Windflower Farm

I’ve discovered podcasts! Sure, you’ve been listening to podcasts for years, but, as some of you know, good internet service is only just arriving in rural places, including here in Upstate New York. I’m finding all kinds of good stuff: a new favorite is Invisabilia, where two woman explore the hidden forces behind why we behave the way we do. A little more to the point of this newsletter is the Farmer to Farmer podcast by Iowa farmer Chris Blanchard, who interviews small-scale organic farmers (and others) from all over North America. In one recent episode, Chris spoke with Simon Huntley, a software engineer whose company, Small Farm Central, hosts the online CSA sign-ups of more than a thousand CSAs. He has gathered all kinds of data related to CSAs and shareholder experiences and has a good deal to say about why some succeed and others fail. I think he is every bit as invested as we are in seeing the CSA movement grow, and to do that, he says, it (we) must learn new ways to better meet the needs and wishes of CSA members.

The few subjects he believes farmers should pay particular attention to are food value, farm communication, food choices and authenticity. (In last week’s New Yorker piece about the singer Lorde, I learned that it is “smoldering authenticity,” in particular, that people are after!) Choice is something I hope we can improve. You may have noticed that this week’s share entails choices among more than just the greens. Inspired by Simon’s comments, beyond deciding between spinach and kale, you’ll be asked to choose between cabbages, squashes, eggplants and peppers. If we find that giving you options like this is popular, and doesn’t create too many difficulties, we’ll do it more often. Please, let me know what you think at tedblomgren@gmail.com.

Have a great week, Ted  

Veggie News

Can't keep up with all the produce in your share? Take a cue from the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra and start tuning up your harvest. Read all about it in this week's NYT article. 

Member Spotlight

Meet CSA member Grant Braswell, avid rooftop gardener and local real estate agent:

My wife and I joined the CSA as we had just gone into contract on a apartment that was getting built in Clinton Hill. We are both Avid cooks and we're excited for our new kitchen and larger fridge with which to make some magic ( we were moving from a studio in Chelsea). As fate would have it, our building took a year to finish and so for the first summer we came in on the C train to pick up our vegetables and take them back to Chelsea. Eggs and flowers too! Now that we finally live in the area it makes being part of the CSA so much more convenient but the vegetables are still as tasty.

We love getting the fresh greens as we eat a lot of salad at home ( we wish the Tomato season was longer!). The kale and swiss chard are also great for adding two soups or making a stir fry. We skipped the egg share this season but I think we'll be back next year! They just can't be beat, except with a whisk :-)

The neighborhood is a great place to live in New York City but with lower density than a lot of other neighborhoods. It's always pleasurable to walk my dog around the Brownstone lined streets and recognize some of the neighbors. Rents are still attractive enough to inspire up-and-coming chefs to try out something interesting. We still don't have to worry about an overload of Dunkin Donuts and Verizon stores but I imagine that's just one wave  away.

I have been doing a lot of sales in the area including townhomes on Brevoort and in the Navy Yard. I have a contract out on one of the large two-bedroom apartments in the Clinton Hill coops North Campus. We recently rented out a couple apartments in a beautiful Brownstone on Clinton Ave across from the St Joseph buildings. The building is owned by the landlord of our building in Chelsea. I run the top team on Yelp for New York City and I'm so happy to work in the area I live. We hope to be able to grow in the neighborhood and are actively looking for a larger apartment or townhome for our family.

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 10

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • PLEASE, PLEASE bring any extra plastic bags that you might have on hand!! We are running desperately low on extra bags for members who've forgotten to bring bags for their shares. And, on that note, please bring your own (ideally reusable!) bags for your shares :)
  • If you haven't placed an order from Lewis Waite Farm, give it a go! Lewis Waite offers a la carte meat, poultry, dairy, bread, and a number of delicious pantry staples from a variety of farms and small-batch producers. Orders are placed via Lewis Waite Farm’s easy-to-use online platform. You pay as you go, and order only what you want. Delivery to our CSA pick up site is free, and arrives every other week. 

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Lettuces
  • Garlic
  • Kale or Swiss Chard
  • Sweet Corn 
  • Radishes or Cabbage
  • Fruit: Blueberries

News from Windflower Farm

On this Monday following our open house on the farm, we are pleasantly tired. Heavy rains on Saturdaymorning threatened to spoil the weekend, but in the early afternoon, just about the time CSA members began to arrive, the sun broke out. Turnout was good, the food was great, and we all made new friends. Thanks to all who came.

I have just abandoned today’s bean harvest. Nearly a quarter of an acre of beans are ready for harvesting, enough to keep all of our shareholders and the food pantries we serve in fresh green beans for the next two weeks, but my machinery has broken down. I’ve been on the phone with my John Deere sales rep and the manager of his service department, making sure that the tractor isn’t the cause of the problem, and I’ve spoken with Jim Watson, the man from whom I purchased the harvester, but to no avail. The problem has to do with the hydraulic motor that powers the vacuum that separates the leaves from the beans.     

Jim, who is from Ontario, is one of two men (the other is in Kansas) who seem to control most of the secondary market for green bean harvesters in North America. The biggest names in harvesters had been Byron, Pixall and Oxbo, but now, because they have purchased the other two, there is only Oxbo. A new one-row unit sells for just under $50,000. Mine is a 20-year old Byron 105, and I purchased it for $17,000, which I imagine is several thousand dollars more than it sold for new. But that is how it is in agriculture: farmers make their equipment last, and it’s value –new or used – relates closely to the market value of the work it can perform regardless of age.

Two sets of hydraulic motors power the unit: one turns a gang of fingers that rip the beans and leaves off the plant and deposit them on a belt that delivers them to the top of the harvest bin. The other sits atop the harvest bin and powers a fan that sucks the leaves upward and blows them out the back, allowing the heavier beans to drop into the bin. I was on the first row of beans when hydraulic fluid began to rain down on the beans in the harvest bin. The overhead fan motor sprang a leak. Back in the barnyard, and with the assistance of an ice-cold Hair Raiser, I removed the motor and began ripping the seal apart. It will take a couple of days to get new parts here.

Salvador, who has worked on the farm for over 10 years, questions if the purchase makes sense. He knows the machine’s cost, he knows his own wage, and he knows how fast he and the members of his family can harvest beans. For this week, at least, the question is academic. We’ll have no choice but to harvest by hand. Replacing people with machinery (a long-time trend in agriculture) has never been a goal of ours. We’d simply like our work to be easier, our time well spent, and to earn enough of a profit to be sustainable.  

Have a great week, Ted

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 8

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We'd love to highlight members in our page! Maybe you have a local business or project and want to be interviewed for the Beet to let us know more about your life and work and interest in the CSA? We'd love it! Let us know at newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org!
  • If you haven't placed an order from Lewis Waite Farm, give it a go! Lewis Waite offers a la carte meat, poultry, dairy, bread, and a number of delicious pantry staples from a variety of farms and small-batch producers. Orders are placed via Lewis Waite Farm’s easy-to-use online platform. You pay as you go, and order only what you want. Delivery to our CSA pick up site is free, and arrives every other week. The next delivery is Thursday, August 3rd, and the deadline to order is Tuesday, August 1st. 

This Week's Share

  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Onions
  • Radishes or Turnips
  • Lettuces
  • Cucumber or Zucchini
  • Choice of Two: Kale, Choy, Collards, or Arugula
  • Sweet Corn (maybe!)
  • Fruit: Blueberries

News from Windflower Farm

If you were to fly over our farm you’d not only see a mix of woods, fields and farmland, as Jan and the boys did not too many years ago, you’d also see the hundreds of ponds that dot the landscape. Every farm has a pond, many put in with the help of the depression era CCC program. One of our farm ponds had been stocked with bass. This summer, just as they have been doing for years, herons have been flying from pond to pond in much the same way a trapper tends his trap line. They swoop in, pause to hunt for ten or fifteen minutes, and then move along to the next pond and the next meal. In particularly wet years, they will cruise the wet ditches along our fields in search of frogs.

A wildlife biologist from the DEC was here last week. He helped me to assess our deer fence and to identify points of vulnerability. He made the observation that deer, once inside, have a virtual paradise here because of the excellent food supply and absence of predators. To right the imbalance, the logical next step would be to bring in a small family of coyotes. He has given us deer tags to use in the event we cannot drive the deer out of the enclosure. I am loath to use them, but I’d rather do that than explain to you why we have no sweet potatoes or lettuce or delicate squash.

So, our proximity to wildlife can be exasperating. Cedar Waxwings will devour every kind of berry crop, including grapes, blueberries and strawberries, the three we are working hardest to develop here. We now realize we’ll have to install netting over each planting in order to get a crop. Jan has installed bird netting everywhere around our barn complex. Barn swallows are everywhere - they nest in the engine compartments of our tractors, on our tub washing machine and the fans in our packing shed, and on every horizontal (or diagonal) beam on our barn. Safe produce handling requires that we prevent them from invading the places where we wash and pack your vegetables.  

That the Upper Hudson landscape is such a rich blending of wildness and domesticity is one of the things that attracted us to this region and, ultimately, to this farm. The wild north of our place offers the best animal habitat and over the years has been the temporary home of black bears, turkeys, martens, beavers, rabbits, foxes, eagles, herons, possums, bobcats, snapping turtles and deer. There are two ponds, two creeks, a cattail swamp and a good-sized woodlot. And it is bordered by hundreds of acres of forest and fields. We do our best not to grow deer food on the few acres of land suited to vegetable production in the northern parts of the farm. Potatoes and onions are our best options. The domesticated southern reaches of our farm are where we grow most of your crops. It’s also where our greenhouses, barns, employee housing and home are. We can hear the coyotes at night, but only rarely do our wild neighbors venture close to home.

If you join us for our open house, I’ll take you on a walk through both the wild and the tame parts of our little farm.

I hope you can make it, Ted  

Please save the date of August 5/6 for our open house on the farm. We invite you to join us and see where your vegetables come from! RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com. Camping on the farm is encouraged - all kinds of sites are available within an easy walk of the barns, running water, toilets and electricity. Kids and leashed pets are welcome.  Please bring a dish to pass for the Saturday evening potluck. 

Cooking the Books

 

CSA member Moira Kerrigan sent in this great tidbit:

I wanted to share a plug for the cookbook that gets me through the summer months and helps me use my CSA share in the most exciting, versatile way. The book is called The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini. In it, Mangini goes through the vegetables A to Z and dissects exactly how to prep and store them and then provides lots of incredible recipes for preparing your bounty of veggies. One of my favorite recipes from the book is for a Swiss Chard Crostata with Fennel Seed Crust (NB: this is only for those days when you can bear to turn on the oven!). It's delicious, easy, and cheap to put together! 

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing

Of CSA Note!

  • We'd love to highlight members in our page! Maybe you have a local business or project and want to be interviewed for the Beet to let us know more about your life and work and interest in the CSA? We'd love it! Let us know at newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org!
  • Curious about how our CSA is run or interested in becoming more involved? The core group that steers the Clinton Hill CSA will be meeting on site TONIGHT, Thursday, July 20, at 6:15 PM. Stop by and say hello or stay and hear more about what we do! 
  • Please be aware that our (very beneficial!) arrangement with PS 56 covers only the cafeteria where we have distribution. Members should not enter other areas of the school, including the courtyard. We value our relationship with our hosts at PS 56 and hope that members will treat the people who work there, as well as the site itself, with respect.

This Week's Share

  • Sweet Corn
  • Arugula
  • Green Onions
  • Squashes and/or Cucumbers
  • Lettuces
  • Choice of two: Kale, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Collards
  • Tomatoes (maybe!)
  • Basil (maybe!)
  • Fruit: Cherries

News from Windflower Farm

Please save the date for our open house on the farm. We invite you to join us and see where your vegetables come from! RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com. Camping on the farm is encouraged - all kinds of sites are available within an easy walk of the barns, running water, toilets and electricity. Kids and leashed pets are welcome.  Please bring a dish to pass for the Saturday evening potluck.  

Saturday, August 5th:

CSA members are welcome to arrive any time after noon. 

2:00 pm: First Windflower Farm tour with Ted (tractor and wagon ride)

3:30 pm: Snacks

4:00 pm: Second Windflower Farm tour with Ted (tractor and wagon ride)

5:00 pm: Cocktail hour (byo)

6:00 pm: Potluck. Please bring a dish to share! 

Afterwards, bonfire and live music

Sunday, August 6th:

8-10:00 am: Breakfast provided by the farm staff

11:00 am: Davis Family Farm tour: learn about raising pastured chickens for eggs

Noon: depart for other local sites.

Visit other local attractions, such as the:

Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival: http://craftproducers.com

Washington County Antique Fair and Flea Market: http://www.fairgroundshows.com/

Local wineries: http://upperhudsonvalleywinetrail.com/

Local breweries: http://hudsonvalleybounty.com/Brewery

Local cideries: http://www.saratogaapple.com/ 

Swimming holes, farmers’ markets, hikes (directions will be provided)

Saratoga Race Track: http://www.saratogaracetrack.com/

Please RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com with the number in your party. I hope you can make it.

Have a great week, Ted 

Lazy Summer Recipes

My apartment has officially turned into a summer sweatbox and usually, when it's this hot, I treat my stove and oven like they both have the plague. Avoiding anything that adds heat to my sweltering kitchen, I lean on summer salads with lots of ingredients. With this week's CSA share, I'll probably throw together a corn salad (staying far away from my kitchen while the corn is briefly cooking!)—corn, finely diced tomato, basil, and green onion from the CSA combined with feta, garlic, olive oil, and lemon and served over arugula or lettuce. I also love to make quick pickles, either raw with vinegar, sugar, and salt (and doctored up with whatever spices you like) as in this NYT recipe, or, if you're willing to sweat a little bit, my all-time favorite bread-and-butter pickles from Saveur