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 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

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 6

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

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

Of CSA Note!

  • 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 next 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. 
  • If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to contribute! We'd love to have our members represented in these pages. Send recipes, neighborhood news, food articles to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org

This Week's Share

Farmers are busy planting and picking! No share info this week! 

Food Happenings

For those of you sticking around Brooklyn this weekend, there are some good opportunities to get your hands dirty and your farming knowledge expanded:

  • Tinyfield Roofhop Farm is hosting a series of urban farming workshops this Saturday at their rooftop farm near the Navy Yard. Topics include microgreens propagation, vermicomposting, and building raised garden beds. Find more information and a signup link at Edible Brooklyn.
  • The Youth Farm at the High School for Public Service welcomes volunteers this Saturday to help out with composting, seed starting, irrigation, building projects, harvesting, and weeding. The farm's Youth Tillers, summer youth employees, will lead the day and show off all that's in bloom at the farm. More info here.

THE BEET: VOLUME 16: ISSUE 5

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

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

Reminders:

If you can't pick up your share, that's fine—send a friend (just have them say your name at check-in and be sure to ask about extra shares) or, better yet, find a swap on the Clinton Hill CSA Forum. If you're not yet a member, be sure to request to join so you can get a'swappin and a'sharin. 

Remember take only the amount indicated on the whiteboards to ensure that there's enough for everyone. There's a swap box at the end of the table for those veggies that might not be up your alley (cilantro, anyone?). 

Bring bags for your veggies! We have a few plastic bags for those who forget, but it's important to remember to bring your own bags and containers for your veggies and other shares.

If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to contribute! We'd love to have our members represented in these pages. Send recipes, neighborhood news, food articles to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org

This Week's Share

·        Magenta Lettuce

·        Happy Rich

·        Garlic Scapes

·        Dinosaur Kale

·        Cucumbers

·        Summer Squash or Zucchini

·       Koji

·        Scallions

·        Onions

·        Fruit Share: Strawberries and Rhubarb from Yonder Farm

From Windflower Farm

Hi everyone, 

Ted unfortunately didn't have a chance to write a newsletter this week. We've been taking advantage of the beautiful, dry weather to tackle some big cultivating and transplanting projects. We've had a very productive past couple days!

Best, Andrea

Recipe

I really love garlic scapes, those squiggly little wigglers that will have been showing up in the past few shares. (I guess it goes without saying that I also love (?) having bad breath.) My favorite early summer food is garlic scape pesto, which can be tossed with pasta, slathered on crusty bread, or (not for the faint of heart!) spooned into your mouth when it's too hot to do anything but stare into the refrigerator listlessly and sweatily. Most often, I just throw together a mix of scapes, olive oil, lemon, parmesan, salt, and whatever in the nut family that I have on hand—pine nuts, walnuts, almonds are all up to the task. Dorie Greenspan also has an excellent recipe, which can be found here. If pesto isn't your bag (though how could it not be?!), the Crisper Whisperer provides a plethora of options for taming the odiferous and acrobatic green beasts.

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 4

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

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

Reminders:

Sign up for your volunteer hours now! The CSA is a community endeavor that runs primarily on member labor. Shifts tend to fill up toward the end of the season, so get your work in now! Sign up HERE

If you're out of town, feel free to have a friend pick up your share for you. Just have him or her say your name at the front desk and be sure to let them know if you have extra shares (fruit, flowers, eggs) to collect, too. 

When you're picking up your share, remember to take only the amount indicated on the whiteboards to ensure that there's enough for everyone. There's a swap box at the end of the table for those veggies that might not be up your alley (cilantro, anyone?). 

Bring bags for your veggies! We have a few plastic bags for those who forget, but it's important to remember to bring your own bags and containers for your veggies and other shares.

If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to contribute! We'd love to have our members represented in these pages. Send recipes, neighborhood news, food articles to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org

This Week's Share

·        Kale or Koji

·        Hakurei Turnips

·        Cucumbers

·        Lettuce

·        Scallions

·        Garlic Scapes

·       Swiss Chard or Spinach

·        Yellow Squash or Zucchini

·        Broccoli or Happy Rich

·        Fruit Share: Strawberries and Rhubarb from Yonder Farm

From Windflower Farm

Lettuce, scallions, the season’s first cucumbers, sweet Hakurei turnips (simply slice and saute in olive oil, or eat fresh in a salad) and garlic scapes. And these items, which will likely come in the form of choices: Swiss chard or spinach, kale or Koji, yellow squash or zucchini, and broccoli or Happy Rich. Your fruit share will consist of strawberries and rhubarb from Yonder Farm. I hope you enjoy your share. The cucumbers show a little damage, but they taste good.

I’ve just come in from cultivating sweet corn and green snap beans with my old International 140. The soil was dry and the sun was hot, ideal conditions for killing weeds. Candelaria has dropped off tamales, and Monica has brought over sweet corn with mayonnaise and chiles. Perfect timing. They perform these acts of neighborly kindness regularly, and I am grateful for our good fortune. I snap open a tall “Sip of Sunshine” and enjoy a few moments before heading back out.

Instead of using herbicides, organic farmers pull weeds by hand, they suppress weeds by applying organic or plastic mulches, they kill weeds with fire, and its modern variant – the propane-fueled flame weeder. Some organic farmers spray vinegar, which is a herbicide of sorts, and others spray steaming hot water to kill their weeds. And organic farmers use a variety of hoes: the colinear hoe, the stirrup hoe, the Dutch onion hoe, the push-pull hoe. But, most of all, they cultivate.

To me, cultivating means using a tractor onto which I have mounted one of a number of gadgets designed to bury, uproot or mangle weeds. We use torsion weeders, flex-tine weeders, finger weeders, basket weeders, Dutch hoes on parallelograms, Danish tines, hillers big and small, spiders, beet knives and sweeps of every stripe. Some of these gadgets are mounted behind my tractor, others are mounted on its underbelly where I can see them. Cultivating is something I can do alone, as I did today, when the farm is otherwise empty, listening to Bela Fleck on Pandora. Corn row after corn row, bean row after bean row. Weed after weed buried or mangled. It’s gratifying work.

This morning, Nate and Jan used the steerable cultivator to weed zinnias and sunflowers. Everyone calls it the X-wing. It’s got Dutch hoes on parallelograms. A neighbor made the X-wing for us, and we imported the hoes. We’ll post an image on Instagram soon. The cultivator requires two people – one to drive the tractor that pulls the X-wing and another to steer the X-wing itself. My wife and son are a good team, as are Martin and his son, Jesus. It’s the kind of work that tests communication skills: slower, higher, faster, stop! For husbands and wives, it’s like couples therapy without the therapist. 

Have a great week! Ted  

Recipe

Arch Bernard, Clinton Hill CSA member and bartender at a farm-to-table restaurant in Gramercy Park, passed along a mouthwatering recipe for Strawberry Basil Margaritas, his vehicle of choice for the strawberries that he gets in his fruit share. Simple, delicious, bold flavors, and perfect for July Fourth celebrations. Thanks Arch!

Strawberry Basil Margaritas

2 strawberries muddled in a shaker pint

4 leaves of basil, muddled between your thumb and palm, then thrown in with the strawberries

2oz tequila (I used Herradura Reposado but any blanco or reposado will do)

Juice from 1 whole lime

3/4oz simple syrup

Splash of triple sec

Shaken with ice and poured into a rocks glass

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 3

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

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

Reminders:

Sign up for your volunteer hours now! The CSA is a community endeavor that runs primarily on member labor. Shifts tend to fill up toward the end of the season, so get your work in now! Sign up HERE

Bring bags for your veggies! We have a few plastic bags for those who forget, but it's important to remember to bring your own bags and containers for your veggies and other shares.

If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to contribute! We'd love to have our members represented in these pages. Send recipes, neighborhood news, food articles to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org

This Week's Share

·        Kale varieties

·        Broccoli

·        Squashes

·        Swiss chard

·        Hakurei turnips

·        Potted Herbs

·        Fruit Share: Strawberries

Eggs and Fruit are here! Come pick up if you have these optional shares. Flower Shares will start in the coming few weeks. 

From Windflower Farm

Our farm season starts at the end of February, when we dust the snow off our greenhouses, test fire heaters and fans and water supplies, and sow our first onion and tomato seeds. We spend the first 60 days of the season in the greenhouse producing the tens of thousands of seedlings that will fill out our fields once the outdoor growing season gets underway in late April. It might be winter outside, but in the greenhouse it feels as though we’ve taken a trip to the deep south.

The next sixty days of the season - the last two months of spring - are always something of a marathon here at Windflower Farm. This is the part of the season when this vegetable farmer’s life is at its most hectic and stressful. Our target first planting day is April 21st, when any remaining snow is usually confined to north-facing hedgerows, and by June 21st, the start of summer, and longest day of the year, we hope to have the farm fully planted to all but the later successional crops and to have made several deliveries to the city.

Here is a short list of our accomplishments to-date: we have planted about two acres each of "Irish" potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and other alliums, winter squashes, various greens, sweet corn and cut flowers. We have planted an acre or so each of green beans; root crops like beets, carrots and radishes; Brassicas (cabbages and broccoli); and Cucurbits (cukes, zukes and melons). And we’ve made several smaller plantings of arugula, celery, mustard mixes and herbs. We’ve planted two large greenhouses to tomatoes and a third to cut flowers. And we’ve planted 24 small greenhouses (150’ long structures we call “caterpillar tunnels”) to a combination of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, basil and cut flowers. In addition, we put in a new quarter acre of elderberries and a half acre of table grapes. It’s been a busy 60 days!

Those first 60 days in the field tell us much about how the season will go. And so I thought I’d share some slightly scattered observations and give you a sense of what to expect. Mother Nature, a full partner in the farm, gave us some challenges. It was an unusually cold and wet spring, as you know, which threw off our planting schedule and will delay some (but certainly not all) harvests. So, where are we? 

I expect tomatoes, peppers, chiles and eggplants, in particular, to be a little later than usual, but our use of tunnels has been helpful and you should see these items showing up in early August shares. I’m grateful for the recent arrival of warm sunny weather. It is bringing on squashes and cucumbers a little earlier than expected. Squash starts this week, cucumbers should start the week after. 

Greens, strawberries, alliums, cabbages and potatoes all like cool, wet springs, and they are happy, if slightly delayed. We are trying to avoid giving you too many greens, but we continue to send them because we want to fill out your shares. Green onions will be showing up fairly soon and will become a regular weekly feature. Sweet corn does not like cool temperatures, nor do beans, and they will be later. My fear is that my four corn plantings all comes in at once! Garlic scapes are coming next week, and garlic bulbs a month after that, right on schedule. Kohlrabi continues to mature, turnips start this week, beets are coming soon, and carrots will start in early August. Eating seasonally is always full of surprises.

Every week, we’ll post an image or two from the farm on Instagram (here). You can also find us on Facebook (here), where you’ll find recipes and can exchange information with farm staff and fellow CSA members. You can reach the farm by sending an email to Andrea, our membership coordinator, at windflowercsa@gmail.com.

Enjoy the week. Best wishes, Ted and Jan

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 2

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

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


Reminders:

Sign up for your volunteer hours now! The CSA is a community endeavor that runs primarily on member labor. Shifts tend to fill up toward the end of the season, so get your work in now! Sign up HERE

Bring bags for your veggies! We have a few plastic bags for those who forget, but it's important to remember to bring your own bags and containers for your veggies and other shares.

If you have any Beet submissions, please feel free to contribute! We'd love to have our members represented in these pages. Send recipes, neighborhood news, food articles to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org


This Week's Share

  • Swiss Chard or Broccoli Rabe
  • Scallions
  • Lettuces
  • Lacinatio (Dinosaur) or Red Russian Kale
  • Arugula
  • Green Kohlrabi
  • Potted Herbs
  • Fruit Share: Strawberries

Eggs and Fruit are here! Come pick up if you have these optional shares. Flower Shares will start in the coming few weeks. 

From Windflower Farm

As you’d imagine, we have daily encounters with wildlife here on the farm. Last weekend, as I was returning to the field to work on our sweet potatoes, I saw a doe and her spotted twins bedded down in the rye stubble in the field next door. It was bad news for us; deer love sweet potato vines and could easily destroy our entire crop if given enough time. I knew to be alert to them because deer had been eating our celeriac in a nearby field. But I was a little surprised. Last year, I spent quite a bit of money on a perimeter fence to avoid just such an event. Apparently, gates had been left open. Deer don’t associate tractors with danger, so I was able to get quite close. The doe eventually darted off, leaving her little ones to hunker down, trying to be invisible, a strategy for which all those spots might be helpful. But they were only a couple of weeks old and easy to catch. Warm, soft, boney-ribbed, all legs, and wild, they bleated loudly once I got them into my arms. Fifty yards away or so, the doe snorted and stomped, while the fawns wriggled and kicked. One got away and disappeared in the brush. I set the other little one just outside the gate, hoping the doe would lead them out once I was no longer a threat. At that point, I thought, I would close the gate, locking them outside of our farm and away from your vegetables. All were gone when I returned an hour later to close the gate, leaving no indication whether they had found a hiding spot within my perimeter or without.

This week’s share contents.

This week you’ll be getting Swiss chard or broccoli rabe, depending on what you got last week, scallions, lettuces, your choice of dinosaur or Red Russian kale, arugula, green kohlrabi, and your choice of another potted herb. Next week, you’ll get more spring salad crops, including sweet Japanese turnips, garlic scapes and spinach. Our cucumbers and zucchinis are doing well, and they should begin showing up with broccoli during week four or five. Our Chandler strawberries continue to come in and will be in your fruit share. As our organic early variety slows, we’ll reach out to Pete at Yonder Farm to provide later strawberries and rhubarb. Cherries and blueberries will come in afterwards.  

Every week, we’ll post an image or two from the farm on Instagram (here). You can also find us on Facebook (here), where you’ll find recipes and can exchange information with farm staff and fellow CSA members. You can reach the farm by sending an email to Andrea, our membership coordinator, at windflowercsa@gmail.com.

Enjoy the week. Best wishes, Ted and Jan


NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS

Longtime CSA member Julio Grinblatt is showing a series of his beautiful photographs at Minus Space in Dumbo. The series, Pasillos, depicts the experience of his first two years as an immigrant in New York City. Here is the gallery's write up of the show and some great press about Julio and his work. See you there!

THE BEET: Volume 16; Issue 1

THE BEET: Volume 16; Issue 1

June 8, 2017

FIRST PICK UP TONIGHT!

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE

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

This Week's Share

  • Potted Herbs
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lacinato (dinosaur) or Red Russian Kale 
  • Scallions
  • Lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula

Egg Share starts this week, Fruit Shares start next week, and Flower Shares start in the next two to three weeks!

From Windflower Farm

Spring greetings from all of us at Windflower Farm! Thank you for joining our CSA – we are very happy that you decided to be with us! It's been a hectic 45 days since our first field plantings, but I believe we are ready! Your first share of the season will be arriving on Thursday of this week.

Your first share will consist of potted herbs, which you can keep on a windowsill, plant in a garden, or use in a dish in the next week or two. There will be more of these during the next few weeks. You’ll get Swiss chard and your choice of lacinato (aka, dinosaur) or Red Russian kale. You’ll also get a bunch of scallions, heads of lettuce and bok choy and a bunch of arugula. Egg shares start this week, too, with fresh brown eggs from the Davis’s pasture-fed hens. Flower shares will start in another two or three weeks. Fruit shares will likely start next week. We would have started with our own strawberries this week, but the rainfall ruined the red-ripe fruit. Don’t worry - there are all kinds of green fruits that will be turning red in the coming heat.

We hope you enjoy your first share of the season. Next week, we’ll be sending more of these salad vegetables, along with broccoli rabe and radishes or kohlrabi. The unusually cold and grey May will keep us guessing about when crops will be maturing this spring and early summer, but we’ll do our best to keep you informed. (My solar panels actually produced more electricity in April than May!)

The first half dozen shares in our 22-week season generally consist of cool-season salad crops. Cucumbers, squashes and sweet turnips will begin to fill out your shares before June is out. Broccoli will be soon to follow. And by the end of July, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cabbage and sweet corn should appear regularly in your weekly share. Good things are coming!

In the weeks ahead, I’ll use this space to introduce you to our excellent farm team, and I’ll tell you a good deal about the crops we grow and how we grow them. Every week, we’ll post an image or two from the farm on Instagram (here). You can also find us on Facebook (here), where you’ll find recipes and can exchange information with farm staff and fellow CSA members. You can reach the farm by sending an email to Andrea, our membership coordinator, at windflowercsa@gmail.com. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you are thinking

 

Save the Food!

The amount of produce in a weekly share is awesome but can occasionally feel overwhelming—here's a great website that outlines the environmental consequences of wasting food and helps you avoid doing so with all the bounty that's currently overflowing from your fridge. Check out the storage tips to keep your CSA booty kicking all week long. 

Recipes

Make the most of your kale with 32 delish kale-centric recipes from Bon Appetit. Personally I'm a big fan of lazy person's kale—thrown in a big bowl with whatever grain and cheese you have lying around and finished off with olive oil, lemon, and a little crushed red pepper. 

Enjoy Friday's Full Strawberry Moon!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/kale-recipes

THE BEET: Volume 15; Issue 22

FINAL PICK UP TONIGHT

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

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


Dear Clinton Hill CSA members,

As our 15th season comes to an end, we'd like to thank you for being a part of our Clinton Hill CSA community. From your enthusiasm and anticipation at the start of the season to your cheerful volunteer shifts to your astonishing generosity in the wake of the fruit share difficulties, we've appreciated everything you've given us this year. In a world of big media, big box stores, and large corporations, the CSA is the essence of small and personal—or, at least, we hope it is. Whether you're a new member trying out the CSA or part of our longstanding crew, we're so happy you've shared the season with us, and we hope to see you again next spring. In the meantime, check out our winter share and see if it's for you, and enjoy the very last distribution of our 2016 season!

     Best wishes,
          The Clinton Hill CSA Core


This Week's Share

  • Yellow or red onions and
  • Leeks
  • Sweet potatoes
  • ‘Delicata’ squashes
  • Choice of:  sage, lemongrass and Rosemary
  • Chiles
  • Spinach and a lettuce mix
  • Choices of two bunches of greens:  kale, choy, chard, escarole, collards and a mustard mix
Season's first snowfall at Windflower Farm - October 27th

Season's first snowfall at Windflower Farm - October 27th

From Windflower Farm

As you already know, this week’s delivery is the last of our ‘summer’ season. On behalf of our staff and the farmers we work with to deliver fruit and egg shares, Jan and I would like to express our thanks to all of you for your membership in the Windflower Farm community. Your purchase of a share in our farm’s 2016 vegetable and flower harvest made possible the employment of some 18 people grateful for the good work of growing healthy food in a sustainable way. We appreciate that you have shared in the adventure of navigating a season long on hot weather and short on rainfall. As is the case every year, there were successes and failures, too many of some things, and too few of others. That you are with us, rooting for us, and that as shareholders you have “skin in the game,” adds immeasurably to the meaning of our labors. We hope you have enjoyed your shares of vegetables, cut flowers, fruits, and eggs and your connection to our farm, and we hope to see you again next year.

We value your thoughts and ask that you provide us with your responses to our end-of-season survey. It should be available midweek next week.

The CSA model continues to thrive because of the active participation of people in their food system. That includes all of you, of course, but there is a special group of you who make a substantially extra effort. In each neighborhood where we deliver, we work with a “core group” of your fellow shareholders who volunteer to organize a school, church, garden or stretch of sidewalk into a weekly distribution site. They promote the CSA, “sell” shares, write newsletters, gather recipes, sort out site logistics, coordinate volunteers, arrange special events and maintain a constant dialog with the farm. They are certainly underpaid, but they are not underappreciated. Our small farm would not exist without their efforts. To them, we say, thank you, thank you, thank you!

This need not be goodbye - winter shares are still available! - but if it is, we’d like to extend our warmest wishes for the season.

Our very best regards, Ted and Jan


Winter Share Sign-Up!

The winter share is comprised of four once-a-month deliveries of our stored squashes, onions, leeks, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and fresh salad greens from our greenhouses, along with apples, pears and either cider or jam. We hope you’ll join us!

Sign Up Here


Delicata Squash:  Your new favorite winter squash

Delicata squash are my favorite winter squash.  Their flavor is smooth and slightly sweet.  They only get better when roasted, and best of all- you can eat the skin!  No peeling involved!  To clean, all you have to do is wash & remove the seeds.   Delicata squash are native to North America- originally cultivated by Native Americans.  They are rich in beta-carotene, and a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamins C & B, magnesium & manganese.

Here's a variety of ways to try them, if you haven't all ready.

In a Quiche!  Tho this recipe calls for roasted butternut, delicata can easily be subbed.  I have put it in quiche many times for a sweeter twist on my savory breakfast pie.  Taste and Tell Quiche.

Chickpeas with Delicata Squash, Kale and Coconut milk.  Sauteed and served over brown rice or farrow for a complete and healthy dinner.  From Healthy Green Kitchen

Italian Style- cut in half and baked with cream and parmigiano cheese.

Pan-Asian Style; Miso Sesame Winter Squash.  From one of my favorite cooking blogs; 101 Cookbooks.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread!  Do yourself a favor, turn the oven on and make yourself a delicious loaf.  While baking it will make the whole apartment smell good, and when it's done- it will fly off the cutting board.  This bread goes well with all meals- especially breakfast and second breakfast.

THE BEET: Volume 15; Issue 21

FULL SHARE & GREEN HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

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


FINAL PICK UP NEXT WEEK FOR FULL & YELLOW HALF SHARES

FINAL PICK UP FOR FRUIT SHARES & GREEN HALF SHARES TONIGHT


Reminders & Links:

Winter Share Sign up HERE!

Lewis Waite CSA Extras: They have a lot of new fall products; including flours, organic chickens, lamb, half baked pizzas, mushroom teas and cheeses!  Sign up for extra goodies to fill out your final share for next week! 

Please take a few minutes to fill out our end of the year survey HERE.  It helps us and Ted prepare for next year's season.

Anniversary Party Postponed! We (The CHCSA Core) have decided to postpone the 15th Anniversary Party for a little bit, we will send everyone a proper invite when the time comes.  In the meantime- if you signed up to volunteer for the party- we would welcome your help at next week's pick up instead.  There is a bit more set up and clean up involved on the final night- as Ted sends the vegetables in plastic bags & cardboard boxes.  Thank you!


This Week's Share:

  • Spinach and ‘Lollo Rossa’ lettuce or a lettuce mix
  • Leeks, garlic and onions
  • A choice between potatoes and beets
  • Your choice of three greens: kale, choy, chard, escarole, collards and a ‘Tokyo Bekana’ mix
  • A last taste of summer – peppers, chiles, cilantro and a tomato
  • Fruit Share: Cortland Apples & Bosc Pears

 

Letter From Windflower Farm:

It has rained for two days and now a cold wind is blowing. The brilliant red and orange leaves of last week have fallen, and, although our young cover crops are a bright green, the larger landscape is becoming a more muted gold. A light snow is expected on Thursday morning. We are all taking a little more care with our clothing selections – gloves, hats, sweaters and rain gear litter the staff room. The tunnels have been battened down and soon we’ll apply additional layers of covers over our baby greens. The field season is clearly winding down. The local farm staff is looking forward to a short break before preparation of winter shares begins. The staff from Laguna Prieta, in Mexico – Martin, Monica and Martin Jr. – are excited to be heading home, where family and sweethearts await them. And after their reunion, and a week or so of rest, they have a family farm to attend. Martin grows the subsistence crops, corn, beans and squash, with which he feeds his family and their livestock, and the cash crops, onions and cabbage, which he barters at the local store. Soon, it will be harvest time there, but because his family is large, Martin says, the work does not take long and there is plenty of time for relaxation and festivities.

The “off season” for us means turning our attention to the tractors and equipment that require maintenance. That and a small barn upgrade will keep me busy this winter. But Nate has some more creative endeavors in mind for his spare time. He is a part of the “makers” movement, and is interested in small DIY electric planting and harvesting aids and tractors. So, he’ll be in our workshop for much of the time from November through next April, and I’m really curious to see what he makes for our next season. When she’s not catching up with the farm’s accounting, Jan, too, will keep busy in her workshop. But, her interests are a little more multidimensional than ours, and she’ll be focused more on art this winter.

I hope your “off season” is every bit as exciting as ours.

Best regards, Ted


Recipes to warm you up:

It's definitely time to put your slow cooker out on the counter if you haven't all ready done so.  Coming home to a hot, home made meal is one of the most satisfying feelings.  There's a lot of things you can do with a good slow cooker that you may not have thought of such as:

Apple Crisp.  By using paper towels under the lid; you can keep the top crispy, and the bottom warm and gooey.  Here's a guideline which you can alter however you want to make your family's crisp just right.

Chocolate- Pear Cake.  It's just as good as it sounds.  And sometimes it's ok to have cake for dinner, or at least before.

Spice up your holiday party with some slow cooker mulled cider.  Mulled cider goes well with all fall and winter festivities or to warm up the family after a long day out in the snow/ colder weather.

Finally- here's a great comprehensive list of 50 delicious slow cooker meals put together by ohmyveggies.  I love this list because it's organized by courses: Mains, sides, breakfasts & desserts.