THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 21

 

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

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Ginger

  • Spinach

  • Butternut squash

  • Escarole (or kale)

  • Koji (a dark green choy)

  • Fennel (bulbs and fronds)

  • Yellow onions

  • The last of our sweet peppers

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Letter from Windflower Farm


Delivery #21, Week of October 22nd, 2018

Cold weather is expected this week, along with sunshine. Fall colors are fading, and final harvests are underway.

This week’s share. 

Sweet potatoes, ginger, spinach, butternut squash, escarole (or kale), Koji (a dark green choy), fennel (bulbs and fronds), yellow onions, the last of our sweet peppers. Next week’s share is the very last of the season and will include a variety of greens and root crops.


What’s new at the farm? 

Today, Jan, Nate and I are washing and sorting ginger for this week’s delivery and planting elderberries. The Medina clan is harvesting the last four caterpillar tunnels of sweet peppers and the last four beds of sweet potatoes. Collectively, we are wearing every manner of outdoor clothing, none of which is likely to be seen on this year’s fashion runways. Martin is wearing a matching tan Carhartt jacket and balaclava, with green rain pants and duck taped black rubber boots. Daniel, whose appearance is the most sophisticated among us, has on a set of bright orange Helly Hansen fishermen’s bibs over a black Hefty trash bag. He might have just come off an Alaskan trawler. I’m wearing EMS’s flannel lined dungarees, in blue, and a black Prava jacket I found at the second hand shop in town, neither of which, it turns out, is any good in the wet.

Nate and Jan have been testing their new foul weather gear, most of which includes polypropylene and gore-tex and various shells, in part to keep them comfortable today, but also because we are heading off on a hiking trip the day after we make our last delivery, and they would like to know how well the stuff works. Our vacationing happens in the off season. Last year, we went to Acadia in coastal Maine in December and had the hiking trails to ourselves. This year, it will be Sierras and southern Utah in November. When we return, it will be just in time to prepare the first of your winter shares, and we’ll know exactly what to wear. This year’s surprise find is waterproof socks by Seal Skin (not real seal skins, of course).   

Our winter share sign-up is underway! 

Help keep the Windflower Farm team off the streets of Valley Falls – please sign up today for our winter share. The link is here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

The winter share consists of four monthly deliveries that will include approximately 2 lb. of organically grown greens (including spinach, kales, Swiss chard and other greens) and 8-10 lb. of storage vegetables (including carrots, red and yellow onions, winter squash, a variety of potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes, popcorn, black beans and more), along with 4-6 lb. of fruits, and either apple cider or homemade jam or local honey - all packed to fit in a returnable box. This year, some of the storage vegetables (including carrots and butternut squashes) will come from neighboring organic farms, but almost everything else will come from Windflower Farm.

What’s new? Less plastic packaging! There are too many plastic bags in the world and we fully intend to reduce the number we use in packaging your vegetables. We’ll pack loose where we can, and use paper bags where we need packaging. Our GOAL will be to use zero plastic bags, but, because we are not yet sure that we can, we’ll promise this: to use no more than one plastic bag per month. And we have found a reusable, recyclable, tape-free box to help reduce waste.

An optional EGG share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available in the winter, as is a MAPLE share. Our four deliveries are timed to coincide with the deliveries made to your CSA pickup site by Lewis-Waite Farm (of CSA Extras) for one-stop shopping.

Delivery dates: November 17th, December 15th, January 12th and February 9th. Follow this link for pricing and site specific details: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/m1xr27rk05nzoa8/

I hope you’ll join us.

Have a great week, Ted

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Halloween Party Tonight!  


This pickup will be ghoulishly fun! Bring your kids, come in costume, and celebrate Halloween a few days early. We’ll have arts and crafts for our younger CSA members and a potluck party for everyone.

The more members bring treats the more we’ll have to share, so please let us know if you can bring something: email core member Sarah Chinn at sarahchinn67 at gmail dot com to let her know what you’re bringing. 


Winter Share  

Ted's letter contained some information about his wonderful winter share. To keep the veggies flowing for the next few months, you can join here.

In addition, the Crown Finish Cheese folks, who've been offering delicious cheese samples these last few weeks, will be joining in with their own winter share, which you can pick up when you pick up your winter share—same time, same place. You can find out more about the cheese share here.  


Member Survey  

If you haven't already, please fill in our survey to give feedback on how the season went for you! You can complete it online, and if you have additional comments, feel free to email them to our Outreach Coordinator, Chelsea Frosini, at chelsea dot frosini at gmail dot com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Root Vegetable Gratin


This tempting casserole by Ina Garten (via Smitten Kitchen) is a home for this week's fennel and sweet potatoes. Serves 8 to 10.
 

Ingredients

  • Olive oil

  • 1 large onion, sliced (1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups (1/4-inch-sliced) fennel, top and core, if thick, removed

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 1 pound celery root, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 1 pound yukon gold, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

  • 1 cup heavy cream (see Note up top)

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or brother

  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese (6 ounces with rind)

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs or panko (what I used)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter


Method

Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 13×9-inch deep baking dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large deep (ideally 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and add the onions and fennel. Cooking, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Meanwhile, in the largest bowl you own, combine the onion mixture with remaining vegetables, cream, stock, cheese, thyme, 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper. Pour mixture into prepared dish and spread until even. Mix breadcrumbs and butter until evenly coated and distribute evenly over top of dish.

Bake 1 1/2 hours uncovered, or until vegetables are very tender when tested with a small knife and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 15 minutes at room temperature and serve hot.

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 20

 

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

Ted didn't send a letter this week, so it's a mystery pick-up tonight!

To give you an idea of what to expect, below is a snap from last week's distribution - it's the time of year for potatoes, greens, and pumpkins...

Thanks to CHCSA Outreach Coordinator, Chelsea Frosini, for the photo. 

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Member Survey  

We're approaching the end of the season and we'd love your feedback on how it went! Did the sign up and payment process go smoothly? Which products did you enjoy the most and why? Are there areas for improvement? What would you like to see in your share next year?

To send your feedback, please complete our survey online. And if you have additional comments, feel free to email them to our Outreach Coordinator, Chelsea Frosini, at chelsea dot frosini at gmail dot com. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Halloween Party


At next week's distribution, on October 25, we'll be having a Halloween party! We need spooky snacks and drinks. If you'd like to help out, please email Sarah Chinn at sarahchinn67 at gmail dot com letting her know of your interest. 
 

Know your Vegetables!


We recently heard from a member who was perplexed by the long, green, flat beans we received a couple of weeks ago. (In case you're wondering, they were runner beans: a popular summer vegetable in countries like the UK, but lesser known in the United States.) 

We've all found vegetables in the share that look as if they ought to come with an owner's manual! But don't be afraid of the unfamiliar. Here are some suggestions for how to identify any mystery veggies that come your way:

  • Ask your fellow CSA members! Chances are, somebody else at pick-up will know what it is.

  • Use a vegetable identification book like this one.  

  • Google it! Try typing in a description of what you see in front of you, and you'd be surprised what you can find out... 


Winter Shares


The fall is upon us, the season is coming to an end, and weekly distribution will end soon. But don't despair: if you're sad the CSA is ending, signup for the winter share is coming soon! Watch this space! 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 19

 

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

  • Swiss chard

  • Arugula

  • Lettuce

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Onions

  • Acorn squashes (or pie pumpkins)

  • Sweet peppers

  • Potatoes

  • Herbs (sage or parsley)

  • Perhaps some eggplants or chiles or broccoli

  • Fruit: Empire apples and Bosc pears

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Letter from Windflower Farm


Delivery #19, Week of October 8th, 2018

This week’s share. 

Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, Sweet potatoes, onions, acorn squashes (or pie pumpkins), sweet peppers, potatoes, herbs (sage or parsley), and perhaps some eggplants or chiles or broccoli. Your fruit will be Empire apples and Bosc pears. Next week, you’ll get carrots, leeks, sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, squashes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, lettuce, escarole, Winterbor kale and herbs.

What’s new on the farm? 

The Kubota is running again, but the repair did not set any new speed records. In addition to the bearing problem I wrote about last week, three small welds had broken, which took Nate some time to repair. His work reminds me that it is terrific having a kid who can weld.

A new Windflower Farm planting record was achieved, however. On Friday, we managed to plant five small tomato greenhouses (the kinds we call “caterpillars”) to winter greens - Swiss chard, spinach, Koji and kales. For some perspective, that’s the equivalent of a four-row bed the length of five football fields. We still have four more caterpillars to plant, along with three large greenhouses, and we hope to have them all planted by this time next week.

On a related note, winter share signups will be available soon. We hope you’ll join us for the four deliveries of our winter season.  

I’m mapping the 2019 location of crops on the farm. Next year, these caterpillar greenhouses will be rotated out of tomatoes and into flowers or peppers or herbs to break up pest cycles. Crop rotation is the most important tool we have for dealing with pests without pesticides. Inside our deer fence, an area of about eighty acres – we use a five-year rotation. This year’s severe drought brought about a change in our thinking. Now, all of the greens and the smaller root crops (carrots, radishes and beets) will be put in our front field, the one we call Maryjane, because our good overhead irrigation system can take care of them there. Corn, beans, squashes, cucumbers, peppers and sweet potatoes, all grown with mulch and drip irrigation, will be located in the large field that is served by our biggest pond. And the potatoes, cabbages and onions – vegetables that deer don’t regard as food – will be planted in a rotation of their own in the ten acres remaining outside the deer fence.  

I spent the first half of today working in a lovely mist, plowing under old weeds and crop residues in preparation for the very last of this year’s outdoor plantings. The large sugar maples in the hedges are golden, and the climbing woodbine is a deep red. The peak of colors is perhaps a week away. Because of recent rains, the ground has finally become soft, and deep plowing has once again become possible. I was working in the back field near the new pond, which was in potatoes this year, and will be the location of next year’s winter squashes. Squashes are generally happy to follow potatoes in a crop rotation, following the old time admonition: ‘fruits to follow roots’. Or is that ‘roots to follow fruits’? It likely doesn’t matter because these two crops don’t share pests, and following one with the other is going to interrupt the pest cycles of both, or so I hope.

Have a great week, Ted

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Reminders: Volunteering, Fright Night Feast, and more!  

  • If you're curious about how your CSA is run, and/or might want to get involved, join our friendly Core group TONIGHT at 6:15pm at distribution to find out more. 

  • We're gearing up for our Halloween Party at distribution on October 25th, and we need your help! From spooky snacks to dreadful drinks, if you've got an idea for Halloween-themed food or beverages to contribute, please email Sarah at sarahchinn67 at gmail dot com to register your interest.

  • Members must complete their volunteer hours to be eligible to sign up for next year's CSA. If you haven't yet completed your volunteering, or you're having trouble signing up for hours, please contact Colby at information at CHCSA dot org. 

  • Sign-ups for the Winter Share are coming soon! Watch this space...

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chile, Yogurt and Mint

 

It's sweet potato season! Here are 17 ideas for how to cook these golden nuggets from Healthyish, including this delicious recipe by Andy Baraghani for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chile, Yogurt and Mint. 8 servings.
 

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds medium sweet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 2½ cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 1 serrano chile, finely grated

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 1½ cups mint leaves, torn if large

  • Flaky sea salt


Method

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning halfway through, until tender, 50–60 minutes. Remove from oven; increase oven temperature to 450°. Let sweet potatoes cool slightly, then tear into large pieces (including skin)—irregular pieces look best. Spread out on the same baking sheet and roast until browned and crisp around the edges, 20–25 minutes.

Combine yogurt, chile, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt. Coarsely crush sesame seeds on a cutting board with a flat-bottomed mug (or leave them whole).

Spread chile yogurt on a platter; top with sweet potatoes. Scatter mint, sesame seeds, and sea salt over; drizzle with oil.


Do Ahead

Sweet potatoes can be roasted 6 hours ahead. Let sit at room temperature. Reheat in a 400° oven just to warm through before serving. Chile yogurt can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill. 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 18

 

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

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Leeks

  • Acorn squashes

  • Tomatoes (perhaps our last)

  • Sweet peppers

  • Chiles

  • Garlic

  • Eggplant

  • Lettuce

  • Your choice of arugula or a salad mix and kale or Swiss chard

  • Fruit: Gala apples


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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #18, Week of October 1st, 2018

This week’s share. 

Sweet potatoes, leeks, acorn squashes, tomatoes (perhaps our last), sweet peppers, chiles, garlic, eggplant, lettuce, your choice of arugula or a salad mix and kale or Swiss chard. Your fruit will be Gala apples. Next week, you’ll get more sweet potatoes (so, eat these up!), plus onions, peppers, and assorted greens.

For newcomers to sweet potatoes, try this simple approach: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes because their skins are edible and nutritious, poke the roots with a fork in a couple of places, place them on a baking dish to catch their drippings, and bake for about an hour, or until they are oozing with caramelized juices. They should be fork soft when ready.

News from Windflower Farm. 

After this week, there will be just four more CSA deliveries. But don’t despair - winter shares will be available soon! The winter share is comprised of four monthly deliveries (from November through February) of fresh greens and stored root vegetables from Windflower Farm, fruit (apples and pears) from Borden Farm, a sweet treat of some kind (honey, cider, jam, etc.) each month from a local producer and optional eggs and maple products from the Davis family. Stay tuned!

Nearly every year, for as long as we’ve owned our Kubota L3130, I’ve had to replace the bearings on the front end of the tractor. Sometimes the left, sometimes the right. I guess the original engineering was a little off. When the bearings fail, the wheel wobbles, the gears grind audibly, the four wheel drive knuckle drips gear oil, and, if left unattended, the wheel eventually falls off. This unfolds over the course of a few days or, at most, a couple of weeks. I try to deal with the problem sometime between the grinding stage and the wheel falling off. They always have the parts in stock down at the dealership because they know I’ll be coming. As you can imagine, given that we’ve owned the tractor for nearly 15 years, I’ve become relatively proficient at the job. In the early years, it would take about half a day. More recently, it has taken closer to two hours. Martin told me yesterday that the front end has been grinding again, and he has positioned a bucket underneath the knuckle to catch the oil. While he is slightly amused by the whole thing, my only reaction is surprise at how late it has come this year. The week ahead will be a rainy one, so I’ll tackle the project then. I’ll report back if I’ve achieved a new personal record.  

Also this week, in addition to ongoing harvests, the farm team will finish clearing the tomatoes out of the eight or nine small greenhouses that we’ll plant to winter greens. Soon afterward, we’ll add compost, chisel plow and till in preparation for planting. Next week we’ll plant the Swiss chard, spinach, Koji, red choy, arugula and various kales for the winter share.

Have a great week, Ted 


Volunteering Update


Thank you to all our members who have volunteered throughout the season to help ensure Thursday night pick ups run smoothly. We could not have done it without you!

If you haven't already completed your volunteer hours for the season, NOW is the time! Please remember that each household is required to pitch in with a total of 4 hours of volunteer work during the season (half-share members - 2 hours). Volunteering is an integral part of your membership agreement, and is what ensures that we are able to continue providing fresh produce to our community year round.

To sign up for a slot, please use the following link - http://signup.com/go/ovJPPsq. 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 kindly 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 have an open spot for the early shift (4-6pm). If you are able to help out, please sign up using the above link. 

Note: on October 25 we'll be having a Halloween party! If you'd like to help out, please sign up for the early shift using the above link, and email Sarah Chinn at sarahchinn67 at gmail dot com letting her know of your interest.


Join the CHCSA Core!  

Curious about how the CSA is run or want to become more involved? Join our core group next week for our monthly meeting to find out more!

We'll be meeting at distribution, Thursday, October 11, from 6:15pm to 7:15pm. Hope to see you there.


And the Cookbook Raffle Winner is...  

...Lauren Hill! Congratulations Lauren! Your prize—a gift card for Greenlight Books—will be available at sign-in. 

Thank you so much to everyone who donated a cookbook. The remainders will be used in our outreach efforts, or donated to the Clinton Hill Library for their annual sale on October 13.


Winter Shares


The fall is upon us, the season is coming to an end, and weekly distribution will end soon. But don't despair: if you're sad the CSA is ending, signup for the winter share is coming soon! Watch this space! 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 17

 

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

  • Radicchio

  • Dinosaur kale

  • Cilantro

  • Chiles

  • Tomatoes

  • Sweet peppers

  • Leeks

  • Delicata squash

  • Beans

  • Potatoes

  • Carrots

  • Fruit: probably plums

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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #17, Week of September 24th, 2018

This week’s share. 

Lettuce, radicchio, Dinosaur kale, cilantro, chiles, tomatoes, sweet peppers, leeks, delicata squash, beans, potatoes and carrots. Your sweet potatoes need another week in our greenhouse to sweeten - you’ll see them beginning next week. Nearly 100% of the vegetables in your shares are from our farm, and all are organic, but this week’s carrots are not ours. Our carrot crop was a failure. These carrots are from Brian and Justine Denison’s farm, and are certified organic.

Pete tells me his apples have been slow to develop color, which I gather is the final step in their development prior to harvest. I will not know for another day what Pete will have for your fruit share, but it will likely be something from his late plum crop.

Summer vegetables have begun to disappear with the arrival of fall. You’ll be getting the last of our beans this week or next. You’ve likely already had the last of our summer squashes and cucumbers and corn. Tomatoes are slowing down, and they’ll soon be removed to make greenhouse space for the greens that will fill out winter shares. But there are good things to come. The final six shares of this season will be comprised of sweet potatoes and potatoes, red and yellow onions and leeks, carrots and beets, winter squashes and various greens, including radicchio, endive, lettuce, arugula, kales, chard, koji and a mustard mix. You’ll also get more garlic and some fennel and celeriac.    

We are beginning to prepare for cold weather here. We’ll be able to put up wood for the spring heating season, but we are too late for our winter supply. So, we’ve called Bob Bassett, the man who occasionally provides us with wood for the stoves that heat our workshop and cabin. Bob loaded four full cords onto his trailer by himself today and brought them over. He would have come earlier in the week, he said, but he had a fifty acre field of corn that he wanted to chop before the rain came.

It’s a big project for anyone, but Bob is just shy of 80. He wears mutton chops and has bright blue eyes. He is someone Robert Frost or Leo Tolstoy might conjure. He’s one of those country gentlemen that I can’t help but admire. He is as happy at his work and in his place in the world as anyone I’ve met. It’s the simple things, he says. He tells me he has a wife who loves him, a nice little workshop off the barn and a view of the Helderbergs and the Berkshires from the high field where he splits his wood. The four cords are now stacked and covered, and it feels good to know we are a little more prepared for the coming cold.  

Have a great week, Ted

 

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Last Chance to Swap your Cookbooks


Tonight is the last night of the cookbook swap. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, and if you haven't yet, make tonight the night! Here's what you need to know:

  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!

  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books

  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection

  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books


Cheese from Crown Finish Caves

If you ordered cheese last week, tonight is your pick-up night! And if you didn't, you can still place an order tonight for pick-up next week. Cheeses are priced at:

$10 (1) pc. (1/2 lb)
$18 (2) pcs. (1/2 lb each) 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 16

 

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

  • Winterbor kale

  • Mustard mix

  • Sweet potato leaves

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Garlic

  • Potatoes

  • Delicata squash

  • Fruit: Zest Star apples

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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #16, Week of September 17th, 2018

This week’s share. 

You’ll get arugula, Winterbor kale, mustard mix, and sweet potato leaves. Your share will also include radishes, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, potatoes and delicata squash. Next week, you’ll get carrots, more delicata squashes, leeks and a variety of greens, among other vegetables. This week’s fruit will be Zest Star apples. Next week it might be plums.

The delicata squash in your share is unlikely to last, so eat it up! Delicata is my favorite squash. I simply cut them lengthwise, clean out their seed cavity, place them cut side down on a moistened cookie sheet or pie dish to catch the juices, and bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, until fork soft. Their skins are edible. My mom would serve winter squashes with butter and maple sugar, but I don’t usually use anything. Delicatas can also be cut into smaller chunks and roasted alone or among a medley of vegetables.  

We began our sweet potato harvest last week, and several large totes are now curing in the greenhouse. We’ll post images of the harvest on our Instagram page in the next week or so. They taste best after having been cured in a warm, moist environment for eight or ten days. We used the tractor to place the heavy totes near the greenhouse heater, then flooded the floor to achieve 99-100% humidity, and cranked up the heat to achieve a temperature of 80 degrees. During this brief period of time, the starch in the tubers will be transformed into sugar, making them ready to eat.  We’ll send some sweet potatoes next week. In the meantime, we are sending bunched sweet potato leaves. They are a mild, slightly bitter green that can be used as a substitute for kale or Swiss chard in any dish.      

Have a great week, Ted 


Volunteering Update


The end of the season is rapidly approaching so it's time to get those volunteer hours in, if you haven't already! 

We mostly need volunteers for early shifts (4pm-6pm), but we also need extra help for our Halloween Party (October 25) and the last night of the season (November 1.) You can sign up here.

Don't forget that you are welcome to bring any children in your care with you, and you also have the option of sending someone else to volunteer in your place if you can't make it! 

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Cookbook Swap Continues Tonight! 

Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we are running a swap table

  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!

  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books

  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection

  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books


Choose a Cheese


Two longtime CSA members, Sue Boyle and Benton Brown, will be at distribution for the next two weeks to offer members a taste of the cheeses they produce through their business Crown Finish Caves.

This week, they will be sampling two cheeses:

Tubby
PRODUCER: SPRING BROOK FARM/ FARMS FOR CITY KIDS, VT.
MILK: RAW COW
RENNET: V E A L
AGE: 12+ MONTHS
WEIGHT: 30 LBS

This 30 pound Alpine-style from Spring Brook Farm is traditionally handmade in a copper vat and washed in brine for one year to encourage the development of beneficial microflora. Crack into one of these big ladies and prepare to be enveloped in its piña colada aromas. Tubby’s paste is bright yet brothy with a rind like crunchy peanut butter that will leave you craving another bite. Tubby is named for one of Brooklyn’s prominent turn of the century architects, William Bunker Tubby.

Bismark
PRODUCER: GRAFTON VILLAGE CHEESE CO. VT.
MILK TYPE: THERMALIZED SHEEP
RENNET: MICROBIAL
AGE: 4 - 6 MONTHS
WEIGHT: 1 1 LBS.

Named for a famous 19th century Vermont ram, Bismark is a cheddar/Pyrenees-style hybrid. It is savory, sweet, and yogurty, finishing with notes of candied hazelnut. Eat this cheese on its own or with a fresh green summer salad. While the cheese is made at Grafton Village Cheese in Vermont, the milk is sourced from nearby Amish farmers in New York State. Bismark’s paste is a wonderful and bold expression of sheep’s milk, while the rind takes on the natural cave environment of Crown Finish Caves. 2017 ACS Winner


They will take orders on the spot at pick-up tonight, or by email before next Thursday's pickup (September 27.) If you place an order, you'll receive an invoice through Square, and will receive your cheese at the following week's pick-up. Cheeses are priced at:

 $10 (1) pc. (1/2 lb)
 $18 (2) pcs. (1/2 lb each) 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 15

 

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

  • Arugula

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Sweet corn

  • Garlic

  • Potatoes

  • Scallions

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Fruit: Pete’s peaches and our baby watermelons

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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #15, Week of September 10th, 2018

This week’s share. 

Arugula, spinach, Swiss chard (hurray, we are into greens again!), sweet corn, garlic, potatoes, scallions, radishes, tomatoes and peppers. Your fruit share will consist of Pete’s peaches and our baby watermelons. Next week, you’ll get the first of our leeks and delicata squashes. You’ll also get some combination of kale, arugula, lettuce and a mustard mix. Next week’s fruit is likely to be apples. Pears and cider will be coming soon.

Notes from the farm. 

Last week, we harvested most of our pie pumpkins and acorn, delicata and butternut squashes, and they are now curing in our largest greenhouse. The curing environment will help harden their skins and provide time and warmth for the conversion of their starches into sugars. We harvested the squashes into 20-bushel totes that we lined with hardware cloth to keep any creatures out. They’ll be in shares soon. This week, we have been planting the strawberries that we’ll harvest next June. These are large projects, and I’ll be glad to have them behind us.

We’ve also been irrigating again. In fact, we await a good rain before we can undertake the next field project – fall onion and garlic planting. At this point, the ground is too hard to sink my plow into. We are in another stretch of dry weather, and when our soil becomes dry, it becomes concrete-hard. We are nearly a month away from garlic planting, and almost two from onion planting, so there is no reason to be worried, but I’d like to get started. Two big wet-weather systems appear to be headed our way this week and we are hoping for rain from one of them.  

I made good on a promise to take our farm crew sailing on Saturday. It was clear, cold and windy, and the seven of us, well bundled and packed tight in my little boat, really enjoyed ourselves, with Bonnie, Julia and me each taking turns at the helm.

While we await better field conditions, we will be starting on the construction of a shed roof on our equipment barn. It’s a simple project – we’ll set five posts on the footings we poured last summer, install the carrying beams and cross braces, then set the rafters against the existing barn, add purlins and, finally, install the steel roofing. The two guys who will do the work – TB and my son, Nate – think it will take them three or four weeks. It will be great to have all of our equipment under cover before the snow flies.

Have a great week, Ted

 

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Cookbook Swap Tonight

The great CHCSA cookbook swap continues tonight! Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table

  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!

  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books

  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection

  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So please get involved! 

Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic


This tried and trusted soup is a great way to welcome the cooler fall weather that will be coming soon, and uses this week's chard. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided

  • 2 large links (about 8 ounces) of sweet Italian sausage [see Note]

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, sliced or diced

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve half for later in recipe)

  • Kosher salt

  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 6 cups water

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned Swiss chard leaves or kale

  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to finish


Method

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to generously coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes.

Add the onion, celery, carrots, first two garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the sausage until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water (6 cups is, conveniently, a little less than 2 empty 28-ounce cans, so you can get any tomato pulp you missed), more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick, though we preferred ours on the thick side.)

When the lentils are cooked, add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more. Discard the bay leaves.

To finish, divide soup among bowls, then add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves to a small skillet (on the stove) and heat over medium until the garlic softens and hisses. Drizzle this over soup bowls, and top with fresh Romano, passing more at the table.

Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge. 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 14

 

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

  • Genovese basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Yellow onions
  • Miscellaneous potatoes
  • Various red lettuces
  • Mei Qing choy
  • Sweet corn (cut tips off prior to husking to remove any caterpillars!)
  • Green beans
  • Zucchinis or pattypans or cucumbers
  • Fruit: Yonder’s peaches

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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #14, Week of September 3rd, 2018

This week’s share. 

The last of our Genovese basil (use it quickly, it’s already showing symptoms of downy mildew), tomatoes, peppers, yellow onions, miscellaneous potatoes, various red lettuces, Mei Qing choy, sweet corn (you might want to cut tips off prior to husking to remove any caterpillars), green beans and zucchinis or pattypans or cucumbers. Your fruit will be Yonder’s peaches. Next week, you should see many of the same items plus radishes, arugula, garlic and Swiss chard or a salad mix. Kale should be coming the week after that. During September, summer vegetables will give way to the leeks, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, root crops and the greens of fall.

Notes from the farm. 

On this weekend during which some of us are celebrating or bemoaning or simply looking for work, we feel gratitude for having work that we love in a place we love. It is not always easy, and it’s often frustrating, but what work isn’t. Today, Labor Day, we are at the farm preparing for Tuesday’s deliveries, but in good spirits, in part because we spent the weekend away, not thinking about farming, in pursuit of leisure and recreation.  

A few years ago, I bought a 40-year old sailboat in Amityville, on Long Island, and sailed it through New York Harbor, up the Hudson River and Champlain Canal, and on to Lake Champlain, where it is now tethered to a mooring. I’ve been restoring it with my oldest friend, Frank. It is an old boat, purchased cheap, that still needs a fair amount of work, but it’s now fully rigged and has functional berths, a galley and a head. It’s a floating tiny house with a sail. It’s a retreat to a wild, watery world from the domesticated landscape of the farm.

Nate, TB, Jan and I drove to Lake Champlain for the weekend, our first visit since late June. On the drive north we passed maples with a few leaves already turning orange. The winds were a steady 20 mph from the south, producing large swells and fast sailing. I’ve promised to take the rest of the farm staff for a sail this coming Saturday. It is wonderful to have good work, but it’s also great to get away from it once in a while. I hope your Labor Day celebration was a good one!

This week’s farm work: harvesting and packing the week #14 share, weeding the fall broccoli, planting the next succession of greens (arugula, mustard mix, kale mix, Koji, lettuces and choy), harvesting the winter squashes and preparing the land for (and planting, if possible) next year’s strawberries.

Best wishes, Ted


Reminder: BYOB!

A mid-season reminder from CSA Core Distribution Manager Rachel Maingot: please bring bags with you to the weekly pick-up!

If you have spare plastic bags at home, please bring them along too, to donate to any of your fellow members who may have forgotten theirs. Thank you!

Recipe: Pasta, Green Beans and Potatoes with Pesto


Here's a classic Italian recipe to take care of this week's potatoes, green beans, and basil! Serves 8. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed tender young basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with flat blade of a knife
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or more to taste
  •  Salt to taste
  • ½ pound small potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • ¼ pound tender young green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 pound trenette, or other long, thin pasta


Method

  1. Make pesto: In the bowl of food processor, add basil, pine nuts, salt and garlic. Pulse until mixture is coarse and grainy. With the motor running, add oil in slow, steady stream. Add cheese; process just enough to mix well. If sauce is too dry, add a little more oil. Taste; add more cheese or salt, if desired.
  2. Bring 6 quarts water to rolling boil. Add at least 2 tablespoons salt and the potato slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until potatoes have started to soften but are not cooked through. Add green beans, and continue boiling another 5 minutes.
  3. Add pasta, and stir. Start testing pasta at 5 minutes. When it is done, and when potatoes and beans are tender, drain and turn pasta and vegetables immediately into preheated bowl. Add pesto, and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.

 

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Cookbook Swap Starts Tonight! 

Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table
  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!
  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books
  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection
  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So think carefully about what you're ready to pass on to an enthusiastic new owner, and dream big about what might be waiting for you at the swap table! 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 13

 

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

There wasn't a letter from Ted this week—he's no doubt taking a well-earned break after the weekend's festivities at the farm!

Based on his most recent note in last week's issue of The Beet, we can expect more of the same—tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbage, etc—but perhaps some additional variety in the form of beans, carrots, and greens. And he noted that chiles and cilantro will also be coming soon.

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Windflower Farm Weekend

Many thanks to Ted and all his team for their hard work in putting together another beautiful weekend at Windflower Farm!

CSA Core member Stephen Narloch attended this year's event, and sent the beautiful photo above of the barn after dinner. Were you there too? We'd love to hear your stories and impressions, and see your photographs from the weekend! Get in touch by writing to newsletter@clintonhillcsa.org.


Reminder: BYOB!!!

A mid-season reminder from CSA Core Distribution Manager Rachel Maingot: please bring bags with you to the weekly pick-up!

If you have spare plastic bags at home, please bring them along too, to donate to any of your fellow members who may have forgotten theirs. Thank you!

cookbooks3.jpg

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

The great CHCSA cookbook swap begins next week! Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table
  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!
  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books
  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection
  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So think carefully about what you're ready to pass on to an enthusiastic new owner, and dream big about what might be waiting for you at the swap table! 


Something Fishy


Our friends at Lewis Waite Farm are offering a 3-month fish share in partnership with Black River Foods and Captain Marsden's. The fish come from the waters off New England, and are caught by a consortium practicing sustainable fishing. 

  • Each share contains 3-4 lbs of North Atlantic Whitefish, for instance Atlantic Cod Scrod, Haddock, Hake, Monkfish, and Pollock
  • These come frozen, in ~8 oz fillets
  • 2 species in each share
  • Shares delivered 1/month to your pickup site
  • All the boats are family owned and operated
  • All use sustainable fishing practices (the group is working on their certification)

Each share is $131. Visit their website to learn more and place an order! But act quickly: the deadline for orders is September 5


Do you have skills in the kitchen that the nation needs to see? This is your chance! See the message below from the MasterChef Casting Producer, who is currently looking for contestants for the show's next series...


Hello!

My name is Jenn Dowding and I'm a Casting Producer for FOX’s hit cooking competition show, MasterChef.  We have an upcoming Casting Call in NEW YORK CITY where we will be seeking the regions’s best HOME COOKS & BAKERS who've NEVER cooked professionally in a fine dining restaurant. I was hoping to get your help in getting the word out to the members of your association. Attached, you will find our flyer that you are welcome to email blast, and/or share on your social media pages. Or, perhaps you already know the perfect person to refer to the application link below!  



Casting Call Details:

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
9am - 5pm

For more information and to pre-register, visit http://masterchefcasting.com/
Are you a firefighter, a mom, a butcher, etc. by day & an AWESOME home cook or baker by night?  If so, we want to meet with you!  For the best audition prep tips, please be sure to check out: http://masterchefcasting.com/open-calls/

Candidates MUST bring one prepared dish to be served to our food judges.

You will be given 3 minutes to plate your dish at the casting call location, but there will NOT be a kitchen to cook or warm your dish up, so come prepared!

Don’t be intimidated by the skill level you see on TV, no one walks in a MasterChef. We are looking for fun personalities, a passion for cooking, and a solid foundation to build upon.

If you'd like something to share on social media feel free to copy and paste the following blurb:

FOX's #1 Hit show MasterChef is now casting amateur home cooks with passion, potential and personality. The MasterChef team is coming to NYC on SAT SEPTEMBER 22ND. Interested candidates can pre-register today at www.MasterChefCasting.com

Please don’t hesitate to call or email me with questions.  I am happy to help!

Jenn Dowding
Casting Producer
MasterChef Season 10
O: 818.853.8292 C: 323.543.5304
E: jenndowding.casting@gmail.com
http://masterchefcasting.com/

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 12

 

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

  • 'Genovese' basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Onions or more large scallions
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Red or yellow potatoes
  • Sweet corn (unless you’ve had it for two weeks in a row)
  • Zucchinis
  • Cabbage
  • Fruit: Yonder Farm’s peaches

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #12, Week of August 20th, 2018

This week’s share. 

The packing shed is buzzing this morning. The team is harvesting and sorting basil, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions or more large scallions, red leaf lettuce, red or yellow potatoes, sweet corn (unless you’ve had it for two weeks in a row), zucchinis and cabbage. The basil is ‘Genovese’ and will come in a larger, pesto making bunch.

Downy mildew, a disease that overwinters in the South and arrives each August to ruin our basil crop, arrived last week. There is nothing that can be done to prevent the loss. Greenhouses can slow it down, but not always. We saw it first on the potted Thai basil in our greenhouse, but the field crop is still fine. Enjoy it while you can, we’ll send it while we have it. There will be a lot of tomatoes. Freezing is the very quickest way to preserve them: chop, place in a plastic freezer bag and slip into the freezer.

This delivery, our twelfth, marks the first in the second half of our season. You can expect your shares to consist of more of the same for the next several weeks, but with some additional variety in the form of beans and carrots and greens. Chiles and cilantro will also be coming soon. In the fall, as summer crops give way, you’ll get sweet potatoes, leeks, broccoli, red onions, shallots and a variety of winter squashes, including acorn, butternut and delicata.   

Your fruit will be Yonder Farm’s peaches. Naomi, our delivery coordinator, had one last week and said it was delicious. Upstate peaches can be hit or miss – I’m hoping they are a hit. Please let me know.

What’s new on the farm?

A few tidbits.

The last of our student employees are returning to school this week. The farm open house will be their send-off party. Aaron, my nephew, returns to UVM to resume his studies in mechanical engineering, where he’ll pursue his enthusiasm for implements geared to small scale farmers. Naomi is off to Southern Vermont College where she studies history. You might have had the occasion to meet her unloading vegetables at your CSA site. Sarah is back at Hunter where she is studying painting, but not without leaving us with a large landscape that hangs in our staff lunchroom. And Bonnie is starting at Castleton State where she is a music major. I’ll miss the sound of the recorder she was practicing in our barn every morning. In fact, I’ll miss all of them for their bright, friendly faces, their enthusiasm for farming, and, not least, their strong young backs.

You might wonder how we’ll manage to perform the work necessary to fill your CSA shares for the rest of the season. Reinforcement has come from two directions. Now that the flower share is winding down, Jan and Sara will join the vegetable team, and two new hires, Claire and Jacob, both recent transplants to the country from NYC, have joined the team for the fall. And, of course, the Medina family is still with us.

We’ve just harvested the last of our summer cabbages and tucked them away in our cooler. And we’ve begun the work of the onion and potato harvests. We return the residues of these crops, along with any weeds that have grown with them, to the soil as quickly as we can. It’s cover cropping time and the cabbage and onion fields and several fallow fields will be the first to get their mixes of rye and hairy vetch. 

Lastly, on Sunday, Jan, Nate and I participated in an annual tradition here at the farm: We relocated our three outhouses to fresh locations. I mention this because it is part of open house preparations. We’ve also been mowing and putting up lights and preparing food. We hope you can join us this weekend.

Best wishes, Ted and the gang


Farm Visit

Open house at Windflower Farm is this weekend, August 25th and 26th! Join Ted and his team to see where your vegetables come from and to meet the staff! Full details in Issue 10 of The Beet. RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com


cookbooks3.jpg

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

The great CHCSA cookbook swap is only a couple of weeks away. Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table
  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!
  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books
  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection
  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So think carefully about what you're ready to pass on to an enthusiastic new owner, and dream big about what might be waiting for you at the swap table! 


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 11

 

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

  • Red ‘Magenta’ lettuce
  • ‘Red Norland’ potatoes
  • A bunch of large scallions
  • A couple of sweet peppers
  • Various tomatoes
  • A ‘Genovese’ basil bunch
  • A ‘Tendersweet’ cabbage head
  • A small bulb of ‘German Red’ garlic
  • A handful of summer squashes or cucumbers
  • Either sweet corn, beets or eggplants
  • Fruit: our organic cantaloupes and Yonder Farm’s plums

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #11, Week of August 14th, 2018

This week’s share. 
You’ll get red ‘Magenta’ lettuce, ‘Red Norland’ potatoes, a bunch of large scallions, a couple of sweet peppers, various tomatoes, a ‘Genovese’ basil bunch, a ‘Tendersweet’ cabbage  head, a small bulb of ‘German Red’ garlic, a handful of summer squashes or cucumbers, and either sweet corn, beets or eggplants, depending on your site. Your fruit share will contain our organic cantaloupes and Yonder Farm’s plums.   

Notes from the farm. 
This week, Andrea, our membership coordinator, writes about our farm staff.

Every summer, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in Saratoga Springs, hosts the world class Philadelphia Orchestra in the month of August. Going to a performance or two is always a highlight of my summer, a welcome respite from the world of farming.

That being said, farming is never far from my mind even during a classical music performance. In fact, growing delicious food is a lot like making beautiful music – both require a group of skilled, committed people working together for a greater cause: a healthy, happy community.

So, without further ado, presenting the Windflower Symphony!

At the helm, Farmer Ted deftly conducts us with a carrot in one hand and a coffee mug in the other. Ted’s son and concertmaster, Nate, graces us with the fundamental tunes and tunings of the tractors, pumps, and cultivators, and of honorable mention, the plasma cutter. Julia, principal second violin (but first in field coordination) adds the strums, thumps, and hums of transplanting as well as the inevitable grunts of weeding, accompanied with aplomb by the American field crew strings – Bonnie, Sarah M., and Heidi. The Medinas – Martin, Martin Junior, Jesus, Candelaria, Angelica, Salvador, and Daniel – all hailing from Mexico – compose our harvest, tunnel, and field strings. Among their many other stylings, the snapping of rubber bands on greens bunches and twirls of twine on tomato plants give force, depth, and resonance to each score, most assuredly, with Mariachi flair. 

Leading our brass washing and packing section, Victoria on first trumpet, calls us to action. The exuberant renderings from her and her companions (Naomi, Angela, Sarah M., Heidi, and Bonnie) are, after much splashing, most reflective in the polish and shine of their vegetables. At the ever ready on percussion, Aaron and Terry, marvel us with their workings of power tools and washers, of tractors and mowers, and of curious noises no one can pinpoint. But where would we be without the bright, beautiful trills from Jan and Sara D., our flower flutist and oboist? Or without the sweet clucks of chickens on piccolos as they lay countless eggs, thanks to Alan Davis? Lest we forget the deep sound of a bassoon, rich and warm as a sun-ripened berry from Pete way out Yonder. Indeed, these woodwinds are far from optional.

Season tickets are available in the spring; please contact Andrea, membership coordinator. Our performances would also not be possible without the many who set the stage – our dedicated core group members – nor without Don and Naomi, who, literally, bring the show to you.

Last but not least, we must thank you, our audience, friends, and season-ticket shareholders. Your support feeds our passion and our bellies – your applause is always appreciated. Please join us on August 25-26. It’s time to celebrate!

Have a great week! Ted and Andrea


Farm Visit

A reminder that this year’s open house at Windflower Farm will take place on the weekend of August 25th and 26th. Join Ted and his team to see where your vegetables come from and to meet the staff! See last week's issue of The Beet for full details. RSVP to tedblomgren@gmail.com


cookbooks3.jpg

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

The great CHCSA cookbook swap is only a couple of weeks away. Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table
  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!
  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books
  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection
  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So think carefully about what you're ready to pass on to an enthusiastic new owner, and dream big about what might be waiting for you at the swap table! 

 

Peppers 'n' Pesto

A simple summer recipe by Nigel Slater. He says: "Don’t be tempted to skip the toasting of the almonds, it deepens their flavor immeasurably. The pesto will keep for three or four days in the fridge. If it solidifies, then let it come up to cool room temperature before serving. It makes a rather fine sandwich filling, too."

Roast peppers with toasted almond pesto

Ingredients
red peppers 3
garlic 4 cloves
olive oil 1 tbsp

For the pesto:
skinned almonds 100g
garlic 1 small clove
basil 50g
lemon juice 1 tbsp
white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
olive oil 75ml, plus a little extra
parmesan 60g, grated

Method
Set the oven at 400F. Wipe the peppers, cut them in half lengthways and remove any white cores. Place the peppers cut side down in a roasting tin, together with the whole, unpeeled garlic, trickle with olive oil, then bake for a good 40 minutes, until they have softened and wrinkled. If their skins have blackened then all to the good.

Make the pesto: put the almonds in a shallow pan and lightly brown them over a moderate heat, tossing them around the pan from time to time until they are golden and toasted. Don’t let anything distract you – almonds can burn in seconds.

Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor, then add the peeled clove of garlic and the basil leaves and their stalks. Process to a coarse paste, add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar, then blend in the olive oil, taking care not to reduce the mixture to a smooth paste.

Stir in the grated parmesan and set the paste aside, covered, in a cool place.

Remove the peppers from the oven and let them relax for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Peel off and discard the skins (they should come away easily). Squeeze the garlic from its skin. Place the skinned peppers on a serving dish, dot with the roasted garlic.

Pour a little more oil into the roasting tin. Stir to mix with the roasting juices, scraping up any deliciousness from the pan, then trickle over the peppers. Serve at room temperature, with a bowl of the toasted almond pesto, stirred at the last minute.

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 10

 

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

  • ‘Magenta’ lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchinis or yellow squashes
  • Red bunched beets
  • Yellow onions
  • 'German Red' garlic
  • Sweet peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Bunched 'Genovese' basil
  • Sweet corn or cucumbers
  • Fruit: organic cantaloupes
  • Flowers: lisianthus or mixed bouquets

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #10, Week of August 6th, 2018

This week’s share

‘Magenta’ lettuce, cabbage, zucchinis or yellow squashes, red bunched beets, yellow onions, 'German Red' garlic, sweet peppers, tomatoes, bunched 'Genovese' basil and, depending on your site, sweet corn or cucumbers. Next week’s share will include more from this list along with freshly dug red potatoes. Your fruit will be our organic cantaloupes, and your flowers will be lisianthus or mixed bouquets, depending on your site.

What’s new on the farm

The farm staff has lunch together nearly every day, sitting at a large table and eating food often made from produce grown on the farm (but nearly as often made by a fast food chain or poured from a can). Everyone is responsible for their own lunch except on Wednesdays, when we eat potluck. We usually choose a theme for the meal, and it’s usually Mexican food, largely because we have several good cooks here who happen to be Mexican. And several others who prepare Mexican foods quite well. Although Candelaria makes excellent tamales, and committees from St. Anne’s Catholic church and the Village of Cambridge knock on her door regularly in hopes of including them among the food offerings at their various festivals, my favorite contributions to the Wednesday potluck are her brother Martin’s tostadas (I haven’t developed a taste for the lard that tamales seem to require). He coats his tostadas with a generous helping of mayonnaise and then adds layers of steamed potatoes and carrots and shredded cabbage. The whole concoction is topped off with fresh salsa and cilantro. Simple country Mexican. And, for me, a perfect lunch      

Open house on the farm

This year’s open house on the farm will take place on the weekend of August 25th and 26th. We invite you to join us and to see where your vegetables come from and to meet the staff! 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. Airbnb.com has listings in nearby Cambridge and Greenwich if you’d rather not camp. Kids and leashed pets are welcome.  Please bring a dish to pass for the Saturday evening potluck. We won’t be able to make a stove or microwave available. Come prepared for mud and bugs and rain, just in case. Bring a tent and sleeping bag. The event will be held rain or shine. Below is a rough itinerary.

Saturday, August 25th:
CSA members are welcome to arrive any time after noon. 
12:00 pm and onward: Set up camp, meet other CSA members, visit the chickens and greenhouses
3:00 pm: Windflower Farm tour with Ted (tractor and wagon ride)
4:30 pm: Cheese and local wine tasting and cocktail hour (please BYOB)
6:00 pm: Potluck. Please bring a dish to share! 
Afterwards, bonfire and music
 
Sunday, August 26th:
8-10:00 am: Strong coffee, juices and a hearty farmers’ breakfast provided by the farm staff
11:00 am: Davis Family Farm tour: learn about raising pastured chickens for eggs
11:00 am: Windflower Farm tour with Ted for those who missed the Saturday tour
Noon and after: break camp and depart for other local sites or home (see below)
 
Visit other local attractions, such as the:
Washington County Fair: https://www.washingtoncountyfair.com/
Local wineries: http://upperhudsonvalleywinetrail.com/
Local breweries: http://hudsonvalleybounty.com/Brewery
Local cideries: http://www.saratogaapple.com/ 
Swimming holes, farmers’ markets, ice cream stands, 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.
 
I hope you can join us! Ted

 

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

Got more cookbooks than you know what to do with? Stay tuned for the great CHCSA cookbook swap, coming your way in September!

We'll be running an exchange table at the weekly pick-up, where you can donate cookbooks you no longer want, and pick up new ones courtesy of your fellow CSA members...

More details to follow soon! 


Take it slaw this August...

In this midsummer heat, a refreshing, crunchy coleslaw really hits the spot. Here are 25 ideas for how to make it from Bon Appétit, and below is one standout recipe that cunningly uses three items from this week's veg haul! 

Tamarind-Cabbage Slaw with Crispy Onions
Serves 8

Ingredients

Crispy Onions
½ medium white onion, halved, thinly sliced
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, (for frying; about 8 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chili powder

Slaw and Assembly
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
½ medium head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 cup torn fresh mint leaves
½ cup chopped salted, roasted peanuts

special equipment
A deep-fry thermometer

ingredient info
Tamarind concentrate, often labeled “concentrate cooking tamarind” can be found at Asian and Thai markets.


Method

Crispy Onions
Whisk buttermilk and mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add onions and toss to coat; let sit 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fit a large saucepan with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2". Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°.

Whisk flour and chili powder in a shallow dish; season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, remove onion from buttermilk, letting excess drip back into bowl, toss in seasoned flour, and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt.

Slaw and assembly

Whisk vinegar, oil, fish sauce, honey, and tamarind in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add cabbage, scallions, basil, mint, and peanuts and toss to combine.

Serve slaw topped with crispy onions.


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 9

 

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

  • Green Romaine lettuce
  • Red beets
  • Red or green cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Purple basil
  • Sweet peppers
  • Zucchinis or yellow ‘Zephyr’ squashes
  • Slicing cucumbers
  • Yellow onions
  • Fruit: blueberries – some from our farm and some from Yonder Farm
  • Flowers: either lisianthus or sunflowers

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #9, Week of July 30, 2018

This week’s share. 

Green Romaine lettuce, red beets, red or green cabbage, tomatoes, purple basil, sweet peppers, zucchinis or yellow ‘Zephyr’ squashes, slicing cucumbers and yellow onions. This week’s fruit will be blueberries – some from our farm and some from Yonder Farm. Your flower share will consist of either lisianthus or sunflowers.

Notes from the farm. 

A vegetable farm, with its various tractors and many small pieces of equipment, needs a fully functioning workshop. Toward that end, we have been developing a 24 X 36’ space in a corner of our barn. Last year, we poured a concrete floor, built doors and put in windows and a wood stove. This year - this week, in fact - Terry Berry, a carpenter and occasional staff member here, has been building cupboards so that we might get the place organized.

The goal is “a place for everything, and everything in its place,” which is a ridiculously tall order for us. But even a small farm has many moving parts, and much time is wasted without a willingness to subject ourselves to some level of discipline. Now, after I have used the electrical toolkit to repair a light fixture in the packing shed, for instance, I’ll put it back in the electrical cupboard where Nate might find it the next time he has to work on his electric tractor. Or so the theory goes.

So far, TB has built seven cupboards, and we have been moving into them. They measure 50” wide, 20” deep and nearly 8’ tall, and each represents the home for a category of tools or supplies: electrical, plumbing, carpentry, fasteners, power tools, safety gear and miscellaneous hardware. With our tools up off the floor, we now have spaces around the perimeter for the table and miter saws, along with the drill press, benders, welder and plasma cutter. And the interior of the workshop is wide open. I can’t wait to tackle a project.

Jan thinks we’ll have to move it all out to make room for seating during the farm harvest party, but I think it will lend authenticity to the festivities. Come see it for yourself on the weekend of August 25-26 when we open our farm to our CSA membership (more details to come next week). We’ll set a place at the workbench for you.

Best wishes, Ted


Beets in the Beet

This newsletter's namesake vegetable has been popping up in our shares lately! Here's a deliciously spicy recipe for beets from Melissa Clark in the NYT. Serves 2-3.

Roasted Beets With Chiles, Ginger, Yogurt and Indian Spices

1 ¾  pounds beets; a mix of red, yellow and chiogga is nice
2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½  teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Pepper, to taste
½  teaspoon black mustard seeds
½  teaspoon coriander seeds
½  teaspoon cumin seeds
1  fat garlic clove, finely chopped
⅓  cup plain Greek yogurt
½  jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1  teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1  teaspoon lime juice, more to taste
2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional

Step 1
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with the oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, then sprinkle with mustard seeds, coriander and cumin and roast until the beets are tender, about 15 minutes more.

Step 2
While the beets roast, prepare the dressing: using the side of a knife or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste. Place yogurt in a bowl; whisk in garlic paste, jalapeño, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Whisk in the cilantro.

Step 3
Scrape the warm beets into a large bowl. Stir in the dressing and pomegranate seeds, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.


cookbooks.jpg

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

Got more cookbooks than you know what to do with? Stay tuned for the great CHCSA cookbook swap, coming your way in September!

We'll be running an exchange table at the weekly pick-up, where you can donate cookbooks you no longer want, and pick up new ones courtesy of your fellow CSA members...

More details to follow soon! 

 

 

THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 8

 

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

  • Your choice of a green – ‘Red Russian’ kale or Swiss chard
  • ‘French Breakfast’ radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Peppers
  • Green onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer squashes
  • Either broccoli or cabbage
  • Fruit: cherries

Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #8, Week of July 23, 2018

This week’s share. 

Your choice of a green – ‘Red Russian’ kale or Swiss chard – along with ‘French Breakfast’ radishes, tomatoes, basil, peppers, green onions, cucumbers, summer squashes and either broccoli or cabbage. Salad greens are missing from this list. For some of you, a break from greens might be welcome, for others, not so much. My apologies.

The toll of the drought and hot weather will be most keenly felt by the absence of greens for the next two weeks. We received a farm-saving rain mid-week last week. If before the rain our pond had the appearance of a mud flat at low tide (see our Instagram page), after the rain it appears as though the tide has risen about two feet, enough to get the irrigation equipment running again, but not enough to be out of the woods. The heat and lack of rainfall caused the loss of thousands of heads of lettuce and choy and other leafy greens – in some cases to premature bolting, in others to our inability to provide water in the week after transplanting. And in one case, to the drought tolerant weeds that got to them before our cultivators.

The good news is that we’ll be back in leafy greens in relatively short order. In the meantime, summer produce is coming in – including tomatoes and basil, sweet peppers and, very soon, sweet corn. Your fruit share will consist of cherries – perhaps the last of the season – followed soon by peaches and blueberries.

Projects. 

Last week, we harvested the last of the garlic, this week, we’ll finish harvesting the early onions. Size is down somewhat, but bulb quality is good. Two of three potato fields are weed-free, and this week, we’ll clean up the third. We’ll also give the leeks, beans, beets and broccoli a good weeding. Then, we’ll irrigate the whole of it, along with the sweet potatoes and winter squashes we weeded last week.

Among our other projects, Andrea will spray a biological bug killer on the broccoli, collards, kale and rutabagas this week. Our foe is the tiny flea beetle, and it’s chewing holes in the leaves of these Brassicas. Nate will cultivate the sweet corn and youngest lettuces with the Dutch hoes on his electric cultivator. TB, a young carpenter who works with us from time to time, will build workshop cabinets – eight of them – with the help of Julia, our new field coordinator. And I will finish the job of busting through the hedgerow so that the well drillers can get started.

Have a great week, Ted


cookbooks.jpg

Coming Soon: Cookbook Swap

Got more cookbooks than you know what to do with? Stay tuned for the great CHCSA cookbook swap, coming your way in September!

We'll be running an exchange table at the weekly pick-up, where you can donate cookbooks you no longer want, and pick up new ones courtesy of your fellow CSA members...

More details to follow soon! 


 

Conserving Lewis Waite Farm 


If you've been enjoying products from Lewis Waite Farm this season, you'll be interested to know that you can get involved in securing the farm's future. Here's a note from farmers Alan and Nancy Brown. 

 

DONATE NOW


We have some exciting news to share with you, as well as a request. For years we have been discussing conserving our farm and have decided that now is the time to act. We are partnering with the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), our local land trust who will be purchasing our development rights through a conservation easement. 

The conservation easement will allow us to protect the land from development forever. Rest assured, we love our farm, we will continue to own our farm and have no immediate plans to retire, but we also want the next owner of our land to farm it too.

Here is where things get really exciting. ASA has been awarded a grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will provide 50% of the funds required to purchase the conservation easement. The even better news is that ASA has already secured the majority of matching funding needed. Now ASA is launching a public campaign to raise the final funds to protect this productive and beautiful land. We are asking you to help us raise the remaining $53,000 needed to conserve the farm by making a donation today. 

Ensuring the land is available for farming forever is incredibly important to us.

We feel strongly that this is the right thing to do. A commitment to healthy, sustainable agricultural practices has always been at the heart of Lewis Waite Farm. Conserving the farm is an extension of our commitment to sustainability. 

Conserving the farm protects grazing land, provides wildlife habitat, protects water quality and preserves these beautiful farmscape views for the community. Removing development rights on the land forever will hinder sprawl and will make it easier for the next generation of farmers to farm.

We simply can’t allow our beautiful, productive farm to be subdivided or transformed by any kind of development. We feel so strongly, that we have committed to donating 40% of the easement value. 

Help ASA conserve Lewis Waite Farm and be a part of this legacy

As a customer, we know you value having a source of fresh, local food that is grown sustainably. You’ve already demonstrated your commitment to the farm’s success. We are grateful for your loyalty and we are counting on you to be our partner in ensuring the farm’s future as a source of local food for generations to come.
           
We are asking you to “buy a share” in the farm’s conservation by making a tax-deductible contribution today and partnering with ASA to protect it forever. Future generations will have you to thank when they enjoy locally grown foods as you do today from this land that you helped conserve!
                                                                                   
With gratitude & love,

Alan and Nancy Brown

Lewis Waite Farm
Alan & Nancy Brown
csalewiswaitefarm.com
lewiswaitefarm.com
518-692-3120
518-692-9208

 

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 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


greens and beans.jpg

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...