THE BEET: VOLUME 16; ISSUE 8

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE

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

Of CSA Note!

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

This Week's Share

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

News from Windflower Farm

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you can make it, Ted  

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

Cooking the Books

 

CSA member Moira Kerrigan sent in this great tidbit:

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