The Beet, Volume 12, Issue 4

new beet logo 4


In this week’s BEET:

  1. CSA FYIs
  2. Windflower Farm News -- Letter from Farmer Ted
  3. Recipes for this week's share: Spotlight on Japanese Turnips and Summer Squash


CSA Pickup Today 5-7:30pm at PS 56 at Gates and Downing (enter on Downing)

  • CHCSA Core meeting Next Thursday, July 18th, 6:30pm The CHCSA Core will be meeting to discuss planning for this season. All are welcome to attend and have a hand in running the CSA. The meeting will be in the gym at PS 56 where we pick up our vegetables.
  • Sign up to Volunteer! Every household with a CSA share is required to volunteer for four hours over the course of the season. This is usually done by signing up to volunteer for one or two shifts during distribution. SIGN UP HERE for a shift. If no one in your household is able to volunteer during distribution during the season, please check our Volunteer Page for more options.
  • Two Plan C Shares Available CHCSA has two discounted Plan C Shares available for families paying with EBT made possible through a grant from Citizens Committee. With the grant, a family would pay only $135 for the entire season and could pay the weekly fee (approximately $6 a week) onsite instead of paying in advance. If you know of a family receiving SNAP (food stamps), who may be interested in becoming a member, please forward this information. Interested families should write to



Delivery #5, Week of July 8th, 2013
We’ve had wet seasons before.  One year the fishing was so good in a pond the flooding had created in our farmyard that a great blue heron moved in. It proved to be an expert hunter, stalking not fish, but the frogs that had spawned in large numbers because of the insect population that exploded in the wet. The frogs were so plentiful that the heron became fat, so fat, in fact, that it could barely fly out of the place when the water finally receded. Since then we’ve done quite a bit of excavating, bringing in a bulldozer to create a drainage system that would address excess water in wet periods. And this year we have seen the system put to the test. Rainfall during the month of June hit a record here – an all-time record. The rain seemed to fall without stopping throughout the month. We had more rain than during Sandy and Irene combined, but it came over a period of weeks rather than all at once. Mother Nature can be a difficult partner. The good news is that the rain stopped last week. At least for a few days..
So, where are we? How has this rain affected the farm? Well, some fields are weedy, we are behind with some of our seedings, and there is a disease spreading in our summer squash planting. In especially wet spots crops are yellow and stunted. And nutrients have leached away. Although I could go on, I won’t, it might give you the impression that there’d be no point in coming to the distribution site next week, and that’s not the case.  Greens like wet weather as much as deer like sweet potatoes, and they continue to come along nicely.  Onions, leeks and potatoes, too, like wet weather, so long as they are not flooded, and they look great. Many of our crops are in small greenhouses and they are doing well. Our cucumbers and tomatoes and peppers look terrific and will begin to come in soon. Last week’s heat wave coincided with a dry stretch that let us get into fields to plant many of our fall crops and to cultivate, cleaning up many of our weedy plantings. It’s raining again now, and it’s expected to be wet for the next couple of days, but that’s not especially unwelcome news – we just seeded an acre of carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, dill, cilantro and arugula. We vegetable farmers are a relatively hopeful people – we believe that the sun will shine and that our crops will grow if we tend to them, and so we do.
This week’s share of the harvest will include one head of red leaf lettuce and a second head of a new oakleaf lettuce (red or green) we are trying out, a bunch of sweet Japanese turnips (the roots are sweet and delicious even if the tops are rather sad), your choice of two cooking greens (from a list that includes collards, kale and chard), cilantro or basil, a bunch of green onions, and some of our first squashes or cucumbers.  Next week, expect more of the same. Our tomatoes are beginning to turn red and our peppers are sizing up, so look for these in shares in another couple of weeks. This week’s fruit is cherries.
Best wishes, Ted

RECIPES: Japanese Turnips and Summer Squash

Japanese Turnips with Miso (Originally from Gourmet)

japanese turnips miso

yield: Makes 4 servings            active time: 15 min          total time: 30 min

The small, round, mild white turnips known colloquially as Japanese turnips are at their most delicious when simply cooked with their greens. A last-minute swirl in miso butter (which is fantastic on pretty much any vegetable) gives them an almost meaty underpinning.


  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 3 pounds small (1 1/2-to 2-inch) Japanese turnips with greens
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)


Stir together miso and 2 tablespoon butter.

Discard turnip stems and coarsely chop leaves. Halve turnips (leave whole if tiny) and put in a 12-inch heavy skillet along with water, mirin, remaining tablespoon butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil, covered, 10 minutes.

Add greens by handfuls, turning and stirring with tongs and adding more as volume in skillet reduces. Cover and cook 1 minute. Uncover and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until turnips are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes. Stir in miso butter and cook 1 minute.

 Simple Recipe: Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin (Recipes from the Kitchn)

squash gratin

This is an easy, rustic recipe that makes a great vegetarian meal or a pretty side dish for summer or autumn. It's so simple: Yellow squash layered in a jumble with sliced red potato and goat cheese. No cream needed at all.

serves six

2 medium yellow squash, about 1/2 pound 4 small to medium red potatoes, about 1 pound 3 tablespoons olive oil 4 ounces goat cheese Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup whole milk 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil or thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Use a mandoline or chef's knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.

Place 1/3 of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish — no need to layer them squash-potato-squash; just spread evenly — then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another 1/3 of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other 1/2 of the goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final 1/3 of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if using.