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In this week’s BEET:




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

  • Windflower Farm Open House August 24th-25th

    • More information in Farmer Ted's letter, below
    • Please sign-up here ASAP if you plan to attend the open house.
    • CHCSA will organize a van to take people to and from Windflower farm. More information to come.
  • Please remember: children are not allowed in the PS 56 courtyard and please do not bring dogs in the school.
  • Sign up here for a distribution shift! Every household must volunteer for four hours each season.



Delivery #9, Week of August 5, 2013


This week your share will consist of tomatoes, potatoes, your choice between basil and Rosemary, onions, cucumbers or summer squash, red looseleaf lettuce, your choice between Yukina savoy and bok choy, and either French breakfast radishes or sweet peppers. My hope is to also send to you sweet corn or snap beans, but I won't know until tomorrow whether or not they are ready.


Our open house on the farm will take place on the weekend of August 24-25. All CSA members are welcome. Camping at the farm is encouraged, but motels and B&Bs can be found in nearby Saratoga Springs (18 miles), Cambridge (7 miles) and Arlington, Vermont (15 miles). Saturday dinner is potluck, the farm staff will provide breakfast on Sunday. Tour the farm, meet the farm team, go to the county fair, swim in the Batten kill and enjoy music around the campfire. Jan and I hope you can make it.


Our small farm has become overrun by a population of little creatures that were once, I was amused to learn, referred to as whistle pigs. When alarmed the little rodents give a sharp whistle or bark and then scamper off for the protection of their burrows. They are the largest members of the squirrel family, weighing up to 14 lb., and now they are by far our biggest pest. They are called Marmota momax by scientists, but we know them as woodchucks or roundhogs. Their holes are everywhere. Woodchucks dig large burrows that can be up to five feet deep and 30 or more feet long. A burrow usually has a nest chamber lined with grasses, a main entrance, and several escape openings. We found one in the middle of our butternut squash planting and another in the middle of our kale. They are in the hedgerows that surround our fields. Woodchucks are plant eaters. The tell-tale sign of the presence of woodchucks in our fields – if their hole isn’t indication enough – is the ring of vegetable destruction they leave in ever wider circles around their burrows. Woodchucks prefer early morning and evening hours for feeding. Often they can be observed basking in the summer sun during the warmest hours of the day, content in the knowledge that this farmer appears to be without the means to stop him from ravaging his crops. They climb well and are said to sometimes sleep on fence posts, stone walls and large rocks, although I have never seen this.
Apparently, woodchucks weren’t always as common as they are today. As forests were cleared for farms, pastures, and orchards, settlers provided suitable habitat and the woodchuck population expanded. Woodchucks do not have many predators, but the list includes several local species, including foxes, hawks, raccoons, dogs and coyotes. Our new fence has had the unintended effect of safeguarding our woodchuck population, and their numbers have exploded in recent months. Not only have we excluded deer from our fields, but we have also excluded the primary predators of deer and woodchucks. I made casual mention of our woodchuck problem to a neighbor and I now have a Rugger 22 long, two leg traps, two spring traps and a package of woodchuck bombs in my closet. I’ve been doing some research to learn what might actually work to protect our vegetables. Although woodchuck numbers can be managed by shooting, trapping, or gassing their dens, all fairly gruesome tactics, I know, the results, I have learned, are usually short-term. Live traps also work, but then the trapper is faced with the question of what to do with his captive. I’ve also learned that predator’s odors may be useful for repelling woodchucks. Bobcat urine sprayed on the base of apple trees has been shown to reduce woodchuck gnawing by a remarkable 98 percent. But that sounds like a lot of bother. The approach that has been working best for us so far, and the one I think I’ll stick with, is a short, electrified perimeter fence. Unlike deer, at least woodchucks can’t jump.


Have a great week,

Spotlight on Corn--3 very easy recipes

Below are three simple, delicious recipes for you to enjoy your late summer corn. You can always grill it or eat it fresh off the cob, but here are some ideas if you want to do something different--but still simple!

Raw Corn and Radish Salad with Spicy Lime Dressing (from Food and Wine)

corn and radish salad

  1. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  2. 1 small jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  5. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  6. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
  8. 6 medium radishes, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  9. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  10. 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  1. In a blender, puree the lime juice, jalapeño, honey and cumin. With the machine on, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the corn with the radishes, parsley, red onion and dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and serve.


Spicy Corn Chowder (from The Pioneer Woman)

[This is one of my favorite go-to dishes. It's a very simple, inexpensive meal with only a few ingredients. It's got a nice kick and is ALWAYS a hit! Great in the winter with mac and cheese, or in the summer for lunch with some bruschetta.]

Prep Time: Cook Time: Difficulty: Easy Servings: 8


  • 2 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces (or Smaller) [optional]
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-1/2 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 5 ears Corn, Shucked (about 4 Cups)
  • 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Diced
  • 1 whole 4-ounce Can Diced Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
  • 1/4 cup Water

Preparation Instructions

(Carefully) slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.

Add bacon pieces to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in diced onion and stir, cooking the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute. Add both kinds of chilies and stir.

Pour in chicken broth and cream. Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes.

Elotes: Grilled Mexican Corn (via the Kitchnelotes)

makes 4 servings

4 ears corn 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (Parmesan will work if you can't find it) 2 limes, cut into wedges 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon cumin salt

Prepare a grill or grill pan with high heat. Keep corn in husks, or remove one strip of husks. Place directly on grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until husks are well blackened and the kernels are bright yellow.

If serving on the cob, remove husks and slather each ear with a generous spoonful of mayonnaise. Add the juice of one lime wedge per ear, followed by a pinch of salt, a healthy sprinkle of cheese and a light dusting of cumin and chili powder.

If serving off the cob, cut the kernels off of each ear. Place into a jar or small cup and top with remaining ingredients.

If you prefer, serve the corn with the toppings on the side and let everyone dress their own.