The BEET: Volume 13, Issue 21

http://www.clintonhillcsa.org/home/home-content/uploads/2013/06/new-beet-logo-4.jpg

THE BEET : VOLUME 13, ISSUE 21

In today's BEET:

  1. This week's share
  2. Letter from Ted
  3. Winter Share
  4. Recipes

CSA Pickup Today 5-7:30pm

PS 56 at Gates and Downing (enter on Downing)

Dear CHCSA members,
As you may know, our last distribution of the year is next Thursday, November 13. We hope you've enjoyed this season as much as we have. In next week's Beet, we'll share the results of our recent survey. If you haven't done your volunteer hours yet, there's still time. Please contact our volunteer coordinator at information@clintonhillcsa.org to set something up; remember, you must volunteer now to be allowed to sign up next season.
Thanks to all of you who came last week and made the potluck a success! We're especially grateful to those members who brought food or ideas for children's activities, and to those who helped us set up in record time when the truck was late. We couldn't have done it without you!
See you at pickup!
CHCSA core

 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red onions
  • Sweet peppers
  • Irish Potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Greens (Kale, Chard, Choy)
  • Yukina Savoy

LETTER FROM TED

On Sunday, we awoke to a cold wind and a power outage. We were pleased to find it had not snowed, contrary to the weather forecast, because we really did not want to harvest in snow. But the plastic cover had been blown off the large greenhouse containing our winter spinach. The crop is fine, but the plastic is ruined, and will have to be replaced. It used to cause me a good deal of grief to replace our plastic, but now, because we have found a recycler, the plastic will be compressed into a bale and shipped, not to a landfill, but to a clothing manufacturer for its new life as sports wear. We expect tomorrow to be wind-free, and we’ll replace the plastic then.  

This was a productive year for infrastructure development at Windflower Farm: we built a new packing shed, a new cooler, a small workshop and a new equipment barn. Now that we are wrapping up the delivery season, we have a few weeks of relatively mild weather during which we’ll be able to finish the small details related to these projects - trim work and painting among them - and then we’ll turn our attention to equipment maintenance and to repairing various broken implements - all part of the cycle of life on a small vegetable farm. February 20th, when we start seeds for next year’s CSA harvest, will be here before we know it! The crew is headed off to the four corners: Aidan to Telluride and then Hawaii, Andrea to Sicily, Naomi to Nepal, I think, and Martin and Monica back to Laguna Prieta, in Mexico. I’ll be happy if I can haul my catamaran to the Florida Panhandle for a week, but, for the most part, Jan and I plan to stay close to home. We have winter shares to harvest and assemble, family to visit, boys to send off to college, books to read.

I’d like to extend a heart-felt thanks to the CSA organizers in every neighborhood and community where we deliver. The CSA movement depends on people like you. The success of our farm depends on you. And increasing the number of small, local and economically viable organic farms depends on more people like you. Thank you for all the work you do, from securing a location that can host us (and store our many harvest totes) every week, to recruiting your neighbors to join our CSA community, to working with our farm so that what we offer every week is what you want. Consider getting involved with your CSA’s core group, they are committed volunteers from your neighborhood who are making a difference.

Our end-of-year survey can be found here: https://windflowerfarm.wufoo.com/forms/windflower-farm-csa-survey/ Your responses will provide us with information that will guide our crop planning for next year. Thank you in advance for your time and thoughtful responses.  

Remember, there will be one more delivery after this one to make up for when our truck broke down in August.

Best wishes, Ted

P.S. Some of you have followed our solar project. The data is now in regarding our electricity use. Two years ago we installed a small commercial photovoltaic system. Our goal was to meet all of our farm’s needs, including farmworker housing, but not necessarily all of the needs of our household, which we estimated to be about 15% of our total usage. We might do that later, after we’ve saved a little more. Well, over the last two years we produced 37,500 kwh and used 47,300 kwh, putting our own electrical production at about 83% of our overall need. Put another way, we’ve met nearly 100% of the electrical needs of our farm, but we’ve had to purchase all of our home’s electricity (all of which comes to us over the grid from wind farms in the northern Adirondacks). We’re pleased with these results - our panels are producing enough power to meet the electrical needs of two farm worker residences, several greenhouses with their inflation and exhaust fans, three coolers, barn heat, barn lighting, the farm office, and two electric tractors.   
This accounts for a large portion of the energy use on our farm, but by no means all of it. The most glaring omission is our use of diesel, which fuels our bigger tractors and the truck we use to deliver our vegetables to you. Like much of America, the biggest part of our carbon footprint derives from transportation. A question we are grappling with currently has to do with the use of a local biodiesel source. A nearby farmer has installed a biodiesel system, and if we had land enough, we’d like to use it to grow sunflowers for their fuel oil potential. We intended to go into production with a pilot project this year, but the piece of land we had planned to rent won’t become available to us until next year. Perhaps in a year from now we’ll be able to report on our first biodiesel project. In the meanwhile, our best seat-of-the-pants calculation tells us that our current use of diesel (including what our tractors use and what we put in our delivery truck) translates into less than one 5-gallon can of diesel per share per year. That’s less than the fuel you’d need to drive one-way from New York to Albany in a compact car! Not too bad. 

WINTER SHARE AVAILABLE

It's not too late to sign up!

Winter Share Price: $178.00

Optional Egg Share:  $22.00 for 1 dozen each time, or $44.00 for 2 dozen each time

Pick Up Dates:  November 22nd, December 13th, January 10th, & February 7th.

Clique Here to sign up:

 

Lewis-Waite farm orders can also be added to your winter share as well.  Speaking of which-  here's the link to them for next week:

http://www.csalewiswaitefarm.com/

RECIPES

Baked Winter Squash Soup

(Adapted from The New Basics by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins)
About 20 years ago my friend Liz and I decided, against all common sense, to cater her wedding ourselves. Among the recipes we adapted to feed 80 people was this one from the 3rd Silver Palate book. It is reliable and delicious, and I made it a couple of weeks ago using Ted's butternut and delicata squash.
Ingredients
  • 2 acorn squash (2 lb each)
  • 2 butternut squash (2 lb each) 
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 8 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tsp ground mace (or nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream, for garnish
  • snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. Cut the 4 squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (these can be roasted separately or discarded).
3. Place the squash halves, skin side down, in a shallow roasting pan. Place 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp brown sugar in each squash cavity. Arrange the carrots and onion slices around the squash. Pour 2 cups of the squash in the pan, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 2 hours.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Scoop the squash pulp out of the skins and place in a soup pot. Add the carrots, onions, and the cooking liquid.
5. Add the remaining 8 cups stock and the mace, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
6. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return it to the pot, adjust the seasonings, and heat through. Serve garnished with the yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.