Poultry Farming

This weekend, as is usual for me, I spent a fair amount of time dispensing advice and ideas on how to cook a chicken (pressure cooker! Dutch oven! Butterflied! Yogurt-marinated! I could go on ...) And, as I do most days, I spent some time considering the price of our chicken.

A big worry for Zack and I is that we are pricing out the lower-income consumers. This is not our intent, and is something we work to avoid. However, our profits are not very large, and we live on the margins, so we can't shave them too slim. With the food from Laughing Earth, you are paying closer to the full cost of your food than when you shop at the grocery store, which means the price tag is larger. 

However, paying more per pound up front does not mean you're getting a worse deal. You get the flavor, the moist meat, the heart-warming experience of buying direct from the person who raised the animal. You get the option to take a walk in a beautiful place to visit the chickens while they are growing on pasture. You get the opportunity to ask the farmer for cooking advice when you buy it. 

You also know that the people who raise the chicken are not locked into a sharecropper system of debt whereby their choices are eroded in the name of funneling more profits to a corporation.

You also know that the people who process the chickens (the same as the people who raise them, on our farm!) have safe working conditions, and only perform the job for half a day every two weeks, reducing the risk for repetitive stress injury. They are not berated and threatened to encourage them to work faster.

Our farm is not perfect. We don't pay our employees as much as we would like to, and our pastures could be more diverse and fertile. But we are trying to acknowledge the downsides of meat eating, and trying to address those issues and reduce them. 

So the next time you visit our farm or market stand and find yourself thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of money for chicken" ... think again. Your decision to purchase organic, small-scale, local chicken is helping to turn the tide away from human rights abuses in the poultry industry. It's also helping one family in your community to live their dream.

Why FarmShare?

So, it's full-on Spring, and I am deep into trying to convince community members to become FarmShare members. Why would someone do this crazy thing? Why on Earth would someone pay a farmer a huge chunk of money MONTHS before getting vegetables, and without even knowing what the vegetables will be? Why pay to have someone choose your produce for you? Why pay for produce that you don't even know if you'll like, and that you don't even get to choose to suit your menu for the week? 

I have a few good reasons. 

First off, I think for many people, the actual produce is secondary. The money that they give to me, their farmer, is their investment in a community - a human community as well as an ecological community. The money they pay me is their support for a system that I am striving to be a healthy, useful part of. The farmer and the members are making an agreement that locally, sustainably, ethically grown food is of importance to them. The members are saying, please, do this for us, and the farmer is saying, thanks for letting me do this for you. 

Secondly, the community of people at the farm is the best. All of our members come to the farm to pick up their veggies. This means, at least, they get reconnected to the place that grew their food when they come each week to get it. The farm is *their* farm - theirs to take walks on, have a picnic, swing by on the way home from (or to!) work to get the herbs they want for dinner. Even if they don't see any other people, the farm is here for them. Hopefully they do see people, though - one of their farmers, to answer questions about the weird vegetable in the share this week, or something ELSE to do with kale, or even just commiserate about the weather. And hopefully, they get to see some of their fellow members, for a chat in the picking garden while they harvest cherry tomatoes, or to exchange recipes. They are in this together - fellow members of a sisterhood of the faithful - those that have faith in the soil and in us, the hopeful farmers tending it.

Finally, the food. Same-day harvest means you're getting as much nutrition as possible from these tender, ephemeral veggies - no cross-country road trips here! Food harvested by someone you know also feeds something more than your stomach. When you eat food from your FarmShare, you know that you are contributing to 1. land that won't be turned into a housing development, but will continue to produce food for the community 2. the livelihood of a family in your community, a family that chooses to invest in other local businesses and thereby bolster the economy where you live and 3. a small farm that focuses on minimizing its negative environmental impacts in the community where you live (no effluent ponds here! no high-nitrate runoff into the Quackenkill here!).

So, that's why people choose to give up a little control over what is in their baskets of produce. The wonderful people who are members of my FarmShare community are making other choices, which have ripples far beyond their dinner plates.

Thank you to my community. Thank you for making all of this possible.

Community and the path forward

Today I am feeling very grateful to my elders. I don't mean old people, I mean those who walked this path before me. Those who walked this path before I discovered it, who improved the trail, built the bridges, and made a map. Those who did all that so that they could use the trail, but then stayed to help guide me as well. 

Farming is not an easy business. There is no kind of farming that is easy. Small-scale, sustainable, diversified farming is an especially difficult business. Not only are we growing food, but we are also trying to change people's minds, repair damaged ecosystems, alleviate climate change, build communities where they have been hollowed by the ravages of a capitalist economy that cares not for human lives, repair people's severed connections with the natural world ... In other words, there's a big load to carry. Maybe not all of my farming peers feel that this is their job description, but I do, and I often feel like I'm in the middle of the ocean riding on an inflatable pool toy. In this line of work, the community of fellow farmers is everything.

Today I had the pleasure of receiving knowledge and guidance from one of my elders, someone not so old in years but deep in his well of understanding. Sitting at his table, talking through what he has seen and what we are struggling with felt like climbing aboard a ship after being adrift in that ocean. There's hope. There are others feeling this way, others working through these problems, and workable solutions are attainable. We can succeed, and are not doomed to poverty and losing the farm and whatever other horrible fates visit my mind in the darkness of night. 

I left his house feeling so flooded by gratitude, that he had spent so much of his valuable time - not just on us, mind you, he is a mentor, a guide on the trail, to an entire generation of farmers - to reassure us and to show us where to go and how to build something successful. Here is someone who understands what a community is. When one of us is raised up, it raises us all. A rising tide lifts all ships, if you have a ship. So help the others get a ship, too, or pull them on board yours. 

Our mentor and his partner are exemplary in the community in their commitment to raising us all as they are raised, in distributing their earned knowledge as widely and as thoroughly as they possibly can. They are not the exception, though. I am so glad to be a member of a peer group that by and large views each other as co-conspirators rather than competitors. Our "competitors" are the industrial food system, human lethargy and ignorance about what we're doing to the world, and environmental degradation. Our fellow farmers are equally as important to our success as we ourselves are. I am glad to have been brought into farming by mentors such as these, who have gifted me with an abundance mindset, rather than a view of scarcity. See all that we have to work with - Sun, soil, water,  flora, fauna, people with such towering gifts. Such a huge net of interactions to learn from, to draw on, to benefit from. 

Spending time with mentors such as these helps me to re-center myself into a positive focus on the things that matter. We are here to grow life, to grow love, to leave things better than we found them. I only hope that, when given the opportunity, I offer similar help to those following me down the path.

The Real Cost of Meat

This willful blindness allows them to continue to participate in the industrial food system. If they cannot acknowledge that their hamburger has ever been a cow, then why would they care whether that cow had ever eaten grass or gotten to wade through a verdant pasture? Why would they care how that cow died? Why would they care whether the slaughterhouse workers were given adequate breaks, safety gear, or physical therapy if they experienced repetitive stress injuries? Why would they care what happens to the manure produced by that cow and its millions of brethren?

Read More

Winter Share December 20th, 2017

Thanks to those who decided to get the last two Winter Shares! We all hope that you are enjoying your delicious storage vegetables, and that they are storing to your satisfaction.

Aaron and I promised to share some good recipes for these veggies, particularly the Celeriac, so here goes:

Celeriac Recipes

Roast Chicken and Vegetables.

I just made this one-dish meal for the crew’s lunch the other day: simple, hearty, tasty.

Peel and cube 1 butternut squash into ½ inch cubes. Chop onions roughly – I had small onions, so I halved or quartered them. Peel a whole head’s worth of garlic, leaving the cloves whole or cutting them in half. Wash and roughly chop 4 or 5 carrots. Peel and chop 2 celeriac into ½ inch cubes. Put all the cut veggies on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle generously with oil (I use sunflower, because I can get NY-raised sunflower oil at the co-op!), and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon salt and a generous dose of black pepper. If you have it, you can mince about 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary or thyme. Mix until homogeneous, and then spread the veggies into a single layer – for me, this took two baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut a thoroughly-thawed chicken into parts – drumsticks, thighs, wings, and breasts, with the breasts cut into halves or thirds so they are about the same size as the other pieces. Spread the chicken pieces on top of the veggies, skin side up. Put the trays in the oven. Let bake for about 15 minutes, then pull them out and stir the veggies around as best you can, to unstick any that are getting caramelized onto the pan. I always switch the two trays top to bottom at this point, to assist even baking. Bake for another 15 minutes, then stir again. I would expect all to be done after a third 15 minute stint, for a total of 45. This was enough to feed five farmers.

Celeriac Latkes with Apple Creme Fraiche

1 small onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil +2 tbsp 1 celeriac, trimmed, peeled, qtr
4 potatoes, peeled, halved 2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 egg salt and pepper
for the creme fraiche:
1 cup creme fraiche 1 apple, peeled, grated
juice of 1/4 lemon 12 chives, snipped

Saute onion in 1 tbsp oil with salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Add garlic. Saute 5 minutes until soft.

Use a food processor to grate potatoes and celeriac. Wring out as much liquid as possible using a kitchen towel. Tip into a bowl, season and add onion, garlic, and parsley. Add egg and mix well.

Heat 2 tbsp oil and press half of the mixture into the pan, spreading it out. Cook on medium heat 15 minutes. Place a plate on the pancake and flip, then slide pancake back into pan cooked side up. Cook another 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining pancake mixture.

To make apple creme fraiche, toss apple with lemon immediately to prevent browning. Chop as fine as you can. Mix into creme fraiche and season with salt, pepper, and chives. seriouseats.com

Celery Root & Potato Soup

3 large or 6 medium leeks (or 1 large onion), finely chopped
3/4 lb potatoes, well scrubbed, quartered and sliced
3/4 lb celeriac, trimmed and peeled, quartered and sliced
2 tbsp butter
salt and freshly milled pepper
milk, or water to thin the soup

Melt butter in a large soup pot, add leeks, potatoes, and celeriac and cook over low heat, covered, 10 minutes. Add 7 cups water, 1 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft and falling apart, about 35 minutes. Crush some to give the soup body. Thin with milk if needed. Season with salt and pepper. To add richness, use cream instead of milk.
Vegetarian cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison


here is my favorite celeriac recipe I have made this year. Time consuming, and not the most visually stunning meal you will serve, but VERY worthy of company.

Butternut Squash "Lasagna"


As I type this in the darkness of the longest night of the year, I have no fear or sadness in the darkness, because I am warmed and my heart lighted by the friendship of our FarmShare family, of our upstate NY family, of our blood family, no matter how far away. We lighted candles this evening, as the last rays of sun melted away, and my little light felt a bit like a self-portrait. Thank you all for feeding my flame, for supporting me and Zack and Willa and Aaron and all of the more ephemeral but just as essential creatures - human and otherwise - that spend time with us on this farm to help us learn to better care for this land. May our hands feed this land that it may feed you, our community, in turn. May our love for you help us to better love this land, and make us more able to say thank you to it in tangible ways. Happy Solstice, and happy cooking.

FarmShare October 14th, 2017

Frost is coming..?

We are getting close to the end for the frost tender crops, so I encourage everyone to harvest as much as they can from the picking garden. Hot peppers- there are lots of cayenne, which
easily dry for making crushed red pepper. The small red Matchbox peppers, Jalapeños and orange Bulgarian Carrots can be frozen or turned into hot sauce or pickled. Other crops that
won’t survive frost: tomatillos, ground cherries, lemongrass.
Expect some green peppers, eggplants of all sizes, and a few green tomatoes in next week’s share. Even if frost doesn’t come, it’s time for them to go!

Fill out a survey, get a Delicata

Did you complete the member survey? If not, please take one home and fill it out. It’s important for us to gauge how we’re doing year-to-year and identify areas where we can improve. It’s a good way to anonymously tell us what you did and did not like about the season. And, you get a prize for returning your completed survey!

Garlic planting day

Garlic planting will be on Thursday, October 19th at 2 PM. Join us for the afternoon or just an hour. We’ll be planting the garlic cloves, and covering it with straw mulch.

Yellow Onions
Acorn or Spaghetti Squash
Napa Cabbage
Watermelon Radish

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Lemongrass

Amaranth, Zinnia, Dahlia

Important Dates
October 25: Last Wednesday CSA, last fresh chicken
October 28: Last Saturday CSA

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole
This is my favorite way to use spaghetti squash. You can add any pizza toppings you like to this. Beware that many squash are much larger than what this recipe needs.
1 large spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 lb Italian sausage (bulk)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 cup pizza sauce (or tomato sauce)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs, whisked
mozzarella cheese (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise. Brush a little oil on the cut sides and place on baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until the skin gives when pressed. Remove from oven and turn down to 350.
Let squash cool a little then fork out the threads into a greased 8x8 dish.
In a large pan, cook sausage and onion over medium heat. Add pizza sauce, herbs and seasoning. Add to the squash and mix well. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.
Bake 1 hour until a slight crust forms on top. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. recipe from PaleOMG.com

Carrot-ginger soup
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups chopped onion
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups chicken or veg stock
2 cups water
3 large strips orange zest
chopped chive, parsley or dill
Melt butter in a soup pot and cook onions and carrots until onions soften. Don’t let them brown. Add a teaspoon of salt while they cook.
Add stock, water, ginger and zest. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until carrots are tender, 20 minutes. Remove the zest strips and puree the soup. Add more salt to taste.
Garnish with chives, parsley or fennel leaves.

"She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last."
- Willa Cather

FarmShare September 27th, 2017

Summer’s last hurrah

With temperatures 15 degrees above normal, it feels like an endless summer this year. This warmth has helped fuel a rebound in tomatoes, so if you want to make sauce but haven’t yet, this is your last chance. The dryness is keeping tomato diseases from spreading quickly, but once we have cool, wet weather they will be done.
Green and yellow wax beans are prolific, so we have another week of U Pick beans. Beans are easy to freeze, blanching is optional, so this is a good chance to stock up for winter. If you don’t have time to pick today, come on Saturday during pickup (10-1). No limits on how much you can pick!

Our pork at Brunswick BBQ Oktoberfest

They’ll be smoking a whole pig at Brunswick BBQ for Oktoberfest on September 30th. Go enjoy some delicious food and drink and celebrate!

Eggplant or Green Beans
Acorn or Carnival Squash

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley,
Cilantro, Basil, Lemongrass

Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, Zinnia, Pincushion
Flower, Dahlia

Important Dates
October 11: Fresh chicken
October 25: Last Wednesday CSA, last fresh chicken
October 28: Last Saturday CSA

Refrigerator Pickled Beets
4 or 5 beets (1 bunch)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard

salt & pepper
Scrub beets until clean and trim off leaves. You can either boil or roast them. To boil, cover with an inch of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil then simmer 30-45 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
To roast, rub beets with olive oil and wrap in foil (they can all be wrapped together). Roast at 400 for an hour until easily pierced with a fork.
Peel the cooked beets. Quarter or slice them. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk and add salt and pepper to taste. Let beets marinate in vinaigrette 30 minutes at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.
recipe from SimplyRecipes

Beetroot & Feta Burger
3 cups grated raw beets
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 small onion
7 oz feta or firm tofu
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
handful fresh basil
Grate the beets, onion, and garlic using a food processor or box grater. Transfer to large bowl with olive oil, eggs, and oats and mix well. Add cheese, basil, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes so oats absorb juices. Form 6-8 patties. Grill a few minutes per side or fry a few minutes per side in a greased pan. Serve with bun or grilled sourdough and toppings of your choice.
recipe from greenkitchenstories.com

Acorn Squash and Cashew Sorbet
Since it is still summery, how about something frozen? You can probably use any kind of squash.
3 1/2 cups acorn squash puree
3 tbsp cashew butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. Taste and add more
sugar or salt if it needs it. Chill for 4-6 hours and then churn in an ice cream machine. Freeze
for 2-3 hours until firm.
from Serious Eats (Ethan Frisch)

"Beauty is excrescence,
superabundance, random
ebullience, and sheer
delightful waste to be
enjoyed in its own right."
- Donald Culross Peattie, An Almanac for Moderns

FarmShare October 18th, 2017

Fall planting

Though we are near the end of our growing season, we are still busy with the those important tasks we do every fall. One very important thing we do is cover crop seeding. Each fall we
typically plant about 20 acres of cover crop.
Oats and peas are planted in early to mid September. These are the same kind of oats that we eat for breakfast. We plant them in open areas of the garden and they grow all autumn to about 1-2 feet tall. They winter kill and leave a protective layer of mulch that keeps the soil from eroding during winter and spring melts. Winter rye and hairy vetch, the same kind rye bread is made from, is another very important cover crop. Rye is seriously cold hardy, and can germinate at temperatures in the 30s. Unlike oats, rye lives through the winter, its massive root system holding on to soil and nutrients. Next spring rye begins growing rapidly and can
produce up to 10,000 lbs of biomass per acre. It’s really a weed that we have put to work for us.
Besides their soil-holding qualities, cover crops also provide some other important farm products. We can harvest straw for mulching the garden from the rye, and hay for feeding animals throughout the winter. With our combine harvester, we can also harvest the seeds, which we can use to plant for the next season.

Tomorrow: Garlic planting day
Garlic planting will be tomorrow, Thursday, October 19th at 2 PM. Join us for the afternoon or just an hour. We’ll be planting the garlic cloves, and covering it with straw mulch.

Pie Pumpkins/Squash
Mustard or Napa Cabbage

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Lemongrass

Important Dates
October 25: Last Wednesday CSA, last fresh chicken
October 28: Last Saturday CSA

Pumpkin Cornbread

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Whisk the dry ingredients and set aside. Mix everything else but butter and stir in dry mix. Add butter to a cast iron skillet and
heat in the oven for 2 minutes or until melted. Once melted, pour in batter and bake until golden and cracked, about half and hour. seriouseats.com

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo
8 cups cooked pumpkin
4-6 cups chicken stock, depending on thickness desired
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lime juice
garnish: pepitas, cilantro, sour cream
Saute onions over medium high heat in a large pot in the oil. Add garlic, cumin and chipotle and cook another minute. Add pumpkin, stock, oregano, salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook
20 minutes partially covered. Remove from heat and puree soup. Add lime juice and more
seasoning to taste. Thin with more stock if needed. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds, sour cream and cilantro.

Celery soup

A good use for those tougher outer stems.
3 oz butter
1 tbsp olive oil
10 oz chopped celery
4 oz diced onion
4 oz diced potato
2 pints chicken stock
salt, pepper
heavy cream
Gently stew celery and onion in butter and oil in a covered pan 10 mins. Add potato and coat
well. Don’t let anything brown. Add stock and bring to a boil then simmer 30 minutes until very
tender. Blend the soup and season well. Ladle into bowls and swirl in a little cream.

"O Autumn, laden with
fruit, and stained
With the blood of the
grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof;
there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to
my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of
the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song
of fruit and flowers.
- William Blake, To Autumn, 1783

FarmShare October 7th, 2017

Extend the season

We’re looking forward to a bountiful winter share this year. If you aren’t familiar with Winter Share, it’s a little different from the summer season. Instead of a weekly pickup, we have four dates that you can choose to sign up for. You’ll get a 30 pound box with a selection of the following (varies from date to date):
Carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Rutabaga, Onions, Leeks, Celeriac, Daikon, Turnips, Watermelon Radish, Butternut Squash, Shallots, Garlic, Cabbage

Thanksgiving share

Beginning this year, the Thanksgiving share has become a separate share. It is not included in the main summer share. For only $25.00, you get a generous share of our late season garden. It might include:
Brussels Sprouts Kale Lettuce
Onions Garlic Beets
Turnips Carrots Rutabaga
Pie Pumpkins Butternut Squash Radish
Leeks Buttercup Squash Potatoes

Forms with complete details are available at pick-up and on our website. Shares are steadily declining in number so don’t wait too long!
Garlic planting day will be in 2-3 weeks. Exact date coming soon.

Red Onions
Kale or Collards
Carving Pumpkins & Gourds
Fennel or Turnips
Bok Choi

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, Lemongrass

Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, Zinnia, Pincushion Flower, Dahlia

Important Dates
October 11: Fresh chicken
October 25: Last Wednesday CSA, last fresh chicken
October 28: Last Saturday CSA

Orecchitte with Caramelized Turnips & Kale

1 lb orecchiette
1/4 cup canola oil
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
8 tbsp butter
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reddiano cheese
Bring 6 qt salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. Meanwhile, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add turnips and
reduce to medium. Cook until tender and golden, about 6 minutes. Add kale and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Add pasta water, season, add butter and stir until melted.
Add pasta and toss until well coated. Stir in cheese and season to taste. recipe from Serious Eats

Turnip ‘risotto’

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, cut into 1/8 inch dice
1 1/2 lbs turnips, cut into 1/8 inch dice
2 cups hot chicken stock
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
Warm the chicken stock over medium low heat. Add oil to skillet and heat to medium. Toss in onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add turnips and cook 2 minutes. Ladle in some stock and cook until absorbed. Continue until all stock has beed added. Season, add butter and cheese and stir for a minute. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley.
recipe from Serious Eats/ Nick Kindelsperger

Roasted Fennel Pesto
1 cup chopped fennel bulb
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
3/4 cup fennel fronds
2 cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 400. On a rimmed baking sheet toss fennel with a little olive oil and roast,
stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 12 mins. Meanwhile, scatter almonds on another sheet and toast 5 minutes. Let both cool a bit.
In a food processor or blender, pulse fennel, fronds, garlic and 1/2 cup olive oil until pureed. Add almonds and 1/4 cup oil, season with salt and pulse to combine. Add remaining oil and pulse.
from Serious Eats (Daniel Gritzer)

"Look at your feet. You
are standing in the sky.
When we think of the sky,
we tend to look up,
but the sky actually
begins at the earth."
- Diane Ackerman

FarmShare September 23rd, 2017

Living with pests

What does it mean to farm organically? If it means blindly using
whatever pesticide or fungicide the NOP (National Organic
Program) has approved for all of our problems, then there is not
much that differentiates us from conventional farming. When we
have a serious pest or fungal issue, there is more to consider than
whatever approved product is available.
One example is the popular, organic-approved insecticide BT
(Bacillus thuringinsis). This is a naturally derived insecticide
based on a bacterium which is lethal to caterpillars, but perfectly
safe for mammals and insects. Most organic farms spray this on
broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and other brassica to control those
little green caterpillars we call cabbage worms. It is also widely
used on sweet corn. While BT does kill the pests, it also kills any
other caterpillar in the area, such as wooly bears and monarch
caterpillars. Although we are allowed to use BT, we have decided
not to because it is too broad spectrum.
As a result, we do have more cabbage worms in our broccoli than
other farms. (I suggest soaking the broccoli in salted water for 30
minutes before using it to remove them.) But we also have a huge
diversity of caterpillars. I don’t know what they are, or what they
grow into, and I am reluctant to wipe them all out. Surely they
have roles on the farm that I have yet to understand.

Eggplant or Green Beans
Red Onions
Broccoli Raab

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley,
Cilantro, Borage, Basil, Lemongrass

Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, Zinnia, Pincushion
Flower, Dahlia

Important Dates
September 27: Fresh chicken

Ziti with fennel and sausage

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed quartered and sliced
1 small onion, diced
28 oz can tomatoes with puree
1/4 cup red wine
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 pound ziti or other short pasta
Heat oil and cook sausage. Remove from pan. Add additional oil
if dry, and sauté fennel and onion until tender-crisp. Return
sausage to pan and add tomatoes, wine, garlic, salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low and simmer while pasta cooks.
Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add
pasta to the sauce and mix well, adding pasta water if it seems dry.
Garnish with fennel fronds and serve with Parmesan.
recipe from Serving up the harvest by Andrea Chesman

Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

1 to 1 1/2 lbs broccoli, cut into florets of even size
3-4 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 425. Soak broccoli in salted water at least 20
minutes before use to remove any cabbage worms. Toss broccoli
with everything but Parmesan. Arrange in a single layer on a
baking sheet that has been oiled or lined. Roast 15-20 minutes
until cooked through and lightly browned. Toss with Parmesan
and black pepper.
recipe from simplyrecipes.com

Salsa Verde

I like to cook chicken in salsa verde. You can use a crock pot or the oven. It really tenderizes the meat.

1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves (or more) garlic
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
2 Jalapeño Peppers
salt to taste
Remove husks from tomatillos. You can either roast them in the oven, or in a pan, or simply boil. To roast in the oven, cut tomatillos in half and place on a baking sheet with the garlic
cloves. Broil 5-7 minutes.
To pan roast, coat your skillet with oil and heat over high heat. Brown tomatillos on both sides
To boil, cover tomatillos with water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Once tomatillos are cooked, add them with all other ingredients to a blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add salt to taste.
from Simply Recipes

"Earthworms are the intestines of the soil."
- Aristotle

FarmShare September 13, 2017


Celery is one vegetable that I had been pretty indifferent toward in the past. It was watery, bland and what little flavor it has often got lost once it was cooked. The celery that we grow is miles apart from the grocery store stuff. It’s got a very strong celery flavor that adds another dimension to anything you use it in. The outer dark green stalks tend to be more fibrous and better for cooking. The inner light green stalks, known as the heart, are tender enough to eat raw with a bright celery flavor.
Although it’s available year-round in stores, celery is only a late summer-early fall crop for us. We start it in the greenhouse in March and transplant late May. It’s a slow grower that needs
consistent moisture to do well.

Potato harvest day

Hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow morning for our potato harvest! We’ll start around 9 and go to noon but come when you can. We will be in the field next to Bulson road and route 2.

Waldorf slaw
1 small green cabbage, shredded
4 sticks celery, sliced
2 apples, peeled and diced
handful grapes, halved
6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, celery, apples, and grapes. Mix mayonnaise and vinegar and season. Stir into the vegetables so they are well coated. Top with walnuts. Keeps up to 3 days refrigerated.
recipe from BBC Good Food

100ml olive oil
3 large eggplant, cut into cubes
2 shallots or 1/2 onion, chopped
4 paste tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp capers, soaked if salted
50g raisins
4 celery sticks, sliced
50ml red wine vinegar
handful toasted pine* nuts and basil leaves
*sunflower seeds or walnuts can be substituted
8 slices ciabatta or Italian bread
olive oil
1 garlic clove
Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan and add eggplant. Cook 15-20 mins until soft. Scoop
out of the pan. Add shallots and cook 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and
cook slowly until they break down. Return eggplant to pan with capers, raisins, celery and
vinegar, and salt to taste. Cover and cook over low heat 40 minutes until all vegetables are
soft. Stir gently to avoid breaking it up too much.
When caponata is done, leave it to cool while you make bruschetta. Using a griddle pan
or your broiler, drizzle bread with olive oil and grill until lightly charred on both sides, rub with a cut clove of garlic and season.
Serve with warm caponata scattered with basil leaves and pine nuts.
from BBC Good Food

Kale salad with roasted delicata squash
1 medium delicata squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
12 cups clean torn kale leaves
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400. Cut delicata in half, scoop out seeds and trim ends. Slice into half moons 1/2 inch thick. Toss with oil, salt and pepper then spread on baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway.
Meanwhile toss kale with dressing in a large bowl. Add hot roasted squash and toss. Divide among four plates and top with cheese, cranberries and nuts.
from www.naturallyella.com

"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
- Samuel Butler

FarmShare September 9, 2017

Summer into fall

It’s September, and we say goodbye to some of the summer crops, such as summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and melons. Eggplant, peppers and tomatoes still have a few more good weeks. The winter squash are starting to ripen, and Delicata squash is the first one.
Delicata is a 19th century heirloom variety that has recently become popular again, for good reason. It has a very thin skin which means no peeling! It’s edible, and that makes Delicata quick to prepare.
The older planting of basil is looking like it really needs to be harvested completely, so this is a good week to make some pesto.
This week’s wet weather has really impacted the tomato harvest. Hopefully we will get a stretch of warm, dry days for a few more good tomato harvests.

Potato & Squash harvest days

Due to wet weather we’ve postponed the potato harvest to Thursday next week. You’re welcome to come help, we will start at 9:00 and go to noon. Come anytime and stay as long as you like.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Red Onion
2 Delicata squash, halved seeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 large red onion, halved and cut into 1/2 inch rings
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss vegetables and herbs with oil and maple syrup, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables evenly onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake, tossing and rotating partway through cooking until tender and browned, 25-30 minutes.
recipe from epicurious.com

Ginger Bok Choi Soup with Ramen
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bunch scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bok choi
4 oz ramen noodles (not the instant kind) or other kind
sesame seeds
red pepper flakes
In a large pot, heat oil over medium low. Use the light green part of the scallions along with the garlic and ginger and cook just 2 or 3 minutes.
Pour in the broth and water, bring to a boil then simmer 5 minutes. Trim the base of the bok choi. Cut the stems and leaves into thin strips. Add noodles, and choi and cook 4-6 minutes.
Taste and add salt if needed. Top with chopped scallion greens, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. I might add some tamari to this.
from www.naturallyella.com

Romesco Sauce
1 slice country style white bread
olive oil for frying
3/4 cup almonds, roasted
1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted and
3 garlic cloves
1-2 tsp red chile flakes
4 paste tomatoes
1 tbsp parsley
salt and pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 red bell pepper, roasted
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin
olive oil
Fry the bread in a little olive oil until golden and crisp. When cool, grind with the nuts, garlic
and chile in a food processor. Add everything but vinegar and oil and process until smooth.
While running, gradually add vinegar then oil. Taste and make sure it has enough salt and
This sauce is great with warm chickpeas or large white beans or any grilled vegetable. Spread on garlic rubbed bread with sliced green olives and parsley for a delicious appetizer!
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

"Monotony is the law of nature. Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Peppers or Eggplant
Red Onions
Delicata Squash
Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Lettuce or Bok Choi
Corn or Potatoes

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Basil, Lemongrass
Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome, Zinnia, Pincushion
Flower, Dahlia

FarmShare September 2, 2017

Preserving the harvest

This cool weather has got us thinking about putting food away for the winter. Now’s a great time to do some canning, freezing or drying.
1.Make some dried tomatoes! Cherry tomatoes, when split in half, dry quickly. Paste tomatoes also work. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use a slow oven, or even a car parked in the
sun all day. Once dried, pack them in airtight jars or olive oil for a midwinter treat.
2.Dried herbs- most herbs with woody stems are a snap to dry. Just hang bunches in a cool, dry, airy place out of direct sun until dry. Then store in airtight containers. For parsley or basil you need to use a dehydrator. Cayenne peppers can be dried as well and make great hot red pepper flakes.
3.Salsa! Whether it’s tomato or tomatillo based, I love having some on hand in the winter. Jalapeño, Bulgarian Carrot or Matchbox will add a kick to your salsa.
4.Pesto! The best way to preserve basil is to make it into pesto and freeze it. Even a simple basil and olive oil puree can be frozen to give winter meals a taste of summer.

Tomatillos, ground cherries and hot peppers

These three crops have made a late appearance in the picking garden, but better late than never! This year we have purple tomatillos. Look for fruits that have split the husk with a deep
purple color. Ground cherries are ripe once they fall on the ground. What hot peppers are ready? The Jalapeños are still green but may be picked this way. Bulgarian Carrot should be
bright orange when picked. Matchbox and Cayenne turn fully red when ripe.

Potato & Squash harvest days

Help us harvest this year’s potato crop! The date is Thursday, September 7th, time is to be determined. We will send an email out with the exact time. Squash harvest day will tentatively be the following Thursday.

Baked Chicken with cherry tomatoes and garlic
2 lbs bone in skin on thighs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dry
1.Place thighs in casserole dish and sprinkle with salt, leaving a little room in between.
2.Preheat oven to 375.
3.Halve the cherry tomatoes, and toss with garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
4.Nestle cherry tomatoes in between chicken thighs. Leave skin exposed so it can brown. Lay sprigs of rosemary over the tomatoes.
5.Bake uncovered 45 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and skim off excess fat. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.
recipe from simplyrecipes.com

Braised green beans with tomatoes
5 tbsp olive oil
1 onion halved and sliced
1 1/2 lbs green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise on the bias
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken or veg broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and pepper
In a large skillet or pot, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add all other ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and
then simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until beans are very tender, 18-20 minutes. Stir in
remaining oil and season.
from marthastewart.com

"the air is different today
the wind sings with a new tone
sighing of changes
the harvest gathered
a flower, a nut
some mead, and bread
a candle and a prayer
returning the fruits
in thanksgiving
to the grove
and receiving
its blessing
- Rhawk, Alban Elfed

Cucumbers or Eggplant
Green Beans
Cantaloupe /Watermelon

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cleome,
Zinnia, Pincushion Flower, Dahlia

Newsletter: The Too Much Produce Edition - August 23, 2017

So, it’s 3:30 on Wednesday and we haven’t started a newsletter yet, because we are JUST getting done harvesting all the produce. Doesn’t get any fresher, eh?

So, instead of Aaron’s usual carefully designed newsletter, you get me and my pile o’ recipes.   — Annie


Ratatouille—this week we are giving you all the ingredients!

7 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium eggplant, diced

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 small zucchini, diced

2 small yellow summer squash, diced

4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned, juicy, and cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a medium saucepan with a slotted spoon. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onion and bell peppers in the oil until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the saucepan with the slotted spoon. Return the skillet to the medium-high heat again and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the zucchini and the summer squash and season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the saucepan and add tomatoes and garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. The flavor will improve if the ratatouille sits at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or warm.

Chilled Watermelon Soup—adapted from Martha Stewart

6 cups watermelon chunks, seeded

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

Salt to taste

Put the jalapeno in the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add in the watermelon chunks and salt and process until smooth. Serve with minced mint for garnish. Alternatively, pour the finished soup into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, then enjoy! You can also make the popsicles with cantaloupe and mint instead of watermelon and jalapeno.


Roasted Green Beans—My favorite way to eat them. If you have the Dragon Tongue beans, this is a good way to cook them to preserve their color!

1 pound green beans                             

1/4 cup olive oil                                    

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the beans and arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and roll the beans to coat them. Roast them for about 15 minutes, until they’ve started to brown. Remove them to a serving dish, and sprinkle on coarse salt.


Zoodles with Meat Sauce—This is what I served the crew on our last chicken processing day. It was very popular! You don’t have to use a spiralizer, you can also slice the zucchini using a food processor with the slicing attachment, a mandoline, or a knife, if you are good at slicing thinly.

1.5 lbs zucchini or summer squash

3 lbs tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 large onion, chopped roughly

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lb of ground beef

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 bay leaf


Brown the beef in a large saucepan. Once it’s brown, add the onions and cook until they are tender. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs and cook on low for as long as you can—I have done it as little as half an hour and as much as 4 hours. Longer will get you a thicker sauce. While the sauce is cooking, use a spiralizer or other tool of your choice to cut the zucchini and/or summer squash into noodles—long thin strips. The spiralizer is nice because the curls help it hold the sauce, but that is not necessary. I served the noodles raw, and let the hot sauce cook them a little. You could also brown them quickly in a dry skillet. Serve the noodles with the sauce on top, and add shaved parmesan on top if you wish.


The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

"Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from The Country of Marriage, copyright ® 1973 by Wendell Berry


FarmShare August 9, 2017

Herbal Iced Teas
A great way to use a lot of the herbs in the picking garden is to use them in infusions or tisanes— herbal teas. In the heat of summer, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold, flavorful, refreshing glass of iced tea.
It’s a simple technique: you get a handful of stems of your desired herbs (harvest 5-10 stems with 4-10 leaves apiece, depending on the size of the herb), put them in your jar, add the sweetener of your choice (¼-½ cup of sugar or honey for ½ gallon container), and pour boiling water over the top. Let it steep for five minutes or so— some herbs, like tea, get bitter if they sit too long, and some don’t— and then either fish the herbs out with a spoon, or pour the whole thing through a mesh strainer into another container of the same size. (This method cools it down faster, too; brew it in a jar, then pour it over ice into a pitcher to serve promptly. Also good if your favorite pitcher is too delicate for boiling water.)
Some recipes can be unsweetened, but some really don’t taste right without at least a little sweetener of some kind.
Tip: Trim long stems, but leave leaves and stems together so you don’t have to strain the tea afterward.

A simpler alternative: Cold infusions. Some herbs, you can just put into a pitcher of cold water and leave in your fridge for several days, and you’ll enjoy a much subtler flavor. This is a good
way to avoid using sugar or sweeteners.

A FINAL NOTE: Some of these herbs have medicinal properties. For the most part, an occasional drink with them as an ingredient won’t harm you, and some herbs have positive medical uses— like thyme, which can ease congestion— but if you have a specific situation, it’s wise to look it up first. For example, mint and fennel both tend to suppress milk production,
so nursing mothers should avoid them.
— Bridget, Annie’s sister

Two Herbal Teas We Like
1. Mint Sage Tea. Sage in tea?
Sounds weird but is very good with lots of mint. Great with a bit of honey.
2. Lemon Basil Lemon Balm Lemonade. To make this, you first make lemon basil and
lemon balm tea with some sweetener, then add the lemon juice once it’s cool. Lemongrass would work as well.

"Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam
with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth
- R. Combe Miller

Tomato Galette with Parmesan Whole Wheat Crust
Crust: 1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water, more as needed

Filling: 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
salt (for the tomatoes)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 large egg, well beaten with 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish

1.Combine flours, cornmeal, parmesan and salt. Add butter and toss to coat, then freeze 30 minutes.
2. Add mixture to food processor and give 4 or 5 long pulses until butter is cut into small bits. Drizzle in the water and pulse until it looks moistened. If dough seems too try add a little more water. Press dough into a disc and chill for half an hour.
3.Spread tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with a towel. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Let stand while dough chills. Blot dry before assembling galette. Heat oven to 425.
4.Roll dough into a 15 inch circle, transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle parmesan in a 11 inch circle on the dough. Arrange 2/3 of the tomatoes cut side up over cheese. Sprinkle with thyme. Fold
edges over tomatoes, pleating as necessary. Brush crust with egg.
5.Bake 30 minutes. Scatter reserved tomatoes over top and sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm or at room temp.
recipe from simplyrecipes.com

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Sweet or Red Onions
Bok Choi
Tokyo Bekana
Mountain Rose Potatoes
Carrots, Eggplant or Peppers
Sun Jewel Melon or Tomatoes

Mints, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia

Important Dates
August 16: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare August 2, 2017

Busy week
We are all a little distracted this week, because Stephanie, our illustrious Assistant Livestock Manager, is getting married this weekend. We have been talking wedding plans for weeks, and are finally starting to work towards making the wedding happen. We have already started on harvesting the flowers to make the special day even more special. Even our littlest farmer gets to participate - Stephanie asked Willa to be her flower girl! So, please excuse our distraction and excitement.

Flower Bouquet tips
If you have been harvesting bouquets, and have not been happy with the vase life of your flowers, try these tips:
- Make sure to remove any leaves on the stem that will be below the water line in the vase.
- Get your flowers into cool water as quickly as possible, giving the stems a fresh cut just before you put them in.
- Change the water daily. You can try adding a teaspoon of vodka to the water to discourage microbial life.
-Try storing the arrangement in the fridge overnight; I find the flowers easily keep a week if they have been well-chilled, but keep more like 4 days without chilling.

Sauteed Carrots
4 cups sliced carrots (about 1 1/2 lbs)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
Scrub the carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch slices. Place the carrots, 1/4 cup water, the salt, and pepper in a large (10- to 12-inch) saute pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through. Add the butter and saute for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter. Off the heat, toss with the dill or parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
-recipe from Ina Garten

Asian greens with garlic sauce
1 1/2 lb small bok choi
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Trim ends from bok choi. Blanch until just tender, 1 minute. Drain and set aside on a plate. Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute until lightly browned. Add soy sauce and 1 tbsp water. Pour overgreens.
recipe from Saveur

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Cucumbers or Eggplant
Sweet Onions
Bok Choi

Mints, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia

Important Dates
August 16: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare July 29, 2017

All About Artichokes
The artichoke is a perennial plant in the thistle family native to the Mediterranean which was cultivated for its edible flower buds. Artichokes need mild winters (no colder than 20 degrees),
and mild summers (no hotter than 90). It usually sends up flower buds the second year. This confines most U.S. production to the central coast of California. However, there are some varieties that have been bred for annual production (flowering the first year) that can succeed in the northeast. Plant breeders select for a short vernalization (winter-chilling) requirement of about one week of night time temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees. This means that we can trick the plants into behaving as if they are entering their second year of growth, and thus flowering the year of planting. By timing things just right the plants will be exposed to the correct number of chilling hours and will produce flower buds this year. I use tree pots to accommodate the long taproot, plant them with mulch to keep the soil cool and moist and fertilize liberally. From an early May transplanting we see our first artichokes the beginning of July. The plants do seem stressed by the heat and humidity this week so I am giving them seaweed and fish emulsion sprays with the goal of getting them through the summer weather and into fall.
I am planning to increase the number of artichoke plants next year since everyone seems to enjoy them. Feel free to come out to the garden and see what the plants look like. They’re right near our hoop houses next to some tall sunflowers.

How to prep artichokes for cooking
If you are planning on cutting the buds into halves or quarters, have a bowl of water with a few tablespoons lemon juice at hand. First, cut off the top third of the artichoke. Then, if there are
thorns on the petals, slice those off. If you are going to steam them whole, slice off the stem so it will sit upright. You are now ready to steam them.
To quarter artichokes, you can leave the stem on. Take off a few layers of the outer petals since they are tough and inedible. Cut in half or quarters, then, use a spoon to scoop out any hairs if there are any. Drop into the acidulated water until ready to use.
-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

My favorite zucchini bread
3 to 4 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9” by 5” loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs slightly, then add sugar, vanilla, butter and zucchini. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently with a rubber scraper. Once it’s almost mixed, add the nuts and dried fruit or chocolate and fold together. Divide batter into the two pans and spread it out so it’s evenly distributed. Bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out to a wire rack to finish cooling.
recipe adapted from simplyrecipes.com

Japanese Pickles
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1 mild sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red or green fresh chile, seeded and finely sliced
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just enough to dissolve sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Combine vegetables with the vinegar and toss gently. It will seem dry but the cucumbers will create more brine. Cover and refrigerate at least 30
minutes before serving. These will keep up to 6 weeks.
recipe from Serving Up The Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Eggplant, Beans or Artichokes
Sweet Onions
Corn or Carrots

Herbs of note
Mints, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram,
Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Cut Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia

Important Dates
August 1: Fresh chicken pickup

FarmShare July 22, 2017

First cherry tomatoes
Two new items in this week’s share are sweet onions and savoy cabbage. The sweet onions we grow are Ailsa Craig, which is a white Spanish onion that was developed in Scotland. Sweet
onions aren’t exactly sweet but they are mild and are great in sandwiches and salads. I don’t recommend cooking them, since they are so mild. Store them in your refrigerator since they have not been cured and won’t last too long at room temperature. We’re still offering a selection of cabbage this week, with savoy cabbage added to the mix. If you’ve never used it, savoy cabbage is great in soup or stew because the leaves add a pleasing texture
and flavor. Not as tender as smooth cabbage, so it’s best cooked.

Cherry tomatoes
The first ripe cherry tomatoes are here! This year we have three kinds of cherry tomatoes. Our red variety is Peacevine, which is an open pollinated version of Super Sweet 100, the red cherry
tomato we have grown in the past. The orange variety is Sungold, a very sweet flavor that we never tire of. We also have a few sun-drying tomatoes in the picking garden. They look like
elongated cherry tomatoes with a point on the end. They are excellent for drying, because, like a paste tomato, they have a low water content.

Garlic harvesting
We’ve started pulling our garlic this week, which you’ll see in the farm stand. We will be bunching the garlic and hanging it to cure. If you have a few minutes, help us out and tie up a bunch or two!
-Farmer Aaron, CSA manager

Simple Summer Squash Pasta
4 zucchini or summer squash, about 8” long, cut into coins or 1” wedges
1 onion, sliced
a few garlic cloves, sliced
8 oz penne or similar shape pasta
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
4 basil leaf clusters, chiffonade
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
salt & pepper
In a large ovenproof pan, cook onion in about a tablespoon of oil. Cook until soft and starting to brown. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, toss squash on a baking sheet with a few tbsp of oil, salt and pepper. Broil until well browned and fully cooked, tossing
them around a few times. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the onions along with
the squash, garlic and basil. Season with salt, pepper. Mix together, then top with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and the cherry tomatoes are
bursting. Serve warm or chilled.
How to chiffonade basil:
Pluck leaves from the stems and stack about 5 leaves. Roll them up using the long side. Hold the basil cigar down with one hand and make thin slices with a very sharp knife.
- recipe I made a few days ago on a whim

Easy Refrigerator Pickles
These pickles are best after chilling for a day.
8-10 pickling cucumbers or 4-5 slicers
1/2 cup white vinegar
3-4 dill flower heads
1/4 cup sliced onion
3 tsp salt
Slice the ends off the cucumbers, and slice them thinly. I like using a mandolin but a food processor or your knife would work. Pack the cucumbers, dill and onion in a big jar and pour
vinegar and salt in. It will seem like there’s not enough liquid, but the cucumbers will release
enough. Shake it up to mix and keep at room temperature for a few hours. Slosh around a few times. Then store in the refrigerator, mixing every so often.
recipe from smittenkitchen.com

Summer Squash/Zucchini
Green Beans or Artichokes
Cabbage- Napa or Savoy
Sweet Onions

Herbs of note
Mints, Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Lovage, Sage, Thyme, Dill, Bronze Fennel, Summer Savory, Marjoram, Parsley, Cilantro, Borage, Lemon Basil, Basil, Lemongrass
Cut Flowers
Sweet Peas, Yarrow, Calendula, Bachelors Buttons, Amaranth, Sunflowers, Black-Eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies, Cleome, Zinnia

Important Dates
August 1: Fresh chicken pickup