C.S.A. Week 14 September 25th/26th

This is it, the last week. Thank you to all our members for participating in this year’s share. We hope to see you all next year. What will we do all winter!? Besides enjoying some much needed relaxation and winter hiking and skiing once the snow comes, we’ll be busy over the next couple of months or so packing away storage food. We’ll be attending the Bridgton Maine farmers’ market for as long into the winter as we have food available. We’re also looking forward to taking part in a collaborative winter C.S.A. that has provided shares to about 100 members in the Mount Washington Valley over the last several years. The winter share is almost more exciting than the summer. There is something really special about participating in a cooperative arrangement with other local farmers. It’s also an unbelievable feeling to trudge through snow and ice to find cold hardy greens safe and sound in our high tunnel in the dead of winter. If you want to learn more, check out www.foothillfarmalliance.com We are the contacts for the group, so please reach out with questions. Have a fabulous winter and thanks again for a wonderful season!

In the share:

  • Broccoli

  • Head Lettuce

  • Joan Rutabaga

  • Cippolini Onions

  • Yellow Onions

  • Butternut Squash

  • Potatoes

  • Kale

Optional: Elderberries

poster with pickups.png

Rutabaga

1) Do as the Swedes—and Finns—do. In England, the rutabaga is called a swede, or Swedish turnip. —boiled and mashed, sometimes with carrots. But in the next Scandinavian country over, Finns make a slightly jazzier version, called Lanttulaatikko. This casserole adds milk, eggs, nutmeg, molasses and bread crumbs to the rutabaga.

2) Add fruit. With its slightly sweet, slightly earthy flavor, scrumptious-sounding recipe for smashed rutabagas with ginger-roasted pears. Sandy Smith, who blogs at Eat Real, tosses rutabaga with caramelized onions and apples.

3)Put it in a soup. a creamy rutabaga chipotle soup. It calls for a lot of heavy cream, but I suspect it would still be good with quite a bit less. Chow does something similar, but with smoked paprika instead of chipotle, in this rutabaga bisque.

4) Make fries. I've heard of sweet potato fries and carrot fries. Apparently you can make rutabaga fries, too. Stephen Smith, a diabetic who loves to cook, devised a healthy recipe for rutabaga oven "fries" baked with rosemary, garlic and olive oil, or other flavors (the garam masala version sounds particularly good).

C.S.A. Week 13 September 18th/19th

It seems the first frost of the year is always right around the same time as Common Ground Fair weekend, the third week in September. The forecast predicts a potential frost tomorrow morning, and a seemingly definite frost Thursday morning. We were busy, today, harvesting the bulk of our potatoes, pulling in just about 1,000 pounds for winter storage and sales. We have a bit more to go, but that is the bulk of them. Any green tops remaining will die back in the frost but the potatoes themselves will be fine, protected under the soil, until temperatures get very cold. After harvesting, we spent the afternoon setting up row covers for any remaining cold sensitive crops in the field to preserve them a little longer. The first frost is often followed by a warm up, and if we can keep things like peppers, eggplant, and lettuce going for the farmers’ market, its worth it. The row covers simply keep the frost from settling on the surface of the plant in the early morning hours, which would cause their cell structures to expand and break. Things like kale, rutabaga, carrots, beets, and celery root improve in flavor after a frost so you will see those in the share next week.

In the share:

  • Green Cabbage

  • Kohlrabi

  • Speckled Amish Bibb Lettuce

  • Tomatoes

  • Delicata Squash

  • Carrots

  • Leeks

  • Peppers

IMG_2746.JPG
IMG_2748.JPG

C.S.A. Week 12 September 11th/12th

Our big fall jobs are being ticked off one by one. Monday we pulled all of the tomatoes from the greenhouse to make room for our winter greens. The tomatoes plants give us a lot of “green matter”, an essential element to creating a hot compost pile, so pulling these is always closely followed by the building of our yearly compost pile. The green matter gets chopped up and layered in with a years worth of horse and sheep manure, bedding, wood ash, and minerals. As the green tomato vines decompose they really help get the compost temperature up high. We will monitor the pile to document that it hits over 135 degrees for 3 consecutive days, we will then turn it, and repeat 2 more times. This is in accordance with organic standards, the temperature and time requirement to make sure all potential harmful pathogens are killed. With our pile built, today we forked in last year’s compost and fertilizer into the empty tomato beds and replanted them to spinach and kale. We will, with fingers crossed, harvest fresh greens out of the tunnel into February. We did set up a time lapse camera in the tunnel as we were ripping out tomatoes, but found out 3 hours later it only recorded for 10 seconds. Anyway, it would have looked pretty cool.

In the Share:

  • Colored Sweet Peppers

  • Eggplant

  • Bibb Lettuce

  • Red Round Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Butternut Squash

  • Cipollini Onions

IMG_2744.JPG

C.S.A.Week 11 September 4th/5th

The garden has been shrinking steadily over the past few weeks. Garlic is out hanging in the barn, onions are out drying in the garage and every other available space possible, the many successions of green beans have been turned under, and the list goes on. A carpet of green oats have replaced all these crops looking like a soft green blanket ready to protect the ground for winter. Holding steady in the garden are all of our fall crops that we sell throughout the winter, softball sized beets, fingers crossed thick straight storage carrots, baseball bat sized leeks, and potatoes are still in the ground. Next week we will be pulling out all of the tomatoes from the high tunnel in order to prep those beds and replant to winter spinach and lettuce. Although the tomatoes could go weeks longer, the greens need this pre-cold temperature to put on some good growth so we can harvest in those bitter cold months.

In the share:

  • Sweet Corn (From Earle Family Farm)

  • Leeks

  • Purple Viking Potatoes

  • Edamame Beans

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Round Tomatoes

  • Beet Greens

  • Flat Italian Parsley

COLD CORN SALAD

Kyle made his own version of this a few weeks ago, and it was amazing. We really encourage you to leave the corn in this dish raw. DONT COOK IT. When its fresh corn, its so much better this way. Enjoy…..

  • ¼ cup shelled edamame

  • ¼ cup corn

  • 1 small red pepper (diced)

  • 5 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)

  • add extra virgin olive oil

  • add Lemon Juice

  • add Basil for taste

  • salt & pepper

C.S.A. Week 10 August 28th/29th

In the Share:

  • Edamame Beans

  • Green Beans (for the last time!)

  • Mixed Peppers

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Carrots

  • Basil

  • Kale

How to eat Edamame : Simply place the beans as is in a pot of boiling water. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain the pot and let the beans cool. Now pop out the beans from their shells. Salt to taste.

PESTO

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired.

68984108_968128413526702_7724006345459892224_n[1].jpg
69875667_968128370193373_2789160296122417152_n[1].jpg

C.S.A. Week 9 August 20th/21st

The summer squash is officially done for the season. Just like the peas, it feels like it takes forever to grow and the next thing we know its producing like crazy, fast and furious. Then, suddenly, the plants look old and tired and it’s time to turn them into the ground and seed some oats so the field has a nice green blanket in time for winter. Each part of the farming season has its own excitements and aspects to look forward to, but there is really nothing more satisfying than incorporating decaying plant matter back into the ground. It’s the point where the vegetables have done their job, they have produced beautiful food for us, and their responsibility to the farm is over, job done!

In the Share:

  • Eggplant

  • Elderberries(Frozen)

  • Beets

  • Tomatoes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Green Beans

  • Cipollini Onions

  • Potatoes (From Earle Family Farm)

What to do with Elderberries: The berries will come off the stems much easier once frozen. Elderberries are a very popular health tonic, but can also be used in pies, jellies, and syrups. Also delicious lightly cooked with a drop of maple syrup to sweeten.

Balsamic Glazed Cipollini Onions

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4-5 Cipollini onions, trimmed and peeled

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 3/4 cup store-bought low-sodium chicken broth or stock

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    2. Heat olive oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stem side down, and cook, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and continue browning on opposite side, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. Add vinegar and sugar; cook, until slightly syrupy, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, thyme, and garlic; bring to a boil. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until onions are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

69265079_10212018420295024_1764967435347165184_n[1].jpg

C.S.A. Week 8 August 14th/15th

As part of our participation in our winter CSA cooperative, we have been touring all of the farms involved. Most of the other farms have a number of interns every season, and its a good education as well as a social event to get together monthly at each of the farms. A bonus is every tour is followed by a potluck, and the food this time of year is always a worthy spread. Monday night we toured the Earle Family Farm. Kyle and myself, of course, are very familiar with the Earle Farm, having spent two years living and working there. Although the farm is not in official market production this year, there is always much to learn walking the property with Tom, as he has spent almost his entire life there, and at least 30 years developing it into the farm it is today. He always talks about how way back before his time you could see right down from the farm straight to Conway lake, as New England spent many of its early years completely cleared. But the trees are persistent, and they grew back. Years ago, Tom worked the winters with horses to log and recreate several fields that have been used both for grazing and gardening. Homer, our dog, grew up as a tiny pup on the Earle Farm, and he was the perfect picture of exuberance Monday night frolicking those same fields of his puppy hood.

In the share:

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Summer Squash/Zucchini

  • Green Cabbage

  • Purple Top Turnips

  • Leeks

  • Green Peppers

  • Kale

Summer Risotto

Grilled Zucchini with Mint:

  • Mint - 1 sprig, sliced in chiffonade

  • Zucchini - 2, halved and scored

  • Cooking oil - as needed

  • Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp

Summer Risotto:

  • Leeks - 1 1/2 lbs, sliced

  • Diced tomatoes (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can, drained and rough chopped

  • Corn - 2 cobs, kernels of ((~1 cup))

  • Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp

  • Arborio rice - 1 cup

  • White wine - 2/3 cup

  • Chicken stock - 3 1/2 cups

  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

  • Cherry tomatoes - 1 cup, halved

  • Creme fraiche (opt) - 3 Tbsp

Leeks/ Diced Tomatoes /Corn / Mint - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  1. Zucchini - Slice in half lengthwise and then score (i.e., use a paring knife to make shallow crosshatch marks). Brush with some oil.

Make

  1. Preheat oven to 425F (218C) degrees.

  2. Heat a saute (that you have a lid for) over medium-high heat. Add oil and then leeks to heated oil with a dash of salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes. Next add rice stir until rice gets a golden hint. Add in white wine and stir until absorbed.

  3. Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

  4. While risotto is baking, heat up a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini to grill pan and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until zucchini is tender but still a bit crunchy. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt, pine nuts, and mint. (You can also do the same thing on a grill over direct heat - heated to medium-high.)

  5. Halve cherry tomatoes.

  6. When risotto is done, stir in corn and creme fraiche (if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with cherry tomatoes. Enjoy with grilled zucchini.

IMG_3214.JPG
IMG_3205.JPG

C.S.A. Week 7 August 7th/8th

We reluctantly set up irrigation last week as plants have gotten big, and the sky has stayed clear. Usually we set up irrigation in June, but with the intensely rainy spring there has been no need. To be fair, we did have hoses running out to our greenhouse and have been watering that off the house well since the plants went in, as the greenhouse receives no natural rain water. We did really enjoy the 2 months off from watering the rest of the garden. We set up a gas pump down by the pond, and although not a big deal, it is just one more chore added to the weekly list, refilling and keeping everything on some kind of watering schedule. We primarily use drip irrigation. A large line runs from our pump to “header lines” at the top of every garden, and then each bed has 1-2 drip lines running down the length of it. The drip irrigation does a much superior job to sprinklers, using much less water and soaking deep down to the roots where the plants need it. This time of year especially, drip is preferred, as wet leaves from overhead irrigation can lead to mold and fungus problems on the plants.

In the share:

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Summer Squash/Zucchini

  • Green Sweet Peppers

  • Kohlrabi

  • Carrots

  • Bibb lettuce

  • Cucumbers

Cherry Tomatoes/Corn Salad

(We don’t grow corn, ask us why if you want to know, but we’re sure you can find some to go with our delicious cherries!!!)

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the basil, oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper; shake well.

In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

IMG_3144.JPG

C.S.A. Week 6 July 31st/Aug 1st

We have been at this spot in Cornish building our farm for just about five years now. Its been a slow process of expanding gardens and adding infrastructure we need to make our farming lives easier and more efficient. This list of finished projects is proudly growing longer, and although it has felt like slow growth in the moment, looking back it really feels amazing what we didn’t start with. This summer a relatively minor but important project has been our wash station. Every Wednesday and Friday we harvest a significant amount of food, and having a shady well set up space for cleaning and packing the food is essential. After several years of just using a spot in the yard or an unattractive tarp setup next to the garage we decided to turn an overhang off of the back of animal barn into our new space. This was a sitting porch we found we rarely used. We ripped up the porch floor boards last fall and were able to repurpose them into the wall of our tractor shed, and Kyle spent a couple of long days digging out the dirt and adding buried drainage pipes leading away from the wash station and into a now underground pit lined with landscape fabric and filled with crushed stone. The wash station itself also got dug out, lined and filled back in with stone, so we have a dry area to work on that can handle absorbing a lot of water. Like many big projects much of the work becomes invisible in its finished state, as now all the drainage lines have been covered over with soil and re-seeded to grass. The final touches will be made this fall, adding an adjacent door that will lead to our walk in cooler for easy access, and some permanent hosing coming down off the walls into wash buckets.

In the share:

  • Eggplant

  • Broccoli

  • Cucumbers

  • Green Cabbage

  • Basil

  • Green Beans

  • Kale

  • Cherry Tomatoes

IMG_2998.JPG
IMG_2993.JPG

C.S.A. Week 5 July 24th/25th

The sugar snap peas really outdid themselves this year. We seeded them in the garden on May 12th. They have produced peas in abundance and now stand over 7 feet tall, having easily outgrown our trellis system. Apparently the weather when the pea seeds germinate, not what we are experiencing currently, is what most influences their health and productivity. So we can look back and thank the cold wet spring for at least one big success this year. The peas are on their last legs now, so this will be the last time you see them in the share this summer. Really the more we read and experience, the more we learn that the temperatures during the start of a plant’s life is a big determining factor in its health and appearance later. Soil temperatures in particular, as opposed to air temperatures, are even more important in the beginning stages of the plant’s life. When we are starting plants in our seed house in early March, we use heat mats to warm the soil to around 70 degrees, where as the air temperature at night often falls to 40. The other big experiment on the farm currently is the use of a “Flame Weeder”. We have been trying to find a more perfect system for keeping the aisles between our plants weeded. For our first several years of farming we tried living aisles, where we seeded clover or some other kind of low growing green and used the weedwhacker to keep them to a manageable height. We have found our soil holds a irritatingly persistent supply of crabgrass seed that makes its grab on the land about this time every year, easily outgrowing and smothering the clover. The crabgrass quickly creeps sideways into the garden beds. Last year, we used our walk-behind tiller to cultivate the aisles, keeping them bare, often the strategy of larger farms, but with a tractor. This left us tilling more frequently than we would have liked, and much of the crab grass would re-root several days later. The flame weeder is a simple torch wand connected to a propane tank. We walk the aisles preferably when the weeds are small and heat them up to the point where the cells in the leaves expand and die, much like experiencing a frost. So far, so good, but check back for an update later.

In the share:

Cherry Tomatoes

Broccoli

Sugar Snap Peas (for the last time)

Green Beans

Red Fire lettuce

Summer Squash/Zucchini

Basil

Cucumbers

Purple Top Turnips

How to Freeze Green Beans

Before getting started wash the beans with cool tap water. Then, working with a small handful of green beans at a time, line up the stem ends. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the stems. Repeat with remaining green beans. If you want, you can also trim off the tapered tail ends.

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Allow 1 gallon of water per pound of green beans. While you're waiting, fill a large bowl with ice water. Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water. Boil the beans for 2 minutes. Cool the beans quickly by plunging them into ice water. After the beans have cooled, drain them from the ice water.

Pack the drained beans into freezer containers, jars, or bags. Shake each bag or container to compact the beans. Add more beans, leave 1/2 inch headspace. If you're using containers, wipe the rims dry. Seal the bags or containers according to the manufacturer instructions, pressing out as much air as possible. If necessary, use freezer tape around the lid edges for a tight seal.

Braised Turnips in Mustard Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon butter

11/2 pounds turnips (preferably small turnips), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

2/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Salt

Freshly ground pepper


Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the turnips and cool, turning occasionally, over medium heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the stock and the cream. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer until the turnips are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the cover, raise the heat to high, and cook until the liquid in the pan reduces to a glaze, about 2 minutes. stir in the mustard and chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

67356180_942781626061381_1309158576450699264_n[1].jpg

C.S.A. Week 4: July 17th/18th

C.S.A. Week 4: July 17th/18th

This week was a good example of the reality of the small organic farm, and the labor involved to get to those perfect lush rows.  We have been patrolling the squash plants for the past few weeks every morning for the striped cucumber beetle and squash bug, both of which inflict damage in different ways.  the striped cucumber beetle has a more immediate effect, chewing holes in the plants and leaves and transmitting a wilt virus that makes its way through the plants vascular system

Read More

C.S.A. Week 3: July 10th/11th

        Kohlrabi, from the German meaning ‘cabbage turnip,’ is one of my favorite vegetables. Of the brassica family, it is related to broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, and brussels sprouts. The purple, green, or white stems grow an edible bulb with leaves similar to kale. After peeling the skin, kohlrabi can be chopped and eaten raw or cooked any way you like. It is often shaved and mixed as a slaw or cut into chips or fries and served as an appetizer with dip. The texture of the inner flesh is almost a cross between a broccoli stem and an apple or potato. The flavor is typically described as a mild broccoli, but a tad sweeter. The leaves are often substituted for kale, and the bulb can be stored in a Ziploc bag in the crisper of your refrigerator for weeks without spoiling. Kohlrabi is also said to have the highest concentration of vitamin C per calorie than any other vegetable. On top of everything it’s just a cool lookin’ plant that grows really well in our climate of cooler weather during the spring and fall.

In the share:

  • Kohlrabi

  • Green Onions

  • Sugar Snap Peas

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Romaine Lettuce

  • Bok Choi

Green Onion Cakes

  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or as needed

  • 3 cups bread flour

Use a fork to mix flour and boiling water in a large bowl. Knead dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes.

  1. Evenly divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Brush each circle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of green onions. Roll up, cigar style; coil each pancake and pinch open ends together to form a disc. Roll each circle flat to about 1/4 inch thickness.

  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet. Fry cakes until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Add more oil between batches, if necessary.

C.S.A. Week 2: July 3rd/4th

We had our monthly craft farm tour yesterday at the Hancock Family Farm. Familiar farmer faces, dogs running around, kids running around, farm-fresh food, homemade desserts, and good discussions about farming, the wet weather, and summer. Once a month we all gather and descend on a different farm for a quick tour followed by a potluck. It’s a great way for interns to experience another farm and learn something new while farmers catch up with one another. Farming can start to feel lonely at times once you’re in the thick of it. It’s always so refreshing to see friends, eat, and discuss struggles and yields. This tour was all about the wet spring we’ve had. The most common report from the other farmers was the slow start of the season, followed by successions of plants rotting in wet soil. Somehow, everyone seemed to be carrying on in spite, and looking forward to a summer full of warm weather and sunshine.

In the share:

Garlic Scapes

Sugar Snap Peas

Kale Mix

Baby Summer Squash/Zucchini

Purple Scallions

Bibb Lettuce

Swiss Chard

GARLIC SCAPE PESTO

1 bunch garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ground black pepper to taste

Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper together in a food processor until smooth

C.S.A. Week 1: June 26th/27th

It’s been an unusually wet spring/early summer here in Maine. We are learning as famers that unusual is more usual than not, and we’re trying are best to just roll with it. Since being in Cornish, Maine for almost five growing seasons now, it seems observation and experience are the best ways to learn how the land reacts to changing weather conditions. Since our first summer season, the garden has expanded by what seems like leaps and bounds, and yet each area of the field behaves a little bit different. Some areas are sandy and require more compost, some are rocky, some are higher, some more wet, but none too perfect. We are always impressed by plants’ abilities to survive and even thrive in what seem like the most adverse conditions. They really do their best to live. Welcome to the first week of the full season summer C.S.A. The head lettuce in this week’s share comes from our friend Joanne at Mountain Heartbeet Farm, she called to tell us she was overflowing with beautiful greens and gifted this week’s lettuce to us for all you C.S.A. members to enjoy. Thank you Joanne!

In the share:

  • Head Lettuce

  • Spinach

  • Bok Choi

  • Radishes

  • Sugar Snap Peas

  • Beet Greens

We’ve done this recipe before, but is so good…

Radish Olive Crostini

From a book called Ripe by Cheryl Rule.

Makes about 18 toasts if using a half baguette

1/2-inch thick slices of French baguette
softened butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1-2 bunches radishes, scrubbed, trimmed, and thinly sliced.
1 bunch fresh basil or thyme
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil for drizzling

1. set the broiler rack 4 inches from the heating element.

2. Lay the bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil until the edges are just golden. Flip over and broil the other side for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer. Cool to room temperature.

3. Spread each crostini with butter and top with olives and radishes. Sprinkle basil leaves or thyme leaves, lemon zest, sea salt and pepper. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

April Newsletter

April 21st

The sounds of spring and summer have crept back in over the last month.  First the robins and the redwing blackbirds, then the geese, now the peepers in the thawed puddles and ponds, and soon the song birds and crickets will be chirping.  It’s amazing how quiet winter really is, we are reminded by this return of all the seasonal creatures.  The drenching rain turned everything magically green overnight, and for the first time we are feeling like summer is just around the corner.  The seedling house is overflowing with plants for the garden.  This week, with night temperatures above freezing, the onions and leeks will be moved outside to make room for the more tender plants inside.  We are busy transplanting seedlings up into bigger pots so their roots have more room to grow, and seeding large quantities of things like beets and summer greens into trays.  One of the first big outside projects before the garden is ready to work, is pruning and mulching the raspberries.  All of last years fruiting canes are dead and need to be removed to make room for the new shoots that will soon be poking out of the ground.  We then mulch the beds with wood chips to prevent weeds and feed the soil.  In the upcoming weeks, our fence will go up to keep deer out of the garden, and we will be watching for when the ground has dried out enough to start working the soil for planting. 

Summer C.S.A. starts in June, if you are interested or have questions please email or sign-up online at www.hosacfarm.com/csa

You can pickup at the Earle Family Farm in Conway, NH on Wednesdays 4-6pm

-or-

Hosac Farm in Cornish, ME on Thursdays from 4-6pm

 

 

`Natalie and Kyle @ Hosac Farm

 

March Newsletter

March 2019

 Despite the biting winds and still sub-zero nights, the sun sits higher and for longer in the sky now.  Spring is creeping closer.  We enjoy winter on the farm, although daily animal chores and snow removal are ever-present, the number of things requiring our regular attention drops to a more relaxing level, affording time for outdoor adventure and relaxing.  This year we were treated with multiple stretches of the most beautiful ice for skating on our pond.  Although it makes for a good skiing surface when covered with snow, there was something gleeful about traveling back and forth so quickly across its length on skates.

People often ask what we do to keep busy all winter, but really our break is relatively short.  The winter C.S.A. keeps us occupied with vegetable washing packing and sorting for the bi weekly distributions from November until the end of January.  This year we grew spinach and lettuce in our greenhouse for the share.  The greens really put on all or most of their growth by mid-November, and then went under multiple layers of soft fabric to keep them slightly more insulated from the cold, and to keep the frost from settling on them.  The fabric layers get pulled off daily when the sun is out even on the coldest of days to allow the greens to vent and to prevent condensation from building up on their fragile leafy surfaces. 

Now that we’ve had a break from tending to winter greens, we are cleaning out our seed starting house in preparation for onion and leek planting starting next week.  

Check out our Winter 2018-’19 farm video on our website’s blog page or the Earle Family Farm facebook page.  Stay posted for more to come…

 

~Hosac Farm Cornish, ME

CSA week 15

Well this is it! Our last week of the C.S.A. We’ve already begun shifting gears to our winter C.S.A. which brings its own set of challenges and rewards. We’d like to take the time, though, before we completely switch over, to thank all of our summer members for a wonderful season. Thank you for the support and the opportunity to provide you with fresh veggies each week. We appreciate all your enthusiasm for local organic produce. It certainly couldn’t be done without you! It was a great year and we wish all of you a good fall and winter as we look forward to planning next year’s crops. Many thanks again from Hosac and Earle Family Farm.

In this week’s share:

Broccoli 

Brussels Sprouts  

Leeks

Fennel

Eggplant

Romaine Lettuce

Bibb Lettuce

Chineese Cabbage

Butternut Squash

Optional item: Green Cabbage for Canning 

 

C.S.A. Week 14

 The seed catalogues start showing up sometime in December just as we are really getting into those long nights of winter and we begin dreaming about next year’s garden all over again.   We plant a fairly standard set of crops each year, things we know are generally reliable, but once in awhile we like to try something new, and all sorts of impossible things start to feel possible when flipping through the glossy paged seed catalogues with their tantalizing descriptions of exotic produce and plants.   Its hit or miss with these new things, as they usually are not totally appropriate for our growing climate, which is why they may seem so exotic and alluring. Sometimes we get lucky and what we try works out, this year, thanks to an extraordinary hot summer.  So now that's its cool we take back all that complaining we did in those 90+ degree days and feel excited about a successful sweet potato harvest. 

In the share:

Sweet Potatoes

Yellow Storage Onions

Romaine Lettuce

Beets

Celeriac

Kale

Carrots

Flowers

 

 

IMG_1949.JPG
IMG_1944.JPG

What to do with all this fall kale?  We have been having nightly servings of Kale chips with dinner. 

Baked Crispy Celeriac

 1 celeriac peeled, flesh cut into 2cm / 3/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Prepare a big bowl of water with a splash of lime or lemon juice, or vinegar.
Peel celeriac, then chop into 1.5-2cm / 2/3-3/4 inch thick batons. Place the celeriac pieces into the bowl of acidulated water as you chop them, this keeps them fresh and happy.
When you're done with the chopping, drain and shake excess water off the celeriac in a colander.
Toss together the celeriac with olive oil, garlic, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Make sure it's well-mixed and that the celeriac is nicely coated - I like to give it a little massage as well to really rub the flavors in.
Bake at 425°F for 40 - 50 minutes. Give them a flip and a stir halfway through. The time they need in the oven may vary, but basically you want them lusciously golden with browning edges.
These celeriac chips will crisp up a bit more after you remove them from the oven and let them cool a little, so give them some time to do their thing.
Feel free to sprinkle a bit more salt and black pepper to taste.

Celeriac, Sweet Potato and Apple Hash

2 cups peeled and diced celeriac (celery root),
2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (from 2 small sweet potatoes)
4 tablespoons coconut oil, or olive oil

1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add the diced celeriac and sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. In a colander drain well, and rinse with cool water to stop them from cooking. Let cool and drain for 10-15 minutes.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of your oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until translucent and lightly golden. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, diced apples, celeriac and sweet potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Give it all a mix and arrange evenly in the pan. Press it down and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, untouched. Then stir and press, continue allowing to cook a few minutes at a time, allowing the vegetables to get tender and everything starts to caramelize and brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh rosemary and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve as a side. Add a fried or poached egg, meat, fish, or plant-based protein alongside or on top, if you like.

C.S.A. Week 13

Things are in serious winding-down mode here. Many of the summer crops have been pulled and their vacant spots in the field are now filled with a healthy green looking layer of oats and rye that will protect the soil for the winter.  Our seedhouse has proved to be of evolving use through the year, as the last of the spring seedlings left, it had a short break before it was filled with fall greens, followed by squash for curing, then onions for drying, and the last of the tomatoes off the vine for ripening.  Today we bagged and weighed the onions, moving them to their more long term storage location in our basement so we could make room for the sweet potatoes to cure for a week.  The hot, sunny seedhouse with its fan/vents for airflow has proved a great place for fall curing of storage crops.  Many of what we are storing will be distributed during the winter C.S.A. which we are lucky to be a part of.  The winter C.S.A. is a farm cooperative started in 2013 while we were in our first year of interning on the Earle Family Farm.  The coop has grown to support about 100 members yearly with winter produce supplied by five different farms.  All of the farmers have roots going back to the Earle Family Farm. Check out the website!

www.foothillfarmalliance.com

In the share… 

Butternut Squash

Leeks

Carrots

Arugula

Mixed Kale

Potatoes

Kholrabi

Peppers

 

IMG_1925.JPG
IMG_1922.JPG
IMG_1916.JPG

Braised Leeks With Parmesan

But really you can use leeks however you would use onions….

 3 leeks

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc

1 1/2 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated (1/3 cup)

Cut the ends and the dark green leaves of the leeks, and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then run under the faucet to remove any sand that may be lingering in between the layers. Peel off thick outer layers and discard.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet that will accommodate all of the leeks in one layer. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, and cook, shaking the pan and moving them around with tongs, until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the leeks over and cook on the other side until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the leeks back over so that the cut side is down. Peel off the outer layers if they are papery, as they will not soften when the leeks are braised. Pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add enough water or stock to come just to the top of the leeks. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the leeks are thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife. Most of the liquid should have evaporated by this time. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.

3. Transfer the leeks to an oiled ovenproof pan if your skillet cannot go under the broiler. Using tongs, turn the leeks so that the flat side is up. If there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, pour it off. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the leeks. Place under the hot broiler until the cheese has melted and is beginning to color. Remove from the heat and serve.

Shaved Kohlrabi and Arugula Salad

2 medium heads garlic

 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 1/2 teaspoon pimenton picante (hot Spanish smoked paprika)

 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Coarse salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium or 1 large kohlrabi (1 pound), trimmed

1 1/2 cups arugula, trimmed

1 ounce toasted sliced almonds (1/4 cup)

1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove 1 garlic clove from 1 head, and very finely grate, setting aside 1/8 teaspoon. Wrap remaining heads of garlic in foil, and roast until very soft and golden inside, about 1 hour. Unwrap; let cool.

2.   Meanwhile, whisk together grated garlic, lemon zest and juice, paprika, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Squeeze roasted garlic from skins, and add 2 tablespoons to bowl, reserving remainder for another use. Stir to combine but leave very chunky. Stir in oil (do not completely incorporate).

3. Shave kohlrabi very thinly . Divide among serving plates and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon dressing over kohlrabi, then top with arugula leaves and almonds.