Broccoli Raab (Try it with garlic, chili flakes, and Hot Italian Sausage. Smitten Kitchen offers a vegetarian version: Garlicky Broccoli Raab Pasta)
Swiss Chard (Great with eggs, or just steam & serve w/ cider vinegar&butter)
Frisee (add to your salad mix or balance the bitterness with a creamy cheese, candied nuts, dried fruits or something else sweet like poached pears. This could be your chance to try making a warm bacon vinaigrette. or make it a meal by adding lardons and a poached egg)
Bok Choy (Have you tried roasting it yet? Cut in half, rinse, then brush with oil and cook cut-side-down at 400 degrees until the greens start to crisp up (about 15 minutes). Add a little salt or your favorite sauce. Also fabulous with Fat Moon Shiitakes and garlic in a stir fry)
Kale (Jazz up those Sunday home fries, make kale chips for the kiddos, or just sauté with garlic and olive oil and put it on pizza, pasta, crostini, or a plate! Bon Appetit shared 32 Inspiring Kale Recipes)
We made it! It was hot and dry and full of challenges, but all in all, we had a great summer season. We are so happy to have been able to fill your boxes with fresh produce, grown with organic methods. We hope you enjoyed it too!
As we get ready to wind down as we head into October, and we start to say goodbye to more of our summer crew, I think its a great moment to acknowledge all of the people who worked for us this season to help make the shares so lovely. We had a large crew of energized and fun people who helped us make these vegetables grow, and get them harvested. Without people willing to work hard, outside in all weather conditions and be flexible enough to deal with the variables of working on a farm we could not do what we do.
And, Thank YOU so much for supporting our CSA this year. It's a great way for us to have the funds we need in the beginning of the year to pay for the supplies, tools and labor needed in spring, before we have any actual revenue coming in. Your support makes a big difference to us, and we are so very grateful.
This last share is a lovely one! We hope you enjoy some great meals. If you don't want the fresh produce to stop rolling in, you have a few options:
1. Purchase a Fall Share Pickups are every other week at White Barn Farm on Fridays - Starting November 3rd
2. Stop by our Farm Stand! We will be open for our regular hours until the end of October and then we will be Open Friday-Sunday during November and December. Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm. The stand will be in the white barn, across the street from the regular farm stand.
The Last Share:
Delicatta Squash - These sweet little squashes are great for stuffing. You can eat the skin! Try this recipe from the NYT
Hooligan Mini Pumpkin - This is an edible little pumpkin that you can cook with your delicate squash or enjoy as a decoration on the counter for a little while (before you cook it!). Most recipes for delicate will also work well for these little cuties!
Bok Choy - Have you tried roasting it yet? It's so delicious if you cut it in half, rinse and then brush with oil and cook cut-side-down in a 400 degree over until the greens start to crisp up (about 15 minutes). Just add a little salt or your favorite sauce.
Kale - You've got this. You know what to do. If not, here is another slide show of inspiring kale recipes.
Mini-Lettuce - It's a great time of year to eat a lot of salad. This might not be the case for people who's work isn't affected by the seasons, but I find myself hungry for greens at this time of year, as if my body wants to store up as many vitamins as possible, getting ready for winter!
Pea Tendrills - These are super great just as a snack. Toss in a salad or stir fry for a fresh pea taste.
Arugula - This arugula is very tender - more like the spring arugula of earlier this year. It makes a great salad with roasted beets and goat cheese, dressed with just a little olive oil and salt. Adding some candied walnuts or homemade croutons is an added bonus.
It finally hit us, our first frost!! Although it is somewhat sad to see the seasons change, the rain and cool of this fall are extremely welcome. Its great to see dark soil and lush green leaves on all of our cold-hardy crops that we will be harvesting over the next 2 months.
We think cool temperatures create better flavor in a lot of crops. This weeks share has the last of some of summers bounty and a lot of fresh greens to give you a healthy start for the slower, more restful months to come.
Frisee - This fancy salad looks delicious: Frisee with Ladrons and Poached Egg
Arugula- want to make an easy dinner a little bit fancier? Sometimes we get a cheese pizza and then top it with our farm-fresh ingredients! Like chopped and wilted arugula. It tastes great. A little bit of a cheat, but we are all busy people!
Broccoli Raab - This share feels pretty Italian. I might try and tuck my Raab into my eggplant parm, just to add something green. But if you want to make a dish of it's own, try this garlic daab and pasta recipe.
Cilantro - Make a simple salad with your arugula, finely chopped and this Cilantro Lime Dressing
Hot Peppers - these will last a long time in your fridge. There a lots of different varieties in your quart, some less hot than others. The red peppers are the hottest while the yellow (Hungarian Hot Wax) and larger green peppers (Poblano) are more mild. These peppers add great flavor to soups and stir-fries.
Pea Tendrills - These little greens are great in a salad, or tossed in a stir fry at the very end. Make sure not to over-cook! They only want to be wilted.
Fennel - Last bulb of the season! Here are some ideas on how to use it.
Broccoli - Although it makes a great side on it's own, maybe a creamy broccoli soup is in order?
Its a fun share this week! Lots of great roots and greens, perfect for some healthy fall eating!
Hakurei Turnips - the roots are great sliced in salad or roasted. Sometimes we'll just slice them into small discs and sauté in oil and garlic, then chop up the greens and toss them in the pan at the end - it makes the whole bunch a delicious healthy side. You've got to eat the greens on these sweet little roots. They are so lush and healthy. Try some of these recipes from Southern Living.
Radishes - Want to use up a lot of produce in one shot? Why not Roast your radishes and turnips together. A little butter or olive oil and salt makes a delicious side dish or snack!
Beets - They're back. We just can't get them to slow down. Make sure it eat the greens on these guys too!
Celery - We're loving this celery, which is super hard to grow during such a dry summer. It might be a great time to try making some soups!
Leeks - These might go really well with that celery in a soup . . .
Carnival Squash - this is basically like an acorn squash but the flesh is a little drier and flakier. Just slice in half and roast, cut side down!
Sweet Potatoes - wow, why not just throw the sweets in the oven too? :)
Thank goodness it cools off in the fall when we start eating more veggies that really need to be cooked . . .
This Day in History: 1962
Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, outlining the terrible environmental and human health effects of widespread pesticide use in America. She was called things like "hysterical" and a "communist". Because of her work, and the work of so many dedicated others, we now have a deeper understanding of how chemical pesticides interrupt natural systems and actually lead to the need for greater pesticide use and more robust pest populations.
On our farm, we try to work in balance with nature, not spraying any chemical pesticides, and instead cultivate healthy plants with strong defense systems and create ecosystems that promote the health and well being of beneficial life-forms.
Although we are not perfect (hence a few worms in the broccoli and some crops of spinach and chard lost to leaf-miner in the spring) we are able to grow a wide variety of very healthy vegetables without synthetic inputs. We believe in drawing a hard line - there is never a good enough reason to use a prohibited substance (prohibited by organic standards, not regular standards). It forces us to plan ahead, think critically and do the work needed to prevent infestation.
That said, we've got some very beautiful and diverse vegetables coming your way this week. It was lots of fun picking them all and we hope you enjoy!
Pie Pumpkin - If you are a pie person, go for it! But what about pumpkin soup? It's a little sweeter than butternut, and super healthy! Try this simple recipe.
Kohlrabi - It's back! We love fall kohlrabi, so sweet and crips. If you need more ideas for what to do, try some of these: http://www.thekitchn.com/top-five-ways-to-prepare-kohlr-60321
Carrots - You can't be, but maybe you are . . . sick of carrots? Try roasting them with a little olive oil. It brings out the sweetness. We had them with beets (I bet you have a few rolling around the veggies crisper) this weekend, nothing more than oil and salt and just snacked on them with our fingers!!
Green Beans - The best of the season. These are fresh, crisp and super sweet. Enjoy raw (we definitely ate a lot while picking) or just lightly steam or sauté to maintain their exquisite flavor.
Fairy Tale Eggplant - This is eggplant without the fuss! The skin on fairy tale is tender, no need to peel, and the flesh is sweet, no need to salt. Cut in half, brush with olive oil and then grill, sauté or roast until fully tenner (about 10 minutes, sometimes a little longer, at medium heat or 400 degrees). They are a great side on their own but also make delicious pizza toppings, toss with pasta or add to stir-fry.
Salad Mix "Parfait" - this was a blast to pick and pack. Your half pound bag of greens has (from bottom to top) a handful of Astro Arugula, Sylvetta Arugula, Tall Dark and Handsome Mild Mustard Mix, Baby Red Russian Kale and Pea Tendrils! Consider taking out the greens, spinning them in the salad spinner and then storing them again in the same bag. Because of the rain and time crunch today we were not able to get them as dry as we like before being stored in the bag. They will keep longer spun. You can make a delicious salad out of these greens, or just wilt them lightly and enjoy!
Head Lettuce - It's back! We've been able to keep the turkeys out of it, and gave it a lot of irrigation - we hope you enjoy!
Don't forget to sign up for a fall share - just a few spots remain!
Well, the effects of this summer's drought are still with us. We've been wondering every week why we feel like we are so tight on produce, and then we remember the low yields and lost plantings due to the fact that is was just so, so dry. We are pretty proud of ourselves for doing as well as we have. Our inboxes are starting to fill with messages from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the US Department of Agriculture about Drought Relief Programs for farmers. A lot of them are just low interest loans to pay off debts from this year. We are grateful to have members like you who support us, and are willing to enjoy whatever harvest the season allows for to keep us from being in debt after a year like this. Your commitment to us means the world, and we hope you are enjoying the bounty we are able to provide.
And, we might even be able to make our budget goals this year. It will be a stretch, and we are planting, planting like crazy this week to get in extra greens and lettuces we hope to sell at our fall farm stand, to restaurants and to put in our fall share. It's getting close to the day when it is just too late to plant anything at all . . . we're pretty much there for anything planted in the field. Later this week we will do one more direct seeding of arugula and mustards in the field, we've got some October plantings planned for the greenhouses, and we'll be doing lots of pea tendrils in flats on the greenhouse tables, but other than that . . . the season is almost ready to wind down.
We are excited by some stellar harvests of sweet potatoes this year! Sweet potatoes love hot, dry weather, and the yields are off the charts! They were a pleasure to dig, and taste great! We are also very grateful to have the apple trees this year. We hope you are enjoying them as well!
The share this week:
Sweet Potatoes - Sweet Potatoes get sweeter over time, after harvest. They like to cure in a hot, humid environment, so we have them in waxed boxes in the greenhouse. But even when they aren't at their sweetest, these are some delicious tubers! There are lots of things to do with sweet potatoes, but we love to just slice them, roast them in oil, add salt and enjoy!
Napa Cabbage - Try this napa cabbage soup with meatballs!
Kale - If you haven't yet, you really should try Kale Chips!
Beets - We know, it's been the summer of the beet. We hope you are able to enjoy their sweet flavor and love the fabulous nutrition they provide! If you really need to change it up, try some Chocolate Beet Cake!
Eggplant - It's cool enough now, you can do it, try your hand at eggplant parm!
A few hot Peppers
It's back to school and the air has finally cooled down. It's beginning to feel like fall and our crops are starting to show it.
We have two new retail items since I wrote you all last - meat and mushrooms!
Fat Moon Farm in Westford, MA is providing the farmstand with fresh mushrooms. So far we have had beautiful shiitake mushrooms with outstanding quality and flavor. Read more
Our old friend, Floyd, is back on the scene! He is the farmer at Burnshirt Valley Farm raising the heritage breed pork that is now available, frozen, at the farmstand whenever we are open. We have breakfast, sweet, or hot Italian sausages, pork cutlets, kabobs, chops, pork spareribs or country style ribs. Lucky for us, Floyd's neighbor in Barre raises grass-fed beef. They cooperate in their marketing, so we have ground beef for sale, too.
Brittany's farm in Ashland, Upswing Farm, came with 100 apple trees. The apples were not sprayed with anything - in fact, aside from one pruning day, not much attention was paid to them, as organic apple management requires so much care and we decided that we needed to focus on the vegetable crops this year. Well, lo and behold, there was very little disease pressure for apples this growing season, and the apple harvest is quite good. I can't get enough of these tart, crunchy apples. They are certainly not all perfectly formed, but these are what natural, local apples look like - there are some oddballs in the bunch! There are lots of small apples in the mix, too. Perfect servings for kids. Now here are some apples you can feel good about packing in school lunch. Come to think of it, our carrots make another great school lunch component - just chop into carrot sticks and voila!
Now the fall crops are beginning to come in strong - sweet potatoes, winter squash, potatoes (we even have leeks today if you want to make a classic potato-leek soup!), but there are still some summer crops to enjoy - tomatoes have slowed down a lot, but there are sweet peppers and Vanguarden CSA in Dover is providing the farmstand with a bounty of eggplant. You can still get in that eggplant parm! or just roasted eggplant, or grilled, or baba ganoush (kind of an eggplant hummus). We have lots of hot peppers right now, too. Slightly unripe tomatoes are perfect for a chopped salsa (for once we even have cilantro at the same time as hot peppers, onions, and tomatoes! You can try making your own hot sauce, or making stuffed poblano peppers. The hot wax peppers are terrific sliced into rings and thrown on top of nachos, in a quesadilla, or made into quick pickles. These are the pickled pepper rings that are so fabulous with fried calamari or as a pizza topping. At least you can grab a cayenne or two for a pot of chili - it is football season now!
The slight chill and crispness in the air asks for warming foods and you can make them! Just bake a sweet potato or make a soup. We have all you need for some fresh fall ingredients.
and how could I forget? Kale! Greens to balance all of the dense comfort foods! We are having a little lettuce lull, but there should also be a consistent supply of arugula and tall, dark, and handsome mustard greens to keep you going in the salad department!
For the first time, White Barn Farm is offering a Fall CSA Share. Brittany has successfully run a Fall CSA for the past three seasons, and she is bringing that experience to super farm! You can sign up to pick up biweekly Thursdays at Upswing Farm or biweekly Fridays at White Barn Farm.
Fall Share begins Thursday, October 20th at Upswing and Friday, November 4th at White Barn. There are 5 pickups at Upswing for $200 and 4 pickups at White Barn for $160. Each share is expected to provide two weeks worth of produce. Learn more and sign up here
We are very excited by these fall days. Although our summer crops are slowing down on us faster than we would like, we are happy to be harvesting some fall favorites for the share. It has been a hot, dry summer, and we've made it through with an amazing harvest non-the-less.
Enjoy the share! If you want to try something that looks really cool, try this Tian that uses leeks, potatoes, delicatta and apples. You'll need to adjust some of the ingredients just a little, but I'm pretty sure it'll be awesome!
Leeks - Hot Tips on how to wash leeks!
Apples - Try the apples in these 19 savory apple recipies
Delicatta - These are very delicious squash that do not need to be peeled. The easiest way to enjoy is to slice in half, scoop the seeds out (although some say leaving the seeds in until after roasting improves flavor), oil a pan and roast until tender at about 400 degrees. You can eat the skin - it's an awesome squash.
Purple Majesty Potatoes
Well the mornings are cooler but summer seems to want to persist during the day! We are still very hot working in the fields by mid-afternoon, and believe it or not, we wish it weren't so dry!
This week we said goodbye to almost all of our summer crew, who headed back to high school, college, or started grad-school. We are grateful for all their work this summer, even more so when we are now doing a lot of that work ourselves!
Upswing is starting to provide a higher percentage of the crops in your share. As the later season crops mature, (and the apples ripen!) expect to see a lot more from our Ashland fields in your share. It has been a very tough season up there, with no irrigation, but the crops (besides the eggplant) have performed surprisingly well. There are lots of flowers on the eggplant so we are hoping to have some for you all later this month. This week we traded some summer squash for eggplant with Kevin, at Medway Community Farm to provide a little diversity in your share.
The tomatoes are slowing down a bit, now that it is drier, but we still have lots of plum and cherry tomatoes, plus greenhouse tomatoes on the horizon.
We are looking forward to cooler days, and hopefully rain to push along our fall plantings.
Your Share This Week
Eggplant - Try this Curried Eggplant Recipe but substitute the kale for the spinach.
Cherry Tomatoes/Plum Tomatoes - Not that these are hard to eat, but check out these 6 Tasty Dinners with a pint of cherry tomatoes.
Not too many recipes this week, but very soon there will be a lot of new fall vegetables and more time to be inside on the computer!