Back to school time and the days are crispy and cool and shorter. Time is probably squeezed for everyone.
It's been a pretty slow week at the farmstand. But the veggie fields don't know to slow down accordingly. Our stand has been stocked with a colorful array of farm bounty! And Iggy's Bread looking for a good home. We have started to carry sliced sandwich bread Tue-Thurs for all you sandwich makers. Friday-Saturday we will go heavier on the foccacia, little sweet breads, and on Saturdays the sticky buns and croissants.
Don't forget it is Fish Friday with Jordan Brothers Seafood today.
Reminder that the farmstand is closing at 6:30pm now instead of 7pm.
Kale and Swiss Chard are back for the fall. Just when our bodies are hungry for some greens again! $2/bunch
Our prized Garlic is for sale. large, easy to peel, wonderful cloves. These should store well. $8/lb
Yellow and Red Onions. Not as glorious as our garlic crop but lots of customers claim they enjoy the smaller size onions so they don't have a giant half an onion leftover every time they cook. $2/lb
Potatoes. Adirondack Red and Blue (which should maybe be called Pink and Purple, the colors of their flesh). These make a wonderful presentation as roasted or grilled potatoes. Sliced in thin rounds or diced or whatever. We also have some wonderous Russet potatoes (Butte is the variety name). We had the most luscious baked potatoes the other night - fresh potatoes truly taste fresher. Not too dry and starchy with leathery skins. just perfect. Grammie even claimed they were creamy! We actually had to expedite their cooking to catch up with the rest of dinner so we poked 'em and put them in the microwave for about 8 minutes before throwing them in the oven with the already cooking BBQ chicken breasts. That last few minutes in the oven gave the skin that classic baked potato texture. I recommend. If anyone makes french/freedom fries, russets tend to make the best fries as well.
Zucchini and Summer Squash. The final planting is coming in and the fruits are looking beautiful (not like the distressed final fruits of the last planting). Our final cucumber planting is not faring so well. Cook's Valley had some nice cukes when we sent our awesome new farm helper couple, Kim and Curt, to browse there for fruit. Turns out they lost most of their fruit to that late April frost. The Big Apple has peaches, apples, plums, and pears. Both of these Wrentham farms use conventional farming methods. $1.50/lb
Sweet Pepper Heaven! Colored Bells. Colored pimiento (pointy) types. Jimmy Nardellos (that look like cayennes but are super sweet). Yummy Peppers (liitle orange bite-sized peppers) and a few Tangerine Pimientos (little yellow round ones). We also still have green peppers rolling in. Buy some feta and start creating delicious dishes. Raw, grilled, and roasted peppers are all so tasty.
Eggplants. Large Italian types and long, slender Asian types.
Tomatoes. All but a couple varieties were picked for the last time yesterday. The stakes were removed by our hard working crew, the vines were flail mowed, and the debris disked in. Now the field is ready for some cover crop. Anyway, the remaining tomato crop is on sale for $2.50/lb. Sauce tomatoes still $2/lb. Seconds $1.50/lb or $1/lb for 10lbs or more. We picked a decent amount of under-ripe tomatoes to ripen in the safety of our shed (out of the cool, moist, disease-enhancing field). We will also have unripe green tomatoes - the Fried Green Tomatoes type for sale at $2/lb.
Tomatillos. Those green small tomato-looking fruits in a papery husk. Try making a green salsa or a tomatillo sauce for enchiladas or even just grilled meat. Check out this recipe for Houston style green salsa.
Hot Peppers. String some cayennes to dry then put in the blender to make your own crushed pepper flakes once they're crispy. I find fresh cayennes to make the best chilli peppers for chilli. Make a habanero hot sauce - sweet is the balance to hot so maybe some carrot or fruit would be a good complements (in addition to onion and tomato, of course). Grab a couple jalapenos for salsa or nachos. or grab a lot and make sliced pickled jalpenos. Pick up some stringing peppers to make a decorative garland that can later be whizzed down for paprika. 25 cents each or $5/lb for a good quantity.
Beets. you can't beat beets. $2/lb loose. $2.50/bunch with tops.
. . . and probably more. We would truly appreciate any patronage you can offer! We hope our carefully raised produce treats your dinner table well in return :) Thank you as always!
Christy and Chris at White Barn Farm
one more thing: Yoga in the Barn tomorrow morning with Patty! Bring a mat and water. $12. 9am to 10:15am.
What's Happening Tuesday Crew? Hope all is well. I am personally enjoying the new morning crispiness and hope you all are too. The angle of the sun makes for such golden evenings. Hope you are inspired to cook more hot meals and enjoy turning on the oven! Someone asked today if we will take back the green paper pulp pint and quart containers. We sure will! As long as they are perfectly dry and clean. You can leave them at the pick-up table if you like.
Thank you so much!! Have a great week!
Here's what was in the box:
1 bunch of Beets. Roast and make a salad. Dice and roast alongside potatoes and onions. Make some juice in your juicer (apple-beet-ginger?). Shred raw onto a salad. Try one of the cake or cupcake recipes with shredded beets. Make a jar of quick pickled beets and red onion. Check out the effect of a neato spiral cutting gadget to make a raw beet salad on our friend's Karen's Edible Evolutions blog.
1 bunch Red Russian Kale. Our healthy green friend from springtime is back for a fall revival! This purple-stemmed variety is called Red Russian and has very tender leaves that cook pretty quickly. At this stage the stems are still pretty tender, so you could probably just discard the bottom few inches of the stems and chop the rest to throw in to cook a little earlier than the leafy parts. Karen has a recipe for Curried Kale Salad on her edibleevolutions.com blog. This is a massaged kale salad - basically using salt and a fat to break down the greens.
1 quart tomatillos - green tomato-looking fruits with a papery husk (remove husk before using). Here are a few to try. I find their best flavor to be after cooking. They can be roasted or stewed down with onions and garlic or I think the traditional Mexican preparation is to boil them before throwing them in the blender. I like to make salsa verde by cooking down some garlic, onions, a hot pepper, and de-husked, diced tomatillos, adding chicken stock to soften them completely. You can either puree the sauce or not. Taste for salt and pepper. This is wonderful for making American style enchiladas. I like to soak the tortillas in the sauce for a moment, then stuff with shredded chicken, some greens (like beet tops or kale if you don't have the traditional cactus), and shredded cheese. I roll them up and line up in a glass or ceramic baking dish, cover with the remaining sauce and a little cheese and cover with foil to put in the oven at maybe 350-375. When heated through, I remove the foil and add more shredded cheese to the top to melt/brown a little bit. The tortilla absorbs the sauce in the cooking process and makes for a tender flavorful little package somewhat like a crepe in texture. I like to finish the enchiladas with fresh chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with rice and beans (we always stew the beans with lots of veggies to add flavor/stretch them a bit). Some people just dice raw tomatillos along with tomatoes to go into fresh salsa. You can also cook the tomatillos, puree them, then chill and add to a salsa base of white onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime. That is just perfect for tortilla chip dipping. I'm sure you could dice tomatillos and tomatoes and throw on a tray of Nachos for a colorful red and green presentation.
1 quart mountain magic/juliet tomatoes. Here are some nice saladette tomatoes. They are not supersweet like the slightly smaller cherry tomatoes, they have a deeper more "tomatoey" flavor. They are perfect for dicing into a salad or adding to a warm dish at the last minute. Halved Juliets (the oblong ones) are perfect for adding to a cooked pasta along with toasted nuts, pesto, and fresh grated parmigiano. They are also perfect for adding to any leftover pasta with a little extra sauce or broth or milk or cottage cheese (weird but good) and baking to make a new dish.
2 heads lettuce. great for sandwiches and salads, as always.
2 lb red onions. Diced red onion is so nice to accent a salad or to toss with roasted beets dressed with balsamic, olive oil and finished with some goat cheese. Thinly sliced red onion is perfect for a sandwich or burger. They can be grilled or used in any case where you need an onion.
1 Italian eggplant. Thin slices roast so quickly. You can make a nice presentation by stacking slices of roasted eggplant with mozzarella or an herbed ricotta filling, sliced tomato, pesto or basil
1 pint yummy sweet peppers. These tiny bite-sized orange snacking peppers are a farm crew favorite since we started growing them. They have hardly any seeds so you can bite right into them - do watch out for any damage, however (signs of trails or brown spots). These are great eaten raw or roasted. I've even heard of roasting and stuffing them for fancy hors d'oeuvres. I love grilled peppers and sliced peppers on a salad or a pizza. Desperately tired and hungry organic farmers have been known to order large cheese pizzas from the local greasy pizza parlor and add chopped fresh arugula or sliced peppers or whatever is fresh to enhance them a little and make all that food growing seem to make sense.
1 bulb garlic. Enjoy! slice up and sautee in olive oil before adding your kale. make some kickin' homemade hummus. Dice alongside your onions and potatoes for roasting on a sheet pan. begin your tomato sauce with olive oil and diced garlic. Spread minced garic on a pizza dough before adding the other toppings. etcetera.
Hello CSA Members! I feel terrible for letting you go for weeks without an email describing the CSA share. Hopefully you found all of the contents of your shares familiar, delicious, and/or useful. Finally a brief debrief of this week's share.
But First one IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. We will be closing the stand earlier as the days shorten. That means the pick-up hours will change too. Let us know if you are not going to be able to pick-up before the times you see below. We can tell you where you pick up your share late back across the road at the farm. Just send me an email letting me know.
Beginning Next Week: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 6:30pm (instead of 7pm). 9/11 - 9/21
Beginning the Week of 9/24: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 6:00pm. 9/24 - 10/12
Beginning the Week of 10/16: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 5:30pm. 10/16 - 10/26
Tuesday 10/23 and Friday 10/26 will be the last CSA pick-up days of the season. Saturday, October 27th, will be our last regular-season Saturday, featuring our HARVESTWEEN blowout market and probably our new farm baby!!! Last year we were open Saturdays in November. Announcements about that closer to then ...
In the box this week:
1.5 lbs of slicing tomatoes. Some are riper than others so use the ripest first and save the others for a few days from now. BLTs. Egg and cheese sandwiches with tomato. tomato mayo sandwiches. fresh salsa. every sandwich.
1 quart of mountain magic saladette tomatoes. these little round guys are great to have in a bowl on the counter to use all week. Use the ripest ones first. You can throw them in a salad or slice onto toast with cream cheese and avocado for breakfast. They are ready to use and tend to last a while. The plants are resistant to late blight and other tomato diseases, so these are some of the few that will probably produce for a few more weeks.
1 head garlic. we hope you have been enjoying our beautiful garlic. We were so lucky to start off with an excellent quality seed garlic in 2008 and have been saving the best to plant every year since. Because we have to save enough each year to increase our crop a little (and because we select bulbs with large but relatively few cloves), there is a limited supply. I find it a joy to peel and cook with and just packed with delicious garlic flavor. One of the best tricks with raw garlic is to peel a whole clove, trim off the root end and grate it onto the crusty surface of toasted or grilled bread (Iggy's baguette sliced on a bias perhaps?). Rubbing the clove right on the bread this way imparts so much flavor. Finish with a generous drizzle of tasty olive oil and a nice shower of coarse salt. That is traditional Tuscan bruschetta. Thanks to Al Forno for teaching me that simple delicious trick.
2 zucchini. The final planting is making some pretty looking zucchini again! yay! Sautee with onions for a side dish, grill along with the eggplants for a sandwich or topping of some sort. Diced zucchini roasts on a baking sheet beautifully or sautees up great for a veggie egg scramble (with cheese and hot sauce, I say)
2 lb sweet colored peppers. Finally some ripe peppers for you to try! The green pepper harvest has been quite abundant so far, so here is a little change-up. These are great in a salad with feta, on a pizza, roasted and put in a sandwich or pasta. They can be grilled or stuffed or just cut into strips for dipping in hummus or a dip. I find the easiest way to cut peppers is to hold their stem and stand them up on the cutting board. Then I use a nice big sharp knife to cut off the side walls. You are left holding the stem and seeds which you can quickly toss into your compost bucket.
2 Asian eggplant. I have been sneaking these babies into all sorts of farm lunches. I put them with sauteed onions and peppers for sliced steak fajitas. I stir fry them along with onion, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini and toss with a peanut sauce (whisked up peanut butter, siracha, soy sauce, oil, diced garlic & ginger, etc) to serve over brown rice. They are great grilled. Try marinating then slow roasting. you can definitely fry these up in the eggplant parm style, too.
2 lbs mixed Adirondack Red & Adirondack Blue Potatoes. The Reds are pink fleshed and the Blue are purple-fleshed. Slice, season, toss with oil, and Roast on a baking sheet for a beautiful dish of roasted potatoes. Brian McKenna at Absolute Health Chiropractic said he makes them into chips. yum!
2 heads lettuce. survivors! oh, lettuce tastes good!
1 bunch of Swiss Chard. GREENS!!! yum! I chopped a bunch and finished a zucchini/onion/parmesan risotto with those nice tender ribbons of greens the other night. It wilts in at the last minute and adds great flavor and nutrition. You could also do this with any grain, pasta or egg dish. I do love to just sautee slices of garlic and add coarsely chopped chard for a pure side of chard, but it does cook down quite a bit so it is just a little bit for each person. Patty, one of our work-for-shares, described a dish she made with quinoa the other day. She cooked the quinoa in veggie broth (more flavor) then tossed in sauteed onions, peppers, swiss chard, and diced fresh tomato at the very end. Veggies add so much flavor. I would toss in goat cheese or feta or a hard shredding cheese to jazz it up, too. (sorry patty if i just adulterated the exact dish you made! pregnancy brain!)
handful of hot peppers (available at the sign-in table for you to grab). Make that fresh salsa or gazpacho or burrito filling or seasoned ground beef for tacos or stuffing into sweet peppers.
* Changes to Roadside Stand Hours: The mornings are cool and school is back in session. You can really feel that fall air coming. The days are also becoming much shorter. Because of the earlier darkness, we will be shifting our weekday farmstand closing time in three phases. Note that we will continue to be open Saturdays 10am to 2pm through the end of the season:
- Beginning Next Week: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 6:30pm (instead of 7pm). 9/11 - 9/21
- Beginning the Week of 9/24: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 6:00pm. 9/24 - 10/12
- Beginning the Week of 10/16: Tuesday - Friday 2pm to 5:30pm. 10/16 - 10/26
Saturday, October 27th, will be our last regular-season Saturday, featuring our HARVESTWEEN blowout market and probably our new farm baby!!!
Last year we were open Saturdays in November. Announcements about that closer to then ...
* What's Hot at the Stand:
- Ripe, colored sweet peppers. Many of our sweet peppers look like hot ones but are the sweetest pepps you ever did taste! We always separate our displays of hot and sweet peppers - ask if you're not sure!
- lots of different types of hot peppers for salsa, gazpacho, hot sauce, chilli, stringing and drying.
- Eggplants - tender skinny Asian Eggplants and robust classic Italian types.
- Colorful flower bouquets to brighten up your day
- Iggy's bread for the best crostini, garlic bread, grilled cheeses, french toast, or just bread and butter
- The last big week of tomatoes. Disease enhanced by rain and cool weather has taken down the majority of our field crop. There should be a trickle of certain varieties continuing for the next few weeks.
* Wrentham Day on Saturday
The Wrentham Cultural Council will feature a display about Wrentham "Works in Progress" that will include a little info about White Barn Farm and a basket of our veggies for display.
Maureen, who usually sells organic dog treats at the stand on Saturdays to raise money for the 4Paws Animal Shelter, will be at Wrentham Day instead of the farmstand this week.
Our farmstand will be open for regular Saturday hours: 10am to 2pm. We hope to see you there!
Thank you for your continued support despite the hectic schedules of school and activities!!!
Christy and Chris and our magic pumpkin :)
A FEW REMINDERS FROM WHITE BARN FARM:
- Roasted Eggplant is delicious! or Try miso-glazed Asian Eggplant. or Marinate any eggplant and grill. Sautee thin eggplant strips with onions and peppers and throw in steak fajitas. Flour, eggwash, panko breadcrumb thick Italian eggplant slices, roast to golden brown (turning once), and freeze for easy winter meals or enjoy right away!
- As the nights become cooler, tomato plants decline rapidly. Get your tomato fix now! Make your tomato sauce to freeze or can soon! Seconds tomatoes are $1/lb for 10lbs and over.
- We now offer Iggy's Bread every day of the farmstand. Plus Iggy's croissants and sticky buns on Saturday mornings.
- Jordan Brothers Seafood is now at the farmstand both Tuesday & Friday. 2 to 6 on Tuesday. 2 to 7 on Friday.
- This full moon Friday Night, August 31st, we are having a very wholesome event at White Barn Farm. We are projecting a movie on the side of the barn! Independent Filmmaker, Drew Pearson, will be showing his documentary film, The Great Lesson. which focuses on the power of the mind and body connection. We are making it into more of an event by beginning with a healthy eating presentation at 6:30pm by Karen Ring, one of the authors of the www.edibleevolutions.com blog. Her connection with Whole Foods (she was the healthy eating specialist there) is bringing their sponsorship as well. They will provide anything for her presentation that doesn't come from the farm and if we're lucky they will set up a trail mix bar for movie snacks. Karen's presentation will be followed by a yoga demonstration in the barn given by Lauren, owner of Wrentham's Humble Warrior Yoga studio. Sunset is scheduled to be around 7:30, and the movie should start just before 8pm. Bring your own chairs and/or blankets, coolers, snacks, bugspray, and flashlights.No dogs, please. The optional suggested donation is $6 for those over 12 years old.
- This Friday night August 31st
- Park at the Roadside Stand
- 6:30pm: Healthy Eating Presentation by Karen Ring at our Farmstand (which is open until 7pm)
- Carefully cross the road and Set up your spot under the Ash Tree by the barn
- 7:15pm ish: Yoga demonstration in the barn with Lauren from Humble Warrior Yoga
- around 8pm: screening of The Great Lesson
6. Don't miss Saturday morning Yoga with Patty. We roll out the carpets in the barn and you get to strengthen, stretch and relax in the rustic White Barn with drying flowers overhead. Class is 9am to 10:15am. Bring your own yoga mat and water. $12.
Hi there farm fans!
'MATERS! We are being blessed with an abundance of tomatoes. There are plenty for your tomato salads, gazpachos, salsas, BLTs, tomato-mayo sandwiches, and to top your bagel and cream cheese or your crostini with goat cheese. First-quality tomatoes are $3/lb. Please note that our special varieties of tomatoes were not bred for shipping and perfect appearance. a lot of times there are cracks around the stem end. I find you get nice slices when you begin slicing in rounds from the blossom end and then you can cut wedges around the good part of the top that's left. I feel the flavor makes up for the bit around the stem that is not perfect.
We also have seconds tomatoes for $1.50/lb or $10 for a 10 lb box. If you are chopping up tomatoes for what you are making anyway, this is a good option. sometimes they have a crack or a brown spot or an unsightly scar or blossom end rot. With the third-rate tomatoes, I usually take them to the kitchen, hack the soft parts into a compost bucket and throw the rest (cut into roughly 1-2 inch dice) into some ceramic pans for roasting at 300 degrees for a long enough time so they collapse and lose most of their moisture. I usually sprinkle them with kosher salt before they go in, sometimes I drizzle with olive oil, you could throw in basil or garlic or whatever you want. This method is a way to cook down tomatoes without attending them, as opposed to stirring a tall-sided pot on the stove for hours. I even set our oven to shut off in a few hours and come back to them later. At that point you can use them in a sauce or casserole as is. I like to put them through a Foley food mill to remove the skins and seeds. Then I freeze or can the puree that is left (adding just a pinch of salt). This is a great product. It is perfect for making tomato soup, chilli, any sort of tomato sauce, using for pizza, adding to leftover pasta and some veggies and cheese for a baked pasta, etc.
WATERMELONS. Juicy, ripe, watermelons. We grow mostly Sugar Baby watermelons, which are spherical, dark green without stripes, and have just a yellow spot where it was sitting on the ground that helps indicate their ripeness. I think they look like cannonballs. Give 'em a try! We do grow a limited number of more traditional looking watermelons and some yellow-fleshed ones. Hot summers yield good melons. So that is a silver lining inside the sweltering humid cloud of a summer we've been having. Watermelons are so refreshing. All of our watermelons have seeds so you can transport yourself back in time before the ubiquiitous convenient seedless watermelons. A little attention while throwing pieces in the blender or melon balling will help you with making refreshing drinks/smoothies and watermelon salads.
SATURDAY MORNING TREATS! We will be ordering croissants (including some almond and some chocolate) and raisin pecan sticky buns from Iggy's for Saturday mornings. We open at 10am and we'll have 'em until we run out. I wish we had fresh brewed coffee and some picnic tables for you, but for now you can at least grab a bag of Sheldonville Roasters beans and brew a fresh pot of coffee at home, cut up some watermelon, unwrap your sticky bun, or slice a tomato for your bagel and cream cheese, put up your feet and soak in summer's harvest.
COOKBOOKS. We now have the ultimate CSA member/Farmstand Enthusiast cookbook available for sale at the farm for just 20 bucks ($19.95 really). From Asparagus to Zucchini is a compilation of recipes from a group of CSA's in the Madison, Wisconsin area and includes ideas from farmers, customers, and chefs. It is organized alphabetically by vegetable which is really handy when you see how with seasonal vegetable growing, veggies come ON for short periods and you need to think of new ways to use the current abundance. There are some great ideas and guidelines, even ideas specific to cooking with kids. Feel free to browse our display copy anytime.
That's the end of the news! What follows is just a personal essay by me (christy), currently captive at Sturdy Hospital for a few days:
In nature's cruel irony, just as the sweetest fruits and vegetables come into season and we were counting on living off of day-old Iggy's bread, it turns out I have gestational diabetes. The doctors think it must be genetic because otherwise i'm "the picture of health." Anyway, I'm at Sturdy Hospital being monitored and schooled on glucose monitoring, insulin injection, diabetic diet, and having every test possible done. The baby is still healthy, moving a lot, etc., but it is a little big for 30 weeks. Hopefully getting my blood glucose under control will stop it from growing toooo big. Every time I think about this, the image of a state fair winning pumpkin grown to enormity by feeding it sugar-water pops into my mind. It is a strange stay here, a sort of conglomeration of TV shows Chopped, Survivor, and Grey's Anatomy. The nurses and everyone are spectacularly kind. I am learning how to count my carbohydrate servings and space them evenly throughout the day and being asked to order from the hospital menu. I am being faced with how out of control my food snobbery has become. I found out late Wednesday night I would be going to the hospital for at least two days and started frantically reading all the paperwork from my appointment with the dietician that morning, trying to think of snacks and items I could bring to subvert the institutional menu. I had stopped at Whole Foods so I had organic yogurt, hemp plus granola, Ezekiel bread, organic cottage cheese, nitrate free summer sausage, roasted almonds, a kiwi, a banana and an avocado. From the cupboards I brought peanut butter, a few baby Bels (cheese), a peach from Tougas farm, our celery and cucumbers. Chris popped me some popcorn (grown at Medway Community Farm) and packed a cutting board and knife (wonder husband!). So that is what is in my "Chopped" basket. I had breakfast at home - whole wheat toast, a fried egg from our chickens, and a slice of amazingly delicious aged gouda from Wasik's cheese shop in Wellesley (thank you Wasik family!!). I got to the hospital and Chris and I were whisked straight to an ultrasound, followed by a blood draw, super high blood glucose results, and my first shot of insulin. Sometime during that whirlwind dietary called me and asked me to order lunch. At that point, Chris hadn't even had a chance to bring in all of my food, books, business paperwork, computer, leftover bouquets, boxes of green peppers to donate, etc. So I was told the choices over the phone and reluctantly ordered Chicken Marsala, Mashed Potatoes, Salad with Italian Dressing and Green Beans. I'm supposed to be on a high calorie diet so the meal arrived with 8 oz of milk and a serving of Italian Wedding Soup as well. Good Lord! Now, I must preface this with the declaration that I completely understand that it is very expensive to buy good ingredients to feed so many people and we are lucky to have such excellent healthcare available in this state, in particular. Also, I truly appreciate the efforts of all institutional food workers. I have just been completely spoiled and am aware that I am extremely priviledged to eat so well, particularly for someone in our income bracket. Once you become entangled in the web of conscious food choices and web of people and places that produce these wonderful foods, it is hard to shed your belief system and be polite and eat hospital chicken marsala. I felt as if I were cheating on our beautiful, fresh, delicious potatoes as I forced down the ice cream scoop of paste-textured fake mashed potatoes. I was reminded of bad prom food and images of factory farmed chickens as I dutifully ate the protein portion of my meal. I felt adulterous again as i ate the tiny dish of conventional iceberg and romaine lettuce topped with subpar cucumbers and refrigerated grape tomato halves. I truly felt saddened by the sight of the soft, army-green green beans which must have been canned or frozen far away and long ago before being resuscitated in the kitchen. We just started picking our second planting of green beans and yellow beans and the vibrant green and snappiness was sharp in my mind. I couldn't touch them. I needed to have my 4 carb servings, so I drank the 1% conventional milk. Chris' best friend is an organic dairy farmer in Vermont who sells to Organic Valley (which also provides milk to Stonyfield for their straight milk). We are pretty dedicated to buying organic, whole milk. I couldn't stop thinking about James' cows and their idyllic Vermont farmland. I quickly commandeered the dietician and talked her into letting me make an avocado, cucumber and cheese sandwich and having cottage cheese and cucumbers, a few slices of summer sausage, and a pack of Graham crackers for dinner. In that fashion I narrowly dodged the Turkey a la King or Yankee Pot Roast. Now I'm on a roll. For breakfast I jazzed up a plain toasted english muffin and tasteless pale yellow scrambled eggs (sorry for abandoning you, White Barn Farm eggs) with slices of Oxheart red tomato and some salt and pepper packets raided from the much-superior maternity ward breakfast buffet, from the room institutionally labeled "nourishment." I ditched the cloudy burnt cafeteria coffee for some freshly brewed coffee from Nourishment as well. Our talented florist and truly kind friend, Laurene, had stopped by and delivered me a bag of all my favorite tomato varieties, sweet jimmy nardello peppers, and more cukes. I handed a new mom that recognized me from the stand a beautiful tomato to enjoy with her omelet. My snack was a cup of organic yogurt with the perfectly ripe Tougas peach (the cafeteria snakck was a little container of light yoplait strawberry flavored yogurt). For lunch today I couldn't eat the hospital salad (do you picture a bowl of gloves and needles?), but I did make a meal out of some completely plain boiled Red Bliss Potatoes (at least I was not slumming it with the Potato Buds this time). I sliced some Jimmy Nardello peppers and a Jaune Flamme orange tomato, found the secret stash of salt and pepper and even a packet of mayo and mustard. I ended up with a really tasty potato salad. I took my piece of pumpernickel rye and spread it with butter and the other 1/2 an avocado. I drank my milk. Perfecto! Now if I can only overcome my senseless anxiety over painless insulin injections . . . .
Give Chris an extra boost of support. He has been picking up all my slack, managing a wonderful but large crew, which can certainly get stressful. He has been working from at least 7am to 8pm every day and now stress about his baby! He is almost imperturbably upbeat and energetic. I am a lucky farmer/farmer's wife! Give him a break if he looks tired. His eyes turn Ren & Stimpy red when he's tired.
Thanks for all of your support!!! Enjoy your weekend!
Christy at White Barn Farm
Hello Tuesday Folks! Hope your summer is going along dandy. You are just past the halfway mark of the CSA marathon of veggies. Great job. I would love to follow each box home and see what sort of creativity and deliciousness happens. As always, browse our recipe page on the website, www.whitebarnfarm.org
2 tiny lettuces. use wisely!
2 pints of mixed cherry tomatoes. these are super for snacking. sliced in half sungolds were the perfect complement to a risotto i made for lunch the other day - i used corn stock to keep it vegetarian, zucchini, dried mushrooms (rehydrated in the stock, then chopped), sweet corn cut off the cob, and some yummy cheese from Waskik's Cheese Shop in Wellesley. They sent me away with a very generous bag of cheeses after I brought tomatoes and basil for selling and sampling at their shop alongside a fresh mozzarella making demonstration. Anyway, the sungolds added that acidic note that made all the flavors pop. if raw cherry tomatoes aren't candy-like enough for you, try slow roasting them with olive oil.
3# tomatoes. Pink and Red Slicers. Use the ripest ones soon and the firmer ones in a few days. some of my personal favorites: bagel w/ cream cheese and tomato (take that extra second to salt and pepper the tomato for extra flavor), toast w/ goat cheese and tomato - especially good with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic and some chopped basil, just sliced tomatoes as a salad with the same (since the turkeys ate all the lettuce. buggers!), grilled cheese and tomato, BLTs, and tomato-mayo sandwich. In case you didn't know already, DON'T STORE TOMATOES IN THE FRIDGE. they get crystally and gross, but can still be used for cooking.
Half-pound bag of yellow beans. The second planting arrives! Grilled steak, sauteed yellow beans, and tomato salad: Dr. Atkins would be proud. But a piece of bread to sop up all the juices does sound good . . .
2 lb Asian eggplant. You must be familiar with these by now. Try sauteeing or dicing and roasting if you are tired of grilling. You can definitely make eggplant parmesan with these, just slice them at an angle so you have larger pieces to work with. If you don't feel like doing the flour, eggwash, breadcrumb, fry routine, just try roasting them with olive oil and then making a little casserole or just freeform stacks of eggplant, cheese, and sauce.
1 bu. basil. You can probably keep this in a vase on your counter for constant use. or whiz up the leaves with olive oil and salt in the food processor. If you have parmigiano, and toasted pine nuts (or walnuts - softer on the wallet), add those too. maybe a squirt of lemon, taste for salt and pepper. This can be delicious on a tomato salad, crostini, a pasta, or just for dipping pita chips or something. I tend to just process the basil leaves with oil and salt and freeze in half-pint containers. When I bring it out later I decide whether to add the expensive stuff or just use it as a layer in a lasagna or as basil flavor in a tomato sauce.
1 watermelon. hope this share isn't overwhelming in the melon department. get ready for some old-fashioned seed-spitting. what a refreshing snack!
2 hot peppers. make a fresh tomato salsa, or some spicy beans for a burrito, to be cooled down by some sour cream and chopped tomatoes. remove the seeds for a less spicy version.
Iggy's Bread!!! It's raining. It's pouring. The old man is Snoring. It is not wet under the tent! Grab your umbrella and race down here for some beautiful sunflowers or mixed flower bouquets, delicious fresh produce, and an excellent baguette or olive loaf for dinner. Jordan Brothers Seafood is here. We are going to turn in to doughboys if the bread doesn't sell!
Lots of: Melons & Tomatoes & Cucumbers & Peppers & Eggplant at the farmstand. True flavors of summer! Check out the recipe menu on our website for some novel ideas or just a good recipe for a classic. You can search by ingredient.
Yoga in the Barn! Patty is away for the next two Saturdays, but have no fear, some lovely instructors from Humble Warrior Yoga, right in the center of town, are going to fill in. This Saturday, the 11th, Julie will be in. Next Saturday, the 18th, Shannon will be instructing. Class is from 9am to 10:15am. Bring a mat and water. $12
Film on the Barn. We are going to project our first film of the year on the side of the barn Friday, August 31st. Drew Pearlman, an independent filmmaker contacted us to see if we would like to show his new documentary film, The Great Lesson, about the power of mind and body. Martial art masters, tai chi and dance visionaries, a cell biologist, executive business coach, holistic psychotherapist, sports psychologist, Harvard professor and an inspiring self-healer join forces to explain The Great Lesson! I thought that sounded interesting and thought we could incorporate a food demo with Karen Ring, who is a healthy eating specialist, personal trainer, excellent work-for-share farm volunteer at White Barn, and co-founder of Edible Evolutions. She will kick off the evening at 6:30pm at the farmstand with a food demo using White Barn produce. Then we'll head across the street to the barn to set up your lawnchairs for the film and watch an Aikido demonstration. The sun sets around 7:30pm that night, so we should be able to begin the film just before 8pm. Kids 12 & under are free. Suggested donation for those older than 12 is $6. No dogs please. Bring your own Chairs or Blankets and beverages and refreshments. If you're lucky we'll pop up some White Barn Farm grown popcorn!
Music at the Farm. The Moonshine Music Series is presenting a second daytime show at the farm, the Solshine, on Saturday, August 25th. This time Sarah & the Tall Boys will be headlining, with Girls, Guns, & Glory opening up. The event will begin at 3pm. Picking (bring your instrument) and picnicking is encouraged for the first hour, as is a stroll through the vegetable and flower fields. Kids 12 and under are free. No Dogs Please. Ticket price is $15 day-of. Advance tickets are $12 (plus a small processing fee) at brownpapertickets.com. Bring your lawnchairs or blankets and coolers and spirit of fun. You can dance on the grass and cut loose! Things should be wrapping up around 7pm.
Just a reminder: PLEASE SIGN IN WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR SHARE.
This week your box contained:
1 bunch of Basil. Maybe there's enough here to make a little pesto. I just added a recipe to the website for Grilled Eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and pesto stacks.
2 red slicing tomatoes. I love just toasting some bread, slathering with mayo, adding a thick slice of tomato (seasoned with salt and pepper), then a leaf of lettuce, and chowing down.
1 pint of small tomatoes - Juliet or Mountain Magic. juliet looks like something between a grape and a plum tomato. mountain magic is round. They both have tomatoey flavor as opposed to the candy-tomato flavor of cherry tomatoes. I love to use them in pasta dishes - halved or quartered and thrown in at the end just to take on a little heat but keep their texture and form. They are great for salads. Juliet in particular lends itself to be roasted or oven-dried (cut in half and salted or drizzled with olive oil first).
1 Bunch of Beets. Try a new variation on a roasted beet salad. If any of the tops are good you can sautee them up.
2 Italian Eggplant. Eggplant Parmesan. Eggplant Rollatini. Baba Ghanouj (great for dipping cucumber sticks). Grilled Eggplant. Eggplant Pizza. Eggplant Caponata.
2 Asian Eggplant. Try these in a sautee, or diced and roasted. Of course they are always easy to slice lengthwise and grill. You can also slice and make eggplant parmesan with these, I just usually slice on the bias to make a larger piece.
Zucchini & Summer Squash. The zucchini is a little large this week - perfect for Zucchini Bread. Click the link for my mom's yummy recipe. Large yellow squash can make an excellent soup. Last week I made corn stock (see the entry under corn). I sauteed some diced onion in butter (with pinches of salt) until nearly translucent, added diced squash and let it soften a bit, covered with the corn stock and let that become completely tender. I pureed that with the immersion blender, leaving it a little chunky for Chris who hates pureed soups. Then I added chopped basil tossed with olive oil. taste for salt and pepper. At that point I chilled it. The next evening I had chilled soup served with a dollop of sour cream. Chris heated his up (he also hates cold soups) and suggested crumbled bacon would be a good touch (agreed). Another day I heated it up, added fresh corn kernels cut off the cob and put in a spoonful of tomatoes i'd roasted (diced raw would be equally good) and a quick dollop of sour cream. If you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate diced or sliced squash and zucchini to throw into winter soups. I know two ladies doing it!
1 Bunch of Celery. As always, we have not grown the big, juicy, crunchy kind of celery that you put peanut butter on and have for a snack. Ours is very potent and a little stringy (is there a euphemism for "stringy"?). Focus on the flavor. Dice it up fine and put it in pasta salad, tuna, chicken salad, egg salad. Use it to make a chicken soup. At least put the leaves in to make stock. You can also bunch the leaves in a rubber band, hang it upside down somewhere cool and dry and have dried celery leaf to season every stock you make for a while. When it's fully dry just crumple and store in an airtight container. Celery and onions are the perfect base to all savory sauces, even tomato sauce, they go great in burgers, and are crucial for stuffing. You could probably make a killer Cream of Celery soup, too.
3 Ears of Sweet Corn. here it is. Enjoy! Of course you can steam it up for corn on the cob. If you want to maximize the use of your corn, try using the cobs to make stock. So first shuck the ears and then hold the ear upright on the cutting board and use a sharp or serrated knife to cut off the kernels (it's okay if they come off in blocks, they'll break up). You can use that corn any way you like and you can make a stock with the cobs. Just put them in a big pot, cover with water, add some peppercorns, a bay leaf, some clean veggie peels (clean onion/garlic skins) carrot ends, celery leaves, whatever. Simmer for a few hours, then strain. The stock can be used as a base for a light summer version of corn/clam chowder or any whimsical soup/risotto of your fancy. Al Forno, the restaurant in PVD I waitressed at for years, taught me this trick. They truly celebrate corn. It goes on their grilled pizza with spicy oil and scallions. There is a tomato and corn salad with garlic grilled croutons, diced red onion, and a balsamic vinaigrette. And of course, the summer clam chowder. tomato, basil, corn, littlenecks in their shells, butter, white wine and corn broth - served with grilled croutons. yum! Corn is awesome in a salsa with beans, tomato, hot peppers, diced onion, cilantro and lime. A sautee of sweet peppers with yellow squash, onions, and corn with maybe some leftover shredded chicken is a nice quick meal, served with creamy polenta and a sliced tomato salad.
2 Slicing Cucumbers. Today I made a tasty salad by whisking together a quick mustard, honey, garlic, basil, lemon, and oil vinaigrette. I threw in peeled, diced cucumbers, a rinsed can of chick peas, some diced onions and peppers I had leftover from putting on a pizza, a couple chopped tomatoes, and some crumbled feta. Yum! and does not require lettuce and has some protein for those of us trying to grow a human :)
2 Heads of Lettuce. Romaine and Green Leaf. The turkeys thank you for sharing.
6 Green Bell Peppers. Stuffed peppers. Thai Green Curry. Grilled peppers.
2 Hot peppers (available for you to pick up at the table if you wanted). From mildest to hottest: Early Jalapeno (fat, dark green), Hungarian Hot Wax (long chartreuse green), Serrano (skinny, cylindrical dark green). Nachos, Salsa, Jalapeno Margaritas, who knows!!
Sweet Honey! Fresh Local Honey from our awesome beekeepers at Franklin Honey is now stocked at the stand. Roger and Lauren keep the bees here at White Barn Farm, plus some at their place in Franklin, and at a cranberry bog in Wareham. Our delivery last Thursday sold out by Saturday morning, but we're stocked back up, so come on down anytime. In fact, this weekend, Friday Aug. 3rd from 2p - 7p and Saturday Aug. 4th from 10a - 2p, Franklin Honey will be set up at the farmstand selling all of their bee products. If you want to talk to a beekeeper and stock up on all their lovely bee-based soaps, candles, healing hand salve, refreshing lip balms and more, come by! Their products make such nice gifts for a friend or for yourself!
As always, Jordan Brothers Seafood will be here on Friday from 2pm to 7pm. But there is more good news: He is going to start coming on Tuesdays as well! This is probably extra-exciting for our Tuesday CSA members who may only have the chance to come to the stand on their pick-up day. Now you can get some super high-quality seafood to make an easy, quick dinner Tuesday nights. Sure, Fish Fridays is easier to remember with the alliteration, but Fish Tuesdays is becoming a reality beginning this Tuesday, August 7th, during regular stand hours, 2pm to 7pm.
The market shed is coming along. My dad is up to his usual tricks of fixing mechanical breakdowns and building cool stuff to improve the farm. Thank you, pops!!! Don't miss the new display case to the left as you enter our tent. It is on the side of the shed and the doors open to reveal gleaming jars of Franklin Honey, fresh roasted coffee beans from Sheldonville Roasters, and we even put our White Barn Farm pint glasses out for sale. The left side will be a community bulletin board and the right side we will paint with chalkboard paint for White Barn Farm announcements. Shelves are built inside the shed, too! yay! The dreams become realities, little by little.
We were thinking the other day that until a wonderful bakery pops up in town, we would love to have a good source of bread. It goes so well with vegetable based dishes as far as turning them into a meal!! We know that Cafe Assisi gets deliveries from Iggy's Bread in Cambridge, so we thought maybe we could get a delivery, too! Chris called up, made it happen, and it looks like we will start having bread for sale beginning on Tuesday. Bon!!! I'm sure it will take a little while to figure out exactly what you all are demanding and in what quantities - so give us lots of feedback. Iggy's doesn't use any preservatives so we will want to be fairly accurate with our order (one day shelf life for most products). Otherwise the eaters at White Barn Farm will be overrun with croutons, crostini, bread pudding, panzanella, breadcrumbs and stuffing!
Perhaps that is all you can digest at this moment! Beat the heat. Fans, cold showers, ice water, and Olympics!! Stay cool with a cucumber salad or maybe ever cucumber slices over your eyes :)
Thanks you for your kind support. I truly appreciate the attitudes of our wonderful customer base. You're the nicest around!
See You Soon!
Chris, Christy, the farm crew, and the farm baby-to-be!
P.S. If you think you might be interested in a daytime music performance at the farm, check out the Moonshine Music Series facebook page.