Monday, June 30, 2014

CSA News, Week 7

Notes from the Farm Journal, February 2014:

Some weeks are a lot busier than others and this one is allowing little time for a farm news update. Rather we are sharing some notes from this past winter as we were already beginning the work to prepare for your summer farm shares:

     The greenhouse is buttoned up tight, the heaters are fired up, the seed flats are laid out in rows, the water system schedule organized, and we are busy planting away – the 2014 Season is underway!  We see a lot of our friendly UPS driver these days as the boxes of organic seeds arrive.  We tear into the package hoping that the special chard or kale variety we wanted that was “on backorder” is finally arriving.  No, not today, but the lettuce and onion seeds are here – and we need to start on them right away.  The onions take awhile to get going and we need to have a sturdy plant ready when it is time to plant; the lettuce is faster but needs to go outdoors much earlier.  With such small seeds, they must be hand planted, one-at-a-time.  Some larger seeds can be planted with the vacuum seeder (though still all done by hand), a tool that allows the process to move along a little faster.  We sort through our saved seeds and refer to prior year records to make sure we have enough of everything, and don’t leave anything out.  Yes, it is possible to forget to seed the parsnips or poblano peppers?!?

     Once the three greenhouses are filled with seeded flats, we’ll be looking at 32,000 to 34,000 transplants going out to the fields this spring.  Eventually, this year’s vegetable and berries will cover about 35 acres.  Some of those take up a lot of space for the yield – sweet corn, for example.  Other acres will be double or triple cropped- meaning once the spring lettuces are harvested, the same area will be planted with beans, once those are finished and the plant residue cleaned up, the area will be planted with a cover crop, or possibly spinach that can be harvested through the fall.  It can be a little confusing to try to answer the question: How many acres of vegetables do you grow?

     We are fortunate to have the opportunity to see (and hear) many different types of birds at the farm.  Depending on the season, we regularly see robins, redwing blackbirds, sparrows, wrens, maples, blue jays, mocking birds, starlings, great blue herons, buzzards, hawks, cardinals, barn swallows, meadowlarks, Canada geese, and even peacocks!  Earlier this week, there were 17 pairs of Northern cardinals canvassing the grassy area behind the packing barn.  What a sight!

     Additionally, we often see groups of 40 or so turkeys together as we raise heritage breeds here at the farm.  But, we don’t usually have a group of 40 wild turkeys fly in and land, to then move through the pasture searching for seeds, insects, or other food sources.  Then, as they recognize the call of our turkeys, deciding to meet up and visit.  Lots of turkey talk, plumage displaying by the males, scurrying about by the females.  We have to admit, we feel some nervousness, as our turkeys have enough natural instinct that they could decide to just fly off with their wild cousins for a different life.  Luckily, our birds recognize how good they have it with fresh water and nutritious organic grain provided daily, and a weather-protecting shelter they can call home. 

     We are feeding hay to over 125 head of cows, bulls, and their calves daily – some get a large bale hauled by the tractor, some get smaller bales hand carried – averaging out to 9 or 10 of the one ton bales fed daily.  Our small flock of 25 sheep comes into the barn in the evening to access the hay we put in the manger.  And the laying hens and turkeys get to eat twice a day.  The fun thought in all of this – this is the “off” season!  

In Your Share:

Green Bell Pepper
Yellow Squash and Green Zucchini
Swiss Chard
Napa Cabbage


Roasted Beet Sandwich with Hummus and Feta
6 slices of your favorite type of bread, toasted
6 Tbsp hummus of your choice
½ of a red onion, sliced
Couple handfuls of spinach or arugula
3 Tbsp Feta, crumbled
3 Beets, fresh with skin still on, stems trimmed
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub your beets clean and make sure the stems are trimmed off. Place the dried beets on aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Fold the foil to make a pouch and place the beets in the oven for about 60 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.  Once the beets are done, let them cool a bit and peel them, they should peel easily.  Slice the beets once they are peeled.  Toast your bread and then spread your hummus on one piece of bread per sandwich then add some arugula and red onion.  Next, place the beet slices on (I used about 4 thick slices per sandwich). Top with a sprinkle of feta, salt and pepper. Top with your other piece of bread. 
Polenta Pie, thanks to a CSA member for sharing this delicious recipe found online – a wonderful one-dish meal.
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of crushed red pepper
Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 cups variety of chopped vegetables (I used roma beans, zucchini & yellow squash, and fennel)
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup polenta
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, fennel seed, basil, oregano, and red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.

While the sauce is simmering, roast the vegetables.  Place chopped vegetables on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables are done roasting, set aside to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

In a large pot, bring the milk, butter, sugar and salt to a light simmer. Slowly add the polenta to the pot, whisking constantly. Once it starts to thicken, trade the whisk out for a spoon and stir until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pot. Add half of the Parmesan cheese to the polenta and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with the other half of the parmesan.

Evenly spread the roasted vegetables on top of the polenta. Spread the tomato sauce over the vegetables and top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Greens and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts, thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe, she enjoyed with spinach!
1.5 pounds chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 oz of goat cheese
10 oz spinach or chard, blanched and drained
1 small onion, diced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 teaspoon lemon zest
olive oil
1/2 cup flour
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 red pepper diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl – mix spinach or chard, goat cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Place filling in the middle of each chicken breast – roll chicken and secure with toothpicks.  Lightly sprinkle flour on all side of the chicken – Place chicken in a hot skillet with a little oil – brown the sides of the chicken.  Transfer the chicken to an oven safe casserole dish and bake till chicken is fully cooked (cooking time will vary depending on how thick it is).  In the same skillet you browned the chicken add the oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 tbs of flour – cook for one minute.  Whisk in stock and cook for 5 minutes – should get thick. Add lemon juice, parsley and roasted peppers.  Spoon sauce over cooked chicken and serve.
Broccoli Salad
5 cups broccoli florets,uncooked
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds*
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise
4 Tbsp white sugar
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar (You may also use regular white vinegar)

In place of or in addition to the sunflower seeds you may use any of the following: raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, banana chips, or most any dried fruit; walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts and any other type of seed.

Prepare and toss together salad ingredients.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.    Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Cover and refrigerate, stir occasionally to blend salad and dressing.  Let stand in fridge a few hours to overnight.

Wilted Greens with Caramelized Onions, recipe adapted from Simple Spoonful
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, medium chop
1 to 2 large bunches hearty greens such as beet greens, chard, or kale
salt or other spices to taste

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (you will need the space for the raw greens—shoot big), heat the oil over low to medium heat and add the onions.  Cook the onions slowly over a low heat until they soften, then brown and become sweet, about 25-30 minutes or so, turning periodically.

Meanwhile, wash and coarsely chop the greens.  Once the onions are done, add the greens to the pot and turn up the heat to medium.  Stir the greens occasionally until they wilt, then add your salt and seasoning to taste.  Let everything cook down until it’s still bright green, but nice and tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 6, CSA, Putting Up Your Veggies

Putting Up Your Veggies

Summer is here and so is the arrival of several new vegetables.  Your share includes a variety of vegetables and leafy greens that can be enjoyed in various ways.  It may not be your first thought when you pickup your share, but the concept of preserving your vegetables may not be something to dismiss this season.  Whether you freeze some extra items from your share or decide to get a bulk box of ‘canner’ tomatoes next month to freeze or can, the choice to “put up” fruits and vegetables is not only becoming more trendy, it is a great way to enjoy quality organic produce in the coming months when a particular crop is no longer in season.  The easiest way to preserve foods in small batches is to freeze them.  Here are some quick tips and suggestions (more information will be available on our blog throughout the season).

Broccoli: Soak in salt water for 15-30 minutes, rinse and cut into bite size pieces before blanching in hot water or steaming.  After the broccoli turns bright green (about 3 minutes) dunk in cold ice water to stop the cooking and preserve crispness, and transfer to labeled freezer bags and freeze.  Lay flat on a baking sheet until frozen, and then gather up the bags for better space management in your freezer.

Spinach or Kale (similar process for other greens like chard or collards):  Use whole leaves or leaves with discarded stems. (To strip away a heavy stem, fold in half along the stem, then gently tear down the stem separating it away from both sides of the leaf.) Rinse and blanch in hot water (approx. 2 minutes) then transfer to ice water.  Blot dry or use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water.  Freeze in airtight bags.  Excess water from the blanching process and blanched stems are a great start to a tasty vegetable stock. Experiment with making your own vegetable stock this summer or save your stock when roasting Elmwood chickens to use in soups, pastas and other recipes.

Zucchini/Yellow Squash: Great frozen by itself for use in soups or side dishes.  One of our family’s favorite ways to enjoy frozen zucchini and yellow squash is to cook it first with onions, garlic and tomatoes.  Once cooled, transfer to bags and enjoy as a side in the winter months.  You can choose to season this with salt and pepper before freezing or after thawing.

When I think about freezing and preserving fresh foods and how this once dated concept is now becoming more accepted and adopted again, I also think about our parents’ generation that received recipes from the generations before them and will pass down recipes to their kids and grandkids.  While I am an old soul loving old recipes and cooking with good ole’ butter and sugar, I do also love the convenience of Pinterest and the internet.  Such recipes are an inspiration in the kitchen on many occasions and definitely provide me with healthy and tasty options with the click of a button and touch of the screen.  Some of the below recipes have been shared with me and I wanted to share with you.  I hope that you will find the time this season to try some chocolaty zucchini treats, southern style green beans, or creamy squash casserole in between weeks when you enjoy healthy grilled or sautéed squash, spinach, and broccoli or fresh salads. Variety is the spice of life and I wish you some spice this week in your cooking!

In Your Share :




Kale Greens

Green Leaf or Red Leaf Lettuce


Yellow Squash

Green Zucchini

Garlic Scapes



Zucchini Brownies

3 cups all purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 cups grated zucchini

½ cup butter melted

1 ¾ cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels

brown sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.  Combine zucchini and butter and add to flour mixture.  Combine sugar and next 3 ingredients and add to mixture and stir 2 minutes.  Pour batter into a greased 15x10 inch pan.  Top with chocolate morsels, brown sugar and nuts (optional).  Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

Spinach & Sausage Skillet

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound Italian-style sausage (beef, turkey or pork sausage or Elmwood organic beef sausage are all great choices)

3 garlic cloves

2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 ¼ cups water

8 ounces penne pasta

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed & chopped fine (Elmwood dehydrated tomatoes work well)

Salt and ground black pepper

8 ounces spinach (torn in pieces)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

BROWN SAUSAGE: Heat oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage, breaking it up with spoon, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 minutes.  SIMMER PENNE: Stir in broth, water, penne, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until penne is tender and liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.   WILT SPINACH: Stir in spinach, handful at a time, and cook until wilted. Off heat, stir in Parmesan and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.  Variation/notes: Omit spinach and substitute broccoli.  Add 8 ounces broccoli florets (3 cups) to skillet after penne has cooked for only 12 minutes, and then continue to cook until penne and broccoli are both tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Kale Chopped Salad with Berries and Quinoa

SALAD: 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or freekeh)

3 ½ cups finely chopped kale, tough stems removed (from about ¾ pound kale)

2 cups dried cranberries

1 cup finely chopped carrots

1 cup fresh blueberries (about 6 ounces)

¾ cup finely chopped yellow pepper (from 1 small pepper)

cup chopped walnuts

½ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

cup finely chopped celery (from about 1 stalk)

1 scallion, finely chopped

VINAIGRETTE:  ¼ cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cook quinoa (or freekeh) according to package directions and allow to cool completely.  In a large bowl, combine quinoa and all other salad ingredients and mix well.  In a small bowl, combine vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper, whisking to combine. Pour vinaigrette dressing over salad and stir thoroughly so dressing evenly coats all salad components.  Serve immediately or chill, covered, until serving.  Yields approximately 11-12 cups.

Monday, June 16, 2014

CSA News, Week 5, Working Up Your Share

Working Up Your Share

We thought we should share some tips on how to manage the individual items that you will be receiving in your share over the course of the season. Besides using them in your favorite recipe, you may choose to hold them for later use or preserve them for much later use. Either way, you should go through your share and handle each one individually in the best way possible. 

Most of the vegetables we share with you are washed at the farm before cooling. We do not claim these to be “ready to eat” washed items. The washing we do is to remove any dirt that has splashed on the crop from heavy rains, but more importantly it removes the field heat and very quickly gets the temperature of the product down into the mid-fifty degree range. The additional moisture on the surface aids in evaporative cooling when it is placed into the walk-in cooler at 38 degrees. We manage the harvest to be sure this important step is fully executed so the produce will arrive at the pick-up location in the best shape possible. You should always wash the items before using them in your favorite recipe.

Once you obtain your weekly share, you should get it home as quickly as possible to preserve the freshness it left the farm with. Keep the sun off the share even in an air-conditioned vehicle and do not leave it unattended in a locked car while running other errands where the inside temperature can melt your items. Some items need to be refrigerated, others not. Some should not be washed until ready for use; others already have had their initial washing and may benefit from more.

Many of you have told us how much fun it is to unpack the items from your share and begin dreaming up how you want to use each item and do some menu planning for the week. Each one can be placed in its optimum environment until ready for use. Undoubtedly, some get prepped and go straight into a pot or bowl for immediate consumption.

Any of the leafy greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, is best kept on a plastic sack or container loosely sealed. This will hold moisture but allow for a little breathing. An airtight container may allow anaerobic bacteria to thrive and cause an upset stomach later. Any of the head lettuces, Chinese cabbage and the like will have additional soil in them and should be washed more thoroughly. We recommend cutting the stem end off and running cold water over each leaf where it adjoins the stem and then dunking in cold water. This serves to further hydrate them from the ride to your house and gives you the opportunity to sort or cut out any blemishes or stray leaves. A salad spinner will do well to remove excess moisture or a good slinging over the sink never hurt anything. Then when placing them in the semi-sealed container, they will be ready for quick meal prep later in the week.

Berries, okra, peas, and green beans should never be washed until ready for use. We cannot even pick them with dew on or too soon after a rain. If they are kept in a container wet, the berries will begin to rot very quickly, and the peas/beans will begin to “rust”. Rusting is primarily an appearance issue and less of a food safety issue, nonetheless, these items should be refrigerated to preserve freshness.

Peppers, potatoes, squash, and cucumbers should be stored in the fridge as well and they really don’t care if you wash them now or later.

Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature. Place them stem side down on the counter so they can taunt you into deciding just how ripe they should be to be eaten. We harvest them with the idea they should finish ripening at your house, otherwise they will get bruised up in transport, much like bananas. We also try to send variable states of ripeness so you can spread out their use throughout the week. When we have a big flush of tomatoes due to planting dates and weather patterns, we partner with a co-packer to make the salsa, marinara, ketchup, and diced tomatoes for wintertime use. We schedule this a few weeks in advance of when we see it coming so we can get on the list, and allow for preservation to occur at the peak of ripeness and flavor. Thanks to your support in the past for purchasing the BPA-Free jarred items, we are planting more tomatoes and such, to be sure we do not run out next winter.

Onions, sweet potatoes, fall squash, and garlic can stay in a dry dark space, room temperature is fine. They may keep longer in the refrigerator if you are going out of town for a trip, but people have been known to hold butternut squash in a cabinet for an entire year, until the next crop comes in.

By all means, dismantle your share as soon as you can after picking it up. Not only will it make meal prep that much easier later in the week, but your mouth will begin to water thinking of all the wonderful flavors you will be enjoying all week as well. The fall share CSA folks who pick up every-other-week can confirm how well our properly handled produce will keep for two weeks or more. Of course it is no trouble to blanch and freeze most of these items if you are not going to get to them for some reason. And there is no better feeling than serving your friends and family a special holiday meal with local organic produce from Elmwood Stock Farm.

In Your Share



Green Leaf or Red Leaf Lettuce

Napa Cabbage


Sugar Snap Peas


Kale Greens
Stir Fry Cabbage, an Ellie Krieger recipe

2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced (garlic scapes)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 head napa cabbage, cleaned and sliced
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and cook until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and rice vinegar and stir well and cook just until cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with the sesame oil. Optional: add in other favorite vegetables such as snap peas, pepper strips, or mushrooms; for more spice add crushed red pepper.

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan, Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa.
2-4 large fennel bulbs
½ C good olive oil
1 tsp salt, kosher if available
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 to 3 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove the stems of the fennel and slice the bulb in half lengthwise. With the cut side down, slice the bulb vertically into ½ inch thick slices, cutting right through the core. Spread the fennel slices on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss with your hands.
Roast the fennel slices for about an hour, turning them once after 30 minutes, until the edges are crisp and brown. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and roast for 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve.

Beet, Orange and Fennel Salad

2 large or 4 small red, gold, or striped beets, about 1/2 lb. total  

2 tsp olive oil 

2 oranges 

1 fennel bulb 

2 T orange-infused olive oil 

1 tsp red wine vinegar 

1 tsp balsamic vinegar 

½ tsp salt 

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper 

8 to 12 red leaf or other delicate lettuce leaves 

½ C grated pecorino cheese  

¼ C slivered almonds, toasted  

Preheat an oven to 350°F. If the beet greens are still attached, cut them off, leaving ½ inch of the stems attached. Place the beets in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and turn to coat. Roast, turning the beets occasionally, until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1¼ hours. When the beets are cool, remove the skins and cut into quarters. Cut a thick slice off the top and bottom of each orange. Stand the orange upright and, following the contour of the fruit, carefully slice downward to remove the peel, pith and membrane. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along each section of the membrane, letting each freed section drop into the bowl. Strain the oranges, reserving 2 tsp of the juice. Cut off the stems and feathery leaves from the fennel bulb. Discard the outer layer of the bulb if it is tough. Quarter the bulb lengthwise and cut away any tough base portions. Cut the fennel into slices about ¼ inch thick. Add to the bowl. Add the beets to the bowl along with the reserved orange juice, the orange-infused olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Place 2 lettuce leaves on each individual plate. Top with the beet mixture, dividing it evenly, and spoon some of the juices from the bowl over the salad. Sprinkle with the cheese and toasted almonds, dividing evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. 

Simple Green Salad

1-2 cloves fresh garlic

3 T good olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

8-10 oz  favorite salad greens: spinach, arugula, lettuce

3-4 oz. goat cheese, sliced or crumbled

½ C dried cranberries

½ C nuts (candied, raw, walnut, pecan, cashew)

½ apple, diced

Mince or press garlic.  In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add in garlic.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Compile this salad by mixing the dressing with the greens and the goat cheese in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the cranberries, apple and nuts.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 4, What Does CSA Stand for Again?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The name sounds kind of bland or generic, but actually it has tremendous impact on your health and our financial security. There are many layers of benefits created by the relationship we have with you.

The concept of CSA originated out of the need for small diversified farms like ours to stabilize the marketing structure. As farmers, our entire production system is based around the predictability of weather patterns. It can be a double whammy when we load up the truck and trailer for the farmers market, only to have it rain and much goes unsold since customers decide not to venture out. With your agreement to get your veggies from us every week through CSA, it insulates our marketing plan from the vagaries of the weather. We can usually make adjustments to the impact of bad weather at the farm level, but if the markets do not support our efforts, it can be demoralizing.

First there is the financial agreement. With your commitment of support by pre-paying for this season’s offering of farm fresh produce, we are able to invest in infrastructure improvements like the germination room and needed field equipment as discussed in previous posts. These investments improve our efficiency and help us achieve higher quality food for you. An item like a specialized seeder is difficult for a lending institution to provide a loan on to folks like us, as it is so far outside the norm of traditional agricultural lending policy. For that matter, crop insurance is either not available or the terms are ridiculous since organic production is considered risky as we are refusing to use chemical inputs like ‘good’ farmers do.

Another big benefit is that your investment helps us to cash flow many expenses to ramp up production as the growing season begins. Although we use considerable less off farm inputs than conventional farmers, the hundreds of varieties of seeds and plants we purchase are pricey, though we are glad to support other organic farmers that produce them. Additionally, the greenhouse heat, potting mix, tractor fuel, and labor costs add up fast, especially when there is little to sell early in the season.  Our field crew has already spent a lot of time in the fields tending the young crops, long before there is anything to harvest for sale. 

Knowing we have a large volume of produce to harvest and deliver increases our efficiency while picking and packing your items for you. With more plants of each variety planted to meet the demand of CSA shares, we can secure the highest quality product for your share. With a predictable amount of numerous produce items to be harvested each day, we have been able to design systems of tubs, sinks, and packing systems that are efficient and considerate of the type of work we do each day. 

The conversations we have with you are an important part of the CSA relationship. The positive feedback about how tasty and vibrant the items are goes a long way in motivating us to work as hard as necessary to produce for you. The recipes you share, the stories of dinner conversations you have with your guests that are marveling over the flavor, and the questions about foods or vegetable varieties you have seen in your travels or growing up all help form the Community Support part of this type of Agriculture.

In Your Share

Garlic Scapes


Green Leaf or Red Leaf Lettuce


Sugar Snap Peas

Purple Top White Turnips



Recipes to Enjoy

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing
9-ounces fresh spinach leaves
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, halved, cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
1 7-ounce package feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
Place spinach in large bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spinach; remove skillet from heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and cheese to skillet. Stir to melt cheese slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over spinach; toss to coat and wilt slightly.

'Carpaccio' of Kohlrabi with Radishes and Blue Cheese
2 small, young kohlrabi
6 young radishes
4 Tbsp (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp (20 ml) white wine vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar
a pinch of Hot English mustard powder
blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or whatever you fancy)
flaky sea salt
freshly milled black pepper
Strip the leaves off the kohlrabi and cut off the tops and bottoms, and peel the outer tough skin. Using a mandolin cut the bulbs into paper-thin slices. Do the same with the radishes. Arrange the kohlrabi and radish slices on a platter, or on individual salad plates. Whisk the olive oil, white wine vinegar and mustard powder together in a small bowl, and drizzle the dressing over the slices. Season well with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

Roasted Kohlrabi, Turnip and Carrot Salad
Roast the above mentioned vegetables or those of your choosing in olive oil and sea salt at 400° for 20 minutes, add some fresh thyme and roast an additional 10 minutes.  Add the roasted vegetables to salad greens (you can also peel and chop raw kohlrabi to add to the greens in addition to the roasted vegetable mix). Top with nuts like almonds and your favorite cheese and dressing.  For more details visit the Noshtopia blog.

Turnip Gratin
4 whole Turnips
3-4 cloves OR 2-3 scapes, Fresh Garlic
2 cups Gruyere Cheese
4-6 Tablespoons Butter
Chicken Broth
Heavy Cream
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Fresh Herbs, to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Start by peeling and thinly slicing the turnips and mincing the cloves or finely chopping the scapes of garlic. Grate about 2 cups of Gruyere cheese.  In a large ovenproof skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Place a single layer of turnips on top of the butter.   Next, sprinkle a little of the garlic on top, then (purely optional and really not all that necessary) add a couple of tablespoons of butter.   Next drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips. Next, do the same with the cream.   Now add a nice layer of Gruyere, about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.  Repeat these layers twice more. Sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper.  Now pop the whole thing into the over and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is hot, brown and bubbly.  Serves 6.

Spinach Cake, thanks to a CSA member for sharing, she reports, “I adapted the spinach "cake" slightly from a David Lebovitz version; although it's called a cake, it is somewhat like a soufflé, just a bit more dense.  It reminds me a bit of Stouffer's spinach soufflé.” 

2 medium leeks (you could use two onions, or a bunch of scallions or green garlic instead)
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly-ground pepper
2 pounds fresh spinach, well-washed and stemmed
big pinch of chile or cayenne pepper
whole nutmeg
2 cups milk
6 large eggs
Parmesan cheese
Remove the green part of the leeks, slice each lengthwise, and then slice each half thinly into half-moons.  Wash the leeks in a bowl of water until they’re grit free, then towel-dry. Melt the butter in a deep pan and sauté the leeks with a little salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until they’re translucent. While they’re cooking, wash spinach and tear or slice into ribbons. Once the leeks are cooked, begin adding the spinach in batches until the spinach has cooked down, then add more. Add salt and pepper as you go, and include a scraping of nutmeg and chile powder during the final batch.

When all the spinach is just barely wilted, turn it out into a large bowl (along with any juices) and let cool. Stirring it a few times will speed it up.  Preheat the oven to 400F Liberally butter a 9- or 10-inch deep round baking dish.  Working in batches, puree the spinach mixture with the milk and eggs until almost smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Grate a wispy layer of Parmesan over the top and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.  Let cool to room temperature, then serve.


Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal

2 cups old fashioned or steel-cut oats
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 Large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sliced hulled Strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°F.Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and set aside. Stir together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together heavy cream, egg, butter and vanilla in a separate bowl. Pour heavy cream mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined. Add 1 cup sliced strawberries. Pour into prepared baking dish. Gently pound baking dish on the countertop to make sure cream moves through oats. Scatter remaining strawberries over top of the oatmeal. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and oat mixture has set. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad
8 ounces Strawberries (about 1 2/3 cups)
8 ounces shell pasta, cooked, rinsed and cooled
8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, drained
1/4 cups slivered fresh basil
1/4 cups slivered red onion
1/4 cups prepared balsamic vinaigrette

Hull and quarter strawberries. Combine strawberries, pasta, mozzarella, basil and onion in a large bowl (salad can be prepared to this point and refrigerated until ready to serve). Drizzle with vinaigrette and mix gently until ingredients are well coated.