11th Week of the Summer CSA: August 22nd- 24th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, green curly kale, parsley, zucchini, summer squash, new red potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, fresh garlic, sweet fresh onions, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow and purple sweet peppers, scallions, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, elderberries, leeks, and carrots!

baby lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

baby lettuce, photo by Adam Ford



CSA Payments Due

The balance of your summer sharewas due last week unless you have previously set up a payment plan with me. If you need a new payment plan, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you need to know your balance, let me know. As always, thanks for your continued support!

outdoor tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

outdoor tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSA members and their friends and family know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • jalapenos: $6 per pound or $20 for 4 pounds

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • pickling cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds 

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • rainbow chard: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • sweet basil: $12 per pound *I make my basil pesto go farther by using half basil, half parsley. There will be a limited amount of basil available each week for bulk buying, so reserve your interest now, and I will confirm what week it will be ready*

  • heirloom tomatoes: $35 for 10 pounds

  • elderberries: $60 for 10 pound bag of frozen berries (available fresh, not frozen upon request)

  • garlic: $12 per pound we have both seed and table garlic available

If you have an interest in mini roma tomatoes in bulk, or heirloom seconds in bulk, please get in touch. We have a few restaurants who are scooping them all up, but I can reserve some for you with enough heads up.

bold looking celeriac leaves, photo by Adam Ford

bold looking celeriac leaves, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.


Farm News

The garlic has cured, so we are pulling it down and cleaning it up as needed. It’s great to have an indoor project like that for these rainy days with thunderstorms. We are still seeding wildly in the prop house for winter greens. The team is transplanting fall lettuce heads and Napa cabbage. And they continue to weed like pros to keep it under control out there. We are almost past that hump where we won’t have to worry as much about the speed of weed growth. It is a welcome surprise every year when they slow down.

sometimes you can find me packing wholesale orders in the cooler, photo by Adam Ford

sometimes you can find me packing wholesale orders in the cooler, photo by Adam Ford

This morning I harvested a couple bins of our fresh onions and it was so exciting to pull such big onions out of the ground! We are not known for our onion growing skills but it seems like this year we are going to have fantastic onions. We wish we knew what we did right this year to recreate this success, but for now, we will just revel in the onion production.

spraying down “farmer” carrots, photo by Adam Ford

spraying down “farmer” carrots, photo by Adam Ford

We are also harvesting the first leeks this week. If you only know leeks for potato leek soup, let me assure you they are awesome so many ways. You can slice a leek lengthwise, toss with olive oil and salt, and grill them or roast them. You can finely chop them and saute them. I put them in eggs every morning when leek season arrives. I love plenty of alliums (garlic, leeks, onions, shallots, scallions, etc) in all my food, so believe me, when a new one is harvested, it’s making it into my breakfast.

CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

We are starting the big elderberry harvest this week, and that will continue for a bit. Our elderberry syrup was a big hit at last year’s winter market, so we plan to produce more of that. If you are interested in making your own elderberry syrup for your winter immune systems, we sell 10-pound bags of frozen elderberries (fresh if you prefer) for you to make your own. We love when people make their own, because then you get to avoid the cost of me making your syrup for you!

ripe elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

ripe elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

We are slowly picking away at the new tunnel….. really hoping to finish it sometime in September, but who knows.

Cindy working on the high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Cindy working on the high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

We just got two new giant loads of compost delivered to the farm last weekend. One whole load is now spread in the new tunnel, and another load will be spread in the next several weeks in one of the new garden areas that Ryan had a lot of site work done to change our garden orientation for better soil erosion management. Since good compost is a scare, expensive resource, we use it when we start new growing areas for nutrients, but especially for soil texture. If we had access to high quality organic compost nearby we would use much more of it to improve our soil texture, but the nearest compost producer that meets or specifications is over an hour away, and that trucking adds up quick. (If you want to start a high quality, organic compost business within 20 minutes of our farm, we will be your first customers!)

I love so many things about Adam’s photos, and one of those things is how he not only captures the glory of the beautiful produce that pops out of these fields, but also the full cycle, such as these dying cucumber plants that we will pull down soon to make way for winter transplants in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

I love so many things about Adam’s photos, and one of those things is how he not only captures the glory of the beautiful produce that pops out of these fields, but also the full cycle, such as these dying cucumber plants that we will pull down soon to make way for winter transplants in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we will continue with seeding winter greens, transplanting, and hopefully putting a dent in the high tunnel.

Have a great week!

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Dan, Cindy, the Sams, Casey, and Taylor

Elderberry Rosemary Scones with Elderberry Lemon Glaze

Scones:

2 cups flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 TBSP maple syrup

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 TBSP rosemary

5 TBSP cold butter, cut in chunks

1 cup fresh elderberries

1 cup yogurt

Glaze:

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 cups powdered sugar

1 TBSP butter

1 cup elderberries

Preheat oven to 400. Start with the glaze: In a pan cook 1 cup elderberries with the lemon juice on low. Let that simmer while you make the scones: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter in the dry ingredient mixture so it looks crumbly. Mix the yogurt and maple syrup in. Fold in the elderberries gently. Once well mixed, press the dough on a lightly floured surface to about an inch think, and cut into triangles. Bake for about 15 on a cookie sheet. While they bake, return to the glaze. Whisk in the powdered sugar and butter. Let the scones and glaze cool a bit before drizzling over the scones. (And only glaze them to eat fresh, both the scones and glaze will keep well separate in the fridge.) Enjoy!

10th Week of the Summer CSA: August 15th-17th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, green curly kale, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, baby arugula, radish, new red and yellow potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, fresh garlic, shiitake mushrooms, sweet fresh onions, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow and purple sweet peppers, cilantro, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, and carrots!

several lettuce plantings below the elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

several lettuce plantings below the elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Payments Due

The balance of your summer share is due this week unless you have previously set up a payment plan with me. If you need a new payment plan, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you need to know your balance, let me know. As always, thanks for your continued support!

investigating the drying garlic, photo by Adam Ford

investigating the drying garlic, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Buying Opportunities!


Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSA members know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • French filet green beans: $5 per pound or $23 for 5 pounds

  • jalapenos: $6 per pound or $20 for 4 pounds

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • garlic scapes: $20 for 10 bunches or $35 for 20 bunches * garlic scape pesto, or use in place of garlic cloves in a parsley or basil pesto*

  • slicing cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds *slicing cucumbers can still be used for pickling… I lacto ferment batches of slicing cucumbers whole*

  • pickling cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds 

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • sweet basil: $12 per pound *I make my basil pesto go farther by using half basil, half parsley. There will be a limited amount of basil available each week for bulk buying, so reserve your interest now, and I will confirm what week it will be ready*

  • Roma Juliet tomatoes: $40 for 10 pounds , $70 for 20 pounds, $90 for 30 pounds

  • heirloom tomato SECONDS: $30 for 10 pounds (minor cracks, funny shapes, etc)

sunflowers checking out the cloud show, photo by Adam Ford

sunflowers checking out the cloud show, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

yellow beet, photo by Adam Ford

yellow beet, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

We started seeding dozens and dozens of trays of the earliest winter greens last week. Crazy, right? I remember years ago when we were just starting a farm I tried to strike up a conversation with a much more experienced farmer at a winter farmers market, sometime in February, and I said, “So have you started your seeds yet?” The farmer looked kind of surprised and laughed and told me here never STOPS starting seeds… and now I get that. We are in the height of the summer harvest, enjoying tomatoes, the beginnings of eggplant and peppers, and yet we are also filling up our propagation house with thousands of seedlings that will be transplanted in the high tunnels before we know it, to harvest and enjoy all through the winter. That type of constant cycling is what enables us to run this farm year round and provide a wide variety of local food year round, but it is also what keeps us working year round and makes it difficult to pause and step away and breathe.

trays of seeded chard and kale for the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

trays of seeded chard and kale for the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

The entire garlic harvest was finished last week, and it is all hung and curing in the prop house rafters. We hang them in bundles that are small enough to pass air through well enough, and we put up a few large, industrial fans to keep constant air on them. In a couple weeks we will drop them down, cut off the tops, and get them into storage for the winter.

garlic curing in the prop house, photo by Adam Ford

garlic curing in the prop house, photo by Adam Ford

The team is doing a great job of keeping up with all the weeding for the fall crops. It looks like most things will be harvest-able thanks to their diligence in weed control.

this implement is called a tine weeder.. it gets pulled behind the tractor when plants are super small, but their roots are established enough to hold in the ground when the tine weeder runs over it. We run it early when weeds are in a phase called the “thread bare stage” and it pulls most weeds out and continues to give the plants a jump on the weeds. We use this wherever we can to postpone all the hoe and hand weeding the team cleans up with when plants are more mature, photo by Adam Ford

this implement is called a tine weeder.. it gets pulled behind the tractor when plants are super small, but their roots are established enough to hold in the ground when the tine weeder runs over it. We run it early when weeds are in a phase called the “thread bare stage” and it pulls most weeds out and continues to give the plants a jump on the weeds. We use this wherever we can to postpone all the hoe and hand weeding the team cleans up with when plants are more mature, photo by Adam Ford

We have been just keeping up with all the normal farm work of harvesting, washing, packing, marketing, weeding, and transplanting that we have put a default pause on our two high tunnel projects, but we are eager to return to that work later this week. There is still a lot to be done on them, and usually this time of year is our window. Once we start big bulk harvests in early fall (which is right around the corner, ah!) then we barely keep up with that and it’s hard to get infrastructure projects tackled. I know we can get it done, we always have, but everything is just a bit harder to squeeze in with two little kiddos around.

rock removal before by the Sams and Ryan, photo by Adam Ford

rock removal before by the Sams and Ryan, photo by Adam Ford

We are mostly feeling the work squeeze around here because we had one of our super awesome team members, Taylor, take an extended time off a couple weeks ago to take care of her youngest kiddo who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It amazes me how resilient kids are, because her daughter was out here visiting, running around picking berries, excited to get her next blood sugar check, but as Taylor’s family adjusts to this new normal, she is taking time from the farm to focus all her mom energy on this new situation. We are doing the best we can being down one team member, and picking up some part time team members. We hesitate to talk about the team’s personal lives, (and to clarify, Taylor approved this message!), but at the same time, our team news IS farm news. This farm runs only as well as how our team is doing. We say our team is the best tool on the farm, so the full picture of what is going on around here includes how our team is doing. Taylor is an exceptional farmer and mother, and as a mother and farmer myself who knows how hard it is to do both well at the same time, I am grateful she is taking the time to help her kiddo adjust. And the farm will be happy if it ever works to have her back!

Next week we will continue seeding more greens for the winter tunnels…. more kales, chards, spinaches, parsley.

storage cabbage above our trial planting of CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

storage cabbage above our trial planting of CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

Have an excellent week!

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Casey, Cindy, Sam, Sam, Dan, and Taylor


Maple Vinaigrette Green Beans

2 bags french filet green beans, tips removed

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 cloves of garlic crushed

2 TBSP finely chopped parsley

salt and pepper

Toss green beans on a baking tray with 1 tsp olive oil. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until very lightly cooked. Remove from the oven. Meanwhile mix all the remaining ingredients together. Lightly dress the beans and enjoy! (Save remaining dressing for salads, sandwiches, more beans, marinade for grilled zukes, whatever!












9th Week of the Summer CSA: August 8th-10th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, green curly kale, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, radish, new red and yellow potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, fresh garlic, shiitake mushrooms, sweet fresh onions, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow and purple sweet peppers, cilantro, and carrots!

cherry tomato harvest happening now, photo by Adam Ford

cherry tomato harvest happening now, photo by Adam Ford

Barn Bonuses!

We restocked the freezer with Squire Family Farm organic grass-fed beef, and there is maple syrup and blueberries from the Kreuger-Norton Farm, for sale in the barn. These cannot be swapped out as a CSA item, but rather purchased separately. They can be paid for in the cash box by the CSA board, just write down on the clip board how many you take.

I love the petals on this flower, photo by Adam Ford

I love the petals on this flower, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSAmembers know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • French filet green beans: $5 per pound or $23 for 5 pounds

  • jalapenos: $6 per pound or $20 for 4 pounds

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • garlic scapes: $20 for 10 bunches or $35 for 20 bunches * garlic scape pesto, or use in place of garlic cloves in a parsley or basil pesto*

  • slicing cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds *slicing cucumbers can still be used for pickling… I lacto ferment batches of slicing cucumbers whole*

  • pickling cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds 

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • sweet basil: $12 per pound *I make my basil pesto go farther by using half basil, half parsley. There will be a limited amount of basil available each week for bulk buying, so reserve your interest now, and I will confirm what week it will be ready*

I love how zinnias have those mini yellow flowers inside the big flower, that is amazing art, photo by Adam Ford

I love how zinnias have those mini yellow flowers inside the big flower, that is amazing art, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

Photo Tour of the Farm!

This week I am barely keeping up with my work, even more hectically than usual, and don’t have time to write a proper newsletter, so enjoy this photo tour of the farm, thanks to Adam Ford:

grape tomatoes, basil, and green beans in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

grape tomatoes, basil, and green beans in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

these long, green peppers are an Italian bull’s horn type sweet pepper that is ready when it ripens to red… it’s a popular variety named Carmen, and I LOVE when they are read, photo by Adam Ford

these long, green peppers are an Italian bull’s horn type sweet pepper that is ready when it ripens to red… it’s a popular variety named Carmen, and I LOVE when they are read, photo by Adam Ford

weeds just doing me the favor of decorating the barn, photo by Adam Ford

weeds just doing me the favor of decorating the barn, photo by Adam Ford

keep a look out for these treats soon… an early husk cherry fell off the plant, photo by Adam Ford

keep a look out for these treats soon… an early husk cherry fell off the plant, photo by Adam Ford

the team has been working hard to keep up with the weeds on the fall storage crops like all these carrots and beets, photo by Adam Ford

the team has been working hard to keep up with the weeds on the fall storage crops like all these carrots and beets, photo by Adam Ford

this year’s pickling cukes are out of control! (in a good way), photo by Adam Ford)

this year’s pickling cukes are out of control! (in a good way), photo by Adam Ford)

this is a cool view of some fields that are in cover at the moment.. the foreground is a field of buckwheat cover crop, and behind that is an area we are tarping to kill weeds and keep soil protected from erosion, photo by Adam Ford

this is a cool view of some fields that are in cover at the moment.. the foreground is a field of buckwheat cover crop, and behind that is an area we are tarping to kill weeds and keep soil protected from erosion, photo by Adam Ford

we don’t mow areas with milkweed to provide food for monarchs, who we sadly haven’t seen any of this year… we have always made space for milkweed on the farm because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also a relatively new requirement for organic certification (as of a few years ago) to enact “biodiversity practices” such as this… it’s awesome and important that organic agriculture understands the necessity of having strong biodiversity in wildlife to support healthy ecosystems, photo by Adam Ford

we don’t mow areas with milkweed to provide food for monarchs, who we sadly haven’t seen any of this year… we have always made space for milkweed on the farm because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also a relatively new requirement for organic certification (as of a few years ago) to enact “biodiversity practices” such as this… it’s awesome and important that organic agriculture understands the necessity of having strong biodiversity in wildlife to support healthy ecosystems, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya eating a root ball, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya eating a root ball, photo by Adam Ford

We have been giving Sky more and more opportunities to “help” with our work, and he really got into garlic harvest day.. here he is spraying down the freshly harvested garlic before it gets tied up to dry, photo by Adam Ford

We have been giving Sky more and more opportunities to “help” with our work, and he really got into garlic harvest day.. here he is spraying down the freshly harvested garlic before it gets tied up to dry, photo by Adam Ford

We hope you all have a lovely week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Dan, Cindy, and Taylor


Best Fresh Salsa Recipe

I make salsa weekly during tomato season. It’s easy, fresh, and goes on everything. This is a pretty soupy recipe. If you like it less wet, swap out the fresh onion for 2 TBSP of dried onion flakes.

image from cookingclassy.com

image from cookingclassy.com

1 pound tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 small onion (including the green top), finely chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp maple syrup

1 TBSP lime juice

1 tsp salt

Mix all this together and enjoy!



8th Week of the Summer CSA Share: August 1st-3rd

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, green curly kale, bunched chard, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, radish, new potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, fresh garlic, sweet fresh onions, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and carrots!

Sky running through the work site with Ryan, photo by Adam Ford

Sky running through the work site with Ryan, photo by Adam Ford

Barn Bonuses!

People have been enjoying be able to purchase some of our neighbor’s farm products, so we are having another neighbor drop off her blueberries for sale in the barn. Just like the beef and syrup, they cannot be swapped out as a CSA item, but rather purchased separately. They can be paid for in the cash box by the CSA board, just write down on the clip board how many you take.

The elderberry flowers have given way to green berries… Oh man, all I see here is all the time I have to spend in the kitchen turning these into elderberry syrup, photo by Adam Ford

The elderberry flowers have given way to green berries… Oh man, all I see here is all the time I have to spend in the kitchen turning these into elderberry syrup, photo by Adam Ford





Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSAmembers know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • garlic scapes: $20 for 10 bunches or $35 for 20 bunches * garlic scape pesto, or use in place of garlic cloves in a parsley or basil pesto*

  • slicing cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds *slicing cucumbers can still be used for pickling… I lacto ferment batches of slicing cucumbers whole*

  • pickling cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds 

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • sweet basil: $12 per pound *I make my basil pesto go farther by using half basil, half parsley. There will be a limited amount of basil available each week for bulk buying, so reserve your interest now, and I will confirm what week it will be ready*

More of Ryan’s flower garden…. maybe this is a lily?! I don’t know anything about flowers, I’m a veggie farmer, photo by Adam Ford

More of Ryan’s flower garden…. maybe this is a lily?! I don’t know anything about flowers, I’m a veggie farmer, photo by Adam Ford





CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

We call this farmer food… the split radish and kohlrabi and partial greens bag… these things get sorted out in the wash station when they come in from the field to be cleaned up for sale. We pull them aside for all of us to take home and enjoy. Someone once overheard me talking about “farmer food” and they were like “Oh! Is that the BEST stuff you grow? The biggest tomatoes?! The sweetest pepper?! The greenest broccoli?!” Nah, farmer food is the stuff that is still totally delicious and awesome, but too ugly to present in public. But after those ugly kohlrabi go on the grill, no one’s going to know that they looked like this to start, photo by Adam Ford

We call this farmer food… the split radish and kohlrabi and partial greens bag… these things get sorted out in the wash station when they come in from the field to be cleaned up for sale. We pull them aside for all of us to take home and enjoy. Someone once overheard me talking about “farmer food” and they were like “Oh! Is that the BEST stuff you grow? The biggest tomatoes?! The sweetest pepper?! The greenest broccoli?!” Nah, farmer food is the stuff that is still totally delicious and awesome, but too ugly to present in public. But after those ugly kohlrabi go on the grill, no one’s going to know that they looked like this to start, photo by Adam Ford



Farm News

The first round of fall beets have all been transplanted which is miraculous, go team! They also snuck in all the fall broccoli. We are starting the big garlic harvest this week to make sure all of it happens in a timely manner before they sit in the ground too long. For those of you who also grow garlic and are often wondering when the best time to harvest them is, we go by when 3-4 leave have died back. Harvesting before that die back means you could have let the bulbs get bigger, and harvesting them much after that amount of die back means it can get difficult to get them out of the ground and they don’t store as long through the winter. So we start harvesting when there are about 3 leaves died back so we finish not long after that 4th goes down. We harvest, bundle them into bundles of about 20 stems, spray them off in the field, and then hang them to dry until they are properly cured.

The team planting yellow fall beets, photo by Adam Ford

The team planting yellow fall beets, photo by Adam Ford

This year we are delighted and amazed to say that most things look amazing in the field. We v=certainly have some hiccups, weed pressure that has overcome some crops, botryitis in the early tomatoes, broccoli that deer have mowed down, and plenty other challenges, but for the most part, everything looks amazing. That feels great, surprising, unfamiliar, and fills us with gratitude. This work is so hard, and it’s reason to celebrate when the majority of the work looks great. For example, even though the sweet peppers need a little more time, I feel like I wander around the hot pepper patch like a little spicy fairy, excitedly picking these early jalapenos a good month or more than I usually harvest them. Pro tip: put them in everything. Make a parsley jalapeno hummus. Hollow out the center, stuff it with cheese, wrap them in tin foil and grill them. Char them on the grill and then toss them in a maple syrup, soy sauce, lime marinade and serve with tacos. Slice them thin in your morning egg sandwich. Put them on your pizza. The list is endless.

The husk cherry trellis looks like it’s working nicely, can’t wait to start harvesting them… looks like there is one ready in the bottom right corner of this picture, though I am sure Sky found that one by now! photo by Adam Ford

The husk cherry trellis looks like it’s working nicely, can’t wait to start harvesting them… looks like there is one ready in the bottom right corner of this picture, though I am sure Sky found that one by now! photo by Adam Ford

This year’s potato plants look really fine and Ryan got the last hilling of them done last week. Thank goodness for tractor implements…. Our first two years of farming we hilled them all by hand with a hoe. My back hurts just typing about that years later.

The field crops may looks awesome, but it’s way past time for me to get in the prop house and tackle the overgrown weeds where all the plants used to be started! photo by Adam Ford

The field crops may looks awesome, but it’s way past time for me to get in the prop house and tackle the overgrown weeds where all the plants used to be started! photo by Adam Ford

The new cropping system Ryan set up this spring with larger blocks of growing space and larger sod swales in between has been working so nicely so far. We look forward to transitioning the rest of the fields next year. More than half the fields have been switched to that arrangement, and things are already growing better in one season for various reasons.

Frame of the third tunnel is up. This is one of the fields we will transition next year to the new cropping system, but things are growing in this area really well anyway. photo by Adam Ford

Frame of the third tunnel is up. This is one of the fields we will transition next year to the new cropping system, but things are growing in this area really well anyway. photo by Adam Ford

Our crew has been super heroes these past few weeks as we have often been working late tackling our infrastructure projects, and just generally working hard to meet the demands of the season. Farming would definitely wear me out to a point of throwing in the towel if we didn’t get to work with such a passionate, sweet, dedicated, fun group of people.

Ryan and Dan attempted getting the plastic on the second high tunnel very early one morning, but the way this roll was rolled at this specific manufacturer made if trickier than planned. So they had to scrap that attempt that morning and we will try again this week with a different set up. In this picture, Ryan is lifting the 300 pound roll of plastic up on a giant jig he built and put on the forks of the tractor. Dan is receiving it on the ridge before they would have rolled it down, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan and Dan attempted getting the plastic on the second high tunnel very early one morning, but the way this roll was rolled at this specific manufacturer made if trickier than planned. So they had to scrap that attempt that morning and we will try again this week with a different set up. In this picture, Ryan is lifting the 300 pound roll of plastic up on a giant jig he built and put on the forks of the tractor. Dan is receiving it on the ridge before they would have rolled it down, photo by Adam Ford

Hope everyone enjoys this awesome warm summer weather! Have a great week.

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Dan, Cindy, and Taylor



Recipe

ripening cherry tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

ripening cherry tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

It’s tomato season for sure now! And I am sure everyone has their favorite things to do with tomatoes. At least one of my meals each day is a simple tomato basil sandwich just to soak up the season. Below is a link to a delicious recipe sent to me by one of our CSA members. So simple and delicious. Check it out:

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/5-ingredient-burst-tomato-spread/





7th Week Summer CSA: July 25th- 27th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, pea shoots, green curly kale, baby chard, bunched chard, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, new potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, microgreens, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli! 

I don’t want to count my chickens too early, but the celeriac is looking good this year!

I don’t want to count my chickens too early, but the celeriac is looking good this year!




Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSA members know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • green zucchini, yellow zucchini, summer squash$17 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds (specify whether you want to mix and match or have all of one kind) *shred and freeze for zucchini bread or zucchini pancakes all winter long or slice and dry to add to soups*

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • garlic scapes: $20 for 10 bunches or $35 for 20 bunches * garlic scape pesto, or use in place of garlic cloves in a parsley or basil pesto*

  • slicing cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds *slicing cucumbers can still be used for pickling… I lacto ferment batches of slicing cucumbers whole*

  • pickling cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds 

  • rainbow chard: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • sweet basil: $12 per pound *I make my basil pesto go farther by using half basil, half parsley. There will be a limited amount of basil available each week for bulk buying, so reserce your interest now, and I will confirm what week it will be ready*

We found this baby teething toy around this beet during harvest.. the beet grew right through it! I suppose SOraya dropped it while one of us was wearing her during transplanting several weeks ago!

We found this baby teething toy around this beet during harvest.. the beet grew right through it! I suppose SOraya dropped it while one of us was wearing her during transplanting several weeks ago!







CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

The old tunnel ready to re-skin on the left, and the new tunnel going up on the right.

The old tunnel ready to re-skin on the left, and the new tunnel going up on the right.

Farm News

The ground posts for the new tunnel have been pounded in and the bows are up! This makes it look like a lot of work was done (and that is true), but with high tunnel construction we still have quite a ways to go to finish it. This will take a lot of our “spare” time these days as we tuck that project in around weeding, transplanting, and harvesting. We are also re-skinning one of our older tunnels, and we hope to get that new plastic on tomorrow, early in the morning before any breeze has picked up. It’s a fun, but wild job to re-skin a tunnel… We scamper around on the structure moving 200+ pound rolls of plastic around. It would be fun to tell my past younger self that my future job would require me to do some high stakes “tree climbing” on a metal structure with a gigantic piece of plastic. She would have thought adulthood could be fun after all. It’s exciting to get to add needed infrastructure to our farm, but any time we take on a project like this, we are really excited to take a break for a bit as well because it is super draining. Ryan tackles the brunt of managing these projects and his brain is full and worn out. We were planning to upgrade our wash station to be the 4-season wash station we need for the production we have been doing for several years now, but we both agree that we want to take a year off from big farm projects before diving in to that one. Plus, when it’s 90+ degrees outside in July, it’s hard to remember how miserable it is to be cold and wet in February washing greens with frozen fingers that feel ready to snap off. Right now that sounds just fine typing about it, even though in February I will long for these hot days.

Ryan’s dad helping put the bows up with a tractor jig.

Ryan’s dad helping put the bows up with a tractor jig.

Many things are growing well these days with this awesome heat and sun we have been having. We will even start having jalapenos ready soon for CSA, which is definitely the earliest I have ever harvested hot peppers in Vermont. It’s wild how this springs was the wettest, coolest, and latest we have ever grown in and yet now things have just started chugging along as soon as they got sun and heat. Ryan’s new husk cherry trellis is working well so far, but the true test will be when we start harvesting them, so for now, the jury is still out in how much we like it.

weeding some future baby lettuce

weeding some future baby lettuce

We have been diligently transplanting fall crops and seeding the many, many tens of thousands of beets we will transplant for winter storage. The fall carrots have come up nicely and relatively weed free for our farm. This is mainly because Ryan switched our main bed preparation tool to a power harrow which is significantly better for soil health and maintenance and doesn’t disturb the soil the way a rototiller does, while still making a bed we are able to seed and transplant into. Besides being an important tool we need to address long term soil health, it also does not disturb the soil way down and bring up so many new seeds into the weed seed bank. It’s super exciting to see the garden in the places where we have started using the power harrow.

This is a cool picture Ryan got of the difference a power harrow makes. The grassy bed on the left is a bed of arugula completely swallowed by grass. If was prepared by a rototiller. We cannot harvest from this bed because there are more weeds than arugula. The beds in the middle and on the right were prepared with the power harrow and have significantly less weed pressure. This is awesome.

This is a cool picture Ryan got of the difference a power harrow makes. The grassy bed on the left is a bed of arugula completely swallowed by grass. If was prepared by a rototiller. We cannot harvest from this bed because there are more weeds than arugula. The beds in the middle and on the right were prepared with the power harrow and have significantly less weed pressure. This is awesome.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s totally true, that in about a month we will start getting THREE tunnels ready and planted for winter greens! It is super exciting that we will produce that many more greens this winter, since we have never been able to fill the demand yet.

Ryan’s dad scoring some time with his youngest grandkid in the creek.

Ryan’s dad scoring some time with his youngest grandkid in the creek.

Hope everyone has a great week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Dan, Taylor, Sam, Cindy, and Sam




Lime, Cucumber, Parsley Salad Dressing!

I cannot eat enough salad these days, so I am always trying new salad dressings. This one is fresh tasting and amazing. Serve it over a bed of lettuce with crumbled feta cheese, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and thinly sliced fresh onions!

cucumber dressing.jpg

1 cucumber

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 bunch parsley

1/2 bunch garlic scapes

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 cup olive oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Put all these ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add olive oil and lime juice as needed to thin it out. Stores in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. Use it on salads, enjoy!

6th Week of the Summer CSA Share: July 18th-20th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, pea shoots, green curly kale, baby chard, bunched chard, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, new potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic scapes, cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, microgreens, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli! 

basil, photo by Adam Ford

basil, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSA members know about veggies available if you do any preserving. If you are interested in any items when I list them, send me an email and I will get them packed up for you to pick up when you pick up your share. Bulk availability comes and goes, so if you are planning on doing preserving, don’t wait: they get spoken for quickly when I tell everyone about them. This week we have:

  • green zucchini, yellow zucchini, summer squash: $17 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds (specify whether you want to mix and match or have all of one kind) *shred and freeze for zucchini bread or zucchini pancakes all winter long or slice and dry to add to soups*

  • parsley: $14 for 10 bunches or $22 for 20 bunches *pesto and chimichurri*

  • garlic scapes: $20 for 10 bunches or $35 for 20 bunches * garlic scape pesto*

  • slicing cucumbers: $18 for 10 pounds or $30 for 20 pounds *slicing cucumbers can still be used for pickling… I lacto ferment batches of slicing cucumbers whole*

  • rainbow chard: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

  • green curly kale: $25 for 10 bunches or $40 for 20 bunches *we use this like spinach, freeze in small batches for winter quiches, omelettes, pasta dishes, etc*

Ryan’s flower garden always in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan’s flower garden always in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

manero ripe on the vine, photo by Adam Ford

manero ripe on the vine, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

It’s rare for me to do back to back newsletters where I provide a photo tour of the farm rather than an update, but I am wildly behind my work, and just have to rely on Adam’s picture story telling right now:

Ryan assembling bows for the new high tunnel going up at the end of this week, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan assembling bows for the new high tunnel going up at the end of this week, photo by Adam Ford

beautiful lines, photo by Adam Ford

beautiful lines, photo by Adam Ford

Dan removing the old plastic from one of the high tunnels that will be re-skinned while we put up the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Dan removing the old plastic from one of the high tunnels that will be re-skinned while we put up the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya turned 1 this week, which completely blows my mind… both the kiddos are now officially toddlers. At the same time. Ask if I am tired, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya turned 1 this week, which completely blows my mind… both the kiddos are now officially toddlers. At the same time. Ask if I am tired, photo by Adam Ford

we don’t want the ground in the new tunnel to get wet before we put it up… totally just kidding…. we are tarping this ground to reduce weed pressure in the new tunnel before we plant it to winter greens in about a month! photo by Adam Ford

we don’t want the ground in the new tunnel to get wet before we put it up… totally just kidding…. we are tarping this ground to reduce weed pressure in the new tunnel before we plant it to winter greens in about a month! photo by Adam Ford

after a long afternoon of biking, a toddler chills out by checking out the fall cabbage planting, photo by Adam Ford

after a long afternoon of biking, a toddler chills out by checking out the fall cabbage planting, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Cindy, Dan, and Taylor



Cucumber Lime Aid

This is so wildly refreshing on the hot days! Makes a half gallon, but you will drink that fast!

image from foodgawker.com

image from foodgawker.com

2-3 cucumbers

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup honey

water

Melt 1/2 cup of honey with 1/2 cup almost boiling water. Let that honey water cool. Meanwhile chop cucumbers into 2-inch chunks and put in the blender or food processor with about a cup or so of water. Blend until smooth. Pour through a colander to remove pulp and save the liquid. Once the honey water is room temperature mix together the cucumber water, honey water and lime juice in a half gallon container. Fill the remaining container with water and put in the fridge. Shake well before serving and serve over lots of ice. (This recipe is a bit concentrated and it’s so refreshing with enough ice melting as you enjoy it!


5th Week of the Summer CSA: July 11th-13th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, pea shoots, scallions, green curly kale, baby kale, baby chard, bunched chard, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, new potatoes, radish, basil, beets, garlic scapes, cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, and the first tomatoes! It seems like this will be one more week of a small harvest of tomatoes, so we will do one more week of a one item limit on tomatoes so everyone can get some. Thanks!

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

Farm News

No time for news! Too much on our plate, please enjoy this photo tour from Adam Ford:

sweet shot of the gardens through the barn, photo by Adam Ford

sweet shot of the gardens through the barn, photo by Adam Ford

this is how far along the husk cherries are! couple more weeks I bet, photo by Adam Ford

this is how far along the husk cherries are! couple more weeks I bet, photo by Adam Ford

this is the husk cherry trellis I was describing last week…. the plants will grow within that V, and drop the husk cherries through the wire mesh to be swept up and winnowed. All this innovation is to keep growing a crop that wouldn’t be able to pay for the labor to harvest if we didn’t figure out ways to speed it up. Husk cherries are a fine home garden crop, but tough on a production scale. We love them too much to cut them, so that’s why we work on their trellis improvements every year, photo by Adam Ford

this is the husk cherry trellis I was describing last week…. the plants will grow within that V, and drop the husk cherries through the wire mesh to be swept up and winnowed. All this innovation is to keep growing a crop that wouldn’t be able to pay for the labor to harvest if we didn’t figure out ways to speed it up. Husk cherries are a fine home garden crop, but tough on a production scale. We love them too much to cut them, so that’s why we work on their trellis improvements every year, photo by Adam Ford

green zucchini, photo by Adam Ford

green zucchini, photo by Adam Ford

the barn is the center of all our operations, photo by Adam Ford

the barn is the center of all our operations, photo by Adam Ford

zuke flower, photo by Adam Ford

zuke flower, photo by Adam Ford

Our cooling unit broke this weekend, and Ryan got it all put back together yesterday. Crossing my fingers that this is the last large thing to break this season, photo by Adam Ford

Our cooling unit broke this weekend, and Ryan got it all put back together yesterday. Crossing my fingers that this is the last large thing to break this season, photo by Adam Ford

this is how far along eggplants are… maybe another couple weeks! photo by Adam Ford

this is how far along eggplants are… maybe another couple weeks! photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Cindy, Sam, Sam, Dan

Scape Pesto

I include this recipe once a year because it’s awesome. A few weeks ago the recipe was for a scape-parsley-pea shoot pesto, which is also amazing, but it is the season to get scapes in your freezer, so if you love scape pesto, here you go:

garlic-scape-pesto.jpg

2 bunches garlic scapes (roughly chopped into about 2 inch chunks)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Add salt and olive oil as needed. Freezes well!



4th Week of the Summer CSA: July 4th-6th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, pea shoots, scallions, green curly kale, baby kale, baby chard, bunched chard, rhubarb, parsley, French filet green beans, zucchini, summer squash, salad turnips, new potatoes, radish, sweet snap peas, basil, beets, garlic scapes, cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, and the first tomatoes! The first harvest is always small, so please limit yourself to only one item’s worth of tomatoes this week. Very soon there will be plenty of tomatoes to fulfill all your dreams, but for now stick with one pound so everyone who wants some can get some. Thanks!

Special Note: Some folks have asked if we are open on Thursday since it is a holiday! Yes! We are open on July 4th: Please feel free to pick up your veggies on Thursday. If you want to celebrate the holiday for us, just call Sanders, Leahy, and Welch to ask them to put pressure on shutting down the child detention centers on our southern border. In the spirit of Independence Day, everyone deserves to be safe, well fed, clean, cared for, and with their family.

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

ripening maneros, a delicious french heirloom, photo by Adam Ford

ripening maneros, a delicious french heirloom, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Knowledge and experience is a gift and a burden. In our early years of farming if a crop didn’t work, we often didn’t know exactly why. Were the nutrients off? Was there a pest or disease we weren’t familiar with? Does this crop not like these growing conditions? Better luck next year, was often my feeling. But now we have becomes intimately familiar with many of the issues that can challenge crops, and sometimes they feel especially daunting, causing stress that we would not have felt when we didn’t know as much. This is the second year (that we know of) that we are dealing with botryitis in our high tunnel tomatoes. It expresses itself as a particularly aggressive gray mold that causes aborted flowers on tomatoes, leading to significant yield reduction in the plants. There aren’t great organic controls, and it is caused by cool, wet, humid conditions. This cool, wet spring allowed botryitis to flourish in one of our tunnels, and most of the plants are infected. We watch sadly as many of the flowers that should be tomatoes later in the season die and fall off. Last year when we witnessed this aborted flower phenomenon we thought it was from temperatures that were too high in the tunnel a couple times so we didn’t know to be on the lookout for it this spring. Now we know. The good news is that the other tunnel of tomatoes is not showing any signs of disease, and we are growing nearly twice as many tomatoes as last year so hopefully between those two facts we will still have a bumper crop of delicious heirlooms this year. Sometimes I remember with fondness the days when we didn’t understand plant pathogens, and we could look at these plants and go “Weird. Why are all these flowers falling off? Oh well!” instead of thinking “Ah! Botryitis! Short of removing every infected flower on over 1000 plants, there is no way to eradicate this gray mold that will significantly shrink our tomato output in a month, and I have no idea how it will affect future year’s crops unless I finally get good at grafting tomatoes and spend even more time and money on growing a tropical plant in Vermont!” Knowledge can be draining. But watching a toddler delight in a fresh sliced tomato is all worth it, so never fear, we are going to battle with botryitis, and there will be tomatoes this year!

the earliest potatoes we got in the ground are growing nicely and well weeded, thanks team! photo by Adam Ford

the earliest potatoes we got in the ground are growing nicely and well weeded, thanks team! photo by Adam Ford

In better news, we had a super fun weeding party last week and got more weeding done than we had planned. Thanks to everyone who came out! Many of us also found it super fun, so we will try to do these monthly to provide more opportunities to farm a bit and then eat and play together. We rescued lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash, and started the peppers! Team work makes the dream work.

super cute baby chicks that Sky adores holding and gently hugging and patting with an adorable squeaky voice, photo by Adam Ford

super cute baby chicks that Sky adores holding and gently hugging and patting with an adorable squeaky voice, photo by Adam Ford

This week our team was able to get the outdoor tomatoes trellised, as well as the ground cherries. Ryan is creating a super cool ground cherry trellis that has blossomed out of his own brain, and I am excited to see where it takes us with ground cherry production in the future. We will snap some some pictures of the trellis system throughout the season to share it with other farmers if it works as well as we think it will. It’s a large V-shape trellis that will keep the bushes off the ground and allow the berries to fall through the metal mesh, making for much easier and cleaner picking. Stay tuned!

we grow our plum tomatoes outside since they are ready later in the season anyway… Sam getting them trellised, photo by Adam Ford

we grow our plum tomatoes outside since they are ready later in the season anyway… Sam getting them trellised, photo by Adam Ford

Meanwhile we are catching up on other weeding projects and sneaking in moments to keep trellising tomatoes.

Hope you have a lovely week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Taylor, Dan, and Cindy

super happy Callie dog, after a job well done keeping a hawk away from the new baby chicks, photo by Adam Ford

super happy Callie dog, after a job well done keeping a hawk away from the new baby chicks, photo by Adam Ford

Simple Cucumber Salad

This is a divine side dish, but often is my main dish!

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced, peels on

2 scallions, thinly sliced (I used the entire thing, green and white parts)

1/2 bag of pea shoots, finely chopped

1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

2 TBSP soy sauce

1 tsp maple syrup

1 TBSP lime juice

optional sesame seeds

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes to have the cucumbers soak up the flavor. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a day or so. I re-purpose it in sandwiches or on salads after the first day.







3rd Week of the Summer CSA: June 27th-29th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, head lettuce, baby bok choi, pea shoots, green garlic, scallions, green curly kale, lacinato kale, baby kale, baby chard, bunched chard, rhubarb, parsley, salad turnips, cilantro, basil, beets, garlic scapes, and cucumbers.

trellised cucumber plants: When they get this tall, we lower the plants by releasing the tension on those white roller hooks, the bottom of the plants start laying on the ground where the cucumbers have already been harvested from so the plant can keep growing vertically for more production, photo by Adam Ford

trellised cucumber plants: When they get this tall, we lower the plants by releasing the tension on those white roller hooks, the bottom of the plants start laying on the ground where the cucumbers have already been harvested from so the plant can keep growing vertically for more production, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

Dan and Taylor seeding, photo by Adam Ford

Dan and Taylor seeding, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

What a week! Last week the flash flooding that hit on Thursday did some damage at the farm, mostly in ditches and roadways. The silver lining to that storm is that is showed us that the work Ryan just had done to make our growing fields more resilient to these quick heavy storms that are becoming more frequent is working. I think I described the field changes during the spring newlsetter, so if you are curious you can check back recent posts to learn about the changes we are making. The brief description is that we are turning out 4-5 acres of growing space into dozens of small 100’ x 40’ growing spaces with wide, grassy low swales between to catch and move water from the fields and into ditches to prevent large erosion events from affecting our growing spaces. It’s a massive overhaul, but it’s working, and that is heartening with all the attention and care we put into soil building and retention. Soil is our most important asset, and without it we can’t grow food. There are still some long term solutions that we need to solve for the areas that were damaged by the flooding, but for now, we applied enough bandaids to keep rolling along.

driving lane in one of our fields that failed, photo by Taylor Morneau

driving lane in one of our fields that failed, photo by Taylor Morneau

one of the failed ditches, photo by Adam Ford

one of the failed ditches, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan seeding one of the repaired ditches, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan seeding one of the repaired ditches, photo by Adam Ford

Sky pointing out the obvious: “gotta keep the culverts from clogging so they do their job, mama”, photo by Adam Ford

Sky pointing out the obvious: “gotta keep the culverts from clogging so they do their job, mama”, photo by Adam Ford

Besides coming home to flooding damage, we are also catching up to the weather finally (maybe?) getting warmer and sunnier and seeing things grow better. We got the rest of the potatoes planted (finally!), and started catching up on trellising many of the tomato plants that got away from us. Over lunch yesterday, the team described how on one row of tomato plants they estimated taking off over 75% of the plant material from each plant to get all the suckers and leaf branches under control. Tomatoes are truly wild! We transplanted our next round of broccoli and cabbage, and in the same day seeded the fall broccoli and cabbage. I really enjoy doing different things with the same crop in the same day, connecting me from one season to the next very directly. Would have been awesome if our first round of broccoli and cabbage was ready to harvest to really do all three steps in one day!

eggplant flowers, photo by Adam Ford

eggplant flowers, photo by Adam Ford

Now we are hoping to catch up to trellising peas and outdoor tomatoes, and then take a big bite out of the weeds. Our cultivated vegetables may not have appreciated the cool, wet fall, but the weeds did! It’s time to get those back in control:

This Thursday from 3pm to 5pm we will be rescue weeding a few areas, and then enjoying each other's company with some delicious and garden based food after weeding. (At least pea shoot-parsley-garlic scape pesto pasta and a summer beet salad. Yum.) If anyone is able and interested, feel free to join us for some weeding anytime during that window, and stay for some thank you food. Feel free to come by too even if you may not be able to work, for instance if you have small children in tow.

wild tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

wild tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

And in other news, mark your calendars for July 6th: We will be hosting a potluck and concert featuring The Horse Eyed Men and Maggie Carson at 5:30. More details soon.

Enjoy this sunshine and have a great week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Dan, the Sams, Cindy

We have been delighting in watching a mama robin build a nest this spring, tend her eggs, hatch them, and in this shot they are about to fly! photo by Adam Ford

We have been delighting in watching a mama robin build a nest this spring, tend her eggs, hatch them, and in this shot they are about to fly! photo by Adam Ford



Pea Shoot Parsley Garlic Scape Pesto

1 bag pea shoots

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch garlic scapes

1 cup sunflower seeds

2 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add additional olive oil to achieve your desired thickness. This is fantastic on pasta, as a spread on sandwiches, in egg dishes, in wraps, as a dip, or as baby food. (Seriously— both my kids eat pesto by the spoonful.)










2nd Week of the Summer CSA: June 20th-22nd

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, baby arugula, baby spinach, pea shoots, green garlic, green curly kale, lacinato kale, baby chard, bunched chard, rhubarb, parsley, salad turnips, radishes, and cucumbers.

cucumbers growing, photo by Adam Ford

cucumbers growing, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

dew on tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

dew on tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Since I am writing this a week early, current farm news would not reflect what’s going on when you are reading this. This week I offer you some farm history, instead. Ryan and I lived and worked at a therapeutic community farm for adults with special needs right after college, followed by two years living and working at my favorite summer camp in the world: Check out Journey’s End Farm Camp in Pennsylvania if you have kids between ages 7-12: https://www.journeysendfarm.org/camp We ran our first CSA for two years at Journey’s End, and then with all the blinders and self adulation that 24-year olds might have when beginner’s luck makes their first CSA a raging success, we decided to write a business plan, borrow lots of money, and start our own farm in Vermont. During college we each had other various farm experiences at college and abroad, but generally we dove into this project without a lot of formal training or experience, which made for so many hilarious rookie mistakes. Today’s episode in farm history is simply a list of the ridiculous things we did at other farms, on our own farm, or in the kitchen with fresh produce. The most recent of these was 8 years ago, so truly you don’t need to worry if your farmers are capable… this is just to enjoy the follies of starting a farm as liberal arts college grads.

pepper plant waiting for summer warmth, photo by Adam Ford

pepper plant waiting for summer warmth, photo by Adam Ford

  • Transplanted dozens of baby poison hemlock plants thinking they were cilantro. (Update, no one died because we realized our mistake before harvest.)

  • Transplanted 6-foot tall tomatoes from outdoors in September to an adobe greenhouse for “winter production” and proceeded to enjoy dead tomato plants with no new fruit.

  • Removed every pepper plant that was companion planted around tomatoes in someone’s garden because pepper plants were unfamiliar at that point.

  • Seeded about 20,000 broccoli plants in about 24 square feet, using several years of a farmers’ broccoli seed. (For reference, we grow about 6 to 8 broccoli plants in that same amount of space now, so 20,000 was about 19,992-19,994 too many plants for that space.)

  • Served cut up, raw winter squash (imagine melon chunks) for breakfast to a full boat crew because I didn’t know what winter squash looked like. (I have come a long way in the kitchen since that fiasco.)

  • Fed a herd of milking cows carrot tops. (Carrot tops suppress milk production in lactating mammals.)

  • Tried transplanting wild ramps into a garden.

  • Made pesto with the ENTIRE basil plant (woody stems included) because I wanted my college food budget to go as far as possible. (It was gross and inedible even for college students.)

  • Tried to sell stinging nettle at our first market without a way to avoid getting stung, and was shocked that people didn’t want to handle it with their bare hands.

  • Tapped a handful of maple trees with the hole going up. (The concept of gravity, and sap running downward was apparently lost on me.)

  • Milked cows in high heels.

  • Placed a half acre garden directly in the middle of a well traveled deer path with no deer fencing.

  • Tried to brake on a tractor using the clutch and plowed right through a fence.

  • Planted potatoes in unprepared ground. (Grew fewer potatoes than we originally put in the ground.)

  • “Hilled” potatoes with raked leaves.. This created a perfect habitat for mice, stocked with a food source. Harvested fewer potatoes than we planted.

  • Overfilled a manure spreader with compost to “save time” when we needed to amend a field fast and snapped our PTO. Several hours and several hundred dollar repair later, we broke a different part of the spreader.

  • Actually too many machine mistakes than are worth listing.

  • We bought a farm along a river. We all know how that worked out the first time;)

  • That’s probably enough for now. I swear we are actually a lot smarter than this list sounds!

This is our first market EVER in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Please enjoy the stinging nettle in the basket up front. Good luck grabbing that.

This is our first market EVER in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Please enjoy the stinging nettle in the basket up front. Good luck grabbing that.

Couldn’t find my picture of milking in orange heels, so instead enjoy this picture of when I thought useful farm attire was a jumpsuit, pearls, and a Marilyn Monroe wig.

Couldn’t find my picture of milking in orange heels, so instead enjoy this picture of when I thought useful farm attire was a jumpsuit, pearls, and a Marilyn Monroe wig.

Stay tuned for next week, and more timely farm news. Thank our crew this week if you see them. It is an enormous gift they give us to hold down this operation so we can recharge as a family.

Have a great week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Dan, Cindy, Sam, and Sam

This wiggle wire will get used soon on the new tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

This wiggle wire will get used soon on the new tunnel! photo by Adam Ford


Kale Chips

I usually include this one once a year because they are an awesome snack, kids love them, and you probably would too if you don’t normally like kale. Kale is one of my favorite vegetables, but honestly most people love kale chips. You can use either variety for kale chips, but I usually prefer using green curly because I like their shape better for kale chips.

kale chips1.jpg

1 bunch kale

1 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Remove the stems from the kale, and roughly rip the leaves. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well so all the leaves are coated. Spread the kale out on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 10- 15 minutes, but check often so they don’t burn. Enjoy!


1st Week of the Summer CSA: June 13th-15th

How To Use This Newsletter

Each week you will receive a newsletter with what's available to choose from, any important details about the CSA, farm news, and a recipe. We keep the most important information at the top, so if you don't have time to read a newsletter, anything you need to know will be in the beginning before the section labeled "Farm News." There will also be a button up top you can click on if you have any questions. Some questions are common so we created answer page that may be helpful. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please don't hesitate to reach out!

cucumber tendril, because Adam knows these will ALWAYS mesmerize me…. I mean have you ever SEEN these things up close. These days they remind me of little infant hands who are trying to walk… Whatever is nearby they will grab and supportively wrap themselves around to get more upright, whether it’s basil plants or a different cucumber, plus they are gorgeous, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber tendril, because Adam knows these will ALWAYS mesmerize me…. I mean have you ever SEEN these things up close. These days they remind me of little infant hands who are trying to walk… Whatever is nearby they will grab and supportively wrap themselves around to get more upright, whether it’s basil plants or a different cucumber, plus they are gorgeous, photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, baby arugula, baby spinach, pea shoots, green garlic, green curly kale, lacinato kale, baby chard, bunched chard, rhubarb, parsley, salad turnips, radishes, and CUCUMBERS!! We may keep the cucumbers hidden behind the table at market JUST for CSA members to make sure everyone can have some, so if you are looking for cucumbers at either market, just ask us. THIS is the bonus of CSA…. We hide the best stuff for you all until we have an abundance to sell at market.

baby lettuce to harvest later this week, photo by Adam Ford

baby lettuce to harvest later this week, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm.

My mom talking Soraya on a little walk… If you look closely her hands are grabbing my mom’s like a cucumber tendril.. seriously, photo by Adam Ford

My mom talking Soraya on a little walk… If you look closely her hands are grabbing my mom’s like a cucumber tendril.. seriously, photo by Adam Ford

If you pickup at the barn: We have two very sweet dogs, one who is poorly behaved and may jump on you despite all our best efforts. We apologize in advance if she jumps on you. The other dog is super sweet as well, but can have an intimidating bark if you haven't met him. Neither of these dogs will pose a danger to you or your kiddos. 

If you pickup at market: Please check your name off on the clip board or ask one of us to check you in. Thanks!

Payments are due: Half of your remaining balance is due. If you need a different payment schedule, and haven’t already set one up, just let me know. We are happy to work with you.

garlic looking good and disease free, but we would like to see much more heft to this at this time of year, photo by Adam Ford

garlic looking good and disease free, but we would like to see much more heft to this at this time of year, photo by Adam Ford

Bonuses in the Barn

If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, certified organic grassfed beef or local, wood fired maple syrup, we have both available for sale from neighboring farms. The beef is in the freezer to the left of the CSA sign in board, and the maple syrup is right next to the board. It is important to note that these are not things that can be swapped for items in your CSA.  These are completely separate from our business: we are just offering the space to our neighbors. If you want to buy any of these products, fill out the sheet in front of the CSA sign in board, and leave payment in the CSA payment box, and we will pass it along to them.  

supplies for the next high tunnel waiting their turn, with the tiny little kids’ garden I am putting in this year so that the kids that come pick up their items from the barn later in the summer can pick their very own peas, cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, and flowers! photo by Adam Ford

supplies for the next high tunnel waiting their turn, with the tiny little kids’ garden I am putting in this year so that the kids that come pick up their items from the barn later in the summer can pick their very own peas, cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, and flowers! photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

We are totally enjoying this sun! It will take a couple weeks for the gardens to reflect the sunny, warm weather as everything essentially sat still in the fields during all the cool, wet weather. For those of you who were not part of the spring share, reading the repetitive weekly updates about how everything was wet and cold, and too muddy to get in the fields, the brief recap is that we are a couple weeks behind getting the large plantings put in the ground. By the time you are reading this we will probably have all the winter squash planted (yay!), potatoes planted (super yay!), and all the last few smaller plantings. We hope to finally get the peas trellised, as well as the later tomatoes.

Dan and The Sams planting potatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Dan and The Sams planting potatoes, photo by Adam Ford

One of the downers of such a cold and wet start to the year is that plants aren’t growing the way we need them to. We uncovered the zucchini the other day to allow for pollination, and the plants are waaaaaaaay smaller than they should be for hosting so many blossoms. Usually the plants put on much more green growth to support the subsequent fruiting. It’s likely that plants like zucchini will rebound just fine with some sun and warmth since they are such tenacious plants, but we hope it won’t affect yield. This is similar for other plants as well. Basically they are getting the signal that there isn’t enough warmth and sun to continue vegetative growth, so they should put their energy into fruiting and flowering… the natural reproductive cycle for plants.

Ryan is having Jay dig these 8 foot wide swales between every 40 feet of garden space. They will drain water out with water bars to gravel drainage on the sides of the fields, reducing the risk of big erosion events in the future, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan is having Jay dig these 8 foot wide swales between every 40 feet of garden space. They will drain water out with water bars to gravel drainage on the sides of the fields, reducing the risk of big erosion events in the future, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we are away on vacation, which is an enormous gift our team gives us each year. (Last year instead of vacation we had a baby in July, so we are really looking forward to this time away.) Leaving for nearly a week makes things a bit chaotic leading up to our departure. When we had planned going away this time of year, we assumed all the fields would be done being planted at least 2 weeks ago. So it’s a little stressful packing everything in last minute. On top of that, Ryan is managing the dual large projects of prepping the ground for the next high tunnel, and also transforming our fields to be managed more resiliently in future heavy rain storms. Both projects require a lot of earth moving and oversight of an excavator, so I applaud Ryan for having his brain in what feels like 5 places at all times these days. I look forward to sharing future pictures of how the fields have been changed to address the weather intensity of a changing climate.

This is one of those swales finished, seeded to grass, and mulched. I. LOVE. IT. photo by Adam Ford

This is one of those swales finished, seeded to grass, and mulched. I. LOVE. IT. photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Cindy, Taylor, Sam, Sam, and Dan

Jay fixing the drainage area north of the tunnels, to help the water that is shed from the tunnels move more effectively into the culvert into the creek, photo by Adam Ford

Jay fixing the drainage area north of the tunnels, to help the water that is shed from the tunnels move more effectively into the culvert into the creek, photo by Adam Ford

Arugula and Radish Fritata

image from PBS.com

image from PBS.com

This recipe has so many great flavors, and even though it has several steps, it is actually quite quick to make. Excellent for dinner, brunch, breakfast, lunch, really whenever! (Little secret: I really don’t like radishes, and I don’t often reach for arugula if I have other greens choices, but I LOVE this recipe.)

1 bag arugula

3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced

1 TBSP maple syrup

1/4 cup milk

2 TBSP olive oil

6 eggs

1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

1 cup parmesan, shredded

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Saute garlic in 1 TBSP olive oil in a large cast iron pan, until garlic is lightly browned. Turn off the heat, add arugula to the pan, and stir to lightly wilt. In a separate bowl whisk eggs with cheese, milk, salt and pepper, and 3/4 of the parlsey. In a separate bowl, mix radishes, maple syrup, and 1 TBSP olive oil. Pour the egg mixture over the arugula in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and evenly distribute the radish mixture on the top of the fritatta. Return tray to oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the eggs are solid when you pierce it with a knife. Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Serve with remaining fresh parsley. Enjoy!


LAST Week of the Spring CSA: June 7th-8th

Thank you so much for your support by being a part of this year’s Spring Share! This is the last week of the Spring CSA Share. If you are interested in a summer share, and you haven’t already signed up, now is the time to do so: https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-summer-share It starts next week. Thanks!

cucumber tendril, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber tendril, photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, cilantro, radishes, and starts for your garden! We know many of you keep gardens as well. This is the last week we will have plants available. Many varieties of things went way faster this year than previous years, but we still have: cilantro, dill, parsley, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, serrano peppers, poblano peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, yellow watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, beefsteak tomatoes, and pineapple tomatoes.

allium flower looking like the amazing firework that it is, photo by Adam Ford

allium flower looking like the amazing firework that it is, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm. Sorry for this inconvenience!

This year we took the radical step of removing the landscape fabric from the garlic so we could better top dress it with fertilizer. Because of all the wet weather, the garlic has not been able to take up the soil nutrients as well as we hope. Adding this feeding now will ensure an adequate garlic harvest later, photo by Adam Ford

This year we took the radical step of removing the landscape fabric from the garlic so we could better top dress it with fertilizer. Because of all the wet weather, the garlic has not been able to take up the soil nutrients as well as we hope. Adding this feeding now will ensure an adequate garlic harvest later, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Ryan was able to get our tractor back in action at the end of last week. Then he promptly finished the plowing for the new fields.

the giant 3-bottom plow Ryan borrowed from a neighbor, photo by Adam Ford

the giant 3-bottom plow Ryan borrowed from a neighbor, photo by Adam Ford

field after plowing, photo by Adam Ford

field after plowing, photo by Adam Ford

This week we will start start the site work for the new high tunnel. Hooray! The Sams have been working away at putting together all the bows for the new high tunnel. If you pick up your CSA share at the farm, you will notice the stack of bows near the barn getting higher and higher. Meanwhile a bulldozer will level the ground where we will put it up, and then we will trench water lines. Shortly after that we can start putting up the structure. These structures are definitely fun to build, and they always take more time than we realize.

Sky is very excited for all the large equipment here this week to prep for the high tunnel, but he may think that his dump truck might be useful for the project too, sorry buddy, photo by Adam Ford

Sky is very excited for all the large equipment here this week to prep for the high tunnel, but he may think that his dump truck might be useful for the project too, sorry buddy, photo by Adam Ford

The farm is still too wet in some areas to do what we need to do. But we finally finished transplanting onions and leeks. That feels awesome. We still haven’t been able to prep the ground for potatoes, and it’s getting pretty late in the season for those. It will all work out, but we would really like to pop those in the ground at this point. Each day we have to wait to get the potatoes in the ground correlates to a smaller cumulative yield of potatoes at the end of the season. We are keeping up with all the smaller, regular transplantings of kales, beets, cilantro, lettuce, etc, so that feels really good as well. We are starting to catch up on weeding projects, and always staying ahead of the trellising of tomatoes.

tomatoes are coming along! photo by Adam Ford

tomatoes are coming along! photo by Adam Ford

Sam and Ryan started soaking shiitake logs. We should start harvesting those in a couple weeks. Shiitakes are a warm weather crop, and we had to wait until the temperatures we were right before we could start shocking them. Soaking, shocking, what does all that mean? To cultivate log-grown shiitakes, first we harvest several oak and sugar maple trees. We drill lots of holes into 4-foot logs. Those holes are filled with spawn, and sealed with a cheese wax. Then they sit for a year to fully inoculate the log. Once they are ready to use, each week we soak, or shock, a pallet’s worth of logs in large water troughs. Then they are removed from the water and individually laid against a stand so it looks like a long lean-to. When they are ready to be harvested, we cut the fruit off each log and stack the logs back on the pallet they came from. We always have several batches going in different stages. At this point we feel like we manage a decent sized shiitake yard with several dunk bins and set-ups to lean them all up. If you pick up at the farm, look left as you pull in the driveway to see the shady shiitake yard. Growing shiitakes is heavy work moving all those logs around several times for each fruiting. It’s nice that it is grown without disturbing soil, and it’s also nice to get the chance to get a break from working in the full sun in the fields (not an issue so far this season!) to work in the shade of the shiitake yard.

All the baby goats are in their new homes, hooray! photo by Adam Ford

All the baby goats are in their new homes, hooray! photo by Adam Ford

Next week we hope to tackle the potato planting as well as winter squash. Then we will have the majority of our full season plants in the ground finally!

Have a great week and thanks for letting us grow your food!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Dan, Taylor, and Cindy

Parsley Pesto

Pestos are a staple food in our house. We obviously love the first basil pesto of the season, but if we only ate basil pesto, we wouldn’t be eating enough of that great green stuff. We make pestos out of anything, cilantro, spinach, pea shoots, arugula, parsley, etc. Parsley pesto is a special favorite of mine. Great on pasta, sandwhiches, eggs, meats, roasted vegetables, in salad dressings, really whatever. It’s great to have in the fridge.

image from geniuskitchen.com

image from geniuskitchen.com


2 bunches of parsley

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of lemon juice

1 tsp salt

3-6 cloves of garlic

1 cup olive oil

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Add extra olive oil or salt as needed.


7th Week of the Spring CSA: May 31st - June 1st

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, cilantro, radishes, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: cilantro, dill, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes.

Garlic growing in landscape fabric.. It’s looking good this year, but showing signs of being hungry, probably because of all of the rain. Ryan foliar fed them with fish over the weekend as it rained, so it was nicely watered in. (Sometimes if fish emulsion stays on the leaves in the sun it can “burn” them a bit, so it was fortuitous that we had the rain to take it right down to the roots.) photo by Adam Ford

Garlic growing in landscape fabric.. It’s looking good this year, but showing signs of being hungry, probably because of all of the rain. Ryan foliar fed them with fish over the weekend as it rained, so it was nicely watered in. (Sometimes if fish emulsion stays on the leaves in the sun it can “burn” them a bit, so it was fortuitous that we had the rain to take it right down to the roots.) photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. The Ludlow Farmers’ Market open this weekend, so you can pick up your share in Ludlow on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm. Sorry for this inconvenience!

hyacinth, photo by Adam Ford

hyacinth, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

This week’s adventure is repairing a tractor wheel! Ryan’s brain has been hard at work making a huge shift to our field production methods to keep up with the frequency of heavy rainstorms, and the challenges they pose for erosion control. We are switching out cropping systems to create several over 40 small “gardens” that are about 1/10th of an acre each. Crazy, but awesome. That being said, he is taking certain areas out of production this season to plow these newly oriented micro fields, and then either cover crop them or cover them with a tarp to kill start killing the weed seed bank. This week he borrowed a neighbor' farmer’s GIANT plow and got to work during that day of dry, sunny weather we had. As farm luck would have it, a giant rock got stuck between the tire and the housing under the tractor and bent the rim of the tractor wheel. He is working to remove that wheel to attempt repairing the rim before getting the tire put back on. Farm hiccups take a surprising amount of work to iron out. It’s pretty much the only thing his brain has been working on since Monday. We are hoping to have the tractor up and running again by early next week. We need it for other work, such as prepping more beds for transplants that are excited to go out in the field.

This photo was taken shortly before the tractor versus rock incident occurred, and it shows one of the fields in transition. Way in the background, that upper field is being plowed to create the smaller garden plots. The left area that is all brown has been plowed, and the green area on the right will be plowed when the tractor is back together. photo by Sam E.

This photo was taken shortly before the tractor versus rock incident occurred, and it shows one of the fields in transition. Way in the background, that upper field is being plowed to create the smaller garden plots. The left area that is all brown has been plowed, and the green area on the right will be plowed when the tractor is back together. photo by Sam E.

Meanwhile, the tomato plants in the tunnel continue to look beautiful. The greens growing around them are almost all harvested out from the spring share. When they are all cleared out, we will do a comprehensive weeding and then mulch around the tomatoes, basil, and parsley to control weeds for the season. We will weed most of the tunnel with straw, but this year Ryan is also running an experiment with mulching with rice hulls in about 15 feet of bed space to see if that’s an adequate mulch material. It would be awesome to use since it is a waste product.

growing pea shoots can be a bit fa pain in our prop house. we grow them like microgreens, so they need regular watering to keep them from getting dried out. This week Ryan, Sam, and Sam built a permanent bed for pea shoot seedings to see if they can be simplified a bit by being in the ground. photo by Adam Ford

growing pea shoots can be a bit fa pain in our prop house. we grow them like microgreens, so they need regular watering to keep them from getting dried out. This week Ryan, Sam, and Sam built a permanent bed for pea shoot seedings to see if they can be simplified a bit by being in the ground. photo by Adam Ford

Yesterday the crew worked in some gnarly cool, rainy weather transplanting most of the rest of the onions that need to go out. I applaud farmers. Our team is top notch, and I am especially impressed when we meet up at lunch, and they are cold and wet and still awesome, nice people, not outwardly peeved that they were working in garbage weather. Go farmers.

this is what the onion field looks like as we transplant them in. Lots of landscape fabric with holes every 8 inches…. so many onions to do! photo by Adam Ford

this is what the onion field looks like as we transplant them in. Lots of landscape fabric with holes every 8 inches…. so many onions to do! photo by Adam Ford

When the tractor is back in action we will hopefully get the potato field prepped for that planting to go in. We aren’t worried about how far behind some of our plantings are, we really feel like we won’t notice it as the season goes on, but we will still feel awesome when it all gets caught up. Here’s to the weather drying out, warming up, and the tractor repair going smoothly and quickly.

The Sams (as we affectionately call both Sams on the crew) started putting together to bows for the new high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

The Sams (as we affectionately call both Sams on the crew) started putting together to bows for the new high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, the Sams, Taylor, Dan, and Cindy


Roasted Radishes with Chimichuri

image from everylastbite.com

image from everylastbite.com

This is a really simple side dish, snack, or addition over a green salad. Though radishes are mostly eaten raw, they can also be cooked. (Fun fact: I think that radishes taste like crunchy, boiled rubberbands unless they are roasted, so I only eat them cooked!)

2 bunches radishes

1 bunch parlsey

1 bunch cilantro (optional if you don’t like cilantro)

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil and 1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp maple syrup

salt and pepper

Remove radish greens. Toss radishes in 1 TBSP olive oil and a pinch of salt and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 until lightly browned. Meanwhile, put all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. When radishes are done, dip them in this bright, flavorful chimichuri!







6th Week of the Spring CSA: May 24th-25th

What’s Available This Week

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, cilantro, salad turnips, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, zinnias, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and French filet green beans. We will have several tomato varieties in future weeks, I just want them to get a bit larger on our heated table! If salad turnips are new to you, we love them! You can eat them raw, fermented, roasted, sauteed, etc. They are most commonly shredded or sliced onto salads. They are sweet and crunchy with a slight bite unless you peel them. (We never peel them.) Some people eat them like an apple. 

starts for your garden, photo by Adam Ford

starts for your garden, photo by Adam Ford

Balance Due

If you have an outstanding balance on your spring share, it is due this week, unless you have set up a payment plan. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know.


CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. The Ludlow Farmers’ Market open this weekend, so you can pick up your share in Ludlow on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm. Sorry for this inconvenience!

Adam gets fun pictures of tendrils on plants… this is a cucumber, photo by Adam Ford

Adam gets fun pictures of tendrils on plants… this is a cucumber, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Tired about hearing about the weather yet? Unfortunately that has really dominated our conversations around here these days. Ryan prepped all the beds to transplant onions on Sunday before the predicted heavy rains on Monday. Sunday evening we had a burst of 1 inch of rain in less than a half hour. Then we got an additional inch and a half overnight, so unfortunately it was even too wet and muddy to plant on Monday. We are still in that holding pattern, we simply cannot do work in the fields right now because it’s too wet. Ryan’s words sum it up best. When his mom sent him a message asking about how the fields fared in the rain he explained:

“It wasn't the worst that's ever happened here but it hurt.… we got about 2 1/2 inches of rain, so we had a lot of soil wash away.  We'll also need to wait a few days to even have a chance at being able to seed and transplant in the saturated soil.  This much soil saturation can cause nutrient leeching that makes it more likely for many crops to be nitrogen deficient, so we'll need to think about where that might be a risk.  It's the first time in mid May that I've ever had to think hard about what work we can actually do, because we can't set out all the transplants that are ready. But we're doing a good job planning how to make the best decisions going forward for this season, and also planning and making some decisions for how we can change systems in the long term to be more resilient to hard rains.”

Ryan and Soraya, photo by Adan Ford

Ryan and Soraya, photo by Adan Ford

Today the crew seeded winter squash in cells in hopes that we can transplant them later when we get more dried out. This time last year they were already direct seeded in the field. We prefer direct seeding winter squash, but we have transplanted them plenty of years before, so this isn’t bad, it’s just different.

Our site work isn’t done yet to put up the next high tunnel (because, that’s right, it’s too wet to get an excavator on the field), but the team is assembling all the bows to be ready to put it up when we are able to start doing that.

Not much I enjoy more than watching a honeybee collect nectar from a dandelion… I love that flower and that pollinator! photo by Adam Ford

Not much I enjoy more than watching a honeybee collect nectar from a dandelion… I love that flower and that pollinator! photo by Adam Ford

We peaked under the row cover where the peppers and zucchini were tucked in last week, and they all look great. That’s an awesome feeling. We will need to address their access to nutrients because of the wet, but it’s nice they handled transplant stress well, and seem to be doing lovely. All the high tunnel crops continue to look awesome.

As I type this, I am enjoying our resident hummingbirds feed from the feeder that my mom cleaned up and refilled. They kept buzzing around our porch the past several weeks looking for their feeder, so it’s nice to see them enjoying it.

If there aren’t enough field veggies to look at, we may as well enjoy Ryan’s flower gardens, photo by Adam Ford

If there aren’t enough field veggies to look at, we may as well enjoy Ryan’s flower gardens, photo by Adam Ford

This week’s thoughts on the climate crisis are in regards to topsoil. Geologists often describe the earth as a giant rock covered in a couple inches of life sustaining dirt. We owe our entire ability to sustain human civilization on topsoil. Topsoil is one of the fasted depleted natural resources in our life due to many factors including inappropriate agricultural practices, human development, extreme weather, and many, many other factors. Our line of work is always actively trying to build and maintain topsoil so we can proudly tell our next generation we did what we could to take care of the topsoil we were borrowing from them and future generations. Observing rainstorms like Sunday night are a bummer, and is the fuel we use to keep being better farmers.

This is the invisible artist behind all these awesome photos… gotcha, Adam!

This is the invisible artist behind all these awesome photos… gotcha, Adam!

And this is the picture he was taking when I snapped his picture, photo by Adam Ford

And this is the picture he was taking when I snapped his picture, photo by Adam Ford

Hope you have a lovely week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Sam, Sam, Dan, and Cindy


Green Vinaigrette

image from sweetpeasandsaffron.com

image from sweetpeasandsaffron.com

1/2 cup packed pea shoots

1 bunch parsley

2-3 garlic cloves

1 tiny onion or single scallion

2 TBSP maple syrup

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP tahini

2 cups olive oil

1 cup apple cider vinegar

Blend all these ingredients together to enjoy the salad dressing we are rocking at home right now. Put this on any salad.



5th Week of the Spring CSA: May 17th-18th

What’s Available This Week

This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, scallions, salad turnips, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and French filet green beans. We will have several tomato varieties in future weeks, I just want them to get a bit larger on our heated table! If salad turnips are new to you, we love them! You can eat them raw, fermented, roasted, sauteed, etc. They are most commonly shredded or sliced onto salads. They are sweet and crunchy with a slight bite unless you peel them. (We never peel them.) Some people eat them like an apple. We also still have plenty of garlic but it is becoming difficult to effectively sort, with some bad cloves hiding from our normal ability to see what is marketable versus “farmer” garlic. So we will still have garlic out at pickup and still have it available to choose on the form for Ludlow deliveries, but it won’t count as an item. Garlic is now a “bonus.” Take as much garlic as you want in addition to your weekly veggies, knowing that you will have to toss some cloves. Normally we don’t want to bog anyone down with “farmer” quality veggies, but there is just so much good garlic left among these cloves that I want you to have access to it if you love garlic as much as me!

spinach transplants in the field next to a bed of recently seeded baby greens, photo by Adam Ford

spinach transplants in the field next to a bed of recently seeded baby greens, photo by Adam Ford

Balance Due

If you have an outstanding balance on your spring share, it is due this week, unless you have set up a payment plan. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know.

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left.  You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 8 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

Farm News

It snowed in mid-May! Before this morning, the latest I had snow was when we lived in Hardwick, and it snowed on my birthday, waaaaaay back on May 3rd. So May 14th is a new record for late snow for our farm here, and it looks beautiful around the tulips!

the snow stuck around longest on the flower bed mulch….

the snow stuck around longest on the flower bed mulch….

Since we have snow in the forecast through Wednesday night, we are waiting until the end of the week to transplant peppers and zucchini. They will certainly be row covered but there is no need to have them under snow, even if it melts by later morning.

they are tiny and green, but happening, photo by Adam Ford

they are tiny and green, but happening, photo by Adam Ford

This week the team did a lot of working with landscape fabric, moving it from last year’s beds and stapling it on new beds for planting in the next couple weeks. It’s one of the more annoying jobs that we do, but it is tremendous at saving us weeding jobs later, so we muscle through and do it now. We are also catching up on pruning and trellising all the older tomatoes. Today we started trellising and pruning the cucumber plants. That job is hard for me because we have to prune off all the flowers and fruit on the bottom 12 to 16 inches of the plants otherwise the plants put all their effort into producing a bunch of fruit when it is still so small, and it never really turns into the robust plant we need for a full season of cucumber harvesting. So we prune those first fruits now for a longer harvest. Patience. I know many people eagerly await those first ripe tomatoes, but my great joy comes at crunching into the first ripe cucumber.

trellising tomatoes all morning long, photo by Adam Ford

trellising tomatoes all morning long, photo by Adam Ford

We will also be tackling some weeding jobs in the tunnels and seed a few more succession plantings in the prop house. And generally chomp at the bit to start transplanting more items outside as the ground dries up.

cucumber plant with flowers before trellising, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber plant with flowers before trellising, photo by Adam Ford

This week’s climate change observation: As the trees bud out this time of year, it’s easier to see what species are present in any stand of forest because the timing of their leaves are all different. It makes it easy to see how about 80% of the woods on our property are ash, which is a really high amount for any one species in this area, and will be especially interesting to watch this forest over the next several decades as the emerald ash borer makes its inevitable arrival into this region, decimating the ash population. The habits of invasive species are intimately tied to a changing climate, so its easy to think of them as I observe the ash. Ash was the first wood I learned to split since it is so easy to split. I used to joke that you could just look at ash, and it would bust into perfect pieces of firewood. Wondering if my grand kids will have to learn to split wood on a more challenging species!

plum tree in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

plum tree in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

And now is a great time to think about signing up for the summer share if you haven’t already. If you enjoy the fresh, delightful offerings of the spring share, just start day dreaming about the baby zucchini, cucumber, and green bean plants that are staying warm getting ready to produce fruit… or the teenager tomato plants that will wow us before we even realize.

Ry taking the kiddos and dog for a walk (Soraya is hiding on his back), photo by Adam Ford

Ry taking the kiddos and dog for a walk (Soraya is hiding on his back), photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

-The ESF Team: Taylor, Cindy, Dan, and Sam

Salad Turnip Gratin

image from everydaydishes.com

image from everydaydishes.com

Although salad turnips are usually eaten raw, they are also spectacular roasted, sauteed, baked, whatever. This is an excellent variation on a standard, done with salad turnips. Enjoy!

1 bunch of salad turnips

1 cup of milk

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP flour

1 TBSP lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mustard

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 bag of spinach

1-2 scallions, whites and greens chopped

1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed

Melt the butter in a pan. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Whisk in half of the milk. As it thickens, add the mustard, nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the remaining milk. Add the cheddar cheese. Whisk in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside. Slice the salad turnips thin, up to 1/4-inch thick. Put a layer in a baking pan. Spread a layer of the cheese sauce on the turnips. Continue alternating layers of salad turnips and cheese sauce. Top with a little grated cheese. Bake at 375 until lightly browned on top. Serve with fresh scallions and parsley. Enjoy!



4th Week of the Spring CSA: May 10th-11th

What’s Available This Week

This week we have baby lettuce, baby arugula, baby bok choi, spinach, radishes, scallions, salad turnips, celeriac, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: oregano, parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, sunflowers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and French filet green beans. We will have several tomato varieties in future weeks, I just want them to get a bit larger on our heated table! If salad turnips are new to you, we love them! You can eat them raw, fermented, roasted, sauteed, etc. They are most commonly shredded or sliced onto salads. They are sweet and crunchy with a slight bite unless you peel them. (We never peel them.) Some people eat them like an apple. We also still have plenty of garlic but it is becoming difficult to effectively sort, with some bad cloves hiding from our normal ability to see what is marketable versus “farmer” garlic. So we will still have garlic out at pickup and still have it available to choose on the form for Ludlow deliveries, but it won’t count as an item. Garlic is now a “bonus.” Take as much garlic as you want in addition to your weekly veggies, knowing that you will have to toss some cloves. Normally we don’t want to bog anyone down with “farmer” quality veggies, but there is just so much good garlic left among these cloves that I want you to have access to it if you love garlic as much as me!

If you pick up at the farm you will notice lots of yellow crates of potatoes lining the floor of the barn. These are seed potatoes, and are not for eating. We are green sprouting them so they get a jump with a sturdy stocky sprout before we plant them. Last week we ran out of last year’s eating potatoes, so now we have to wait for these to grow!

baby bok choi, photo by Adam Ford

baby bok choi, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left. The Rutland Farmers’ Market moves outside this week! You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 8 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

this is a fancy probe that provides accurate data on the moisture in the soil. We use this to dial in precise water needs in the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

this is a fancy probe that provides accurate data on the moisture in the soil. We use this to dial in precise water needs in the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Well this is officially the latest start we have had to spring outdoor planting since we started growing in Vermont. The weather hasn’t been sunny and warm enough to dry up all the many, many days of rain we have had. Ryan has been getting as many areas of the field prepped as he is able, but it has been tough, and making a mess in some areas. But the forecast is calling for up to an inch of rain on Thursday, followed by several days of predicted showers, so it seems like whatever we can get prepped on Wednesday may be all we will have access to for outdoor planting for awhile. This means we have modified some of our plantings, and had to make some adjustments to the field maps. But this level of changes don’t get noticed on the CSA level. Our production is based on first meeting the demands of our CSA, followed by our committed chefs and wholesale buyers, and then we bring the rest to market. So you probably won’t notice a difference in what we have available for the CSA. Even so, we wouldn’t mind some sunny weather to make the field work a bit easier.

That being said, the team has gotten a tremendous jump on transplanting outdoors despite the muddy conditions. So far in the ground is rainbow chard, baby chard, beets, lettuce, cilantro, spinach, bok choi, meslcun mix, peas, cabbage, and kale. More is going out as I write this, and I am grateful that we are staying on top of the health of the plants. Even though the field conditions are rough, we are still getting mostly everything out before they are experiencing stress outgrowing their cells. When the rain moves us inside today we will transplant all the later tomatoes into the high tunnel and do our weekly seeding.

almost all of these plants are now in the field!! photo by Adam Ford

almost all of these plants are now in the field!! photo by Adam Ford

As we plant these early plantings, most things get covered immediately with row cover. Row cover is most commonly used to buffer the temperature to give early season plants a little boost. But we also use it to manage pests. Our early brassicas (baby arugula, baby bok choi, radish, salad turnips, meslcun mix) can get destroyed by flee beetles without row cover. So we get those covers on right away. We also now have to cover chard, beets, and spinach to prevent a leaf miner infestation. Last year was the first year we dealt with leaf miner, and you may remember that we didn’t have nice tops on our beets, and we weren’t able to bunch chard after a few weeks in the summer. Leaf miner attacks the leaves in this family, so we were still able to harvest lovely beets, but this year we know that a simple cover will probably effectively solve that pest issue. You can see our theme here is always physical barriers before considering organic sprays. We use those only as a last resort. Because, and what a segue, the issue of significant biodiversity loss in the face of climate change is important to respect, even when it comes to the diversity of who is eating our veggies and affecting our business bottom line.

Just one of the baby goats in a bucket being cute, photo by Adam Ford

Just one of the baby goats in a bucket being cute, photo by Adam Ford

This year we have the pleasure of working with a new crew member who has lived in Vermont far longer than Ryan and I have. Cindy joined us this season after retiring from GE in Rutland, and it has been a joy hearing about Vermont’s history through Cindy’s life experience. Yesterday while transplanting spinach together, she was observing how she would have seen lots of grasshoppers flying through the grasses in her childhood, where now as we walk through the grass to our fields, I haven’t seen any. It is a gift to get to talk with a different generation about the observations of how the natural world has changed in their life time. This is the loss of biodiversity that breaks my heart. Knowing our ecosystems rely on all the tiny players from the ground up, and then also knowing we are losing them fast is scary. The UN released a report on biodiversity last week that is worth reading. If you haven’t heard about this story, you can learn about it here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/05/ipbes-un-biodiversity-report-warns-one-million-species-at-risk/ One of Sky’s favorite bed time books is “The Icky Bug Book,” and while I would have chosen a different title for a kid’s book to help shift bugs’ reputations, we enjoy reading through the alphabet of interesting creatures and what their habits are. Every time I flip a page, I wonder “Is this bug going to be a mythical creature for Sky when he grows up? Will there be any monarchs left for him to watch munch on milkweed or will we just flip through that book and tell him about how back in my day we had some beautiful and important pollinators that would fly around the fields?” I look forward to continuing to learn from Cindy how this local landscape has observably changed.

Cindy inoculating shiitakes a couple weeks ago, photo by Adam Ford

Cindy inoculating shiitakes a couple weeks ago, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we will continue to transplant outdoor plants, probably trellis the first round of peas, catch up on trellising the early tomatoes, and likely start trellising the cucumbers.

I am enjoying watching more and more trees bud out, and listening to all the different birds that are up so early (though not that early anymore since I live with two tiny children.)

Soraya likes getting her face in the dirt, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya likes getting her face in the dirt, photo by Adam Ford

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Dan, Cindy, Sam, and Taylor

Quick and Lazy Spanakopita

If you are like me and love spanakopita, but hate how long it takes to make it correctly by tediously and lovingly painting olive oil just sow on each layer of philo dough, then check out this delicious modified recipe.

image from wikipedia.com

image from wikipedia.com

3 bags of spinach

1 bunch of scallions

6 cloves of garlic

1 cup feta cheese

1 /2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

1 TBSP oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 eggs

1 package phyllo dough

Blend everything together except the phyllo dough. In a deep casserole pan, put two layers of phyllo dough. Then spread a thin layer of your spinach mixture. Put a layer of phyllo dough on that. Keep alternating layers of phyllo dough, and very thin layers of your spinach mixture until your pan is full. Bake at 350 or until top is golden brown. If you have extra mixture, store in the fridge or freezer, or bake alone and serve with bread for a filling and simple breakfast.

3rd Week of the Spring CSA: May 3rd-4th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, mesclun mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, spinach, pea shoots, radishes, scallions, potatoes, garlic, beets, celeriac, and gilfeather turnip.

this is the wildness of a spring high tunnel… interplanted overwintered spinach and scallions, old mesclun beds that have flowered and are about to be turned in to plant summer crops, some beds already tilled in, waiting to become green beans, photo by Adam Ford

this is the wildness of a spring high tunnel… interplanted overwintered spinach and scallions, old mesclun beds that have flowered and are about to be turned in to plant summer crops, some beds already tilled in, waiting to become green beans, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn,. ,check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

you will eat these pea shoots in two weeks… these exact ones, photo by Adam Ford

you will eat these pea shoots in two weeks… these exact ones, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Well, this week's weather is thwarting our hopes to get the first transplants out in the field. A lot of our growing space is wetter by nature, and with all these rainy days, we will need a few sunny days to dry it our enough to get in the fields. The plants will continue to look good in their cells through next week, but next week will be a PACKED week between catching up on transplanting and then doing the next round of tomato trellising!

lettuce, beets, spinach, cilantro, and more are waiting in the hardening out zone to be transplanted, photo by Adam Ford

lettuce, beets, spinach, cilantro, and more are waiting in the hardening out zone to be transplanted, photo by Adam Ford

In the meantime, this week we have been tackling lots of odds and ends that are never urgent enough to make time for, but when we postpone them so long, they add up. It's helpful to take a stab at many of those projects. 

The first round of indoor green beans are going in the tunnel this week. And we continue to seed our succession seedings each week in the greenhouse. 

the easrly tomatoes have received their first round of trellising, and by next week they will likely be aching for round 2, photo by Adam Ford

the easrly tomatoes have received their first round of trellising, and by next week they will likely be aching for round 2, photo by Adam Ford

This week's climate change observation is in the form of opportunity: We grow a handful of peach trees, and perhaps this will be the first year some will bare fruit. Although we grow varieties that are hardy to this climate, it seems like they are just barely hardy enough for our zone. Every winter we wrap the trees to give them an extra layer of protection from those epicly cold spells we can get in January and February. But even with that wrapping we tend to lose a tree or a branch, or growth, or something, because 30 below zero is just too cold for peaches, and we have always counted on having a few nights get that low each winter. But not this winter! (And we even forgot to wrap the trees!) The lack of super cold was excellent for winter greens and looks like it's excellent for our peach trees. Climate and weather shouldn't be confused with each other when discussing our climate crisis. And this observation is pretty close to muddying those waters. Without catastrophic climate change, it's totally plausible to have a mild winter here or there. But if we go year after year of not having to wrap our peach trees, and still get to sink our teeth into a delightful summer peach, I know I'll be eating that peach with a sense of unease.... like I want to love the delicious prospect of enjoying peaches with less work in Zone 4, but I also know it's coming along with other bigger concerns. 

I was telling Sky about how in the future, mama will have to kick her car habit and get back on a bike more, so he wanted to try mama’s bike… Soraya was bored about the continued lessons in climate change, so she just snoozed on my back, photo by Adam Ford

I was telling Sky about how in the future, mama will have to kick her car habit and get back on a bike more, so he wanted to try mama’s bike… Soraya was bored about the continued lessons in climate change, so she just snoozed on my back, photo by Adam Ford


Meanwhile, the tulips are popping out of the ground, the forsythia is blooming, the grass is almost tall enough to put the goats on pasture, and the seedlings in the greenhouse are chugging along. I am really happy with what our seedings look like this year. I'm not exactly sure what the key to their success is this year, but every year we are addressing issues from the past, and maybe that hyper focus on improvement is starting to see some results in the form of strong, healthy plants. Even my habaneros look good this year, which I have been trying to improve for years. Maybe we will have some beautiful orange bombs this fall!

tulip! photo by Adam Ford

tulip! photo by Adam Ford

Here's to enough sun to get the transplanting done next week! 

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Dan, Sam, Taylor, and Cindy





Scallion Pancakes

image from Splendid Table, Carl Tremblay

image from Splendid Table, Carl Tremblay

These are super fun as a side dish or a breakfast. If you are new to making them, check out this you tube video https://youtu.be/0EgspSFnORo which visually walks you through how to make them. (The recipe I use, from the Splendid Table, is different and I don’t have the dough sit overnight if I don’t remember in time, I just give it a half hour. Also, I use at least twice as many scallions as it looks like she adds in this video. But this helps you see how they are formed better than a recipe narrative.)

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 scallion, sliced thin

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 3/4 cup boiling water

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • bunch of scallions (minus the one you used in the dipping sauce.

Mix the dipping sauce and set aside. Mix the flour and bowling water in a bowl. When it is cool enough to handle, knead on a floured surface until a nice ball forms. Cover and let rest for a half hour. Heat the sesame oil and 1 TBSP vegetable oil, and mix it together with 1 TBSP flour, and set aside. Put a large pan over low heat with 2 TBSP vegetable oil. Divide dough in thirds. Roll a section out very flat into a long rectangle. Drizzle with 1/3 of the oil/flour mixture, and spread it out on the entire dough. Sprinly 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 of your chopped scallions. Roll dough into a cylinder. Coil the cylinder into a flat spiral (like a snail shell), and then flatten the spiral with a rolling pin into about a 9-inch circle so its nice and thin. Repeat with the two other doughs. To cook, raise the heat on your pan, add your first round dough to the pan, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown, flip, and let that side get golden brown as well. Remove from heat. Add 2 TBSP vegetable oil to the pan for each dough when you cook them. Eat warm, and enjoy!


2nd Week of the Spring CSA: April 26th-27th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, mesclun mix, spinach, baby arugula, pea shoots, scallions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, beets, leeks, celeriac, onions, and gilfeather turnip.

cucumbers are transplanted in the tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

cucumbers are transplanted in the tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn,. ,check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

charging up the radios for the spring season, photo by Adam Ford

charging up the radios for the spring season, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

The team blasted through the inoculation of the shiitake logs at the end of last week and early this week. It’s such a fun feeling to feel on top of our work versus being perpetually behind, which is a common feeling this time of year.

Alice, Cindy, and Dan inoculating shiitake logs… It’s cool you can see the whole process here: Dan is drilling holes in the logs in the background, Cindy is getting spawn in each of the wholes, and Alice is sealing them shut with cheese wax, photo by Adam Ford

Alice, Cindy, and Dan inoculating shiitake logs… It’s cool you can see the whole process here: Dan is drilling holes in the logs in the background, Cindy is getting spawn in each of the wholes, and Alice is sealing them shut with cheese wax, photo by Adam Ford

We also got all the early tomatoes in the heated tunnel pruned and trellised. It’s wild for us to grow such early tomatoes. Many varieties are already showing off their first flower clusters. We also removed a lot of landscape fabric from last year’s beds to prepare the soil for spring seeded crops. We put a lot of emphasis on soil building and retention, and one critical aspect of that is keeping soil in place through winter and spring, when different erosional forces can take this most precious resource. We heavily use cover crops on areas that we can get seeded earlier enough in the season (by late summer), and in places where crops don’t get harvested until the end of the season, we leave the landscape fabric down on the soil so that can act as our soil protection. It means we have an extra step to get to in the spring, but it’s worth the soil conservation. Ryan also got our first outdoor seeding in the ground when the rain broke late last week. Usually the majority of the spring share comes from our tunnels, but the last 2-3 weeks of the spring share relies on those first outdoor seedings, so we are always eager to get them going.

early spring beds prepped for planting, photo by Adam Ford

early spring beds prepped for planting, photo by Adam Ford

The propagation house is booming, and we even started kicking some crops out to what w call the “outdoor greenhouse." It’s just a line of pallets that we put trays of plants on that we harden off to be ready for outdoor transplanting. As I type this, I am looking at onions, shallots, beets, cilantro, lettuce, and spinach that are all line up in that zone. As long as the weather continues to dry out the soil, we will likely get most of those in the ground next week.

all four baby goats cuddling, photo by Adam Ford

all four baby goats cuddling, photo by Adam Ford

It’s been on my mind this winter how, as a culture, we don’t discuss climate change as the 5-alarm fire that it is for the planet, and it finally dawned on me that I need to be part of that solution. If I want to hear people thinking about that crisis in a regular way, I should start sharing my daily observations about how we are living it. Climate change isn’t some future peril, it’s here now, and we aren’t throwing all the resources we have at it while we still have time. I will try to share one observation each week of how our ecosystems are observably changing, damaged, or adapting to climate change. Last week’s flooding is a typical part of Vermont’s spring time weather. The snow melt and thawing of the soil combined with spring rains always provide flooding somewhere in our mountain region. The change is in the intensity of these events. For reference, our old farm, which flooded completely again last week is in the 500-year flood plain. That characterization is often misunderstood, and would take a little time to accurately explain what it means. The quickest explanation I can give is what it isn’t: It does NOT mean that a piece of land will flood once every 500 years. What it does mean is that any given year that piece of land has a 1 in 500 chance of flooding at a certain flood stage. It still means if something is in the 500 year flood plain, the flooding should not occur with the frequency and intensity we are seeing. I am new to Vermont, and now that piece of land in the 500-year flood plain, where we started this farming adventure, has flooded twice in 8 years. If we weren’t messing with our climate, I shouldn’t get to see that happen as such a relative newcomer. Here’s to talking more regularly about the crisis of being able to continue inhabiting the only planet we can.

look at that awesome lady bug patrolling the high tunnel…. we released a bag of ladybugs in the tunnel to control and outbreak of aphids on the late winter greens. they do a phenomenal job controlling them, and it’s much more ideal to use beneficial insects versus organic sprays, photo by Adam Ford

look at that awesome lady bug patrolling the high tunnel…. we released a bag of ladybugs in the tunnel to control and outbreak of aphids on the late winter greens. they do a phenomenal job controlling them, and it’s much more ideal to use beneficial insects versus organic sprays, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we will hustle lots of plants in the outdoor fields, transplant indoor green beans, and get the shiitake logs moved and stored in the shiitake yard to sit and do their magic for next year’s harvest.

Also, if you hope to store any bulk spinach in your freezer, this is the time of year to reach out. We sell 2 pound bags for $12 this time of year. I put a bunch in my freezer in small containers to pull out in the winter for omelettes, quiches, pasta dishes, soups, etc. Just send me an email with how much you want!

taking a little walk after work with the kiddos, photo by Adam Ford

taking a little walk after work with the kiddos, photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Cindy, Dan, and Sam


Best Sauteed Spinach— Ever

image from simplyrecipes.com

image from simplyrecipes.com

I eat this at least once a day this time of year. You can enjoy this as a side dish or throw it into an omelette, on a sandwich, with pasta, etc. This is how I also prepare our spinach for the freezer.

1 head of garlic

2 bags of spinach

3 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper as needed

Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole. In a deep pan, heat the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, tilt the pan so the olive oil makes a deeper pool in one edge of the pan. Put your peeled whole cloves in there and let them lightly brown as they fry in the olive oil. Once they are lightly browned, return the pan to a normal orientation, and add 2 bags of spinach to the pan, sprinkle on some salt. Do not cover. Stir every minute or two, and remove from heat as soon as all the leaves are wilted. Eat while warm.


1st Week of the Spring CSA: April 19th-20th

How To Use This Newsletter

If you are like me, you may not have time to read such a dense weekly newsletter! That’s ok. I always recommend people try to read the first newsletter to make sure you know all the details. The newsletters are designed with the most important information at the top, and it gets less and less crucial farther down. The top lists what is available, followed by the routine details of how to manage your CSA. (That section has the link to fill out if you want your share delivered to Ludlow.) Reminders are below that, and then there is a section on farm news for folks who are interested in the narrative of how your food is grown. The end of the newsletter has a recipe. So if you don’t have time each week, just scan the heading titles to see if it is a section you should read.

starting to transition some of the beds for spring! photo by Adam Ford

starting to transition some of the beds for spring! photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, mesclun mix, spinach, baby kale, bunched chard, baby chard, pea shoots, scallions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, beets, leeks, celeriac, and gilfeather turnip.

baby chard, photo by Adam Ford

baby chard, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdeOfUuyadzYHjCHOX5RCye_qOWaqttPQQY2FPxVAlrQWhmWg/viewform . Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

see, I swear I do farm work, not just get stuck behind the computer doing the “invisible work”, photo by Adam Ford

see, I swear I do farm work, not just get stuck behind the computer doing the “invisible work”, photo by Adam Ford

Payment Due

If you have not paid in full, half of your remaining balance is due this week, unless you have a payment plan. (Don’t hesitate to contact me about setting up a payment plan.) Thanks!

lettuce seedlings, photo by Adam Ford

lettuce seedlings, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Spring CSA is here! New crew members Dan and Cindy have joined for the season, Sam and Taylor continue on with us from last year, and this is our last week with Morgan and Peter on the team before they head out to work at the fantastic flower farm, Understory Farm. Monday’s flooding cut our road off and made us post pone our cucumber planting because the high tunnel was a soupy mess, but we feel grateful we were able to move our farm up to this location, seeing our old location completely submerged again as I drove Sky to day care. We hope none of you experienced damage as a result of the flooding.

The early tomatoes have been transplanted into one of the high tunnels, along with parsley, basil, lettuce, bok choi, salad turnips, and radish. This is the earliest we have planted many of those crops, and it will be nice to have them available sooner than they usually are since our outdoor fields are still too wet to drive on with a tractor. We hope we will be able to begin prepping outdoor field work soon, because many of the plants in the propagation house are ready to go out soon!

rogue scarlet frills in the spinach and scallion bed, photo by Adam Ford

rogue scarlet frills in the spinach and scallion bed, photo by Adam Ford

The other tunnel is still bursting with salad greens, spinach, scallions, kale, and pea shoots for the first few weeks of the spring CSA, as we watch the greens in the first tunnel slowly gain size for the second half of the spring CSA.

last week it was snowing while we were moving spinach transplants from the prop house to the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

last week it was snowing while we were moving spinach transplants from the prop house to the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Four little baby goats were born two weeks ago. One of them wasn’t successfully eating from the mama, so I had to bring him back from the edge with pretty regular syringe feedings until he could swallow on his own and eventually lift his head and walk. You would never know it by seeing him now! It’s extra fun to have baby goats around when you have a toddler who totally adores them.

baby goat nibbling Adam’s shoe, photo by Adam Ford

baby goat nibbling Adam’s shoe, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we also plan to inoculate this year’s infusion of shiitake logs. Each year we continue to inoculate new logs, increasing the amount we produce, and then eventually replacing the logs as they retire. We haven’t begun to retire logs yet, but I think the first round will be spent by next year.

three of the four babies hanging out with mama Bella and aunt Zeah, photo by Adam Ford

three of the four babies hanging out with mama Bella and aunt Zeah, photo by Adam Ford

This winter we scored two grants that we feel grateful to have access to. One is through the Natural Resources Conservation Service for a third high tunnel that we will put up this June. We experience high demand for winter greens through the Rutland farmers’ market, all our wholesale outlets, and eventually a future winter CSA, so we are grateful that an additional tunnel will help us meet some of that demand. The other grant is through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture for food safety upgrades. This grant will allow us to upgrade and replace many harvest, storage, and processing containers and tools in our wash station, cooler, and root cellar. The improvements will allow us to more efficiently disinfect surfaces, and prepare our space for a future improved wash and pack facility for our four season production. It’s especially helpful to have access to this type of grant because wash station food safety improvements are imperative to run a responsible farm business, but they do not pay for themselves the way other capital improvements do. We work hard to stay ahead of food safety regulations because farms of our size are often exempted from regulations. We believe first in the safety of our food for our customers, and second that at some point there will be no more small farm exemptions; so we don’t want to be caught off guard and need to make such enormous investments in food safety improvements that it would jeopardize our ability to stay in business. Thus, we aim to keep pace with food safety regulations that affect larger farms.

Sky gives a peanut butter thumbs up to food safety, photo by Adam Ford

Sky gives a peanut butter thumbs up to food safety, photo by Adam Ford

Here’s to some warm sunny weather, to dry out the fields and get some transplants outside!

Have a lovely week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Taylor, Sam, Cindy, and Dan


Cream of Celeriac Soup

Celeriac is my favorite winter storage vegetable and we are nearing the end of celeriac season. If it’s a new vegetable to you, I recommend delighting in it while we still have it available, because it doesn’t come back around until the fall.

image from tebasiliskitchen.com

image from tebasiliskitchen.com

2 leeks, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 pounds of celeriac, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 pound of potatoes, chopped into small cubes

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 quarts broth (chicken, veggie, beef, coconut milk, whatever)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried sage

1 cup cream or milk

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP butter

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped

Saute leeks, onion, garlic, celeriac, potatoes, and carrot on low to medium heat with the olive oil, butter, and salt. When the veggies are soft, add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and use an immersion blender to blend half of the soup, leaving half of it chunky. Then stir the whole soup together well, giving you a thick, creamy, and chunky soup. Add the milk or cream, lemon juice, and pepper. Add salt as needed. Serve with fresh scallions scattered on top. Enjoy!




LAST WEEK of the Fall CSA Share: December 21st- 22nd

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, mesclun mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, spinach, baby kale, garlic, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, celeriac, and leeks! 

pea shoots are finally ready for this week! photo by Adam Ford

pea shoots are finally ready for this week! photo by Adam Ford



CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

The remainder of your fall CSA balance is past due. Let me know if you need to know your balance. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know.

You can pick up your fall share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 8pm by filling out this form by 8am on Friday: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe3w7FWNKDd_KAj5-QLleXE_LjBNSn2GzUEW26VfYNdajZwhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1  If you come after 8pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

greens uncovered in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

greens uncovered in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford




Farm News

This is the last week of the fall share. THANK YOU so much for joining our CSA. If you were new, thanks for taking that leap of faith, and if you have been with us for awhile, your continued support is humbling. We love getting the opportunity to grow food for so many folks, and we appreciate your continued trust in that project.

this is what the baby lettuce looks like after it is cut.. you are seeing just the beginning of the regrowth starting. It will take several weeks for this type of green to regrow, so we time each cutting based on making sure we have some greens each week throughout the winter, photo by Adam Ford

this is what the baby lettuce looks like after it is cut.. you are seeing just the beginning of the regrowth starting. It will take several weeks for this type of green to regrow, so we time each cutting based on making sure we have some greens each week throughout the winter, photo by Adam Ford

As we mentioned before, we are taking this winter off from a CSA, but all our veggies, storage and fresh greens, will be available at the Rutland Winter Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. We apologize for the inconvenience if you love our winter CSA, but by the end of the year our website will be updated with the 2019 CSA info. The spring share starts in April if you can’t wait until summer to start getting veggies again.

If you are interested in purchasing any bulk items for winter (potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, leeks, rutabaga, gilfeather, etc), send me an email and I will give you our wholesale list for pricing.

red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

I enjoy when I get to chat with some of you at market, or even better when you catch me in the cooler at the barn when I am working. I have realized over the course of the season that one of the most popular things I talk about with many of you is cooking and eating food… Which makes obvious sense, but I started thinking about how I often try to focus on the farming side of my life in the newsletter, versus enjoying that finished product inside our home. Cooking and eating is obviously a big hobby of mine, and some folks have asked where my cooking inspiration comes from. That is a super long list, but it informs how I use vegetables in the kitchen now:

this is a variety of baby tat soi that goes into our mesclun mix, photo by Adam Ford

this is a variety of baby tat soi that goes into our mesclun mix, photo by Adam Ford

I was lucky to grow up in a home where we ate delicious family dinners every night that (usually) my mom (and sometimes my dad) made for us with whole ingredients. This probably started my interest in food. Eating flavorful foods, and watching the work and joy that went into those creations were certainly memorable for me. I also went to a farm summer camp as a kid that emphasized home grown food and the importance of trying new foods. In college I lived with a kitchen wizard who would surprise himself with what he would make each night just by going through our fridge and pantry and use what we needed to use. After college I had the unique opportunity to cook weekly 100+ person community meals in the town where we lived for folks who needed it, by using donations from a local farm, donations from the local co-op, and a few purchased ingredients. Those meals were where I put all my exposure and interest in cooking to the greatest test. I had about 3 hours to make a hot meal, salad, soup, and dessert for 100 people with a $20 budget and whatever was donated that day, without about 3-4 helpers. It should have been a reality show, but it wasn’t. This is probably where I learned to look at a pile of turnips, cabbage, and onions, and say, “Wow, we are going to have the best turnip latkes with a sweet and sour cabbage soup!”

chard chugging along in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

chard chugging along in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Now my adventures in the kitchen are also influenced by googling things on the internet, trying to recreate things I eat outside the house, and making the best use of “farmer food,” which is veggies that are not good enough to market, so we eat them. It’s my goal to eat in a thrifty, delicious way that provides the healthiest source of nourishment for my family. This time of year if I am lacking inspiration I roast things and add them to pasta dishes, soups, salads, sandwiches. Almost everything tastes better roasted. Are you a garlic lover? Next time you make soup, no matter what it is, roast a head or two (papers on, just put the whole bulb in the oven while something else is cooking), and when you serve the soup, peel the roasted garlic cloves and drop them whole into the soup… You will love it. (We just did this with a Thai corn chowder this week, but have also done it with a potato leek soup, squash soup, chicken soup, bean soup, etc.) If I don’t feel like roasting, another standby is grating any of the root veggies with onions or leeks, mixing them with an egg and a bit of flour and whatever spices speak to you that day, and pan frying pancakes out of them. Sometimes it’s fun to pick one root veggie, one allium, and one spice to listen to all the flavors clearly… Like Gilfeather, leeks, and nutmeg…. such a good combo.

ear protection on the tractor… Adam did such a cool thing last week with his photos… he found all the vibrant colors around the farm which is such a fun perspective in the white, white winter… even though this is the last newsletter, I will post some updates on our website during the winter, and I will do a feature of all the color that Adam has found on the farm, photo by Adam Ford

ear protection on the tractor… Adam did such a cool thing last week with his photos… he found all the vibrant colors around the farm which is such a fun perspective in the white, white winter… even though this is the last newsletter, I will post some updates on our website during the winter, and I will do a feature of all the color that Adam has found on the farm, photo by Adam Ford

Some of you have asked if I use recipes…. and I don’t use them the way they are intended. I use recipes to give me ideas to use our food with. When I lack inspiration, I will turn to the internet to see what food bloggers are doing with a spaghetti squash or find a new way to use a beet, and then I add my own flair and interpretation on recipes that I read.

So this winter, if you keep getting veggies from us at market, or stock up on bulk items, and want to be creative with vegetables, try improvising with a carrot where a recipe calls for a sweet pepper, or try cabbage in a recipe that normally sautes chard!

Thank you again for all your support. However you celebrate and gather during this holiday season, we hope you experience joy, and rest, and love.

went into the woods to cut our first little Christmas tree as a family of 4, photo by Adam Ford

went into the woods to cut our first little Christmas tree as a family of 4, photo by Adam Ford

See you in the spring!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Taylor, and Sam


Thai Corn Chowder

Swap out the chicken broth for veggie broth to make this soup vegan! And I don’t keep red curry paste in my pantry.. instead I always google what spices to mix together to make my own Thai red curry paste.

image from tastespace.com

image from tastespace.com

2-3 small to medium onions, finely chopped

2-3 carrots, cubed into small bite sized pieces

3-4 potatoes, cubed into small bit sized pieces

1 small cabbage, red or green, finely chopped

1 leeks, finely chopped

1 head of garlic (optional)

3 cups frozen corn

6 cups chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

1/3 cup lime juice

5 TBSP red curry paste

salt as needed

optional 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 TBSP sunflower oil


Put the whole head of garlic in the oven at 400. Bake until the cloves are soft, remove from heat, and set aside. In a large pot, saute onions, cabbage, carrots, and leeks in the sunflower oil until tender. Add the potatoes, corn, broth, coconut milk, lime juice, red curry paste, and salt. Let the soup slowly simmer until potatoes are soft. Add whole, peeled roasted garlic cloves. Add salt or lime as needed. Enjoy!