This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, pea shoots, mesclun mix, head lettuce, romaine lettuce, broccoli, green curly kale, lacinato kale, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, garlic, red and yellow onions, shallots, garlic, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, sweet peppers (green, yellow, and purple), jalapeno peppers, leeks, cilantro, delicata squash, butternut squash, red beets, golden beets, carrots, salad turnips, celeriac, gilfeather turnip, rutabaga, brussels sprouts, and winter kohlrabi! This is the first week of many of the special fall and winter crops. If celeriac is new to you, it’s one of my favorite vegetables, and definitely an unsung hero. It has all the awesome flavor of celery and none of that awful stringiness!
Time to sign up for the Fall CSA Share if you are interested!
Use this link to sign up now for a fall CSA share: https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share
We will provide custom packed bags to Ludlow each week using the same format that we do for the last two weeks of the summer share.
A common question is what is available during the fall share. We grow greens year round, so we will have some mixtures of lettuces, mesclun mix, arugula, bok choi, kales, chards, pea shoots, napa cabbage, cilantro, and parsley available each week. (Some weeks may not have one or two of those choices, but will have most green items each week.) We will also have all the storage veggies: red and yellow onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, red and green cabbage, carrots, red and yellow beets, kohlrabi, fennel, potatoes, gilfeather turnips, rutabaga, celeriac. Winter Squash is usually available until mid-December. We will likely have tomatoes, salad turnips, and sweet peppers available for the first two weeks of the fall share.
I am surprised to say we are almost full, but I always prioritize returning CSA members, so you still have time. Thanks!
Bulk Buying Opportunities
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. This now includes our CBD hemp. Since the hemp pricing is so different from vegetable we have chosen to keep our CSA as a veggie CSA, but if you are interested in CBD hemp, we are offering CSA members wholesale pricing, which are listed below.
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*
lacinato 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*
elderberries: $60 for 10 pound bag of frozen berries (available fresh, not frozen upon request, and this is the last we will have fresh ones)
cabbage: $15 for 10 pounds
carrots: $20 for 10 pounds
butternut squash: $11 for 10 pounds
garlic: $12 per pound we have both seed and table garlic available
CBD hemp flowers, premium grade: $70/ounce. Dried, trimmed and cured flowers, smokeable quality.
CBD hemp flowers, processing grade: $35/ounce. Dried CBD leaves and flowers for making oil infusion or tincture.
Fresh CBD flowers: $10/ounce. Intensely aromatic fresh flowers
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 in Ludlow on Friday at the Okemo Mountain School entryway between 2 pm and 5 pm. (This is the building with the long ramp in the same parking lot as the summer Ludlow Farmers’ Market.) If you have to come after 5 pm, your bag will be right outside the front door. If you want to use this option to pick up your share in Ludlow, you must fill out this form by 9 pm on Thursday evening: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScS4ZYpGMtHDFadhaRfwYiBeWF9W679NEv5XGunx2aDrS9h8g/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1 Thanks!
The garlic is all planted and mulched! We kept our pile of straw that we were going to mulch with perfectly dry for many, many weeks this summer with a giant tarp, very securely weighted down, but then last week’s wild wind and rain storm ripped off the covering and dumped 6 inches of rain on the bales, making this job unnecessarily heavy. Just when we think we are more prepared than nature, bam, it provides a wild storm just days before we needed those bales. It’s nature’s humor. I do find it funny, but I also was too busy this year to help our crew with that project, and I am not sure they found it that funny when they were lugging around such saturated bales. As usual, thanks, guys!
We continued the big bulk harvests for winter storage vegetables, bringing in all the gilfeather turnip yesterday for storage. The potatoes were all dug, washed, dried, packaged, and stacked for storage last week. We still have to do rutabaga, fennel, leeks, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrot, and red and yellow beets before they all get buried in snow.
Ryan got the door and vent on the new tunnel yesterday, and thinks we will have the end walls complete by the end of this week, aiming for an early Friday morning to pull the plastic over it. Cross your fingers for us!
I can’t believe this is the last week of the summer CSA season already! I was just looking through our crop harvest records for other work and realized that this year, we will likely have tomatoes available for 20 whole weeks. I think that is a record for us. Now that we start them much earlier and have more high tunnel growing space, they can make a much longer appearance in our CSA offerings than we have ever had before. (That means there are only 32 weeks we don’t have tomatoes, and that feels totally crazy to me.) We are always experimenting with ways to extend those popular crops earlier and later in the season, and maybe next year we will work on extending cucumbers later in the season. (This is the first time we had them available for the end of the spring CSA shares, and we thought 3 succession plantings would take us through the season, but we were wrong! Next year may be 4.)
Thank you for all your support of this farm for the summer CSA season. Our farm is very diversified not only in what we produce, but also how we sell our products. We always call our CSA the foundation of what we do. We would grow different vegetables if it weren’t for our CSA, cutting low profit veggies, but that would get so boring! We also love the connection folks get to have with one of their food sources. When I learn of a new vegetable that I have never heard of, grown, or eaten, I sometimes feel like I have a window into what some of you may have felt the first time you saw us put out some of the less common veggies… I kind of get intimidated by a new veggie… For instance, I am sure some of you have heard of or eaten salsify, but it’s new to me. I was reading about it on a farmer forum and totally confused how I would work it into my kitchen, and found myself thinking, “why would I even try? I have so many other vegetables that I understand!” And I realized that thought is probably so common for things that are normal for me: salad turnips, kohlrabi, celeriac, etc. So I just wanted to pat you all on the back for being a part of a CSA and interfacing with all the different ways that commitment manifests itself… new veggies, weird veggies, different looking veggies, and sometimes just a LOT of veggies. Your support provides the ability for Ryan and I to run this farm and support our little family, as well as provide jobs to 3 to 6 crew members during different parts of the year. Your support also provides thousands of pounds of seconds vegetables to be captured for charitable food donations to places throughout our area. There simply would not be surplus food available for donating if this farm didn’t exist. Simply by choosing a CSA, you are actively addressing food insecurity in our communities. Hopefully you feel how your food choices here are bigger than yourselves. When we aren’t too busy with all the details in our brains, we often feel how this work is bigger than ourselves, and it feels nourishing. So thank you for trusting us with your food, we love to do it! If you are joining the fall CSA, do it now. If you are done for the year, have a lovely winter. Thank you!
-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Dan, the Sams, Cindy, and Grace
PS: Please stay tuned for a feedback survey that will arrive in your email in the next couple weeks. Though completely optional, we rely on your feedback to continue improving the CSA each year.
Gilfeather and Celeriac Mashed Potatoes
This weather just makes me want mashed potaotes…but I like adding other veggies to the smash to get more diversity into my kids’ bellies. Use any leftovers to make a shepherd’s pie.
1 1/2 pounds Gilfeather turnip (or rutabaga), roughly chopped
1 1/2 pound potatoes, roughly chopped
1 small to medium celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 TBSP olive oil or butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp nutmeg (optional, but so good)
salt and pepper
fresh, chopped cilantro (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the gilfeather, potatoes, celeriac, and carrot. Cook until you can pierce the veggies with a fork. Strain the water out, and return them to the pot with the remaining ingredients. Mash until your desired consistency. Add more oilve oil or milk as desired. Stir in cilantro if you enjoy that flavor! Serve warm.