LAST WEEK of the Summer CSA: October 24th-26th ...SIGN UP FOR THE FALL CSA NOW

What’s Available

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!

I often grumble that I have no time in my busy life as a farmer and mother to make art like I could up through college, but then I see pictures like this that Adam captures, and realize sometimes the beauty of growing this food is a wonderful art project, photo by Adam Ford

I often grumble that I have no time in my busy life as a farmer and mother to make art like I could up through college, but then I see pictures like this that Adam captures, and realize sometimes the beauty of growing this food is a wonderful art project, photo by Adam Ford

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!

This is what storage kohlrabi looks like in the field. This is a sweet, crunchy veggie that adds awesome raw or cooked pizzazz to your winter food, check it out this winter! photo by Adam Ford

This is what storage kohlrabi looks like in the field. This is a sweet, crunchy veggie that adds awesome raw or cooked pizzazz to your winter food, check it out this winter! photo by Adam Ford


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

more edible art? photo by Adam Ford

more edible 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 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!

Cindy being the boss that she is, cutting the metal studs for the end walls on the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Cindy being the boss that she is, cutting the metal studs for the end walls on the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

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!

yellow beet bunches waiting to be washed, photo by Adam Ford

yellow beet bunches waiting to be washed, photo by Adam Ford

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.

Sam washing fingerlings in the root washer for storage, photo by Adam Ford

Sam washing fingerlings in the root washer for storage, photo by Adam Ford

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!

Cindy and Ryan working on building the metal end walls for the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Cindy and Ryan working on building the metal end walls for the new tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

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.)

Fingerlings are washed and drying for storage, photo by Adam Ford

Fingerlings are washed and drying for storage, photo by Adam Ford

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.

The 2019 team: Kara, Ryan, Grace, Dan, Cindy, Taylor, with Sams in the back… we had a little dinner and award ceremony last week before one of the Sams had to head back to his other life on the west coast… so many great awards were awarded, most notably the Best Employee Named Dan Award going to Sam…. Great job everyone, thanks for such a fun summer season! photo by Adam Ford

The 2019 team: Kara, Ryan, Grace, Dan, Cindy, Taylor, with Sams in the back… we had a little dinner and award ceremony last week before one of the Sams had to head back to his other life on the west coast… so many great awards were awarded, most notably the Best Employee Named Dan Award going to Sam…. Great job everyone, thanks for such a fun summer season! photo by Adam Ford




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.





































19th Week of the Summer CSA: October 17th-19th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, pea shoots, mesclun mix, head lettuce, broccoli, green curly kale, lacinato kale, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, garlic, red and yellow onions, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, sweet peppers (green, yellow, and purple), jalapeno peppers, leeks, cilantro, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, red beets, golden beets, and carrots!

Sam and Grace planting scallion sets in between winter spinach.. this is one of the ways we maximize indoor growing spaces. These scallions will be harvested as the spinach comes to maturity, we will clear the scallions out in the early spring and continue to harvest spinach, photo by Adam Ford

Sam and Grace planting scallion sets in between winter spinach.. this is one of the ways we maximize indoor growing spaces. These scallions will be harvested as the spinach comes to maturity, we will clear the scallions out in the early spring and continue to harvest spinach, photo by Adam Ford

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


baby red lettuces, photo by Adam Ford

baby red lettuces, 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 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!


Farm News

We will finish getting the potatoes dug, washed, and stored today during this stunning October day. We have been really enjoying the warm sunny weather during the early part of this week to harvest things without feeling like our fingers will fall off.

bunching golden beets in the field, photo by Adam Ford

bunching golden beets in the field, photo by Adam Ford

Once the potatoes are all out, Ryan will prep that ground area to plant our 2020 garlic. For the past several years we have been growing our garlic on landscape fabric to suppress weeds, but this year we ended up removing it over the garlic plants to be able to fertilize in the early summer when the plants were showing signs of needing extra nutrition. Because of that we are going back to our old way of growing and planting them directly in the soil. We will mulch half of the planting with straw. We were hoping the straw we purchased was going to be weed free, but we sampled it on a later kale planting to see how free of weeds it was. It’s not bad, but it does have some rye seed that might cause us some headache next spring, so we will only mulch half the garlic this way in case it gets really difficult to keep up with weeding rye weeds. We plant a little over 4000 garlic cloves, so first we have to crack about 650 heads of garlic to separate the cloves for planting. Even though my thumbs usually disagree with me after a couple hours, I really enjoy that project because we all just get to sit around and hang out, sitting still while we crack garlic.

our shiitake production was really lackluster this year, we were pretty disappointed with some logs who have seemed to stopped producing well earlier than we expected… we are considering phasing them out since they are so much work, photo by Adam Ford

our shiitake production was really lackluster this year, we were pretty disappointed with some logs who have seemed to stopped producing well earlier than we expected… we are considering phasing them out since they are so much work, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan’s dad is coming out later this week to help Ryan put the end walls on the third tunnel. It’s so hard for us to find time to peel away and work on those infrastructure projects, so our best bet is to make plans to have someone out to help us. Then we just put everything else down and do it since they are here for a specific reason. David, Ryan’s dad, has helped us build a phenomenal amount of infrastructure around here. His imprint is on most building projects, repairs, and innovations around here, not to mention our amazing pollinators, the honey bees. (David is a master bee keeper.) Not only is it super helpful to have his support and skills, but it’s also special to know that his efforts will always be a part of this place.

We had a nice hard frost last week, so all the warm season crops are finally done, except for the tail end of a few tomatoes that were still protected in the high tunnel, as well as the last of the peppers. Either this week or last week will be the end of the sweet peppers and tomatoes.

farming with a baby, photo by Adam Ford

farming with a baby, photo by Adam Ford

The crew will be busily working away at our winter storage harvest, likely starting with rutabaga, gilfeather turnip, and storage kohlrabi. The storage kohlrabi is a new winter storage crop for us. They grow much larger than summer kohlrabi and provide a sweet, crunchy, fresh broccoli stem/melon flavor in the deep winter. We are excited to have those available this winter alongside all the other veggies.

crew harvesting leeks and beets on this gorgeous fall hillside, photo by Adam Ford

crew harvesting leeks and beets on this gorgeous fall hillside, photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

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


Cheesy Roasted Pepper and Fennel Soup

2 pounds sweet peppers (any color will work)

1 fennel bulb

1/2 pound potatoes

1 medium onion (red or yellow), chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed

5 TBSP olive oil

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

1 quart milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 TBSP lemon juice

2 tsp maple syrup

1 jalapeno (optional)

salt and pepper


Cut the tops of peppers off, remove the stems and seeds. Remove the core from fennel bulb, and chop into large chunks, 1-2 inches. Chop potatoes into large chunks as well. If using the jalapeno, remove the stem. Toss all those veggies with 3 TBSP olive oil and spread on a baking sheet with edges. Roast at 400 until pepper skins have started to lightly brown. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in 2 TBSP olive oil in large pot over low heat. When the veggies are done roasting, add them to the pot with onions and garlic along with the broth, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If all the veggies are soft, blend the entire soup until it’s smooth. Return to pot and then add the cheese and salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!




18th Week of the Summer CSA: October 10th-12th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, pea shoots, mesclun mix, green curly kale, lacinato kale, rainbow chard, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, garlic, red and yellow onions, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, red beets, golden beets, and carrots!

When we hit the fields for harvest, we load full bins on a giant pallet on the front of the tractor, ready to bring baby lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, and fennel to the wash station, photo by Adam Ford

When we hit the fields for harvest, we load full bins on a giant pallet on the front of the tractor, ready to bring baby lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, and fennel to the wash station, photo by Adam Ford



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.



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

  • 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

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

  • CBD hemp flowers, premium grade: $50/half ounce, $80/ounce. Dried, trimmed and cured flowers, smokable quality.

  • CBD hemp flowers, processing grade: $40/ounce. Dried CBD leaves and flowers for making oil infusion or tincture.

  • Fresh CBD flowers: $10/ounce. Intensely aromatic fresh flowers



bunched carrots in the field before washing in the wash station, photo by Adam Ford

bunched carrots in the field before washing in the wash station, 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 6:30 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. Important note: For the rest of the summer season, the Ludlow Market ends at 6:30 pm due to the dwindling day light. Sorry for that inconvenience!

This is the last week of the Ludlow Farmers’ Market. If you normally pick up at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market, you can pick up your items for the remaining two weeks of pickups (after this week) 3 ways: Pickup at the farm from 8 am to 7 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, pick up at the Rutland Farmers’ Market from 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, or fill out an online form each week that will be available with each newsletter, selecting exactly what veggies you want, that we will pack up and deliver to Ludlow on Fridays. More details next week, we just wanted to give you the heads up that you CAN get your last two weeks delivered to Ludlow.

We love how well these tarps suppress weeds and protect soil from erosion in between plantings, but they are a nice place for voles to hide and take up residence… Echo is working hard keeping those numbers down, what a great dog! photo by Adam Ford

We love how well these tarps suppress weeds and protect soil from erosion in between plantings, but they are a nice place for voles to hide and take up residence… Echo is working hard keeping those numbers down, what a great dog! photo by Adam Ford



Farm News

The hemp harvest was huge, but is essentially behind us for the season, which is a sweet relief because we need to start tackling our bulk storage veggie harvest for the season.So many of this year’s storage veggies look awesome. We are especially excited about the storage kohlrabi we grew this year. They aren’t ready yet, but they are use, most without blemishes, and they are sweet, crunchy, and taste like melons. They are a real treat in the winter. The celeriac finally looks good, bigger than we usually grow, and similarly we will be able to have fennel in storage as well. It’s nice to have these aromatic, flavors alongside the staples of our winter storage beets, carrots, potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, winter squash, cabbage, napa, and Gilfetaher turnips. I think my favorite veggie to bulk harvest and store are beets. We hand pull each beet and chop each top off, sorting them into “farmer” quality and resale quality, and I love getting to handle each beet. Whatever bulk veggie we are harvesting, we spend hours on our hands and knees, often in the cool, damp dirt, doing very repetative motions. I tend to write about this every year, but I love the simplicity of those lengthy, repetative jobs because it allows my mind to be more still and aware of my surroundings. As daunting as fall farm work can be, the reality is that my office is outside, next to trees, listening to the birds of the season, hearing the crunchy leave whip around the edges of the field, watching the dogs hunt for pesky field rodents, smelling the soil, not calculating how to make transitions between farm projects more efficient, but just enjoying the rhythm of the same work for hours. Bring on the beet harvest.

Adam scored an awesome shot of a very busy high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Adam scored an awesome shot of a very busy high tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

This picture had so much going on in here, I thought it would be fun to describe in more detail than a normal caption. First, you may notice that the foreground is planted to baby lettuce heads. We plant the bottom 30 feet of our unheated tunnels to a crop that we will harvest once, early in the winter, before we have multiple nights hitting the -20s or below. Our tunnels drop 8 feet in height over 148 feet in length of tunnel, so the bottom 30 feet tend to get especially cold as the cold air sinks and stays at the bottom. We have learned over the years, that the bottoms of tunnels die from the excess cold, so we plant the bottom 30 feet to something we will harvest early and then replant for new growth later in the winter after that very cold January/February window. These lettuces you see will be the first to harvest after we move indoors from all the field lettuces.

Down the middle of the picture is an irrigation line (yellow to blue) that is attached to white and black risers. These water in the direct seeded crops that are put above the lettuce transplants.

The big black barrel farther back in the photo is on an axis, and we roll it over a bed before seeding so we can get an even seed bed for optimal seed to soil contact. We cannot afford to have poor germination rates in a tunnel, because that crop is seeded once and then harvested multiple times over the winter. A bad stand of greens would be a huge loss in yield, so we take extra steps like creating that perfect compaction for seed to soil contact to keep germination rates high.

Way up top you will see a walk behind tractor. We finally got a new machine this year so we wouldn’t have to keep battling the $100 machine we scored on Craigslist years ago when our farm budget was much, much smaller. This new walk behind tractor has a power harrow on it so we no longer need to beet up our soil as much with a walk behind tiller. So far, we love the new machine, and feel like it was the right investment to prioritize our soils.

Dangling frmo the top of the picture are rolled up yellow twine trellises that used to hold up tomato plants. After we remove tomatoes for the season, we roll each twine up to kee pthem out of the way of winter greens’ production.

You will also see the very last cherry tomato plant that were in the tunnel until the very end. That’s a good depiction of how we move out plants in stages to optimize harvesting them as long as we can while still getting winter greens in on time.

And then waaaaaay in the back of the picture, you can see the whole team harvesting in the field behind the tunnels.

Same tunnel, but the other picture missed the other essential tool. This state of the art dump truck is a fantastic way to keep a toddler busy if you are transplanting or setting up irrigation, photo by Adam Ford

Same tunnel, but the other picture missed the other essential tool. This state of the art dump truck is a fantastic way to keep a toddler busy if you are transplanting or setting up irrigation, photo by Adam Ford

Once of these days we will just have to redirect all our time into building the end walls on the third tunnel to get it covered before winter. Really don’t know where all the time goes… we thought this new tunnel would be done by the end of July!


The whole crew getting in the last of the CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

The whole crew getting in the last of the CBD hemp, photo by Adam Ford

Hope you have a beautiful week and some time to enjoy these days of sunshine!

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

Curried Spaghetti Squash and Kale Soup

This soup can be made with any squash variety. I made a curried spaghetti squash dish and then decided to use the leftovers as the base for this soup!

1 spaghetti squash

1 bunch lacinato kale

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

salt and pepper

3 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp maple syrup

2 onions, finely chopped

1 fennel bulb (optional)

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, Put it cut side down on a baking sheet with edges, add water to the pan. Bake the spaghetti squash at 450 until you can pierce the fruit with a fork (about 20 minutes depending on the size of your oven.) Meanwhile, in a pot saute the onions, fennel, and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. When the spagetti squash is done, scoop the flesh into the pot, add the broth, cumin, curry, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add more broth if you want a thinner soup. Chop the lacinto kale into the thinnest ribbons and stir into hot soup. Serve and enjoy!

17th Week of the Summer CSA: October 3rd- October 5th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, pea shoots, mesclun mix, green curly kale, lacinato kale, rainbow chard, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, garlic, red and yellow onions, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, red beets, golden beets, and carrots!

fall salad greens looking good and pretty weed free… though this time of year the major “weeds” we have to deal with are the foliage that falls from trees and into the gardens… pretty annoying, trees… can’t you drop your leaves somewhere besides our gardens? photo by Adam Ford

fall salad greens looking good and pretty weed free… though this time of year the major “weeds” we have to deal with are the foliage that falls from trees and into the gardens… pretty annoying, trees… can’t you drop your leaves somewhere besides our gardens? photo by Adam Ford



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 week we have:



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

  • 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: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

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

our seed garlic patiently waiting to be put in the ground, photo by Adam Ford

our seed garlic patiently waiting to be put in the ground, 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 6:30 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. Important note: For the rest of the summer season, the Ludlow Market ends at 6:30 pm due to the dwindling day light. Sorry for that inconvenience!

the new tunnel has the baseboard on now, photo by Adam Ford

the new tunnel has the baseboard on now, photo by Adam Ford







Farm News

I believe the most exciting thing that happened this week was 24 Hours Of Farming. Early this season Dan had the glorious idea of trying to farm for 24 hours straight to see what that was like. (Was this a joke, was he really serious? I don’t know.) In my past I have worked 12 hour overnight shifts as an EMT and I also sailed on a boat doing overnight watches, but now as a sleep deprived, working parent the idea of working 24 straight hours farming was completely unappealing to me. (So I didn’t.) But throughout the season the anticipation and excitement spread, so last Friday, the crew started their normal work day at 8 am, and those who felt wild enough (most of the crew), kept going all night, wrapping it up with helping Ryan pack the van for the Farmer’s Market in the morning. It was totally a party: we shared dinner and the wilder crew members shared coffee and yerba mate deep into the night, trimming hemp ALL NIGHT LONG. I believe the most prodigious folks trimmed 20 pounds of hemp each through the night. Not only was this helpful for the farm, it set an epic precedent, and we believe it will be an annual event at Evening Song Farm to have a day where we host a late night hemp trimming party, in future years opening that up to more than our crew. Stay tuned for next year’s shebang.

they trimmed up a ton of these CBD hemp flowers, now they are drying and then they will be cured

they trimmed up a ton of these CBD hemp flowers, now they are drying and then they will be cured

Getting to pop in briefly in between when our kids went to bed and when I needed to go to bed to run market the next morning, I was reminded seeing how joyful late night farming was just how lucky we are to work with the people on this team. We have always had the privilege to work with stellar humans over the years, and it is such a gift to not only work with lovely individuals, but also a group of humans who mesh into a fun team so well. Farming is draining, and as I type this, our crew is harvesting mini roma tomatoes in the rain, the plants totally flopped over and escaping the poor trellis we put up this year, necessitating lifting and squirreling under heavy, wet, gross tomato branches, and yet somehow they still willingly work with us, knowing at least every day we have at least one uncomfortable, difficult, heavy, tiring, or repetitive job to tackle. We are all able to find the joy in this work, knowing it’s important to be part of a future food solution to large farms that likely won’t make the climate transition as graceful as smaller farms. I know I write about our crew a lot, and I know many of you have gotten to meet them yourselves, but our farm will only be as awesome as our crew puts into it, and after watching them farm for 24 hours and then work this week in the cold rain, I want to add another shout out for their place on this team this season.

Adam always finds our repair work that needs to be done, photo by Adam Ford

Adam always finds our repair work that needs to be done, photo by Adam Ford

As for the veggies, all the winter squash has been harvested and is stored in the root cellar. This year we applied and won a food safety grant to upgrade a few boring but essential pieces of equipment we use on the farm to improve our food safety plan. One of those items was new bulk bins. These are large 5 foot cubes that hold veggies for us in the root cellar. We mostly use them for winter squash, cabbage, Napa, and sometimes head lettuce, but now that we have more, we may use them for other veggies as well. We used to make these bins out of several pallets nailed together, but they had to be replaced every year because wood can’t be adequately sanitized. Our new bins are a sanitize-able plastic that we can use forever. They also collapse, so we can store them more easily when they aren’t in use storing veggies. This is such an important feature. With how seasonal farming is, we use large amounts of tools and supplies during different times of year and then we need them to disappear essentially because believe it or not, we get space limited. It’s so nice we can fold these up and store them out of the way. There are many other aspects to the food safety grant that we will unfold on the farm now that the funds have finally been unlocked, but the other one we started last week was using new tomato crates that are also more easily sanitize-able. (That’s a major theme with food safety… Can I get this surface completely free of whatever was on it last?)

The bins on the left are open and ready to be used, the bins on the right are folded up in their stack the way we would store them when they aren’t in use, photo by Adam Ford

The bins on the left are open and ready to be used, the bins on the right are folded up in their stack the way we would store them when they aren’t in use, photo by Adam Ford

We continue to plant things in the winter tunnel and make slow and steady progress on the new third high tunnel. We also run around and remove any large flowering weeds this time of year to hopefully remove excessive weed seed drop for future years. Looks like the end of this week will bring our seconds solid frost of the season, so we will have to decide what crops we cover and what crops we harvest before the cold. Fall is a fun time of year because we are harvesting all sorts of fall goodies (for example, winter squash), alongside summer crops (for example, tomatoes), but that window closes after a strong frost, so enjoy this week’s bounty in the summer bounty this week! Have that last tomato sandwich!

these relics of summer are still here! photo by Adam Ford

these relics of summer are still here! photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

-ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, CIndy, Dan, the Sams, Grace





Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup

2 pounds of tomatoes, cores removed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 heads of garlic, peeled

1 onion, cut in large chunks

1 fennel bulb, core removed, cut in large chunks

4 cups broth (veggie, chicken, beef, whatever, feel free to make half of this milk for a creamy alternative)

salt and pepper





Put tomatoes and garlic in a deep baking dish and 1 TBSP olive oil. Toss onions, fennel, and the rest of the olive oil in another baking dish. Bake both trays in the oven at 425 for about 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, empty both trays into a large pot, add broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes after a boil, puree the soup, add salt and pepper as needed.

















16th Week of the Summer CSA: September 26th-28th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, baby kale, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, pea shoots, mesclun mix, green curly kale, rainbow chard, parsley, new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, garlic, onions, red and green cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and carrots!

fennel bulb, photo by Adam Ford

fennel bulb, photo by Adam Ford



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 week we have:

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

  • roma tomatoes: $30 for 10 pounds

  • 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: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

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

  • sweet red, bull’s horn peppers: $35 for 10 pounds

beautiful ripening peppers, photo by Adam Ford

beautiful ripening peppers, 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 6:30 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. Important note: For the rest of the summer season, the Ludlow Market ends at 6:30 pm due to the dwindling day light. Sorry for that inconvenience!


when the irrigation gun makes a rainbow, photo by Adam Ford

when the irrigation gun makes a rainbow, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Fall crops are starting to be ready! Fall red and green cabbages, new carrots, other varieties of butternut and spaghetti squash, and fennel! Are you new to fennel? Fennel is a fantastic aromatic veggie that can be most simply incorporated into cooking the way you start a dish by sauteing garlic and onions in some olive oil… just add thinly sliced fennel to that start of a dish, and it adds a sausage-y flavor. Fresh, fennel tastes a bit like licorice, but as a licorice hater, I assure you when it is cooked (whether roasted, grilled, sauteed, fried, whatever) it tastes like sausage instead. (Fennel seeds are often toasted and added to Italian sausage.) In fact, once I served a big, warm, thick pot of creamy potato fennel soup to some folks who “hated eating vegetarian” and they complimented me on my sausage soup.

field of fennel tops, photo by Adam Ford

field of fennel tops, photo by Adam Ford

The team is diligently working away at the third high tunnel. They are nearly done adding all the cross braces and wind braces. (We add a few extra braces to the standard design because we really, really, really don’t want one of these collapsing during a winter storm. It would pretty much stink to have one collapse from inadequate bracing.) They back filled the insulated baseboards with gravel, and maybe as early as next week we will start constructing the end walls. Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on the third tunnel’s name…. We will reveal the official name once the plastic is on and we can hang up a new name sign on the door.

We continue to remove summer plants form the high tunnels, there are still about 8 total beds to plant to winter greens under cover.

more irrigation gun art, photo by Adam Ford

more irrigation gun art, photo by Adam Ford

Many folks have asked how many more weeks we have for the summer share. Including this week, there are 5 more weeks for the summer share. The fall share starts the following week (November 1st), so if you are thinking about signing up for the fall share, it’s a fine time to try do that. We do limit the number of fall shares we take on, but we prioritize current CSA members.

field of CBD hemp flowers, photo by Adam Ford

field of CBD hemp flowers, photo by Adam Ford

We have been enjoying this lovely warm-ish weather even though it has cooled down a bit. This time of year it gets harder to work on rainy days, because they tend to be cold rainy days, and we can only stay so dry with rain gear when we work outside in it for hours. So we certainly relish the warm, sunny fall days.

field of carrot tops, photo by Adam Ford

field of carrot tops, photo by Adam Ford

I haven’t shared any climate change observations from the farm in awhile, so instead, if you haven’t already seen this beautiful speech that Greta shared at the UN this week, here you go… She gives me hope: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/23/greta-thunberg-speech-un-2019-address

Hope everyone has a lovely week!

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

Creamy Fennel Potato Soup

4 TBSP olive oil

3 fennel bulbs, finely chopped

2 onions, finely chopped

1 leek finely chopped, including greens

1 pound potatoes, finely chopped

4 cups broth

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 cup cream (or milk, or almond milk, or whatever your preferred milk is)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 tsp dried oregano

1 TBSP dried sage

1 tsp salt

Saute fennel, onions, leeks, and potatoes in the olive oil in a large pot until lightly softened. Add the brother and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add lemon juice, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, tarragon, oregano, sage, and salt. Blend until smooth, add the cream, and mix well. Enjoy!

15th Week of the Summer CSA: September 19th-21st

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, spinach, baby arugula, green curly kale, rainbow chard, parsley, new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, basil, garlic, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and carrots!

lettuce transplants growing for fall harvest, photo by Adam Ford

lettuce transplants growing for fall harvest, photo by Adam Ford

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 week we have:


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

  • 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. This may be the last week of basil available, FYI*

  • roma tomatoes: $30 for 10 pounds

  • 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: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

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

Sky knows how to turn on the market van, hooray! photo by Adam Ford

Sky knows how to turn on the market van, hooray! 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.

sometimes after work I cart around kids instead of veggies, photo by Adam Ford

sometimes after work I cart around kids instead of veggies, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Less than half our tomato plants are still up and producing tomatoes at this point. The rest have been taken down and transplanted or seeded to winter greens. This process is so hard for me every year, but when it’s winter and the tunnels are booming with greens, I can’t even remember the feeling of how sad it is to rip out tomato plants.

a lonely green tomato left behind after the tomato plants were ripped out of this bed, photo by Adam Ford

a lonely green tomato left behind after the tomato plants were ripped out of this bed, photo by Adam Ford

Our CBD hemp plants are nearing their harvest time. If you are interested in any bulk amount of CBD hemp flowers to make your own CBD extractions, shoot me an email so I can reserve some for you.

Ryan’s wall of sunflowers, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan’s wall of sunflowers, photo by Adam Ford

We are finally turning our attention to jumping on finishing that third high tunnel. We need it closed up sooner than later so we don’t have to start worrying about the night time low temperatures when fall rolls around, and how they could damage tender baby greens without that layer of plastic protection.

third tunnel still under construction, but with baby kale growing for winter, photo by Adam Ford

third tunnel still under construction, but with baby kale growing for winter, photo by Adam Ford

Speaking of that new tunnel, if you pick up at the farm you may have noticed that the other tunnels have hand painted signs on them with weird names….. well only weird if you never read any Roald Dahl books to yourselves or kids. He is a quirky kids’ author, with one of his most famous books being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Naming tunnels isn’t just fun, it’s essential on the farm, because it can often trip people up if you rely on directional signals: for instance, an instruction like “remove all the parsley from the 6th bed in the north tunnel” could be a huge downer if someone accidentally cleared out the south tunnel of parsley that was intended for winter production…. So we have silly names to make it all clear: The tunnel that is closest to the road is called the “Trunchbull.” We named it after the horrible head master in Roald Dahl’s book, Matilda. She would routinely throw kids in “the chokey” if they misbehaved, which was a tiny closet, 10” square with nails and broken glass in the walls and door that would poke kids if they tried to sit… awful right?! Well that first tunnel we built has these awful bolts at face height (for some of us it’s exactly the height of our eyes), on the inside of each bow that has snagged more than one of us as we walk up and down the tight outer path in the tunnel. It’s a terrible design, we don’t appreciate the injuries, and felt like it should absolutely be named the Trunchbull. The next tunnel is called the “BFG” which is the acronym for the character the Big Friendly Giant from another Roald Dahl book. This tunnel is super nice to us, and does not try to gouge our eyes out. The third tunnel got an excellent name suggestion from a CSA member, in keeping with the Roahl Dahl theme, it was suggested we name this third one “Wonka” after Willie Wonka from Charile and the Chocolate Factory. This is a fantastic idea, and it also got our creative ideas flowing, so right now the three name options we are debating between for the third tunnel are “Wonka,” “The Chocolate Factory,” or “The Great Glass Elevator.” (That third option being from the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) I know this is some of the MOST IMPORTANT news to come out of the farm ever, so please feel free to weigh in on your opinion.

the crew harvesting some weedy bok choi and spinach, photo by Adam Ford

the crew harvesting some weedy bok choi and spinach, photo by Adam Ford

If you are free this Sunday from 3 to 6 pm consider attending the 5th Annual Harvest Fest which is the annual fundraiser for the Vermont Farmers’ Food Center, the building where the Rutland Winter Market is held. This is an awesome organization that is building the back bone of a food economy with access to fresh, safe food for this community, as well as a hub for aggregation and storage for food producers. We try to support the food center in any ways we can, and a delicious dinner with a cash bar and silent auction is low hanging fruit for us to attend. To learn more or buy tickets use the following link: http://www.vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org/2019_fall_harvest_festival. I also believe they will be selling tickets at the door if it hasn’t sold out if you decide last minute you want to attend. If you go, you will enjoy a delicious meal featuring local food from several area farms including tomatoes, garlic, carrots, fennel, butternut, cabbage, parsley, sage, jalapenos, and celeriac from us, YOUR CSA FARM!

Have a great week!

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

light through lacinato kale leaves, photo by Adam Ford

light through lacinato kale leaves, photo by Adam Ford

Carmelized Alliums and Stewed Tomato Penne

2 medium onions (red, white or yellow), cut into thin strips

1 leek, cut into thin strips, use the entire leek, including greens

1 pound mini romas, cut in half

2 red peppers, roasted and de-seeded, de-skinned, chopped roughly

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

penne pasta, cooked

parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Put red peppers whole on a baking tray and roast at 425 until the skins darken and the fruit is soft. Remove from the oven, and cover for 5 minutes. Uncover to let cool, remove skins and seeds, and then roughly chop and put aside. In a large skillet, saute the onions and leeks in olive oil on low until they lightly brown. Then add the garlic and mini romas with the oregano, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and salt. When the tomatoes have cooked through, add the roasted red peppers and penne pasta. Toss together and serve with fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

14th Week of the Summer CSA: September 12th- September 14th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, green curly kale, rainbow chard, parsley, new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, basil, garlic, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, elderberries, leeks, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, eggplant, and carrots!

onions and carrots, photo by Adam Ford

onions and carrots, photo by Adam Ford


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 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*

  • 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. This may be the last week of basil available, FYI*

  • heirloom tomatoes: $35 for 10 pounds

  • roma tomatoes: $30 for 10 pounds

  • 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: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

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

garlic and tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

garlic and tomatoes, 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.

Ryan’s gorgeous flower garden, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan’s gorgeous flower garden, photo by Adam Ford



Farm News

We transplanted the first 3 beds in the new winter tunnel, even though we aren’t done building it yet. They are eager beds of kale, waiting to get sweetened up when their leaves freeze solid in the winter. We also transitioned some older tomato beds in one of the other tunnels to the first beds of winter chard. I enjoy thinking about the popularity of items throughout the year. For instance, right now people still choose and eat kale and chard each week, but it’s in much lower demand, but by the time winter rolls around and we will be harvesting these transplants we put in this week, those fly off the table at market within the first hour. It’s why I freeze kale and chard this time of year for my freezer to take out for egg dishes and pasta dishes, because I know I never take home extra of those in the winter.

looking kind of magical through the path to the winter squash field, photo by Adam Ford

looking kind of magical through the path to the winter squash field, photo by Adam Ford

We haven’t gotten around to putting our deer fence up this year. We just use a two-string electric fence, that encompasses about 15 acres or so of growing space. We have to take it down every winter because the snow comes up too high on it, and we can’t keep it hot. If the deer get used to being able to walk through the strands when they are off in the winter, they wouldn’t respect them in the summer. But the challenge is that it’s a big project to put it up every year. We have to clear brush and downed trees, string it back up, and then bait the whole area, as well as repair any breaks that occurred over the winter. This year, we are using the joint methods of spreading blood meal in areas where we find deer nibbling or tracks, letting one of our dogs sleep outside, and crossing our fingers. You are welcome to cross your fingers, too, because the fall crops look awesome right now, and we would like to be able to harvest them for the fall and winter. So far, so good. The deer seem to HATE the smell of blood meal, and I don’t blame them, it is so so gross.

we have a couple dozen fruit trees planted for a mini orchard, that we started when we moved the farm up here… most are still several years off from fruiting, but we are eager to eventually pick certified organic apples, plums, peaches, pears, and cherries from right outside our house….. here is a lonely deformed apple on one of the trees… we will still enjoy this apple when it’s ready, even if it’s the only one on the tree! photo by Adam Ford

we have a couple dozen fruit trees planted for a mini orchard, that we started when we moved the farm up here… most are still several years off from fruiting, but we are eager to eventually pick certified organic apples, plums, peaches, pears, and cherries from right outside our house….. here is a lonely deformed apple on one of the trees… we will still enjoy this apple when it’s ready, even if it’s the only one on the tree! photo by Adam Ford

The sweet peppers are turning red and orange nicely these days. I snagged a “farmer” pepper from the plants the other day, one that had a rotten bottom, that I ripped off so we could enjoy the rest. It was only about 1/3 ripened to red, but I curiously ate the green side and it was just as sweet as the red side. This is probably basic veggie knowledge, but it’s news to me, but I guess when any part of it starts to ripen to red, the whole fruit has begun transforming those starches into sugar, so even just a partially red pepper will taste like a red pepper. It was wild! The true test was feeding it to my toddler who devours the ripe ones, and he excitedly ate the entire thing, green side and all. How cool.

spaghetti squash, photo by Adam Ford

spaghetti squash, photo by Adam Ford

All our garlic is clipped and stored for winter. And before we know it we will be prepping the ground to plant next years garlic in just a few weeks. We are still waiting to be able to harvest the red onions for storage. The greens haven’t fully died back yet, which is our signal to start pulling them for curing.

red onion with a totally green stem still, with those delicious sour grass weeds growing around the bulb…. my favorite to snack on while weeding! photo by Adam Ford

red onion with a totally green stem still, with those delicious sour grass weeds growing around the bulb…. my favorite to snack on while weeding! photo by Adam Ford

And in a week or so, we will start harvesting and trimming the CBD hemp plants that we trialed this year. It’s likely going to be a big project, and we will miss running up and down the big plants.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

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

Yes, one of Sky’s favorite projects is using the power drill to drill a timberlock screw in and out of a piece of lumber. By 4 this kid will be doing all our repair projects around here.

Yes, one of Sky’s favorite projects is using the power drill to drill a timberlock screw in and out of a piece of lumber. By 4 this kid will be doing all our repair projects around here.



Tomato Soup

We love having a salad, some excellent bread, and this soup, on these cooling late summer days. It’s a simple soup and keeps great in the fridge.

1 onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 pounds of mini romas (You can use any varieties for this recipe, I just love using the romas)

1/2 cup basil leaves

salt and pepper

5 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp oregano

1 cup milk of choice (cow, goat, almond, soy, coconut, whatever)

1/2 tsp fennel seed (optional)

1/2 tsp coriander (optional)

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)








Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a medium pot over low heat. When they are fully cooked add the romas whole, with a splash of water so they don’t stick to the bottom. Keep the heat low, and squash the tomatoes as they cook so they produce enough juice to keep them from burning. Add the basil, salt, pepper and optional fennel, coriander, and red pepper flakes. (Those optional spices are what makes people think there is sausage in this soup.) When the tomatoes have fully cooked, blend the entire soup, and add the milk. Serve with crusty bread and delicious salad.

13th Week of the Summer CSA: September 5th-7th

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, green curly kale, rainbow chard, parsley, zucchini, new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, basil, loose red beets, yellow beets, garlic, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, elderberries, leeks, acorn squash, mini butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and carrots!

our stand at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market, photo by Adam Ford

our stand at the Ludlow Farmers’ Market, 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.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*

  • 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

  • roma tomatoes: $30 for 10 pounds

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

  • cabbage: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

  • red beets: $2/pound

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

fall beets and broccoli growing in the field, photo by Adam Ford

fall beets and broccoli growing in the field, 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.

delicious carmens! a favorite snack for both our kiddos. If you haven’t tried these red bull’s horn sweet peppers, you will love them, photo by Adam Ford

delicious carmens! a favorite snack for both our kiddos. If you haven’t tried these red bull’s horn sweet peppers, you will love them, photo by Adam Ford





Farm News

We started the big onion harvest this week, bringing in a little over half what we grew. We pull them when the tops have fallen over and then we spread them out on our tables in the propagation house to completely dry down. This year we will run them through an onion topper for the first time, and we are eager to see this new tool in action. We bought it used from another farm last winter, and we are hoping it saves a bunch of time cleaning up onions once the tops have dried up!

We have been enjoying a particular mama robin this year who built a nest and has raised two batches of babies right on our porch this year… we sit out on the porch and watch the eggs, then they hatch, then these cute little squeekers cheep like mad when we walk by as if we may have their meal, alas we don’t….. Adam caught the mama robin in flight here, photo by Adam Ford

We have been enjoying a particular mama robin this year who built a nest and has raised two batches of babies right on our porch this year… we sit out on the porch and watch the eggs, then they hatch, then these cute little squeekers cheep like mad when we walk by as if we may have their meal, alas we don’t….. Adam caught the mama robin in flight here, photo by Adam Ford

We transplanted out many more rows of fall lettuce, the last of the lettuce we will transplant outdoors.

The elderberry harvest was fasts and furious this year, spanning just over two weeks, but yielding well over 500 pounds of berries. We are selling another big batch to Long Trail Brewing for a seasonal elderberry sour ale they started last year, and another large amounts usually makes its way to Yoder Farm for their elderberry vinegar. We have been surprised how many 10-pound bulk bags of elderberries have already been scooped up by regular people to make their own elderberry syrup. Whatever we have left over we turn into elderberry syrup to sell at the winter market, but at the rate the berries are leaving the farm these days, I may not even get to it! If you are thinking of making elderberry syrup for your winter immune system, let me know if you are interested in a 10-pound bag.

shiitakes, husk cherries, and elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

shiitakes, husk cherries, and elderberries, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan, his dad, and our neighbor Greg got one of our tunnels re-skinned last week, which was great to have that project finished to be able to focus our attention on finishing up the third tunnel before winter.

Last week was also the Irene-aversary.

the new river bed at the old farm back in 2011, photo by Adam Ford

the new river bed at the old farm back in 2011, photo by Adam Ford

It’s been 8 years since the Mill River blasted a new path through our first farm. We usually take some time to reflect and see where we are since that event and what it still holds in our body, but we have been moving too fast just keeping up with the balancing act of farming with two little kiddos. So the cliff notes of our thoughts on Irene at 8 years out is:

  • what an endless blessing to be part of the vibrant and deep community of amazing people

  • how lucky we are to have rebuilt a farm up hill, away from the river in this beautiful corner of the world

  • climate change is terrifying and relentless and erosion will find us wherever water moves over bare soil

  • it’s imperative that farmers figure out how to maintain soil and sequester carbon for the future of feeding people in a chaotic climate

  • how life giving it is to take care of each other during these challenging times

little puppy Echo and Seera surveying the destroyed farm land after we had big machines smooth sand and paper fiber over the rock rubble to re-seed the field back to a hay field to be able to sell it and move on to new land, back in 2012, photo by Adam Ford

little puppy Echo and Seera surveying the destroyed farm land after we had big machines smooth sand and paper fiber over the rock rubble to re-seed the field back to a hay field to be able to sell it and move on to new land, back in 2012, photo by Adam Ford

Have a lovely week!

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Sam, Sam, Dan, Cindy, Taylor, Grace, Casey, Vicki

Blistered Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

  • pint of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • your noodles of choice

Cook pasta. Meanwhile, heat a pan with olive oil. Saute the onions on medium heat until lightly browned, add the zucchini, and cook until liquid is gone. Throw the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are ready to burst. Remove from the heat, toss with the pasta, crushed, garlic, chopped parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. This is excellent warm or cold!

12th Week of the Summer Share: August 29th- August 31st

What’s Available

This week we have baby lettuce, spinach, baby arugula, baby bok choi, green curly kale, rainbow chard, parsley, zucchini, new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, basil, red beets, yellow beets, garlic, sweet fresh onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, husk cherries, elderberries, leeks, broccoli, mini butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and carrots!

baby kale plants for winter harvest, photo by Adam Ford

baby kale plants for winter harvest, photo by Adam Ford



Bulk Buying Opportunities!

Whenever we have plenty to offer bulk buying discounts, I let our CSAmembers 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.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*

  • 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)

  • cabbage: $1.50/pound

  • carrots: $2/pound

  • red beets: $2/pound

  • 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.

mini butternut are ready!, photo by Adam Ford

mini butternut are ready!, 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.

Ryan watering the transplants for the winter tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan watering the transplants for the winter tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Photo Tour of the Farm

We are running around with fewer team members than we are used to this time of year, so please enjoy this photo tour of the farm instead of a verbal update:

Soraya often munches on a head of garlic, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya often munches on a head of garlic, photo by Adam Ford

the best part about having a tool on the farm that perpetually breaks is that Sky can happily “fix” it for us all the time, photo by Adam Ford

the best part about having a tool on the farm that perpetually breaks is that Sky can happily “fix” it for us all the time, photo by Adam Ford

an elusive red pepper, photo by Adam Ford

an elusive red pepper, photo by Adam Ford

we got two big loads of compost delivered last week, one for the new high tunnel which has already been spread, and another for one of the new 40’ x 100’ garden blocks Ryan created this year… he is going to try doing a no till section to see if we can move in that direction for certain crop rotations, photo by Adam Ford

we got two big loads of compost delivered last week, one for the new high tunnel which has already been spread, and another for one of the new 40’ x 100’ garden blocks Ryan created this year… he is going to try doing a no till section to see if we can move in that direction for certain crop rotations, photo by Adam Ford

Sky gets super excited to see Ryan (or the tractor) after day care, photo by Adam Ford

Sky gets super excited to see Ryan (or the tractor) after day care, photo by Adam Ford

when a weed flower is this magnificent, I can’t be that upset to have thistle in our fields, right?! photo by Adam Ford

when a weed flower is this magnificent, I can’t be that upset to have thistle in our fields, right?! photo by Adam Ford

husk cherries ready to blow with our new leaf blower, scoop up, and then winnow! photo by Adam Ford

husk cherries ready to blow with our new leaf blower, scoop up, and then winnow! photo by Adam Ford

Fun Fact Of The Week

Ryan walked well over 1 mile today using the push seeder to see the spinach, lettuce, arugula, and mesclun for harvesting this fall. That means, if all our greens grew in one long line, versus in several rows per bed, we would be growing well over 1 mile of baby greens this fall. Wow.

Have a great week!

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

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!