19th Week of the Summer CSA: October 18th-19th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, baby kale, baby bok choi, pea shoots, spinach, microgreens, garlic, green tomatoes, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, broccoli, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, sweet peppers, jalapenos, brussels sprouts, and leeks! 

 empty beet field after the bulk harvest, photo by Adam Ford

empty beet field after the bulk harvest, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2pm, and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 5pm by filling out this form by 8am on Friday: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe3w7FWNKDd_KAj5-QLleXE_LjBNSn2GzUEW26VfYNdajZwhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1 If you come after 5pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

 little baby parsley plants growing to be harvested in the winter, photo by Adam Ford

little baby parsley plants growing to be harvested in the winter, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Reminders

Now is a great time to sign up for the fall share! https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share . Also, if you aren’t on a payment plan, and you haven’t finished paying for your summer share, now is a great time to do so. Let me know if you need to know your balance. It’s easiest for us if you can finish paying before the fall share starts.

 this is what lettuce looks like after it’s cut for harvest, photo by Adam Ford

this is what lettuce looks like after it’s cut for harvest, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • red or golden beets for $2 per pound

  • frozen elderberries are $60 for 10 pound bag

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • red or green cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • napa cabbage for $1 per pound

  • red or yellow potatoes for $1.75 per pound

  • fingerlings for $2.25 per pound

  • butternut or acorn squash for $1.20 per pound

  • delicata or spaghetti squash for $1.80 per pound

 winter kale transplanted in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

winter kale transplanted in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

This week we started cracking garlic heads for planting, probably next week. I have been asked in the past what my favorite vegetable to grow is. Hands down, my favorite to plant, take care of, harvest, eat, and sell is garlic. I love garlic so much, I cannot imagine eating without copious amounts of it in most food. It’s such a nice crop to plant, because it reminds me of tucking flower bulbs into the ground when I was a kid, which was likely my first exposure to gardening. My earliest memories of planting something were these papery tulip bulbs that my mom laid out for me in a tiny 8 square foot garden in the corner of our New Jersey yard. I remember being blown away that I could tuck this weird thing in the ground, and not only would it know how to come back out of the ground, but it would change shape, and produce a beautiful flower. This is still how I feel about garlic. It’s tough for me to put something so delicious in the ground, but I love visualizing these little cloves sprouting their strong green sprout and sending up a strong stalk to photosynthesize and produce a great bulb under ground.

 Adults may be able to tell which is which, but Sky has a hard time differentiating whether the truck cab or the spray nozzle is a farm tool or toy…. photo by Adam Ford

Adults may be able to tell which is which, but Sky has a hard time differentiating whether the truck cab or the spray nozzle is a farm tool or toy…. photo by Adam Ford

For those of you who grow garlic, we plant our garlic 12 inches apart in each direction and keep it mulched through the season to manage weeds. Before the winter we throw row cover over the planting as well to give it a little extra protection.

 Mikayla dreaming about all the kimchi in her future as she and Morgan harvest napa cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla dreaming about all the kimchi in her future as she and Morgan harvest napa cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

We also finished harvesting, washing, and storing this winter’s potatoes. Still to come for the bulk harvesting are carrots, cabbage, napa, rutabaga, Gilfeather, leeks, and bruseels sprouts. It has been so nice to have a much more manageable fall… we scaled back the volumes of all our winter storage vegetables, and the work load is way sweeter.

 bags of potatoes ready for the root cellar cooler, photo by Adam Ford

bags of potatoes ready for the root cellar cooler, photo by Adam Ford

On Thursday of this week, Ryan is presenting on high tunnel production of winter greens for a workshop hosted at our farm by the USDA and NOFA. You have heard me say it before, but I find Ryan to be a very clever farmer, so I think he will have a fair bit to offer the workshop here. There is a voluntary food safety program for small farms that was designed to help farms even smaller than us get interested in developing food safety plans. A small part of that program is attending continued education opportunities, and this is a workshop that other farmers can attend as part of that program offered by the USDA.

 spinach leaf, photo by Adam Ford

spinach leaf, photo by Adam Ford

There are only 2 more weeks of the outdoor Rutland Farmers’ Market before it moves inside for the winter. We love being outdoors for market, but as the weather changes, making it more unpleasant to stand outside all day, we are starting to feel excited to move indoors for the season. Even though we have had a couple nights of a patchy frost, tonight should be our first hard frost of the season… Much later than the last week of August we were told to plan for when we moved here 8 years ago.

 patchy frost on lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

patchy frost on lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

I love the lengthening summer weather personally, but I always shudder inside knowing that it is associated with the catastrophic climate change we are living through. Especially in light of this week’s UN release of the alarming reality that we only have 12 years as a civilization to get our priorities in order to hopefully survive the climate crisis. Reading the science on this crisis always have me thinking about what role our farm can play in the necessary shifts our culture needs to make. And then I am reminded that this is exactly why I farm. Climate action is what called me towards doing this work. We need to make small and medium farms, and regional production the new norm, as it always was before the industrial revolution. We know that the largest 100 corporations in the world are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, but one of the ways we can shift that narrative is to start relying on smaller businesses to produce those goods and services in a more sustainable way. By being part of a CSA, you are inherently part of the solution. Here’s to the global community finding the political will to put profits aside and try to save the only planet we can live on. These are my thoughts and hopes as I grow this food each week.

 Milkweed, monarch food, photo by Adam Ford

Milkweed, monarch food, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

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

Acorn Squash Soup

 image from movementmenu.com

image from movementmenu.com

3 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out

1 head garlic (2 cloves crushed, the rest whole)

2 red or yellow onions

1 inch ginger root, grated

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

1 can coconut milk

1/4 cup olive oil

water as needed

Remove 2 garlic cloves from the head, keep the rest of the head intact. On a baking sheet, place the acorn squash halves face down, with the garlic under one of the squashes. Bake at 400 until you can pierce the squash with a fork. Meanwhile, saute the garlic, onions, ginger, salt, tumeric, cumin, coriander, and paprika in the olive oil in a pot. Turn off when the onions are translucent. When the suqash is cooked, scoop the flesh out into the pot. Peel the roasted garlic, and add to the pot. Add the coconut milk and a splash of water. Blend the entire soup. Add water or more coconut milk to create your desired consistency. Enjoy!





18th Week of the Summer CSA: October 11th-13th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, green tomatoes, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, broccoli, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and leeks! 

 Sam washing lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

Sam washing lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2pm, and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 5pm by filling out this form by 8am on Friday: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe3w7FWNKDd_KAj5-QLleXE_LjBNSn2GzUEW26VfYNdajZwhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1 If you come after 5pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

CSA Reminders

Now is a great time to sign up for the fall share! https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share . Also, if you aren’t on a payment plan, and you haven’t finished paying for your summer share, now is a great time to do so. Let me know if you need to know your balance. It’s easiest for us if you can finish paying before the fall share starts.

 Sky wonders if his lawn mower will also work on the gravel, photo by Adam Ford

Sky wonders if his lawn mower will also work on the gravel, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • red or golden beets for $2 per pound

  • frozen elderberries are $60 for 10 pound bag

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • red or green cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • napa cabbage for $1 per pound

  • red or yellow potatoes for $1.75 per pound

  • fingerlings for $2.25 per pound

  • butternut or acorn squash for $1.20 per pound

  • delicata or spaghetti squash for $1.80 per pound

 Though beautiful, the fall foliage is a “weed” this time of year when it falls on crops we are still harvesting, like this red napa cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

Though beautiful, the fall foliage is a “weed” this time of year when it falls on crops we are still harvesting, like this red napa cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

We finished harvesting all the storage beets for the season, hooray! This year we really scaled back the volume of storage vegetables we planted for selling throughout the winter, because the fall season has been notoriously hard and stressful to get everything done. It’s usually about this time of year where we both decide that farming is horrible and we need to quit because the demands of fall are so high and relentless. This fall feels much more different since we scaled our work load appropriately to what our farm can handle, and we love it! We have started the potato harvest, and we are going to save most bulk harvested vegetables for later to allow them to keep sizing up or staying fresh in the field for weekly harvests.

 These are crates of disinfected tomato clips ready to store for next season. We use these clips to trellis tomatoes during the season, and when the plants are removed we save the clips, sterilize them to prevent disease inoculation next season, and store them to re-use each year, photo by Adam Ford

These are crates of disinfected tomato clips ready to store for next season. We use these clips to trellis tomatoes during the season, and when the plants are removed we save the clips, sterilize them to prevent disease inoculation next season, and store them to re-use each year, photo by Adam Ford

There is only one tiny section of the winter high tunnels to plant out to bok choi, but the rest is all snugged in and ready for winter. We hold off on planting garlic until later in the fall since we have been having warmer and warmer falls. It’s not good for the garlic to grow well enough to put up shoots before winter, and that started happening to us before we moved garlic planting back. Now we aim for the end of October: ideally the garlic has enough growing time to establish great roots before winter, but doesn’t poke through the soil.

 transplanted and seeded tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

transplanted and seeded tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

We are also experimenting with overwintering onions this year to aim for a much earlier onion harvest in the early summer. Paul and Sandy Arnold over at Pleasant Valley farm in Argyle New York rave about overwintered onions so we are giving it a go. Cross your fingers!

 Looks like it is time to re-bait the electric deer fence, photo by Adam Ford

Looks like it is time to re-bait the electric deer fence, photo by Adam Ford

This week our farmer profile is on Mikayla! Mikayla has been working with us since May this season, and she came to us with plenty of previous farm experience. Last season she worked on a great farm in the Middlebury area called Golden Russet Farm. At that farm, the exclusively produce high quality food for wholesale markets, so the work rhythm tends to be different on a farm like that compared to a farm like ours where we juggle CSA, farmers’ markets, restaurants, co-ops, caterers, etc.

 Mikayla sorting tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla sorting tomatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla graduated from Green Mountain College after completing a super cool intensive project interviewing many farms around Vermont to learn how different farms function. If you a farm nerd like myself, you can check out her very well executed project here: https://sustainablefarmingsystemsis.wordpress.com/

 Mikayla washing greens in the summer, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla washing greens in the summer, photo by Adam Ford

Besides farming, Mikayla has many active hobbies such as ultimate frisbee and hiking. She previously hiked the Appalachian Trail, and this summer she took a couple weeks off from farming to walk the Camino de Santiago with her mom and sister.

Mikayla brings lots of skills to the team, especialyl since she has had farm experience before. She is a quick, hard worker, with a super enjoyable attitude to work with. We will be sad when Mikayla moves on, but she has so much else to explore and experience before putting her roots down in a one place. We are excited to see what life brings her next!

 We are so unbelievably lucky to live and work here, photo by Adam Ford

We are so unbelievably lucky to live and work here, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we may start prepping the eventual garlic planting by cracking all the heads we will plant. And we will also likely transplant out all our little winter onions!

Have a great week.

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


Kimchi!!

 image from thelocalkitchner.com

image from thelocalkitchner.com

If you love fermented food like we do, do yourself a favor and make some kimchi. Although there are many awesome uses for napa cabbage, we will explore those later. For now, bang out a batch of kimchi, let it ferment, and enjoy in a couple week! (This is not an authentic Korean recipe, but what I do at home. Mine doesn’t look as red as the picture above because I use our green jalapenos instead of red chili flakes.)

1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced

2 red onions, thinly sliced

1 head garlic, crushed

2 inches of ginger root, grated

3-4 carrots, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

3 TBSP salt

Put the napa, onions, carrots, and jalapenos through a food processor with the slicer blade. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just chop each of those items finely, it will just take a bit longer.) In a large bowl, mix together the shredded veggies with the crushed garlic, grated ginger, and salt. When it is finely mixed pack the mixture tightly into as many jars as you need, pushing down so the liquid covers the veggies. (I use the biggest jars possible to minimize the number of jars I need to ferment.) Then cover with a loose dish cloth, and let sit for 1-2 weeks. When it is fermented to your preferred level of sourness, put it in the fridge. (If a layer of mold grows on the top of your kimchi during fermentation, just carefully scrape that off. That happens when there isn’t enough liquid covering the veggies. It is natural and not dangerous. Just chuck that top layer because it tastes gross. Everything underneath it is fine.)

17th Week of the Summer CSA: October 4th-5th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, green tomatoes, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and leeks! 

 acorn squash, photo by Adam Ford

acorn squash, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Reminders

Now is a great time to sign up for the fall share! https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share . Also, if you aren’t on a payment plan, and you haven’t finished paying for your summer share, now is a great time to do so. Let me know if you need to know your balance. It’s easiest for us if you can finish paying before the fall share starts.

 husk cherry who fell into the celeriac leaves, photo by Adam Ford

husk cherry who fell into the celeriac leaves, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • beets for $2 per pound

  • frozen elderberries are $60 for 10 pound bag

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound

 summer is clinging on, photo by Adam Ford

summer is clinging on, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 6:30 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. This week the market closes earlier at 6:30 pm due to the dark. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 draining the wash tubs after washing veggies, photo by Adam Ford

draining the wash tubs after washing veggies, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

All the last of the tomatoes from the high tunnels have been removed for winter plantings, and all the the last of the winter squash are harvested for storage. We are hoping to get some drier weather to start harvesting our storage potatoes. With how wet it has been, it would be too difficult to dig them right now.

 many of these empty rows are now transplanted to spinach and seeded to winter greens, photo by Adam Ford

many of these empty rows are now transplanted to spinach and seeded to winter greens, photo by Adam Ford

It seems like our simple, but effective deer fence has become less effective. This time of year it needs to be baited weekly and after every rain, and the wet weather has made it difficult to keep it as a strong deterrent. We are hoping to get it more effective before they start going after our fall lettuces. We call deer our non-paying customers, and there certainly isn’t insurance coverage for deer damage.

 husk cherries drying out and waiting to be winnowed, photo by Adam Ford

husk cherries drying out and waiting to be winnowed, photo by Adam Ford

This week’s farmer profile is on Peter! Peter has been working with us part time for about a year now. It’s always a treat to have someone stay with the team for this long or more, and it’s often fun for people to see this much of a season, as everything cycles through. He started by helping us with the big, bulk winter carrot harvest last fall, and that is right around the corner.

 Peter cleaning leeks, photo by Adam Ford

Peter cleaning leeks, photo by Adam Ford

Before joining our team at the farm, Peter had worked many years as an instructor and director at Camp Woodward, an action sports camp in Pennsylvania. His skills as a kind, easy going, good communicator must have flourished in his leadership roles at the camp. He is a highly skilled skater and snowboarder. He also worked the snow seasons at Killington in the parks crew. During his last season at Killington he was becoming more and more interested in the farm world as he lived with his partner, Morgan, and helped with the farm work at that farm.

 popping lettuce out of trays for transplanting, photo by Adam Ford

popping lettuce out of trays for transplanting, photo by Adam Ford

The work at their home farm is diverse, and Peter has skills in wood-fired maple syrup production, fire wood harvesting, sheep management, blueberry cultivation and harvesting, poultry care, gardening, and so much more. Here at this farm, Peter has been a semi-regular presence at our farmers’ market stands, bringing a natural ability to customer care and talking about the vegetables. When he’s not sharing vegetables with folks at the farmers’ market, we try to have Peter tackle some of the miscellaneous projects around the farm that need attention when the main work or harvesting and washing veggies is under control. A few of the many things Peter has tackled here is building a new large harvest pallet for the tractor, building new pea shoot compost containers, a lot of the weedwhacking around our tunnels, and many other detailed projects. It’s always a great help to have someone break away and do some of the more invisible work of running the farm.

 thanks to Adam’s sleuthing, now we know we gotta fix this irrigation line!

thanks to Adam’s sleuthing, now we know we gotta fix this irrigation line!

We are super grateful for Peter (and Morgan’s) help as farm sitters when we get away from the farm. There are lots of details to hold down here, even when we are away, like milking goats, feeding dogs, watering the greenhouse, harvesting zucchini (because those babies never stop!), etc. So it’s a huge gift to have someone stay here who can handle it all.

 Ryan and Morgan transplanting winter lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan and Morgan transplanting winter lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

It’s too early to know exactly where Peter will head in the future with all his developing farm skills, but it’s clear however he puts them all to use, whoever he shares his food with will simply be happier after interacting with him. Thanks for all your hard work, Peter!

 more Dr. Seuss on the farm, photo by Adam Ford

more Dr. Seuss on the farm, photo by Adam Ford


Have a great week!

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

Cornbread Stuffed Acorn Squash

 image from epicurious.com

image from epicurious.com

  • 2 acorn suqash, cut in half, seeds scooped out

  • 2 TBSP olive oi

  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, pressed

  • 1 carrot, finely choped

  • 1-2 small onions, finely chopped

  • 1 pint shiitakes, finely chopped (or 1 cup cooked sausage)

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 tart apple, finely chopped

  • 1 bag spinach, finely chopped spinach

  • 2-3 corn muffins, cubed

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp sage

  • 1 tsp rosemary

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 eggs

Roast squash halves at 425 for about 35 minutes. Toast cubed muffin on a baking sheet at 425 for about 10-15 minutes. Saute garlic, onion, carrot, mushrooms (or sausage), and cranberries with olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add spinach, apples, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, rosemary, and corn muffin cubes. Remove from the heat and mix in the eggs. Stuff each squash piece with mixture. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!


16th Week of the Summer CSA: September 27th- September 29th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby lettuce, basil, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, green tomatoes, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, red sweet peppers, and leeks! 

 Morgan washing potatoes with the root washer, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan washing potatoes with the root washer, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  

  • basil for $12 per pound (last week)

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • beets for $2 per pound

  • frozen elderberries for $60 for 10 pound bag)

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound

 cilantro babies waiting to be transplanted, photo by Adam Ford

cilantro babies waiting to be transplanted, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 Ryan and I walking around the dying squash vines to discuss the harvest plans, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan and I walking around the dying squash vines to discuss the harvest plans, photo by Adam Ford


Farm News

What do farmers do on a cold, rainy fall day? We start by fantasizing about indoor jobs and wondering why we chose farming :) But in all seriousness, we are lucky at our farm, that even though there are plenty of times that we need to work in all types of weather, no matter how unpleasant, that we are also diversified enough that on some of the worst weather days we can focus on “indoor” work. So today, Tuesday we were removing more old tomato plants from the high tunnel, transforming those summer beds, and transplanting more winter greens. We can also do things like cleaning up the onions that have cured and are ready for sale. Our team is a hard core group of people, but we all still appreciate being out of the rain and wind.

 Newly planted kale plants for winter harvest complimented by a board of traps to protect the seedlings from rodents while they are small, photo by Adam Ford

Newly planted kale plants for winter harvest complimented by a board of traps to protect the seedlings from rodents while they are small, photo by Adam Ford

Most of the winter squash harvest is in, cleaned, and stored for the season, except for the butternut. Hopefully we will get to that in the next few days. We have just started the big fall beet harvest, and as usual our biggest challenge is voles in the field. As we do our big bulk harvest, we always have to toss a lot of damaged beets into bins to feed to the goats.

 This is a garland made from dried tomatillo wrappers… this is how a farmer may decorate their kitchen, garland courtesy of Maya Zelkin, photo by Adam Ford

This is a garland made from dried tomatillo wrappers… this is how a farmer may decorate their kitchen, garland courtesy of Maya Zelkin, photo by Adam Ford

We are grateful and impressed that one of our varieties of peppers decided to start producing at the very end of the summer. It seemed like it was going to be a complete flop this year, but rather they are just a disappointment. This fall we are also growing red and green Chinese cabbage, which is new to our offerings, and I am excited we finally worked them in to our plantings. They will be ready in a couple weeks, and the bonus of them, is that they also store well in the winter like the more popular cabbage. They amaze me how fast they grow.

One of my favorite parts about this time of year is that weeds, like all other plants, have really slowed in their growth, so they are significantly more manageable these days.

 Please enjoy this series of 3 photos by Adam: When I look up close at plants, I am convinced that is where Dr. Seuss got much of his inspiration.

Please enjoy this series of 3 photos by Adam: When I look up close at plants, I am convinced that is where Dr. Seuss got much of his inspiration.

grass.jpg
dr. seuss.jpg

I am starting to make warmer, heartier items in our kitchen these days with the shift in the weather, like soups in the slow cooker, and squash everything. If you haven’t already, acorn squash is a fun squash to stuff because of its shape.

Have a great week!

- The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Morgan, Mikayla, and Taylor


Herb Roasted Acorn Squash

 image from spachethespatula.com

image from spachethespatula.com

  • 2 small acorn squash (or a large one)

  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan

  • 1/2 tsp sage

  • 1/2 tsp rosemary

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp garlic poweder

  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Slice int 1/2 inch think slices. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl to coat evenly. Lay on a baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is a light brown.



15th Week of the Summer CSA: 9/20-9/22

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, basil, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and leeks! 

The beet bunches probably won’t have greens this week, as the leaf miner pressure has really done a number on them. Sorry!

 some of the golden beets still have beautiful greens, photo by Adam Ford

some of the golden beets still have beautiful greens, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  

  • basil for $12 per pound

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • beets for $2 per pound

  • frozen elderberries for $6 per pound

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound

 close up of a kale leaf, I love those greens! photo by Adam Ford

close up of a kale leaf, I love those greens! photo by Adam Ford


CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 harvested fingerlings, photo by Adam Ford

harvested fingerlings, photo by Adam Ford

Community Event!

This Sunday, September 23rd, there will be a harvest festival at the Vermont Farmers’ Food Center at 3pm. There will be a cash bar, and delicious food featuring many local farms, such as Evening Song Farm potatoes, kale, basil, baby lettuce, and beets. If you are interested, use this link to buy a ticket: http://www.vermontfarmersfoodcenter.org/harvest_festival_2018 This is an annual fundraiser that supports the work of the Food Center. The Food Center has been an incredible community effort over the last several years, and there is still so much work it can branch out into with the support of the community. Not only will this event be fun and delicious, but it supports great work in Rutland that is the foundation for many initiatives, such as the Farmacy Project, (providing affordable, local veggies to folks whose health would benefit from veggie access), community gardens, a future food aggregation center (which will undoubtedly be an energizer to the Rutland economy), an educational greenhouse, and so much more, as found on their website. If you are able, go eat a delicious meal that blends many of the area farms’ food together in a celebration of the season, and celebrates the work in this region’s agricultural sector.

 those empty looking beds are the fall plantings of lettuce, meslcun, and arugula, just seeded and germinating, photo by Adam Ford

those empty looking beds are the fall plantings of lettuce, meslcun, and arugula, just seeded and germinating, photo by Adam Ford


Farm News

The first winter greens are being transplanted into the tunnel this week… the same week Ryan direct seeded the last round of arugula and mesclun mix in the fields outside. We pulled out a few rows of old tomatoes and basil to make way for winter crops. All the onions have been pulled in from field curing, and are now finishing that process in the propagation house. Ryan got the last of the winter cover crops seeded this week., and he re-baited the deer fence to protect our fall field greens. We seeded dozens of trays of spinach seedlings to sell to other winter growers later in October. For the past several years we have been doing that, knowing how easy it is to be so busy this time of year that you forget to seed your winter greens. It’s a win-win for everyone: an extra income generator for our farm, but also a big save for farms that were planning to grow winter greens, but didn’t get around to starting them on time.

 Ah! These trees are hinting at the end of summer! photo by Adam Ford

Ah! These trees are hinting at the end of summer! photo by Adam Ford

I love the extension of summer with these warm temperatures. The plants are less responsive to the warm weather than they are to the shorter hours of day light this time of year. I always hope a warm late summer would correlate to more summer crops ripening on their way out, like tomatoes and eggplant. But even though those types of crops are frost sensitive, they are even more photosensitive. So they are all winding down with the earlier evenings and later mornings.

 old broccoli plants provide food for pollinators, photo by Adam Ford

old broccoli plants provide food for pollinators, photo by Adam Ford

The next few weeks will be characterized by lots of summer plants being removed from the high tunnels, and lots of transplanting of winter greens into the high tunnels, as well as continued harvests of fall type veggies. Some folks have asked us about the fall and winter CSA. Now is a great time to sign up for the fall share: https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share. Stay tuned for details about the winter share. We also partner with the Northeast Organic Farming Association to offer income shared CSA shares. You can sign up for a half price CSA share here if you qualify: https://nofavt.org/farmshare/applicant. If you sign up with NOFA, be sure to also sign up on our website.

 The toddler is taller than the barn, photo by Adam Ford

The toddler is taller than the barn, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

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

Roasted Delicata over Rice with Chimichurri

 image from eatingwell.com

image from eatingwell.com

We have been eating this meal in all sorts of variations these days. The essentials are rice with roasted veggies and a chimichurri sauce. Squash not your thing? Roast anything!

1 delicata squash, cut lengthwise, remove the seeds, and then cut into thin slices (keep skin on)

1 medium red onion, sliced thin

10 cloves of garlic, 6 cloves sliced thickly

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 TBSP olive oil

Chimichurri:

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of parsley

5 basil tops

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP maple syrup

Toss the sliced delicata, red onion, and 6 cloves of garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake about 30 minutes at 400. Remove from the heat when they have lightly browned. Then toss with 1 TBSP maple syrup. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the chimichurri together and blend until smooth, using a food processor or blender. (Add extra olive oil or lemon juice if more liquid is needed to make it smooth. Serve the squash over rice and finish with chimichurri on each bite!



14th Week of the Summer CSA: September 13th-15th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, beets with greens, baby arugula, mesclun mix, basil, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, mini cabbage, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and leeks! 

 fall lettuce plantings, photo by Adam Ford

fall lettuce plantings, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  

  • basil for $12 per pound

  • garlic for $10 per pound

  • beets for $2 per pound

  • elderberries for $6 per pound

  • husk cherries for $6 per pound

  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound

  • french filet green beans for $5.50 per pound

  • roma tomatoes for $2.50 per pound 

  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound

 fall carrots on the left, fall red cabbage in the middle, fall green cabbage to the right, and cover cropped area far right, photo by Adam Ford

fall carrots on the left, fall red cabbage in the middle, fall green cabbage to the right, and cover cropped area far right, photo by Adam Ford


CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 Carrot forest, photo by Adam Ford

Carrot forest, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

This week I am thinking of the farmers along the southern eastern seaboard who are bracing for Hurricane Florence. With the volume of rain that is predicted, there will definitely be farms who will be permanently devastated. Sometimes I wish that instead of hustling to get our own farm ready for the large fall harvest and plantings for winter growing, that I could head up a large traveling band of volunteers who would travel to places bracing for a hurricane, and help those farms get ready: move animals, feed, and equipment to safer places, fill backup water holdings for animals, harvest anything that is close to ready that would be knocked down from rain or wind, rip plastic off of greenhouses in hopes the structure can survive the storm (knowing that leaving the plastic on will ensure its demise), get backup generators ready, and who knows whatever specific needs each farm has. And then of course, be able to loop back around to affected farms to help them with the long clean up. There are many reasons that folks don’t evacuate even during mandatory evacuations, and sometimes farmers are those people, especially if they have animals they can’t move to safety. Here’s to thoughts of Florence losing her steam, and having our southern neighbors fare as well as they can this week.

 This is a row of fall harvested rutabaga that is row covered to exclude the cabbage maggot which damages the main root of the rutabaga, photo by Adam Ford

This is a row of fall harvested rutabaga that is row covered to exclude the cabbage maggot which damages the main root of the rutabaga, photo by Adam Ford

In our neck of the woods, it has been wetter lately, but that’s been ok. We have a beautiful stand of fall cover crops emerging and growing nicely with the moisture. The team has been able to use some of the rainy time preparing the tunnels for summer to winter transition: pulling out the dead cucumber plants, and readying beds for the seedings and transplantings of winter greens. Ryan finished up the winter tunnel map this week, and as I glance over his spread sheets, it looks like we will get to enjoy some of our standard greens this winter: mesclun, spinach, kale, bok choi, lettuce, arugula, cilantro, parley… It looks like at least for this fall, we will continue to have one of our tunnels unheated. We have too much going on at the farm to try and pull off the enormous project of installing subsurface hot water lines in the other tunnel the way Ryan heroically did in the spring. If we choose to add heat to our other tunnel, it won’t be until next spring.

 cover crop just emerging from the field, photo by Adam Ford

cover crop just emerging from the field, photo by Adam Ford

All the onions are pulled from the field, curing in the propagation house for winter storage. Next up, we will bring in the shallots. Most other fall crops are a ways away from harvest, but when they are all ready, they all come on at once!

 onions waiting to be taken in after field curing, photo by Adam Ford

onions waiting to be taken in after field curing, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we will continue to transition the tunnels, pulling out old tomato plants to make way for all the baby seedlings for winter greens. We do one bed at a time to try to drag out our tomato availability as long as possible. Though some of them have been growing for an especially long time since we put them in back in April in the heated tunnel!

 This is the last outdoor planting of lettuce for the 2018 season, photo by Adam Ford

This is the last outdoor planting of lettuce for the 2018 season, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Mikayla, Peter, Morgan, Sam, Taylor


Zucchini Boats

I cannot believe I forgot to put a zucchini boat recipe up this summer! We love making these and always enjoy variations on a good theme. Each time I make zucchini boats, I choose a different flavor idea: taco boats, greek boats, middle eastern boats, midwestern boats, breakfast boats, pizza boats. This recipe is the pizza-flavored boat. (For vegetarians, you can coarsely pulse up chickpeas to replace the ground meat, and add an extra TBSP of olive oil.)

 image from budgetbytes.com

image from budgetbytes.com

3 medium zucchini

1 pound of tomatoes

1 TBSP olive oil

1 pound ground meat

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 pint shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bag basil, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 TBSP oregano

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375. Slice Zucchini lengthwise, and scoop out the inside to make a boat. Put the scooped out part of the zucchini in a baking tray lined with olive oil and bake about 15-20 minutes. Drain water from the tray after they cool. Meanwhile in a pan, cook ground meat with the onion and garlic. Add the scooped out zucchini, mushrooms, 1/3 of the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, and olive oil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add basil, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/2 cup mozzarella, and mix well. In a deep baking tray, lay out 6 empty zucchini boats. Divide the filling between them. (If there is extra filling, you can just bake it, it’s delicious.) Slice your remaining tomatoes over the zucchini boats, and then top the whole dish with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella. Bake until top is golden brown. Enjoy!


13th Week of the Summer CSA: September 6th-8th

WHAT'S AVAILABLE

This week you can choose from new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, beets with greens, baby arugula, basil, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, garlic, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, french filet green beans, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, mini cabbage, red and yellow onions, elderberries, delicata squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and leeks! (This is likely the last week of fresh elderberries, though we will have them available frozen in bulk for a bit.) 

 Shiitake log, photo by Adam Ford

Shiitake log, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  
  • basil for $12 per pound
  • garlic for $10 per pound
  • beets for $2 per pound
  • elderberries for $6 per pound
  • husk cherries for $6 per pound
  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound
  • french filet green beans for $5.50 per pound
  • roma tomatoes for $2.50 per pound 
  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound
 This picture of pea shoots kind of looks like a well organize pea shoot choir singing to the rest of the green house, photo by Adam Ford

This picture of pea shoots kind of looks like a well organize pea shoot choir singing to the rest of the green house, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 Peter and Mikayla harvesting zukes, photo by Adam Ford

Peter and Mikayla harvesting zukes, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

This week the team finished transplanting out the last big outdoor seeding of lettuce. All the rest of the lettuce plantings will go into a high tunnel for winter production. We also seeded the bulk of the winter spinach transplants. It's hard to believe when we are seeding in a hot, hot greenhouse, excited to go swimming after work that the seeds we are planting will be growing in a cold, cold tunnel in the winter, with 3 layers of fabric over them to keep them alive! 

 Napa cabbage transplants... get ready to make your kimchi this fall! photo by Adam Ford

Napa cabbage transplants... get ready to make your kimchi this fall! photo by Adam Ford

We have started the earliest harvest of winter squash! I usually associate the start of that harvest with some fall-feeling weather, so this feels early, but it may be right on time. My favorite way to have squash when it is warm like this is to roast a delicata, cut it into small cubes, and refrigerate. Then I add some of those chunks onto a bright green salad each time to add some sweet, textural treats to my late summer salads. 

 red cabbage leaf, photo by Adam Ford

red cabbage leaf, photo by Adam Ford

Eventually I will make it through our whole team with farmer profiles, so this week, I introduce Morgan! Morgan has been working with us for over a year now. She lives and works locally on a farm that produces many things, but mostly maple syrup and blueberries. Morgan has been splitting her time there for 2 days and working at Evening Song Farm 4 days a week. Not only does she work 6-day farm weeks between her two jobs, but she is also a full time college student. Morgan's goal setting and work/college balance is truly impressive to me. I am blown away how she can do so well at all those responsibilities at once. 

 curing onions, photo by Adam Ford

curing onions, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan is originally from Pennsylvania, where she has had several types of jobs, but most recently working on large farms producing green beans and potatoes. .... like, really, really big farms, where she drove a combine to harvest endless acres of green beans. I remember the day when we wanted to start training Morgan into tractor driving, and we asked if she had any tractor driving experience, and she implied not really. She is correct that driving tractors and combines are different, but when I learned that was her previous job, I realized she would learn tractor driving in no time. Morgan is generally humble with her hidden skills, and I find it wildly cool that as a young 20-something woman she was driving a combine.... This is especially rare in a field where the average age of farmers is 65, and women farmers are still in the minority. While working on these larger farms, Morgan felt like there may be other or better ways to be producing food for humans and the earth, and so she started looking for smaller scale production to continue developing her knowledge of farming, which is what originally brought her to Vermont. Eventually Morgan thinks she will run some type of farm enterprise, and with experience in large scale farming, small scale organic vegetable production, blueberry cultivation, goat milking, sheep management, chicken management, tunnel production, direct marketing, sugar making, and woods work she may take her skills and passions in any direction. 

 Morgan thinking about how cool she is, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan thinking about how cool she is, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan has taken on lots of leadership roles around here: tractor driving, running markets, packing wholesale orders, and generally being an extra brain to organize jobs done well, not let things fall through the cracks, know where things are harvested from and how, and the ability to see how improvements can be made around here. We love when people want to throw their brain into this job that is mostly physically demanding, thanks, Morgan!

 Morgan harvesting shiitakes, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan harvesting shiitakes, photo by Adam Ford

One of the most inspiring parts of working with Morgan is her dedication to sensible modes of transportation. She and her teammate, Peter, have been biking to work for most of the season, which means they get up an hour earlier than if they were to drive here, and brave whatever the weather has been, even traveling for a chunk on Route 103, and then triumphantly biking up our long, steep road to use their bikes rather than a car. (I used to bike as my main source of transportation, but that was when I lived in the flat, flat midwest.. Shunpike Road is a doozy.) She just got rid of her car permanently, and now they rely completely on bikes. Rock stars. 

 this is a generic image of a combine from machinefinder.com in case you aren't sure how wild they look.. Morgan was driving one that harvested green beans though, not grains.... now she is on a bike:)

this is a generic image of a combine from machinefinder.com in case you aren't sure how wild they look.. Morgan was driving one that harvested green beans though, not grains.... now she is on a bike:)

Morgan and Peter will eventually be leaving the Vermont region to explore agriculture and adventures in other areas before possibly setting up shop in Pennsylvania. This little neighborhood will surely miss them both when that happens. But for now, it's been such a treat to have them both as part of the team. (Stay tuned for Peter's profile in a future newsletter.)

Have a great week!

-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Sam, and Mikayla

Summer Spaghetti Squash

 image from foodnetwork.com

image from foodnetwork.com

1 spaghetti squash

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 leek, sliced thin (including green part)

3-4 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 bag pea shoots, chopped

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup tamari

2 TBSP maple syrup

3 TBSP rice vinegar

Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down on a baking tray and bake at 400 degrees until you can pierce the skin with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, Mix together the peanut butter, tamari, maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, and leeks. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Toss the dressing with the squash noodles. Add the cilantro and pea shoots when you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

12th Week of the Summer CSA Share: August 30th-September 1st

What's Available

This week you can choose from new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, beets with greens, baby arugula, basil, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, garlic, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, french filet green beans, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, kohlrabi, mini cabbage, red and yellow onions, elderberries, and leeks!  

 leeks, photo by Adam Ford

leeks, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

Send me an email if you want any of the items below in bulk for preserving. These are wholesale prices we make available to CSA members and their friends a family.

  • zucchini for $1.50 per pound  
  • basil for $12 per pound
  • garlic for $10 per pound
  • beets for $2 per pound
  • elderberries for $6 per pound
  • husk cherries for $6 per pound
  • beets for $2 per pound
  • cabbage for $1.50 per pound
  • french filet green beans for $5.50 per pound
  • roma tomatoes for $2.50 per pound 
  • shiitake mushrooms for $12 per pound
 frozen elderberries about to be de-stemmed, photo by Adam Ford

frozen elderberries about to be de-stemmed, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 It's always exciting to see a monarch, photo by Adam Ford

It's always exciting to see a monarch, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Yesterday almost slipped by without me realizing it was our Irene-aversary. Every year is palpably farther away from the trauma we felt that day, trying to save some of our bigger equipment before having to evacuate our animals and ourselves. Even though it is only 7 years ago now, it can often seem like a little stumble on our path towards building a farm in Shrewsbury, though I certainly would not be able to relate to that minimization even a couple years ago. Our road to recovery from losing our first location to that storm was messy and exhausting, and it keeps us present and grateful in our current location, and especially grateful for being able to continue the work of farming.

 If that's not the most tenacious lettuce seedling, I don't know what is... This must be a transplant that fell out of the tray in our gravel tractor path, and decided it could grow in gravel anyway... I want to eat that lettuce when it's grown up, it seems to have some magical powers, photo by Adam Ford

If that's not the most tenacious lettuce seedling, I don't know what is... This must be a transplant that fell out of the tray in our gravel tractor path, and decided it could grow in gravel anyway... I want to eat that lettuce when it's grown up, it seems to have some magical powers, photo by Adam Ford

Each year on the anniversary of the storm, we take some time for stillness to offer kindness to ourselves and appreciation for the support of our community that helped us through that disaster. This year I felt more in touch with what brought me to farming in the first place, and why I still find myself doing this work. Farming is just one form of expression of the hopefulness I feel for the world that has been brewing my entire conscious life. Somehow from a young age, I could tell the world was full of suffering, and I wanted to figure out how to participate in some of its healing, and my easiest pursuit started with a passion for environmentalism. By the time I left college, I felt like the urgency of climate change demanded that I do work that was actively moving us away from systems of production that accelerated the damage to our environment.

 Soraya on her way to join me with wholesale deliveries, photo by Adam Ford

Soraya on her way to join me with wholesale deliveries, photo by Adam Ford

Even though I dragged Ryan into this profession of farming, I am not the skilled farmer that Ryan is: he brings a curiosity, knowledge, and attention to detail that impresses me all the time. My role here has always been the work horse who pushes for more, asking our farm to continue to be better at reaching our goals of a healthier earth. Nearly a decade into this adventure, and I am feeling ready to take on a new project to add to the work of this farm, as I sat in stillness on our Irene-aversary.  In this world, it's rare to get to have a job you love. And 7 years out from the storm I was sitting with the reality that we were given the rare opportunity to keep farming after a climate disaster, so what do I pay forward for that gift? 

 Morgan and Peter taking a break to stretch while harvesting greens... I learned at a farming conference years ago from a farmer many decads my senior, that if I wanted to farm into my future that we should reach up for one minute of every hour of bent over work, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan and Peter taking a break to stretch while harvesting greens... I learned at a farming conference years ago from a farmer many decads my senior, that if I wanted to farm into my future that we should reach up for one minute of every hour of bent over work, photo by Adam Ford

This week Ryan got the large round of cover crop seeded for the fall. The team continues to transplant out fall crops. The biggest job these days is harvesting, de-stemming, and freezing elderberries for future orders. Our pepper plants seriously disappoint us this year. They are the best looking pepper plants we have ever grown, except there is minimal to no fruit on them. That area of the gardens must have been too high in nitrogen for them to produce flowers. This is quite frustrating to care for something all season, and then have them flop like this.... especially when I finally went all out and planted all the hot pepper varieties of my dreams for hot sauce!

 elderberry bushes, photo by Adam Ford

elderberry bushes, photo by Adam Ford

Tomatoes and Chicken

 image from wellplated.com

image from wellplated.com

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 pound roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers or olives (optional)

Lightly pound chicken to an even thickness. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Lay the chicken in the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cook about 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Then keep flipping ever 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Put the chicken on a plate and cover. Add the onion to the oil in the pan, and cook about 3 minutes, add the garlic and cook for less than a minute. Add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, honey, some more salt and pepper, and optional capers or olives. Cook about 2 minutes, return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle with the parsley, and then serve!

 

 

11th Week of the Summer CSA: 24th-26th

What's Available

This week you can choose from new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, beets, baby arugula, spinach, rainbow chard, basil, zucchini, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, fresh garlic, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, french filet green beans, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, kohlrabi, mini cabbage, spinach, fresh onions, elderberries!  

Are husk cherries new to you? They are a super fun, sweet, tropical flavored berry. Remove the papery husks and just pop them in your mouth! 100 years ago they used to be more popular for pies and jams, but they don't last that long in this house! You can also peel husk cherries and put them in the freezer for later. When you eat them frozen they taste like little sorbet balls!

Elderberries are popularly known as a nutrient dense super food that is great for the immune system. They aren't the best berry for fresh eating, but they are great to make baked goods, jam, syrup, wine, beer, vinegar, and winter tinctures with. Check out the recipe at the end of the newsletter for some delicious scones with elderberries Ryan made this weekend. (If you are interested in a bulk amount of elderberries for any processing, they are $6 per pound.) 

 elderberry umbel, photo by Adam Ford

elderberry umbel, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

As items start producing in large enough quantities that we can wholesale them, we will let you know in case you have any interest in preserving any items in larger quantities. This week we have zucchini and summer squash available for $2 per pound at 5 pounds or more, and $1.50/pound at 10 pounds or more. If you roast and freeze or shred, or stuff zucchini for the winter, now is a great time to jump on those items. We also have bulk basil available for pesto making at $12 per pound. (If you need bulk garlic for pesto, that is available for $11 per pound.) Just shoot me an email and I will have it packed up. Elderberries are $6 per pound. Husk cherries are $6 per pound. 

 hoeing fall crops, photo by Adam Ford

hoeing fall crops, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

Unless you have set up a payment plan with me, the balance of your summer CSA share is due last week. Let me know if you need to know your balance, or if you need a different payment plan. Both are ok! Thanks.

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. (The permit at the market does not allow us to let veggies leave the market before 4pm, so please try not to come early.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 bunched beets, photo by Adam Ford

bunched beets, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

It's the time of year when Ryan is finalizing our winter tunnel plans. Usually we start lots of greens this time of year through late September to transplant into the tunnels for the winter. This year, the timings and types of greens might be different because we will be managing our tunnels to maximize early spring production of tomatoes and cucumbers since that was so successful this year. We will still absolutely be growing winter greens, but timing when each plant goes in and out of the tunnels is such an art (that is definitely beyond me!) so it takes Ryan a bit of time to figure out when to get things started. 

 Mikayla washing greens, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla washing greens, photo by Adam Ford

Husk cherries are the star of the farm right now. For whatever reason, the past couple of years husk cherries haven't produced as much as we were used to our first couple of years, but this year the stars aligned and we are swimming in them... which is awesome because our toddler LOVES them. Two years ago we learned from some skilled farmer friends that we can harvest them much faster by sweeping all of them into our harvest bins, and then winnow them with a fan. This allows us to pick faster, because it collects all the leaf and dirt debris, since they fall to the ground when they ripen. But then the fan blows all the debris away and we are left with the clean berries. Before learning this method, we hated harvesting them, and they were certainly a loss leader crop, that may have gotten cut from our production eventually... So it's nice they are still with us!

Harvesting elderberries has been super fun. We planted about 100 bushes a couple years ago to make use of a wetter area of our fields that couldn't grow veggies well. And now we are harvesting beautiful, ripe, umbels of berries. They are super fun to harvest, and being deep in the rows of big bushes feel a bit tropical with their broad, bright green, somewhat waxy leaves. 

 Did you know that we eat the flower portion of the broccoli plant? photo by Adam Ford

Did you know that we eat the flower portion of the broccoli plant? photo by Adam Ford

Many of the indoor early crops in the high tunnel have gone by, and we have moved outside for later plantings, such as green beans. The early ones are done, and usually this time of year we are all excited to be DONE with harvesting green beans! But silly us, we decided to meet the demand for green beans, and plant a later row outside, so out we went yesterday harvesting a new planting of green beans. 

The team has been tremendous at keeping up with weeding projects, and soon we will dive right into fall and winter transplanting, followed by large bulk harvests of storage veggies. The rhythms of the farm keep marching forward. 

 Morgan driving the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan driving the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

This week is the last week that one of our teammates, Sam will be working with us. He is heading back to the west coast for his last year of college. I never finished doing a farmer profile of everyone on the team, which is a shame, because Sam has been a delightful addition to the team. Sam has exemplified the attitude of a strong team player on our farm. His answer is always yes when something needs help, he always brings a genuine smile and bright energy to work, and most delightfully, he brought us zucchini bread after Soraya was born... giving me an awesome quick breakfast in the morning! Sam only had one farm related experience before joining the crew, and he learned quickly on our team. He says he will use this farm experience to know how to keep an awesome garden when he lives in a space he can do that. He says the dumbest farm thing he has done was squish all the basil when he harvested it for the first time... (It meant a whole bin was unmarketable with black crinkles in the leaves, but I assured him it meant that I got a freezer full of pesto made before the baby was born, which may not have happened this summer if I waited until now when we have enough basil for processing!) Sam thinks the most annoying farm job he may have done this season was today, ripping up large gnarly weeds tangled up in the landscape fabric that covered the kale beds. No doubt that, an annoying job. When Sam joined the team we connected over our surprising shared disinterest in tomatoes. (I love them cooked, and I love them sliced and chopped in things, I just don't eat them like an apple like it seems I should as a farmer!) But Sam says his time working here helped open him up to tomatoes, especially liking the cherry tomatoes. And when asked what his favorite vegetable was this season, we got to talking about how fun and wild husk cherries are... Just a flavor explosion. We are excited to cross paths in whatever way that is with Sam in the future, and know that whatever endeavor he puts his energy into in the future will benefit from his commitment and kindness. Thanks for joining us for the season, Sam!

 Sam, photo by Adam Ford

Sam, photo by Adam Ford

This weekend Ryan, Sky, Soraya and I head out for our first trip as a family of 4 to a dear friend's wedding. So the team will be holding down the farm again! It's such a privilege to be able to leave the farm in reliable hands to attend our friends' important milestones. It wasn't something that was available the first couple of years farming.

 This year's team, playing in the kiddie pool: Peter, Sam, Sam, Mikayla, Ryan, Sky, Soraya, Kara, Morgan, Taylor, and Katelyn! photo by Katelyn Mann

This year's team, playing in the kiddie pool: Peter, Sam, Sam, Mikayla, Ryan, Sky, Soraya, Kara, Morgan, Taylor, and Katelyn! photo by Katelyn Mann

Have a great week!

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

 

Elderberry and Rosemary Scones

elderberry scones.jpg

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBSP rosemary

8 TBSP butter, frozen

3/4 cup elderries

1/2 cup yogurt

1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and rosemary. Grate the butter into the mixture and stir together. In a separate bowl mix the yogurt and egg together well. Stir in the elderberries. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Make the dough into a ball. Flour a surface, and press the dough out into a 3/4" circle. Cut into triangles and place on a buttered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. For extra elderberry wonder, serve with elderberry jam!

10th Week Summer CSA: August 16th-18th

What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, beets, baby arugula, lacinato kale, spinach, rainbow chard, basil, zucchini, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, fresh garlic, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, french filet green beans, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, and fresh onions!  

 husk cherries in pints, photo by Adam Ford

husk cherries in pints, photo by Adam Ford

Back when our daughter was born, we were late on a lettuce seeding.... whoops! So there won't be lettuce this week, but it will return. Until then, try a different green for a salad this week. Are you new to arugula? Use a maple vinaigrette with a soft cheese and some roasted nuts. Try a spinach salad with some fresh torn up basil, and a creamy Caesar dressing. Celebrate summer with a luxurious tomato salad. Use pea shoots in your wraps when you usually use lettuce.

 shiitake mushrooms, photo by Adam Ford

shiitake mushrooms, photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

As items start producing in large enough quantities that we can wholesale them, we will let you know in case you have any interest in preserving any items in larger quantities. This week we have zucchini and summer squash available for $2 per pound at 5 pounds or more, and $1.50/pound at 10 pounds or more. If you roast and freeze or shred, or stuff zucchini for the winter, now is a great time to jump on those items. We also have bulk basil available for pesto making at $12 per pound. (If you need bulk garlic for pesto, that is available for $11 per pound.) Just shoot me an email and I will have it packed up. 
 

 Peter clipping cured garlic, photo by Adam Ford

Peter clipping cured garlic, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

Unless you have set up a payment plan with me, the balance of your summer CSA share is due this week. Let me know if you need to know your balance, or if you need a different payment plan. Both are ok! Thanks.

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 farmers market setup, photo by Adam Ford

farmers market setup, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Things are settling down enough that I can put together a real newsletter. The past few weeks have been super full for our family. It's hard for me to separate our family from our farm, and to be honest, I would be very inauthentic if I could try to claim that whatever is going on with our family doesn't affect the farm. So in some ways our family news is also farm news: Our new, sweet little addition, Soraya, is now out of the weeds with health issues that cropped up during the first few weeks of her life. But before now I had to become a full time mom, and step away from the farm to meet her needs with appointments and hospitalizations. The cliff notes are that Soraya first had to have light therapy for jaundice, then got a cold a fever that caused some dehydration, that made her need some IV fluids in the hospital for several days. And during that hospital stay the doctors were watching for "low tone," but after a visit to a fantastic doctor in Dartmouth, it seems like she is just a lovely, chill, sleepy baby, with no serious health problems.. which is a huge relief. Our toddler has had his own needs during this time, but I feel like I will be able to start slowly easing back into farm work soon. Thank you to Ryan for holding down both our leadership roles during this time.

 Hey everyone! I am one month old and I eat all the time! And you are correct, I have a wild amount of hair!

Hey everyone! I am one month old and I eat all the time! And you are correct, I have a wild amount of hair!

Meanwhile, Ryan and the crew have been fantastic with holding the actual vegetable production down. The garlic has been harvested, cured, and started to be cut, sorted, and stored for the season. Fall harvested root crops have been seeded, transplanted, thinned, and weeded. Back in the early summer we had to re-seed our fall carrots when they were baked in the heat. It seems like the new plantings are coming along well. They continue to keep up with weekly seedings, which go on throughout the year since we grow indoor greens. They have tackled large weeding projects, and continue to manage the project of trellising and pruning tomatoes.

 potato, dug, ready to be collected, photo by Adam Ford

potato, dug, ready to be collected, photo by Adam Ford

We are having a surprising down turn in tomato production right now, most likely due to aborted flowers during the heat wave way back when. Ryan is also investigating potential pest and disease issues, using the awesome resource of our state extension office. 

 harvesting early onions, photo by Adam Ford

harvesting early onions, photo by Adam Ford

One of the biggest challenges that Ryan is trying to address from a big picture perspective is weed pressure on the farm. Weed pressure has always been one of our biggest challenges, and over the years, we have incorporated so many different type of weed management methods, in hopes that the next one will really prove effective for our systems. The newest method we started incorporating last year was using large tarps on areas of fields that we lay down for several weeks to smother weeds, and kill off several rounds of the weed seed bank in that area. This method has proved somewhat effective, except against some annual grasses and a weed known as pig weed. It has made Ryan go somewhat back to the drawing board to figure out how to manage weeds. Weeds may be one of the most costly parts of our production systems, and it feels a bit demoralizing to be at this for 10 seasons now. Shouldn't we be able to nail this by now?!

 baby fennel transplants being transplanted out, photo by Adam Ford

baby fennel transplants being transplanted out, photo by Adam Ford

In the next week or so, we will embark upon the new project of harvesting and processing elderberries for a large order we have for Long Trail Brewing.  We planted our elderberry bushes a couple years ago, and this is the first large harvest yield. It will be fun to have a new project to master, and even more excitingly, we look forward to trying their elderberry beer in several months!

 photo by Adam Ford

photo by Adam Ford

We hope you have a great week, and enjoy the treats of the summer! I hope you are eating tomato everything... we certainly are!

-Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Mikayla, Katelyn, Morgan, Peter, Sam, and Shain

 

Roasted Veggie Tomato Sandwich

 image from Pinterest

image from Pinterest

This time of year, I roast a large batch of veggies to keep in the fridge for fast sandwhiches. When you take quick lunch breaks, but want to eat like garden royalty, this is a stellar go to. (You can use any combo of veggies you enjoy, but below is usually what I do.)

2 medium onions, sliced into long thin strips

2 medium to large zucchini or summer squash, sliced into long thin strips

2 kohlrabi, peeled, sliced into long thin strips

head of garlic, cloves peeled and kept whole

5-6 carrots, sliced into long thin strips

1 pint of shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin

4 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

2 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients together, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 until lightly browned. Remove from heat, and eat warm, or store in the fridge for at least a week.

For sandwiches, put a layer of basil leaves on bread, layer on the roasted veggies, your favorite slice of cheese, a thick slice of fresh tomato, followed by another layer of basil and your top layer of bread. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

5th Week of the Summer CSA: July 12th-13th

What's Available

This week you can choose from new red potatoes, beets, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, salad turnips, scallions, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, bunched rainbow chard, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, garlic scapes, snap peas, fresh garlic, french filet green beans, heirloom tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes!

 Zuke with its blossom still on it, photo by Adam Ford

Zuke with its blossom still on it, photo by Adam Ford

I believe there will be enough tomatoes for everyone this week that you don't need to limit yourself to one pint or pound. We aren't completely rolling in them yet, but they are coming on a bit more than last week. 

I may have already mentioned how we have leaf miner issues this year that affects our beets, chard, and spinach. The most obvious way this will present itself is by having more beets without tops. The leaf miner make a great mess of those beautiful tops, which is a super shame, but that's this year's challenge:( 

 I love walking by the buckwheat cover crop and listening to the buzzing of busy honey bees... I also love knowing their commute is shortened when it's in bloom! photo by Adam Ford

I love walking by the buckwheat cover crop and listening to the buzzing of busy honey bees... I also love knowing their commute is shortened when it's in bloom! photo by Adam Ford

Bulk Availability

As items start producing in large enough quantities that we can wholesale them, we will let you know in case you have any interest in preserving any items in larger quantities. This week we have cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash available for $2 per pound at 5 pounds or more, and $1.50/pound at 10 pounds or more. So if you make pickles, or freeze shredded or stuffed zucchini for the winter, now is a great time to jump on those items. Just shoot me an email and I will have it packed up. 

 Peter and Morgan helping with chores when I really needed the extra hand, photo by Adam Ford

Peter and Morgan helping with chores when I really needed the extra hand, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 I can never get enough pictures of plant tendrils, photo by Adam Ford

I can never get enough pictures of plant tendrils, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

I will be totally honest with you all this week: Our website platform deleted the newsletter I finished writing before I put the pictures in, so I am going to write a cliff notes version of what's up around here this week, since it's getting late, and I need to get to some of my stretches to keep trying to flip this breech baby!

 Sam, Morgan, and Peter enjoying the concert at the farm on Saturday, photo by Adam Ford

Sam, Morgan, and Peter enjoying the concert at the farm on Saturday, photo by Adam Ford

Cliff notes: Our team still rocks at getting farm projects done. We are catching up on a lot of tomato trellising this week. They grow so fast this time of year, and take a lot of attention to keep under control and healthy. They also transplanted a bunch of fall plantings and a late planting of zucchini that we have kick in after the first plantings peters off. The heat killed most of our germinating fall storage carrots, so Ryan re-seeded that planting early in the week. It's a bit of a bummer they will be this far behind, so we will experiment with covering them with row cover after they are well established to see if that cover will help give them a jump to get closer to catching up to where they should be. The heat also zapped a few weeks of pea shoots, but we think we are on top of it now, and we should see them again for harvest in a week or so. The winter squash plants are turning into a beautiful carpet of green vines and large leaves. I love watching that patch grow. I love watching the peppers grow this year, and hope the heat means we will have some awesome hot peppers later in the season. Next week we will catch up on some weeding if the tomato trellising is under control, and continue to keep up on our weekly transplantings! And hopefully my newsletter won't get deleted so you will get a more colorful update. Have a great week!

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

Recipe

Grilled Zucchini Ribbons With Pesto And White Beans

 image from Smittenkitchen.com

image from Smittenkitchen.com

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen which is a food website I LOVE to find new recipes on. If you are unfamiliar with it, check it out. You can also search it with a vegetable to get ideas for any veggies you may pick up in your CSA. 

1  1/2 pounds zucchini or summer squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 can white beans

2 cloves garlic, peeled

bag of basil

1 to 2 TBSP white wine vinegar

parmesan cheese, grated

Slice zucchini lengthwise 1/4-inch thick strips. Arrange on a tray with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the zucchini on both sides until there are grill marks on them. Return to platter, and sprinkle lemon juice on them. In a food processor combine basil, garlic, a pinch or two of salt, and drizzle in olive oil until it blends smooth. Add 1 TBSP of the vinegar, blend, taste, and add another TBSP of vinegar if you want a brighter acidic flavor to it. Combine beans with the pesto dressing in a large bowl. Fold in the grilled zucchini. Grate parmesan over the whole bowl, and enjoy!

 

4th Week Summer CSA: July 5th-7th

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, new red potatoes, beets with greens, microgreens, lettuce heads, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, salad turnips, scallions, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, bunched rainbow chard, baby chard, kohlrabi, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, garlic scapes, snap peas, heirloom tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes!

 ripening cherry tomatoes on the vine, photo by Adam Ford

ripening cherry tomatoes on the vine, photo by Adam Ford

The tomatoes are just starting to roll in, so for this week, try to limit yourself to either a pint of cherry tomatoes or a pound of heirlooms so that everyone can get some this first week. In the coming weeks there will be a bounty, but the first harvest is always small. The type of peas we grow are an edible pod pea, so you can eat the whole thing. If kohlrabi is new to you, give it a shot, we LOVE it! It's got a flavor somewhere between an apple and broccoli. It's most commonly eaten raw, sliced or grate over salad or in slices with dip, but they are exceptional roasted or grilled as well. 

 peas getting plump on their vines, photo by Adam Ford

peas getting plump on their vines, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 firewood for a zillion winters, photo by Adam Ford (this was a stack of about 16 cords of wood that Ryan harvested last year when we thought we were going to go the route of cord wood boiler for the tunnels. After much research and planning, we went with the pellet boiler, and now have our firewood for quite some time. All was cut, split, and stacked in one day with the help of a CSA member!

firewood for a zillion winters, photo by Adam Ford (this was a stack of about 16 cords of wood that Ryan harvested last year when we thought we were going to go the route of cord wood boiler for the tunnels. After much research and planning, we went with the pellet boiler, and now have our firewood for quite some time. All was cut, split, and stacked in one day with the help of a CSA member!

Farm News

Holy cow, it's been hot! The heat killed this week's pea shoots, and potentially next week's, but everything else is doing well, even the farmers. We were able to have the crew do our weekly greenhouse seeding in the cool of the root cellar, which was super nice. We are using the heat to hopefully jump on a bunch of weeding that needs to happen, and Ryan was able to hill the later potatoes that needed that attention. This time of year he always does a re-evaluation of the fields and where fall plantings will be put in, in case weather, weed pressure, disease, or anything else dictates a need to deviate from the original crop plan set out in the winter. We have many transplants ready and eager to go out, but with this heat, we are going to wait a little bit on them. Next week we may need to play catch up on transplants and trellising, because it's kind of awful to be in the tunnels in the weather.

 Ryan seeding the next round of fast brassicas, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan seeding the next round of fast brassicas, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan and I were super lucky to be able to take this weekend off to visit friends at the beach! Any time away from here is the greatest gift our team gives us, and they expertly held down all aspects of the farm for us to have this luxury. Special shout out to Peter and Morgan for staying at the farm and caring for all the animals, baby plants, and fruiting crops over the weekend. 

 Sky LOVES the beach.. mostly runs in and out of the waves and laughs, but he also finds time to eat sand and climb on papa, photo by Sarina Partridge

Sky LOVES the beach.. mostly runs in and out of the waves and laughs, but he also finds time to eat sand and climb on papa, photo by Sarina Partridge

Two weeks ago, we started profiling our crew members, and we will do someone new every few weeks. This week, meet Taylor!

 Taylor harvesting cukes, selfie by Taylor Morneau

Taylor harvesting cukes, selfie by Taylor Morneau

Taylor is a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA Essential Oils and certified in their AromaTouch Technique.She books treatment appointments at Right to Wellness Center in Rutland when she isn't farming or mom-ing. She joined the Evening Song Farm team this spring when we realized we needed a bit more part time help. It was a huge relief to add an extra teammate, especially since she came with so much farming experience, and leadership experience at the Rutland co-op. Her fluency of both farming and retailing produce is an awesome combination to add to the team.  

 microgreens in different stages of growth in the propagation house, photo by Adam Ford

microgreens in different stages of growth in the propagation house, photo by Adam Ford

Taylor says she is interested in farming because "growing food is essential to life. Being part of a farm crew has become one of my favorite places to be. I love food, nature and people!" She goes on to say the "teamwork of wonderful people in nature, combined with providing nourishment to the community is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in a work environment." She says the most challenging part of farming is the workout, but that to her it's "more of an added bonus, not necessarily a challenge." (I can totally relate to that! Having to work these fields daily, especially walking up and down the steeper fields keeps me strong and mobile, even at 37 weeks pregnant, and huge!) We are lucky to have jobs that aren't sedentary.

 Ripe! photo by Adam Ford

Ripe! photo by Adam Ford

When asked if she sees farming in her future, Taylor says, "As a mom of three, I’m never certain what the future holds, but I’m now on my 7th season of farming and definitely open to more!" As you have heard me talk about, I love asking people the silliest thing they have done farming before they had much experience. I am always looking for those wild stories, like the time a farmer gave me a packet of broccoli seeds, he asked to to seed in a row, and I had no idea the plants need 2 feet each, so I scattered the whole packet withing about 3 feet. Whoops! At this point, Taylor has a lot of experience, she was just new to our systems, so she said the most ridiculous thing she has done here was forgetting that we drain baby bok choi in bins with drain holes, and then storing the washed bok choi in the cooler on top of a bin of dried, spun greens. I'm not gonna lie, I have done waaaaaaaay stupider things, Taylor.

 Mikayla and Sam weeding a carrot planting, photo by Adam Ford

Mikayla and Sam weeding a carrot planting, photo by Adam Ford

When asked about cooking with produce she says, "Soups, stir frys and roasted veggies are my favorite things to cook with fresh veggies. Also, salad, salad and more salad!" 

Hope you all have a great week, and get to do some swimming in this heat! That's the only thing I like about it!

 Sam and Shain bunching rainbow chard, photo by Adam Ford

Sam and Shain bunching rainbow chard, photo by Adam Ford

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

 

Kohlrabi Fries

 image from jrorganicsfarm.com

image from jrorganicsfarm.com

2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, and cut into strips

1 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 TBSP flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

Toss kohlrabi with olive oil and lemon juice. Mix flour, salt, cumin, and chili powder together, then toss that mixture in with the kohlrabi. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or when lightly browned, flipping halfway through.

 

3rd Week of the Summer CSA: June 28th-30th

What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, new red potatoes, beets with greens, lettuce heads, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, salad turnips, scallions, baby green curly kale, baby lacinato kale, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, baby chard, basil, pea shoots, cucumbers, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic scapes.

 I can never get enough of these beautiful pictures of cover crops. This is a field of about 4 species of cover crops, but you are mostly able to see the beautiful buckwheat. Our bees say thank you! photo by Adam Ford

I can never get enough of these beautiful pictures of cover crops. This is a field of about 4 species of cover crops, but you are mostly able to see the beautiful buckwheat. Our bees say thank you! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway.  You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

 beets eeking out a life in that dry sol, photo by Adam Ford

beets eeking out a life in that dry sol, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

I was driving through New Hampshire this weekend, and I passed an idyllic farm stand. Their gardens were beautiful, right behind the stand.  There looked like there were some pick your own veggies, flowers, and maybe even some herbs, and people were working in the gardens at a lovely, calm "day away from the city" pace. You can obviously never know what the economic engine of a farm is by driving by in a couple seconds, but it made me start thinking about the image of farming versus the reality of farming. It's possible the entire farm was right there behind the stand. Or it's possible that farm has 30 acres of veggies in a different location with a large crew with a fast paced work environment, where if you aren't bunching 3 bunches of kale per minute, you are cut from that task, and maybe then risking your job on the farm.

 These trellis rollers are how we lean and lower our cucumbers and tomatoes so they can grow wild and tall through the whole season. Most plants are at least 8 feet by now, so we have already had to lower them, photo by Adam Ford

These trellis rollers are how we lean and lower our cucumbers and tomatoes so they can grow wild and tall through the whole season. Most plants are at least 8 feet by now, so we have already had to lower them, photo by Adam Ford

Culturally, we expect farms to be these beautiful, calm places, where you can get away from the chaos and congestion of life. And sometimes that is true. There are farms who earn their living through agritourism, welcoming folks to the farm for visits, overnights, meals, tours, etc. This expectation can be more pronounced in urban and suburban areas: I grew up in busy, busy north Jersey, and got to go to a sleepaway farm camp in the summers waaaaaay out in Pennsylvania. It was so divine! It was everything I believed a farm was: cows, chickens, creeks, hay fields, fun, fresh food, free time, time to explore, leisure time to get my hands in the dirt, swimming in a pond! In reality, agritourism represents significantly less than a percent of farms in the US, though, which means most other farms are running their business by selling a product, versus an experience. One is not better than another, they are just very different. Though we want to imagine farms as somewhat of an escape from the stresses of modern life, the realities are often different from those cultural images.

 weekly staff meeting.. the pregnant lady insists on sitting in the shade, which is where their serious glances are fixed on, photo by Adam Ford

weekly staff meeting.. the pregnant lady insists on sitting in the shade, which is where their serious glances are fixed on, photo by Adam Ford

I cannot speak with enough knowledge of what a farm job is like on a giant corporate farm, which still accounts for over 95% of the food in our national food system. I do know that most rely on guest workers, they are highly mechanized, they are dangerous, they are low paying jobs, and there is literally no time to stop and smell the flowers. (There wouldn't be flowers anyway, because anything besides the one or two crops that farm is harvesting would have been eradicated.) But even on a small scale farm like ours, the work of farming is often more like a giant farm, than an agritourist farm. I would love to have the time to make our farm a bit prettier around the barn and main visible areas, but unfortunately, having a tidy working farm doesn't pay any of our expenses. 

 green bean flower, photo by Adam Ford

green bean flower, photo by Adam Ford

During our work time on the farm, we move quickly from place to place, we are constantly analyzing how we are doing a task to see if it can be done more efficiently. We keep data on production costs to know how to charge for products based on our cost of getting food from seed to display. If we aren't constantly moving quickly and efficiently, it would make the costs of the food rise, and in the US, where we spend the lowest percentage of our income on food compared to other countries, we don't have the leeway to slow down. As it is, locally grown and certified organic produce can already have a higher price tab than conventional supermarket food. (I say "can" because stay tuned for a few weeks from now when I write about food cost myths and realities!) So these are all tensions that run through farming: to keep food prices as low as possible while paying all the farm bills, to keep the work pace as efficient as possible while respecting and valuing our team, and to fulfill that cultural expectation of farms being a beautiful place to come and breathe. 

 tomato jungle this week, photo by Adam Ford

tomato jungle this week, photo by Adam Ford

Don't get me wrong, those are all our goals! (If we didn't value our farm being a beautiful place to come and breathe, we wouldn't have an on-farm pickup!) It's just fascinating to me to sit on a long car drive and think about all the ways farms operate, and all the social expectations that are often at odds with each other. The gift for us, is that we can be some of all of that: We don't fire people when they can't bunch 3 bunches of kale in a minute, even though we do focus on efficiency. And we do value having our farm fulfill that role of being an outdoor space that is cared for and respected through conscious stewardship, and attention to biodiversity.

 Alright tomatoes, we heated your soil starting in April, let's get some ripening, photo by Adam Ford

Alright tomatoes, we heated your soil starting in April, let's get some ripening, photo by Adam Ford

It also helps me visualize potentially happier, more valued farm workers when I buy an $8 quart of strawberries, versus worrying about someone getting their hand mangled off in an onion topper machine if I were to buy super cheap, supermarket onions. There are places for both of these food purchases, and not all of us have the luxury to splurge on $8 strawberries, and pass on cheap onions. I feel that reality. It is a reality for some people all the time, and some people some of the time, that we need to access the corporate food system to feed our families. There is nothing wrong with that. And by learning and knowing more about our food system (which I love doing all the time!), we have the power as conscious consumers to gently push the food system to blending those dual expectations of affordable food with beautiful farms.

 Garlic scapes ready to be harvested, photo by Adam Ford

Garlic scapes ready to be harvested, photo by Adam Ford

After all, I believe beautiful farms, like the one I drove past in New Hampshire, are the future of a healthier earth. Where the land is taken care of, and workers of all industries, not just the food sector, don't have to run around at a fast pace to earn their minimum wage salary. I know I sound like a tremendous idealist, but to paraphrase a great farmer, Greg Cox, of Boardman Hill Farm in West Rutland, farmers are inherently optimists. We believe in a more perfect future. Otherwise we wouldn't start over every year, tucking those little onions seeds into their trays in the winter, even if our onion crop was an abysmal failure the year before. So that extends beyond our farm beliefs: I believe that as a society we will be able to expand our charitable and affordable food systems while still improving the conditions for the earth and farm workers. By being a part of a CSA, you may believe that as well :)

 Check out THAT biodiversity:) Grasshopper in the lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

Check out THAT biodiversity:) Grasshopper in the lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

As far as this farm this week, our crew got all our onions, shallots, and most of our leeks weeded this week. We are hoping to do a bunch of other weeding and hoeing to catch up on some runaway crops, and then tuck in some mid-season transplants. I cannot believe we are already seeding winter storage beets.... Just last week we were selling the end of last year's winter storage beets. I love farming cycles!

 weeded (slow growing) leeks, photo by Adam Ford

weeded (slow growing) leeks, photo by Adam Ford

Hope you have a fantastic week!

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

 

Roasted Garlic Scapes

 image from www.weekendatthecottage.com

image from www.weekendatthecottage.com

Scapes are available for such a short season, and we LOVE them. So I try to use them a zillion ways while they are here. There is literally nothing else like them, and nothing like using them fresh. Try this super simple recipe for delicious scapes.

2 bunches of garlic scapes, chopped into 2-inch chunks

1 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper

Toss all the ingredients together, and spread on a baking tray. Bake at 350, turning once or twice, until they start to lightly crunch or get lightly browned. Remove and enjoy! (You can also do these on the grill by not chopping them in advance, grilling them whole, and then chopping them up before serving.)

 

 

2nd Week of the Summer CSA: June 21st-23rd

What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce heads, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, red radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, green garlic, scallions, cilantro, baby kale, baby lacinato kale, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, baby chard, basil, pea shoots, cucumbers, shiitake mushrooms, garlic scapes, and plant starts for your garden.  This will be the last week of plant starts, so take what you want this week!

 Ryan did the first round of hilling potateos before a big thunderstorm would have made this garden too wet to get in there with the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan did the first round of hilling potateos before a big thunderstorm would have made this garden too wet to get in there with the tractor, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway. Then pull up to the barn. Enter the barn up the ramp, check off your name on the right as you walk in. Non-refrigerated items will be on display as you walk in. Everything else will be displayed in the walk in cooler. Walk into the barn, and make a left, and you will see the big door. 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. 

 I love this photo of Peter packing one of the tents into the van before market... I feel like packing our market van is a higher stakes game of tetris, photo by Adam Ford.

I love this photo of Peter packing one of the tents into the van before market... I feel like packing our market van is a higher stakes game of tetris, photo by Adam Ford.

You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. Heads up that the market has a strict policy of selling before the bell rings at 4 pm. Even though you aren't buying things and just picking out your share, coming early can apparently still jeopardize the market's permit, so do your best to come after 4 pm.

 Morgan and Peter working on other parts of that tetris game, photo by Adam Ford

Morgan and Peter working on other parts of that tetris game, photo by Adam Ford

You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

Thank you for your summer CSA payments last week. If you have not paid your deposit, plus the first half of your share, and you haven't planned an alternate payment schedule with me, try to get those payments in this week. Thank you!

 I can't put my finger on what I love so much about this picture, perhaps the light, perhaps the chaos of our barn on the wya to the cooler to pick up your veggies.. who knows, photo by Adam Ford.

I can't put my finger on what I love so much about this picture, perhaps the light, perhaps the chaos of our barn on the wya to the cooler to pick up your veggies.. who knows, photo by Adam Ford.

Farm News

Early this week we replaced a bunch of eggplant starts in one of the tunnel beds, because the voles have made their advances on our tunnel crops finally. Usually they create so much more damage and havoc earlier in the season, but now they are out, taking down the eggplant and green beans. We had enough backup plants to replace eggplant, but we have to plant a later planting of green beans, thanks to these little trouble makers. 

 one of our hives on the edge of a wild flower field, photo by Adam Ford

one of our hives on the edge of a wild flower field, photo by Adam Ford

We finally got our peas trellised! We also kept on top of the weekly transplantings that needed to go in. We are bummed we have to keep row covers on all our beets and chard now, thanks to our new neighbors, the leaf miners. It feels like soon the whole farm will exist under floating white row cover!

 vetch in one of the cover crop mixes in the field, photo by Adam Ford

vetch in one of the cover crop mixes in the field, photo by Adam Ford

Our cover cropped fields continue to come in nicely, and we are eagerly watching so many fruiting crops set flowers for the future, like zucchini, peppers, and eggplant. Our early tomato plants look amazing, and we continue to trellis them... heavily pruning their bottom leaves, lowering them down, trellising the growing tips, and removing suckers. We are just as eager as you all to start seeing some substantial ripening on these wonders, which we imagine will be in just a couple short weeks. 

 water on lacinato kale, photo by Adam Ford

water on lacinato kale, photo by Adam Ford

We thought it would be fun to introduce our CSA to our fantastic farm crew. Many of you have been with us since our first year (wow!), and have gotten to know Ryan and I pretty well. But there is so much more to this operation than the two of us. We often call our crew the most important farm tool. We couldn't run such a fun vegetable circus without all the hard work and commitment of everyone that works here, and we are grateful to find such lovely people to spend our time with. So every couple weeks, we will profile one of our crew members so you can learn a little bit about who is growing all this food.

 shiitake mushrooms on a log, photo by Adam Ford

shiitake mushrooms on a log, photo by Adam Ford

Meet Shain! Shain joined the ESF team last fall when we needed more part time help, and has been working with us every since. It's always cool for people to work through the winter season with us to see all the ways this farm produces food during the different seasons. This season Shain has been a pro at managing the bulk of the tomato trellising as well as the shiitake yard. He has been in charge of soaking, stacking, harvesting, and restacking the log rotation. When describing why Shain is interested in farming, he says: "Through farming I feel I gain a better sense of my own physical limitations and abilities, and how others own unique abilities compliment my own. Growing different foods involves many different skill sets, which is teaching me that each person has their own approach to learning and overcoming challenges. I think that farming also requires a good bit of open communication and self reflection; both of which I see as beneficial for developing humans!" Shain finds it amazing to watch the fields fill up with plantings over multiple weeks. He adds, "even more rewarding is seeing how our team becomes more and more responsive to challenges every day." 

 we cover the winter squash field to protect from quash beetles and to give them a little jump on the season, photo by Adam Ford.

we cover the winter squash field to protect from quash beetles and to give them a little jump on the season, photo by Adam Ford.

When Ryan and I started farming, we did some pretty ridiculous things from being so inexperienced, such as transplanting several trays of poison hemlock that we thought were cilantro back when we lived at our student run farm at college! We love talking about those early farming snafus with our team. Shain says that the most ridiculous learning moment from a farming mistake that he has made was pulling up a bed full of asparagus crowns thinking they were weed rhizomes! That's a pretty awesome one, Shain, (easy for me to say since it wasn't here!), and also makes a ton of sense... And good news is that snafu didn't nearly kill anyone, like our hemlock project. But now I am sure he is familiar with asparagus!

 Shain tucking broccoli transplants into the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

Shain tucking broccoli transplants into the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

Even though Shain spends a LOT of time farming these days, he is also super involved in the Manchester skate park fundraising initiative. If you want to check out that work, you can go to:  https://www.gofundme.com/ManchSkatepark In his shout out to that project, Shain says, "People learn so much from utilizing diverse outlets for recreation!"

Check out future newsletters to meet the many other great humans we work with, and have a great week!

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

Herbed Potato Salad

 image from seriouseats.com, but I prefer the ptoatoes cut into smaller cubes

image from seriouseats.com, but I prefer the ptoatoes cut into smaller cubes

Surely there are a few other people out there like myself who are terrified of mayonnaise. If that's true for you, you will love this summer recipe!

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed into bit sized pieces

2 green garlic stalks, chopped finely

4 scallions, chopped finely

2 tsp dill (fresh or dried)

1 bunch finely chopped parsley (optional)

salt and pepper

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 TBSP spicy mustard

1/2 tsp maple syrup

Steam potatoes for about 8-12 minutes, or until just able to pierce with a fork. (Try not to overcooked.) Meanwhile, whisk together all the other ingredients. Combine with potatoes in a bowl and enjoy!

 

First Week of the Summer CSA Share! June 14th-16th

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 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!

 Eggplants are flowering in the unheated tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

Eggplants are flowering in the unheated tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

What's Available This Week

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, green garlic, cilantro, baby kale, baby lacinato kale, bunched green curly kale, bunched lacinato kale, baby chard, basil, pea shoots, cucumbers, and plant starts for your garden.  

It is really exciting to have cucumbers so early in the season! We are still in disbelief ourselves, but enjoying the sweet, early crunch!

 Cucumbers are extra spiky when they are small and still growing... they have to grow into their spikes! photo by Adam Ford

Cucumbers are extra spiky when they are small and still growing... they have to grow into their spikes! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway. Then pull up to the barn. Enter the barn up the ramp, check off your name on the right as you walk in. Non-refrigerated items will be on display as you walk in. Everything else will be displayed in the walk in cooler. Walk into the barn, and make a left, and you will see the big door. 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. 

 irrigating a recently transplanted beet planting, as well as some direct seeded lettuce mixes during these hot, dry days, photo by Adam Ford

irrigating a recently transplanted beet planting, as well as some direct seeded lettuce mixes during these hot, dry days, photo by Adam Ford

You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. Heads up that the market has a strict policy of selling before the bell rings at 4 pm. Even though you aren't buying things and just picking out your share, coming early can apparently still jeopardize the market's permit, so do your best to come after 4 pm.

You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.

If you cannot make one of those pickup spots one week, feel free to send a friend or neighbor, or just make up those missed items at your leisure. Just keep track of your missed items  yourself. Thanks!

 Zucchini plants are flowering! So many things will be ready so soon! photo by Adam Ford

Zucchini plants are flowering! So many things will be ready so soon! photo by Adam Ford

Your deposit and half of your remaining CSA balance are due by this week. Do not hesitate to send me an email if you need a different payment schedule. We are happy to accommodate people. 

Bonuses in the Barn

If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grassfed beef or local maple syrup check, 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.  The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is will likely be official later this week. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am a bit biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.

 green curly kale between the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

green curly kale between the tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

For those of you who weren't a part of the spring share, some of our biggest news this season is that we are finally certified organic! It was a surprisingly lengthy process with more record keeping and office work than even the data-nerdiest among us (like me) would enjoy, but we are happy to join the many farms who provide this third party, verified safe food for our community. We relish the relationship we have with our CSA, and the other parts of our business (farmers' markets and wholesale outlets) have taken off enough that we felt like it was responsible for us to finally go through the motions of certification for folks who don't get newsletters in their inbox each week about what's going on at the farm. As we told the spring share, one of the exciting parts for us is that certification will not make our prices go up because we were already using organic production methods, so the higher cost of production was already reflected in the food we grew. The only additional cost the farm takes on with certification is the actual certification cost, which is cost-share by a federal program that keeps certification fees reasonably low. It is worth noting that program is in jeopardy of being cut in the year's Farm Bill, as well as other important organic standards programs. If you love organic agriculture, now is a good time to let your federal congressional delegates know you would like to see those programs continued.

 baby goats peaking out from the shed, photo by Adam Ford

baby goats peaking out from the shed, photo by Adam Ford

Another big change this season is that we ("we" predominantly means Ryan in this case) installed a ground heat system in on of our high tunnels, powered by wood pellets to allow us to grow earlier tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers. It's wildly exciting to have these crops coming in several weeks earlier! I am not exactly sure when the first tomatoes will appear for CSA, but I don't think it will be long.

 the potato field is growing well, photo by Adam Ford

the potato field is growing well, photo by Adam Ford

As for this week, we are working on getting in some normal weekly transplants for the many succession plantings we put out each week. About every week and a half we transplant another round of cilantro, beets, head lettuce, and baby lettuce. We also direct seed arugula, pea shoots, microgreens, radish, bok choi, salad turnips, more baby lettuce, and carrots every week and a half. So those repetative tasks up a fair bit of our farm time. When you add in all the time it takes to harvest and prep veggies for CSA, markets, and orders, it leaves us with a surprisingly small amount of time to weed, trellis, mow paths, and do all the myriad projects that we need to tackle that may change from week to week. We were able to rescue weed a few plantings early this week, but the main thing we are behind on is inoculating next year's shiitakes. Unfortunately the logs Ryan harvested for them this spring dried out too much to use, so they will become firewood, and we will have to harvest new logs for the rest of the inoculation.

 a field of cover crops growing nicely, photo by Adam Ford

a field of cover crops growing nicely, photo by Adam Ford

This season's early crop bummers are minimal, but noticeable. We had a few field rodents decimate the first broccoli planting, which is a downer. (So in a funny turn of events, we will all be enjoying tomatoes before broccoli this year!) Flee beetles got to our kale before we did... which means they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing kale leaves, but it doesn't change the taste. Two of our pea rows seem to have some sort of silly pea disease, so we re-seeded some area, and those too, will be available later than tomatoes! And the final bummer has been leaf miner in our chenopods: spinach, beets, and chard. They do a number on the foliage of these plants, which may make for smaller beets with ugly beet greens in the first planting, as well as less spinach and chard available for harvest. But those are only a handful of crops among the dozens of items we grow, so we are feeling pretty good so far about this year's growth.

 A sweet preview of what is coming soon! photo by Adam Ford

A sweet preview of what is coming soon! photo by Adam Ford

Next week we may finally get around to trellising our peas, and maybe even try to catch up on shiitakes. We will see!

Have an excellent week!

-Kara, Ryan, Shane, Peter, Morgan, Sam, Taylor, and Mikayla

 

Pasta Salad With Chard

 image from reclaimingyesterday.com

image from reclaimingyesterday.com

Feel free to substitute anything you don't like or don't have for something else. This is our go to, and it's a great way to get extra greens in your belly!

1 pound of pasta, cooked (we use penne or fussili, but use whatever you prefer)

2 bags baby kale, finely diced into ribbons

1/2 bunch green garlic, finely chopped

2 cups kalamata olives, sliced

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 TBSP oregano

1 cup sun dried tomatoes

salt and pepper

Toss all these ingredients together while the past is still warm, so the chard wilts. Let it all sit for about a half hour and enjoy at room temperature. 

 

LAST Week of the Spring CSA Share: June 8th-9th

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, baby bok choi, salad turnips, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, rhubarb, scallions, green garlic, cucumbers, and plant starts for your garden. The available starts are (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, green zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and cantaloupe. The tomatoes all come in large 4-inch pots, and the varieties available are: beefsteak, pineapple, black krim, kakao, sungold, red cherry, black cherry, yellow cherry, juliet plum, san marzano, and speckled roman paste. The 4-packs are 1 item, the 2-inch pots are half an item, and the 4-inch tomato cups are 1 item. 

 I can never get enough of these photos of a cucumber tendril up close, photo by Adam Ford

I can never get enough of these photos of a cucumber tendril up close, photo by Adam Ford

If green garlic is new to you, use it like garlic-flavored scallions. They can be eaten raw or cooked, or used in pesto. You can even make a green garlic pesto without any other herbs. It's fantastic. It's similar to scape pesto, but slightly different. Just like scallions, you can use the entire green garlic, the white and green parts. 

 garlic field looking good! photo by Adam Ford

garlic field looking good! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

This is the LAST week of the spring share. If you want to continue receiving vegetables, and haven't already, sign up for our summer share at: https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-summer-share Our summer share will receive an email later this week confirming you are signed up.

Since this is the last week of the share, it is a great time to finish paying for your spring share if you haven't already. If you need a different payment schedule, let me know. Thanks!

 In case you forgot how cute baby goats are... here they are chilling with mama in the pasture, photo by Adam Ford

In case you forgot how cute baby goats are... here they are chilling with mama in the pasture, photo by Adam Ford

You can pick up your share at the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm right on Route 103 in front of the Okemo Mountain School. You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. 

 tomato jungle in the heated tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

tomato jungle in the heated tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

I love watching the season progress through the eyes of pollinators. We try to have a variety of things blooming at different times around the farms so our bees and native pollinators have a constant supply of food nearby. This helps encourage them to stay nearby so they are available to pollinate the veggie crops that need their help as well. Observing (or knowing!) flowering plants is really not my specialty, but so far this season I have enjoyed watching the daffodils make way for the tulips and plum blossoms... now we are enjoying irises and strawberry flowers, and it's just a matter of days before the peonies pop! Everything is fleeting, and enjoying these blooms keeps me grounded and present in my hectic, fast-paced life. 

 Instead of a close up of a pollinator on a blossom, please enjoy this excellent picture of Morgan driving the tractor... She is kind of like a pollinator, busily buzzing around the farm, tending to a zillion things before heading home to rest for the day, photo by Adam Ford

Instead of a close up of a pollinator on a blossom, please enjoy this excellent picture of Morgan driving the tractor... She is kind of like a pollinator, busily buzzing around the farm, tending to a zillion things before heading home to rest for the day, photo by Adam Ford

The cucumber plants are growing so fast in the high tunnels that we already needed to lower some of the trellises down so they could continue growing up. The first few cucumbers will be available this week, and we hope they start coming on strong soon enough. It's really wild to watch how much earlier our tomatoes and cucumbers are going to be with a pellet heated high tunnel. It makes us consider hooking up our other tunnel next year. There is such a demand for these heat loving treasures, and we love growing what people love.

 look at this ridiculously early fruit! photo by Adam Ford

look at this ridiculously early fruit! photo by Adam Ford

This morning we transplanted the celeriac, which is one of the last few large spring season transplantings. Going forward, most of our transplantings are smaller, successional planting of crops we keep growing throughout the season, that aren't long season crops, such as head lettuce, cilantro, and beets. Our beet plantings are always large plantings, though, and then we do a giant one, conveniently timed around my baby's due date for the fall storage beets.

 sometimes I do things besides hide behind a computer, photo by Adam Ford

sometimes I do things besides hide behind a computer, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we hope to start making some head way on some weeding projects. Although a lot of Ryan's new weed management tactics have improved our weed pressures immensely, there are still a few beds that are asking for our attention, so hopefully next week's warmer, sunnier weather will provide good conditions to tackle most of that weeding. 

Hope you have an excellent week!

-Kara, Ryan, Sam, Morgan, Peter, Taylor, Mikayla

Green Garlic Pesto

 image from fearlessfresh.com

image from fearlessfresh.com

1 bunch green garlic

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp water

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup pistachios (or any nut or seed)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup grated hard Italian cheese (like parmesan, pecorino, etc)

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Serve over pasta, on sandwiches, in wraps, on an omelette, etc. Keeps 

 

 

7th Week of the Spring CSA Share: June 1st-2nd

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach, mesclun mix, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, scallions, green garlic, and plant starts for your garden. The available starts are (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, green zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and cantaloupe. The tomatoes all come in large 4-inch pots, and the varieties available are: beefsteak, pineapple, black krim, kakao, sungold, red cherry, black cherry, yellow cherry, juliet plum, san marzano, and speckled roman paste.

 starter plants for CSA, photo by Adam Ford

starter plants for CSA, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market opens on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm right on Route 103 in front of the Okemo Mountain School. You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. 

If you have not finished paying for your spring share, now is a good time to do that, as there are only two weeks left before the summer share starts. It's a lot easier for me if I can have all the payments for one season done before the next one starts. As always, if you need a different payment schedule, let me know. 

This is also a good time to sign up for the summer share if you are planning to do that. The summer share starts on June 14th, which will creep up on us faster than we realize!

 beets are growing well in the field! photo by Adam Ford

beets are growing well in the field! photo by Adam Ford

 

Farm News

Last week began the chaos of the summer season, of adding a second market. I love doing the Ludlow market and seeing all the familiar CSA and non-CSA faces. But managing two back to back markets is a bit of a logistical challenge in terms of getting our harvest quantities down. Last year Ryan created this super slick harvest spreadsheet to help us streamline the harvest process. Since we harvest for several outlets (2 markets, multiple CSA days, several wholesale accounts), sometimes we used to be packing up the van for the Ludlow market, and realize we literally had no amount of a certain vegetable or two because what we harvested was all packed for wholesale orders! Ryan's harvest sheet allows for those wholesale numbers to deduct automatically from the amounts we have available for market and CSA, and ever since we started using that sheet we haven't made egregious harvest errors like that. It has also helped us stop work a bit earlier on Fridays. We used to have the full team work late, usually until about 8pm on a Friday, reharvesting items we sell out of at the Ludlow market to have some for Rutland. But this new sheet let's us start the Rutland market harvest much earlier in the day. This is not only a welcomed shift for our crew, but it's become somewhat essential for us as we have a toddler who isn't too pumped when we both need to work late. 

 husk cherry plant, photo by Adam Ford

husk cherry plant, photo by Adam Ford

This week I happily noticed how great our eggplant transplants are doing. Usually they suffer pretty hard from potato beetle damage. Potato beetles usually cause more damage to our eggplant than potatoes. In the past we have relied on manually picking the bugs off and killing them a couple times while the plants are young so the plants can get a jump on the bugs. But that has usually meant we have lost a certain amount of plants, and the rest are a bit stressed. This year we got row cover on them as soon as they were planted, which makes a HUGE difference to just be able to exclude them. So hopefully we will have a robust harvest of eggplants this year. 

 pepper plant, photo by Adam Ford

pepper plant, photo by Adam Ford

We appreciated the bit of rain that came over the weekend, but it could have been a little more. The soil is still pretty dry, but we think it got wet enough to provide good enough germination conditions for two large fields of cover crops Ryan just seeded last week. Two of our fields are a bit strangled by quack grass, and Ryan has taken some big steps to tackle that challenge and hopefully clean up the fields. We grow our vegetables within permanent sod pathways to protect our sloping fields from erosion. But after consulting with many farmers, Ryan plowed up the entire field to turn the rhizomes under to tackle this challenge. Now the areas are densely seeded to a mixture of species. This cover crop mix will out compete the quack grass, and then we will re-establish permanent sod paths within the full cover crop field. We are pretty optimistic for this method, as Ryan has learned lot about field prep, cover crop management, and weed pressures over the years. I am continually impressed at seeing actual improvements in our soil when he tackles a challenge like this. We were able to take this much area out of production (maybe a little over 2 acres), because some of his other strategies for soil management and weed control have made other areas of our fields much more productive and manageable. We probably would not have been able to do this in previous years. 

 one of our fields after Ryan plowed and seeded our cover crop mix, crossing our fingers for no excessive rainstorms that woudl produce erosional runoff while the cover crop establishes, photo by Adam Ford.

one of our fields after Ryan plowed and seeded our cover crop mix, crossing our fingers for no excessive rainstorms that woudl produce erosional runoff while the cover crop establishes, photo by Adam Ford.

The rest of this week we hope to finish transplanting our leeks, get our next big transplanting of beets out, catch up on mowing some pathways, trellis our peas, weed the earliest carrot bed as well as a few other plantings, thin garlic doubles, finish transitioning some beds in the tunnel from winter greens to summer crops, and organize a few spaces around the farm.

 french filet green beans after transplant, photo by Adam Ford

french filet green beans after transplant, photo by Adam Ford

We have about another month of increasing sunlight before the summer solstice at the end of June. This is a vegetative marker for crops like garlic and onions. Apparently they put on the bulk of their green top growth before the summer solstice, and then use that energy from their green tops to starting bulbing out under ground. That's one of the reasons farmers hustle to get all their onions out on time. We want the biggest greens possible in the next 3 weeks, so we can get some of the best underground growth for the rest of the summer. We will try to give all our alliums a foliar feed of fish emulsion in the next couple of weeks to help them boost that growth before the solstice.

 riding on Papa's back as he packs the van for market, photo by Adam Ford

riding on Papa's back as he packs the van for market, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

-Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Sam, Mikayla, Peter, and Morgan

 

Radish Salad

 

 image from oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

image from oneperfectbite.blogspot.com

2 bunches of radishes, thinly sliced

2-3 scallions, finely chopped

2 TBSP lime juice

1 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp maple syrup

salt and pepper

 

Mix all these ingredients together and let them sit for at least 20 minutes so the flavors get into the radishes. Serve as a side dish, on tacos, over a green salad, in sandwiches, etc, for an awesome, fresh, crunch!

 

 

6th Week of the Spring CSA Share: May 25th-26th

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, and plant starts for your garden. The available starts are (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, green zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and cantaloupe. The tomatoes all come in large 4-inch pots, and the varieties available are: beefsteak, pineapple, black krim, kakao, sungold, red cherry, black cherry, yellow cherry, juliet plum, san marzano, and speckled roman paste. The 4-packs are 1 item, the 2-inch pots are half an item, and the 4-inch tomato cups are 1 item. 

If salad turnips are new to you, they are a sweet, mild, crunchy vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. You can grate them over salad, slice them for dip, eat them like and apple (like our toddler does!), roast them, bake them, and saute them. Usually people become big fans after they try them.

 pea shoots before harvest, photo by Adam Ford.

pea shoots before harvest, photo by Adam Ford.

CSA Details

Starting this week, the Ludlow Farmers' Market opens on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm right on Route 103 in front of the Okemo Mountain School. That means you no longer have to fill out a form for us to pack a bag. Now just come to the market to pick out what you want! You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. 

 Just moving the goat hut to their new weekly pasture at 7 months pregnant... I can't believe they let her lift that much here! Photo by Adam Ford.

Just moving the goat hut to their new weekly pasture at 7 months pregnant... I can't believe they let her lift that much here! Photo by Adam Ford.

 

Farm News

So this week we got our written notice that we are officially certified organic! It's not a surprise since the inspection went so well, but it feels a bit funny, surreal, and adult-y. I know we have been technically running a farm business for 9 years, and we are parents, but for some reason becoming certified organic feels like we just became adults.  

 husk cherries after Mikayla tucked them into their outdoor home, photo by Adam Ford

husk cherries after Mikayla tucked them into their outdoor home, photo by Adam Ford

We just finished planting all the potatoes for this year! And we only have 2 beds of leeks left to plant before all our alliums are in the ground. This team is rocking this year. We are continuing to stay on of all the smaller weekly transplanting of lettuce, cilantro, beets, and scallions. The garlic planted last fall is looking glorious, and the early outdoor greens we are harvesting this week seem to have been well protected from those pesky flea beetles. Check out this week's arugula for some of the smallest, most tender, flee-beetle free, first cut arugula. 

 rhubarb leaves, wildly toxic to goats, photo by Adam Ford

rhubarb leaves, wildly toxic to goats, photo by Adam Ford

In larger agriculture new, the House vote on the 2018 Farm Bill got postponed until the end of June. This gives us all more time to connect with our representatives if the content of the Farm Bill is important to you. The Farm Bill is something that has turned in to something of a political jumble over the years, wrapping programs into it that are not necessarily directly related to agriculture. There is a lot of great stuff that the Farm Bill funds each year for agriculture, and a lot of more complicated, less good stuff that has been shoved in there by larger corporate agriculture lobbying groups. There are programs that make a big difference to small farms that are only a drop in the overall bucket of the $876 billion 2018 Farm Bill.

 transplanted onions in the field, photo by Adam Ford

transplanted onions in the field, photo by Adam Ford

One of those was proposed to be cut: the cost share for organic certification. One of the main reasons that we are able to hold our prices steady even after becoming certified organic, is that there is a federal program that covers 75% percent of the cost of certification fees for organic farms. Without that program, many small farms would either find certification cost prohibitive, or need to raise their prices. So if organic certification is important to you, let your representatives know you want to see that stay in the 2018 Farm Bill.

 marking the planted winter squash rows with little flags, photo by Adam Ford

marking the planted winter squash rows with little flags, photo by Adam Ford

Another program, that is getting some pressure for $20 billion in cuts, as well as work requirements, is the SNAP program which helps food insecure Americans afford to eat and feed their families. I feel blessed beyond belief to not be food insecure, especially now that we raise a kid, and I can't imagine the challenge of affording food for my family. If it's important to you to see the SNAP program fully supported to continue providing food assistance to families across the country, let your representatives know. Every year, I try to write a newsletter about how your decision to be a CSA member already inherently supports food insecure neighbors in our region: By supporting a small farm, you are enabling a food business to exist that will always have less marketable produce that gets donated to several places in our region. Each year, we are lucky to donate several thousand pounds of food to places in Rutland and Ludlow that can make it accessible to families. So by simply choosing a CSA for your family, you are already boosting the charitable food stream in your area. And if you are as jazzed as I can be about keeping federal programs in place that provide safety nets to our most vulnerable neighbors, now you know the SNAP program is at risk.

 cucumber tendrils, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber tendrils, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we hope to start catching up on some of the weeding of the earliest crops which feels a bit overdue, as well as do more tomato and cucumber pruning in the first tunnel. It has been so fun to watch those early tomatoes and cukes grow!

Have a great week!

-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Peter, Sam, Mikayla, and Taylor

 

Roasted Salad Turnips and Radishes

This is a great side dish, warm or room temperature, for your Memorial Day BBQs. (These can also be made in foil packets on the grill!

 image from woodenfarmtotable.com

image from woodenfarmtotable.com

1 bunch radishes

1 bunch salad turnips

2 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper

Remove the tops from the radishes and turnips. Quarter all of them. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet and roast at 400 until lightly browned. They come out super sweet! Enjoy!

5th Week of the Spring CSA Share: May 18th-19th

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, salad turnips, and plant starts for your garden or windowsill.  As the season goes on we will have more vegetable starts to choose from, but for now what we have available as starts are: (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (and in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, and cayenne peppers. The 4-packs are 1 item, and the 2-inch pots are half an item. (If you choose any of the basil, green beans, peppers, eggplant, husk cherries, or cucumbers now, they should still be protected from frost.)

 soon we will have radishes! photo by Adam Ford

soon we will have radishes! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out, rather than having a pre-packed bag at the farm.) You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewzn_VdO-qNORGtls6yuqaubDZ7mUtrc-UcSx1SSVvvKnWhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1. Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

 This simple, but awesome, tool is called a dibbler. Made by local tool small farm tool company, Two Bad Cats, we use this to pop a whole tray of plants out at once to speed up the transplant process. Photo by Adam Ford.

This simple, but awesome, tool is called a dibbler. Made by local tool small farm tool company, Two Bad Cats, we use this to pop a whole tray of plants out at once to speed up the transplant process. Photo by Adam Ford.

Extras Available at the Barn Pickup

If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grass fed beef or local maple syrup check, 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.  The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is pending. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am be biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.

 This is what that same tool looks like after it falls off the tractor and gets destroyed. I suppose that's part of our plan to keep Two Bad Cats in business, photo by Adam Ford.

This is what that same tool looks like after it falls off the tractor and gets destroyed. I suppose that's part of our plan to keep Two Bad Cats in business, photo by Adam Ford.

CSA Payment

This week starts the second half of the spring share, so your remaining CSA balance is due. If you don't know your balance, let me know. If you need a different payment schedule, that's always ok, just let me know!

 If the goat babies formed a boy band, this would be their album cover, photo by Adam Ford.

If the goat babies formed a boy band, this would be their album cover, photo by Adam Ford.

Farm News

We are taking some risks this spring planting some frost sensitive crops out earlier than the frost date we use, which is June 1st. The long term forecast looks pretty safe, and everything that is frost sensitive has row covers on them, so we aren't being entirely reckless! Yesterday we transplanted all our peppers. (We are SO EAGER to have earlier peppers, since ours are always SO LATE!) We will also try putting out or husk cherries this week if we have the time. The tomatoes in the first tunnel are slowly getting away from us, and we hope to finish trellising them by the end of the week. We have gotten all the onions and shallots transplanted which leaves us with 4 beds of leeks to go for the epic annual allium planting!

 The early tomato plants are eaglerly setting their first green fruits, photo by Adam Ford.

The early tomato plants are eaglerly setting their first green fruits, photo by Adam Ford.

Ryan and I had a magical morning this morning when our toddler slept in longer than us (what?!) and we got to have tea and talk like adults without juggling a hyper-mobile, loud, love-muffin. We got to talking about how many of the things that haven't worked for us in the past that we have put a lot of strategy and brain energy towards this winter seem to be improving. Most notably is the much reduced weed pressure in our early baby greens and carrot seedings outdoors. Usually by now, they can be kind of swamped, and we have no time to save them as we rush to get all the transplants out. This year we have been able to stay on top of them with some simple tine weeding, and therefor not lose those early greens. How fun!

 Sky climbed on to the goat stanchion hoping to do the milking himself, photo by Adam Ford.

Sky climbed on to the goat stanchion hoping to do the milking himself, photo by Adam Ford.

The biggest event this week was that an organic certifying inspector came out for our first inspection! We did a LOT of work to prepare for her visit, but it definitely paid off: She kept saying how we an A+ for having everything ready and organized. The most exciting part is that she said in all the 22 years she has been inspecting farms, this is the first time she inspected a new producer just joining the program that had no corrections to make. It's completely reasonable to have corrections to make when you first join the program since it would be new protocols to that farm, but my obsessive (and tiring) attention to detail, as well as Ryan's tight farm ship made the inspection go smoothly with no corrections to make. Our paperwork just needs to make it's way through the organic offices, but I imagine we will get our official certification in a couple weeks! Getting us to this point is certainly a team effort, with all our crew adeptly learning the systems that make this farm hum, and following all our protocols and record keeping procedures. So hats off to everyone here who makes this operation fly. Thank you.

 more tulips, photo by Adam Ford.

more tulips, photo by Adam Ford.

New to the organic certification program this year is a seed to sale audit. I did not know this would be part of the inspection process, but we were still able to pass, which certainly surprised me, and the certifier, since she had never done one either. The way it works is we had to provide a paper trail for every event a random vegetable went through on our farm from bringing it in as a seed to selling it. This required documentation of seed purchases, seeding dates with what amendments it was seeded with, transplant dates with records of how the beds were prepped, harvest dates and yields, and then sales destination and records. This was the first time all our nerding out with data collection seemed to pay off.

 lacinato kale tucked nicely in the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

lacinato kale tucked nicely in the ground, photo by Adam Ford.

On mother's day our other mama goat gave birth to two large bucklings. This goat usually has 3 or 4 teeny tiny babies, but this year she went for two large boys! They are cuter and cuddlier than most baby goats, if you can even imagine that. I might be sad to see this pair go!

 Can't get much cuter than that, photo by Adam Ford. 

Can't get much cuter than that, photo by Adam Ford. 

Next week we hope to fit in the remaining shiitake inoculation we need to do, hopefully plant our potatoes, as well as catch up on some seeding and weeding before continuing on the major outdoor transplant push.

 eggplant seedlings waiting to go out, photo by Adam Ford.

eggplant seedlings waiting to go out, photo by Adam Ford.

Have a great week!

-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Sam, Taylor, Peter, and Mikayla

Bok Choi Salad

Even though bok choi is usually cooked, this is an excellent, fresh salad to enjoy!

 photo from thecozyapron.com

photo from thecozyapron.com

1 bag of bok choi, thinly sliced

2 carrots, grated

1 TBSP sesame seeds

1/4 cup crushed nuts, toasted (cashews, almonds, pine nuts, anything)

2 TBSP toasted sesame oil

1 TBSP lime juice

2 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Finely chop bok choi using white and green parts. Spread nuts evenly on a pan over medium bit. Stir regularly to keep from burning. After the nuts warm and turn lightly brown they are toasted well for the salad. Remove from heat. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy! Keeps well in the fridge for at least a week.

 

 

 

 

4th Week Spring CSA Share: May 11th-12th

What's Available

This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, baby carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, and plant starts for your garden or windowsill.  As the season goes on we will have more vegetable starts to choose from, but for now what we have available as starts are: (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, cilantro, basil, (and in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, and cayenne peppers. The 4-packs are 1 item, and the 2-inch pots are half an item. (If you choose any of the basil, green beans, peppers or cucumbers now, they should still be protected from frost.)

 Ryan got big into planting tulips this year, and I am enjoying their beauty, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan got big into planting tulips this year, and I am enjoying their beauty, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out, rather than having a pre-packed bag at the farm.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewzn_VdO-qNORGtls6yuqaubDZ7mUtrc-UcSx1SSVvvKnWhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1. Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain. 

 Sam and Morgan transplanting kale, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts, photo by Adam Ford

Sam and Morgan transplanting kale, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts, photo by Adam Ford

Extras Available at the Barn Pickup

If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grass fed beef or local maple syrup check, 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.  The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is pending. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am be biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.

 This small looking device is an unbelievable game changer on the farm: This is the gear box for automatic roll up sides on our tunnel, which helps keep the tunnel at just the right temperature without us having to run and check on it every hour! photo by Adam Ford

This small looking device is an unbelievable game changer on the farm: This is the gear box for automatic roll up sides on our tunnel, which helps keep the tunnel at just the right temperature without us having to run and check on it every hour! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Payment

Don't forget to pay for the first half of the CSA season if you haven't yet. If you don't know your balance, let me know. If you need a different payment schedule, that's always ok, just let me know!

 Happy cucumber getting a jump on the season! photo by Adam Ford

Happy cucumber getting a jump on the season! photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Even though this time of year is wild, trying to keep up with the demands of spring, it is one of my favorite times of year. On a farm, the spring time is inherently the most optimistic time of year. All the challenges, hiccups, and failures of past seasons are remote motivators that help us prepare and plan to do things better with the new main growing season. The way I look at the plants is full of optimistic earnest, as if this year is the year that each crop will grow perfectly and not be negatively affected by pest, disease, or weed pressure. Even though though those are obviously some dark rosy shades I have on, I just can't help but feel all the positive opportunities at the beginning of the season. With diligence, observation, luck, a great team, and the grace of the weather, maybe some of these perfect little plants will do better than they have for us in the past. So far, many of the challenges of the past that we have tried to aggressively address are not present yet, so my optimism is building. We haven't had any disease pressure in our propagation house, which is a first. Our cucumber starts transplanted like a charm in the first tunnel, and that has LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENED! The pepper plants were started on time, so perhaps they won't be as epicly late this year. The onion starts are bigger and greener than any others we have put out. It's not the smartest to count your chickens before they hatch, but it's life giving to day dream of productive veggie fields as we tuck in the baby plants!

 onion seedlings looking green and big as they patiently wait transplanting, photo by Adam Ford

onion seedlings looking green and big as they patiently wait transplanting, photo by Adam Ford

This week we continue to hustle a bunch of plants in the ground, as well as move around our irrigation gun to some of the transplantings since we have such nice, dry, warm weather. We don't irrigate much here, but we do make sure the newly planted plants get watered in well during weather like this. By the end of the week we will have to do another round of tomato trellising, as they are easily two feet tall right now.

 early tomato tunnel looking grand, photo by Adam Ford

early tomato tunnel looking grand, photo by Adam Ford

This afternoon we will see how many onion transplants we can get in the ground. We continue to drag row cover, landscape fabric, and tarps all over the farm to protect new seedings and transplantings, and suppress weeds.

 this is a tarped section of our field which will provide weed suppression before planting things like salad greens or carrots, photo by Adam Ford

this is a tarped section of our field which will provide weed suppression before planting things like salad greens or carrots, photo by Adam Ford

My biggest project this week is to make sure all of my ducks are in a row, and everything is hyper organized for our first organic certification inspection this Monday! I assume all will go just fine, which means we will be certified organic by the end of the month. But I can't help but want to make sure everything is as organized as possible to make all our records accessible as quickly as possible for the certifier. Wish us luck!

 egregious picture of this beautiful duo who steal my heart, photo by Adam Ford

egregious picture of this beautiful duo who steal my heart, photo by Adam Ford

Next week we may be able to squeeze in some time to innocluate another round of shiitakes. We will see!

 cheese wax coating the inncoulated shiitake spawn in the holes we drilled into logs, photo by Adam Ford

cheese wax coating the inncoulated shiitake spawn in the holes we drilled into logs, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week!

-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Sam, Peter, and Taylor

 

Pea Shoot Risotto

Pea shoots are excellent in salads, on sandwiches, added to pasta dishes after they are removed from heat, paired with seafood, or enjoyed just as a snack! I normally eat them raw, but this dish incorporates both raw and cooked pea shoots, and I love it. I first had a variation of this meal at Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore for one of their farm to table dinners. It was a great treat.

 photo from seasonsandsuppers.ca

photo from seasonsandsuppers.ca

5 cups stock (chicken, veggie, or whatever you prefer!)

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBPS lemon juice

1 1/2 short grained rice (I learned from a chef that he prefers using sushi rise for the best risotto!)

2 bags of pea shoots, coarsely chopped

salt and peper

1 cup grated parmesan

Heat stock in pot to a simmer. In another pot, cook onions in the olive oil until they are transluscent. Add the rice to the onions, and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes as the rice lightly toasts. Add the wine, and cook until it is absorbed. Add the stock 3/4 cup at a time, only adding more once the previous round has been soaked up. Stir regularly. Add half the pea shoots, salt, pepper, lemon juice, butter, and cheese into the rice. Remove from the heat. Serve topped with the rest of the fresh pea shoots. Enjoy!