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

How To Use This Newsletter

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

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

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

What’s Available

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

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

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

CSA Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonuses in the Barn

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

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

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

Farm News

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

Dan and The Sams planting potatoes, photo by Adam Ford

Dan and The Sams planting potatoes, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely week!

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

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

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

Arugula and Radish Fritata

image from PBS.com

image from PBS.com

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

1 bag arugula

3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced

1 TBSP maple syrup

1/4 cup milk

2 TBSP olive oil

6 eggs

1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

1 cup parmesan, shredded

salt and pepper

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


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

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

cucumber tendril, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber tendril, photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

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

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

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

CSA Details

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

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

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

Farm News

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

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

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

field after plowing, photo by Adam Ford

field after plowing, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

tomatoes are coming along! photo by Adam Ford

tomatoes are coming along! photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parsley Pesto

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

image from geniuskitchen.com

image from geniuskitchen.com


2 bunches of parsley

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1/4 cup of lemon juice

1 tsp salt

3-6 cloves of garlic

1 cup olive oil

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


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

What’s Available

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

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

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

CSA Details

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

hyacinth, photo by Adam Ford

hyacinth, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week!

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


Roasted Radishes with Chimichuri

image from everylastbite.com

image from everylastbite.com

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

2 bunches radishes

1 bunch parlsey

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

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil and 1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tsp maple syrup

salt and pepper

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







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

What’s Available This Week

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

starts for your garden, photo by Adam Ford

starts for your garden, photo by Adam Ford

Balance Due

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


CSA Details

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

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

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

Farm News

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

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

Ryan and Soraya, photo by Adan Ford

Ryan and Soraya, photo by Adan Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you have a lovely week!

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


Green Vinaigrette

image from sweetpeasandsaffron.com

image from sweetpeasandsaffron.com

1/2 cup packed pea shoots

1 bunch parsley

2-3 garlic cloves

1 tiny onion or single scallion

2 TBSP maple syrup

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP tahini

2 cups olive oil

1 cup apple cider vinegar

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



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

What’s Available This Week

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

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

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

Balance Due

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

CSA Details

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

Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

trellising tomatoes all morning long, photo by Adam Ford

trellising tomatoes all morning long, photo by Adam Ford

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

cucumber plant with flowers before trellising, photo by Adam Ford

cucumber plant with flowers before trellising, photo by Adam Ford

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

plum tree in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

plum tree in bloom, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

Have a great week!

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

Salad Turnip Gratin

image from everydaydishes.com

image from everydaydishes.com

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

1 bunch of salad turnips

1 cup of milk

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP flour

1 TBSP lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mustard

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 bag of spinach

1-2 scallions, whites and greens chopped

1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed

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



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

What’s Available This Week

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

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

baby bok choi, photo by Adam Ford

baby bok choi, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

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

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

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

Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick and Lazy Spanakopita

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

image from wikipedia.com

image from wikipedia.com

3 bags of spinach

1 bunch of scallions

6 cloves of garlic

1 cup feta cheese

1 /2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

1 TBSP oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 eggs

1 package phyllo dough

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

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

What’s Available

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

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

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

CSA Details

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

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

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

Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

tulip! photo by Adam Ford

tulip! photo by Adam Ford

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

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





Scallion Pancakes

image from Splendid Table, Carl Tremblay

image from Splendid Table, Carl Tremblay

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

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 scallion, sliced thin

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 3/4 cup boiling water

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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

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


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

What’s Available

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

cucumbers are transplanted in the tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

cucumbers are transplanted in the tunnel! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

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

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

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

Farm News

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

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

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

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

early spring beds prepped for planting, photo by Adam Ford

early spring beds prepped for planting, photo by Adam Ford

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

all four baby goats cuddling, photo by Adam Ford

all four baby goats cuddling, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely week!

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


Best Sauteed Spinach— Ever

image from simplyrecipes.com

image from simplyrecipes.com

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

1 head of garlic

2 bags of spinach

3 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper as needed

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


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

How To Use This Newsletter

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

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

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

What’s Available

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

baby chard, photo by Adam Ford

baby chard, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details

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

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

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

Payment Due

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

lettuce seedlings, photo by Adam Ford

lettuce seedlings, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely week!

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


Cream of Celeriac Soup

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

image from tebasiliskitchen.com

image from tebasiliskitchen.com

2 leeks, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 pounds of celeriac, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 pound of potatoes, chopped into small cubes

2 carrots, finely chopped

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

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried sage

1 cup cream or milk

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP butter

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped

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




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

What’s Available

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

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

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



CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

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

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

greens uncovered in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

greens uncovered in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford




Farm News

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

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

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

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

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

red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

chard chugging along in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

chard chugging along in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in the spring!

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


Thai Corn Chowder

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

image from tastespace.com

image from tastespace.com

2-3 small to medium onions, finely chopped

2-3 carrots, cubed into small bite sized pieces

3-4 potatoes, cubed into small bit sized pieces

1 small cabbage, red or green, finely chopped

1 leeks, finely chopped

1 head of garlic (optional)

3 cups frozen corn

6 cups chicken broth

1 can coconut milk

1/3 cup lime juice

5 TBSP red curry paste

salt as needed

optional 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 TBSP sunflower oil


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













7th Week of the Fall CSA: December 14th-15th

What’s Available

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

Spinach in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

Spinach in the tunnel, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

The remainder of your fall CSA balance was due last week. Let me know if you need to know your balance. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know. That’s alright.

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

Oh my I just love the winter colors! photo by Adam Ford

Oh my I just love the winter colors! photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

It’s nice to have some sunny days again. Winter greens are super sensitive to the light they are able to get. Since we have fewer hours of sunlight this time of year, having a sunny day versus a cloudy day really supports the growth of the greens.

from right to left: mesclun, baby kale, and spinach, photo by Adam Ford

from right to left: mesclun, baby kale, and spinach, photo by Adam Ford

Last week Ryan set up temperature sensors in the soil in collaboration with UVM extension to track the soil temperature difference in an unheated tunnel and a tunnel with ground heat. We are tracking the yields of each crop in terms of pounds, and UVM is tracking the temperature readings. This is a unique opportunity for our farm and for extension because once most farms start heating soil, they usually heat all their grow space. We are hoping to see what kind of yield difference heated soils would make to winter production to determine if it is worth it. This is the first winter we are experimenting with ground heat. We installed the system last April to use it for early tomatoes. If it doesn’t seem to add significant poundage to our greens yields, we will likely just heat the ground for early tomatoes and cucumbers in future seasons, and return to our tried and true ways of growing cold hardy greens without the support of supplemental ground heat. Anecdotally it is interesting to notice the differences between the tunnels. With the string of cold, cloudy days last week, the tunnels wouldn’t defrost during the day since the sun wasn’t warming them up. The tunnel without ground heat started showing cold stress signs on some of the lower greens. This is nothing new for us since we have only grown this way in the past. It is just interesting to see that we AREN’T experiencing this in the tunnel with soil heat.

we are doing an experiment this winter, seeding pea shoots under the baby kale to see what we can harvest later, photo by Adam Ford

we are doing an experiment this winter, seeding pea shoots under the baby kale to see what we can harvest later, photo by Adam Ford

This week the crew moved the wash station from outside the barn to inside the end of the tunnel. We delay that as long as possible, but this week there are no days predicted to be above freezing which makes mashing greens outside impossible. We talk about it every year, but it really feels like next winter is the year we will focus our attention on building a 4-season wash station. It will be a big project when we finally take it on, so we will spend some time this winter researching and designing all the upgrades we will need to make, and also start searching for potential food safety grants to help with the cost of putting in this infrastructure.

these pellets will kind of turn in to salad greens… maybe that’s a stretch, photo by Adam Ford

these pellets will kind of turn in to salad greens… maybe that’s a stretch, photo by Adam Ford

Next week is the last week of the fall share. This winter we made the tough decision to take the winter season off from having a CSA. We will still have all our storage veggies and winter greens available every Saturday at the Rutland Farmers’ Market from 10 am to 2 pm each week. We know that isn’t convenient for many of you unless you are in Rutland, so we apologize for that change this winter. We will have our spring CSA start up in April this year, and we will very likely resume a winter CSA season next winter. This winter we are preparing for and tackling some infrastructure projects that need our attention, and also trying to catch up on the exhaustion of welcoming a second kiddo onto a farm in July. Thanks for all your support this season. We are hoping to use this winter to fully recover from the whirlwind it has been to make our upcoming spring, summer, and fall shares even better than this year. But for now, enjoy this week and next week of the rest of your fall share!

Have a lovely week.

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



Blue Cheese and Roasted Acorn Squash Pizza

image from naturallyella.com

image from naturallyella.com

(This is a recipe I adapted from Smitten Kitchen. If you aren’t familiar with her blog, check it out. Really delicious recipes. My apologies there aren’t amounts for the ingredients. Pizza is more like an art project for me than a science, so us the amounts that make your heart sing.)

acorn squash

wedge of blue cheese

mozzarella cheese

handfuls of torn spinach

olive oil

red pepper flakes

thyme

pizza dough

salt and pepper lemon juice


Cut squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Slice into 1/2-inch rounds, toss with olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 until lightly browned, flipping halfway through. When removed from the heat, let sit, and then cut off the skin on the rounds. Meanwhile, roll out a pizza dough. Lightly spread olive oil on the rolled out pizza dough. Sprinkle lemon juice on top. Lightly cover the pizza with mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Lay out the roasted squash n the pizza. Crumble blue cheese over the top. Bake at 350 until cheese has lightly browned. When you remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with the torn spinach and enjoy!

6th Week of the Fall CSA: December 7th-8th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, baby lettuce, spinach, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, red and green napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, baby kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, salad turnips, cilantro, celeriac, and leeks! 

those big hoops covered the last of the outdoor kale that was harvested for this week! photo by Adam Ford

those big hoops covered the last of the outdoor kale that was harvested for this week! photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

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

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 6pm 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 6pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

such beautiful snow! photo by Adam Ford

such beautiful snow! photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

We ended up being without power for several days last week, but it conveniently returned when I needed to send out last week’s newsletter! This week we have been enjoying power, as well as the mild day of Monday to take advantage of clearing more snow from around the tunnels before a hard freeze. The more snow we can clear from the sides of the tunnel, the more hours of sunlight that can reach the greens in the tunnel, providing for more growth. Our tractor does the bulk of the work removing the snow, but then we go along and shovel right up close to the tunnel to let in that sunlight. We also use those days above freezing in the winter to spray out all our harvest and storage bins, because we obviously can’t on days where the water would freeze as it hits the bin!

this is what the tunnels look like as they shed their snow before Ryan plows the snow away from the sides, photo by Adam Ford

this is what the tunnels look like as they shed their snow before Ryan plows the snow away from the sides, photo by Adam Ford

Right now Ryan is at a 2-day conference on high tunnel production in New Hampshire. It’s a technical conference held every other winter for growers in the northeast to keep improving their skills an knowledge on tunnel growing, and to stay up to date on all the innovations in the field. We spoke last night on the phone, and Ryan was telling me about a grower who uses their tunnels to grow multiyear crops that most growers treat as annuals. For example, one grower (in the northeast) is still harvesting fruit from 4 year old eggplants! (Though this does require a phenomenal amount of heat to keep sensitive crops like that alive.)

this is what it looks like after the tractor moves most of the snow out of the way, and those sides still need to be hand shoveled to make way for sunlight, photo by Adam Ford

this is what it looks like after the tractor moves most of the snow out of the way, and those sides still need to be hand shoveled to make way for sunlight, photo by Adam Ford

And this week is a education heavy week, because I head out for a day for a workshop on farm efficiency with a group of a dozen or so other female farm owners around the state. It’s part of a workshop series for female farm business owners, and so far all of the workshops have been very helpful for our farm. Besides whatever the topic of the day is, I find it invigorating and applicable to get to chat with other women about some of the common challenges of running a farm business to get some new ideas. For the past two years we have been working on standardizing a lot of the work around our farm using SOPs (standard operating procedures). This week I hope to run some of our ideas by the other women of creating a more technical training manual for new employees to work with as they join our team. Most other women in the group run businesses of similar size with similar numbers of employees so it’s a fantastic group to get feedback from.

Adam takes unbelievable photos of the animals, and this shot of Callie and Echo playing like the wild dogs they are in the snow is fantastic, photo by Adam Ford

Adam takes unbelievable photos of the animals, and this shot of Callie and Echo playing like the wild dogs they are in the snow is fantastic, photo by Adam Ford

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

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


Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash Casserole

image from faithfulfrugalliving.com

image from faithfulfrugalliving.com

1 spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise, seeds scooped out

olive oil

5 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

3-4 garlic cloves

1 1/2 cup milk

1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2-3 cups of chopped chicken breast (roughly bite sized cubes), alternative is to use shrimp!!


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub olive oil on the inside of each spaghetti squash half, and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until you can pierce it with a fork. When it is done, scoop out the flesh and use fork to break up the “noodles.” Meanwhile, in a pan saute the chicken in olive oil and garlic until the chicken is cooked. Remove from heat. In another skillet heat the butter. Whisk in the flour when the butter is melted. Whisk in the milk and 1 cup of the parmesan cheese until it is melted. Stir in the squash “noodles,” garlic chicken, salt, and pepper. Add Spread olive oil inside a a casserole dish. Fill the dish with the mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!


5th Week of the Fall CSA: November 30th- December 1st

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby lettuce, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, red and green napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, salad turnips, cilantro, celeriac, and leeks! 

Culinary hack: Love romaine, but afraid from the recent food born illness outbreak? Use Napa leaves on your sandwiches the way you would romaine.

deer tracks in the snow, snacking on our cover crop, photo by Adam Ford

deer tracks in the snow, snacking on our cover crop, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

The remainder of your fall CSA balance is due this week. Let me know if you need to know your balance. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know. That’s alright.

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 6pm 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 6pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

If your power doesn’t come back on in time to access this newsletter and order your bag for Ludlow delivery, just send me an email when you have power back and we will figure something out.

my mom built a snowman with all the grandkids during Thanksgiving week, photo by Adam Ford

my mom built a snowman with all the grandkids during Thanksgiving week, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

Our power came back on today! It’s not that big of a deal for us to be without power in our home, but usually a full day without power is a little challenging for the farm. A fair bit of our production relies on electricity: Our cooler needs to be on to keep veggies properly stored. Our well pump needs to work so we can wash veggies in the wash station. We need power for the auger and fan to work in the pellet stove that heats the soil in one of the high tunnels. We need internet to send out weekly CSA newsletters and to communicate with chefs and buyers regarding wholesale orders. This list goes on. So usually after 10 or 12 hours or so we need to start enacting backup solutions for certain concerns.

when your sledding hill is short, you gotta add a jump, photo by Adam Ford

when your sledding hill is short, you gotta add a jump, photo by Adam Ford

This power outage was especially humorous because Tesla was scheduled to come install a power wall on Tuesday which will allow us to access power from our solar panels during an outage. They traveled all the way from Burlington to about 200 feet below our driveway, when their vehicle couldn’t make it further up the snowy hill. If only we would have known we could have pulled them up the rest of the way, since Ryan was already out plowing with the tractor. It would have been wild to put the power wall right into action when we needed it this week. At any rate, it will be installed at some point, and help us provide for another layer of backup for the farm systems that are currently more vulnerable to an extended power outage.

We took full advantage of our first snow day and celebrated Sky’s second birthday by keeping him home from day care and sledding most of the day.

this little man turned 2 this week, and love’s wearing mama’s glasses!

this little man turned 2 this week, and love’s wearing mama’s glasses!

This week we harvested our first greens from the tunnel. It’s only a minor bummer, but with all the additional snow, we have accepted defeat that we won’t get to harvest the last of the greens under row cover outside. This time of year reminds me how much of a gambler a farmer must be. We have to take our best guess on what the average air temperatures will be in September, October, November, and then seed accordingly so greens don’t get too big in the tunnels before we finish harvesting outside, and so they are big enough for when we have to start harvesting inside. This week we will have baby lettuce, baby kale, and Napa cabbage available, but as the weeks go on we will have a greater variety again.

Hope everyone who lost power gets it back soon and is able to stay warm. Have a great week!

grainy family birthday selfie in the snow

grainy family birthday selfie in the snow

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


Fresh Spring Rolls

image from asweetpeachef.com

image from asweetpeachef.com

If you have never made sprign rolls, they are actually quite easy. I assure people that they are about as time consuming as making a sandwhich, it’s just that the wrapper is different. The ket to rolling a spring roll is getting the rice wrapper plenty wet. If you are new to it, check out this website for excellent instructions: https://www.asweetpeachef.com/healthy-spring-roll-recipes/ You can use just about anything in a spring role, and you can make any dipping sauce. Below is our go to farm spring rolls:

2-3 carrots, thinly sliced

1 small napa cabbage, thinly sliced into ribbons

1 beet, thinly sliced, or use a vegetable peeler for ribbons

2-3 inches of leek, thinly sliced

1 bunch of cilantro

rice paper wrappers

1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all the veggies in a bowl. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water that will be big enough to place a rice paper wrapper in. Submerge a rice paper wrapper in the bowl, and when it is totally pliable, remove from the water and put on a flat surface. Add about 1/2 cup of the mixed veggies in the center of the wrapper in a rectangle. Fold the two short ends in and then roll the rest of it up, tucking in the ends. Repeat this until you are out of veggies or wrappers. (Feel free to use any extra prepared veggies in a stir fry. Whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dipping sauce. Enjoy!


4th Week of the Fall CSA: November 23rd-24th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, arugula, baby bok choi, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, red and green napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, salad turnips, cilantro, celeriac, and leeks! 

frozen designs on the tunnel platic, photo by Adam Ford

frozen designs on the tunnel platic, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 6pm 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 6pm your bag will be right outside the door to the store.

snowy doorway out of the prop house, photo by Adam Ford

snowy doorway out of the prop house, photo by Adam Ford


Farm News

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Every year I love imagining all the tables these veggies may appear on. Send along any foodie pictures you are really excited about and I will show them off in next week’s newsletter!

irrigation lines piled in the snow, photo by Adam Ford

irrigation lines piled in the snow, photo by Adam Ford

This year for Thanksgiving we are hosting my family for the week. It’s such a delight to have all the cousins in one place, as my older brother’s family is way out in Chicago. It’s a real joy to get to share our farm food with my city nieces. They are enjoying watching me milk the goats, and learning about all the ingredients in the food. Tonight we ate a shepherd’s pie loaded with carrots, onions, pork, sage, basil, corn, potatoes, garlic, and rutabaga from the farm. It’s fun to watch a kids’ eyes as they hear all about where food comes from. (And side note, have you mashed rutabaga into your mashed potatoes yet? Do it.)

One of Soraya’s older cousins, Viola is holding her!

One of Soraya’s older cousins, Viola is holding her!

This week is low on salad green offerings, so if you haven’t yet embraced the delightfulness of Napa cabbage, try it this week. I have been serving the simplest of salads to my family this week, and they all can’t get enough. All I do is finely chop a Napa cabbage, shred about 3-4 carrots, and toss it with an Italian vinagrette (olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, garlic, red onion, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, red pepper flakes.) Not only is this great as a fresh tasting side dish, but it also holds well in the fridge. We used the leftovers as a layer in our sandwiches for lunch today. Napa is also great as chopped “lettuce” on tacos, wraps, burritos, egg sandwiches, etc. Most of our salad green varieties will be back in action either next week or the week after, and we will have most of them through the winter, but Napa may only be available until the end of December, so enjoy it while it’s here.

We are trying to take as much “staycation” time as we can with my family in town this week. So that means the farm work we are doing is the bare minimum: harvesting, washing, packing for orders, CSA, and market, adding more row cover to the tunnel to prepare for the lower temperatures midweek, harvesting the end of the outdoor kale for bunching. Next week we will jump back in to some of the essential maintenance projects that winter time usually allows for us.

In a theme of following Adam’s pictures….Ryan fixed the greenhouse rips! photo by Adam Ford

In a theme of following Adam’s pictures….Ryan fixed the greenhouse rips! photo by Adam Ford

This is more snow and colder temperatures than we usually get this time of year, which is the main reason we are low on greens varieties this week. We have one more cutting deep under row cover under the snow. They are plenty cold hardy, so if it does warm up enough to get under the row cover we can get them. If not, we have to wait for the winter greens to be big enough in the tunnels, which will be before we realize. Fall harvested greens are always a bit of a gamble.

Ryan plowing the driveway, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan plowing the driveway, photo by Adam Ford

This year we are very in touch with the gratitude we have for all our blessings in our life, especially our two little new family members. We feel lucky to get to raise little kiddos on a farm with all the veggies of our dreams. We hope you all have a relaxing a nourishing holiday, thank you for being a part of this farm!

Have a great week!

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

Apple and Candied Pecan Arugula Salad

image from cafesucrefarine.com

image from cafesucrefarine.com

1 bag arugula

1 apple, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 cup pecans

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP maple syrup

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

salt and pepper

Melt butter in a sauce pan and add the 2 TBSP maple syrup. Stir in the pecans on low, and keep stirring as they cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile put arugula in a bowl with apple, onions, and dried cranberries. In a jar, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper. (This will make much more dresing than you need for this salad, so save leftover dressing for future salads.) When the nuts have cooled put them on the salad, lightly dress with the salad dressing and serve. Enjoy!

3rd Week of the Fall CSA: November 16th-17th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby bok choi, spinach, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, red and green napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, radishes, salad turnips, cilantro, and leeks! 

I love this picture so much… I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, but both Morgan and Sam’s faces sum up pretty clearly what it’s like to start battling frozen components of an outdoor wash station, photo by Adam Ford

I love this picture so much… I don’t know exactly what’s going on here, but both Morgan and Sam’s faces sum up pretty clearly what it’s like to start battling frozen components of an outdoor wash station, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 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.

Farm News

It’s cold! I just spent an hour packing wholesale orders out in the barn, and my toes are telling me it’s winter! Every year we fantasize about a 4-season wash and pack station, and I know some year we will make it happen… Until then, the transition season is always the hardest to wash and pack. Hopefully soon we will make time to move the wash station into one of the high tunnels for the winter, to keep it enclosed, sunnier, and out of the wind. But for now, I will just keep stamping my feet as I pack bins of squash and cabbage to take to the co-op.

high tunnel housing the winter greens, photo by Adam Ford

high tunnel housing the winter greens, photo by Adam Ford

Everything is harvested from outside! (Well kind of… we keep harvesting kale bunches from outside even when they are frozen solid. When they come in from the cold they de-frost tender and super sweet. This is a great time of year for kale.) This is awesome since it is getting down into the single digits this weekend. Red and green Napa cabbage were the last items we snagged from the field on Saturday. They store well in our root cellar, and will be a fresh crunchy treat for awhile. We have been eating about a head a day, chopping them into sandwhiches and wraps, or on tacos or egg sandwiches in the morning. I will do a feature on Napa next week to highlight this unsung hero of a hardy winter storage green.

row covered kale… even though they freeze solid under there the row cover keeps the quality higher before we pick them, photo by Adam Ford

row covered kale… even though they freeze solid under there the row cover keeps the quality higher before we pick them, photo by Adam Ford

Leeks were bulk harvested and stored in the root cellar as well as the red and green cabbages. We store the leeks dirty with their roots on so they last longer. Then each week we chop off roots and clean up several bins for the week. After this week our weekly harvest and prep work for CSA and markets occurs in the tunnels and in the root cellar… harvesting new greens, and cleaning up storage veggies. Since it’s less weekly work than the summer season, we turn our attention to repair projects that are long overdue. First up today, in fact, will be patching some holes in the high tunnel and fixing an air vent in one of the tunnels.

cabbage left behind because of lesser quality… no worries, I call that goat food, photo by Adam Ford

cabbage left behind because of lesser quality… no worries, I call that goat food, photo by Adam Ford

Another interesting thing that will be happening this winter is that Ryan is partnering with researchers at UVM to install temperature sensors in our tunnels. As we look at potentially putting up a third tunnel, managing one with ground heat, and generally trying to dial in our precision at producing winter greens, this is just another tool in our tool kit to improve our skills and yields with winter greens. Growing winter greens is both a science and an art, and temperature is just one of many factors that affect growth and quality in our winter greens. For the research we will have our row covers at different heights over different beds. UVM will be doing that main data collection, but we will also be doing our own tracking with them as well. Not sure exactly where this information will take us, but as a previous science major in college, it’s always fun to start collecting data to see what it can tell us.

this is one of those holes in the tunnel we need to repair…. but through the hole you can see row covered greens.. the hoops provide a different height to compare temperatures above the greens, photo by Adam Ford

this is one of those holes in the tunnel we need to repair…. but through the hole you can see row covered greens.. the hoops provide a different height to compare temperatures above the greens, photo by Adam Ford

Hope everyone stays warm, and enjoys the white that has covered the ground!

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



Bright Red Cabbage Salad

image from tastingpage.com

image from tastingpage.com

1 head red cabbage, finely chopped into thin ribbons

2 firm avocados, cubed

2 carrots, shredded

1 red onion, finely chopped into thin slices

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP lime juice

1 tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

1 TBSP maple syrup

Cover sliced red onion and crushed garlic in the olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, and salt a couple hours (or a day) before making this recipe. About an hour before you want to serve this salad, pour the bowl of onion goodness over the thinly sliced red cabbage and mix well. Let sit. Before serving add the shredded carrot and cubed avocado and enjoy! Leftovers of this salad can be enjoyed in a sandwich or wrap or on a taco.



2nd Week of the Fall CSA: November 9th-10th

What’s Available

This week you can choose from red potatoes, yellow potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red beets, golden beets, baby arugula, mesclun mix, baby bok choi, spinach, garlic, husk cherries, red and green cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, green curly kale, red and yellow onions, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet peppers, jalapenos, radishes, salad turnips, cilantro, and leeks! 

Peter harvesting red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

Peter harvesting red cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 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.

Half of your remaining balance is due. If you need a different payment plan and haven’t set one up yet, let me know. (That’s not a problem.)

baby lettuce growing in the high tunnel for winter harvest, photo by Adam Ford

baby lettuce growing in the high tunnel for winter harvest, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

So much rain! It has been so wet lately that it is tough for us to get in the field with the tractor to use our undercutter bar to harvest storage carrots. This time of year we really rely on using the tractor for storage carrots because it is significantly faster than forking them loose from the soil. In wet times like these it is awesome we have permanent sod paths between the beds because those paths hold our weight and the weight of our tractor waaaaaaay better than the soaking wet beds. Today as I was crossing some beds of cabbage, I accidentally stepped in the bed versus the sod path, and I sunk in so far, I almost lost my boot to the mud. One of the reasons I chose to establish a farm in the northeast is that the northeast of the United States is projected to be one of the places to have potable water the longest in the face of climate catastrophe in the future, but in the meantime, these wet spells can be tough.

leek, photo by Adam Ford

leek, photo by Adam Ford

We are still harvesting the weekly greens from outside under row covers so that the indoor greens can continue to grow and put size on. It’s amazing how much protection greens can get from just a thin layer of row cover.

fall greens covered for cold protection, photo by Adam Ford

fall greens covered for cold protection, photo by Adam Ford

Soon we will add that same type of row cover over our fall planted onion experiment in hopes of having early summer onions.

We are mulching a thin layer of straw on beds that we are clearing out late in the season, where it is too late to plant a cover crop for the winter. We work hard to minimize the amount of exposed soil over winter.

this picture makes me feel like summer just refuses to be over, and I am ok with that, photo by Adam Ford

this picture makes me feel like summer just refuses to be over, and I am ok with that, photo by Adam Ford

At the end of last week, we took advantage of some of the lousier weather to do a first pass on weeding in the high tunnels. Weed pressure is so different during each season. For instance, in the fall, we have very few weeds that are competing with our fall harvested outdoor greens… The most annoying weed is actually dried, dead foliage from the oak, maple, and ash trees that line our fields! Funny that those are “weeds,” but they blow into the fields when they fall off and we have to do our best to pick them out when we harvest and wash salad greens. In the winter our biggest weed pressure is chickweed and grasses in the high tunnel. If we spend a little amount of time now hoeing the tiny weeds, we won’t be fighting larger mats of them later in the winter when they would otherwise swallow up winter greens. Culinarily, we could learn to enjoy chickweed, though I haven’t put in that effort yet. But since we aren’t ruminants (like our goats), we won’t be able to learn to digest grass, so they just have to get out of the tunnel plantings before they take over.

fun shot of the winter greens growing in the tunnel through a rip in the high tunnel plastic…. Adam is a pro at artfully finding repair jobs we need to catch up on, photo by Adam Ford

fun shot of the winter greens growing in the tunnel through a rip in the high tunnel plastic…. Adam is a pro at artfully finding repair jobs we need to catch up on, photo by Adam Ford

Hopefully by next week, we will have had enough drying weather to dig the rest of the storage carrots out of the ground. Then we will move onto the bulk harvests of leeks and cabbage.

Sky hasn’t tried a veggie he doesn’t like yet, how about you? (He even likes sauerkraut! And calls brussels sprouts bacon!!)

Sky hasn’t tried a veggie he doesn’t like yet, how about you? (He even likes sauerkraut! And calls brussels sprouts bacon!!)

Have a great week!

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


Kara’s Knock-Off Drunken Noodles

image from kitchenconfidante.com

image from kitchenconfidante.com

(This is a meal I make when I am craving peanut noodles, but want to share a meal with friends with a peanut allergy. It’s inspired by a few different recipes, all jammed together. Give it a shot if you like fresh flavors. For extra veggie fun, use spaghetti squash as your noodle. Below is the basic base, but feel free to add extra shredded or chopped veggies to the mix. Anything is good in this. Also feel free to add chicken, tofu, shrimp, etc.)

1 pound of pasta (I enjoy it best with a wide egg noodle)

1 head of garlic, crushed

1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

2 medium onions, sliced thin

1 head of Napa cabbage, finely chopped

3-4 carrots, grated

2 inches ginger root

3 TBSP dried basil

3 TBSP sunflower oil

1/3 cup lime juice

3 TBSP maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)

In a pan, bring the sunflower oil to a high heat, and toss in the onions and Napa. Once they are cooked, add the dried basil, soy sauce, lime juice, and maple syrup. Stir well and turn off the heat. Meanwhile, cooked your pasta and strain it. In a large bowl, put your strained pasta and pour over the flavored onion and Napa cabbage mixture. Add the grated carrots, crushed garlic, grated ginger, chopped cilantro, and chopped jalapeno. Stir well and let sit for at least 10 minutes so the juices absorb into the pasta. If it feels like it needs more sauce, add a more soy sauce, lime juice, and maple syrup a little at a time to nail the taste you enjoy. This is great warm, room temperature, or cold, so feel free to scale up the recipe and have great leftovers!


First Week of the Fall CSA! November 2nd-3rd

How To Use This Newsletter

Our newsletters are dense and long, and I know many of us can’t take the time to read that much. Don’t worry! They are designed for people like me, who need the important information fast, and MAYBE, maybe, if I have time to read more, I will come back to it later. The most important information is always at the top, with all the bonus stuff if you keep reading. The format is generally a list of what is available each week, followed by any important new information, a reminder of some of the basic details of how to get your share, farm news, and a recipe. You can always find the link to the form to get your share delivered to Ludlow in the section on CSA details. The top of the newsletter has a link for common questions you may have, but feel free to email any questions if they aren’t answered there.

red cabbage with the dew, photo by Adam Ford

red cabbage with the dew, photo by Adam Ford

We love our CSA, we are grateful for your support, and it is our goal that you are happy and well fed with your share. Please always let us know if you have feedback: we love making improvements based on your experience, especially if we make a quality mistake. The benefit for you of choosing to get your veggies locally, is that if something isn’t up to our standard, we want to replace it.

some people don’t know what broccoli plants look like…. do you? This is the stem of a broccoli plant after the head has been harvested. Each plant grows big, with lots of wide leaves. Each plant grows one flowering head, and plants take up about 2 feet in either direction. It’s a space consumer for sure, photo by Adam Ford

some people don’t know what broccoli plants look like…. do you? This is the stem of a broccoli plant after the head has been harvested. Each plant grows big, with lots of wide leaves. Each plant grows one flowering head, and plants take up about 2 feet in either direction. It’s a space consumer for sure, photo by Adam Ford

How The Fall Share Is Different From The Summer Share

The biggest difference is that the on farm pickup option is only available on Fridays, not Thursdays as well. The other difference is that if you want to pick up your share in Ludlow, you need to fill our a form each week to choose your items. Also, the Rutland Farmers’ Market is indoors for the season now at 251 West Street.

snow accumulated on the sides on the tunnel this weekend, photo by Adam Ford

snow accumulated on the sides on the tunnel this weekend, photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

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

a pea shoot “weed” in a tray of microgreens, photo by Adam Ford

a pea shoot “weed” in a tray of microgreens, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Details (Including how to pickup in Ludlow)

You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm, from the indoor winter Rutland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2pm, (at 251 West Street), and Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow between 2pm and 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.

Half of your remaining balance is due. If you need a different payment plan and haven’t set one up yet, let me know. (That’s not a problem.)

This tree has moved around a lot before it’s little spot at our home… My mom dug it up as a tiny sapling from my aunt’s house in New Hampshire many years ago…. then she planted it at our first farm down the road, and then moved it again when we moved up here… One day it will be a sweet little Christmas tree in the house! photo by Adam Ford

This tree has moved around a lot before it’s little spot at our home… My mom dug it up as a tiny sapling from my aunt’s house in New Hampshire many years ago…. then she planted it at our first farm down the road, and then moved it again when we moved up here… One day it will be a sweet little Christmas tree in the house! photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

If you take the summer off to tend to your own garden, welcome back! And if you have been with us all season, you know how things have been going!

This week we are tackling the big bulk carrot harvest. We use a big under cutter bar behind the back of the tractor that sinks down in the ground below the roots to loosen the soil so they are easier to collect then pulling them out by the greens. We attach extra weight to the bar so it drops deep enough in the soil. It was certainly a perk to be pregnant during carrot harvest two years ago, because an 8-9 month pregnant farmer was all the extra weight we needed that year. Alas, now my kids are on the outside of my body, and we have to resort to less excited forms of weighing our tractor implements down.

tiny baby chard plant growing in the high tunnel for winter, photo by Adam Ford

tiny baby chard plant growing in the high tunnel for winter, photo by Adam Ford

We finished planting the garlic last week, and now we are turning our attention to harvesting the remaining storage crops for the season. Besides carrots that will include cabbage and leeks. We are appreciating how relatively on schedule we feel with our work this fall.

We just applied for a grant to cost share the construction of a third high tunnel that we would put up next year. We applied for it last year before learning we were going to welcome a second kid on the farm, so we ended up making the tough decision to turn down the grant last year. It felt too difficult to welcome a summer baby and build a whole new tunnel. We are eager to put up a third tunnel because we want to balance the demands of winter greens and early heat loving crops in the summer. If you have been with us for awhile, you know that we work hard to have salad greens every week of the year. Now that we added a pellet boiler to heat the soil in one of our tunnels, we will be removing winter greens much earlier from that tunnel to transplant early tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and basil. That reality means we will have less greens available in the April and May time unless we put up another tunnel to grow a larger amount of winter greens. Cross your fingers the grant will come through so we won’t have to choose between growing early heat loving crops for the summer share or enough winter greens for the spring share. Managing our tunnel space is always a balance, and it' feels like it’s time to make that expansion so that balance is less difficult.

funny to see this baby kale plant in the tunnel thriving over a rogue sungold cherry tomato that was left behind when we transitioned the tunnels from summer to winter crops, photo by Adam Ford

funny to see this baby kale plant in the tunnel thriving over a rogue sungold cherry tomato that was left behind when we transitioned the tunnels from summer to winter crops, photo by Adam Ford

We often feel this is the toughest time of year to farm. We are still harvesting our weekly greens from outdoors, and the weather can be wet and cold, making for really challenging harvesting conditions. Even though it gets colder in the winter, at that point we are inside the tunnels, so even on the coldest days, we are dry, and that makes a world of difference. At the same time, we try to extend the outdoor season as long as we can to prioritize harvesting what we grow in the tunnel when everything in the field is finally fully covered by snow. So I am certainly not rushing snow, but it’s always interesting to be reminded how much more difficult fall farming can be than winter farming.

I’m loving the colors of this photo, red cabbage harvested into our blue bins, photo by Adam Ford

I’m loving the colors of this photo, red cabbage harvested into our blue bins, photo by Adam Ford

Have a great week everyone, and stay warm!

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



Beet Latkes

image from myjewishlearning.com

image from myjewishlearning.com

I shamelessly post a recipe like this at least once a year, because they are awesome!

3 cups shredded beets (about 3-4 medium beets)

1 small to medium onion, shredded

4 TBSP flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp pepper

2 eggs

Put shredded beets in a colander allowing any moisture to drip out as you prep the rest of the ingredients. In a large bowl mix all the remaining ingredients. Stir in the air dried beets. Heat a high heat cooking oil in a skillet. Mae sure the oil covers the bottom well. Put pancake shaped amounts of the mixture in the heated oil, and let lightly brown on one side and then flip them. When both sides have gotten crispy, remove from the skillet, lay on a baking sheet with a paper towel, and continue cooking the entire mixture. When you are done with the mixture, remove the paper towel from underneath the latkes, and warm them at 350 for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!


Last Week of the Summer CSA Shares: October 25th-October 27th

This is the last week of the summer CSA

Thank you so much for joining us for the summer season. We are always grateful for the people and families who choose to trust us with their local food production, no matter what season it is. It’s a privilege to get to share our work with others, and most of you have been with us for sooooo long. A big thank you from all of the team at the farm for your continued support. I hope to get off a survey looking for feedback in the next several weeks, so stay tuned for that if you are willing to share your thoughts with us so we can continue to improve our products every year. If you want to continue getting a fall share, which begins next week, and can also be picked up in Ludlow, Rutland, or at the farm, sign up for a fall share here: https://www.eveningsongcsa.com/csa-fall-share

snow on the broccoli! I guess it’s the end of the summer CSA for sure! photo by Adam Ford

snow on the broccoli! I guess it’s the end of the summer CSA for sure! photo by Adam Ford

What’s Available

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

Peter harvesting some snowy lettuce, photo by Adam Ford

Peter harvesting some snowy 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.

I can’t get enough of these snow on veggie pictures… snow on cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

I can’t get enough of these snow on veggie pictures… snow on cabbage, photo by Adam Ford

CSA Reminders

If 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. 

Ryan harvesting brussels sprouts… back when we grew significantly more brussels sprouts we used a chain saw to cut down the stalks much faster than a hand saw can do, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan harvesting brussels sprouts… back when we grew significantly more brussels sprouts we used a chain saw to cut down the stalks much faster than a hand saw can do, 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

  • spaghetti squash for $1.80 per pound

  • carrots for $1.80 per pound

snow in the kale, photo by Adam Ford

snow in the kale, photo by Adam Ford

Farm News

The garlic is planted! Often people calculate their garlic planting based on the number of cloves they plant, which corresponds to the greatest number of bulbs they will harvest the following year. We always calculate that as how many bed feet we plant, versus the number of individual plants, and then compare that to the weight of the harvest, since our cost of production numbers are based on weighted garlic sales. But this year I was curious, so I figured out we planted 5280 cloves, which actually sounds a bit small to me!

Sam hoeing baby greens in the winter tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

Sam hoeing baby greens in the winter tunnels, photo by Adam Ford

As I write this, the team is working on transplanting our over-wintered onion experiment. We started onion seeds way back in the summer shortly after our baby was born. Now the plants are ready to be put in the field. We will put several layers of heavy duty row cover over them, and hopefully see them thrive in the spring to produce really early onions. This is pretty exciting. If it works well, and if we ever chose to expand our onion production for a larger volume of winter storage, it means we could have locally grown onions available year round. It’s fun to keep our creative brains going as farmers to try new ways to expand the local food shed.

baby onions waiting to be transplanted for the winter, photo by Adam Ford

baby onions waiting to be transplanted for the winter, photo by Adam Ford

For us, it never feels like the farm or the CSA stops since we have several CSA seasons and grow and store veggies year round. But even though we feel the continuation, our summer CSA always has our largest membership, so for some people this IS the last week you get local food with us before next season, so it has had me reflecting on some of the highlights from this season as the summer CSA wraps up:

Obviously our biggest highlight was the birth of our second kiddo, Soraya Grace. She has been such a sweet addition to our life, and our favorite part is watching how much Sky has loved getting to know her and being a loving older brother. I suppose another kid highlight is watching Sky be able to call each green we grow by their proper name… You know that your 22-month old is a farm kid when he knows the difference between mesclun, lettuce, bok choi, and pea shoots.

Sky often asks to hold his sister.

Sky often asks to hold his sister.

As for the farm, it was very exciting to us to get the pellet stove hooked up to heat the ground in one of our tunnels. We were harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers about a month earlier than we would usually be able to. We are excited to follow the learning curve of this new technology to see how our growing improves over the seasons with this new tool.

We also loved working with our crew this year. We always work with great people, and this year was no exception. Having a second kid forced us to hand off much more of the daily farm operation to our team without our direct oversight, and we are grateful they have been doing so well at it. It can be hard to have invisible managers, and they are fantastic at managing that nuance.

We also enjoyed our first huge elderberry harvest. We sold some to Long Trail brewing for a special seasonal sour ale, and I am excited to explore the world of elderberry syrup production for the future. We have a huge grove of elderberry bushes, and originally installed them for land management, and now we are discovering that they can be something whose berries we share off the farm, too.

We grew some of the best leeks we have ever grown, which is exciting. We like getting good at certain crops that have bummed us out in the past. Leeks are especially exciting because Ryan has been monitoring for the new pest Leek Moth for a couple years now which is ravaging allium production in the north east. We are still lucky not to have it yet, but that luck may not last forever.

Most of the garlic sized up the way we hoped it would. We trialed several different varieties of crops we are excited about. Basil lasted longer than it ever has for us since the arrival of basil downy mildew from Europe about 8 years ago. Usually those plants are dead by early September, but this year we were pulling out fantastic plants when we transitioned the tunnels to winter greens. Lots of veggie successes to celebrate.

on the left are trays of pea shoots seeded for winter harvest… this time of year we seed many, many trays of pea shoots that will grow high enough and then be stockpiled in the prop house waiting for harvest each week, row covered enough to keep alive into early winter, photo by Adam Ford

on the left are trays of pea shoots seeded for winter harvest… this time of year we seed many, many trays of pea shoots that will grow high enough and then be stockpiled in the prop house waiting for harvest each week, row covered enough to keep alive into early winter, photo by Adam Ford

Ryan figured out how to minimize production space to maximize more cover crop growth for the health of the soil, which meant we grew the most cover crops we ever have. Although this isn’t something that CSA members see direct affects of, it means we are ensuring healthy soil for generations to come. Maybe your grandkids can eat food from this CSA in the future if we keep taking care of this soil.

Soraya is a little champ.

Soraya is a little champ.

Thank you all again for sharing the harvest with us. Your continued support not only supports this farm, but jobs for several great humans, and surplus veggies for many charitable food outlets. If you just do the summer share, we will see you next season!

Look at that fall Sky, photo by Adam Ford

Look at that fall Sky, photo by Adam Ford

ESF Team

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


Stir Fried Napa Cabbage with Acorn Squash

image from foodandwine.com

image from foodandwine.com

1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 inches of leek, thinly sliced

1 acorn squash

3 TBSP sesame oil

2 TBSP sesame seeds

3 TBSP soy sauce

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 TBSP lemon juice

1 1/2 cups rice

3 cups water

Put rice and water in a pot on a low simmer to cook. Meanwhile, peel an acorn squash. Slice in half and remove the seeds. Cut the peeled, seeded squash into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and toss in the thin acorn squash slices. Let cook until lightly browned on one side, and then flip. Let the other side brown as well. Remove from the pan and set aside. Put thinly sliced napa, crushed garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, and lemon juice in the pan and saute until the napa is soft. Serve the squash and napa over rice. Enjoy!






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.)