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!