This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, baby carrots, beets, rutabaga, Gilfeather turnip, spinach, mesclun mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, and plant starts for your garden or windowsill. As the season goes on we will have more vegetable starts to choose from, but for now what we have available as starts are: (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, cilantro, basil, (and in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, sweet Italian red peppers, pablano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, and cayenne peppers. The 4-packs are 1 item, and the 2-inch pots are half an item. (If you choose any of the basil, green beans, peppers or cucumbers now, they should still be protected from frost.)
You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out, rather than having a pre-packed bag at the farm.) You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. If you want your share delivered to Ludlow, use this form by 9 am on Friday to select the veggies you want for the week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewzn_VdO-qNORGtls6yuqaubDZ7mUtrc-UcSx1SSVvvKnWhQ/viewform?c=0&w=1. Then you can pick up your share from Four Season's Sotheby's International Realty between 2 pm and 5 pm. They are next to Java Baba's in the shopping plaza across from the main entrance to Okemo Mountain.
Extras Available at the Barn Pickup
If you pick up your CSA share in our barn, and are looking great local, grass fed beef or local maple syrup check, we have both available for sale from neighboring farms. The beef is in the freezer to the left of the CSA sign in board, and the maple syrup is right next to the board. It is important to note that these are not things that can be swapped for items in your CSA. These are completely separate from our business: we are just offering the space to our neighbors. If you want to buy any of these products, fill out the sheet in front of the CSA sign in board, and leave payment in the CSA payment box, and we will pass it along to them. The Squire Family Farm beef is grass fed, and their organic certification is pending. The Kreuger-Norton maple syrup is produced in a wood-fired sugar house, and I am be biased since we used to sugar at a farm that did all their boiling with wood we personally harvested, but I notice a taste difference when it is boiled that way.
Don't forget to pay for the first half of the CSA season if you haven't yet. If you don't know your balance, let me know. If you need a different payment schedule, that's always ok, just let me know!
Even though this time of year is wild, trying to keep up with the demands of spring, it is one of my favorite times of year. On a farm, the spring time is inherently the most optimistic time of year. All the challenges, hiccups, and failures of past seasons are remote motivators that help us prepare and plan to do things better with the new main growing season. The way I look at the plants is full of optimistic earnest, as if this year is the year that each crop will grow perfectly and not be negatively affected by pest, disease, or weed pressure. Even though though those are obviously some dark rosy shades I have on, I just can't help but feel all the positive opportunities at the beginning of the season. With diligence, observation, luck, a great team, and the grace of the weather, maybe some of these perfect little plants will do better than they have for us in the past. So far, many of the challenges of the past that we have tried to aggressively address are not present yet, so my optimism is building. We haven't had any disease pressure in our propagation house, which is a first. Our cucumber starts transplanted like a charm in the first tunnel, and that has LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENED! The pepper plants were started on time, so perhaps they won't be as epicly late this year. The onion starts are bigger and greener than any others we have put out. It's not the smartest to count your chickens before they hatch, but it's life giving to day dream of productive veggie fields as we tuck in the baby plants!
This week we continue to hustle a bunch of plants in the ground, as well as move around our irrigation gun to some of the transplantings since we have such nice, dry, warm weather. We don't irrigate much here, but we do make sure the newly planted plants get watered in well during weather like this. By the end of the week we will have to do another round of tomato trellising, as they are easily two feet tall right now.
This afternoon we will see how many onion transplants we can get in the ground. We continue to drag row cover, landscape fabric, and tarps all over the farm to protect new seedings and transplantings, and suppress weeds.
My biggest project this week is to make sure all of my ducks are in a row, and everything is hyper organized for our first organic certification inspection this Monday! I assume all will go just fine, which means we will be certified organic by the end of the month. But I can't help but want to make sure everything is as organized as possible to make all our records accessible as quickly as possible for the certifier. Wish us luck!
Next week we may be able to squeeze in some time to innocluate another round of shiitakes. We will see!
Have a great week!
-Kara, Ryan, Morgan, Sam, Peter, and Taylor
Pea Shoot Risotto
Pea shoots are excellent in salads, on sandwiches, added to pasta dishes after they are removed from heat, paired with seafood, or enjoyed just as a snack! I normally eat them raw, but this dish incorporates both raw and cooked pea shoots, and I love it. I first had a variation of this meal at Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore for one of their farm to table dinners. It was a great treat.
5 cups stock (chicken, veggie, or whatever you prefer!)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBPS lemon juice
1 1/2 short grained rice (I learned from a chef that he prefers using sushi rise for the best risotto!)
2 bags of pea shoots, coarsely chopped
salt and peper
1 cup grated parmesan
Heat stock in pot to a simmer. In another pot, cook onions in the olive oil until they are transluscent. Add the rice to the onions, and stir, cooking for about 3 minutes as the rice lightly toasts. Add the wine, and cook until it is absorbed. Add the stock 3/4 cup at a time, only adding more once the previous round has been soaked up. Stir regularly. Add half the pea shoots, salt, pepper, lemon juice, butter, and cheese into the rice. Remove from the heat. Serve topped with the rest of the fresh pea shoots. Enjoy!