Week 2019: Week 22

Another great box for you this week! Luscious greens and crunchy roots and lots of color make this week’s share a beauty (not to mention a LOT of optionals to choose from)! The crew is buys in the fields pulling out irrigation lines, bundling up tomato stakes, harvesting sweet potatoes, and getting our garlic seed ready to plant. We have been loving this mild fall weather so far, and are hopeful it will carry us through the rest of the month. It is oh-so-pleasant to do these tedious cleanup tasks when the sun is shining and and the wind is mellow. We hope you’re having a glorious fall as well!

This week’s box:

  • Baby Lettuce

  • Sautée Bouquet (a mix of mustards and kale)

  • Broccoli

  • Carrots

  • White Icicle Radishes (mild like French Breakfast!)

  • Broccoli Rab

  • Parsley

  • Delicata Squash

  • Garlic

  • Kohlrabi

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Optional Items:

  • Wheat Berries and Whole Wheat Flour

  • Kale

  • Cilantro

  • Cabbage

  • Arugula

  • Butternut Squash Seconds

  • Shishitos

  • Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

  • Zucchini

  • Bok Choy

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

Bread Share: Carissa’s Sourdough

Fruit Share: Apples and Pears

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

Winter Squash Carbonara with Broccoli Rab (use butternut or delicata!)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Garlic

Delicata and Broccoli Curry

2019: Week 21

For those of you who are done for the season, THANK YOU for joining us! You’ll be hearing from us about details for signing up for next season in the coming months. For you Thanksgiving shareholders, we have six great weeks of fall food ahead!

This week’s box:

Optional Items:

  • Kale

  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Watermelon and Nero Tondo/Black Spanish Radishes

  • Wheat Berries and Whole Wheat Flour

  • Peppers

  • Scallions

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

Bread Share: Carissa’s Honey Oat Bread

Fruit Share: Apples and Pears

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

Cabbage and Cilantro Slaw

Watermelon Radishes with Herbed Tahini

2019: Week 20

Every year we have a few contenders for which box we think is the very best of the season - and to the farmers, this one might take the cake. When the weather is right, and our planning was good, the convergence of summer and fall food in the months of September and October can be glorious. We are so excited to have tomatoes still in the box. Beefsteaks took a break for a few weeks, but weather-permitting they should be back for the month of October. Earlier in the year I wrote about our succession planning and planting, how we aim to have a constant supply of a given crop, not too much and not too little, for as much of the season as possible. You are currently eating: round 4 (out of 5) tomatoes, round 8 (out of 11) zucchini, round 19 (out of 25!) spicy salad, and while we have had 6 rounds of kale out there, this week’s beautiful bunches are from round 1, which is outshining all the other plantings at this moment. Sweet potatoes, winter squash, and garlic are large single plantings with bulk harvests, and broccoli raab and purple daikons have each been planted about 6 times. Not every planting is a success, and most of this season’s plantings are gone by now: fully harvested, mowed, tilled under, replaced with another harvest-able crop or, at this point in the season, already cover-cropped for the winter. And still to come: broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts (2 rounds)! The trick to having consistent availability throughout the season is to keep planting, which means we have to keep seeding, even in the dog days of July and August when our days are jam-packed with harvesting and the never-ending war on weeds - when it’s impossible to imagine sitting the crew down for several hours to seed hundreds more trays of crops we have in abundance at that very moment - but that we know will be harvested and gone before we know it! Keeping plant diseases and damaging insects at bay as we get deeper into the summer and fall is also a challenge, but such is the life of a farmer, that’s what keeps it interesting, right??

We hope you enjoy eating this box as much as we’ve enjoyed growing it!

This week’s box:

  • Baby Carrots

  • Broccoli Rab (aka Rapini)

  • Purple Daikon Radishes

  • Delicata Squash

  • Murasaki Sweet Potatoes (aka the best sweet potatoes! - a Japanese variety with a starchier flesh than regular sweet potatoes)

  • Italian Kale

  • Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

  • Beefsteak Tomato

  • Spicy Salad Mix

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Garlic

Optional Items:

  • Swiss Chard

  • Acorn Squash

  • Radishes

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Arugula

  • Onion

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Bread Share: Carissa’s Honey Oat Bread

Fruit Share: Apples and Pears

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

Sweet Potato Fries

Delicata and Kale Salad (still have wheat berries from a few weeks ago?!)

Roasted Broccoli Rab

Grilled Bread Salad with Zucchini and Broccoli Rab

Roasted Radishes

2019: Week 19

Box below, farm updates to follow!

This week’s box:

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Tatsoi (use in any recipe instead of bok choy or spinach, saute on its own, or eat raw in a salad!)

  • Saute Bouquet (a mix of red and green mustards and kale - saute with just garlic or add some soy sauce and sesame oil!)

  • Herb Medley (Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage)

  • Baby Arugula

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Acorn Squash

  • Lettuce

  • Bell and Cubanelle Peppers

  • Scallions

  • Garlic

Optional Items:

  • Hakurei Turnips

  • Radishes

  • Delicata Squash

  • Onions

  • Kale

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Bread Share: Carissa’s Sourdough

Fruit Share: Gala Apples and Seckel Pears

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash (add some sage too!)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chimichurri

Bok Choy and Turnip Rice Bowls

Ten Ways to use Mustard Greens

Acorn Squash Salad

2019: Week 18

It has happened - we have given in to embracing fall! We have pumpkins at the market, we harvested almost all of our winter squash (many varieties will appear in your box in the coming weeks), and we will start lifting the sweet potato beds to get those beauties out of the ground in the next few days. We are also excitedly awaiting the arrival of broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts! This week your box includes hakurei turnips, one of our absolute farmer favorites. They are considered a salad turnip, as they can be eaten raw and are delicious sliced on a salad as you would a radish (although in my opinion, superior to a radish both in texture and flavor). They are also fantastic either roasted or sauteed in olive oil or butter. The greens are edible too - a quick steam or saute is the way to go!

For tips on how to get through all your other greens, scroll down to last week's post. Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Yellow Onion

  • Lettuce - Green Butter and Romaine

  • Baby Kale

  • Hakurei Turnips

  • Butternut Squash

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Shishitos

  • Collard Greens

  • Rosemary or Thyme (pick one!)

Optional Items:

  • Hot Peppers

  • Delicata Squash

  • Daikon Radishes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Garlic

  • Arugula

  • Zucchini

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Bread Share: Carissa’s Honey Oat

Fruit Share: Ginger Gold Apples and Pears

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Pasta with herbs (use baby kale instead of spinach!)

Simple Collard Greens

Sauteed Hakurei Turnips - the greens are edible too!

2019: Week 17

You are going to eat a lot of salads this week. For those of you who miss the abundance of greens during high summer when eggplant and tomatoes are cranking but greens are scant, we make up for it this time of year! If greens tend to sit around in your fridge just glaring at you every time you open the door, here’s how I would approach them: the arugula and lettuce should be eaten raw as salads, so you don’t even need to be creative with those, just have a salad every day this week! The arugula is already washed, so all you have to do is take a handful from the bag, and you are 50% of the way to a meal or snack. When I get home from the farm and I’m starving, before I indulge in something that would be less good for me than salad (even farmers love chips and cookies and bread and mozzarella…), I make myself go straight for the bagged baby greens, either the spicy salad or arugula. My favorite go-to salad this time of year is arugula, sliced apple, crumbled bleu/Gorgonzola/goat cheese, or even cheddar, topped with a very simple dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper (I don’t even make dressing ahead of time, those ingredients live on my kitchen counter at all times and I just drizzle them one at a time right on top of my arugula-cheese-apple creation and mix them all together, a little practice and you’ll get very good at the ratios). This is such a satisfyingly sharp, salty, and sweet salad that I never tire of in the fall (you could add nuts, seeds, hard-boiled egg, chicken, avocado, etc if you wanted to make it more of a meal salad). If you chop and wash the head lettuce today when you get your box home, you might be more likely to get to it this week just like the bagged arugula, because the hard part of washing and chopping is already done. The lettuce will be great as a chopped salad with the cherry tomatoes and radishes. Now, for the greens that could be used raw or cooked - spicy salad and Italian kale - I’d probably choose to cook them since there are other abundant salad greens in the box this week. The spicy is a mix of baby mustard and Asian greens with just a little punch when they are cut as babies. The half pound bag in your box this week will diminish to a quarter of its volume after a quick saute or steam, and would be a great side to any meat, fish, or pasta dish (or any of the spaghetti squash recipes listed below). As for the kale, I usually just include it in whatever else I would be making - roasted vegetable medley, scrambled eggs, quiche, frittata, soup, a pasta dish, etc. And, remember that kale is also great on the grill, it becomes smokey and crispy, and is a faster way of making a traditional baked kale chip (both recipes are listed below, along with a few other suggestions). If you love kale then I don’t have to tell you that you can use it as a base for your meal - sauteed with garlic and olive oil and topped with…a fried egg? Served with rice and beans? As a vehicle for soy sauce for you salty condiment lovers out there!?

Whatever you decide to make, we farmers hope you enjoy this week’s box, and that you’re loving this glorious September weather. We sure are!

This week’s box:

  • Arugula

  • Spicy Salad Mix (great as a salad or a very quick - less than a minute - steam/saute)

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Garlic

  • Parsley

  • Leeks

Optional Items:

  • Eggplant

  • Shishitos

  • Onions

  • Broccoli Rapini

  • Cabbage

  • Wheat Berries or Whole Wheat Flour

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Bread Share: Carissa’s Salty Soured Pickled Rye

Fruit Share: Your choice of beach plums, peaches, and apples

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes:

How to cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Buffalo Chicken Casserole (it might look weird, but trust us it’s delicious)

Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

Sausage, Kale, and Spaghetti Squash Boats

One-Pot Mujadara with Kale and Leeks

Classic Tuscan Kale Chips or Kale Chips on the Grill

Try Roasting Cabbage!

2019: Week 16

Welcome to “fall!” There’s still plenty of summer (both weather and food) ahead of us, but in CSA terms the arrival of Labor Day is a pivotal marker in the season. To celebrate, we’re giving out the first of the delicata squash, which is quite possibly our favorite winter squash; it is one of the earliest squashes and also one of the best-tasting. It also has thin skin, so if you don’t mind a little texture you don’t even need to peel before cooking and eating them. We went big on winter squash this season - we have about an acre planted with 10-12 different varieties, including spaghetti, accorn, cheese pumpkin, kabocha, and butternut. Enjoy this first taste and there will be plenty more to come!

This is also the time of the season when we start shifting our thinking towards wrapping things up in the fields with an eye on winter. Most of the food we’ll produce for the rest of the season is in the ground (sweet potatoes, winter squash, and brussels sprouts were planted back in June), apart from lettuces, baby greens, radishes and some quick 30-day crops that we’re still transplanting or direct-sowing into the fields through the month of September. Whereas in the spring plants speed up in the heat and long days of sunshine, in the fall they slow down (a summer radish may take 21 days to reach maturity, a late fall radish may take 40 days). We plan for this slow-down by stacking multiple plantings in September that will largely carry us through November, or until the heavy frosts come. Other work we’ll do this fall is plant next season’s garlic and wheat, which are both over-wintering crops, and sow cover crops (usually oats and rye) in our remaining open fields once they are out of production.

Despite this talk of fall veggies and winter, we still have two plantings of tomatoes that are just starting to ripen that we hope will produce through October, there is still plenty of summertime left! We’re barely past the halfway mark for those of you with shares going through Thanksgiving, so much great food to come!

This week’s box:

  • Arugula returns!

  • Radishes

  • Beefsteak Tomatoes

  • Sweet Peppers

  • Salsa Pack

  • Delicata Squash

  • Corn (celebrity guest produce appearance from Balsam Farms)

  • Sage

Optional Items:

  • Broccoli Rapini

  • Purslane

  • Wheat Berries

  • Whole Wheat Flour

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Tomato “seconds”

  • Eggplant

Fruit Share: Blue Plums and Donut Peaches

Cheese Share: your choice!

Bread Share: Carissa’s

Recipes:

Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage

Sweet Corn and Arugula Salad

Peperonata (delicious sauteed peppers)

Purslane Salad with Radishes or Simple Purslane Salad

2019: Week 15

Here we are at Labor Day weekend already! As both a CSA member and a farmer it’s amazing to experience the change of the season over the last 15 weeks. We hope you put together some memorable meals with family and friends this summer and got to spend time out in the farm fields.

We could not do what we do at the farm without your support as a CSA member. For the last 11 seasons we have counted on our members for consistency and commitment, which has enabled to us to make the purchases we need in the spring and experiment with new crops and growing methods during the season. Our members play a large part in helping us decide what and how much to grow - we try to focus on your favorites and grow less of what’s not popular, all the while trying to introduce you to new, unusual, or unfamiliar foods that you didn’t know you loved! Despite the growth of our retail market and kitchen, the 195 families in our CSA remain the largest avenue for distribution of the food we produce on the farm. If you’ve been with us for a few seasons you know we have evolved our model slightly, offering a greater selection of optional items each week for you to choose from in addition to the box. As our membership has grown this has been our way to make sure members have access to extras of their favorites while not overwhelming everyone with “too much” of something (pleasing 195 families with a single box each week is a challenge!) It is a fine balance for us to provide you with great value without excess that leads to waste - it is something we think a lot about and we appreciate your patience, partnership, and feedback as we continue to work towards this goal.

If your membership ends this week, we hope you have enjoyed this season’s bounty and that you’ll visit us throughout the fall, and join us . If you’re continuing with us through the fall, we hope you’re excited for winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and luscious fall greens that are right around the corner - there is plenty of good food ahead!

This week’s box:

  • Tomatoes

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Sauce/Plum Tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Cucumber

  • Head Lettuce

  • Cabbage

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Mixed herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme)

  • Jimmy Nardello or Lunchbox Peppers (choose one!)

Optional Items:

  • Italian Kale

  • Hot peppers (cayennes, cherry bomb, jalapeno, habenero)

  • Eggplant

  • Garlic

  • Tomato Seconds

  • Onion

  • Radishes

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

Bread Share: Carissa’s Honey Oat loaf

Fruit Share: choice of nectarines, peaches, plums

Cheese Share: local selection

Recipes: One of our go-to recipes from our dear friend Eileen is Oven Roasted San Marzano Tomatoes. Our favorite way to prepare them is to cut them in half and lay them on a baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with salt, pepper, olive oil, chopped garlic, thyme, rosemary, and sage to taste, and slow cook them at 250 for about 2 hours. They’re great eaten like that or put them in blender or food processor and turn it into sauce! (no boiling necessary!)

Baba Ganoush

Cabbage and Radish Slaw

2019: Week 14

Welcome to week 14! Amazingly, this week is just the halfway point for our full season members who signed up for the Memorial Day through Thanksgiving share. But for many of you who end Labor Day weekend, this week is the second to last week of summer pickups! Time flies! This week’s box is loaded with our summer favorites - lots of tomatoes and eggplant. If you haven’t already, slice the eggplant thinly (about 1/4 inch slices) and grill it alongside whatever else you’re putting on the grill. It is (one) of the farmer favorite ways to prepare it. Over the years when I’ve made recommendations to people about grilling vegetables people have told me they don’t grill because they’re vegetarians - if you’re in this camp I urge you not to miss out on the greatness of grilling even if you’re skipping the meat! Vegetables make up the majority of what we farmers grill - and nothing beats cooking outside in the summer, whether it’s in your yard or at the beach. When it comes to grilling vegetables we treat everything about the same: salt, pepper, olive oil, medium - high heat, and just a few minutes per side. Couldn’t be easier!

We hope you enjoy this beautiful box and this beautiful weather!

This week’s box:

  • Beefsteak Tomatoes

  • Red Cherry Tomatoes

  • Salsa Pack! Tomatillos, Sauce Tomatoes, Jalapeno, Garlic, Red Onion (rough chop and combine ingredients for pico de gallo or finely chop in a cuisinart for more of a salsa consistency)

  • Eggplant

  • Cucumber

  • Kale

  • Leeks

Optional Items:

  • Broccoli Raab

  • Eggplant

  • Garlic

  • Beefsteak Tomatoes

  • Onion

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

  • Basil

  • Radishes

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

This week’s cheese share: Your choice of a local selection

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Honey Oat

This week’s fruit share: Your choice of apples, peaches, and plums from Briermere Farms

Recipes


2019: Week 13

We have a beauuuutifully colorful box for you this week and we are obviously celebrating the tomato. We have accumulated such an abundance of cherry tomatoes over the last week that we called our friends at Quail Hill Farm to make a trade - our cherry tomatoes for their members in exchange for their potatoes for our members, so potatoes are also making an appearance in your box this week!

Out in the fields the crew is incredible busy - harvesting for most of every day but also continuing to plant fall crops and trying our best to stay on top of the weeds (just like every farmer this time of year). We hope you’re having a great summer, enjoying your boxes, and taking advantage of the farm fields!

This week’s box:

  • Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

  • Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

  • Potatoes from our friends at Quail Hill Farm!

  • Fairytale Eggplant

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Garlic

  • Green Curly Kale or Swiss Chard

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Basil

Optional Items:

  • Zucchini

  • Eggplant

  • Garlic

  • Beefsteak Tomatoes

  • Onion

  • Cayenne Peppers

  • Cabbage

  • Herbs - Sage, Rosemary, or Thyme

  • Radishes

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

This week’s cheese share: your choice of a few of our favorites!

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Sourdough

This week’s fruit share: Plums and Donut Peaches

Recipes:

2019: Week 12

This week we’re focusing on squaring away our fall crops: weeding the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts (planted mid-June) and transplanting large blocks of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and fall kale into the fields. As farmers our minds are always in the next season, even though our bodies are very much entrenched in the hot August sun. I won’t spend too much time on these thoughts here though - there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

  • Beefsteak Tomato

  • Sweet Pepper Medley

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Lettuce

  • Italian Eggplant

  • White Onion

  • Scallions

  • Parsley

  • Basil

Optional Items:

  • Zucchini

  • Eggplant

  • Tomatillos

  • Garlic

  • Green Peppers

  • Mint

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Shishito Peppers

  • Husk Cherries

  • Cherry Tomatoes

This week’s cheese share:

This week’s bread share:

This week’s fruit share:

Recipes:

Chimichurri (use white onion instead of shallot and throw in some basil and mint if you’d like - you can’t go wrong!)

How to cook shishito peppers - or throw them on the grill!

Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, and Parsley salad

Corn, Tomato, and Scallion Salad

2019: Week 11

This week at the farm we’re doing a lot of tasks that involve being hot and sweaty: mostly hours of weeding and hours of harvesting. As I mentioned in last week’s post we’re deep into “the walks” which are intensifying as we bring in more and more eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. We’re thrilled to have cherry tomatoes in your box this week, along with full-size Italian eggplant and Fairytale eggplant (there will be plenty more where those came from throughout August!)

The other exciting (and tiring/daunting) task we’re tackling this week is the onion harvest. Similar to the garlic harvest, we take what we need weekly from the onion block based on kitchen, CSA, and our market, but when the bulk of the crop reaches the point of full maturity, we harvest it all. We know we’re at that point when the onion tops start to really die back and turn brown, in great contrast to the upright and healthy green tops they showed off all spring. Last year’s onion crop was dismal, so for now we’re just excited that we have so many onions - even though we’re struggling for a space to dry/cure them…the garlic that has been drying in the greenhouse is already getting kicked out to make way for their allium cousins. For those of you who love onions, this is exciting for you because we’ll have them available to you for the rest of the season! For those of you who don’t love onions…you can just be proud of your farmers for the great crop they grew :)

This week’s box:

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

  • Red Cherry Tomatoes

  • Kale

  • Garlic

  • Basil

  • Fairytale Eggplant

  • Italian Eggplant

  • Jalapenos

  • Zucchini

  • Swiss Chard

Optional Items:

  • Zucchini

  • Onions

  • Eggplant

  • Mint

  • Napa Cabbage

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Raspberries

  • Shishito Peppers

This week’s cheese share: Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Salty Soured Pickled Rye

This week’s fruit share: Santa Rosa Plums and Yellow Peaches

Recipes:

2019: Week 10

Great news from the farm, this week we harvested our wheat! Growing wheat is unlike growing vegetables (which require daily maintenance and care) in that there is very little care throughout the life of the crop, but the timing and accuracy of the few steps involved are critically important.

Here’s how it works…

Last October we planted two varieties of winter wheat, a soft white (used for pastry flour) called Harris, and a hard red (used for bread four) called Warthog (both varieties can be used in whole wheat berry form). We sow the wheat using a grain drill that plants it into rows six inches apart, at a rate of 150 pounds of seed per acre (we then aim to have harvestable yields of 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per acre). The wheat germinates in the fall and looks like any old lawn all winter and into the early spring. At that point we fertilize (wheat is a heavy feeder of soil nutrients, especially nitrogen). In the springtime we also undersow red clover, which grows in the shadow of the wheat closer to the soil surface and provides ground cover to prevent weeds from competing with the wheat and has other benefits, such as providing a great source of organic matter to feed the soil and depositing even more nitrogen back into the soil. After this we wait and watch as the field brightens to a shocking green and shoots up from ankle to knee to thigh height over just a few weeks in May. Although our shared visions of a wheat field are dancing amber waves, it is actually green until the last few weeks of its life cycle, when it turns the beautiful and iconic honey amber hew. Harvest typically takes place in the third week of July when the grains are hard and dry. The extreme heat of Sunday and Monday of this week created the absolute perfect dry conditions for harvest before Tuesday’s intense rain. We use a 1965 International Harvester 80 Combine, which cuts the wheat stalk, sends the grain heads through a threshing cylinder that knocks the grain free from the head. The individual kernels fall to the bottom of the machine where they are ferried through a series of augers and into the bin, while the straw, chaff, and other debris is sifted and blown out the rear of the machine. Our old combine harvests at a very humble rate of about an acre per hour, which in today’s standards of thousand-acre wheat fields in the Midwest is laughable, but on our scale, it works. Keeping this old machine running is very important, because although we only use it one or two days each year, getting it done when the timing is right is very important. Happily, we had no equipment problems during this year’s harvest and the wheat is in the barn. Our harvest wasn’t as large as we were hoping because we took a chance and planted a few acres outside of our deer fence, which was gladly consumed by our four-legged friends. The wheat we did harvest now has to be cleaned (winnowing out chaff, weed seeds, and any other field debris that came in with the grain) and dried down to about 13% moisture, where it will have its longest storage life.

The wheat will be available for sale in our market, in your CSA boxes, and used in our kitchen and bakery as both wheat berries and whole wheat flour within the next week. If you have any questions about this process (or the process of anything else we grow!) let us know, we love to talk about our fields!

This week’s box:

  • Lettuce

  • Red Onion

  • Japanese Eggplant

  • Zucchini

  • Cucumbers

  • Dill

  • Beets

  • Green Peppers

  • Bok Choy

Optional Items:

  • Cabbage

  • Hakurei Turnips

  • Leeks

  • Garlic

  • Zucchini

  • Green Curly or White Russian Kale

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Raspberries

  • Shishito Peppers

This week’s cheese share: Feta Cheese from Lively Run Dairy

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Sourdough

This week’s fruit share: Choice of Apricots, Tango Donut Peaches, Blueberries

Recipes:

2019: Week 9

It is HOT this week folks! As I write this at 6:30am the field crew has already been out for a half hour, opting to come in extra early to try to beat the heat. This year’s crew is small but mighty (only eight people full-time) and has been getting a lot done despite not there not being many of them. Remember that every item in your box was hand seeded, transplanted, weeded, harvested, washed, bunched, and packed by our extraordinary crew!

Today (and every day, seven days a week) the crew starts with the harvest to get food out of the field while it’s still cool out. As heavier “solid food” starts to come in (cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, soon to be tomatoes) we change the way our crew does the daily harvests. Early in the season our harvests mostly consist of leafy greens and roots, which we harvest by the quantity we need - based on how many CSA members are picking up, what our kitchen orders, and what we think we’ll sell in our market. Some of these are quick “one hit wonders” that we plant in multiple successions like head lettuce, bok choy, radishes, scallions: one cut or pull and that’s it; we try to plan and plant “perfectly” to have just enough to not run out but not waste excess (which is nearly impossible to nail down) but whatever we can’t sell/spoils/gets taken over by weeds or insects in those multiple rounds gets either harvested and donated or tilled in as organic matter, and we know there is another round of that crop right behind it. Those crops are cheaper and faster to grow than peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant that we’re starting to bring in now. Our plantings of these solanceous crops went in the ground starting in late April and throughout May and June; we’ve been caring for them since then and they are just now ready for harvest. Because these types of fruiting plants have a longer harvest window of a few months, we try to keep them as healthy and productive as possible for as long as possible, so we harvest what’s ready every day, rather than what we think we’ll sell or distribute of that item in a given day. Our crew lingo for this type of harvest is a “walk.” For example, “zucchini walk” means take everything that’s ready. We schedule our walks based on the productivity of a given crop; we walk the cucumbers and zucchini every day, tomatoes every other day, eggplant and peppers every three days. We then store the “walked” crops in our bulk cooler, and pull from those bulk bins as needed for CSA, market, and kitchen (eggplant and peppers will be in the box next week!). All of this is coordinated by our Field Manager, who spends an hour each morning before the crew arrives creating a detailed harvest sheet, separated by field (we split up on our two fields) and destination (CSA, market, kitchen, etc). The sheet gets distributed to crew members and our wash station so everyone has the same information about what food is going where. Managers act as harvest captains on each field, dictating the priority and order of the harvest and how frequently to make drop offs back at our wash station, where another manager choreographs washing and packing priorities. We start with leafy greens and bunches, get those to the shade of the wash station, and end with the walks. We try to do all of this before lunch, so we can all break at the same time and then shift into field work in the afternoon. So many logistics! We hope you are enjoying what our fields and crew have had to offer so far, there are many hands that contribute to the packed box, thanks for supporting us as we work to grow delicious, healthy, and beautiful food for you!

This week’s box:

  • Lettuce

  • Hakurei Turnips (Japanese salad turnips, use raw in salad or take a look at the recipe below)

  • Slicing Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow Onions

  • Radishes

  • Mint

  • Basil (big bunches for pesto!)

  • Garlic

  • Collard Greens

Optional Items:

  • Pickling Cucumbers

  • Cabbage

  • Italian Kale

  • Parsley

  • Zucchini

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano, lavender)

  • Flowers

  • Raspberries

This week’s cheese share: Mecox Bay Dairy Sigit (gruyere style cheese)

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Honey Oat

This week’s fruit share: Blueberries and Yellow Peaches from Briermere Farms

Recipes:

2019: Week 8

Phew what a busy week we just had! From here on out all the weeks are pretty busy. This week at the farm we completed the garlic harvest and have been doing oh so much weeding. Weeds thrive in this weather, and seem to double in size every time you blink. They take advantage of us getting busy with bigger and bigger harvests every morning, continuing our seeding and transplanting and other field projects throughout the week (setting up irrigation) and take off when we’re not looking!

This week we welcome cucumbers to the box along with fava beans. We are having a bumper crop of favas right now, we hope you enjoy them! If you’re unfamiliar with out to prepare them, look here.


This week’s box:

  • Lettuce

  • Arugula

  • Fava Beans

  • Red Curly Kale

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Beets

  • Parsley

  • Leeks

Optional Items:

  • Garlic

  • Dandelion Greens

  • Lettuce

  • Basil (big bunches for pesto!)

  • Kohlrabi

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Sugar Snap Peas

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

This week’s cheese share: Fresh Mozzarella

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Honey Oat

This week’s fruit share: Blueberries and Donut Peaches

Recipes:

Zucchini Fetuccini

Beet and Leek Salad with Peanut Dressing

2019: Week 7

Happy 4th of July! This is a big week for us at the farm for a few reasons: mostly more food is coming out of the ground and there are more people here to eat it! This is the first week of pickup for our 4th of July share members, so we are packing nearly double the boxes as we were this spring. The zucchini is also coming in in droves, AND this week always lines up with the long-awaited garlic harvest. This week’s harvest is a joyous culmination of many months of work and waiting (so worth it). We plant garlic by sowing a single clove a few inches deep around Halloween, which sprouts from the soil in the spring, produces a scape in late June, and clones itself into a many-cloved head that is ready to harvest in the first half of July (scroll back to our post from a few weeks ago about garlic scapes to learn more about the process). This week we’ll begin pulling the 8-10,000 heads we planted in the fall from the ground by hand one at a time, the first of which are in your box this week. We’re putting the entire plant in so you can see how cool it is (we are plant nerds!). After all the heads are harvested we’ll lay them out in our greenhouses to dry/cure, so they’ll last into the winter. In these first few weeks after harvest the heads are considered “fresh garlic” and you’ll notice it’s juicier than what you’re probably used to, with thicker skin around each of the cloves that hasn’t dried out yet.

Garlic is distinct from most of the crops we grow because it has a single annual harvest followed by a long storage time/shelf life, as opposed to most things we grow that we are picking daily or several times per week, and that once harvested may have a storage time of only a few days or weeks - imagine knowing that your entire “inventory” has one week to move before expiration! That’s the reality of a vegetable farm! That is where YOU come in, our members that commit to us at the start of the season so we can plan our plantings, harvests, and field care to feed you weekly. So if this is your first week, thanks for joining us and welcome aboard, and if you’ve been with us all season so far, we’re looking forward to a great continuation of summer!

This week’s box:

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Basil

  • Romaine Lettuce

  • Kohlrabi

  • Baby Lettuce Mix

  • Garlic

  • Tokyo Bekana (a bunching Chinese cabbage, try it in a salad or sauté like bok choy)

  • Chard

Optional Items:

  • Lettuce

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Leeks

  • Kale

  • Raddichio

  • Zucchini

Open in U-Pick (all areas open for picking are marked with a blue and white stake)

  • Sugar Snap Peas

  • Herbs (chives, mint, oregano)

  • Flowers

This week’s cheese share: Chèvre from Catapano Dairy

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Salty Soured Pickled Rye

This week’s fruit share: Blueberries and Cherries

Recipes:

Try grilling romaine!

Chard and Summer Squash Fritatta

Tokyo Bekana with sesame and soy sauce

2019: Week 6

Welcome to the official start of summer! The plants are really taking off after all of this rain followed by some of the truly warm days we’ve had, which means the weeds are thriving, too. We’ve learned (the hard way) that weed pressure that doesn’t look “that bad” can get out of control in just a few days. This time of year we start to find ourselves pinched by our to-do list: harvesting every morning, and spending our afternoons weeding, transplanting, trellising, and staying on top of our greenhouse seeding. It’s easy to fall behind, so we’d love your help to keep everything in check in the fields! Stay tuned for an invite to a volunteer day within the next week (and again in July)! We’ll have a variety of projects set up that any skill and energy level can assist us with (from pounding in tomato stakes to hand-weeding and mulching).

We hope you enjoy this week’s box! Remember to scroll back to Week 4 for suggestions of how best to eat your greens.

This week’s box:

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Parsley

  • Basil

  • Italian Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Beets

  • Frisée

  • Napa Cabbage

Optional Items:

  • Lettuce

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Baby Lettuce Mix

  • Kale

  • Cilantro

Open in U-Pick

  • Sugar Snap Peas

This week’s cheese share: Sigit from Mecox Bay Dairy (gruyere style cheese)

This week’s bread share: Carissa’s Honey Oat Loaf

Recipes:

Grilled Summer Squash with Chimichurri

Try grilling napa cabbage!

Frisée and roasted beet salad

2019: Week 5

Welcome to week 5! Although the seasons vary from year to year, week 5 is almost always the introduction of “solid food” (as opposed to baby greens and roots). So welcome to the club, zucchini and summer squash! This is the first of a lot to come, and right behind it will be cucumbers, followed by eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes in July. While we just started picking zucchini within the last week, there are already four successions of it out in the field, and our fifth will go in the ground this week. Over the last decade of farming we’ve tried to pinpoint the correct timing for succession plantings for many crops: zucchini (8-10 rounds), lettuce (15 rounds), tomatoes (5 rounds), baby greens (about 20 rounds) in an effort of have a constant supply of new, fresh, healthy plants and fruits, without being buried by excessive abundance at any given time. We’ve gotten better at it, but this is hard to do. There are good and bad years for each of our crops (due to threats like pests, disease, and weed pressure) and generally good and poor growing years because of weather conditions. Since so many variables are out of our control and every season, from weather to new food trends and evolving customer demand, we pay close attention and try to pivot as best we can in the moment, while always making notes for how we can improve in the next season based on what our members like and how our good our field timing is.

But for now, we’re loving living in the moment of this herbaceous box! (I was just in the box-packing room and the combination of basil, cilantro, and leeks smells incredible!) We hope you enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash

  • Leeks

  • Swiss Chard

  • Cilantro

  • Basil

  • Mizuna (Asian salad and saute green)

  • Bok Choy

  • Choose between our Spicy Salad (our house mesclun mix) or Baby Lettuce

  • Romaine Lettuce

Optional Items:

  • Spinach

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Kohlrabi

  • Kale

  • Pea shoots with beautiful edible pea flowers

This week’s cheese share: Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

This week’s bread share: Sourdough from Carissa’s Bakery

Recipes:
Summer squash, spinach, and leek gratin (try with any cooking green!)

Spicy Cavatelli with leeks and zucchini

Simple mizuna salad

Swiss chard with garlic and basil (use garlic scapes instead of cured garlic!)

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Mizuna

2019: Week 4

Week 4! We know, it has been a LOT of greens so far because that’s what thrives in our cool wet springs on the east end. As farmers we try to appreciate the abundance a given season brings while we’re immersed in it, so most of our own meals have revolved around the very items that have been in your boxes each week. If you’re not typically a greens eater and are struggling to get through these few boxes, hopefully you’ve at least tried a few new flavors that were unfamiliar to you. And it goes without saying that leafy greens are some of the healthiest, most vitamin-packed foods you can eat! Scroll down for our farmer-tested and approved suggestions for how to get your daily doses of greens! (And zucchini and more “summer season food” is coming soon!)

This week’s most exciting new arrival is the glorious garlic scape. It’s the springy, bouncy, twirly bunch in your box and it’s exciting for a few reasons: they’re delicious (like regular garlic but milder); they only come this time of year AND they signal that the “real” garlic (full heads) is on its way soon. We plant garlic around Halloween each year; the garlic seeds we plant are actually individual cloves, planted a couple inches deep into the soil where they over winter until they sprout up in February or March. By this time of year the garlic is thigh-high and sending out a single flower shoot, the scape. If left to flower, the yellow-ish nodule on the end of each scape will bloom into a white flower that resembles a chive blossom (same plant family) and drop hundreds of the tiniest garlic cloves (about the size of a grain of rice). Instead of letting the flowering part of the plant mature, we snap it off to redirect the plant’s energy into producing a larger head, or bulb, underground. It’s a long process, since it takes nearly nine months to harvest a mature head, but also relatively low-input as there are only a few intensive steps we have to do over the course of the plant’s life: (1) break apart the heads into individual cloves for planting; (2) plant; (3) mulch (garlic does not compete well with weeds, it’s very important to keep it weed-free); (4) harvest the scapes; (5) then harvest the heads! “Easy!” As a fun fact: not all garlic produces scapes, the variety we grow is called “hardneck” and is distinct from most conventionally grown garlic you’d find in the grocery store, which is “softneck.” We love hardneck garlic because scapes are a great byproduct, and hardneck garlic also produces fairly uniform large cloves that are a pleasure to use in the kitchen (softneck garlic heads have many more cloves per head, varying greatly in size). Another fun fact: farmers used to compost their scapes because there was no market for them, but in the last few decades they have become a seasonal delicacy that people really look forward to. And now you’re part of that club! We’ll talk more about garlic when we start the harvest, which will be around 4th of July.

This week’s box:

  • Green Curly Kale

  • Mizuna (Asian salad and saute green)

  • Dandelion Greens (did you try that dandelion Ceasar salad recipe??)

  • Butter Head Lettuce

  • Baby Lettuce

  • Baby Arugula

  • Kohlrabi

  • Radishes (variety called Cincinnati Market Radish - looks like a carrot! Great for dipping)

  • Garlic Scapes (woohoo! chop up and use like you would regular garlic, or grill them whole and they have a similar texture to skinny asparagus, but garlicy of course. Or, make garlic scape pesto!)

Optional Items:

  • Fennel

  • Beets

  • Head Lettuce

  • Kale

  • Broccoli Raab

Recipes (Farmer suggestions for eating all your greens! These are all fast and easy, because we’re pretty tired and don’t have a lot of time or energy to cook at the end of the day):

Salads: don’t have to be boring!

  • Make meal salads with greens as your base, add your favorite toppings and a salad can be so satisfying (my go-to salad the last couple weeks has been arugula, avocado, apple, Gorgonzola, and vinaigrette). A huge salad and toast are one of my favorite lunches/dinners.

  • Add a salad at breakfast! If you’re a savory breakfast lover (like me…) and you’re enjoying eggs/toast, you might be surprised how much you love a little side salad with a light/sharp vinaigrette to fill out the meal!

On the grill: In the summer we grill many times per week, and I always grill something green while the grill is going. The greens take on the smokey charred flavor of the grill, and add great color to any dish of grilled meats or fish. Grilling greens is arguably the easiest way to prepare greens because there is very little knife-prep involved, here’s how I prep each of the greens below (all are coated in olive oil, salt, and pepper prior to grilling)

  • Kale: remove the rubber band, rinse, coat in evoo, salt and pepper, toss right on the grill turning regularly. If you leave them til they’re crispy you can eat them like long chips, no silverware needed!

  • Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage: Cut lenghwise into halves or quarters, depending on the size. Flip them every minute or so until browned to your liking!

  • Kohlrabi: not truly a green…but slice into rounds and throw them on! The greens are edible too, you can treat them like kale.

Saute (everybody in: the one-pot-wonder): Toss chopped greens into a pot with garlic and olive oil and cook them all together. Add the heartiest greens first (usually kale) and as they cook down add the more delicate items (mizuna would be added last in this week’s box). You can also cube the kohlrabi and have that be involved in your greens medley to add some great texture (kohlrabi should get a few-minute head-start on the greens if cooking them all together). This huge pot of greens can be incorporated into:

  • A pasta dish

  • Taco/quesadilla filling

  • On its own with an egg on top and used throughout the week (a great way to eat greens every day - no excuse, they are already cooked and waiting for you in the fridge.

Bed of greens under meat or fish: If you’re roasting any meat or fish in the oven, laying the meat on a bed of greens is great because the greens will absorb the delicious juices from whatever you’re cooking.

Pesto: We usually think of pesto as a basil-driven delight, but almost any leafy green can be made into pesto (lettuce would be weird, so that’s an exception). A quick google of any green in your box will reveal a world of ways to turn your bunched greens into a savory dip/side for chips, crackers, chopped veggies, or a sandwich or pasta topper!. (arugula and kale pesto are some of our best sellers!)

Juicing: Admittedly, juicing is not necessarily my thing, but if it’s your thing, I don’t have to tell you how many greens you can get through by drinking them! I do own a fancy blender, and I do love smoothies, so that’s where this method comes into play for me. It’s very easy to add the sweeter greens (kale, spinach, mizuna) to any smoothie and they really blend right into the background of your smoothie base.

Do you have other ways you love to eat greens? Let us know and we’ll share: CSA@AmberWavesFarm.org

This week’s bread share: Salty Soured Pickled Rye from Carissa’s Breads

This week’s cheese share: Choice between “Summer Dance” and “Peconic Bell” from Catapano Goat Dairy

2019: Week 3

Week 3 already! This week’s box is another celebration of greens for salads, stir-fries, pestos, and green juices. We think this may also be the first time in CSA history that all three members of the “goosefoot” plant family that we grow on the farm are in the box in the same week (chard, spinach, baby beets). As farmers we think a lot about plant families for crop rotations, plant care, spacing and timing, and pest and disease pressure in the fields, but unless you have an allergy to a specific family, as an eater the concept of plant families may be new to you. The goosefoots (feet?) are a much smaller family than some of the others we grow (brassicas or cruciferous include: broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, radishes, arugula, and so many more; nightshades or solanaceous include: peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, but NOT sweet potatoes!) For fun we’ve listed the plant families next to each of the items in this week’s box, hopefully you find some new fun facts for the day!

The luscious greens (of all families) in the box have been loving the weather over the last week, and really shot up over those few warm sunny days we finally had. While we’re harvesting lots of greens these days, we’ve discovered on our field walks that the first of the baby zucchinis are forming, the cucumbers are coming along, and while the tomatoes are at least a month a way the plants in our earliest planting are flowering and looking great (pruning those tomatoes is on our long to do list for this week…) wish us luck with it all and we’ll see you next week!

This week’s box:

  • Bagged Baby Salad Greens (mix of brassica family)

  • Head Lettuce (Asteraceae family; fun fact: same family as artichokes and sunflowers!)

  • Baby Beets (goosefoot family)

  • Napa Cabbage (brassica family; combine with the scallions and kohlrabi for kimchi, or slice lengthwise in half or quarters, lightly coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw it on the grill (that’s Amanda’s favorite way to enjoy Napa cabbage and kale…))

  • Pea Shoots (legume family; have you made pea shoot pesto yet??)

  • Scallions (allium family)

  • Kohlrabi (brassica family; chop up and cook the leaves, too)

  • Swiss Chard (goosefoot family; chop up and quickly steam or sauté like spinach)

  • Spinach (goosefoot family)

Optional on the side:

  • Kale (brassica family)

  • Pea Shoots (legume family)

  • Mint (Labiatae family; add it to a cocktail, you deserve it!)

  • Edible Flowers (brassica family; taste like sweet broccoli, sprinkle on salads or use as a garnish for meats, a veggie dish, or beautiful cocktail)

Bread Share: Carissa’s Honey Oat

Cheese Share: a selection of New York Cheeses

Recipes: