2018: Week 4

It’s a sign summer is upon us when the fields are filling up and we begin running out of room to plant! The fields remained soggy in the beginning of the week from the heavy rains and our crew sported galoshes and rain pants while harvesting for Tuesday’s CSA.  When the ground is too wet, it prevents us from doing tractor work since we risk compaction of the soil (not to mention some sticky situations with equipment stuck in mud). But the wind and sun dried everything out and we were able to resume transplanting. The thousands of seedlings in our greenhouses have transitioned into the ground – many of which will stay there until fall. These include crops like tomatoes, peppers, kales, and many of our flowers. We’ll keep seeding and planting other crops (lettuce, radishes, baby greens, and sunflowers) all season long for continual replenishing

We spotted the first of the zucchinis and summer squash this weekend, and you may have been one of the lucky market shoppers who snagged a coveted pint. Swiss chard and broccolini also made their summer debut.

This weekend we put some final touches on our new washing and processing station on the back porch of our market. Our previous station was back by the barn, under some arborvitae trees, but now we have a roof, quick access to refrigeration, and a loading dock. Simple but luxurious upgrades for our crew! This week we also welcomed some new crew members for the summer months to help us with bigger harvests and longer days ahead.

Until next week!

This Week's Box: 

  • Collards 
  • Kale
  • Baby Lettuce Mix
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Head Lettuce
  • Green Garlic
  • Kohlrabi
  • optional - radishes
  • optional - broccoli spigarello
  • optional - chicory

This Week's Bread:

  • Carissa's Pickled Rye

This Week's Cheese:

  • Mecox Blue Cheese 

Collards make a great sandwich or spring roll wraps raw or lightly cooked whole with a bit of oil. 

Napa cabbage is great in slaws. You could substitute the scallions for green garlic in this recipe. 

Try out this simple recipe for an introduction to the spigarellos, a cousin of broccoli and broccoli rabe (fondly known as "the spigs" to our farmers). 

 

2018: Week 3

Welcome to Week 3! June has arrived with a bang (and some floods). Saturday’s thunderstorms brought quite a deluge to our market and fields, but our crew, friends, and family sprung into action and we escaped without damage or any washed away crops. However, our ducks did sneak out to frolic in the field’s puddles before we caught them and returned them to the coop.

Our crew has been working diligently in the fields harvesting, cultivating, and transplanting. Our most mature tomatoes received their first pruning. Pruning entails snipping suckers and excess branches away to channel the plants’ energy into fruit and flower production and create an environment with plenty of airflow. As the plants grow in size, early pruning helps to prevent disease from festering in tangled branches.

We stayed busy transplanting sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, flowers, Napa cabbage, basil, and cucumbers. We weeded the fields by hand and with our tractor’s basket weeder, and began construction on our new washing and processing station, which will feature some fun new tools—including a washing machine converted to dry baby greens!

Our events and workshops have also kicked off including Weekend Farm Chores, Thursday night Oyster Shuck, and our Local Dinner Series. DIY Pizza Pies was rained out, but will continue next weekend. On Sunday, our first of six farm dinners with Chef Jack Formica and Chef Alan Wyse was a huge success and a lovely celebration of local foods from our farm and our neighbors. Be sure to keep an eye on the events calendar for approaching events and dinners!

This week we welcomed new insects to the farm. The Prfct Earth Project hosted a ladybug release on Saturday. The ladybugs are an incredibly beneficial insect that eat aphids, small insects that pose a constant challenge for organic farmers. We’ve spotted them lurking around our tomatoes, bok choi, and pepper plants, so the ladybugs arrived at a great time. On Sunday, a new swarm of bees moved into our hive. Despite our efforts to bundle the hive for the winter, a mouse snuck in and ate through it forcing the bees to move upwards and freeze to death. Fortunately, a beekeeper friend of ours captured a swarm and gave them a new home at the farm.

Summer may just be arriving, but things already feel like they are in full swing. Our crops are loving the rain, but so are the weeds! We know what we will be doing a lot of this week!

This week's box:

  • Baby Lettuce Mix
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Green Garlic
  • Optional additions for those who desire: Boc Choi and Head Lettuce

To pick in the fields:

  • The herb garden is open

This week's rotating bread: 

  • Carissa's Honey Oat Loaf 

Recipe Suggestions:

The cutting greens love the cool and wet days we've been having, so take advantage of the abundance of salad greens before the heat of summer arrives. The green garlic is great in dressings, as well as so many of the herbs from the herb garden. (The Green Goddess bunches that were in Week 1's share never get old!) 

If you're feeling funky, try your hand at fermenting a kimchi using the green garlic, kohlrabi, Napa cabbage, and radishes. Here is a recipe for basic kimchi.

Try this recipe for Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Kohlrabi

2018: Week 2

Thanks everyone who joined us for our welcome mixer and field tour. If you couldn't join us and have questions about your share or the fields or farm in general, please let us know. One of the reasons we were eager to get everyone together at the start of this season is to share with you everything we're celebrating in our tenth season and to thank you for joining us as members. We'll spend a lot of time this year reflecting on our first ten seasons and getting excited about the next ten. As we look back we are particularly grateful to our CSA, along with donors, board members, farmers market customers, farmer neighbors, and everyone who participated in the conservation of our farmland that Amber Waves Farm is fortunate enough to own!

Each season we continuously strive to become better farmers, land stewards, educators, and community members, all the while trying to maintain a sustainable operation. We're pursuing each of these goals in a few avenues. First, in the fields, we work diligently to plan the season to have well-timed crops, a solid crew of Apprentices, the proper equipment to get the job done, and a plan to take care of our soils. Every season our planning and timing improves, although we know there will be surprise challenges related to weather, pests, disease, and dozens of other variables that are out of our control. Next, we aim to offer a robust schedule of community-based events and educational opportunities, including work with local elementary schools and youth organizations, our season-long Apprenticeship Program for farmer training, and fun events for families at the farm, including weekend Chores with a Farmer and dinners in the field. Finally, we are thrilled to have the Amber Waves Market (and now, the Amber Waves Kitchen!) as a tool to access the broader public for food education, as a place to showcase the produce we and our neighboring farmers grow, and as a friendly space for friends and families to gather and enjoy Amagansett. The Amber Waves Market helps underwrite the programming we do with schools, families, and our Apprenticeship Program, and will provide the long-term sustainability we need to thrive for the next many decades. Take advantage of your 10% member discount and support us while you shop!

Now, back to the fields! Each week we get busier and busier out there so I thought I'd share with you a few items from our to-do list for this week: prune the first round tomatoes; trellis the peas; set up irrigation on the Town Lane fields; continue assembling wooden CSA boxes (we make them all ourselves!); weed garlic, raspberries, onions, flowers, and cucumbers, transplant: tomatoes #2, tomatillos, husk cherries, peppers, sweet potatoes, lettuce #4. Plus, water the greenhouses, take care of the chickens, harvest for CSA, yikes there's a lot to do, but we love it! Wish us luck and we'll see you next week!

This week's box:

  • Bok Choy (2)
  • Head Lettuce (2)
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radishes
  • Green Garlic
  • Chives
  • Optional additions for those who desire: Lambs Quarters; Edible Flowers

To pick in the fields:

  • The herb garden is open

This week's rotating local cheese:

  • Sundancer (pecorino style) from Catapano Goat and Sheep Dairy

This week's rotating bread: 

  • Carissa's Sourdough

Recipe Suggestions:

Spring is greens season, so we have a couple more weeks before the "solid foods" (cucumbers and zucchini and peas for starters) start coming in. Take advantage by having salads and sauteed greens multiple times throughout the week, your gut will thank you!

For those of you who joined us at our welcome kick-off and got to try Chef Jack's pesto, you can make it, too! Green garlic (the white and light green part of the stem), radish greens, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper ---> food processor, done!

Try this Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy

 

2018: Week 1

 

Welcome to the tenth season of our Amber Waves Farm and our CSA Program! We have had a busy spring getting ready for the season both out in the fields and at the market. In the fields we have been starting and then transplanting seedlings from our greenhouses, sowing seeds directly into the field, and sprucing up the herb garden and raspberries. We've spent much of the spring moving acres of "row cover" or "remay" around the farm, which is a white fabric we use to cover newly planted seeds and plants to increase the temperature of the soil surface and speed up plant growth (you can see large sections of it out in the fields). It takes five or six people to lay out a piece of remay; the leader begins unrolling it from its spool by grabbing the end and then walking through the field between two beds. The remaining crew spreads themselves out, hopping in to support and carry the remay about every 40 feet after the leader. After we have it extended the length of the field, we tack down the long edge (about 2-300 feet, our standard bed length), and then together we jump across one bed at a time, extending the fabric to its full width of about 30 feet, covering four or five beds. In order to keep the remay in place the crew has filled hundreds of sandbags to firmly weigh it down at regular intervals along the edge; if the wind catches an edge it blows of like a sail, and since the pieces are roughly 6,000 square fight, that's a mighty powerful force! When things are going well, this process takes about 20 minutes, and row cover is an incredibly effective tool in buying us days or even weeks of expedited growing time by creating a micro-climate for young plants that is a few degrees warmer than the air temperature; it's also a great pest-protection measure from pests that devour spring greens, like flea beetles. Last week we had a day when things did not go so well; we found ourselves on Town Lane working to cover a new planting of cucumbers as quickly as possible before Tuesday's driving rain storm began. We had the new piece completely set up, but evidently not well-enough tacked down, and the wind took it. We were able to save the new piece from blowing away entirely, but we all we could do was roll it into a giant ball and retreat from the fields completely drenched as the wind, rain, and thunder blew across the field. Fortunately, we were successful in replacing that piece the following day, and we typically stop using remay in early June, so we're almost in the clear, just hold on remay (literally)! Growing spring food is hard! The crops are slow, the weeds are fast, the insects are hungry, and the crew is new. So after a couple months of the work described above, we're excited to kick off the season with some luscious greens and radishes that are flourishing in the fields despite the cold spring temperatures and sometimes challenging conditions.

This week's box:

  • Pea Shoots
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli Rapini (so young and tender, eat it raw chopped in a salad or in a quick steam or saute)
  • Bok Choy
  • Pea Shoots
  • Edible Flowers (great on salads)
  • Green Goddess Herb Bunch
  • 3 Seedlings of your choice (herbs, flowers, and lots of veggies available!) 

This week's Cheese Share:

  • Fresh Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

This week's Bread Share:

  • Selection from Carissa's Breads

**The fruit share begins the week of June 19th

This Week's Recipes:

We farmers think you should make yourself a nice arugula salad topped with a sprinkling of the edible flowers and a fresh dressing made with the "Green Goddess" herb bunch. Our farmer-style approach to herbed dressing is to finely chop (or food processor) the whole bunch (woody stems removed first) and blend with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. The herbs are very flavorful, so the herb to oil and vinegar ratio is small and you should be able to make enough dressing for a few salads.

If you're into grilling this weekend, try this recipe for pea shoot pesto as a fresh, bright side to any chicken, meat, or fish on the grill. Andy while you're at it, slice the bok choy lengthwise, drizzle in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put that on the grill too! A few minutes per side, or browned to your liking. 

2017: Week 26

Good morning from the farm!

Wow, we can't believe it is already week 26, our last box of the season!

Our first frost this past weekend helped sweeten up one of our last-to-ripen specialty crops: Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes. Check out the recipes for a sweet sounding hash!

This week's box includes:

  • Italian Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Carrots
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunchokes (new!)

This week's rotating bread share:

Carissa's

This week's rotating cheese share:

Fresh Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

This week's fruit share:

Apples

Recipes:

Sunchoke Kale Hash

Vegetable Soup (Use the kale, sweet potatoes or jerusalem artichokes, parsley, peppers, carrots and garlic in this one!)

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

 

2017: Week 25

Hi from the farm!

We've only got two more boxes left in this seasons CSA share. It is incredible how fast time flies....it feels like just yesterday it was Memorial Day Weekend and our fields were mostly empty, just waiting to be filled with plants. Our fields are mostly empty now too, but seeded with cover crops like rye and peas to help prevent erosion and add fertility to our soil throughout the winter months. The wet weather we experienced last Sunday prevented us from getting into the fields with tractors to start our garlic planting, but we were able to get in a few beds yesterday before the rain. We will be planting nearly 400 lbs. of garlic seed for next year, enough to make sure our CSA will get some every week. In the early weeks, they will get green garlic (young garlic that hasn't yet matured), followed by garlic scapes (the flowering part of the plant that we must harvest in order for the plant to direct its energy to bulb production), followed by fresh garlic (the first of the harvest is always incredible juicy), and lastly our cured or dried garlic will carry us through the fall and well into the winter. If we're lucky, we'll have enough to last us all the way through to the next years harvest. 

This week's box includes:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Beets (from Bear Roots Farm in Barre, VT)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Spicy Salad Mix
  • Radishes
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cubanelle Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cayenne Pepper

This week's rotating bread share:

Carissa's

This week's rotating cheese share:

 

This week's fruit share:

 

Recipes:

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Sage Dipping Sauce (help yourself to some sage in the herb garden!)

Pickled Brussel Sprouts

Bok Choy Kimchi

  • Sub the Daikon for the Round Radishes in your box.
  • Throw the Collard Greens in there instead of the cabbage.
  • Use the fresh cayenne instead of the red chile flakes.