2016: CSA Box Week 25

This week’s box contains the debut of Jerusalem artichokes, or “sun chokes.” We think it’s a pretty fitting addition to this week’s box on election day today, since they are a 365-day crop (meaning we planted them this time last year, they grow for a full year before they’re harvestable), the timing of which feels like it mirrors the never-ending more-than-year-long saga leading up to today’s national election. They’re a root crop that resembles ginger in appearance, but if you’ve never had them, trust us, they’re nothing like ginger! We call them “sun chokes” because of the sunflowers produced by each cluster of roots throughout the summer. They’re a perennial, and are “supposed to” spread like crazy, so we hope they’ll become an Amber Waves mainstay for years to come. Sun chokes are typically harvested after the first heavy frost…which we haven’t had yet…but we’ve been waiting long enough! We didn’t want to risk them never making it into your box in 2016, so frost or not, they’re making an appearance in this week’s share and also next week’s pick up, which is the last of the season. There are a few recipes for these babies below, we hope you enjoy them!

This week’s box also contains an interesting collection of a variety of intense flavors and textures…from spicy (mustard greens, jalapenos, radishes), to sour (sorrel), to sweet (sweet potatoes, pie pumpkin, and even the kale this time of year!) to fresh, bright, and pungent (celery, parsley). You can prepare this week’s share in a variety of ways – by making a selection of soups and salads, a roasted or sautéed vegetable medley, and there’s even potential for a pie in there! There are some recipes below to get you started, have fun!

This week’s box:

  • Celery (pungent, a little goes a long way!)
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Italian Kale (getting sweeter this time of year!)
  • Mustard Greens (spicy, great addition to green salad or roast a chicken/fish on top of a bed of mustard greens – the greens soften and absorb the juices but still maintain some of their spice)
  • Sorrel (sour, tangy herb)
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Pie Pumpkin (not just for decoration – it’s great for soups and pies!)
  • Sweet Potatoes (you may have a stockpile of these going by now, they should store well in the pantry for weeks to come)
  • Jerusalem Artichokes (sun chokes, suggestions below!)
  • Jalapeños
  • Yellow Onion

In the fields to pick:

  • Herb Garden
  • The last few cosmos, nasturtiums, raspberries

This week’s bread share:

  • Sourdough: Carissa’s one-and-one-half pound sourdough loaf is made using a natural rising agent first cultured in Amagansett in 1968. The starter is combined with bread flour, salt, and water, then given days to reach maximum flavor and peak fermentation before.

This week’s cheese share:

  • Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

This week’s fruit share:

  • Apples from Briermere Farms

This week's recipes:

2016: CSA Box Week 24

It’s finally chilly out there! So much so that our coolers feel like warmers, since they’re warmer than the outside air temperature. In between CSA harvest days we’re making great progress cover cropping our fields and cleaning up the barns and greenhouses for winter, we’re aiming to be completely cleaned up and closed down by Thanksgiving! This time of year is also when our food pantries start serving more local families, so we, like many other local farms, support those efforts by making pantry deliveries a couple times each week. If this is a program you’d like to help support, let us know!

Like all our fall boxes, there are a lot of greens this week! We’re loving the mustard greens as a “bed” under roasted chicken or fish. If you’ve had your fill of salads and sautés, remember you can always use fall greens (the ovation mix is a great contender) as the base for a fall greens pesto (recipe below) that is great on pasta or as a dip for your favorite chips/veggies/crackers/snacks!

This week’s box:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Ovation Greens Mix
  • Mustard Greens
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage (great shredded as a topping for fall fish tacos or veggie quesadillas)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pickles! (made from our own cucumbers this summer)
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Delicata Squash

In the fields to pick:

  • Herb Garden
  • Cosmos (hanging on until the frist frost…)

This week’s fruit share:

  • Apples and Pears from Briermere Farms

This week’s bread share:

  • Classic Loaf from Carissa's Breads: Carissa's signature two-pound loaf is made with locally grown whole wheat flour, which is milled just before baking, then blended with bread flour, salt, water, and yeast.

This week’s cheese share:

  • Chevre from Catapano Dairy

This week's recipes:

2016: CSA Box Week 22

Here’s a sneak peek at Amber’s to-do list this week, we’re staying busy!:

  • Harvest for CSA (of course)
  • Remove all remaining tomato stakes from the field
  • Remove mulch and irrigation from the fields
  • Clean out and retire the small cooler for the season
  • Harvest all sweet potatoes (about 3,000 lbs…)
  • Start breaking apart garlic seed (separating heads into individual cloves) to be planted the last week of October
  • Glean and freeze everything we can for the winter!
  • End of season meetings with crew members
  • Head over to the Milk Pail in Watermill for an annual farm tour of their operation

This week’s box:

  • Arugula
  • Ovation Mix (mixed greens)
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Peppers (the last of them)
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Jalapenos
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (great for pies and soups, see recipes below, and check out this article in Edible East End!)

This week's recipes:

In the fields to pick:

  • We direct seeded a bed of Cosmos flowers that are ready to harvest! You can find them where the sugar snap peas were in the spring.
  • Raspberries
  • Herb Garden
  • The last of the: flowers, lunchbox peppers

This week's fruit share:

  • Apples and Pears from Briermere Farms

This week's cheese share:

  • Mecox Sunrise from Mecox Bay Dairy

This week's bread share:

  • Black Cocoa Loaf from Carissa’s Breads: these one-and-one-half pound black rye loaves are made with bread flour, local rye flour, cocoa, coffee, molasses, yeast, and salt.

2016: CSA Box Week 21

We are officially in uncharted territory! Our CSA has always wrapped up on Columbus Day weekend, this is the first season we’ve gone deeper into the fall for an extended 26-week season – thank you for joining us!  We’ve mentioned over the last few weeks that this time of year we’re working to get things out of the fields (food, stakes and trellising, spent crops, etc.) while also getting new things into the fields (winter cover crops now and garlic in a few weeks). The fall to-do list is similar for many farms, and with such a large, great crew this season we’ve been able to stay on top of things – so much so that last week we sent this season’s apprentices up to Vermont to help our friends at Bear Roots Farm (http://bearrootsfarm.com/) put a dent in the massive fall harvest on their farm. This work trip was a great way not only for Amber Waves to support our fellow farmers, but also gave our crew a chance to break out of the monotony of the same fields every day and be introduced to a different farm and growing style. Our friends Jon and Karin left the east end a few years ago (they formerly ran Sunset Beach Farm in Sag Harbor) for more space and to start a new, fantastic farm in Vermont. While we usually visit our friends in the winter when we all have more time to travel and relax, this work exchange is a new way for us to collaborate more meaningfully despite the distance between us. Plus – our crew brought back carrots, which were not successful for us this season, and which are making an appearance in your box this week. Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Arugula
  • Ovation Salad Mix
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

In the fields to pick:

  • Raspberries
  • Flowers
  • Shishito & Lunchbox peppers
  • Herb Garden

This week’s cheese share:

  • Catapano Dairy Chevre

This week’s fruit share:

  • Apples and Pears from Briermere Farms

This week’s bread share:

  • Brioche Loaf: Carissa’s golden buttery brioche loaf is baked using bread flour, locally grown freshly milled whole wheat flour, butter, milk, eggs, yeast, sugar & salt. Each loaf is washed with egg, cream & honey just before baking. Makes an amazing french toast!!

This week's recipe suggestions:

  • If farmers ran the world, we would do a roasted vegetable medley with the broccoli, butternut, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and carrots (tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, at 375 for a half hour) and eat it throughout the week. (Even leftover for breakfast with a fried egg on top!) And we’d use those crisp fall greens for a week’s worth of salads. Easy!
  • Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad

2016: CSA Box Week 20

This week’s box is a true collision of summer and fall, which is what the fields feel like right now. Radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, and cutting greens are thriving while in nearby fields we’re removing tomato stakes, mowing zucchini and other spent summer crops, and turning the soil over to prepare for winter cover crops. For those of you joining us for the “Columbus Day” share, we hope you enjoy this last box of the season! For those of you who are staying with us through Thanksgiving, there are still six more weeks ahead of delicious, ever-sweetening produce due to the decreasing temperatures we’ll see in the next month.

For the last seven years we’ve marked the conclusion of the CSA season with our Oktoberfeast Party, which is easily our favorite among the many events we host at the farm each year.  This year’s feast doesn’t mark the end of the season, since we’ve extended the CSA through Thanksgiving, but it still functions as a celebration of the great year we’ve had so far. This event brings our CSA community together to share a meal comprised of the best of what’s produced by not only our farm, but also our friends on neighboring farms, including Quail Hill Farm, Balsam Farms, Mecox Bay Dairy, The Milk Pail, and Briermere Farms. As you can imagine, we and the crew spend nearly all of our daylight hours working, hurrying, and generally pushing hard through the farming season. Inviting our friends, families, and neighbors to join us for a meal at the farm is one of the most gratifying ways to reflect upon the season, and for us farmers to see the farm as a place of pleasure and leisure – if only for a few hours! We hope you’ll join us for this year’s feast!

This week’s box:

  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Arugula
  • Ovation Greens Mix (for salad or quick steam)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatillos
  • New England Pie Pumpkin (decorative but also deliciously edible)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chives

This week's recipes:

In the fields to pick:

  • Shishito Peppers (they’re all red now! But still sweet, give them a try)
  • Lunchbox Peppers
  • Flowers
  • Raspberries
  • Herb Garden

This week’s cheese share:

  • Fresh Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties in East Hampton

This week’s fruit share:

  • Apples and pears from Briermere Farms

This week’s bread share:

  • Honey Oat Loaf from Carissa’s Breads: Carissa’s one-and-one-half pound honey oat loaf is baked with bread flour, freshly milled locally grown oats, rolled oats, local honey, oil, salt, water, and yeast. Each loaf is washed with a combination of egg, cream, salt, and honey, then topped with additional oats before baking. 

2016: CSA Box Week 19

During the off-season we travel to visit as many farms and conferences as we can to learn what other farmers are doing, how they’re increasing the quality and efficiency of their operations, and what inspiration we can bring back to our own farm. All farms face challenges based on location, weather, soil type, clientele, economic circumstances, etc. and it’s always a thrill to see how other farmers face their unique set of circumstances. Small farms also tend to be a reflection of the personalities and styles of the farmers in charge – which is another reason why no two farms are alike. Yesterday we had the opportunity to tour the Golden Earthworm in Jamesport through a tour put on by the Amagansett Food Institute. What an extraordinary operation! With a 2,100 member CSA, 70 acres in production, and 20 years of farming experience, the Golden Earthworm is massive in scale compared to ours, but there are always so many things to be learned from our neighbors. In particular these farmers specialize in the use of specialized, precise field equipment that enables them to achieve extreme efficiency in the fields. We aspire to be as organized as Matt and Maggie, the farmer-owners there, who manage 20 employees and more than 40 pick-up locations, not to mention their CSA membership of more than 2,000. Despite the rain, I have a pep in my step today thinking about what the future holds for Amber Waves and how we can continue to improve and borrow ideas from our neighbors – a CSA that size isn’t in the cards for us, but we do love their field management style! We love knowing that Long Island is a place of agricultural ingenuity and varied farming styles, and we’re honored to be part of that community!

This week’s box:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Baby Kale salad greens
  • Tokyo Bekana (Asian green great for salads or quick sauté)
  • Parsley
  • Hakurei Turnips (cut in half and saute in butter…you won’t be sorry)
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Cute Mini Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli

This week's recipes:

This week’s bread share:

  • Carissa’s Salty Soured Pickled Rye: this one-and-one-half pound loaf is baked with a combination of bread flour, locally grown rye flour, salt, pickle brine, caraway seeds, and a natural rye starter that was first cultured in Southampton over 15 years ago.

This week’s cheese share:

  • Sigit (Gruyere-style cheese) from Mecox Bay Dairy

This week’s fruit share:

  • Peaches & Apples from Briermere Farm

In the fields to pick:

  • Shishito Peppers
  • Lunchbox Peppers
  • Flowers
  • Raspberries (until this rain..)
  • Herb Garden

2016: CSA Box Week 17

We’re really starting to feel the shift in the weather at the farm! Chilly mornings are a welcome change from the sweltering heat of August. As we move past the rush of summer high season we’re enjoying a slightly slower pace and shorter daily to-do lists. These days we’re mapping out the major projects that need to get done in the fall – mowing and tilling in crops, planting winter cover crops, cleaning up the greenhouses, and putting the barn back in order (it gets a little disorganized in there during the season…) are all on our list. This week we’re focusing on bringing in all the winter squash, which we plan to have in the box each week for the remainder of the season. This week’s squash is delicata, a crew favorite, which you can read about and find recipe suggestions for here. As we dig through our beds of sweet potatoes it’s hard for us to leave the beautiful greens behind, so those are making another appearance in your share this week (in case you didn’t get to them last time. We recommend steaming them like you would spinach, or chopping them up and including them in an omelet, frittata, or lasagna.

This week’s box:

  • Russian Kale
  • Sweet Potato Greens
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red and Yellow Sweet Peppers (cubanelles and bells)
  • Delicata Squash
  • Salsa pack (tomatillos, san Marzano tomatoes, jalepeno pepper, onion, garlic – throw it all together in the Cuisinart or rough chop!)
  • Beefsteak & Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Radishes

This week’s fruit share:

  • Peaches and Rasberries from Briermere Farms

This week’s Cheese Share:

  • Chevre from Catapano Dairy

This week’s bread share:

  • Sweet Potato & Potato Loaf: Carissa's Breads golden sweet potato & potato loaf loaf is baked using bread flour, locally grown freshly milled whole wheat flour, local sweet potatoes, local potatoes, butter, eggs, yeast & salt. Each loaf is washed with egg just before baking.

In the fields to pick:

  • Raspberries
  • Husk Cherries
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Sweet Lunchbox Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Herb Garden
  • Flowers

2016: CSA Box Week 16

It’s Labor Day week and we’re taking a breath, giving our crew a couple extra days off, and getting ready for fall! See you next week!

This week’s box:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Kohlrabi
  • Yellow Onion
  • Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Striped cavern tomatoes (great for stuffing and roasting)
  • Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Quail Hill Farm Potatoes
  •  

In the fields to pick:

  • Shishito Peppers
  • Husk Cherries
  • Sweet Lunchbox Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Flowers
  • Raspberries
  • Herb Garden

This week’s fruit share:

  • Mixed peaches & nectarines and Raspberries

This week’s rotating bread share:

  • Brioche Loaf from Carissa’s Breads

This week’s rotating cheese share:

  • Sigit (gruyere style cheese) from Mecox Bay Dairy

2016: CSA Box Week 15

We can’t believe it, but this is the last week of the summer share! For those of you who are with us through Columbus Day or Thanksgiving, there are still many more weeks of fresh summer and fall food coming your way, including sweet potatoes and squash within the next couple weeks! Labor Day feels like a pivotal finish line for us at the farm because nearly all of our vegetable planting is done, with the exception of garlic that we plant in October for next season. Almost all of our fall crops are in the ground and many of them are nearly ready, we’re currently seeding some leafy greens like arugula, bok choy, and spinach along with radishes and turnips that we expect to be beautiful in September.

As members your support of the farm is what makes our work possible. Each season we grow hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables and harvest hundreds of thousands of pounds of food for our community – including you, local restaurants, and food pantries. We produce this food while training a new team of apprentices each season, who join us to develop skills in experience in organic agriculture.  All the while our on-farm educator, Farmer Chris, is busy hosting and teaching school groups, summer camps, and all other farm visitors with his extraordinarily creative lesson plans and activities. We’re thrilled with how the farm has grown and evolved and it’s largely thanks to your support of our work. We’re already looking forward to what’s new for next season, which will of course include a beautiful variety of organic produce, but will also include more events, activities, and eating at the farm. We’d love to know how you like to use the farm and what you would like to do when you’re here, so send us an email or flag us down at pick up! Remember that Amber Waves Farm is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit farm, and that your financial gifts to our dynamic educational programming are fully tax-deductible and make a tremendous impact on our mission to educate both eaters and growers in order to strengthen our food system. Thank you for your support of all we do at the farm!

This week’s box:

  • Zucchini
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Nappa Cabbage
  • Russian Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Cubanelle Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers (spicy – chiles rellenos recipe below)
  • Cayenne Peppers

In the fields to pick:

  • Flowers
  • Herb Garden
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Lunchbox Peppers (so sweet and delicious)
  • Husk Cherries
  • Raspberries are making a comeback

This week's recipes:

Chiles Rellenos

Tomato Kale Quiche in Cheesy Rise Crust

This week’s fruit share:

  • Yellow Peaches and Damson Plums from Briermere Farms

This week’s rotating bread share:

  • Black Cocoa Rye from Carissa’s Breads: these one-and-one-half pound black rye loaves are made with bread flour, local rye flour, cocoa, coffee, molasses, yeast, and salt.

This week’s cheese share:

  • Fresh Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties in East Hampton