2018: Week 13

Hello from the Farm -

With the peak of tomatoes arrive the mozzarella, the basil and… the Basil Downy Mildew. Every year, farmers in the region are hit by the notorious Basil Downy Mildew, or BDM. This disease spreads rampantly and travels with weather and wind patterns. We receive alerts from farmers north and west of us that notify us of their basil status. When the BDM has struck in Massachusetts, we know it only a couple weeks away from arriving on Eastern Long Island. The disease causes discoloration of the leaves that can often be initially mistaken for nutrient deficiency, followed by a dark gray growth on the underside of the leaves.

This year we tested a new variety of basil touted to be BDM resistant, and while it has allowed us to elongate our season, it’s not foolproof. Home gardeners are often lucky to escape the BDM, since it spreads upon large quantities of crops, so your isolated pot of basil on the patio may make it through the summer just fine.

For this reason, basil is optional this week, it is totally edible and mildly affected, but within the next week or so, the mildew will overtake our plants and we will rush to glean what we can and churn out as much pesto as possible!

    This Week’s Box:

    • Heirloom Tomato Boat
    • Beefsteak Tomatoes
    • Bunched Arugula
    • Shishito Peppers
    • Fairytale Eggplant
    • Green Peppers
    • Sungold Cherry
    • Zucchini
    • Garlic
    • Okra - optional
    • Eggplant - optional
    • Tomatillos - optional
    • Basil - optional
    • “Seconds” Tomatoes - optional

    Recipe Suggestions:

    • Use your arugula and grab some optional tomatillos in a Green Harissa used as a sauce, marinade, or spread. Substitute the jalapeno with the highlander pepper in the box (the small, lime one) for a milder version.
    • This recipe for an Arugula Gimlet makes for a refreshing summer cocktail.
    • If you don’t opt to eat all your tomatoes raw, this Tomato and Roasted Garlic Pie is a great way to use all your tomatoes. There are also extra “seconds” available to take on the optional table this week.
    • Grab some optional basil and use the zucchini in your box for a Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

    This Week’s Fruit:

    • Blackberries
    • Peaches

    This Week’s Cheese:

    • Mozzarella

    This Week’s Bread:

    • Carissa’s Sourdough

    In the Fields:

    • Sungold tomatoes
    • Husk Cherries
    • Shishito Peppers
    • Raspberries (If you can spot any. They will make a second appearance in the Fall if we are lucky)
    • Herbs
    • Flowers

    CSA Week 12

    Good Morning!

    The core farm crew every year is made up of our apprentices. This year we have four apprentices (check out this year’s crew) who joined us in early April and will be with us until the end of October.

    As we’ve mentioned before, they are an integral part of the farm’s function and mission. As farmers in training, they are part of an educational program comprised of boots on the ground work as well as lessons and lectures from the farmers on staff. We’ve developed our own curriculum for the apprenticeship pulling from the staples of organic farming, other farming educational programs around the country and have tailored it to our unique geography and farming model. 

    A highlight of the summer is the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s annual conference. Our apprentices will be traveling to Amherst, MA this weekend for three days filled with farming lectures and workshops with other farmers from around the Northeast. They will return with new knowledge, tips and tricks that we hopefully we can incorporate into the remainder of the summer and seasons beyond!

    For recipes this week...

    If you want to enjoy your Sungolds another way besides snacking on them raw, here is a Sungold Vinaigrette recipe

    It’s summer and corn is here! Perfect Grilled Corn on the Cob

    Blistered Shishito Peppers (do the same with the optional Padrons if you choose those!)

    This Week’s Box:

    • Tomatoes
    • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
    • Kale
    • Salsa Pack (onion, tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno)
    • Corn (from our friends at Balsam Farms)
    • Basil
    • Shishito Peppers
    • Mint - optional
    • Padron Peppers - optional (these are the “west coast version” of shishitos and they are quite spicier!)
    • Zucchini - optional
    • Eggplant - optional

    Fruit:

    • Donut Peaches
    • Yellow Peaches

    Rotating Bread:

    • Carissa’s Honey Oat Loaf

    Rotating Cheese:

    • Mecox Atlantic Mist

    In the Fields:

    • Sungold tomatoes
    • Husk Cherries
    • Raspberries (If you can spot any. They will make a second appearance in the Fall if we are lucky)
    • Herbs
    • Flowers

     

    CSA Week 11

    Hello!

    It’s hard to believe we are entering August, greeted by tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers! You can find two of those nightshades in your box this week: eggplant and various peppers. We are giving tomatoes time to size up. The tomatoes in the market were part of our first round that we planted earl  in attempts to have tomatoes as early as possible. Depending on weather, frosts, and luck, early plantings can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. The U-Pick tomatoes are part of a second round of plantings so they are on their way! If you visit the fields, you may be able to spot some orange patches of Sungolds beginning to ripen.

    The nightshade or solanaceous crops are some of our most diverse on the farm. We grow about 15 varieties of eggplant, 30 different peppers, and about 60 varieties of tomatoes. Most of the diversity in tomatoes comes from all the heirloom varieties we grow -- some tried and true and some new experiments. Every year we plant our tomatoes in rainbow order and keep maps of all the different types to track our favorites throughout the summer!

    This Week’s Box:

    • Leeks
    • Garlic
    • Napa Cabbage
    • Cubanelle and Bell Peppers
    • Jalapeno Peppers
    • Fennel
    • Eggplant
    • Lettuce
    • Basil
    • Sunflowers - optional
    • Kale - optional
    • Beets - optional
    • Kohlrabi - optional

    This Week’s Fruit:

    • Nectarines
    • Blackberries

    Rotating Loaf:

    • Carissa’s Sourdough

    Rotating Cheese:

    • Catapano Herb Chevre

    In the Fields:

    • Herbs
    • Flowers
    • (if you spot any) Sungolds

    CSA Week 10

    Good Morning and Hello!

    In this week’s share you’ll find wheat berries! This weekend, farmers Isabel and Laura harvested our wheat with our combine before the rain and just in time to include them in your boxes!

    July is always an intense month on the farm -- anything that happens here is happening now. We harvest for more than half the day and after that, try to stay on top of the weeds that flourish just as much as our crops this time of year. We are also busy transplanting and seeding, sometimes until the last hours of dusk.

    One of the unique and incredibly fulfilling characteristics about this farm is the growth that we witness in our crew over the course of the season. As an educational farm first and foremost, we start every spring with a crew of unskilled farmers. This growth and learning takes patience, time, and of course affects efficiency, but is an integral part of training new farmers. Two of our returning crew members, Laura and Isabel who we mentioned before, were both apprentices last year and have returned to be coordinators of programs on the farm, tractor operators, and helpful instructors for our new apprentices.

    We also welcome additional field hands (we’re still hiring now for those positions!) who sometimes do and sometimes don’t have farming experience. All the fresh hands and minds makes for a special experience on the farm every summer. For our crew, having the opportunity to experience the hustle of July and August is also a true and real way to understand the intensity of production farming -- sometimes baptism by fire is the best way to learn! 

    For your recipes this week...

    A Kale Tabbouleh is a great way to use this tried and true green with some other items in your box.

    Wheat berries you can prepare like rice and include in a savory dish (like a classic wheat berry salad) or have with some honey, milk, and fruit like oatmeal. Check out this tasty recipe, and substitute nuts, spices, and fruits for what you have around your kitchen.

    This Week’s Box:

    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Parsley
    • Zucchini
    • Kale
    • Basil
    • Wheat Berries
    • Head Lettuce
    • Escarole
    • Jumbo Summer Squash - optional
    • Beets - optional
    • Pickling Cucumbers - optional
    • Hakurei Turnip - optional

    This Week’s Fruit (2 of the 3):

    • Peaches
    • Apricots
    • Blueberries

    Rotating Loaf:

    • Carissa’s Salty Soured Pickled Rye

    Rotating Cheese (a choice of):

    • East Hill Creamery Underpass Raclette Style
    • East Hill Creamery Silver Lake Alpine Style
    • Lively Run Dairy Lake Effect Cheddar
    • Lively Run Dairy Blue Yonder

    In the Fields:

    • Flowers
    • Raspberries
    • Herbs
    • Beans

     

    2018: Week 9

    Good Morning from the Fields!

    It’s hard to believe July is already half way through! Many of you may know that we took year off from wheat last year to focus on the opening of our new market. We are back at it this year and ready to harvest in the next week or so. We have wheat spread out over our three fields and it will be a whole new experience for our crew -- everything else on the farm we harvest by hand, not by machinery. The wheat is harvested with a combine which does some, but not all, the work for us.

    In the equipment vein, over the past year the farm has welcomed some new tractor implements that will help us increase efficiency and save time. These include a fertilizer spreader, a sprayer which (we will use to spray organic pest and disease preventative controls), a rototiller which is used to till and prepare ground for planting, and a direct seeder, which ensures we have constant supplies of crops like radishes and baby greens all summer long.

    If you don't feel like spending too much time in the kitchen during the hot days, here is very quick and easy recipe for braised leeks, zucchini, and garlic. A great side dish or topping to burgers or to throw in a panini with the rotating Sigit cheese! 

    Another quick recipe is one for refrigerated pickles with your Kirby cucumbers this week. 

    The Thai basil is great in a stir-fry - pick up some optional boc choi to include! Grab some mint from the herb garden for this Thai zucchini recipe. 

    Enjoy your boxes and we’ll see you next week!


    This week’s box:

    • Lettuce
    • Pickling Cucumbers
    • Zucchini
    • Kale
    • Leeks
    • Garlic
    • Thai Basil
    • Italian Basil
    • Boc Choi - optional
    • Zucchini - optional
    • Beets - optional
    • Nasturtium - optional

    U-Pick in the Field:

    • Flowers
    • Herbs
    • Beans
    • Raspberries

    Rotating Loaf:

    • Carissa’s Honey Oat

    Rotating Cheese:

    • Mecox Sigit (Amanda’s favorite!)

    Rotating Fruit:

    • Blueberries
    • Apricots

    2018: Week 8

    Hello from the Farm! 

    We are welcoming garlic this week! Past boxes have had variations of garlic -- the green garlic and the scapes -- but this week we have our first mature bulbs. This marks the beginning of a heavy harvest: an acre of garlic over the next days! We must get the garlic out of the ground quickly. Some inclement weather can rot the entire crop.

    After all the garlic is pulled, it must be cured. The garlic in this week’s box is uncured, meaning the outer skins have not been dried so the paper on these cloves may be a bit difficult to peel off. The curing process ensures that the garlic will keep and can be stored and used throughout the season. We repurpose our greenhouses into curing houses by setting up long screen tables and laying out all the garlic. The heat and airflow cure and the garlic, drying out their outer sheaths so that cloves inside stay protected and preserved. The curing process also entails sorting by size of bulbs, which then get hung in bundles in from the ceilings of the barn, greenhouses (and possibly the market if we run out of space!) to dry further.  

    We are getting to the point in the season when new crops begin to appear each week! Next up in the Allium family is onions, just around the corner. Stay tuned...

    This Week’s Box

    • Beets
    • Cucumbers
    • Zucchini
    • Lettuce
    • Kohlrabi
    • Swiss Chard
    • Basil
    • Parsley
    • Mint
    • Boc Choi - optional
    • More Cucumbers! - optional
    • Garlic Scapes - optional
    • Kale - optional

    Open U-Pick in the Fields

    • Bush Beans
    • Raspberries
    • Flowers
    • Herb Garden

    Rotating Cheese

    • Villa Mozzarella

    Rotating Loaf

    • Carissa’s Sourdough

    Rotating Fruit

    • Blueberries
    • Red Currants

    2018: Week 7 - Happy 4th of July!

    Happy Independence Day! Our fields are full and summer has arrived in a humid, hot burst just in time for the holiday! As things heat up, the theme this week in the fields is irrigation. This entails manually connecting the miles and miles of drip tape to the irrigation lines we roll out each season. This can be a toilsome task, but is imperative to keep our plants well watered during scorching stretches without any rain.

    Even though we are entering the peak of the summer, we are already thinking ahead and preparing ground for fall crops: cabbage, winter squash, and brussel's sprouts.

    On top our harvests for our market, for CSA, and our wholesale accounts, we also are harvesting daily for some of the most prolific crops. Most crops we harvest as we need them, but some produce so intensely that we must harvest every day to keep up with bounty and maintain plant health. These include summer squashes, cucumbers, peas, broccolini, and sunflowers (so be sure to pick up a fresh bouquet in the market!)

    This week’s box includes chicories, cousins to lettuce with a kick. The frisée in the box is  great addition to a salad.The escarole is quite bitter and best cooked: sautéed, used in soups, or in this recipe, wilted with feta cheese and sweetened with walnuts and honey.

    This quick recipe of roasted summer squash with fennel and thyme is great for the oven and the grill.

    This week’s box:

    • Cucumbers
    • Summer Squash
    • Fennel
    • Chicories - Escarole and Frisée
    • Baby Salad Greens
    • Spigarello Broccoli
    • Scallions
    • Parsley
    • Thyme
    • Kale - optional
    • Garlic Scapes - optional
    • Rhubarb - optional

    Open U-Pick in the Fields:

    • Peas
    • Bush Beans
    • Herbs
    • Flowers that are blossoming

    Rotating Cheese:

    • Assorted Mecox

    Rotating Loaf:

    • Carissa’s Salty Sour Pickled Rye

    Rotating Fruit

    • Blueberries
    • Gooseberries

    2018: Week 6

    Welcome to all of our members who are joining us for the 4th of July shares!! Our CSA is now in full swing.

    The Fourth marks a time when all of our nightshade crops will be right around the corner. This family of plants includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and tomatillos. To keep our eggplants healthy, we have been checking each plant (we have 4,000) every couple of days for the Colorado potato beetle. This beetle ravages the plants’ leaves and lays its eggs on their undersides. Our crew is responsible for physically removing the striped beetles and their neon eggs until the eggplants are mature enough that they are strong enough to handle the pest pressure. The beetles make growing potatoes incredibly difficult and add much more work to eggplants, but it’s all part of organic farming and integrated pest management.

    To keep our tomato plants healthy, we have been pruning and trellising the plants, both which require multiple rounds. These practices channel the plants’ energy into producing bigger, richer fruits and keep the plants free of disease and entanglement.

    This week we also have several events on the farm including Friday Night Oysters, a Spanish Colçotada dinner, and on Saturday, a Beekeeping Workshop as well as our usual Chores with a Farmer and DIY Pizza Workshop.

    For this week's recipe, try a kimchi using the Napa cabbage, garlic scapes, and daikons!


    This Week’s Box:

    • Zucchini
    • Kohlrabi
    • Cucumbers
    • Daikon Radishes
    • Mint
    • Scapes
    • Napa
    • Lettuce
    • Kale
    • Boc Choi - optional
    • Broccolini - optional
    • Broccoli Rabe - optional

    Open in the Fields:

    • Herb Garden
    • Peas
    • Edible Nasturtium Flowers

    Rotating Cheese:

    • Catapano Herbed Chevre

    Rotating Bread:

    • Carissa’s Honey Oat

    2018: Week 5

    Hello from the fields! The heat and long days have been energizing our plants to grow and grow. This week, we welcomed our first sunflowers and some of the first flower buds sprinkling the fields. Our cucumbers have also been beginning to fruit. And while all the new foods and flowers beginning to crop up in the fields are exciting news, one of our favorite summer delicacies has also arrived: the garlic scape! The whimsical looking scapes sprout atop the garlic plants. We snap off the scapes to direct the plant’s energy underground and into the bulb, stimulating rapid growth. These are actually the seed pod of the garlic plant. The scapes still pack a classic allium punch and can be used just as you would use a garlic clove. Our garlic crop from last season was fabulous and we were able to save much of our own seed for another bountiful harvest this season -- good news for all our garlic loving members.

    Happy Summer Solstice!

    This Week’s Box:

    • Garlic Scapes
    • Lettuce
    • Baby Greens
    • Swiss Chard
    • Parsley
    • Kale
    • Beets
    • Zucchini
    • Radishes - optional
    • Napa Cabbage - optional
    • Boc Choi - optional
    • Broccoli Spigarello - optional

    In the Fields:

    The herb garden is open

    Recipes

    After all the ado about garlic scapes, here are some recipes to help you enjoy:

    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.