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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Winter CSA Week 1: Welcome to our first extended season share!

Beets looking good in the field before the big chill


We have had a couple of years now of offering just a single pick up Thanksgiving box, but this is the first season where we are offering an extension of CSA with three pickups happening from November to December. We had a great run of mild autumn weather that kept things growing beautifully in the field until the recent cold snap. The cold finished off our farm season rather abruptly and we aren’t going to have quite the gorgeous greens we were hoping for (even though we spent some extra time double covering them and trying to keep them tucked in and safe). We still have lots of beautiful veggies in our storage areas and tucked under layers of row cover that did survive the blast of winter weather.
We have been busy on the farm the last couple of weeks! We have been getting the last of the fertility and cover crops into the fields, picking up irrigation, taking down tents and fences, harvesting and weeding. The short (and cold!) days make the work a little harder and a little tougher to stay motivated, but it all has to get done before the snow really starts to fly.
hoeing the arugula before covering
As usual for me, the shorter days also mean more time in front of the computer, meetings with colleagues and training workshops for myself and the crew. We’ve attended two workshops in the last few weeks- one on No-till Vegetable farming (basically, that this is a technique that is very beneficial to soil structure and organic matter and all of us farmers could do more to incorporate areas of no-tilling into our operations) and another on Lean Farming principles (improving efficiency and organization and morale on your farm and with your team). Both were excellent and we learned a lot that we are going to try a few things on our farm next year. Never stop learning and growing!

Storing these veg in your own kitchens:

Winter squashes- actually do best on top of the fridge. They like the warmth and not a lot of humidity, just don’t forget them there! (I typically find one squishy gross squash disaster up there in the spring…)
Carrots and beets and other roots: keep in their plastic bag (or better yet, put them in a zipper lock bag and squeeze the air out) and put in one of bottom drawers of your fridge. They like it cold and with just a little humidity, not a lot or they will try to grow).
Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce: So these also do well in a high humidity fridge drawer. Cabbage will last for months, but kales and lettuce need to be eaten sooner!
Potatoes: These like to be at room temperature or colder, but not freezing and low humidity. The important thing for them is darkness. Throw out any green potatoes- they are bad for you. I keep mine in a dark corner cabinet.
Sweet potatoes: similar to regular potatoes for temperature, tho if you have room they will last longer in the humid drawer of your fridge. Don’t worry about light for them- and don’t worry about any little shoots (those are edible actually).
Onions and garlic: room temperature is fine. The red ones will want to sprout, don’t worry about that, eat the green shoots (I actually let mine green shoot for most of a winter once and they just kept growing back) and eat the whole onion in a short time (you will be getting more!)
beautiful Powisset Farm in Dover

What’s in Your Share this Week:

·         Cabbage, green
·         Leeks
·         Romanesco cauliflower
·         Onions, red and white
·         Kale
·         Lettuce/Salad
·         Brussels
·         Butternut and Acorn Squashes from Aprilla Farm in Essex, MA
·         Sweet potatoes, Powisset Farm, Dover
·         Potatoes, Powisset Farm, Dover
·         Carrots
·         Beets
·         Apples, Cider Hill Orchard, Beverly
·         Bunched herbs: Sage and Rosemary
·         Celery (if it survives the cold snap- use the tops!!!)

Upcoming Engagement and Education Events- Register on-line (https://goo.gl/otZo12)  or in the farmstand:

It might be cold outside and winter may be coming upon us quickly, but there is a lot of fun activities starting up on the farm for the winter season.
·         Chestnut Hill Art and Craft Festival December 1st from 7-9p and December 2nd from 10-5: this annual event is not actually a Trustees event, but is closely related and part of the farm history. Come enjoy and buy from local artists and craftsman for unique and special holiday gifts. We will be there with gift baskets and a variety of edible farm products! This event is held at 2 locations- one is across from the farm at 10 Chestnut Hill Rd, but please park in the trailhead parking area. The other location is at the L’Brie Fellowship on 79 Lynbrook Rd in Southborough, just a few short minutes away from Chestnut Hill.
·         Woodland Décor Workshop- Saturday, December 2nd from 11-1. Inspired by the beauty around you and want to try your hand at making your own gorgeous holiday decoration? A wreath, a swag, or more? Walk through the woods of the farm with Kira and harvest some beauty to turn into a gift or decorations in the coziness of our classroom. All materials provided. $
·         Barnyard Brew Hike!!!! Start your weekend early and come take a walk in the moonlight with us in December! We’ve been hearing owls, nighthawks, deer and coyotes lately (don’t worry- they are TERRIFIED of us humans but are awesome running across the landscape under the moon). We will have either a craft brewer joining us or a selection of brews to enjoy from a local brewery and we will mingle and delight in the full moon and the beauty of the autumnal season. It will probably be cool and brisk, so dress accordingly even though we will finish our hike by the campfire with some tasty treats. Thursday evening from 6-730p on December 7th.
·         Digital Photography Series: Places and Objects Our own former Trustees photography master, Mark Gardner is leading this photography series on the farm. Bring your own cameras, but Mark will guide and lead this photography adventure around the farm. $
·         Farmstead Solstice Stroll- On December 21 from 6-8p Join us as we celebrate the winter solstice, a traditional new year’s holiday that dates back 5,000 years and has deep agricultural roots. Join us as we light up the night with a Solstice stroll and celebration at the farm. Participants will meet in the parking lot for a guided candlelit walk through the woods that will include presented passages from the story "The Shortest Day" by Wendy Pfeffer. After hiking the trails throughout our pastures we'll gather back in the orchard to warm up by a fire and enjoy hot chocolate and s'mores as we welcome the new season under the stars.

Farmstand:
This week! CSA Members take 10% off dry goods in the farmstand!!! That’s right, stock up on
Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst, MA after one of our workshops
honey, puree, tea, coffee and more. Other sales going on as well, look for them this week.

Our farmstand will continue to be open until Thanksgiving on Tuesdays and Saturdays for our regular hours and we will be open after that on Tuesdays during Meat CSA pickups so don’t forget about us. If you haven’t already, like our page on Facebook so that if/when we update days/hours open, you don’t miss out.

Desiree’s Favorite Holiday Recipes:

So Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love it for the way that we all gather together as friends and family and hold each other in light and feel gratefulness for another year, another season and for the gift of plenty. This is the time of year when I give to food pantries at nearly every shopping trip and try to figure out how I can be more giving throughout the year to those in need. I set small goals for myself by saying- this year, I will donate X amount every month. I will research what is needed most at my local food pantries and buy a little more of that. The farm donates extra produce every week during the main season to the Southborough Food Pantry, but these are my personal goals. I encourage all of you to do the same. Recently our 4-H club (Powisset Farm’s Hens and Hogs) sat outside a grocery in Medway for 2 hours and collected 600 pounds of food and over $200 to donate to Natick’s A Place to Turn! It was amazing!!!! Never doubt that you can make someone’s life a little more secure by giving just a couple of dollars, cans, boxes of food or sanitary supplies every week.
Ok. Again, I love Thanksgiving and I love making food. I always make the turkey (usually a huge one) and stuffing, a pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry relish, mash, gravy and whatever anyone else that was coming forgot. This year, my parent have emigrated to Florida and can’t make it back up for the holiday and so we will be bringing the said giant turkey to a friend’s house. I also plan to add some of the following to the menu since my mum won’t be coming to make them. 

Sweet Potato Souffle from Paleohacks.com by Megan Olson

Sweet potatoes are delicious- and they are super versatile, making a pie as easily as they make a French fry. I don’t think we’ve made a sweet potato holiday recipe more than once- I think my mum found it to be a challenge to create a new delicacy every year from this veg. I recently abandoned my favorite twice-baked recipe (because all my sweet potatoes were small and we had a no dairy/refined sugar guest) and instead opted to make a soufflé with farm eggs. It wasn’t too sweet and make a lovely side dish that was light and beautiful and surprisingly easy.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and mashed
  • 1 T butter (for dairy-free use coconut oil)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut flour
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 T finely chopped pecans
  • 1 T finely chopped walnuts
  • Coconut oil for greasing
  • Coconut sugar for dusting
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 1½ quart soufflé baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside.
  • Heat a medium saucepan to medium-low heat. Add butter and coconut flour to the pan, whisking until combined. Slowly add the coconut milk while continuing to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the mashed maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, sweet potatoes and egg yolks into the mixture. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add egg whites and mix with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully fold eggs whites into the sweet potato mixture. Do not over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish. Add finely chopped pecans and walnuts evenly on top of the soufflé. Sprinkle a bit of coconut sugar on top.
  • Bake 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and puffed.
  • Serve immediately with coconut cream or dairy-free ice cream.
Roasted carrots and brussels with dried cranberries and toasted pecans

I love this. It’s so good I want to eat it all the time. Take the time to toast the pecans.
Ingredients:
1 lb cleaned Brussels sprouts, quartered
½ lb carrots, cut into strips or chunks
Olive oil
Maple balsamic dressing
Salt/pepper to taste
½ cup of dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Toss sprouts and carrots together with the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until the veggies are fork tender but not soft, about 20-30 mins. Drizzle with Maple balsamic dressing and turn to coat the veggies. Return to the oven for another 5-10mins. Remove and toss in the cranberries and toasted pecans and serve.
 
Cranberry Relish
Not like other ‘relishes’, but a sweet and tangy marmalade-chutney that makes the turkey come to life. I usually make a little more and can it for use on other turkey concoctions later in the year.
Ingredients:
1lb fresh cranberries
2 oranges
1 ¼ cup sugar
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted
Directions:
In a medium saucepan on med-low heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, juice of both oranges and the zest from one orange. Heat slowly and stirring occasionally until the cranberries pop. Remove from the heat, add the toasted nuts and dried cherries and stir well. Put into a nice serving dish and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Cans well. Is a good one to make ahead of time (with the pies!)

Visit some of the Special Places in your area during the school break! We explored two new ones in the last month! Agassiz Rock and Halibut Point Reservations. They were both so fun and beautiful that I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Exploring the rocky shore and tidepools of Halibut Point Reservation in Gloucester




Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 20: Thank you all- we couldn’t ask for a better community


Peaking Fall Foliage along our trail systems

This is such a bittersweet time- we have so enjoyed reconnecting and getting to know this community all summer. We have watched you eat more greens than you ever thought you could, try a few new things and find new favorites. We have had such a thrill watching kids happily snack on raw peppers, cherry tomatoes, beans and carrots during distribution, and sometimes, kale and bok choy. We are so lucky to have you all. Thanks for braving the wet spring, the muggy summer and the warm fall to be with us every week. We hope that you have enjoyed coming to the farm every week and eating our delicious food and we hope that we see you again in a couple of weeks for Winter CSA pickups and again next season. We are now accepting deposits to hold your CSA place for the 2018 season- you can pay that right in the farmstand!
We will have the farmstand open for the next few weeks on Tuesdays, Fridays (2-6) and Saturdays (9-2) until the weekend before Thanksgiving.
I will post a tally of the pounds of vegetables harvested for all of you over the course of this season in a couple of weeks (after I’ve finished entering ALL that data). I also plan on getting every one of Kim’s recipes from this summer and posting those for you all as well.
Fay School 7th Grade Volunteers harvesting!
Last week we had the 7th grade class from Fay School join us for their service learning week. They came for three full days of pulling up plastic and drip tape, weeding, harvesting, clean-up and more. We look forward to this group coming every year to help us get critical fall work done. It would take us weeks to get all the plastic from the fields- this way, we get most of it done in just a couple days. ‘many hands make for light work’ is never so true as when you are trying to put fields to bed for the winter.
Winter Veggie CSA starts in mid-November and we are getting lots of sign-ups so get in on the action soon so that we don’t run out of these beautiful boxes stuffed full of fresh greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, roots, brussels and more. Sign up in the farmstand or here.
Our Meat CSA is also taking off! 2 share options to cater to your meat needs. All meats (pork, beef, chicken and lamb) raised on Trustees farms here in Massachusetts- keep it local! It gets started in just two short weeks. If you have questions, please contact Jesse at jrobertson@thetrustees.org or check out our for more info and sign up!

What’s in Your Share this Week (maybe):

·         PYO- there are still a few flowers left (and plenty of seeds! So grab some dried seed heads to liven up your gardens at home next year)
·         Cabbage, tendersweet
·         Leeks
·         Purple Daikon
·         Onions
·         Peppers, sweet
·         Kale
·         Swiss Chard
·         Lettuce/Salad
·         Fennel
·         Kohlrabi
·         Pumpkin (we didn’t grow these! They are from Ward’s Farm in Sharon)
·         Carrots (from Appleton Farms)

Upcoming Engagement and Education Events:

·         Barnyard Brew Hikes!!!! Start your weekend early and come take a walk in the moonlight with us in November! We’ve been hearing owls, nighthawks and killdeer lately. We will have either a craft brewer joining us or a selection of brews to enjoy from a local brewery and we will mingle and delight in the full moon and the beauty of the autumnal season. It will probably be cool and brisk, so dress accordingly even though we will finish our hike by the campfire with some tasty treats. Thursday evening from 6-730p on November 2.
·         Pumpkin Chuck 5k Trail Run on November 5th from 11a-2p. We have this awesome trebuchet that we like chucking old Halloween pumpkins and for the last couple of years, we’ve had folks bring their old pumpkins out to the farm after Halloween and we chuck them as far as we can with the trebuchet. This is so much fun that we thought we should add a trail run to it so that we can not only get rid of pumpkins, but we can run off those Halloween candy calories at the same time. There are some fun pics and videos of last years pumpkin chucking….Come join us! Sign up here.

Farmstand:
This week! CSA Members take 10% off dry goods in the farmstand!!! That’s right, stock up on honey, puree, tea, coffee and more. Other sales going on as well, look for them this week.

Our farmstand will continue to be open until Thanksgiving on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for our regular hours and we will be open after that on Fridays/Saturdays so don’t forget about us. If you haven’t already, like our page on Facebook so that if/when we update days/hours open, you don’t miss out.
Veggie of the week: Leeks
Leeks are one of those delicious alliums that cross the onion barrier into a vegetable in its own right that makes a lovely side dish and pairs beautifully with creamy sauces or melds into a variety of soups and entrees. They mellow out when caramelized or braised into a sweet and creamy dish that begs to be eaten right out of the pan.

Braised Leeks with Parmesan (courtesy of the NYtimes)
Ingredients:
6 leeks, not too thick, so ours are perfect!
2 Tbsp EVOO
Salt and fresh ground pepper
½ cup dry white wine (Sauc Blanc)
1 ½ ounces of Parmesan, freshly grated
Directions:
Cut the ends and the dark green leaves off the leeks and then cut in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then run under the faucet to remove any sand between the layers (ours are grown on plastic and not hilled, so this step may be unnecessary). Peel off the thick outer layers and discard.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet that will accommodate all the leeks in one layer. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, and cook, shaking them gently and moving them around with tongs, until they are lightly browned 3-4 mins. Season with S&P.
Turn the leeks back over so that the cut side is down. Peel off the outer layers if they are papery as they will not soften when the leeks are braised. Pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add just enough water (or stock) to come just to the top of the leeks. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 mins until the leeks are thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife. Most of the liquid should have evaporated by this time. Preheat the broiler.
Transfer leeks (if needed) to an oiled ovenproof pan and using tongs, turn them so the flat side is up. If there is a lot of liquid left, pour it off. Sprinkle the Parm over the leeks, place under the hot broiler until the cheese melts and is just beginning to color. Remover and serve.