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Friday, May 25, 2018

Farm Blog 3: Bobolinks, Green Grass and Goats, OH MY!

Goats grazing at dusk
The bobolinks are back on the farm with all their black and white chittering! I was able to hear them distantly among the trees for a week before I actually saw one flit through our nesting bird field. Did you know that the farm hosts a 7 acre bird reserve field that is off limits to mowing, grazing and even walking for a 2 month chunk of the summer? This year we have the benefit of the new livestock fences and lots of great new signs that make this even easier to explain and show visitors to the farm that there is a designated area for our bird reserve. The bird reserve serves to help our ground-nesting birds like the charismatic bobolinks, and other less well known birds such as Savannah sparrows, meadowlarks and woodcock, raise their babies (in nests built on the ground) in safety from farm equipment, grazing animals, and FEET. These ground-nesting birds are in decline in our ever increasing suburban landscape as farms disappear and are replaced with short grassed lawns, playing fields and parks so it is pretty awesome that we, as one of the last farms in town (and one that was permanently protected by the town) are able to do our small part to make sure that our town retains the habitat that helps protect these bird species.
Hannah & Rachel transplanting flowers
Killdeer are also busy laying eggs again on the bare ground we conveniently provide for them in our vegetable fields. If you see an ugly green patch or a strange tower of rocks in an otherwise neat field of row veggies, this is most likely the location of a killdeer's nest. We go around them whenever we see them until the eggs hatch and the adorable blue-legged clumsy babies are running around (which they do in less than 3 days from hatching).

CSA News: 

official shareholder emails have yet to go out, but we will be starting on the week of the 11th. If you have any friends that have been procrastinating on sign-up, give them their final 'get it done' because we are very close to selling out for the season (and if you are a peak season shareholder, you might want to sign up now too at the farmstand). The season is plowing forward fast, and we are barely keeping up, but should be ready right on time with our typical assortment of spring greens. Peas are a little spottier than we would like but we are hoping they will fill in- if not, we are gearing up to plant early beans since the soil is so unseasonably warm. Fava beans are growing strong this year!!!! 
Animal News:The goat herd has grown exponentially with the addition of a lovely flock of 20 more does, wethers and bucklings from UMass Amherst. These additional goats will help make our conservation grazing plans come to fruition and we will start to get some of our more robust invasives under control. The entire flock moved into the new livestock barn (it looks like a greenhouse, but is actually a barn) in April and have loved being warm and dry! Our old livestock barn (built into the hill, was adequate for shelter but often damp and so we are happy to have a new home for the goats. A big chunk of the herd (not the dairy girls and their babes) will also be moving down to Weir River Farm in the next month or so to work on cleaning up some troublesome areas there (don't worry they will be back at the end of the summer).
A big flock of laying hens arrived from Moose Hill Farm to help with cleaning up some of our pastures (snails are yucky) and are happily learning how to range on grass and bugs while following behind the goats. Their eggs will be funneling through the Meat CSA and Jesse is pretty tight this season on extras, but if we have them they can be found in the Farmstand fridge.
Chicks- we DO have a small bunch of chicks right now that just arrived last week in the mail. They are heritage breeds and we will be making them available for public viewing at the next Meet the Farmer in June. They are still really small and fragile so we are keeping them tucked away for now.

FARMSTAND: 

The farmstand is filled with gorgeous transplants for your gardens- everything from tea herbs to flowers to tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colors. We are open every Saturday from 9a-2pm until CSA week starts! Get the preview on the new things we are carrying and stock up on your favorite local products- if you know of anything you wish we stocked in the store- let us know!

EVENTS: 

Our annual Running of the Goats was a huge success this year- we are super sorry if you wanted to come and found that it was sold out! Next year we will hopefully (finally) have the goat numbers to have more than one fun run race and so we can have more folks running with the goats. If you were super disappointed- come out on June 2nd from 10a-12p for our Kids' Cuddle Party. We will have our beautiful kid goats in a large pen and it will be open for snuggling with them. Come get your goat baby in before they get too big to fit in a lap.

Recipe of the Week: Desiree's Goat Chorizo and Skillet Gnocchi with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


Ingredients:
1lb Goat chorizo (or Kielbasa, but if you haven't tried our chorizo, its deliciously garlicky without being too spicy)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Powdered garlic
12-24oz of 'skillet gnocchi (I find it at Hannafords in a fridge near the deli)
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
EVOO
garnish: fresh goat chevre, feta or parmesan
good coarse sea salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425. Place the sausage in a roasting pan drizzled with EVOO or Avocado oil, toss the tomatoes with EVOO and sprinkle with a little coarse salt and powdered garlic and put in the same roasting pan with sausage. Roast for about 25-30 mins until sausages are done, and tomatoes are nicely caramelized.
While sausage is cooking- prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Coarsely chop the herbs, and once gnocchi is done, sprinkle it with the herbs and a little coarse salt to taste. Add the tomatoes, chop and add the sausage and toss with a little extra EVOO. Serve with your favorite cheese.

Monday, April 16, 2018

It’s time folks!

look at these little hearts- your CSA loves you.

 If you haven’t signed up for CSA, the time is now. We have limited space this year and I wouldn’t want you to miss out. www.thetrustees.org/chestnut
We also have boxed share pick up sites all over the place these days, so if you have friends or family in Hingham, Leominster, Westborough, Hopkinton, Framingham or Worcester- we are delivering our veggies to all those towns!!!!
It is still snowing. I really thought we were finally done with all of this…after all, I pulled all the taps from the maples and put all the buckets away so it MUST be spring, RIGHT???? The crocuses are BLOOMING, the snowdrops are done and I’m watching snow fall on daffodils, tulips and hyacinth and trying not to weep as I defiantly keep trekking outside without my coat (or a hat or gloves).
So now it is just a waiting game to see when we can get into the fields with tractors and start prepping soil beds for baby plants. The ideal is to be ready to put the first plants and seeds in the ground by April 15th, but it isn’t looking good for that today. Hopefully we will get a little drier and a little warmer soon and our apprentice crew will arrive and we will be able to take off! Bring on SPRING.
Our new apprentice crew arrived this week! We have two apprentices  in the house at #5 (where the new office is) and we are so excited to have their help! They are getting started right away with orientations of all kinds- from tractor & equipment safety and basic mechanics to first aid/cpr trainings, lots of reading and learning our policies, farm history and more. New this year for our crew is livestock chores and animal husbandry! They will be helping us integrate our new sheep and goat herds into the Chestnut Hill Farm landscape. Whoo hoo!

Farm News:

Chillaxin
We have been on constant baby watch here at the farm- the goats were so big even I was worried they were just going to explode. We have a total of 15 babies out of 7 mommas. Twins were had by all and Nutty gave us a set of triplets for the third year in a row.  The goats are ready for spring too- the few warm days we’ve had made them so happy- soaking up the sun in delight as they itched away their dandruff and cashmere undercoats. Their new barn is so very close to being done, the plastic is finally on, but we need to hang gates and build some interior walls (and block a few holes). Then we can move the flock into their new lush living space. We are all looking forward to having a beautiful new space filled with light for our girls.
We have visited two awesome Trustees properties in the last couple of weeks. Rock House Reservation in West Brookfield and Halibut Point Reservation (and State Park) in Rockport. Both are incredible. If you love jumbles of rocky outcropping, winding trails and all the variability of serene water- you will find this in both places. Opt outside one of these weekends and explore some place beautiful. 
Halibut Point in Rockport

Upcoming Events:
Meet the FARMER: Greenhouse edition May 5th 10a-2p
For our first MTF of 2018 we are opening up our greenhouse for a delightful morning of plant sale, farm tours, tastings and more. Come and visit, say hello and get some early season plants for your garden that will brave the chilly nights. Look for kales, mini-cabbages, lettuces, broccoli, chard, beets, herbs, early flowers and more. We will also have some container seedlings ready to get started in your indoor containers (put them outside on warm days and bring them inside while it is still chilly at night)- bush tomatoes, peppers, basil and more. Seed potatoes will also be available for sale! 1lb bags in 6 six varieties!

Farmstand:
We will have our grand re-opening of the stand on May 5th as part of our Meet the Farmer gathering and first plant sale of the season. We will then be open every Saturday after that from 10am-2pm with more and more plants for sale. Lists of available beauties for sale will be posted on our facebook page on Fridays. Fill your gardens with our healthy transplants and get your season started right.
First harrow of 2018!

Recipe of the Week

At this point in the not-spring, I loathe cooking. I just want to be pulling fresh stuff out of the fields and I don’t want to spend another minute looking at the limp excuse for greens that I keep stumbling on at the grocery. I want delicious sweet spinach with the dew still on it and lettuce so crunchy it pops. The greenhouse is filling up with green glory and I want to spend nearly every waking minute watching those little promises we call seeds fulfill their magical purpose. Still, I’m constantly looking for and trying out recipes (often many times to make sure that I have it down to simplest form for the convenience of my shareholders.

With all this cold I have been making a lot of simple noodle bowls (sometimes called Korean Pho Bowls). These are super easy, super simple- a great kid helper meal- and delicious. The variations are endless! Believe it or not, my first ever noodle bowl of this kind was for a lunch I had when I visited the Boston Public Market for a meeting. There is a great little booth there- they offer a basic bowl every day- fresh veggies, broth (veggie or meat based), a protein and noodles. I watched in utter fascination and delight as they heaped fresh veg, a little sautéed chicken breast, over a base of rice noodles and then filled the bowl with a gorgeous concoction of broth, coconut milk and ‘nose-running’ spices and topped it with a little fresh cilantro. And the hot broth cooked the veggies perfectly- still crisp but tender. Chopsticks help with the noodles and veggies, drink the broth down. It was perfection.

So. I’ve been working to recreate this at home for months. Every week is different and we’ve tried all kinds of methods, broths, noodles, veggies. The key is simplicity, and I’ve got to tell you- my kids absolutely love this meal.

For a family of five I use two quarts of stock (and I make my own and/or buy in- I’ve tried it both ways, my only suggestion for bought stock- buy stock or bone broth not the regular broth AND do buy the unsalted otherwise it is just too salty!) To this I add: 1 can of coconut milk and a teaspoon of red or green curry paste. (this is plenty especially if you have little ones that don’t like spicy- adults or kids that love spice can add more at the table).  Heat all this together until simmering. In the meantime:

Cook basic rice or low mein noodles (1-2 package) for just a couple of minutes and drain.

Finely chop or grate: Carrots, bok choy or Chinese (napa) cabbage, scallions, salad turnip, daikon radish, shitake mushrooms, red peppers, baby spinach or kale, water chestnuts, baby corn, bamboo shoots, any other veggie that you would like.

Proteins: lightly sautéed chicken, beef pork, or even fish, shrimp or tempeh/tofu but our favorite is poaching eggs right in the broth

To assemble: put a small pile of noodles into bowls, filling them about halfway. Add small amounts of vegetables and protein around the sides of noodles and on top. If you are using poached eggs, don’t add them until after the stock goes in, otherwise you will cook them too much. Don’t overdo it or they won’t cook when you add the hot stock. Ladle steaming hot stock over the whole- just covering the noodles and toppings. Garnish with more curry paste, fresh cilantro or parsley, thinly sliced ginger, scallions and serve with more curry paste, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, and/or tamari. We eat this with chopsticks and drink the broth at the end.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Farm Blog 1: Dreaming in Seeds


Nature journaling students pretending to be goats on the stone wall
70 degrees yesterday but now it is snowing. Welcome to New England my friends. Unfortunately, while we humans LOVE the occasional warm gift in the middle of winter, it is not great for all the wild and domesticated critters that we care for here at the farm. They do best with gradual shifts in temperature. Yesterday the bees, who had been quiet and dormant all winter, hiding in their hive and protecting and warming their queen, woke up and started trying to forage…with ne’er a flower in sight. They left the hive, expending critical energy in a fruitless search. We found a lot of them buzzing at the maple sap as it flows from the trees, but it isn’t really enough to give them a boost. Similarly, the goats were reveling in the warmth, and started shedding all that cashmere from their coats, when they still need it for another couple of weeks.
So, what are we farmers doing right now? Trying to get the word out about CSA shares, of course!!! We need you to help with that by coming and grabbing some flyers from our new office at #5 (right across the driveway from the CSA barn), and posting them in the breakroom, at your gym, or anywhere else you think folks who want to eat more delicious healthy veggies from the farm might be. You can also email me and request a digital copy so that you can email it in turn to your friends, family and colleagues!!!  A little tip- get your shares bought soon and save on annual membership costs which will be going up on April 1st
We are expanding our box share program!!! If you think that your company, school, gym, etc might be interested in being a box share pick-up location, please let us know and we will be in touch to talk about details. Email ddubois@thetrustees.org
We spend most of our time dreaming in seeds! My desk is covered in brightly colored catalogs, each variety description more tempting than the last. My favorites are the charts that tell you whether one TASTES better than another…because that is the best part of CSA, right? The food is super fresh and delicious and we aim to make it the best there is by choosing varieties for their flavor first (and then disease resistance and looks). Having been at this for a long time, I have my favorites, but seed companies and farmers alike are always looking to make the old favorites a little better. Also, some varieties are better for certain times in the growing season and so we have to order multiples to cover the whole season whenever we can (hence the vast number of lettuces). We are also a diverse society and because of that beauty, seed companies are adding more and more amazing veggies from across the globe. Niche veggies from tiny areas of Italy, Pakistan, Argentina are all making their exciting way into our lexicon of foods (I mean, I never ate bok choy or arugula as a child, but they are a favorite now!) and also why I am growing 4 full beds of OKRA for all you lovers of this mucilaginous veggie be you from Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Asia, India or the deep American South (and this is just a few, I had NO idea that okra was so sought after worldwide).  Every year we try a couple of new things to see how they will do in our soils, and sometimes they are hits or misses. Coming up this year is a summer sprouting broccolini from Italy that is super mild and usually bunched/cooked with both sprouts and leaves. Since our summer head broccoli plantings have failed in the heat, we thought to try this instead to fill that brassica gap between July and September. My current seed order is 15 pages of tiny print long…about 365 separate varieties of (and I almost forgot the husk cherries!!!) although a lot of those are flowers.
A sample of the different varieties of each family of veggie we grow:

  • ·         Carrots: 9
  • ·         Tomatoes: 31
  • ·         Sweet Peppers: 11
  • ·         Lettuce: 20
  • ·         Summer squash: 8
  • ·         Winter squash: 12

Farm News:
We acquired the additional 39 acres of land across the street from the farm and will be adding trails, fencing and cropland to it in the coming year! The farm is now 170 acres and we are so excited! We have already started tapping the row of maple trees in anticipation of our upcoming MapleFest: the Magic of Maple. This also means that we farmers have moved our farm office into the house at #5, so if you need to find us, you can check there first. We are still working on signage for that, but just come and knock on the door facing the CSA barn (especially if you want to pick up flyers and postcards about the CSA to hang up). Someone is usually around most days, if we aren’t working in one of the other barns/greenhouses/outbuildings, etc.
We have 
been working on a new hoop-barn for the goats (and the sheep!!!) And while the weather has made it a little slower going, with mud harder to work in than the cold, we should be done before the goats start to have their babies!
Construction on the new orchard pavilion is going to be a little bit delayed as they try and work out the details for the septic plan for the public restrooms that are a big part of the design. So, instead of a March start, we might not see it start until April. This means a lot more construction during CSA time, but we will make it safe for all our customers to park and pick up their shares and PYO.  


Upcoming Engagement and Education Events- Register
A snowy owl made its way to Chestnut Hill Farm at the end of January
It might be cold outside and winter may still be frosting the trees with ice and occasionally softening the landscape with white, but there is a lot of fun activities on still happening on the farm during late winter and spring seasons.

Barnyard Brew Hike
Thursday, March 1 | 7-8:30PM
Member: $12; Nonmember: $20

Celebrate the full moon each month with a night hike guided by lunar light, topped off with local brews! We'll be hiking the farm's most beautiful trails and wrapping up at the farmstead barn for brews, bites, and a blazing fire. Each month will feature samples of local beers paired with perfect post-hike snacks and a social session with your fellow trekkers. 21+ and registration required. In the event of snow, snowshoes can be provided upon request for an additional $5.
Sign up now!

The Magic of Maple:CANCELLED
Sunday, March 25 | 11AM-2PM
Member Child: $5; Nonmember Child: $10 (kids under 5 are FREE)

Come enjoy all things Maple at our winter festival! We'll be processing some of the maple sap we've gathered since our Tap-a-thon and sample delicious syrups, candies, and other treats. We'll also have crafts and games to keep everyone nice and warm and snacks and demos from our friends at Culinary Underground! Feeling inspired by this treat from the trees? Submit something tasty to our Maple Competition. A panel of judges will award winners for Best Use of Maple in both savory and sweet creations.

Egg-ventures on the Farm:CANCELLED
Saturday, March 31 | 11AM-1PM
Member Child: $5; Nonmember Child: $7

Join us for an egg hunt, egg roll, kids crafts, and a visit with our resident bunnies to celebrate spring! There will be three separate egg hunts based on age: Under 5, 5-9, and 10 and up for the more advanced egg hunt participants. All egg hunts will begin in separate areas promptly at 11:30am. The egg roll will start at 12:30pm. If you have 5 or more in your family please register for 2 family tickets so we have enough supplies for everyone. Preregistration is not required but is encouraged to help us prepare.



Farmstand:
We are taking a little break from the farmstand, although Jesse is here running Meat CSA every other Tuesday for the next few months. You can buy meats from the freezer, including Sockeye Salmon from Papa’s Catch and delicious, ‘no gamey taste at all’, super- tender chevon (that’s the fancy goat) including chorizo sausage. You can also buy maple syrup, our tomato puree, and honey!
·         Farmstand times: Tuesdays from 2-6pm
o    February 27th
o   March 13th
o   March 27th

Recipe of the Week

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa

This was what my son Morgan requested for his 15th birthday dinner. I used Papa’s Catch Wild Sockeye Salmon from the freezer and grilled it on the stovetop. RIGHT NOW the avocados are coming in perfect!!!!! EAT THEM NOW folks, they aren’t as good later on (and if you are on a budget- these are one of the Clean 15 veggies, which means that they aren’t doused in tons of pesticides and chemicals to make them stay beautiful so you don’t need to buy them organic if you are watching the bills). I’m not a huge cilantro fan, but just a little makes these sing (or sub fresh parsley). This is one of the freshest, most yumtastic meals I’ve made in a long time (it being usually a heavy, comfort food type of winter meal style for us). Just mild spice, so if you like it hot, you will need to have some hot sauce or cayenne to hand. From cookingclassy.com

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa

Yield: About 8 tacos

Ingredients

Salmon

·         1 1/2 lbs boneless salmon , skinned and sliced into 3 equal portions
·         1 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for grill
·         1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
·         1 tsp ancho chili powder
·         3/4 tsp ground cumin
·         3/4 tsp onion powder
·         1/2 tsp paprika
·         1/2 tsp ground coriander
·         1/2 tsp salt , then more to taste
·         1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Salsa

·         2 medium avocados (ripe but semi-firm), peeled, cored and diced
·         1/3 cup small diced red onion , run under cool water to remove harsh bite and drain
·         3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
·         1 jalapeno , seeded and minced
·         1 clove garlic , minced
·         2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
·         1 Tbsp olive oil
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

·         8 6- inch corn tortillas , warmed
·         2 cups thinly sliced red or green cabbage
·         1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese

Instructions

1.    For the salmon:
2.    Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat. In a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, ancho chili powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, coriander, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Evenly rub mixture over both sides of salmon (I placed the first one on the plate then began to stack the rest over it so the rub didn't all just end up left behind on the plate). Brush grill lightly with oil, place salmon on grill and cook, rotating once halfway through cooking, until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, prepare avocado salsa.
3.    For the avocado salsa:
4.    In a mixing bowl gently toss together diced avocado, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
5.    To assemble tacos:
6.    Break salmon into small portions and layer over center of tacos, add cabbage, avocado salsa and Cotija cheese. Serve warm.



one of the new maple collection 'bags' we are using!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Winter CSA Week 3: See you in 2018!!

First Snow of 2017!!!

We had our first magical snow of the Winter season! However, it has also put a rather abrupt end to our growing season here at the farm (also the rapid drop in temperature that is predicted for this week is sure to make an end to any hope of extra greens coming out of the fields). Luckily, Cole harvested a bunch of leeks before the snow fell and we got in the last of the radishes, cabbage and carrots earlier. Cole and I are off to the New England Vegetable and Fruit Growers Conference in NH for most of this week.  I look forward to this conference every year- the trade show helps us find new suppliers, introduces us to engineers of equipment and products that could improve (or not) our own farms, but the biggest part is that we will be inspired and daunted by the accomplishments of our fellow farmers and farmer-scientists through workshop after workshop of the how’s, what’s, when’s and why’s (or nots). It never ceases to amaze me- we all work so hard to grow food, but we are also citizen scientists collecting data on pollination, yield, plant and soil health, making connections and combating disease, and so many many more and then they share those discoveries/inventions/failures/successes with their fellows so that we don’t make the same mistakes or we will try something new. I can’t wait!!!
The snow is beautiful out there- don’t forget that you are all welcome to come enjoy outdoor sledding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventures here on the farm all winter long. We will have some fun events coming up throughout the cold season (and our woodstoves and campfires will be blazing to keep us toasty as we sip hot cider or cocoa at nearly all of them). Keep an eye on Facebook , thetrustees.org and this CHF blog and MySouthborough.com for updates on all our programming. I am super excited for the wooden reindeer friends that will be showing up around the Christmas holiday and hanging out waiting for bells to be hung around their cute antlers by adorable children.

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). If you have a nice cold basement- you can also store these roots in clean sand in a rubbermaid container down in the cold.
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.
Onions: 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!)

Summer CSA sign-ups are OPEN!!!!Give the gift of health and fresh delicious food this holiday season by buying your loved ones (or yourself!) https://goo.gl/zqzdWi

What’s in Your Share this Week:

·         Cabbage, green & red
·         Leeks
·         Onions, white
·         Kale-Appleton Farm, Ipswich
·         Lettuce/Salad
·         Butternut Squashes from Seaview Farm in Rockport, MA
·         Potatoes, Upswing Farm, Dover
·         Carrots, Appleton Farm, Ipswich
·         Beets, Appleton Farm, Ipswich
·         Purple Radishes (so good!!!so beautiful)
·         Tomato puree (a little taste of Chestnut Hill Summertime in a jar)
·         You may pick your own Sage, Thyme and Oregano from the beds near the CSA parking area if you can find them under the snow!

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
  • ·         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. 
  •       There are reindeer visiting the farm, and they want you to find them and put on their Christmas bells and ribbons. We will have baskets outside the farmstand with bells for you to take on your Reindeer Quest. Starts the weekend before Christmas.
  •  

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 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.

Recipe of the Week

Beet and Greens Cheddar Crumble
This is like a veggie version of mac and cheese and it sounds so so so good. I snagged it from the NY times….
INGREDIENTS·        
          1 pound medium beets·        
           3 sprigs fresh thyme branches plus 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
·         ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
·          Kosher salt and black pepper
·         1 ¼ pounds beet greens, Swiss chard, kale, spinach or a mix
·         11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
·         1 1/3 cups  all-purpose flour (divided in half)
·         2 cups milk
·         9 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (2 1/4 cups)
·         2 to 3 tablespoons English mustard powder, to taste
·         1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·         ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce, more as needed
·         1/4 cup  rolled oats
·           toasted hazelnuts, chopped (3 tablespoons)
·         1 ½ teaspoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
·         ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
       2 garlic cloves, peeled
· 
1.   PREPARATION 
    Combine beets, thyme branches, garlic and peppercorns in a large pot. Cover with cold salted water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook until beets are tender, 15 to 30 minutes depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes (do this in batches if necessary); remove with tongs and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Drain well.
2.    Once beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Roughly chop greens’ leaves and stalks.
3.    Prepare the béchamel: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter. Stir in 2/3 cup flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes; roux should smell cooked but remain white. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture forms a thick, smooth sauce. Stir in 8 ounces Cheddar (2 cups) until melted. Stir in mustard powder, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Season with salt to taste.
4.    Make the crumble topping: In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2/3 cup flour, the oats and the hazelnuts. Use your fingers to work in 6 tablespoons butter, the remaining 1 ounce Cheddar ( 1/4 cup) and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. It should be a mixture of large and small pieces. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and the nutmeg.
5.    When you are ready to assemble the dish, heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Spread a layer of béchamel on the bottom. Top with a layer of beets, followed by a layer of greens and stalks. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Spread another layer of béchamel on top and repeat process to fill dish (you will end up with 3 or 4 layers). Cover entire surface with crumble topping. Transfer dish to oven and bake until bubbling and golden brown in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cover crops germinating in PYO field