the trustees of reservations
Chestnut Hill Farm
CSA Blog
A Trustees Property


CSA Info | CSA FAQs | Buy a Share | CSA Member Info & Hours | Apprentice | Who's Who | Contact Us | CSA History | Dairy Store | Visit Appleton Farms


Friday, November 2, 2018

Winter CSA!!!!!

It is Winter CSA time. We are outside, all bundled in layers and chapstick and hats, digging carrots, covering greens and each hoping for our turn to weed in the high tunnel (which is nearly always warm). We bought a new 'bed lifter' bar attachment for the tractor that helps to dig the carrots out neat and smooth-- it means that we can leave the digging forks in the shed and harvest carrots a whole bed at a time. It is one of those nifty farmer inventions that makes our work just a little bit easier.
We are starting a little later in the morning- waiting for the frosty dew to melt off the plants- and the lowering of the light in the west in the late afternoon is driving us inside earlier. Everything and everyone is moving just a little bit slower as the colder weather settles in.
We still have some shares left in our Winter CSA.
We are working with other Trustees and local, organic and IPM farms and orchards to bring you a bulk share full of the tastiest foods New England has to offer. We are growing our first vegetables in our new high tunnel, so we are able to bring you fresh lettuces, chard and other tasty greens that we normally can't grow in the field in the darker, colder months of the year.


First Winter Share box (plans and harvests can change, but this is our best guesstimate of what will
be in the boxes):
Swiss chard
Salad mix
Kale
Salad turnips
Winter squashes (acorn & butternut)
Sweet potatoes (Powisset Farm, Dover)
Yellow potatoes (Appleton Farm, Ipswich)
Beets (Alprilla Farm, Essex)
Onions
Leeks
Carrots
Apples (IPM; courtesy of Brookdale Fruit Farm)
Sage & Parsley bunches
Celeriac (a root veg with an incredible nutty celery flavor- great roasted and mashed with potatoes)
Cabbage and/or Broccoli

Second Winter Share box:
Swiss chard
Lettuce
Greens mix (arugula, baby kales, cress, and more)
Salad turnips
Winter squashes (buttercup & acorn)
Sweet potatoes
Yellow potatoes
Beets
Leeks
Scallions
Daikon radish
Carrots
Apples (IPM; courtesy of Brookdale Fruit Farm)
Cabbage and/or Broccoli


Add in other items from the store! We have CRANBERRIES, quarts of maple syrup, tomato puree, pesto, and more. Look for an email giving you details soon about how to order extra items to pick up with your order (there will be some items in the farm-store, of course, but pre-order will guarantee that you get the amount you want!) and if you are a delivery customer- then you definitely want to pre-order so that it gets delivered to your pick-up site along with your box of veggies!
We are putting together a mini-cookbook of recipes that we like in the wintertime along with storage tips for helping your share last for as long it can. Have a great Fall and Winter! And signups are also open for Summer 2019 shares. Payment plans available! Spread the word far and wide friends.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thank you so much for a great 4th season!!!!!

It is hard to believe that it is already the end of October and that this is really the last week of CSA pick-up (box shares end next week)! It has been another crazy season of weird weather, astounding successes and some strange crop malfunctions. We are still learning a lot about what this farm can do, and what it can't. This winter will be a time of making decisions about which fields we can or can't use dependably. Our new well will make weathering dry patches in the season better, but we will have to make some tough choices about some fields that are just too wet. They will go back into pasture. We are so lucky that we were able to acquire the additional acres across the street and to have the time to work it up this fall so that it is ready for spring growing. Even in the heaviest rains, it drained beautifully. Last week, 120 Fay school 7th graders came out to the farm and helped us get through the bulk of our fall clean-up. 540 labor hours resulted in a cleaned up barn; 14,000 row feet of plastic and drip line picked out of the fields and packed into trash bags and into the dumpster; harvested celeriac and hot peppers; rolled up irrigation pipes; 1000 extra strawberries plants lifted and potted up snug in the greenhouse; and so much more. This is an amazing gift to weary farmers- it allows us to catch up on all the remaining cover crops that need to get seeded (including putting down spring fertility!) and to get other crops covered and protected from frost and harsher temperatures. We can now focus on getting the hoop barn finished before winter decides to show up and a million other little projects that we haven't had time to finish all summer. Thank you FAY!!!!
We've had some adventures this week, besides the incredible 7th grade horde, a gate left open in one of the pastures by an unassuming visitor led to mass exodus by the cattle herd. It was one of the very few times that I have been completely alone on the farm, except for little Gwyn, and it was quite a shock to see them meander across the top of the hill. 45 minutes later, with a lot of cajoling and quite a few alfalfa cubes, I managed to convince them to follow me back to their pasture. Then there was a little bit of a crunch while I tried to distract them enough with my empty bucket so that I could sneak away and find the gate I knew had to be open on the far side. It worked, they are both curious and greedy creatures by nature and I was able to get the gate shut behind them and bolt to the other end of the field without them following (because once they start following you, they want to keep doing it) and get the original culprit gate closed and latched. We have now installed padlocks on the gates to keep visitors from unwittingly leaving a gate unlatched. If you find a padlock on a gate, it means that livestock are grazing inside or it is bird nesting season, and that the seasonal trails through that pasture are temporarily closed. We also put signs on the gates to explain why the gates are padlocked.
The goat flock is back from its summer sojourn at Weir River and we are in the breeding phase of the year. Bruin and Diego have been brought down from the field and the flock is currently in three groups. We have a non-breeding group of young ladies being kept under control by Penny, our oldest doe, who needs a break from being a baby momma this year. The two other groups are a small group of 18 month old doelings that are daughters of Bruin whom are with Diego, a 9 month old Boer and everyone else is with Bruin, the herd-sire with the magnificent set of horns, glossy (though stinky) beard and large girth.
If you haven't had a chance to see the new kiosk at the trailhead, check it out! The new signs have been installed around the farm, in the woods and even across the street. Only one trail isn't actually fully done- the Bobolink Trail is still in the works (we need to put in another gate and do some tree work) so just keep walking all the way around and back towards the farm road and the barn. Its still a pretty walk.


New sign-ups are OPEN for Summer 2019!!! 

We have a whole new system that we are using for sign-ups and we hope that it will translate into a smoother experience for everyone. It features a new payment plan option of up to 5 payments and it should make communication easier. Feedback is much appreciated (especially if there are bugs we need to work on). It is still somewhat a work in progress. You will still need to keep your Trustees membership current in order to signup so renew here if you need to! If your membership is current then jump over to Sign-UP!  The sooner you sign-up, the easier it is for us to plan our next season and buy all the stuff we need to. Thanks so much for supporting local businesses, local farms and local food!!!!!

Winter Shares Still Available

There are still a few spots left in our on-farm Winter Share-SIGN UP HERE- we will also be soon sending out an email for you to check out the offerings in our new online store, which will be added to our Winter Share box! BUY LOCAL for your holiday season.

What's in Your Share this week:

Purple Daikon radish
Salad Turnip
Spicy Salad
Napa
Butternut/Buttercup Squash
Yellow Potatoes
Rainbow Carrots
Broccoli Raab
Kale

Pick Your Own:
The hard freeze this past weekend has done in the beans and most of the herbs and flowers. We still have parsley, sage and oregano out there for picking.

So I hope you had a chance to try the Escarole and Sausage Recipe from last week. I promise you, it is amazing- I actually made it twice (once with Chorizo and the second time with Italian).
This week, I'm advocating for eating those beautiful butternut squashes. These are a classic- they taste great no matter what they are made into- roasted, steamed, soup, pie, pudding, etc. I like them best roasted with a little butter and a bit of maple syrup, but this week's recipe is totally on my list of "NEED TO MAKE ASAP" from A Chef's Kitchen
BUTTERNUT SQUASH LEEK AND GOAT CHEESE GALETTE
Ingredients
2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing on crust
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 large or 3 medium leeks, white and light green part only, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 package refrigerated pie crust (or 1 roll) (um, i highly recommend making your own- so much better!)
1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese
Sliced almonds for garnish
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss butternut squash cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and black pepper and place on a baking sheet. Roast until easily pierced with a knife, approximately 25 minutes. Shake the pan or stir the cubes halfway through. Let cool and drain o any excess oil.  Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a skillet or saute pan. Add the leeks, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until very soft, approximately 20 minutes. (Be careful they don't brown.) Stir in the garlic and thyme. Let cool and drain o any excess fat. Sprinkle cornmeal on a non-stick baking sheet. Unroll the pie crust and place on prepared baking sheet. Spread leek mixture over the crust to about 2 inches from the edge. Dab leek mixture with goat cheese. Top with butternut squash. Pull the edges of the crust over the mixture to create a freeform tart leaving the center open. Brush off any excess cornmeal. Brush pie crust with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden. Garnish with sliced almonds. Serve hot or warm.



Monday, October 15, 2018

Week 19: Winter CSA Sign-ups are filling fast

Cole as the remay Row Cover monster
BRRRR! Well, that was fast. Autumnal chill is in the air (making for easier sleeping!) but I actually turned the heat on in the office this afternoon because I could no longer take being damp and cold anymore. The leaves are turning quickly and I'm looking forward to some Sunday leaf peeping expeditions to other Trustees properties. Tully Lake in Royalston, Fruitlands Museum, Monument Mountain and Ravenwood are all beautiful places to see the fall foliage in all its brilliance (other than at Chestnut Hill, of course). We hope that you had a chance to come out to the Harvest Fest on Sunday the 7th- we had around a thousand people come to play! I know I was kept hopping at both Chicken Plop Bingo and in the bustling farm store where we sold SO many cider donuts and cups of cold cider. It was a beautiful day with lots of fun, thank you for joining us if you came and if you couldn't make it this year, put it on your calendar for next year.

Buy pumpkins!
We still have pumpkins for carving available!!! We also have some mums and sugar pumpkins, so grab those from the farmstand before they are gone.

Fay School Farmer's Market (2 weeks left!) has been my Saturday location for the last few weeks. This is still a tiny market in its infancy, but it is a lovely little market. Last week, the vendors arrived and set up in the drizzling rain, hands curled around coffee mugs and hats tucked over ears, but there were delicious hot crepes and croissant breakfast sandwiches, alpacas, hats, treats, veggies and more. There are two Saturdays left and we highly recommend coming down and checking this little market out.

It is hard to believe that another CSA season is almost gone. Next week is the last on-farm pickup! 
We hope that you have enjoyed this season, our new online signup for next season is getting underway shortly (we are working a couple of bugs out of the system before we launch, but look for it soon!) We would love to have you join us again for fresh, local and delicious veggies! We will also be sending out a short survey sometime soon, please take a couple minutes and fill it out. We love having the feedback so that we can constantly be tweaking the CSA to best meet the needs of the community.

Sign up soon for Winter CSA!
The two shares- first one the weekend before Thanksgiving so that you can share the farm with your family and friends during this special holiday and the second one in the beginning of December so that we can still harvest from the fields (yep! believe it, things grow slowly after the beginning of November, but we are planning for that and can still harvest some veggies). These are bigger shares- usually around a full bushel of veggies (so half again more than our large share) and accompanied by recipes and storing info.

Sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots, turnips, radish, onions, leeks, beets, garlic, potatoes; greens
Escaped cattle being led home again
such as lettuces/salad, arugula, kale, chard, cabbages, asian greens; apples

We also soon hope to have our new online software open and ready for taking add-on orders from our store for pickup at the same time as your Winter Share. Add specialty cheeses, local cranberries, chestnuts, meats, cider, or more of a specific goodie you know you need more of for the holidays.
If you would like to design more of what is going in a box, this new software will allow you to build your own box as well.


What's in Your Share this Week (maybe):
Escarole
Chinese Cabbage/Napa/Tokyo Bekana
Arugula (spicy!!!)
Peppers (frost will take these down so these are the last)
Butternut/Buttercup Winter Squash
Potatoes, yellow
Carrots
Salad Turnips

Pick Your Own:
Beans
Parsley, Sage, Oregano
Flowers, such as they are so late in the season
Chilies (almost done done done)

Recipe of the Week: Escarole with Sausage on Toast (make sure that toast is dark and the sausages are crispy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound fresh sweet Italian sausage links (or fresh Chorizo links or hot Italian)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 head of escarole, leaves separated and torn (about 8 cups), divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 thick slices country-style bread, toasted
  • 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced into rings (can sub a jalapeno, hungarian hot wax
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven or other medium heavy pot over medium-high. Cook sausages, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Cook onions in same pot, stirring occasionally, until softened and they take on some color, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn, 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add half of the escarole in batches, letting wilt slightly after each batch before adding more, and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut sausage in half on a diagonal. Mix in lemon juice and the rest of the escarole into onion mixture and place sausage on top. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  • Place toast in wide bowls and mound escarole mixture on top. Place 2 sausage halves on top of each, then ladle liquid left in pan over. Top with chile, Parmesan, and some cracked pepper; drizzle with more oil.
  • Harvest Fest Success!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Week 17: HARVESTFEST!!!!!!!!!

Bring on the pumpkins and the face-painting and the delicious food and the magic that is the tradition of fall festivals in New England. Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the sweet magic that are warm days and brilliant blue skies, orange carrots and pumpkins and maple leaves and the chilly evenings that smell sharp and sweaters and blankets and flannel sheets are comfy again. Hot chocolate and cups of tea become more constant parts of my everyday and I start to think that longer nights for sleeping are a great idea. But before that, there are the 6 precious weekends of Harvest festival time between now and Halloween. And I love them. I love wandering through hay mazes, looking for perfect pumpkins, eating pumpkin donuts and drinking hot cider with lots of cinnamon. Harvest, which is actually an all spring, summer and fall event for me, is still a wonderment in the fall, despite the fact that we live in a world of global access to all seasons. There is a perfect joy in bringing something out of the field that you have spent months and months nurturing to fruition. Those roots, cabbages, squashes, potatoes and more that will nourish the body through the winter are still precious to us, even in a global market, and we should celebrate this time before we hunker down for the winter. So go out and enjoy every perfect Saturday of autumn until it turns too cold and drink a cup of cider and eat a slice of pie in toast to your farmers. And come to our Harvest Fest on Sunday! The weather is going to be perfectly cool, the skies will be blue and the leaves will be turning towards peak orange and red and yellow. It will be insanely gorgeous here at your little gem of a farm. Spread the word!

Also coming up in a couple of Saturdays is our CSA/Volunteer Appreciation Potluck. Its BYOB, the grill will be hot, the campfire roaring and delicious food will abound. Bring a dish to share with the crowd and a favorite plate/utensils to eat off of. We will have some music and lawn games!The fun starts at 530 and goes until 830. (think about bug spray and flashlights!)


What's in Your Share:

Fennel
Kale
Power Greens mix/Arugula
Tokyo Bekana/Pac Choi
Winter Squash
Carrots
Radishes
Onions

PYO:
Yellow/Dragon/Green Beans are ready for picking- keep it to a pint, our planting didn't germinate very well, but the beans are sweet!
Chilies
Flowers
Herbs: Sage/Parsley

Recipe of the Week: Fennel Syrup 

Katydid
If you are wondering what to do with that mound of anise-scented leaves on your fennel after you've eaten the bulb and maybe used a sprinkling of fresh greens, try this fun recipe for turning those greens into a delightful licorice flavored syrup that you can add to cocktails, sparkling water, or drizzle over a poached pear topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Fennel is good for the digestion and pairs well with anything acidic or citrusy so keep that in mind!

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, chopped, or use all the fronds coarsely chopped. 
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

Rough chop the fennel into small chunks.
Add sugar and water to a medium saucepan.
Heat to a boil, making sure all sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Add in fennel, allow to steep for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Strain out fennel pieces.
Store in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
too much water in the fields.....

.




Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Week 16: Oh Fall. Coming in with a shout instead of a whisper

Dawn breaks over the farm-Welcome Autumn
Well today's weather makes no mistake about the time of year. Autumn is upon us and a cool damp one appears to be the mode for the season. Personally I was hoping for more of the crisper type days of deep blue skies and golden light rather than these murky dark and chill days that make me shiver despite the layers and wish for hot tea all day. Still, hopefully we will get some of those bright perfect days yet before winter snuggles in (we still have A LOT to do out there in the fields before the end of the season and I would much rather not do it under gray skies and with a perpetual runny nose).
We also witnessed the loss of the small plantings we had done of winter squash-we had planned to buy in butternut and acorn from our sister farms that have more space, but we were growing the specialty delicata, carnival and spagettis, but the rains of the last couple weeks turned them into a black rotty mess. We will be getting all of this season's squash from Appleton, Aprilla Farm and Powisset as a result. Don't worry- they are all using similar practices (organic) on their farms!
This makes the field across the street even more valuable to us. After the deluge that left 8 inches of standing water in our lower fields for days, the field across the street was found to be moist and soft, but not wet. This is magical for us. All our current fields are like bathtubs on the farm proper and it takes them weeks to dry after such a dowsing.
The last of the summer fruits are done done done. It is definitely a little early this year and we are sad to see them go. It's back to the greens and roots of spring. We have some new greens for you all though, as all this wet is making the new plantings of chard and kale already succumbing to disease. Instead we have gorgeous, mild and juicy Asian greens coming in to make up for the lack.
Tokyo Bekana is one of my favorites- it is usually a favorite of the flea beetle as well, and so we don't try and grow it during the spring months- saving it instead for fall. It has glorious chartreuse green wavy leaves, thick stems, and a mild flavor similar to Napa with no bitterness. You can cook it as you would any cabbage (beyond boiling, that's awful), or thinly shred it and pair it with grated apples, sliced fennel, dried cranberries and toasted almonds (I also throw in an avocado because I put them in every salad and I love them madly). Toss with a bright avocado oil and lemon dressing with a little garlic and a pinch of sugar and salt and you will be mesmerized. The green goddess tahini dressing we have in the store would also be astounding.

WINTER CSA SHARE SIGN-UP is happening right now and we are already half way to our goal, so on-line (and pay in the store) or sign up and pay at the store. This is a bushel of gorgeous farm veggies ready for eating, preserving or storing for the winter. Included will be tips on storage and some of our favorite winter recipes. Let the farm continue to nourish you through this winter until spring rolls around again and sign up today.
sign up soon either

Events:
Sunday October 7th! Our Harvest Fest is fast approaching and we are so excited!!!! It is going to be such a fun event with lots to see, do and TASTE. So bring your appetites and come on down to the farm for a day full of fun.


What's in Your Share this Week (maybe):
Sunshine Winter Squash (thanks Appleton)
Potatoes (thanks for these as well Appleton)
Leeks
Tokyo Bekana
Arugula
Onions
Power/Mixed/Spicy/Mustard Greens
Fennel


PYO:
Parsley (I've been trying to keep up with the weeds, but they are killing me this year!) Sorry for the untidyness!
Chili pepps
Flowers (winding down after all the rain)


Recipe of the Week:
The first week of Autumn requires that you make soup. And nothing makes a richer and more delicious creamy squash soup than Sunshine. The fact that we have onions, leeks and fennel to make this even more amazing is just the icing on the cake for this fall favorite.
Roasted Fennel and Winter Squash Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: American
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 6
 
A rich, creamy, flavorful soup made with roasted fennel and butternut squash.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium ONION, sliced or diced
  • 1 LEEK, sliced
  • 1 large FENNEL bulb, core and tough stalks removed, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups SUNSHINE squash
  • 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup heavy cream or creme fraiche, optional
  • optional garnishes: fresh fennel fronds and fennel pollen
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle a little olive oil in a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Add the onion, fennel and butternut squash. Drizzle with a little more oil and toss to coat. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the fennel and butternut squash are tender. Remove from oven and place in a pot and cover with the stock or broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Puree soup using an immersion or traditional blender. If desired, add cream or creme fraiche, taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with the fennel fronds and fennel pollen, if desired.
Farmers Market Saturdays at Fay School!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Week 15: So long summer

New trail beginning in the Beals Field!
So summer is on its way out, even with the bright and humid days here and there in the next month or so, I can feel it. The fall greens are bursting out of the ground under their protective row covers, and we are turning over tired old beds that have done their best to grow food for us. We are giving them some fertility and spreading cover crop seeds to blanket them with protective roots for the winter months.
With a hot, sticky summer behind us, I can't wait for cooler weather to finally put an end to the ugly tomatoes and summer fruits that are really done, but I can't bear to not try for the last few perfect fruits that are hiding somewhere in that 3000 row feet of rotting mess. We grew more tomatoes this year than any other year, but they also are done two weeks earlier than other years and I only managed to put away 1 batch of summer salsa to eat in January. I will mourn the sweetness of real tomatoes from now until next July.
I finally feel like turning the oven on isn't tantamount to sacrilege and have been roasting chickens (which then become pot pie, and then stock and then soups and stews) and casseroles again. I think more about eating hot foods and planning crock pot meals rather than just barely making it to dinner before falling exhausted into bed every night. I enjoy my hot tea and coffee rather than wishing it were iced. And I have enough energy to stay up and watch (almost) a whole movie on the weekend. So it must be almost fall. It is very hard to believe that we only have 5 more weeks of CSA after this one. We are almost ready for Winter CSA signups to happen, so keep a close watch on your email, we should sending out the signup link this week! Remember that we always sell out and to get your sign-up in early! Two share pick-ups this season of delicious fall and winter produce (greens, storage crops, herbs and more). 

It's a fruit share week: PEARS & NECTARINES!!!

What's in Your Share (maybe):


Peppers
Eggplant (might be slim, but the plants are producing again)
Bose Corp helping weed the strawberries
Onions
Carrots
Potatoes (thanks Appleton!)
Arugula
Spicy Salad Greens
Baby Bok Choi
Chinese Cabbage (Napa/Asian cabbage)
Kale/Chard

Pick Your Own:
Hot peppers
Okra (starting to be done out there)
Flowers
Parsley

Events:


Chestnut Hill Farm trail race  (part of the Barn to Run race series) is happening on Saturday!!!! Sign up at SunMultisports for the 3, 4 and 5 mile farm trail run.

The Fay School Farmer's Market is also opening this weekend from 10a-1p. Come and check it out- lots of great vendors this year.

Our Fall Festival is less than a month away mark your calendars for Sunday October 7th!!! Pumpking carving, face painting, hayrides, hay maze/obstacle course, 30 vendors and more!


Recipe of the Week:

OMG! I just found the coolest new food blog site!!!!! yeah, i'm in love folks. This is a great site- it's full of great recipes (there are both meat lovers and vegetarian recipes) and a whole e-book of recipes called Kids in the Kitchen. We all know that getting kids into the kitchen is the key to getting them to try cool new foods and its a personal goal of mine to help make that happen as much as possible. You may not know that while I have two stellar eaters who eat an astounding variety of foods, my youngest is the pickiest thing on this planet and would live on baked mac & cheese and PB & J sammies (provided the jam is smooth and is not peach or blueberry or cherry or marmalade or have chunks or seeds) and chocolate. A lot of the recipes are great for dinner and then tells you how to make a kid friendly school lunch for the next day. I urge you to check it out! Yummy Lunch Club
Also, in particular, check out the FARM to FOOD section!!!! These recipes are fresh and delicious sounding and I can't wait to try them out! Honey Thyme Chicken kabobs with peaches and Haloumi cheese!!!!!!WHAT???!!!

Bulgogi-style Korean beef leftovers make a great lunch, OK even breakfast if you ask my daughter who regularly heats up dinner leftovers for breakfast. If you want to re-purpose leftovers into something new, check out the chop suey idea here. Heads up: braising brings out the terrific beef flavour but takes some time so this recipe works best on weekends.
Bulgogi-style Braised Beef with Skillet Baby Bok Choy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Kids Cook! Get your kids involved in the kitchen by having them help out with this recipe. Here’s what they can do!* Have them help measure ingredients, cut veggies using a kid-friendly knife, and stir cornstarch mixture. 

Dietitian's Tip: Even kids as young as 1- 3 years of age are getting too much sodium. Eating less processed and restaurant food is a first good place to start cutting back. Tweaking recipes helps too. By swapping ½ cup (125 mL) regular soy sauce with ¼ (60 mL) cup sodium-reduced soy sauce, I've cut 5350 mg sodium from this recipe below. Every tablespoon of sodium-reduced soy sauce has 600 mg of sodium.
Source: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 lb (1.5 kg) Beef Simmering Short Ribs, Simmering Steak such as Blade, Cross Rib or Brisket, or Stewing Beef Cubes or Shank, trimmed of visible fat
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) sesame oil, divided
  • 1 whole head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) minced fresh gingerroot
  • ½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2¼ cups (560 mL) water
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 5 baby Bok Choy, halved lengthwise
  • Toasted sesame seeds and/or broken cashews (optional)
  • Steamed brown rice
Instructions
  1. Season beef all over with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil over medium-high heat in Dutch oven or large heavy pot; add beef and brown all over.
  2. Combine garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, gingerroot, onion, vinegar and water in 4 (1L) cup bowl.
  3. Pour over beef; bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to 325°F (160°C) oven; cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is fork-tender.
  4. To serve: remove beef to platter; keep warm.
  5. Stir in remaining cornstarch mixture into remaining cooking sauce; heat over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbling and thickened slightly; spoon over beef.
  6. Portion beef and bok choy onto plates, along with steamed brown rice or noodles if desired.
Notes
Skillet Baby Bok Choy

Heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add bok choy and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, flipping occasionally.

Add HALF of the cooking sauce and stir in HALF of the cornstarch mixture. Cover and cook until simmering and sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with sesame seeds or cashews.

Skip the nuts if you are planning to send leftovers to school for lunches!


Please Note
*All “Kid’s Cook!” ideas herein are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they know and understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely and always supervise kids in the kitchen.

Lunch from Leftovers

Chop Suey Made From Leftover Bulgogi-style Braised Beef with Skillet Baby Bok Choy
 
Kids Cook! Get your kids involved in the kitchen by having them help out with this recipe. Here’s what they can do!* Have them help cut the green onion with a kid-friendly knife or kitchen shears, and help assemble the meal. 

Dietitian's Tip: Because this recipe is not overly saucy, do not heat it and put it in a thermos. Liquid is required to hold heat (think soupy); otherwise, it won't stay hot enough and that's a food safety hazard! My husband food poisoned my daughter once by sending fried rice in a thermos...and it's always mom they want when they are sick! Am I right?! So save yourself, and your child, the grief. Either this gets heated in a microwave at school or it goes cold which would be completely fine as well.
Source: 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • leftover Bulgogi-style Braised Beef
  • left over Skillet Baby Bok Choy
  • splash of sodium-reduced soy sauce (optional)
  • splash of sesame oil
  • splash of hoisin sauce
  • sliced green onion
  • handful of bean sprouts
Instructions
  1. Remove beef from bones and coarsely chop.
  2. Combine with any leftover chopped bok choy, rice and sauce.
  3. Drizzle with splash of soy sauce, sesame oil and hoisin sauce.
  4. Pack along with some sliced green onion and handful of bean sprouts.
  5. Microwave warm and combine with the green onion and bean sprouts.
Notes
Will keep 3-4 days in refrigerator.

Please Note
*All “Kid’s Cook!” ideas herein are meant as a guide only. You know what your child can safely manage. Make sure they know and understand your rules for working in the kitchen safely and always supervise kids in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Week 13/14: Fall greens are in and summer fruits are headed out

The first of the fall greens are starting to come in, but the unseasonable humidity of the last couple weeks of summer has also wrecked fungal havoc in our summer fruits such as the squashes, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant. As you must have noticed in the pick your own cherry tomatoes, the fungal disease has killed the plants off in an almost staggering speed. This is caused by the high levels of humidity keeping dew and moisture on the plants for much longer and the dampness spreads the disease. We mow to keep down weeds between the beds, space plants wider in the beds, trellis and try to stay out of the fields when the plants are wet whenever we can, but we can only do so much to ward off the inevitable. And so, our tomato season will be shorter than usual this year. It is never a favorite thing...I usually like to give out tomatoes right up until frost, but the plants just don't have it in them this year. We will put in one last planting of cucumbers in hopes of a couple more harvests before frost, but it is always a little dicey at this time of year.
Our fall greens and brassicas are doing really well out in the field! After a dismal droughty beginning of the summer killing off our early cabbage and broccoli, we are so excited to see gorgeous plants starting to size up in the field. New chard and kale plantings are doing great and we anticipate the return of radishes and salad turnips, along with fall carrots and other roots. Winter squashes are also coming, but will need to be harvested and cured before they are worth eating.
Farmers at Outstanding dinner!
Jesse and I were invited to attend the Outstanding in the Field farm dinner at Powisset Farm last
weekend and I have to tell you all...it was amazing. This touring group is renowned for its US and worldwide dinner tours of farms. I had to dust off one of my cocktail dresses and find some shoes that were younger than a decade to wear. Our dinner was over the top incredible- appetizers and wines while we mingled with guests from everywhere, farm tours and then the wander out to a long table set in the middle of one of Powisset's gorgeous back pastures. We ate course after course of gorgeous food- the sauces from the first melding perfectly with the sauce from the next- in our case, a green goddess dressing on a green salad to a roasted romanesco seafood and veggie dish to end perfectly complimenting the paella for the last course. The wines were all lovely, mostly light and crisp, even the red blend was soft and light. Dessert was a heavenly concoction of cream, berries and biscuit crowned with a white chocolate crisp. It was a master's dinner. All beautiful and totally decadent, ending with a glorious gloaming walk from the field. We are hoping to host one of these dinners next summer here at Chestnut.....(oh my, yes PLEASE!)

What's in Your Share this week (maybe):

Kale/Chard
Arugula
Spicy Salad/Mixed Greens
Potatoes (thanks Appleton!!!!)
Napa Cabbage
Onions- Ailsa Craig (these won't last all winter- eat them soonish)
Peppers, sweet
Tomatoes, sauce mostly
Leeks

Pick Your Own:
Cherry tomatoes (winding down :( but there are still some out there the orange varieties are particularly tasty)
Okra
Chilies (there are a few ripening sweet habaneros- these are a mild chili that looks like a habanero and has all the flavor, but won't make you cry).
Parsley
Sage/oregano/thyme

Events:

Chestnut Hill Farm Fall Trail Race (part of the Barn to Run racing series) is happening here on September 22nd! Register at SunMultisports website.

In a month our FALL FESTIVAL is happening!!!! Come to the farm on Sunday October 7th for a full, fun day of craft, activities, food, music, hayrides, vendors and more. We are also still looking for more vendors so if you know anyone who would like to show off their wares, food or craft- send them our way.

We are planning a CSA/farm supporter/volunteer dinner potluck on October 13th starting at 6p. Come join us for a celebration of a season of delicious local food and community. Our grills will be hot and we will be grilling some delicious local meats and veggies. Bring a dish to share and also BYOB and BYOM (some of our farm crew will be playing and we invite you to join them!)

Recipe of the Week:

EAT YOUR GREENS!
So those crazy mixed up greens that you are ignoring on the CSA bench- they sometimes say 'spicy salad, braising greens or mustards'- those are incredible. They are the anti-oxidant, cyano-rich, nutrient dense power house greens that are the cure for what ails you. Anything you do with kale, arugula or chard, you can sub these greens in and they will be awesome. They do have more kick than kale, similar to arugula, so if that bothers you, simply cook them and that bite eases off. Mix these into your smoothies, make pestos or puree, wilt them and stick them in the freezer to add to soups, pizza and tomato sauces in the winter time to keep the nutrients rich in your diet until next spring. The mix includes: Red Giant, Green Wave & Mizuna mustards, Hon Tsai Thai, Tat soi, Red Russian kale, Arugula, and a sprinkle of other fun greens that we love.