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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Week 14: Public Service Announcement & the end of Summer veggies



early morning harvest
This time comes every year well before any of us are truly ready, but the summer veggies are starting to succumb to disease and are not long for the world. We will still eek out eggplant, tomatoes and peppers for a week or so yet. The hard part about coming to the end of the summer veg is that it is always short and the veggies are so fresh and delicious that the ones you find continuously in the grocery all winter are a pale shade of the real deal. The upside is that we come into the glory, once again, of the tender greens, the crisp roots, the kick of mustards as the cool weather comes upon us. Broccoli will appear (and hopefully, cauliflower), brussels, more cabbage….all the foods that our seasonal selves need as we turn to the dark of the year and the inevitable table of sweet, rich and starchy comfort foods. Eat these beautiful greens while we have them to cleanse before the holiday feasting starts. Your body will thank you.
Our Winter CSA now has a live link for sign-up OR you can sign up in the farmstand during distribution hours!!!! www.thetrustees.org/chestnuthillwinter Check it out and sign up soon!!!! The CSA fun does not have to end as soon as it has in the past (and yes, brussels sprouts).
Our public service announcement concerns the lovely lines of the new fencing that has gone up around the farm. Cattle have returned to graze the fields that held summer’s bobolinks, savannah sparrows, redwing blackbirds and more. This means that all those fences are now electrified! This is to keep the cattle from wandering into our fields of beautiful vegetables or on to the gorgeous lawns of our neighbors. Please be aware that the fences will give you a nasty shock if you touch them so keep younger kidlets a little closer (and while dogs are not allowed on the farm-and this is and always
has been the rule set forth by the TOWN- they are particularly sensitive to electric shocks and can bolt, terrified, we’ve seen it happen). We have not and will not cut off access to permanent trails, even those permanent trails that hug the field edge unless we are moving livestock through that space temporarily. The lanes that were mowed earlier this summer around the bobolink field (now fenced) are NOT a trail and never have been and were mowed to make it easier for us to fence. Sorry for any confusion. As more new fences go up around the farm, you will see certain kinds of ‘people-only’ gates into some trails/fields, please respect any instructions on the gates for your own safety. Again, we are not closing or blocking any permanent trails unless we are temporarily moving cattle or other livestock through laneways from one paddock to another. Please be patient and understand that the trail will be open immediately again as soon as livestock are moved. Please note that gates will either be open or removed for winter skiing, snowshoeing and sledding! We fully intend that the public will have access to fields when the cattle and bobolinks are not residing there.
If you have any questions regarding the new fencing or trail access please contact our livestock manager, Jesse Robertson at meatcsa@thetrustees.org.  

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

         Okra (PYO, we clearly don’t grow enough of this and next year we will grow more)

·         Cherry tomatoes (PYO, take a quart)
·         Beans, dragon (PYO-1st planting is going down and second planting is on the way but still not ready, but the dragon beans are still rocking it)
·         Hot peppers (PYO)
·         Tomatillos (hiding under all the huge growth-they should be bursting out of their paper skins)
·         Chard
·         Cabbage, tendersweet
·         Radishes
·         Onions
·         Summer squash
·         Eggplant
·         Kale
·         Salad Turnips
·         Cucumbers (last week for CSA cukes and may get replaced with Broccoli in later part of the week because there was a week when Thurs/Fri/Sat folks got cukes and Tues didn't)
·         Chinese Cabbage (napa cabbage)
·         Tomatoes
·         Lettuce (please keep to the limit- we have just enough!)

Upcoming Events: September is SUPER BUSY and LOTS of FUN!

·         Friday Farm Dinner on September 15th. Sorry folks, this dinner is sold out….we are thinking about adding one in October, let us know if you like that idea.

     
      Giving a Shout OUT for everyone to head over to Powisset Farm in Dover on Saturday!!!!Make a weekend adventure of visiting this great farm's HARVEST FESTIVAL from 10a-3p and combine it with a hike at the beautiful Noanet Woodlands or Rocky Woods. Cost is $9/person or $24/family for members. Games, pumpkins, food, crafts, hayrides and more!!!!





      


      Chestnut Hill Farm HARVEST FEST is just around the corner!!!! Coming up on October 8th (the day before Heritage Day here in Southboro) we will hold our 3rd annual celebration of the harvest and the farm! It is a fun time full of local music, pumpkin carving, our fantabulous hay maze, crafts, food and more. Put in on your calendar!!!!
·         We have a call for artisans for Harvest Fest! Have a trade, a skill to demo, craft and art to sell and want to be a part of the fun at the festival? We still have some booth space open and would love to have you join us! Please contact Kira at kbaker@thetrustees.org or talk to Desiree during pickup for details.
·         Our Preschool Farm Explorer Program Series is happening this month. It is a small person version of our Farmer for a Day Camp. It was super fun in the spring and the Fall has a lot of fun to offer on the farm- see how big our goat kids have gotten! Milk a goat! Romp through the farm fields eating a cherry tomato or picking flowers with Kira. We have spaces available! Sign up online or email kbaker@thetrustees.org to get in on the fun. (Program is meant for 2.9-6 year olds, with a caregiver)
·         Plein Air Painting: Saturday, September 23rd 10:30-12:30 $60/members and $75/nonmembers
This class is for beginning and returning painters who want to acquire fundamental painting skills and new approaches to painting. A local artist will guide students through the process of creating a landscape of our farm, with one-on-one teaching geared to all levels of experience. Whether picking up a brush for the first time or the hundredth, students emerge from this morning on the farm with greater confidence and a renewed passion for painting.
Some basic art experienced is preferred. Cost includes materials. Please note that space in this class is limited and pre-registration is required.
·         Also on September 23rd- Hike Southborough Day!!!! Two enterprising Girl Scouts are starting a new community tradition and leading hikes to explore beautiful places in Southborough. There will be guided hikes at Chestnut Hill Farm (2:30pm), the Beals Preserve (9:30a and 6pm), the Sudbury Reservoir and more. The event is free and open to the public and we will have more details and a schedule out soon!!! Meeting place and kickoff point (also…bathroom) is at 9am at Chestnut Hill Farm.
·         Farmstand: We have APPLES & NECTARINES from Cider Hill this week in the farmstand. Apples include varieties: Paula Reds, Red Free, Ginger Golds, Cortlands and Macs this week!
·         We have Sidehill Farm yogurt in stock in the fridge. This yogurt was a staple in our house when we lived in Western Mass and we have wished many times that we could find it in a close by location out here. This is made from Normande and Jersey breed cows that are grazed rotationally and intensively on organic pasture. They are happy and their farmers, Paul and Amy, adore them. Happy cows make happy yogurt. We’ve known these farmers for more than 15 years (we remember when they grew vegetables and didn’t even have cows!) Check out more about how fabulous they are and why you should buy and eat their yogurt here. http://www.sidehillfarm.net/cows/
·         Tomato Puree back in stock!! Our first round of tomatoes went to Appalachian Naturals last week and has come back as delicious, no nonsense added puree. It is perfect for all your tomato base needs- turn it into pasta sauce, creamy tomato soup, and more. It’s summer in a jar so stock up now before they are gone! Price has gone up a little this year due to higher production costs (ain’t that always the case?) to $5/jar. Still a bargain for this beautiful product.

Veggie of the week: Napa Cabbage (or really ANY cabbage)
So we have cabbage this season, and it is pretty amazing. Crisp texture, sweet and tangy afterbite…but we’ve had quite a run of it compared with other years and we are hearing you ask more, what do I do with this now? Here’s a couple of fun options.

Red and Napa Cabbage Salad with Braeburn Apples and Spiced Pecans

Bon App├ętit January 2007
Yield Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons butter
    • 1 cup pecan halves
    • 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/8 teaspoon (scant) cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar*
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 medium unpeeled Ginger Gold, Cortland or Fuji apples, quartered, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
    • 2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
    • 3/4 cup dried tart cherries (about 5 ounces) 
    • *Also known as sushi vinegar; available in the Asian foods section of supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Preparation

  1.  
    1. Melt butter in nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pecans and stir 1 minute. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne; stir until nuts are coated, about 1 minute. Transfer nuts to foil sheet and cool.
    2. Whisk both vinegars and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Do ahead Spiced pecans and dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Store pecans airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill dressing; bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.
    3. Toss apples with lemon juice in large bowl. Add cabbages and dried cherries; mix. Add dressing and toss. Stir in pecans and season salad with salt and pepper.

 

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided  
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Directions

Heat a sauce pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the rice and toss to coat in oil. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for 16 to 18 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat. Add the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, once hot add meat and begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the meat with allspice, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, onions, garlic and carrots. Cook veggies 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and wilt it down a bit. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining stock and cover the pot. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, add to the soup and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and dill, adjust salt and pepper to your taste, and serve.


Boston Ag Expo Fun!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Week 13:Winter CSA shares available

Green tree frog at the wash station


So….this year the fun doesn’t have to end on the 20th week at the end of October, we are offering a 3 week extension on CSA this season. It will be a combination of veggies from all three Trustees farms and it will be boxed up for you. It will be a larger than normal share, lots of gorgeous greens, storage veggies and holiday fare such as brussels and broccoli and more.There will be 3 distributions on Fridays, November 17th, December 1 and December 15th. We have online signup (or just signup in the farmstand). Total cost for all 3 pickups is $150. The farmstore will be open as well (brrrrrr) so that you can get honey, maple and tomato puree and any extra goodies that might appeal.
Help us kick off this new endeavor and support Chestnut! Join us for our first real winter share….if it is successful, we will hopefully soon be able to offer spring shares as well.

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


  • ·         Okra (PYO, we clearly don’t grow enough of this and next year we will grow more)
  • ·         Cherry tomatoes (PYO, take a quart)
  • ·         Beans, green, dragon, yellow and burgundy (PYO)
  • ·         Hot peppers (PYO, there are a lot of varieties, I will try to get a guide put together to make it easy to find the ones you are most interested in for now, Jalapenos and Hungarian Hot wax are the most mild while the Hinkelhatz, Thai hots and Shishito are wicked hot)
  • ·         Tomatillos (hiding under all the huge growth-they should be bursting out of their paper skins)
  • Flowers (PYO- there are two new rows of flowers just below the beans, and I did some major dead-heading and cutback of the main flower garden so that we should see a refresh of some of those flowers soon)
  • ·         Chard
  • ·         Pac choi
  • ·         Radishes
  • ·         Fresh Onions
  • ·         Summer squash
  • ·         Cucumbers
  • ·         Chinese Cabbage (napa cabbage)
  • ·         Tomatoes
  • ·         Lettuce (mini heads, please keep to the limit- we have just enough!)

Upcoming Events: September is SUPER BUSY and LOTS of FUN!


  • ·         Friday Farm Dinner on September 15th. These dinners are a huge hit and are super fun. Register soon (our caterer is awesome but she’s not a miracle worker and we can’t add you at the last minute) and don’t be disappointed because we do SELL OUT! The music is fabulous, the sunset is amazing and food and company are not to be missed. Stay for a bit by the fire and relax with a tasty beverage and a little more dessert. Register here: https://goo.gl/329Hmq OR SIGN UP IN THE FARMSTAND!!!!!!

  • ·         HARVEST FEST is just around the corner!!!! Coming up on October 8th (the day before Heritage Day here in Southboro) we will hold our 3rd annual celebration of the harvest and the farm! It is a fun time full of local music, pumpkin carving, our fantabulous hay maze, crafts, food and more. Put in on your calendar!!!!

  • ·         We have a call for artisans for Harvest Fest! Have a trade, a skill to demo, craft and art to sell and want to be a part of the fun at the festival? We still have some booth space open and would love to have you join us! Please contact Kira at kbaker@thetrustees.org or talk to Desiree during pickup for details.

  • ·         Our Preschool Farm Explorer Program Series starts September 6th! It’s supposed to be a little rainy, but you can get in on this program next week too! It is a small person version of our Farmer for a Day Camp. It was super fun in the spring and the Fall has a lot of fun to offer on the farm- see how big our goat kids have gotten! Milk a goat! Romp through the farm fields eating a cherry tomato or picking flowers with Kira. We have spaces available! Sign up online or email kbaker@thetrustees.org to get in on the fun. (Program is meant for 2.9-6 year olds, with a caregiver)

  • ·         Plein Air Painting: Saturday, September 23rd 10:30-12:30 $60/members and $75/nonmembers

This class is for beginning and returning painters who want to acquire fundamental painting skills and new approaches to painting. A local artist will guide students through the process of creating a landscape of our farm, with one-on-one teaching geared to all levels of experience. Whether picking up a brush for the first time or the hundredth, students emerge from this morning on the farm with greater confidence and a renewed passion for painting.
Some basic art experienced is preferred. Cost includes materials. Please note that space in this class is limited and pre-registration is required.

Hiking at Beals
  • ·         Also on September 23rd- Hike Southborough Day!!!! Two enterprising Girl Scouts are starting a new community tradition and leading hikes to explore beautiful places in Southborough. There will be guided hikes at Chestnut Hill Farm (2:30pm), the Beals Preserve (9:30a and 6pm), the Sudbury Reservoir and more. The event is free and open to the public and we will have more details and a schedule out soon!!! Meeting place and kickoff point (also…bathroom) is at 9am at Chestnut Hill Farm.

·         Farmstand: 

     We will have APPLES from Cider Hill this week in the farmstand. Paula Reds and Red Free with a few precious Ginger Golds this week!
·         We have Sidehill Farm yogurt in stock in the fridge. This yogurt was a staple in our house when we lived in Western Mass and we have wished many times that we could find it in a close by location out here. This is made from Normande and Jersey breed cows that are grazed rotationally and intensively on organic pasture. They are happy and their farmers, Paul and Amy, adore them. Happy cows make happy yogurt. We’ve known these farmers for more than 15 years (we remember when they grew vegetables and didn’t even have cows!) Check out more about how fabulous they are and why you should buy and eat their yogurt here. http://www.sidehillfarm.net/cows/
·         Tomato Puree back in stock!! Our first round of tomatoes went to Appalachian Naturals last week and has come back as delicious, no nonsense added puree. It is perfect for all your tomato base needs- turn it into pasta sauce, creamy tomato soup, and more. It’s summer in a jar so stock up now before they are gone! Price has gone up a little this year due to higher production costs (ain’t that always the case?) to $5/jar. Still a bargain for this beautiful product.

Veggie of the week: Tomato, tomato, toe-mat-toe
The tomato is a foundation vegetable for us. I feel like it would not be summer without tomatoes….they just taste so good, soft and ripe and sun warm from plants. The rest of the year I feel like I am just waiting for them to be even the barest shade close to what the summer brings us for these fruits. Most of the time, I dig through the seconds bin for the ones with ugly spots and those become that evening’s dinner, especially on Tuesday, when we’ve been up before the sun, done chores and been picking all the veggies fresh for CSA and we aren’t done until we’ve closed up shop as the sun goes down 12 hours later and the donated shares are on their way to the food pantry. Then it is chunks of tomato, cucumber, radish, avocado (if they aren’t gross), mozzarella, white beans and olive oil and balsamic. If I can keep my eyes open and not watering, one of the sweet red onions goes in chopped fine along with whatever basil leaves or celery leaves. It’s all good. You could sub feta and mint, add olives and that would be divine too. Quick and easy and surprisingly filling.
For those of you with slightly more time and for these late summer turning to fall evenings that are a touch cooler- try this Not So Spicy Creamy Tomato Soup.

Not So Spicy Tomato Soup

Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook, 6-8 servings
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups minced onion
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp of either dill or basil or rosemary
Lots of fresh ground black pepper
1 25oz jar of CHF tomato puree
2 cups water
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup sour cream or heavy cream or half/half (and I’ve never tried it with coconut milk, but the other non-dairy milk products won’t work with the acidic tomatoes- I would use coconut and sub curry powder in for the dill/basil/rosemary for a Tomato Curry Coconut Soup instead)
4 medium, very ripe, fresh tomatoes , diced
Directions:
Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven or large soup kettle. Add onion, garlic and spices, salt and pepper. Stir over medium heat for 5-8 mins until onions are translucent. Add tomato puree, water and honey. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20-30 mins. About 5 mins before serving, remove from heat, whisk in sour cream or heavy cream and the diced tomatoes. Serve hot- topped with crunchy croutons, finely minced herbs, a dollop of yoghurt or a grating of cheddar cheese.
laying out the onions in the greenhouse