August 20, 2014

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“Let your children grow up to be farmers. Let them know what it is like to be free from fluorescent lights and laser pointer meetings. Let them challenge themselves to be forever resourceful and endlessly clever. Let them whistle and sing loud as they like without getting called into an office for “disturbing the workforce.” Let them commute down a winding path with birdsong instead of a freeway’s constant growl. Let them be bold. Let them be romantic. Let them grow up not having to ask another adult for permission to go to the dentist at 2 p.m. on a Thursday. Let them get dirty. Let them kill animals. Let them cry at the beauty of fallow earth they just signed the deed for. Let them bring animals into this world, and realize they don’t care about placenta on their shirt because they no longer care about shirts. Let them wake up during a snowstorm and fight drifts at the barn door instead of traffic. Let them learn what real work is. Let them find happiness in the understanding that success and wealth are not the same thing. Let them skip the fancy wedding. Let them forget four years of unused college. Let them go. Let them go home.” Jenna Woginrich

 

The excerpt above is from a recent article on the Huffington Post blog called, “Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers”. It was written to counteract another recent article in the New York Times called, “Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers”.

When I read the New York Times article it made a lot of sense to me. It’s difficult to make a living by being solely a farmer. It can feel overwhelming at times. When my husband and I found out we were going to have our first child, it made perfect sense that one of us had to work outside of farming. We would never be able to buy a house or have a savings otherwise.

My first farming job lasted 8 amazing seasons and it really changed my life. After the first year I knew that this job was my path in life (most people thought I was nuts). One of the farm owners there used to say, “farms eat money”. That always made me feel nervous about starting my own farm. After working for 11 years on 3 different farms I know that this statement is true. The expenses on a farm are astronomical. If a tractor breaks, it could mean costing you a huge chunk of your profits for the entire season. If there is a hail storm you could lose many crops. There could be a pest or disease that wipes out any vegetable or animal. Any of these scenarios can happen in a moment. There are the crops we grow that make us money, and then there are others we grow because our customers love them or we love growing them and we sacrifice that profit.

All that being said, there is a reason farm owners and their farmers keep going. It is a truly AMAZING profession. And most of us farmers make enough money to stay afloat. Farming is a lifestyle choice. We choose to sacrifice a bit of $$ to be outside all day doing something we believe in. We choose to nourish ourselves and our community. We choose to push our bodies to physical limits. We choose to walk around barefoot all day if we like. We choose to wear our pajamas to work if we see fit and no one ever notices:) I can honestly say that I rarely have a work day that I don’t enjoy to the fullest. 98% of my days at work I LOVE my job. I hope that whatever profession my children choose, they do what they are most passionate about and take pride in, especially if it means being a farmer!

On behalf of the HBF crew,

Nicole

The goodness this week:

  • lettuce
  • beets or carrots
  • dandelion greens
  • sweet peppers
  • hot peppers
  • summer squash
  • onions
  • garlic
  • herbs
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • radishes
  • collards
  • yukon gold potatoes

RECIPE OF THE WEEK:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley or basil
1 pound pasta
15 cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

 

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AUGUST 13, 2014


“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting

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Sharing Carrots with Friends is what it is all about !

The above photo is from a few years back on CSA Wednesday.   August is a great time to take a moment and enjoy all that we have.  As you may have read in our previous blogs,  July is a rough month.  The wonderful Universe gives us the month of August to slow down (just a bit) and have moments to remember as we head into the fall.   For farmers the “gift” of even a 1/2 hour to look up at the clouds or take a dip in the pond is like a life time of happiness.  May we all take a moment this August day to take in all that is around us and be thankful. We appreciate you and send you “warm august winds” .

~ Your Farmers

This Week:

  • Carrots
  • Summer Crisp Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Magda
  • Zephyr summer squash
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Green Peppers
  • Sweet Carmen Peppers
  • Italian Red Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
OVEN ROASTED YUKON POTATOES:
Try these easy baked gold potatoes with garlic from a famous New York restaurant.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Arrange the gold potatoes on the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 45 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp and lightly browned; do not let the garlic get too brown or it will be bitter.

Pour the garlic and oil over the potatoes, add the parsley and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe Source: Chef Sascha Lyon, Balthazar’s (restaurant), New York City, New York, USA
Reprinted with permission.

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AUGUST 6, 2014

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.

The harvest awaits under the CSA tent (A.Gross)

The harvest awaits under the CSA tent (A.Gross)

This article below is about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and is ~ FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Keeping up with my CSA-Opinion-The Boston Globe

How is your CSA share working out for you?!  This is a good question. The idea seems lovely when you sign on but does it fit into your life the way you had hoped?  We, as farmers, are always working for you and wonder this very same question.  We usually do a survey at the end of the season but we think it might be better to ask at this time of year. What is working out? What is not? How would you like it to be, if not the way it is now?

You are our main priority and you matter. Please  let us know your thoughts!

Don’t forget to perhaps shred your squash this week and put in the freezer. No need to blanch, just shred and put in freezer bags. We use it in the winter in our soups/stews or omelets etc…

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Your farmers at HBF

This Week:

  • Cabbage (simple homemade sauerkraut recipe here)
  • Carrots or Beets (to go boxes)
  • Fresh Onions
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Magda Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kale or Green Beans (to go boxes)
  • Herbs
  • Fennel
  • Melon ~ grown by our good friends at Provider Farm in Salem

RECIPE OF THE WEEK:

Easy Roasted Summer Vegetables

YIELD: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium fennel bulb, chopped

1 large zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 medium beets, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8-9 turns freshly ground black pepper

1 ear fresh corn, shucked and sliced into kernels

1/2 medium yellow or red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley leaves, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil.

Add red and yellow bell pepper, zucchini and carrot pieces to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and toss in fresh corn, onion and garlic. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until vegetables are lightly charred and tender.

Remove dish from oven and sprinkle vegetables with parmesan cheese (if desired) and chopped basil. Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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JULY 30, 2014

“Raw ingredients trump recipes every time; farmers and ranchers who coax the best from the earth can make any of us appear to be a great cook.”
― Judy Rodgers, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco’s Beloved Restaurant

This Week:

  • Kale
  • Dandelion Greens ~ sautee w/bacon ! and onions
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Herbs

Do you have your some cabbage from last week ? How about a great coleslaw. It is great on sandwiches or on the side for any meal !

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Coleslaw

Gourmet  | June 2008

by Ruth Cousineau

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Coleslaw recipe

photo by Roland Bello

yield
Makes 8 servings

active time
25 min

total time
1 1/2 hr

This finely chopped slaw has just the right balance of sweet and tart. It goes on top of the pulled pork, not alongside it.

ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pound green cabbage, cored and cut into 3-inch chunks, then finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sugar

preparation

Toss all vegetables in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, then toss with slaw. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour (for vegetables to wilt and flavors to blend).

cooks’ note:Slaw can be chilled up to 1 day.

add notes

nutrition information

per serving (8 servings)POWERED BY Edamam

  • Calories305
  • Carbohydrates13 g (4%)
  • Fat28 g (43%)
  • Protein2 g (4%)
  • Saturated Fat0 g (0%)
  • Sodium242 mg (10%)
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0 g
  • Fiber4 g (18%)
  • Monounsaturated Fat0 g
  • Cholesterol14 mg (5%)

reviews

write your own review

I agree: too much vinegar. Start with 2 Tablespoons, then add more if you want.

by citronnee on 2012-02-05 flag if inappropriate

recipe at a glance

type:Quick & EasySalad

main ingredients:CabbageCarrot,Bell Pepper,Mayonnaise

cuisine:Southern

dietary considerations:VegetarianHealthy

holiday/celebration:SummerFourth of JulyPotluck

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July 23, 2014

“A farm asks, and if you don’t give enough, the primordial forces of death and wildness will overrun you. So naturally you give, and then you give some more, and then you give to the point of breaking, and then and only then it gives back, so bountifully it overfills not only your root cellar but also that parched weedy little patch we call the soul.”

~Kristin Kimball, The DIRTY LIFE: On Farming, Food and Love

At this time of year, July that is, many aspects of our lives can feel like a challenge on the farm. Physical, emotional and spiritual energy starts to feel depleted, relationships and communication become challenging, the weeds get the best of us, the amount of produce feels overwhelming and harvest seems endless. We are tired. We tend to ask ourselves… why do we do this? Are we NUTS?

No. The truth is we LOVE it. The other side of July is this: the produce is bountiful and there is NOTHING like biting into the first perfectly ripe tomato that is warm from the sun and snacking on random vegetables all throughout the workday. It’s very nourishing. And bringing our children out into the fields and watching them pick a cucumber or a leaf of kale and watching them munch it down and find that connection, that feeling is indescribable. The weather, this year in particular, has been absolutely amazing and a great blessing. Most crops are growing better than ever. Going for quick dip in the quarry on a hot July day makes the rest of the day that much more tolerable. Watching an indigo bunting sitting in the midst of a large patch of cucumber vines is a sight to behold. There is so much pride to be had in the amount of produce that is going out to all of you, for your bellies and your families. Being stewards to a piece of land feels like a great and wonderful task, like raising our children. And last but not least, spending most of the day outdoors and being dirty is really the best life for us.

Yes it’s challenging, but the nourishment we receive keeps us moving forward. We always get through July and then everything feels a little bit lighter.

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

On behalf of the entire HBF crew,

Nicole

 The goodness this week:

  • lettuce
  • kale
  • eggplant
  • squash
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • scallions
  • cippolini onions
  • cabbage
  • herbs
  • beets
  • potatoes

 

RECIPE

Wilted Kale and Roasted-Potato Winter Salad

by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

yield
Makes 4 (main course) or 6 (side dish) servings

Lemon-tahini dressing unexpectedly emboldens kale and cheesy potatoes with its creaminess and tart richness. We went back for seconds and thirds.

ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves (3 thinly sliced and 1 minced)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 pounds kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves very thinly sliced crosswise
  • Accompaniment: lemon wedges

preparation

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.

Toss potatoes with oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large 4-sided sheet pan, then spread evenly. Roast, stirring once, 10 minutes. Stir in sliced garlic and roast 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with cheese and roast until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, purée tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. (Add a bit of water if sauce is too thick.)

Toss kale with hot potatoes and any garlic and oil remaining in pan, then toss with tahini sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

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July 16, 2014

I loved being outside. We’d hold lightning bugs in our fingers and pretend they were diamond rings.

Loretta Lynn

Ode to July.  We love July.  The fields are full of wonderful produce.  The fireflies light up our night sky.  The WEEDS are out of control, the BUGS are starting to take over.  Oh, how we love July.  We are all a bit exhausted so that is all I have to say today ~ goodbye

Farmer T

This Weeks Share:

  • summer crisp lettuce
  • green peppers
  • cipollini onions
  • alisa craig onion
  • radishes
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • kale
  • carrots
  • asian eggplant
  • kohlrabi
  • parsley

RECIPES

Crispy Kale Chips

Ingredients:
1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Directions
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

Ratatouille

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.

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July 9, 2014

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell Berry

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Cipollin Onions

 

Everything is born out of the soil.  Hunts Brook Farm exists because our growing fields possess some pretty amazing soil.  Twenty years ago, when I first tilled the fields I knew this soil had to be used to grow food.  I think I can say the soil convinced me to become a farmer.  Now, it is my responsibility to protect that soil.   Limited and timed tillage, along with adding minerals and biological inoculates we are able to keep our soils thriving.  This method of nutrient dense soil management gives our plants almost everything they need to produce great yields of vegetables that have excellent flavor and a good shelf life.  Of course soil alone doesn’t always ensure a productive crop.  This year, I am going to have to swallow my “Garlic Pride”.  Those of you that had our garlic last year remember how giant and delicious it was.  I made an error and ordered our seed garlic too late in the season to get high quality, large seed .   The small seed “cloves” we received lacked the vigor to produce a decent sized bulb, in spite of the love, care and nutrients we added to the soil.  (I won’t ever make that mistake again).  Big seed for next year has already been ordered !  With all that said, the soil has become our “dance partner”. We lovingly guide her, and she produces “Healthy, Beautiful Food” .  ~ Digga

~ Blessings from your Farmers and Crew ~

 

This week:

  • Summer Crisp Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Scallions
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Radishes
  • Fennel
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Herbs

Sugar Snap Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Gourmet  | June 2006

by Maggie Ruggiero

ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds green cabbage (preferably Savoy), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (14 cups)
  • 3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally (4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

preparation

Toss together cabbage and peas in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over slaw, stirring to combine well. Add salt to taste, then chill, covered, at least 2 hours.

cooks’ note:Slaw can be chilled, covered, up to 1 day.

 

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