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

DSCN1283

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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July 2, 2014

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” 
― Ashly Lorenzana

(from Farmer T) ~ I have been in charge of the quotes. This week is dedicated to our beloved Belle who passed over this week. She is now at rest with her brother “Max” whom left us last November.  These two wonderful dogs loved it here at the farm. They were notorious for stealing carrots out of CSA baskets left on the ground.  As this is Community Support Agriculture I pull out the “C” of CSA ~  “community” , we  thank you for all your loving and kind words, it has been a “heart hug” during this difficult time.  ~

We are in the grand abundance time. Please do not get over whelmed. If you seem to have too much produce then you may choose to gift a head of lettuce or a bunch of scallion … to a neighbor or friend along with a kind smile or hug.

I do believe this is line up for produce BUT tomorrow we made add in something like hakurei turnips, oh and I do believe broccoli !  ~ Enjoy and again thank you for all your kind messages.  Love T , Dig, Sam, Nicole, Sal, Katie and DylanDSCF0010DSCN0699

This week:

  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli Rabe ~ http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/articles/detail/broccoli-rabe
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Summer Squash
  • Kohlrabi ~ (don’t forget to eat the greens) http://gracelinks.org/485/real-food-right-now-and-how-to-cook-it-kohlrabi
  • Dandelion Greens ~ http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Herbs

RECIPE OF THE WEEK by Nicole

Summer Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

1 pound of pasta

Summer squash or zucchini

Sugar snap peas

1 bunch fresh basil

Garlic scape pesto or 2 minced cloves of garlic

1/2 bunch of greens, kale, chard, or beet greens will work fine

Olive oil

Salt

Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove and discard the stem end and string from each sugar snap pod. Place in a large bowl. Chop up the garlic (if using cloves), summer squash/zucchini, and greens and add to the bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring after first 10 minutes.

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

Toss the pasta with the roasted summer vegetables (if using your garlic scape pesto now is the time to add it to taste!) and the 1 cup of reserved liquid in a large bowl to combine. . Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and fresh chopped basil and serve immediately.

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June 25, 2014

“An economy genuinely local and neighborly offers to localities a measure of security that they cannot derive from a national or a global economy controlled by people who, by principle, have no local commitment.”

~Wendell Berry

DSCN8972The above picture was sent to us by one of our CSA members. Lettuce with roasted kohlrabi, radishes, zucchini, yellow squash and fruit with walnuts. This brings so much joy to our hearts. This is why we are farmers.

This past week has started the harvest, CSA, and market season in a “bangin” way. The weather was gorgeous and the love was palpable. Everybody was so excited and appreciative about being able to get beautiful fresh food again. We, at Hunts Brook Farm, are so thankful for all of the support we receive from our eaters!

We have always made it our mission to make our customers feel as though our farm is their farm. I hope you all are proud of the fact that you can stand up and say, “I know my farmers”.

Your Farmers at HBF,

Digga, Teresa, Nicole

Farm Crew,

Sal, Katie, Dylan, Maureen and Sam

Week 2: June 25, 2014

The abundance this week:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Kohlrabi
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Hakurei Turnips ~ http://www.pinterest.com/wickhamfarms/csa-recipes-turnips/
  • Summer Squash
  • Basil
  • Parsley

RECIPES OF THE WEEK by Nicole 

This weeks recipes feature our beloved beets and garlic scapes and are two of my personal favorites… yummy.

1. Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) Recipe  

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli rabe

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 TBSP garlic scape pesto, or 1 clove minced garlic

1 TBSP or more grated Parmesan cheese

salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom of the stems of the broccoli rabe and place in the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and saute 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired doneness. Dust with parmesan cheese, if desired.

2. Garlic Scape Pesto from “The Garlic Farm”

Ingredients:

1 cup (or less) freshly grated Parmesan cheese or other sharp Italian cheese
1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, adjusted to taste
1/4 pound roughly chopped scapes
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Directions:

Puree scapes, olive oil, and juice in a blender or food processor until nearly smooth. (You can make a smooth paste if you prefer, but most people like a little texture in the pesto.) Gently stir in the cheese or gingerly pulse the cheese into the mixture; take it easy as you mix in the cheese to avoid making the pesto gummy by overblending. Taste and then adjust juice and salt to taste.

Store in the refrigerator to use within two or three days; freeze for longer storage.

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June 18, 2014 ~ The season begins!

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“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.” 
― Wendell Berry

Beginnings ~ It’s hard to say when this farming season actually began.  Was it 20 yrs ago  when I started building the farm and envisioned years like this to come?  Or was it last season, when we figured out a better way to do something and thought, “next year”.  (yes, we are already thinking about how to improve next year)  There have been so many steps, both literally and figuratively.  It feels like all the years have blended together into one big beginning.

Winter and Spring seemed to last forever.  I wondered if this season would ever come to fruition. Alas, here we are at another beginning. The best beginning of all the beginnings.  Our Hunts Brook Farm community  comes together to reap the benefits of a whole lot of loving energy and effort. The harvest has begun ! May it feed your bodies, minds and spirits.

Your Farmers at HBF,

Digga, Teresa, Nicole

Farm Crew,

Sal, Katie, Dylan, Maureen and Sam

Week 1: June 18, 2014

The abundance this week:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Scallions
  • Beets ~ you need not to peel them, scrub & roast or scrub & steam/boil and the skins will slip right off
  • Tatsio ~ http://www.food.com/library/tatsoi-716
  • Radishes
  • Cilantro
  • Dill

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK by Nicole

This weeks recipe features Kohlrabi. I love this post from “the kitchen” (www.thekitchn.com). They keep it simple, which truly does allow you to experience all that this lovely vegetable has to offer.

Kohlrabi gets lost if mixed with too many other vegetables or flavors, so we tend toward simple preparations where the kohlrabi can take center stage. No matter how you prepare ultimately prepare your kohlrabi, it’s best to peel off the outermost layer with a vegetable peeler. Don’t forget to eat the greens from your kohlrabi! They can be used just like kale.

1. Sliced thin and eaten raw. When raw, kohlrabi is slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes but sweeter. You can toss them in a salad or eat them on their own with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.

2. Made into fritters. This is a great way to get kids to eat their kohlrabi! Shred the vegetable and mix with an egg and a few tablespoons of flour. Heat oil or butter in a flat skillet, drop on small mounds, and flatten slightly with the back of your spatula. Turn after a few minutes, and serve when both sides are crispy.

3. In soup. We particularly like kohlrabi in a creamy, puree soup with mild spices so that sweet kohlrabi flavor can really shine through. Also, try adding it to recipes for Cream of Potato, Cream of Broccoli, and even Cream of Mushroom soup!

4. Roasted or Grilled. When roasted in the oven or grilled, the outside of the kohlrabi caramelizes, and the flavor sweetens and mellows. You can slice the kohlrabi thin for toasted “chips” or cube it.

5. Steamed. This is kind of a cheat-suggestion because kohrabi can be used in literally anything once steamed. We throw steamed kohlrabi into frittatas, stir-fries, and pasta dishes.

We also like to puree it with a little cream and simple spices. We’ve also seen recipes for stuffing steamed kohlrabi into empanadas and calzones! Kohrabi is found in a lot of Indian cooking, so it naturally does well with traditional Indian spices. Honestly, though, we tend to prefer it seasoned with just a nice sprinkling salt!

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2nd Annual Seedling Sale

2nd Annual Seedling Sale

Saturday May 17, 9am to 4pm and Sunday May 18, 9am to 2pm.

We will have heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak and cherry tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, herbs, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, flowers, and more. Our plants are lovingly nurtured from the beginning of their lives and grown using nutrient dense chemical free practices.

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