Barnyard Bull - News & Blog

Posted 12/7/2012 11:09am by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

Hello Everyone, sorry for slacking on the newsletter for the last few weeks- we've been busy with seasonal fairs and the flu along with all the fun of winter farm chores. We hope that you've been enjoying the beautiful veggies- we have one more week of this section of season extension- and we have officially moved out of the fields for harvest! We got all of the broccoli out last week (hence the double large offering in your box. We felt like we just couldn 't keep hoping that the weather would continue to hold off on killing temps, so we took it all.) We are now harvesting out of the plastic houses- greens, greens, greens- but still have carrots, squash and potatoes in the cellar to fill out the box. This week we also have some dry beans that I like to grow as a side offering. I have a semi-secret love of heirloom dry beans and always tuck a row in here and there when I can. I find them beautiful and delicious and I love the idea of growing some non-animal protein, especially as my best friend is a vegetarian.

The farm is super busy still as we continue our prep for winter- animals are still out on pasture, but are closer to the barns these days.We are building fence and battening down the barns for the winter.

We also need to renovate the sheep barn a little to accomodate our growing flock and we have a new ram (thanks for the above pic Lisa!). Rhay, a silver purebred Blue-Faced Leicester came to us from Cranberry Moon Farm in Cummington. He is huge and he got right to work. He is a foundation sire for our "Mule" flock production (a ewe lamb from a Clun Forest ewe bred to a BFL Ram is called a mule- these resulting ewes will have a larger frame size but still retain good grass-finishing and mothering characteristics and can be bred to a larger terminal sire such as an English Suffolk to produce a larger, meatier lamb that still grows well on grass alone).

We are also borrowing Crabapple Farm's Clun Forest ram again this year to produce more gorgeous purebred Cluns. He did a wonderful job last year- lots of nice ewe lambs to add to our flock. 

We have some lamb coming back from the slaughterhouse next week- so if you like lamb for your special holiday meals, let us know so we can put some aside for you. We also have incredible boneless, smoked and netted hams- these range in size from 2-4 lbs and are ready to make for Christmas dinner.

We are bringing our wool yarns and sheepskins and maple syrup to the Shire City Shindy this weekend! This artisan fair is held in the old Notre Dame Church on Melville St in Pittsfield- lots of beautiful, local arts and craft for sale- Friday night from 5-8p and Saturday and Sunday from 10-6. Finish up your holiday gift shopping by buying local this season!!!! We've even bottled our syrup in pretty glass bottles from maple leaves to traditional jugs- the perfect present for that hard to please person on your list.

Cheers!


Farmhand Chili

This recipe is just as good without the beef......adjust the spiciness to suit your needs!

1 bag dry beans (1lb)            

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes                           

1 onion, chopped                      

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 quarts water                         

 2 Tbsp chili powder

1½ lbs Holiday Brook’s grass-fed  ground beef      

1 Tbsp packed brown sugar                   

1 cup kale, chopped    

2 Tbsp molasses                      

 1cup fresh corn kernels

Cayenne or other spicy ground pepper to taste (we like to grind our own)

Salt is also to taste.....

Rinse and pick through beans. In a large pot add beans and enough water to cover, soak overnight. Drain and add 2qts water to pan and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until beans are tender. Set aside. In a Dutch oven sauté onion and brown the beef.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, garlic and simmer for 20 min. Add beans, kale & corn and heat slowly, add salt & fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve with local cheddar & crusty bread.

Posted 11/20/2012 12:53pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

This is our favorite holiday here at the farm- we love knowing that our delicious food is going home to become part of a celebration of gratitude among friends and families. We hope that you enjoy this weeks basket- we picked herbs, including a parsley root (delicious in all soups or stuffing) and added extra garlic. Leeks and cabbage join carrots and potatoes. The dark green or red buttercup squashes make the best pumpkin pie so don't forget to grab one too.

It is also a time for us personally to wholeheartedly support our neighbor farmers and local value-added producers. Our table will be graced by a turkey pasture-raised by Diemand Farm (we always need a HUGE bird), local cheeses from Cricket Creek Farm, breads from Bread Euphoria, veggies and side dishes will come from our fields and our family gardens. Pies will be baked from local apples, our squashes and maple syrup and so on. We definitely don't adhere to a strick locavore feast- but we try to come close.

We wish you all a lovely and happy Thanksgiving- know that we give thanks for all of you- thank you for buying local from your community!

Cheers-

All of us at Holiday Brook Farm (Dicken, Desiree, Jesse & the farm crew)

 

Your Share this week:

Salad mix (cut lettuce)

Brussels sprouts

parsley root with parsley tops

carrots

Keuka Gold potatoes

Cabbage

Leeks

Herb bunches- Sage, thyme & rosemary

Garlic

Posted 11/9/2012 1:26pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

Welcome to our first season extension CSA share in two years! We’ve been doing small amounts of season extension veggies for preorder sales and wholesale clients, but we finally have a good system in place for consistent enough vegetable production for an actual CSA. Thank you for taking part in this endeavor- we hope that you enjoy our offerings.

A couple things that you should understand- this is very seasonal and what grows well at this time of year are greens of all types! This can get a little boring if you are not used to eating this way, so let us know if you need more recipes. We have beautiful carrots, squash and some other roots and we bought in extra potatoes from Thompson-Finch Farm in NY (organic!).

We will harvest from the field for as long as is feasible for both plants and harvesters. Then we will be working from the plastic houses. Did you see Paul and the quick-hoop caterpillar tunnels in the Berkshire Eagle on Thursday? These tunnels are more to protect baby plants for the Winter Warmer harvest starting in early spring, and depending on how well they grow under there we could be digging into the crop as early as mid- Feb. In any case, towards December you will find your share being filled out with dry beans & corn, herbs, etc. It will be creative and fun. We will box most of your veggies, but you will always have your choice of squash from the bins in the store and occasionally there will be other items laid out for your selection as well.

First BIG REMINDER!!!! ----The week of Thanksgiving----We will harvest on Tuesday!!!! You may pick up either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday before the holiday so that you can share your delicious veggies!

 Jada Haas left us this week, off on a new adventure at Upinngil Farm in Gill, MA for the winter. This farm looks to be a great place for her to add more skills to her repertoire of farm experience. We couldn't have accomplished everything this season without her- she was awesome! We hope that she has fun and visits often. Cheers!

 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Carrots

Parsley

Bok Choi

Broccoli

Garlic

Acadia Collards

Winter Squash- Mixed

Brussel Sprouts

Tomatoes

Potatoes- Keuka Golds

 

Featured vegetables—Kabocha squashes

I may or may not have said this, but these squashes are my favorites of the winter squashes. Their flesh is a deep orange, dry and stringless- so the texture is smooth and soft- they come in skin shades of red, green and mixes.  They make the best pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins or cakes because they are rich in flavor as well.

Our favorite way to eat them is skinned and cubed small and then cooked in a skillet on super low heat with butter and a little salt and pepper. The cubes will dissolve as the squash practically melts. When the squash is all soft and tender-finish with just the hint of maple syrup.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Sauteed Broccoli & Collards

This is a personal home kitchen recipe- one of our spontaneous farm lunches turned culinary delight! Use as a delectable side dish, or add to pasta or rice (I would throw a sprinkle of parmesan on top if so). Remember that the pasture-raised bacon is lean and what fat is does have is rich in good for you fats. Check out Eat Wild's website for more info.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch collards, de-ribbed and chopped
  • 1 large or 3 small broccoli crowns, chopped stems and all
  • ½ lb of pasture-raised bacon, chopped
  • 2 avocadoes, optional but delicious! Chopped.
  • A smidgeon of butter
  • A Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • A good size handful of dried cranberries

Directions

Put the smidge of butter in a heavy cast iron skillet and add the broccoli. Keep the heat fairly low so that the broccoli caramelizes as it cooks. When the broccoli is starting to seem tender, add the bacon. You may need to turn up the skillet to get the bacon to sizzle a bit. Stir constantly so that the broccoli doesn’t burn. When bacon is just done add the collards and cook until tender and wilted. Turn off the heat. Add the vinegar, dried cranberries and avocado. Stir to coat. Enjoy.

Posted 11/1/2012 3:35pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

We still have a few of our autumn CSA veggie shares available- continue to get our fresh, delicious vegetables for six more weeks! They are going fast and they start next week!

Congratulations to Tobie Petkus who guessed the correct weight of the CSA Fairytale Pumpkin. It was a whopping 42lbs! We do have a suggestion for this delicious and beautiful squash- Des tried this out a couple of days ago- she was inspired by a longing for a Provencal tagine dish of chicken slow-cooked with vegetables in a claypot that we had on a longago trip. Instead of a claypot- she used the squash to truly decadent results.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (preferably local, pasture-raised) 4-5lbs

1 large, 10-15lb round squash- Musque de Provence (Fairytale) or Marina di Chiogga, Cheese or Hubbard would work

1 apple, cored and chunked

2 onions, chopped in 1" chunks

1 head of garlic, 1/2 in chunks and the other minced for the rub.

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp savory/marjoram

1 Tbsp olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250. Cut the top off the squash- make sure the opening is wide enough to get the chicken inside. Get all the seeds and strings out and set the squash on a cookie sheet with sides (to catch any juices that may leak). Wash the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Mix the rub- salt, spices, minced garlic and olive oil and rub all over the top of the bird. Loosely fill the cavity with chunks of apple, onion and garlic. Shove the bird into the squash and fill any extra space with chunks of veggies or simply mound around the edges. A 5lb bird in a 10-15lb squash will need to cook all day- I put mine in at 930a and took it out at 530p and it was perfect....I checked on it a few times throughout the day to make sure it wasn't making a mess, but it never leaked. Basically I knew it was done when the squash was tender, the skin of the chicken was crisp on top, the leg joints were loose and the squash was filled with broth. We had to ladle some of the soup out of the squash after we removed the chicken so that it would not make a mess in the event we accidently pierced the squash with the serving spoon. A smaller bird and squash will take less time, of course. This is a good weekend winter meal. It can be served with roasted potatoes or good bread. Quite a showcase for a dinner with friends. Enjoy!

Posted 10/23/2012 1:43pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

Autumnania Shares are still available but filling up! We start November 9th and go until the 14th of December. Pick-ups on Friday (though if you need to pick up on Saturday, that is fine too) afternoons.  For more information check out the website.

Thank you all for a wonderful season- as always, we love seeing you all every week.  You are our community and we are so grateful, every day, to be a small part of your lives. We hope to see you again soon, some of you for the Autumnania or Winter Shares, but also again next summer. We harvested 43,000+lbs of food for all of you over the last twenty weeks- even with some crop failures (mostly partial, a planting/seeding of this or that that didn’t get off the ground) such as cucumbers, carrots, beets and a serious drought. Thank you for sharing in the ups and downs of our growing season and we hope that you have a wonderful winter and spring! See you next Summer!

Cheers-

Desiree & Jesse and the whole Holiday Brook Farm Crew

 

 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Carrots

Leeks

Mixed Mustard Greens- Braising Mix

Arugula

Bok Choi

Salad Mix

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Butternut

Radishes

Salad Turnips

Brussel Sprouts

(somewhat)Green tomatoes

 

Pick Your Own

Parsleys and other herbs are still open for picking.

 

Featured vegetables—Carrots

The carrots have been a little thin on the ground this summer- we actually listed them as a crop failure due to drought on our “official” crop production list for the farm this year. But you would never know it to see the beauties coming out of the field this week. Deliciously sweet from a good hard frost last week, you will adore the crisp texture and deep carrotyness of these classic roots. I haven’t measured the sugar content, but I know for a fact that they will register higher/sweeter than any carrot driven across the country from CA. We have a couple of varieties for you- the golds are Yellowstone heirlooms, pale orange are Satin, and the bright orange are either Bolero or Mokum. These are fresh eating carrots- not meant for long storage (well, Bolero will hang out for months in the right cellar)- but they are bred for eating right now with thin skins that you don’t even need to think about peeling. They will caramelize beautifully in a cast iron pan- this is my favorite way to eat them. Slow cook them in a little olive oil or butter until they are sticky and tender and you will burn your fingers and your tongue they are so good.

 

Recipe of the Week: Fried Green Tomatoes

You can make delicious chutneys, picalilly and salsa with green tomatoes, but I (having spent part of my life in the south) love them fried.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 4 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
  3. In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

 

Posted 10/16/2012 11:28am by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

A major killing frost finally hit the farm on Saturday morning last week. We have some frost damage on just about everything around the farm. Unfortunately this puts an end to most of the Pick Your Own and some of the more tender vegetables, such as swiss chard and most of the last planting of head lettuce, but the good news is that the Brussel Sprouts and next week’s carrots will be heavenly sweet as a result. There are still happy fresh herbs in the PYO, the parsley, sage, thyme, & savory are particularly lovely for your fall stews and soups.

We still have one more week to go! Next week is the last for the main season of CSA but we have started selling shares for our new season extension CSA!

Autumnania Shares are available now- this is six more weeks of our delicious organic greens, roots and squashes. There are slight differences in this share from our regular market style share pick-ups- all veggies will be limited and there is only one share size offered- it will be the equivalent of the small share basket or bigger. Each week we will offer a selection of greens from spinach to salad to arugula, plus root & storage veggies from the cellar, and whatever fresh veggies such as brussel sprouts, cabbage or broccoli that may be coming from the field. As part of your overall share we will also include a jar of our delicious tomatoes, a pound of our own organically grown dry beans and a quart of maple syrup.

Shares are very limited so sign up on-line asap. We start the first week of November! We still have meat shares available as well.

 

 

The above picture is of late season cabbage that has been undersown with an oats/clover cover crop- you can just see the last of the lettuce crop residue in the bed to the right- we are doing a lot of undersowing of cover crops this year due to the fact that we are harvesting crops out of the fields much too late to get a good cover established after plowing and because this wet fall weather has made it hard to get into the fields at all. This makes a very pretty sight-and the quick-growing oats will die in winter's extreme cold while the slower-growing clover will happily be nursed along underneath and rejuvenate in the spring warmth.

What’s in your share (maybe)

Peppers (the last!)

Leeks

Lettuce

Mixed Mustard Greens- Braising Mix

Arugula

Baby Bok Choi

Salad Mix

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Acorn

Radishes

Salad Turnips

Brussel Sprouts

(somewhat)Green tomatoes

 

Pick Your Own

Parsleys and other herbs are still open for picking.

 

Featured vegetables—Acorn Squash

We have a lot of types of winter squashes that we’ve offered you in the last few weeks- many you’ve seen before and some that are unfamiliar. The strange acorn squash that we gave out a few weeks ago and are giving out again this week have become a favorite in our house. These large heirloom acorns are known as Paydon acorn and are supposed to be that golden-beige color. The story of this rare winter squash that it made its way from France to Louisiana to Ohio to Bosco, IL, where it was maintained by the Paydon family since the 1860s.

It is a bit on the stringy side (less so than butternut), but the delicate yellow flesh is sweet and delicious- a lot like the delicata squash or sweet dumpling. This is our first year growing it and at first we were a little intimidated by both its color and size (with some fruits being upwards of 3 lbs+), but the yields were amazing. And the taste- what’s not to love?

Recipe of the Week:

Acorn Squash & Roasted Garlic with Ziti

Some of you have seen this favorite recipe of mine from “Vegetarian Planet” by Didi Emmons- a cookbook that I bought in college and I still use every week- but I thought I would throw it out again this week, since it is one of our favorite fall meals and the kids beg us for it whenever they see acorn squash in the CSA.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

1 acorn squash

6 Tbsp olive oil

15 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 pound ziti

1/3 cup white wine

½ tsp salt, or more, to taste

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnish

¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds and place the halves on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake the squash for 1 hour or until the flesh is soft. Let the squash cool, then spoon out the flesh from the shells, and chop it fine.
  2. About ½ hour after the squash has begun baking, roast the garlic: Toss together the oil and the garlic, and place them in an oven-proof dish. Bake the garlic, uncovered, alongside the squash for 30 minutes or until the garlic is lightly golden.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until it is tender. Drain it, reserving ¾ cup of the drained pasta water.
  4. While the pasta cooks, spoon the roasted garlic with its oil into a large skillet. Add the wine and the reserved pasta water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped squash and boil the sauce for 3 minutes more. Take the skillet off the heat.
  5. Add the pasta to the sauce, and stir well. Add the salt, pepper, and cheese and toss. Divide the pasta among plates, sprinkle the walnuts over and serve along with the additional cheese.

 

 

Posted 10/13/2012 6:59am by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

 

The kids are doing their canned Food Drive this week- don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food item for their collection box. We will donate all food collected to the Hinsdale Food Pantry!

We are planting the hoophouse, the greenhouse (or coolhouse, as we call it this time of year) and you may be curious about the hoops going up down in the field next to the driveway- those are quick hoops- which we will be using to cover fall and winter crops for our season extension shares and to provide some fresh veggies to our wholesale clients. Those hoops will be covered with tough greenhouse plastic so that the crops inside are kept nice and toasty through the cold season. Most of what is going in the ground won’t be harvested until March- but it is something that you can do yourself in your own backyard if you have a little garden space. We are happy to point you to some resources if you are interested.

 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Peppers

Leeks

Lettuce

Mixed Mustard Greens- Braising Mix

Arugula

Baby Bok Choi

Salad Mix

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Buttercup

Radishes

Salad Turnips

Brussel Sprouts

 

Pick Your Own- Until frost!

The flowers are open but once there is a frost, the flowers will be done.

Parsleys and other herbs are open for picking. Some of these will survive frost and just keep right on trucking along until snow covers them.

 

Featured vegetables—Brussel Sprouts

 

Oh beautiful mini-cabbages, how we love thee!

Every year we grow these fabulous stalks – truly one of the most incredible of vegetables- as interesting as artichokes and pineapples but easier to do in our climate.

Every year I put them out for the first time and the questions start because while 90% of you are repeat clients to our CSA, there are always some new folks coming in and most of the populace has NEVER seen a brussel sprout growing in its natural state, which is on a stalk. I’ve even had apprentices (granted they were very new to the farming scene) who have never seen or grown them. In addition to that, I will also get from those new folks, the “I HATE brussel sprouts!” line- usually with vehemence. I can picture it, though it never happened in my house growing up, but I’ve heard it plenty of times. Fresh Brussels served up- boiled to cabbagey mush- gross. No wonder folks hate them. In my house, my father made the Brussels, one of the only things he insisted on cooking other than omelets- he cut an X into the bottom of each one, rinsed them in a colander and put them aside, then he sautéed bacon in a cast iron pan  until it was crispy. Remove the bacon, add Brussels and a little water and cover them while they half steamed, half simmered. When they were tender, but still firm, they were done. Toss with the crumbled bacon, a little black pepper and sometimes, a little parmesan cheese. This is delicious! Now you can take this simple treasure of a recipe- quarter the Brussels and toss with pasta. With or without the pasta, you can add toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and cream for an unbelievable thanksgiving side dish. We always have folks going back for more once they’ve had the Brussels cooked right. If you are watching the waistline or not into bacon- we also suggest cutting the Brussels in half, tossing with a little olive oil and roasting them on a cookie sheet in the oven. Cook them at about 325- it should be a little slow so that the mini cabbages have a chance to carmelize some of their sugars. Delicious!

 

Posted 10/2/2012 2:44pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

We are helping Morgan and Elspeth do a canned food drive as part of their 4-H Youth Outreach for their club, The Milking Maniacs. Next week they will be collecting canned and other non-perishable food items for our local food bank and they would love for you to help them and 4-H beat last years record of 43,615 lbs of food! Look for the decorated 4-H bins next week at CSA distribution.  

Delights of the Earth is a small, local soap and body products company based in Westhampton, MA. Jennifer Therrien is mostly a one woman show with her business and we love her earthy, gorgeous soaps. These bars are real soap, not fancy- the bars are hard (so they won’t immediately disintegrate on the counter) and the smells are delicious without being overpowering. Jennifer has graciously offered a free sample to everyone in our CSA! Please look for the basket of sample sized soaps and take one home with you to try. We will have full sized bars available in the store- a very reasonable price of $3.25 for a good sized bar.

Meat CSA share sign-ups are now open. Sign up online or here in the store! We are still working out the details for both our new veggie CSA season extension Autumania share and for the following Winter Warmer share- we will nail these down in the next week and get the sign-ups live on the website for you. Meat CSA will run almost exactly as it has been with the addition of delicious pasture raised chicken from Mansfield Farm- these are delicious, flavorful, yet tender birds. We will add 2 to your shares during the season. Please let us know if you do not want chicken (or any other cut we offer). The Veggie shares will be a combination of delicious field and hoop or greenhouse grown greens and root crops along with storage crops such as squash. We will also include our own tomatoes specially canned for us by the crew at Appalachian Naturals, maple syrup and other sundry goodies.

There are lots of baby piglets in the barn! As of today we still have one momma left to farrow but there are already a lot of babes on the ground- they are getting feisty- we’ve seen them wrestling and squealing and playing “chase me”.  We also have two new additions to the farm scene- Forrest- a full grown LaMancha buck goat arrived in all his stinky glory last week. He’s very friendly and he’s quite an impressive sight, but just watch out for his stink, it rubs off, literally. We are also up to 15 calves bouncing around in the pasture down the street (the cow/calf herd is currently off of Cleveland Rd, across the river where you can’t really see them on the Musante Farm), Benita finally calved last week- a smaller male version of herself with a nice wide belt- a real beauty! That brings our total up to 11 heifers (girls) and 4 bull calves. The herd grows but we need to find some steers to bring to the farm since we won’t have enough beef at that rate.

 
 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Peppers

Red/Green Cabbage

Potatoes

Leeks

Swiss chard

Lettuce

Mixed Mustard Greens- Braising Mix

Baby Bok Choi

Salad Mix

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Butternut

Radishes

Pick Your Own- Until frost!

The flowers are open but once there is a frost, the flowers will be done.

Parsleys and other herbs are open for picking. Some of these will survive frost and just keep right on trucking along until snow covers them.

Green beans are still going!

Featured vegetables—Braising Greens & Salad Mix

So remember last week when you ate our delicious mustard greens and they were two-bite size? Well this week they are huge, but they are still delicious and so we encourage you to continue to enjoy them. If their size is too intimidating for salad- try them braised instead- they lose a lot of their bite, but still retain their flavor and tender texture. We like them in quiches, soups, pesto sauces and in many other creative culinary delights.

Our mix contains approximately 11 different types of greens, all in the brassica family consisting of arugula, mizuna, pink lettucy mustard, red Russian kale, golden frills, green wave, purple pac choi, red giant, ruby streaks, tat-soi, marubah santoh and whatever else we can think of to throw in the mix. We direct seed this straight into the fields, cover it with remay (white floating row cover) to keep the bugs off it and then weedweedweedweed it. It is one of the most beautiful things we grow in the field with all of its different colors and textures.

Our salad mix has as many as a dozen different lettuces- in truth, we’ve lost count. Currently the mix consists of Red & Green Salad bowl, tango, red romaine, parris island romaine, forellenschluss, lolla rossa, Tropicana, Red sails, new red fire and whatever other lettuces that I had to throw into the bag.

We haven’t had it this season since we’ve been focusing on trying to keep weeds under control in our fields and cut salad takes both a ton of time and requires fields that have very few weeds. We prepped the field they are in for the entire summer! We used a variety of techniques including cover cropping and summer bare fallow- where we turn under the cover and leave the soil exposed for a period of time allowing the weed seeds to germinate before shallowly turning them under (killing them)-and by August we really felt like we could plant safely without it being immediately overrun by weeds. And we were right- our field prep worked and the salad looks beautiful. We’ve definitely spent some time hand weeding, but it hasn’t been as bad as in the past.

We hope that you like the sweet tender baby lettuces as much as we do!

Recipe of the Week: Salade Nicoise

If you’ve never had this famous french salad, I would urge you to give it a go. For each person have enough fresh greens for a full sized meal, add a boiled egg, a ½ can of tunafish, ½ cup of potatoes (boiled or roasted), ¼ cup of croutons (Home-made!) and sundry other fresh or roasted veggies such as roasted peppers, tomatoes, olives. Add your favorite cubed cheese (feta, cheddar, mozzarella) and a mustard dressing. This is one of our absolutely favorite lunches or dinner for the entire family! So good…..

Posted 9/27/2012 1:03pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

 

The tomatoes in the fields are done- disease and these cold nights have pretty much ended their growth, but green ones are still ripening and so we are opening the fields for one last week of gleaning. If you are interested in gleaning tomatoes for canning, please call Desiree- price is $1/lb for self picked gleanings.

We are putting the fields to bed for the winter- as the next few weeks move us into October we will be mowing off old crops, plowing and tilling empty fields and seeding winter cover crops. We also need to plant next season’s garlic and finish cleaning the garlic that is now fully cured.

New yarns are in from the Green Mountain Spinnery- they transformed our dirty, greasy wool clip into luxurious and soft yarns ready for your next project. Look for 2 new yarns in the store- a lustrous light silver and a beautiful silver & white variegated yarn (a reverse of the version we have had). Both are worsted weight, single strand and about 240 yards, 4oz skeins.  

 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Tomatoes (the last of them!)

Sauce Tomatoes

Peppers

Red Cabbage

Potatoes

Leeks

Swiss chard

Lettuce

Mixed Mustard Greens

Baby Tat-soi (use like Bok Choi)

Arugula

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Acorn

 

Pick Your Own- Until frost!

The flowers are open but once there is a frost, the flowers will be done.

Basils are ready- take a bunch for pesto.

Parsleys and other herbs are open for picking. Some of these will survive frost and just keep right on trucking along until snow covers them.

Green beans are still going!

Cherry & Sauce tomatoes are entering their last week- it is a race whether it will be frost or disease that takes them first.

Chili peppers- lots of different varieties and varying heat….check out the guide!

Featured vegetables—Leeks & Tat-soi

The last of the summer onions are gone and it is time for fall leeks- ours are still a little smaller than is ideal, but they are still delicious. Everyone has had potato leek soup- but leeks add a little extra something to many dishes when substituted for onions in a recipe. They are also delicious braised in butter and served tossed with your favorite pasta, parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Add some chopped fresh tomato and you have a feast fit for royalty.

Tat-soi is just another kind of bok-choi- it has darker, smaller, rounder leaves that are tender enough to pass for spinach. It is also hardy enough to withstand wintry temperatures down to 20 degrees and still be fine so we are growing it in our hoophouses along with salad mix and spinach for winter greens. Try this lovely asian green sautéed in sunflower oil with garlic, good stock, a chili pepper and a little coconut milk.

 

Recipe of the week: Braised Greens and Chorizo

 

This recipe comes from Kajsa Alger, Executive Chef at Susan Feniger's Street in Hollywood

 (Serves 6)

Ingredients:

1 gallon each of chopped red chard and chopped purple kale (approx 3-4 bunches total), washed well
3 leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 link of Holiday Brook Farm*** Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, place the oil and leeks and cook over low heat until the leeks are soft.
  1. Add the garlic and chorizo (if using) and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the flavors are released.
  1. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the greens and salt (you can add this to taste depending on the saltiness of your chorizo), stirring continually, until they are well wilted.

 

  1. Reduce the heat once more to low and simmer the greens for another 10 minutes until soft and cooked through.
  1. Remove from heat and pour off any excess liquid.  Serve immediately.

***blatant product promotion inserted because our chorizo sausage is incredible…..

Posted 9/18/2012 4:05pm by Desiree & Jesse Robertson-DuBois.

The winter squash is all in! Thank you to the Sears-Locke Family (and friend) who helped haul the squash off the wagon and into the bins in the root cellar on Saturday- it was a great help (and we already had aching backs from hauling winter squash for the last three days straight. It was quite a harvest- I can't really even begin to guesstimate on the pounds of squash, but it was huge, despite the summer drought. Winter squash always makes for great pictures, so check out the website for beautiful displays of squash.

We are bringing in a lot of new fall vegetables in the next five weeks. Leeks, brussels sprouts, salad turnips, broccoli and more to come- we will also be getting out the sign-ups for Fall & Winter CSA extensions for both Meat and Veg in the next week, so look for those soon. Once you get the sign-up announcement, please do so as soon as you can, we have a waiting list already, but want to give our current members a chance to continue with great local food before opening it up. Thanks!

Fall is in the air! We will probably see the end of tomatoes very soon, along with eggplant and peppers. If you are interested in gleaning tomatoes for canning, please call Desiree- price is $1/lb for self picked gleanings. You may also buy pre-picked sauce tomatoes by the 10/lb case for $15, but we need to know ahead of time.

 


What’s in your share (maybe)

Tomatoes

Sauce Tomatoes

Peppers &/or Eggplant

Red Cabbage

Potatoes- Yukon

Onions: Mixed

Swiss chard

Lettuce

Mixed Mustard Greens

Garlic

Kale

Winter Squash- Spagetti

 

Pick Your Own

The flowers are open- please pick a nice bouquet- feel free to weed while out there!

Basils are ready- take a bunch for a pesto meal.

Parsleys and other herbs are open for picking. Let us know if you don’t recognize something or want to find a particular herb.

Green beans are open for picking still, but we are entering the last week or so for them.

Cherry & Sauce tomatoes are open for picking- they are rocking so the limit is quart- thanks

Chili peppers- lots of different varieties and varying heat….check out the guide!

Featured vegetables—Spagetti Squash

This squash is wonderful, despite the fact that it takes longer to cook than the pasta it usually replaces in recipes. Give it a try, it makes a nice change from pasta, leaves you pleasantly full and yet, has more nutritive value than the pasta along with plenty of fiber. Simply cut in half, lay cut side down on a cookie tray (with sides), add a little water and cook until the squash is soft. Scoop out the seeds,  and carve out the soft squashy pasta-like strings. Top with your favorite pasta sauce- anything from pesto to meat sauce, plenty of cheese and enjoy. It makes for a delicious side dish as well topped with butter and some flakes of parmesan. Just a side note, this squash does not store well so plan on using it in the next few weeks as it won't hang out the way that many other winter squashes will. 

There will be many other storage-type winter squashes coming!

 

Recipe of the week:

On a wet and windy day, we made this yummy soup for lunch on the fly. It was hearty and warm and we loved it!

 

Sweet Italian Sausage & Kale Stew

Ingredients:

4 Sweet Italian sausage links

1 qt (or 1.5lbs) of potatoes (yukons work well), chopped into 1"pieces

3 onions, any kind, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

2 good bouillion cubes (vegetable or chicken)

1 small bunch kale, shredded

In a large cast iron dutch oven or heavy bottom saucepan, add olive oil and sausages. Remove sausages when well cooked, add onions and garlic. When onions are soft, add potatoes, the bouillion cubes and cover with water. Let simmer, stirring often until potatoes are tender. Chop and add sausages and kale. Stir and simmer until kale is wilted. Serve immediately with biscuits. Enjoy!