Summer Shares starting first of June! May 31 early bird signup for winter shares

May has shown us a blast of summer and bit more winter, but the soil is warming and our farms are rolling along, with plants going in the field since mid-April–
“About four acres of crops are in the ground, including: just germinating spinach, carrot, beet, and radish seeds; greenhouse transplants of lettuce, scallions, kale, radicchio, peas, and kohlrabi; and somewhere around 75,000 potato seed pieces tucked in this week.”, says Picadilly Farmer Jenny Wooster.  Thousands more being tended in their cozy greenhouses.  And things are going well enough that both Picadilly and Riverland Farms anticipate share deliveries to start the very first week of June! So, here’s your chance to reserve your full season’s share of the freshest, high quality, organic food delivered to your neighborhood all summer and well into the fall.  Both farms have a few more shares to sell to hit their targets, so please spread the word!

Summer Farm Shares at our member farms:

Picadilly Farm Eastern Mass. Organic Shares (to many locations from N. Reading to Newton, Cambridge out to Bedford) . Before you know it, we will get the word that it’s time to pick your own strawberries at the farm! (All shareholders can come and pick.)

Riverland early carrots in the high tunnel

June’s carrots growing in Riverland’s high tunnel

Riverland Farm South Shore Organic Shares (to Hingham, Cohasset, Scituate, Marshfield)

 

 

 

 

 

To help you help the farms during this, their season of financial squeeze (buying supplies, making sure equipment is in full working order, paying full-time crew now), we are extending the Early Bird discount for winter share signups until May 31.  That’s 10% off the winter share price for whatever months you choose.  And you get the discount even if you just put down the first installment (and pay the rest by Sept. 1).

Thanks everyone!

 

 

First 2014 Winter Share Pickup Saturday in Arlington

Also check out shareholder Jackie Starr’s menu suggestions and recipe links, customized for this month’s share!

Romanesco Broccoli

Share contents for Saturday, October 25, 2014:

Use these within a week or so (or blanche or make a dish for freezing):
Lettuce-1 head, from Riverland
Bok Choy—1 head of large, from Riverland
2 broccoli or Romanesco, from Riverland
Mixed greens– a bunch or bag, from Riverland
Kale—1 bunch, from Riverland—great in soups, grated and marinated for a salad, or kale chips!
Escarole—great in soups,  from Riverland                                                                                    Rosemary bunch, from Riverland

These will keep for a couple of weeks in your fridge crisper drawer:
Leeks (2 bunches)—keep whole or chop for soup and freeze (no need to blanche) from Picadilly
Salad (Hakurei) turnips – a bunch (cut off the greens and use them first), from Picadilly

These will keep for many weeks in cold storage (keep moist in bag, with some ventilation):
Carrots – 5#, from Picadilly
Potatoes – 5#, gold from Picadilly
Beets – 2#, from Picadilly
Celeriac— from Picadilly, peel and slice or grate as an excellent salad or stirfry ingredient, steam and mash like potatoes,
Cabbage (red), from Riverland—if you are making sauerkraut or kimchi, do that asap
Fennel, from Riverlandnice grated into salads, or slice and roast with other veggies.

These will keep for many weeks in cool, dry conditions (40-55 degrees), like a shelf in your basement or unheated room as long as it doesn’t freeze; store in paper bags:
Garlic ½ #(can also be stored in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator), from Riverland
Onions, yellow, 2#, from Alprilla Farm

These will keep for a few weeks in your kitchen or in a cool dry cellar:                                Acorn Squash, 3 pieces, from Picadilly

These will keep for months at 50-70 degrees—NOT COLD STORAGE:
Sweet potatoes 4#’s, from Riverland

Connecting the fall color in the landscape to the color on your plate

Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling photo credit: Crystal Brook Farm

It is the time to drink in the New England growing season’s fantastic finale of color–wow!  Our appreciation of color is so intrinsic to our biology:  bright colors on our plate signal nutrients and flavor and the brilliance of fall foliage keeps us moving outside and getting those essential rays of sun even as the weather turns cold.  Brilliant, deep green grass means healthy land which supports the health of our food, our water resources, our oxygenated air.

If you get a chance to venture out of the city this weekend, here are some nifty opportunities to include farm tours, which can be a more intimate look at what colors our landscape and plates:

Only this weekend: 

last weekend to pick your own organic raspberries at Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, MA.

Child looking at Cranberry crate at Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA.watch fresh organic cranberries being harvested at  Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver.  …the fresh organic cranberries you can order in November with your shares are picked using dry harvest (which involves much less bruising) and then separated from the chaff and hand sorted on this amazing antique wood conveyor machine.  Touring their fresh harvest operation is weather-dependent, so if Sunday and Monday live up to the dry forcast, head to their stand.  If it is drizzly in the morning, tours will view the wet harvest (for their frozen and juice berries), which is also a unique adventure.  Tours are gathered at the farm stand, which will continue to be open beyond this weekend, and selling delicious cranberry items (like orange infused sugar coated organic cranberries–special gift!).

If Carver seems a ways away for some of you, consider piggy-backing the cranberry tour on a day trip to King Richards Faire, an outdoor medieval village set amid a beautiful grove of trees in Carver…I’ve taken my kids there and we all had a blast, from the Shakespearean humor, real blacksmithing, roving pickle vendors, costumes, and human powered festival rides, games, and challenges (which are amazingly well-constructed and fun!)

This weekend and next:  Cider Hill is among very few orchards in our area still open for picking.   It is a beautiful farm with nice views from the top of the hill, and an interesting variety of apples.  And you can piggy-back a beach trip on this one (near Salisbury and southern NH beaches).

Anytime this month,

IMG_5398-1024x682

Goats at Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling

Goats!  Crystal Brook farm, where we get our goat cheese for the Extras, is open for tours and farm stand sales Wed.-Sun…it’s a little off the beaten path, but the wide-open pastures are breathtaking (and a quiet getaway), and it’s only about an hour from Arlington.

Foliage in the hills and mountains!  Take a trip further west to see the foliage in the Berkshires, hill towns, southern VT.  Picadilly Farm is minutes from Northfield MA, out Route 2, and en route to Brattleboro–shareholders and friends are welcome to walk around the farm anytime, stop in and say hi and see their beautiful operation there, the view from the barn, and your fall carrots and kale thriving in the fields.  Picadilly has farming neighbors with animals on pasture with views. (Win-gate farm around the corner, and Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, NH–check their websites or call ahead for hours).  Then hike Mt. Pisgah right nearby, or…

Riverland Farm is in Sutherland, just outside of Amherst and Northhampton on the east side of the Connecticut River, along River Road/MA-47 in case you are the vicinity of those towns or visiting Mt. Tom.

What’s this?!

A few of the veggies in the share proved challenging to identify and “what’s this?” was a common question during the distribution.  The answer: “It’s probably either kohlrabi, winter radish or parsley root.” Photos of kohlrabi and black winter radish are below; more pics if you follow the links I’ve included.

Here’s what was in the CSA share distributed in Arlington on November 19: Apples (not in the photo), Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, collard greens, carrots, cabbage, escarole, fennel or parsley root, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, purple top turnips, potatoes, parsnips, rosemary*, salad mix, salad turnips, sweet potatoes and winter radish.

raw veggie snacks for the cook: carrots, salad turnips, kohlrabi and black radishes

What are you cooking with your share?

Today I’ll roast Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, onion, garlic, purple top turnips, sweet potatoes – all tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. In addition to these roasted roots, dinner at our house will include pork chops, collard greens, lettuce salad and apple pie. Tomorrow I will make soup for freezing – squash soup, sweet potato-leek-turnip soup and carrot soup. I’ve found that cooking and freezing part of my share works best for me. I am curious about how other people manage their share.

*Riverland Farmer Rob Lynch had a bit of a surprise a few days ago when he checked the herbs (sage) he’d planned for our share. It was gone. Not wanting you to be herb-less, Rob contacted a neighboring farm and bought in rosemary for the share. Hope you enjoy this special treat!

Come Be Part of Local Food, Local Farms and Local Economy!

 

CSA Fair Display, Arlington Robbins Library

Think it would be great to get a box of delicious fresh vegetables on a regular basis from farms and farmers you know and trust? Are you looking for ways to reduce your carbon food-print? Want to sign up for a farm share, but haven’t connected to a farm that delivers in your area yet?

 

Come to the second annual CSA Farm Share Fair in Arlington! Farmers will be on hand to tell you about Community Supported Agriculture how their CSAs work, what they are growing this year, and how you can sign-up for a farm share. The Fair will host over a dozen local CSAs.  Shared Harvest Winter CSA will be at the Fair. Rob Lynch (Riverland Farm) and Charley Baer (Baer’s Best Beans) will be at the Fair to answer your questions. Charley will be selling his wonderful heirloom beans. Picadilly farmer, Jenny Wooster and Busa farmer, Dennis Busa will be hand, selling their farm’s summer shares and chatting with fair-goers.

The Fair will be held in Arlington on Thursday, February 24, 4:30-7:30 pm at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road.

Come meet your farmers on the 24th!

CSA Farm Share Fair in Arlington

I’m helping to organize a CSA Farm Share Fair in Arlington. It will be a nice opportunity to meet the farmers who grow your food. Our three-person team of volunteers (one of whom is headed to Africa for a month!) needs help spreading the word about the Fair. If you’re willing to put flyers around town, forward e-mail announcements about the Fair to friends, or if know how to set up and use Facebook or Twitter to spread the word, we would love to have you help us!

Last year’s Fair was terrific, in spite of gale force winds and pounding rain. I’m sure this year’s will be even better! I think Rob and/or Meghan from Riverland will be at the Fair on behalf of Shared Harvest.

Rob & Meghan at Riverland Farm

Rob & Meghan at Riverland Farm

I heard a rumor that Jenny and baby Jesse will be attending also.
Jenny and Jesse Wooster, leading 2010 Farmer Training Tour at Picadilly Farm

Jenny and Jesse Wooster, leading 2010 Farmer Training Tour at Picadilly Farm

December 11 share

Saturday was the last distribution of Shared Harvest CSA’s three month winter share.

Shared Harvest CSA Share, Dec 11, 2010

Shared Harvest CSA Share, Dec 11, 2010

Everything in the photo, except the cookbooks and brewing hard cider, was in the share. Here are the details.

Picadilly Farm
Parsnips, 2 pounds
Butternut, 7 pounds (2-3 pieces) and ‘bonus’ squash – acorn in this share.
White potatoes, 6 pounds. One pound of these potatoes was packed with the celeriac.
Celeriac, 2-2.5 pounds (it is small! the drought this summer really took a toll on the celeriac!) Here’s a picture of celeriac, along with a nice recipe for it.
Beets, 3 pounds

Riverland Farm
Carrots, 6 pounds
Green cabbage, 1 head
Leeks, 1 bunch
Onions, 2 pounds
Popcorn, 1 bouquet. Tips from Rob Lynch, Riverland Farm, on how to pop popcorn.
Turnips, 2 pounds
Sweet Potato, 4 pounds

Watermelon Radishes & Purple Top Turnips

Winter radishes, 1 pound. The radishes in the share were watermelon radishes. I think there might have been a few black Spanish winter radishes in some of the shares. The links have photos of the radishes as well as recipes.

Moraine Farm
Baer’s Best Beans,
one pound.

Busa Farm/Brookwood Farm
Lettuce, three heads OR two bags of kale & carrots. Dennis Busa grew lettuce in his greenhouse. We’d hoped to be able to harvest kale, but the temps didn’t get above freezing on Friday, and veggies harvested frozen have zero shelf life. The last twenty Lexington shareholders got the kale & carrots from Brookwood Farm, as did all shareholders who picked up in Canton. The extremely cold temps in Canton last week did in some of the December greens, so the Brookwood crew substituted with carrots they dug on Friday.

November 20 CSA Share

Besty, Ben, Darry & Kristi unloading shares

Today was the first distribution of our two month winter share. What a lovely day for a CSA share distribution – sunny skies and crisp temperatures. Lots of folks came to help unload the truck and set up for the distribution — thank you!!!

Here’s what was in the share.

Picadilly Farm
Potatoes, 5 pounds. Store out of bag, in a cool dark place.
Carrots, 4 pounds
Hakurei salad turnips, a bunch
Parsley, 1 bunch
Parsnips, 2 pounds
Spinach, 2/3 pound
Winter squash, butternuts, 7 pounds
Leeks, 1 bunch
Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds. These will store well at a temperature of 50 degrees. A basement, attic, or even sitting on the kitchen counter would be a fine choice– just remember to take them out of their plastic bag.

Riverland Farm
Broccoli or cauliflower, 2 pieces
Brussels sprouts, 2 stalks
Bok Choy, 3/4 pound of red, green or both
Garlic, 1/2 pound
Yellow onions, 2 pounds
Cabbage, 1 head, red or green

Busa Farm
Three leafy greens, some combination of:
Lettuce, green (Boston or leaf variety)
Lettuce, red (leaf variety)
Greens, Swiss chard, tuscano kale, escarole or two heads of endive.

Moraine Farm, Baer’s Best Beans
Jacob’s Cattle dried beans, one pound. This heirloom variety typically has a lot more white on it, but we think that the extreme heat and lack of water combined to leave them almost completely purple this year.

Cider Hill Farm
Apples, about five pounds

November 13 share

We’ve got another lovely share to distribute this weekend! Our farmers will be picking the greens and packing Shared Harvest boxes today. They’ll be up early Saturday morning to deliver boxes of deliciousness to us! Marius from Cider Hill Farm will get to the farm first with bulk apples and cider. Then Mike from Riverland, and Ben from Picadilly will arrive.  Kristi, Darry, Brittany and I, along with a small group of shareholders (thank you!) will help unload over — drum roll — seven tons of local produce! Want to join the early morning party? We can never have too much muscle.

Brussels sprouts

Get your cookbooks out! Here’s what we’ve got planned for the share on Saturday. (I’ll add any last minute corrections tomorrow.)

Riverland Farm

Bok Choy, one head
Brussels Sprouts, two stalks
Garlic, 1/2 pound
Yellow Onions, 2 pounds
Herbs (parsley, rosemary, or sage)
Leeks, 1 bunch
Green Cabbage, 1 head
Purple top turnips or rutabagas, 2 pounds
Sweet Potatoes, 4 pounds

Picadilly Farm
Carrots, 4 pounds
Daikon, 1 bunch
Spinach, 2/3 pounds
Butternut Squash, about 6 pounds
Salad turnips, 1 bunch
Parsnips, 2 pounds
Potatoes (unwashed for better storage), 4 pounds. Oops – we’d planned for 5 pounds of spuds in the share; a note from Jenny explains: “we mistakenly packed 4# of potatoes instead of 5. It’s already done (with boxing now in progress), so we send an extra pound in December.”

Brookwood Farm, Canton shareholders (& the last twenty Lexington pick up folks)
Kale, two bunches (red Russian, winterbor and/or tuscano varieties)
Collard greens, one bunch Chard, one bunch

Busa Farm, Lexington shareholders (last twenty folks got greens from Brookwood)
Lettuce, 2 heads
Greens, 1 bunch. Red mustard, kamatsuna, rabi senza testa OR yukina savoy

Shareholder Reminders
Bring grocery bags for your greens.
Use the Swap Box to exchange items you don’t want for items you do want.
Car pool if you can! Check out your Ride Share map to find a neighboring shareholder.
Storage Tips and Recipe Resources are on the web site.

Lettuce growing in the Busa Farm field, November 2010

Hungry?

Can we eat yet?

(updated November 5) Shared Harvest Winter CSA  can supply the veggies for many tasty meals this winter! Lots of A few two month shares are still available. Pick up is at Busa Farm in Lexington or Brookwood Farm in Canton on Nov 13 & Dec 11. Picadilly Farm and Riverland Farm grow the majority of veggies for the share, with smaller farms like Busa, Brookwood and Moraine adding the finishing touches. Email me (use the Contact form) if you are interested in getting one of the few remaining shares.