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.

Farm Happenings

Shared Harvest CSA shareholders are welcome to join Riverland Farmers Rob and Meghan for a potluck picnic this Saturday, September 4 at 5:30 PM.  Come join your farmers for a meal!  Bring a large dish to share, a blanket to sit on, and your friends and family.  Rob and Meghan will provide the salad and some beverages.  Potluck will be behind their house at 206 River Road in Sunderland. Directions to the farm are here.

Here’s a farm event that you might want to start preparing for now ….. Cider Mash 5K at Cider Hill Farm, Sunday, October 24.  Sponsored by a local fitness place, this 5K is a nice opportunity to visit Cider Hill Farm and get some exercise as well as a cider donut! Cider Hill Farm is open to visitors daily – pick-your-own peaches are in right now.

What’s in the winter share,

and will it be enough, or too much, for my family? I spoke with a couple of folks yesterday who were wondering about this.  I think the best way to answer the question is to check out the 2009 share content lists: October 2009, November 2009, and December 2009.  You might also find shareholder reviews helpful. Last year’s shares were terrific, so we’ve not altered the plans much. Shared Harvest CSA farmers report that crops for the winter share are doing well, so we’re hoping for a repeat performance this year. Mother nature willing.

Plans for the winter share include apples, beets, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (napa and green varieties), carrots, celery, celeriac, chicories, cilantro, collard greens, dried beans, escarole, fennel, garlic, hakurei turnips, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, leeks, onions, purple top turnips, parsley, parsnips, pie pumpkins, potatoes, popcorn, sweet potatoes, radishes, radicchio, rutabaga, spinach, turnips, winter radishes and winter squash.

Riverland Farm Visit

As promised, here are pictures from my working visit to Riverland mid-June. Megan T from the Newton Farm came along. Wish I’d been able to get a video of Megan and Riverland farmer Rob Lynch tying tomatoes – looked like they were dancing! Mouse over the photos for a brief description.

Farm Fleet

Every organic farm has a farm fleet — the equipment needed to make farming economically, environmentally and physically sustainable. On a recent working visit to Riverland Farm, I came across one of the nicest pieces of farm transport I’ve seen in some time.

That’s a blue Schwinn in front of a field of garlic; big red barn and hoop house in the background. Yep, those are blue streamers on the handle bars. On Riverland’s twenty-five acres it’s essential to have a way to get around. I’ll post more farm fleet photos soon.

Bare Naked Farming

Another road trip to a Shared Harvest CSA partner farm is being planned, this time to Riverland Farm in Sunderland, MA. Should be an interesting experience given that  Riverland farmer, Rob Lynch seems to be setting a new standard for farm wear. Here’s an excerpt from the most recent Riverland Farm newsletter, Riverland Currants:

Knowing the power of the wind here on this open plain in Sunderland, we make it a point to close down all of our barn and greenhouse doors in the evening. Forgetting to do that simple task on Wednesday made for an eventful night. As that storm came in Meghan and I both shot out of bed, disoriented but knowing exactly what we had to do. At that time I was so focused on closing everything down that things like clothes and shoes seemed unimportant. Despite our best efforts the wind got to the barn before we did and took a 6’ x 11’ 200# barn door off and threw it into the road like a piece of cardboard. We reached the greenhouse in time preventing any structural damage though the wind did take several of our plug trays and scatter them all over the farm and smash up a solid wood bench that we use for filling trays with soil. The hail that came in with the storm did some minimal cosmetic damage to our first head lettuce, bok choy, and some of the swiss chard and spinach. Overall the storm was mostly just mentally traumatic but ended up being good fodder for comedy when I think back on running around in my birthday suit closing things down.

Visit Riverland Currants for the full newsletter article.