Adapted from acouplecooks.com
We had a very special harvest on the farm this week – our first carrots of the season! Harvesting carrots is one of the simple and deep pleasures of farming. Here is how a carrot harvest goes: first we use a garden fork to leverage and loosen the soil around the carrots (the garden fork resembles a pitchfork but has smaller and heavier tines). Once the soil has been loosened, we can firmly grasp the carrot at the base of the top and pop it out of the soil. Using this method, a whole bunch of carrots can be pulled up at once. Seeing these delicious orange roots emerge from the soil while smelling the slightly spicy fragrance of the tops is seriously satisfying experience. It is such a treat to have a diverse crop that we get to share with you; knowing that our members will be enjoying these vegetables with their friends and family makes every harvest and distribution day a treat!
On another note, we wanted to let you all know that we now have organically fed, pasture raised pork available for purchase. We have raised our heritage pigs in a rotational grazing pattern through the fields and forests of Maitri Farm. This tender and flavorful pork is a healthy and delicious treat for any meal. We offer pork in ½ & ¼ pig boxes which each include a variety of cuts to give you a taste of everything. The boxes are available for order now for pickup at in early September. See our website for ordering information, or contact email@example.com
Finally, one sad announcement – due to health and personal reasons, I will be phasing out from my work at Maitri Farm in the next week or so. I have been deeply honored to work with the Maitri Farm team, and to serve all our members with fresh, delicious food. The chickens, pigs, and bees will be in good hands with Rose and Molly. Thank you all so much for a wonderful season so far.
Adapted from Epicurious
Recipe Adapted From Alice Waters
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Thinly slice the reserved chard stems, add them to the water, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and continue cooking until tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain and allow to cool, then gently squeeze out the excess liquid and coarsely chop.
2. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoons of butter and toss the breadcrumbs, then spread them out on a small baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, then add the onion. Sweat until translucent, 5-7 minutes, then stir in the chard, 2 handfuls of other greens, and a couple pinches of salt. Cook for 3 minutes, then sprinkle the flour over the chard and stir well to coat. Add the milk and nutmeg and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes as the mixture thickens. The chard and greens should be just moist, but not overly wet, or else the gratin won't brown properly. Taste and season with salt.
4. Butter a baking dish and spread the chard mixture evenly in the dish. Dot with the remaining butter and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve.
Keeping your share fresh!
Other share tips
Adapted from Epicurious
Greetings from the farm! We've had great growing weather here in Amenia, and we're thankful for all the rain we've been getting too; we barely used our irrigation system the whole month of June! Our tomatoes are so big and bushy that pruning and trellising them (to increase future production) is more like a trek through the jungle than a day on the farm! We don't want to count our chickens before they hatch, but there are some lovely-looking--albeit still green--tomatoes on all of those vines...
You may have wondered why we switched from our basil bunches to bags of basil for processing this week. It's because of a new plant disease that has hit our region in the past few years: basil powdery mildew. Though we haven't seen it yet this season, basil powdery mildew has hit many organic farms in the area in summers past, and though there's no knowing when it will hit, when it does our basil season will be over.
Many plant breeders are working on basil that can resist the powdery mildew, but for now, here's our solution: Since we know that for many people (us included!) Italian basil is a beloved taste of summer, we've harvested larger quantities of processing-quality basil. If you love Italian basil, you can make some pesto now to freeze for later!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Hello CSA Members,
It's been an exciting week (as always!) here on the farm. First of all, thanks so much to all who came to our open house on Saturday--we loved sharing a glimpse into the farm life with everybody, and the hens and pigs loved all the attention, too! If you couldn't make it, keep your eyes out for other opportunities to visit as the season goes on.
We had a different sort of visitor to the farm this week, as well: on Tuesday, our organic inspector came to check out our veggie production and verify that all the information we gave our certifying agency was correct. During inspection, they take a look at our fields, growing practices, and record-keeping to ensure that we're following national organic standards (...but we like to think we're exceeding them!). They haven't granted us our certification yet, but we're one step closer, and hopefully we'll be getting it soon. Though it may take a lot of paperwork for a small farm to get certified, we think it's another way that we can commit to our values and gain the trust of our community.
In other news, our hoophouse is now up and fully functional! Hoop houses are simple structures, usually made of a metal frame and covered by clear plastic sheeting, that provide crops with extra heat and protection as they grow in a field. Our hoophouse will have tomatoes, cucumbers, and other heat-loving crops in it this summer, and it will keep cold-hardy greens growing happily well into the fall. We're looking forward to getting it planted this week (look out for some pictures on Facebook and Instagram!), and to growing wonderful food in there for many seasons to come.
This heirloom German vegetable (the name means 'cabbage turnip') is crunchy, tender, and slightly sweet. Make sure peel both the skin and tough layer beneath
Other share tips: