Monday, August 29, 2011


Greetings all!
Well the good news is that all are well at the farm and there hasn't been too much damage and we are all trying to get back to normal. We are still currently without power but we can't see how that will have too much effect on the CSA shares this week. Of course we won't have refridgeration in the cold room but that shouldn't be too much of an issue as we have had nice cool nights. Anyhow, we are lucky that the sun came out and the flood waters receeded because Sunday was quite a day.
During heavy rains we are often locally flooded especially on the farm road. Dan knew Sunday morning that chances were good that the main road would be flooded as well. He drove off to milk the cow. ( I think most of you know by now that we live about a mile away from the farm, or about 6 miles when our little farm road is flooded.) As he drove he witnessed waters rising and new he only had a limited amount of time to milk and do the chores before the road would be impassable in all directions - north, south, east and west. After milking he noticed that the brook on the southern edge of the farm was flooding the southwestern most corner - tomatoes, eggplants and peppers were all under about 2 feet of water. Even more dire, was the fact our two pigs also live in this area of the farm. Dan went out to them with the tractor and found them up to their chests in water. He cut open their fencing and let them out, leading them to higher ground with fresh food and milk. Without an alternative pen for them and knowing the water on the road was rising with every minute he decided they would be fine on the loose and stick close to the barn.
He got in the truck and headed for home. Alas, it was too late and the road was impassable. What to do? Well he went back to the farm and parked the truck and headed out on foot. He crossed a small bridge on the south of the farm and headed into the woods. Dan was able to bushwack through the woods, crossing a small (thigh high) stream to come out through our neighbor's property. Needless to say they were a little surprised to see Dan in full rain gear emerging from their back pasture.
It sounds like a little bit of a harrowing adventure, doesn't it? Well Dan is just the sort to throw himself in to the moment and do what needs done with a hearty sense of adventure. Later, in dry clothes, he took Beatrice and the pup out exploring.
This morning all was back to work as normal at the farm. The piggies were huddled in the barn. The farm crew all showed up on time ready to go to it. So here we go again for another CSA harvest.... Since I'm not home right now and Dan and I are in scatttered directions I can't give you the exact harvest but it will probably include beets, carrots, potatoes, leeks, onions, kale, peppers, tomatoes...
We hope all of you have weathered the storm without too much damage.
Have a good week!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

RECIPE: Easy Double Tomato Bruschetta

3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4c sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
fresh basil, chopped, stems removed
salt, pepper to taste
1 whole wheat french baguette
1c parmesan cheese, shredded

1. preheat oven to broiler
2. In a large boil, combine both tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
3. Cut baguette into small 3 inch sections
4. on baking sheet, arrange baguette slices in a single layer, broil until slightly browned.
5. Divide the mixture evenly on top of slices and top with cheese.
6. Broil for 5 min or until cheese is melted.

RECIPE: Orzo with Lemony Leek Sauce

This pasta dish takes tender leeks out of the soup pot to use as a light pasta sauce. Because leeks can be gritty, slice them vertically before chopping so that you can rinse between layers.

Ingredient List
Serves 6
• 6 medium leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and chopped
• 2 Tbs. lemon juice
• 2 Tbs. parsley
• 1 Tbs. olive oil
• 16 oz. orzo pasta
• 1/2 lb. asparagus, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add leeks, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain, and purée in blender with lemon juice, parsley and oil. Set aside.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add asparagus to pasta water during last 2 minutes of cooking.
4. Drain pasta and asparagus, and transfer to large bowl. Top with leek sauce and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

RECIPE: Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip

From Avigail: If you're not too afraid to turn on your oven these days, here is a delicious way to use your eggplants. I don't know about you, but I love eggplant dip, and when I buy it in the stores it often tends to be a little oily for my taste.

1 medium Italian eggplant, or 2 medium Chinese eggplants, skin peeled off with a vegetable peeler
2 red bell peppers, washed well, and seeded
1 red onion
2-4 cloves minced garlic (I like a lot of garlic in mine!)
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tbsp tomato paste

For serving (pick one):
Tortilla chips
Pita chips
French Bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare veggies by chopping the eggplant, red pepper, and red onion into roughly 1-inch sized pieces. Put them in a large bowl, then toss well with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, so that all the vegetables are well coated. Spread them out in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet, then roast them for 45 minutes, tossing the vegetables once during roasting. Once they are done, they will be well-browned and soft.

Let the vegetables cool slightly, then transfer them to a food processor. Pulse the vegetables a few times to break them up, then add the tomato paste and pulse until well-blended and mostly smooth. (I like it smooth with a few larger bits, but you can leave the dip as chunky or as smooth as you like.) Serve at room temperature with chips or bread, or store refrigerated for a few days.


Hello folks!

We're back to the farm from sunny Colorado enjoying the current thunderstorm. Wow, what a rain! It looks like the crew had a great week at the farm in our absence. It sounds like the big happening while we were gone was a raccoon in the chicken coop. Our neighbor Chris took care of it (with his gun) before it did much damage. I guess now that we are buying in our corn the raccoons need to find something else to get into. Which brings us to corn... local members may have seen Dan's mug shot unloading a load of corn from Howden farm in the Lakeville Journal. We know that corn is such a big summer treat for folks that we don't want you to miss out. Sweet corn in real quantity requires so much land that we'd have to double our land base just to accomidate this crop .... Luckily for us Bruce Howden, in near by Sheffield Mass, does such a bang up job of growing sweet corn and he's just a phone call and short drive away. Having to grow so many different crops for the CSA model is pretty tricky and if there are one or two items Dan can cross off his to do list he can focus on all those other crops that need his attention. So we hope you're enjoying all the corn we're buying in! Our NYC CSA also buys in corn from a local grower, and this has eased our growing difficulties immensely!

This week's picture: Bea and Baxter helping to clean up the garlic.

Here's the likely upcoming harvest:

Salad Mix


Monday, August 15, 2011


Have you ever wondered how it all comes together? How do we plan what to plant and when, what to harvest next, what field work needs to happen asap? Well, this picture kind of says it all. Dan knows all these things from years of farming but his notebook is his key tool for keeping things straight. The inside front cover has his weekly to do list, including harvests. The front cover has the harvest numbers and contact info for each distribution site. The first 5-6 pages are the seeding schedule followed by daily notes for the past 2-3 years. Not only is Dan an extensive list maker (who will extol the therapeutic virtues of blackening completed items with a sharpie) but also a steadfast note taker. Dan has taken extensive daily notes on farm work, weather, family events etc. While you can see from the picture here we aren't talking about spread sheets or anything that technical but the value of this type of record keeping is enormous. Gosh, it seems like the melons are late... a quick glance will tell that we're a week behind from last year or didn't we give out more spinach last, we've given the same amount - that sort of thing. It is so helpful to be able to look back and compare years or even remind ourselves of the little daily events that occur. So let's see August 15, 2010: Dan's dad's birthday, went to grammy and pop's for brunch, Dan fertilized the brassicas, mowed the potatoes, still milking Patches twice a day, our neighbor mowed our drainage ditches for us.

The notebook is also a critical tool for weeks like this upcoming one. The farm family will be away in Colorado for a family wedding and the crew will be running to show. I have to say they really are our best crew ever and are sure they are 110% capable of taking care of things while we are gone. But it will take Dan sitting down with his notebook tonight making lists and planning for the week ahead. It should be a great experience for them, as each person will have their own area of responsibility.
These apprenti are the best ever, please expect a perfect share!

This week's harvest:

Salad Mix

Your farmers D+T

Sunday, August 14, 2011

RECIPE: Smoky Baba Ganoush

For those of you out there who (understandably) refuse to turn their oven on right now, try out this recipe for Baba Ganoush. It tastes like the eggplant has been roasted, but can be done on the stove.


3 eggplants
2 tablespoon smoked olive oil (or use 2 tablespoons regular olive oil plus 1/2 teaspoon mild smoked paprika)
2 tablespoons tahini
3 quartered garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

As in the picture above, wrap 3 medium eggplants in triple layers of aluminum foil. It's important they are sealed--and again and again--to make sure every drop of moisture stays inside, thus creating a little steam oven. Plus, the eggplants will split and burst over the heat, so they need to be "contained." Set the foil packet directly over a medium flame on top of the stove and leave it be for 20 minutes, turning once, until the eggplants inside are quite soft.

If you don't have a gas burner on your stove, use a medium-heat flame on the grill outside for about the same time, turning once. Or set the packet on a lipped baking sheet in a 450F oven for about 40 minutes. However, if you use the oven, you'll miss some of the smoky taste.

Remove the packet from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Carefully unwrap it--the steam is still ridiculously hot!--and slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Set them cut side down in a colander set over a bowl to drain a bit--perhaps for 10 minutes. This will help the baba ganoush stay creamy without being watery.

Cut off the top knot from each eggplant, then set it flesh side up on a cutting board and scrape out the inner flesh, leaving as much of the peel behind as you can. A flatware knife works best--a paring knife or kitchen knife is too sharp and will shred the peel as the flesh comes off it.

Why leave the skin behind? It does indeed have some smoky taste, but it will also make the baba ganoush too gelatinous. By the next day, the stuff will be like Jell-O. And since these are make-ahead salads this week, they're all about "the next day."
Scrape the eggplants' flesh into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.

Add 2 tablespoon smoked olive oil, 2 tablespoons tahini, 3 quartered garlic cloves, 1tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.

That's it. Whir it up and scrape it into a bowl or sealable plastic container. Once again, it'll stay four or five days. And a spoonful next to a crunchy salad is a thing of beauty!

RECIPE: Simple Cucumber Sunomono

1 large cucumber, peeled
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp white sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 large carrot, thinly sliced julienne
few drops of sesame oil
1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced

1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out large seeds.
2. Slice crosswise into very thin slices.
3. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
4. Place cucumbers inside bowl and stir so that cucumbers are coated. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hr before serving.

RECIPE: Carrot beet apple slaw

2 carrots, grated
2 beets, peeled and grated
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 small red onion, grated
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Hi folks,
The peak of the season is here, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, peppers?, and the harvesting is getting heavier and heavier. Thank goodness for Chase and Mary who were hiking the AT and stopped in to lend a hand as volunteers. Also thank goodness for the steady pace our apprentices keep. I endeavor to give them the experience and learning they'll need for becoming farmers in the future....

This week: Between harvests, we wind-rowed the onions to dry down in the field, hand weeded the leeks and winter squash, trellised the last round of tomatoes, hoed the beets...The potato crop looks terrific, hope y'all have been enjoying the first round of Yukon Gold, the continued rounds of sweet onions, the surplus of cabbage and the first of the celery!

At home we've been adjusting and training our new border collie, "Sedge." I say we're training the pup but really we're also training the kids to train the dog. It's fun, it's work, it's a bit like it is at the farm...I must admit, though the pup is cute, I'm looking forward to the transition from pup to dog. Companion at the farm? Family friend? The border collie has been bred for brains and work, perfect on the farm!

This week's pic: Basil harvest, 6:30 AM.

This weeks harvest:
Salad Mix

Your farmers
Dan and Tracy

RECIPE: Italian Style Kale and Zucchini

1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 ½ TBSP olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2-3 small-medium zucchini, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Heat ½ TBSP of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook until the kale is wilted and tender. Uncover and stir in the garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Cook while stirring for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

RECIPE: Disappearing Zucchini Orzo


¾ lb pkg orzo pasta (multicolored is fun)

Bring 6 cups water or chicken stock to a boil and add pasta. Cook 8 to 12 minutes

1 chopped onion, garlic to taste
3 large zucchini
olive oil for sauté

Use a cheese grater or mandoline to shred zucchini, sauté briefly with chopped onion and garlic until lightly golden.

¼ cup grated parmesan or any hard yellow cheese

Add spices to zucchini mixture, stir thoroughly, and then remove mixture from heat.
Combine with cheese and cooked orzo, salt to taste, serve cool or at room temperature.

RECIPE: Babaghanoush

Note: This one is especially nice when the weather is hot and works especially well with the Chubby Bunny Farm eggplants. Most eggplant spread recipes begin "turn oven to 450... This one is quick, doesn't heat up the kitchen, and with the CB eggplants (and a few tweaks to the recipe) produces a really lovely pure white spread.


1 1/2 pounds eggplant peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup tightly packed minced fresh parsley (OK to leave this out; leaving it out results in a pure white spread)
2 large clove roasted garlic or 1 - 2 small cloves raw garlic minced
Tamari soy sauce to taste (I used table salt to preserve the white color instead of soy)

Steam the eggplant above boiling water for about 5 minutes till tender.
Put everything in food processor and push the on button. You can add a bit of olive oil; pour in as the mix is whizzing away so it would emulsify as for mayo.