Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Farm Photos

bulb onions bbbbbbbbbbbbshallots

coming soon... flowers!
bbzinnias bbbbbbbbbbbbbbsunflowers, amaranth and cosmos

bb bb
peppers bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbtomatoes!

peaches bbbbbbbbbbbbbbthe very first raspberries

know your squash....
green buttercup bbbbbbbbb butternut bbbbbbbbbbbbbbhubbard blue ballet

amazing summer, fall and spring honey... now with Ellen's fabulous labels!

I hope those of you who haven't had the chance yet will be able to visit soon and see firsthand how your fruit and produce is coming along.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Week Eight

This week everyone received: beans (three varieties), basil (variety), parsley, cucumbers (english and/or pickling), peppers (variety), chard (variety), scallions (ishikura and deep purple), and full shares also received purple haze carrots.

You may notice that your chard has some some small holes... there is a mystery beetle that I'm having problems with, and some other local farms are as well (there's a discussion about it on the listserv). This beetle manages to get under the row covers and cause the damage to chard and beet greens, and currently no one is sure what it is or how exactly to deal with it. But we're working on it!

We have honey for sale! Contact me if you'd like to buy some. The first 8 oz bottle is $5 and if you return the bottle your next one will be $4. We currently have all three varieties of honey (spring, summer and autumn) and plan to do a few more harvests this year. Thanks to my friend and stellar graphic designer Ellen for the amazing honey labels (and all the CV Farm labels/logo/design)!

If you're at a loss as to what to do with this latest batch of chard, I can share two great suggestions from CSA members. My friend Jen likes to wrap the chard leaf like a little package around a few slices of tomato, some goat cheese (or cheese of your choice, though goat is excellent with this), drizzle with balsamic and grill! Julie shared a link for a great and amazingly simple recipe for stuffed chard with fresh marinara -

Sunday, July 19, 2009

week seven

This week everyone received: beets, carrots, peppers, pattypan squash, cilantro, three kinds of beans, a cucumber, nasturtium (edible flowers) and half a dozen organic pastured eggs from Green Circle Farm.

Don't panic about your eggs not being refrigerated! I learned a lot from chatting with Erika at Green Circle... first of all, the U.S. is the only country that requires eggs be refrigerated. Temperature fluctuation isn't good (if you bought them cold, keep them that way) but if eggs have never been chilled they can last at room temperature for weeks. And if you have a cool basement, they can keep for about 6 weeks without ever being in the refrigerator.

Treat the pattypan squash just like you would a zucchini or any other summer squash (recipe suggestion below). More cucumbers and pattypans will be rolling in soon, but I hope you enjoy this first little sample. The bean varieties are Provider (green), Carson (yellow) and Royal Burgundy (purple - a Farmers Market favorite).

If you haven't tried the carrot recipe from last week, I highly recommend it (see my comment with a doctored version of the recipe). Another suggestion is below.

carrots: shred/peel carrots (I throw mine in the Cuisinart for insta-shredding) saute cubed tofu (or chicken) in oil until browned. Add shredded carrots, green onions, a bit of soy sauce and and a few tablespoons of peanut butter. Off the heat drizzle some honey on top and combine. Serve cold or at room temp.

beets: Don't toss the green tops - these are actually my husband's favorite green. Not as tough as chard and sweeter than kale, they cook down nicely. Roast or boil the beets and slice, set aside. Chop the greens (I also add spinach or another green, you could use the kale from last week) and cook in oil with some lemon juice, onion, and garlic. Serve with the beets and some cheese sprinkled on top (feta is perfect for this).

pattypan: Chop and saute in butter with onions, garlic, and any herbs you have on hand. Serve over pasta.

nasturtium: They have a very peppery taste and are great (and impressive) on a salad. You can also make them with the beans - toss a thinly sliced shallot (or small onion) in vinegar with a couple tablespoons of tarragon and some salt, let it sit for about 30 minutes. Snap off the ends of the beans, cut into halves or thirds, and boil with a bit of salt for no more than 4 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly, dab dry. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the dressing mixture, season with salt and pepper, add nasturtium and mix with the beans.
Or, you can just make nasturtium butter - add the coarsely chopped flowers to softened butter with a dash of salt and lemon juice. Form into logs or patties.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


removing the wax cappings from frames with a heated knife

uncapped frames in the extractor

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbfresh honey!

Shivani, carrot harvester extraordinaire


Sunday, July 12, 2009

week six

In shares this week:
red fire lettuce, 1 bunch of kale, 1 bunch of carrots (mokum and parmex), raw summer honey, and a few of our very first peppers.

We harvested the summer honey on Saturday (pictures soon - it was a full house!) It's definitely darker than the pale spring honey but significantly lighter than the deep, rich fall honey. Let me know what you think of the flavor.

I've noticed that even a day or two after harvest the carrots tend to become limp and wilted. This is caused by moisture loss and can be avoided by removing the green tops and keeping the carrots in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, with or without a moist paper towel. If you find that they are already wilted, put them in a shallow dish of water in the fridge and they will regain their crispness.

The peppers are a mix of sweet and mild - no hot peppers yet, and when you get them I'll make sure to package them separately. This is only a sample of our first peppers, so you might try them cut up on a salad with some red fire lettuce and herb vinaigrette.

Some recipe suggestions for this week...

kale: Thinly slice, saute with onion and garlic, cover to steam (steaming makes the leaves more tender than frying). Serve with crumbled feta cheese on top (substitute the Ivory Lace, or your favorite grated cheese) Thanks for the recipe suggestion, Kate!

carrot and couscous salad: Add couscous to a pot of boiling water, turn off heat, cover, let sit for ten minutes. Shred carrots and mix with the juice of 1 lemon, a few tablespoons of orange juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a bit of cumin, and salt and pepper. When the couscous is done, fluff with a fork and add to carrots with a handful of raisins. Toss and serve. (You could also substitute quinoa or any grain of your choice)

honey: There are countless uses for this amazing honey, but here are some simple favorites. My husband drizzles it on cereal, and I eat it for breakfast on a toasted whole-grain English muffin with a bit of butter. My friend Jen highly recommends honey drizzled on toast with peanut butter, and my friend Ellen uses it when she bakes bread. I love it mixed in with my favorite yogurt, and in any recipe in place of sugar (general guidelines for substituting honey for sugar in recipes can be found here:,1923,145167-243192,00.html)

We are now selling 8-oz jars of our honey! Contact me if you're interested.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Additions

We have two new additions to the farm this week...

a third honey bee hive, and a kitten named Bunny!

a oe,
Both are adjusting well to their new home.

The new hive is a split from one of our existing hives that has been very active... perhaps too much so. We added a queen and three frames of bees and brood (soon-to-be bees) to the new hives boxes and are giving them time to get used to the new queen. This weekend we plan to do another honey extraction from the other hives and you'll receive a sample of this summer honey in shares this Sunday.

If you haven't had an opportunity to visit the farm yet this season, consider doing a Sunday pick up sometime soon. Check out the bee hives, grab some of the first raspberries from the berry patch, see the soon-to-be chicken coop, and wander around the produce garden to watch the progress of your summer veggies.


Check back on Sunday for an item list, recipes and hints for week six.

Monday, July 6, 2009

week five

Items for this week:
lettuce, cutting mix
basil - mix of sweet, Thai, and cinnamon
chard - variety
new potatoes
Ivory Lace cheese from Hidden Hills Dairy

Some hints for this week - keep the chard fresh the same way you would the lettuce, by wrapping it in moist paper towels and keeping it in a plastic bag in the fridge. The basil is kept best by putting it in a vase of water out on the counter top or table, just change the water every other day or so. It will stay like this for a while. Get creative with the Thai and cinnamon basils - they can be used in most of the same ways you would regular basil. If you're having trouble telling the difference between the two (both are darker than sweet basil and have purple-tinted stems and flowers) just give them a sniff, the smells are distinct. The Thai basil is excellent in a curry, and the cinnamon is wonderful in a peach (or any fruit) chutney, served with meat or fish. I still have some canned some peaches from last summer, and I serve them with cinnamon basil shredded on top.

The chard can be treated just like spinach - I substitute it for spinach in lasagna recipes, wilt it by cooking with butter, garlic and lemon juice and serving as a side dish, or even using the smaller tender leaves in salads. It isn't as tough as kale and won't need to cook as long, but you will probably want to remove the thick center rib in the larger pieces.

I'm so excited about the new potatoes! "New" potatoes are actually just a potato that is harvested early - as soon as the blossoms fall off the plant (a typical potato is ready for harvest when the plant dies). Their skin is much thinner than a "full-grown" potato and they are often smaller and a bit more tender. This would be a great time to use any leftover dill or dill butter, and I would also suggest roasting them in the oven with olive oil, salt and your parsley.

Hope you enjoy the cheese! Please let me know what you think of this versus the Boltonfeta.