Farm News, August 28, 2018

Farm News

After about 5 weeks of hot and rainy, we’re taking an abrupt turn toward the hot and dry.  It’s funny how quick we can go from wishing it would stop raining, to wishing it would start.  Maybe someday we can figure out how to get the rain on a 4-day dry, 1-day wet cycle.  For now, looks like one more round of pulling out the pipes and hoses and firing up the wells to irrigate the crops.

Sarah beautifully captures morning dew on delicate fennel foliage.  Photo by Sarah Henry

We are starting to see signs of summer’s wane, with a big slowdown in the summer squash and cuke department. Tomatoes are still coming in strong, with another good round of our certified organic sweet corn on the way. We should have corn through the first week of September.  The foliage on the Butternut squash is dying back, revealing some nice fruit.  We’ll clip them next week, and then put them in a greenhouse to get them nice and sweet.  Should be ready to bake by the end of September.  Sweet potato crop sizing up nicely, we should have them to you around the same time.  This year’s potato crop looks good!  We grow about a dozen varieties, in as many shapes and colors.

Carly and Michael bunching away in the kale this morning.

Out in the field, planting is in full swing for a “second season” of greens for September, October, and November.  Rebecca has been planting spinach, which has always proved a tricky crop for us.  We have a few nice plantings that should be ready to cut when the weather turns a bit cooler.  Our lettuce production is picking up again too, and we hope this week’s heat wave will be the last of the season, giving us some fine fall growing weather.  I have a farmer friend whose response to trying growing conditions is “keep plantin,” and we think he’s absolutely right!

We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,

Paul, for Rebecca, Elliott, and the Fort Hill Farm Crew

Fingers crossed that this fine stand of cool season spinach seedlings makes it past this hot week!

Featured this week:

Savoy cabbage: this sweet and mild flavored cabbage has crinkly leaves, which are perfect for catching any dressing or vinaigrette that comes its way. Go wild and mix with red and Tendersweet cabbage for some triple anti-carcinogenic fighting power. Store up to 3 weeks in the fridge crisper.

Red storage onions: it turns out 2018 is not a great onion year for us, but we’ll take what we can get after the pests and muggy weather that got to them. Store at room temperature out of the sun.

Also available:

sweet corn, arugula, salad mix, tatsoi, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, microgreens, head lettuce, garlic, chioggia, gold, and red beets, carrots, rainbow chard, fresh herbs, curly green and lacinato kale, heirloom, beefsteak, & plum tomatoes, sungold and red cherry tomatoes, trickles of eggplant and peppers, red and tender sweet green cabbage, Red Torpedo onions, Blue Gold, Red Gold, Satina Gold, Kennebec, and Dark Red Norland potatoes, celeriac, leeks, and the start of our fresh baby ginger! (…prices will be higher since we are pulling the crop very early….there will be plenty of ginger in the coming months at the lower price.)

Coming Soon:

sweet peppers

Pick Your Own: 

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes! are still going … look for the wooden sign to designate picking rows and pluck the ripest, sweetest orange cherries.


Flowers – pick up a Flower Ring in the barn for bunch size.

Fresh Herbs: Italian and curly parsley, thyme, sage, oregano, and cilantro (dill returning soon). Feel free to mix and match for your bunch. Some herbs are available in the barn, others are available for PYO only. Pick up an Herb Ring in the barn for bunch size. Please pick only the herbs with signs directly in front of them, as some young herbs are still growing! …

… and NEW for 2018: CSA members may pick 1 small PYO bunch of herbs (mixed or not) each week for FREE! One bunch per share. PYO only. Please see samples in the barn for bunch size.

PYO begins 30 before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database

Fried Potatoes and Cabbage

Adapted from Gourmet

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 lb Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1 medium onion

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cover potatoes with cold salted water by 1 inch and bring to a boil, then boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté onions and cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake. Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Yields 4 side servings.



Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

1/4 cup drained capers

2 tablespoons plus 1/4-cup red wine vinegar 12 ounces ciabatta or other country-style white bread, 2 to3 days old

2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

9 ripe tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds total), cored and scored on the bottom

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1 cup drained roasted red bell pepper strips 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise

Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish


Soak the capers in 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain.

Cut the crust off of the bread. Cut into 2- inch slices and grill, drizzling about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on both sides of the bread. Once grilled, cut or tear bread into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Submerge the tomatoes into a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water to cool slightly. Using a small sharp paring knife, peel off the tomato skins. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

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