Welcome back to Fort Hill Farm for our 17th season! I remember back when I started, I would ask older market farmers if growing fresh market veggies ever got easier, and most of the would respond with a resounding “no.” There is just so much that has to happen in the spring to get the farm off the ground, all while getting a new crew of apprentices ready to rock and roll before the summer hits. We’ve got a great bunch this year, and we feel super lucky to work with such great young (and not so young) people here at the farm.
Dana Scott returned from her summer on the field crew to join our apprentice team, and has been spreading compost, prepping beds, and taking over the reins of our microgreens production. Mady Dean, James Gilbert, and Connor Whitehouse joined us in April, and they’ve spent the past few months learning their way around the farm as we woke Fort Hill Farm from its winter nap. We got the greenhouse tomatoes fired up in March (the first cherry tomatoes are just starting to ripen) and sowed thousands of seedlings for transplanting into the field. James has been spading up new ground, cutting beds, and operating the transplanter. Mady has been hauling mulch, disking up a new field, and also operating the transplanter. And Connor has been working with Rebecca to prep and seed the greens and root crops, and you will see him every week at the New Milford Farmers’ Market. Helping us manage all this mayhem is Lauren Henderson, who has taken on the Field Manager role for 2019. Lauren has been at the farm for 5 years now, and we feel fortunate to have her helping us keep this three ring circus somewhat under control. Lauren also took on the director’s role in building a new greenhouse, which we hope to cover any day now!
We still have beautiful transplants available for your garden at the farm or at New Morning store in Woodbury, and while growing all those plants is a group effort, the lion’s share of the work is done by Kathy Scott, who you will meet at the farm if you come by for one of our farm stand/CSA days (open to everyone!). We are also happy to have Selenna Strother back at the farm from last fall and winter, pitching in to get the crops planted and the tomatoes trellised. New crew members are coming on now, because although it doesn’t feel much like it with all the cool and wet weather, the summer season is here. We are also super fortunate to have incredible folks working with us as the markets. Running a farm like Fort Hill is truly a team effort, and we feel fortunate to have such dedicated folks to bring on the veggies. We also thank you eaters for being a big part of the farm!
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul and Rebecca, for Lauren and the Fort Hill Farm crew
Featured this week:
Radishes: This may be the Year of the Trials for us, and radishes are no exception, as we are trialling a bunch of different sizes and colors, shooting for a rainbow of radish salads. They are so versatile, as shown in the spinach recipe below. And don’t forget to grate them into the Asian slaw (also below)!
Chinese cabbage: We look forward to this one all spring as a harbinger of warmer weather and delicious food. It is great stir fried or shredded raw for refreshing salads and slaws. See recipe below. Store for up to two weeks in fridge.
salad mix, arugula, baby red kale, spinach, pea shoots, sunflower shoots, microgreens, head lettuce, curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, escarole, ugly (but incredibly sweet!) sweet potatoes, radishes, salad turnips, baby bok choy, kohlrabi, frozen baby ginger and (picked for you – the first strawberries as we have them available!
Lots of Strawberries!
Pick Your Own:
Stay tuned for PYO Strawberries! There may be enough coming in later in the week to open up the patch, so look for our email/facebook announcement.
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
Sautéed Radishes with Spinach
Recipe by the Food Network Kitchen
Paul and Rebecca, for Elliott and the Fort Hill Farm crew
2 bunches of radishes
1 small red onion, sliced
5 oz. spinach
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
Cook 2 bunches trimmed and halved radishes and 1 sliced red onion in a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring, until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with
salt and pepper. Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Chinese Cabbage Salad
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm Fresh, Seasonal Produce
We never tire of this farm favorite with its addictive dressing. And it can easily be transformed into a yummy bok choy salad also.
5 cups shaved Chinese Cabbage 2 TBSP rice vinegar
¾ cup sliced or shredded radish 4 TBSP sesame oil
1 ½ cups chow mein noodles 3 TBSP soy sauce
(the crunchy ones) 1 TBSP honey
1 cup crushed peanuts ½ to 1 tsp dry mustard
¼ cup sesame seeds
Combine cabbage, radish, chow mein noodles, peanuts, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients and toss with the cabbage a little at a time. Mix in just enough dressing to suit your taste. 6-8 servings. (*Note: we like to mix the veggies together and then add the nuts and dressing as we eat the salad−this keeps the toppings crunchy and the cabbage fresh for leftovers.)