Farm News, June 16, 2020

Every spring we bring to life a brand new crop plan and start planting with high hopes. We never know what spring will bring us, but we do know that once June hits, things get a little squirrely when the plan meets reality. This year was no different, except adding to the generally unpredictable nature of farming has been the mind-boggling pandemic and a full-time, 6-year-old sidekick. The phrase “farm circus” comes to mind. So far we’ve kept our chins above water; our crew is undeterred and is putting in extra energy to get things done. We’ve been finishing off the spring planting, mowing cover crops and preparing beds for summer and fall planting. Then there are the non-stop jobs of keeping the crops weeded and watered.

Sugar Snap Pea time! The nice plump pods are toward the bottom.

The good news is that after a cold spring, the harvests have really started to pick up.  Sugar snap peas are booming, the first beets are gleaming, lettuce looks gorgeous, fennel and salad turnips abound, and there is plenty of spinach, kale, and rainbow chard to keep you healthy.

There is such vibrancy in a single summer squash seedling.

We had a great pick of strawberries last week as our early varieties did very well this year.  The mid- and late-season varieties are not fairing as well, so the party will be ending soon. Best pick-your-own will be early in the week.  We’ll post the current crop conditions on Facebook along with any per-customer limits.

Thanks for supporting our farm,

Paul and Rebecca, for Lauren and the Fort Hill Farm crew


NEW this year! Pizza to the People now at Fort Hill Farm

Pizza to the People is the creation of Bridgewater chef and caterer Cassandra Purdy. She sources local produce and organic ingredients to create unique vegetarian combinations. You may have tried her pies at Averill’s Orchard in Washington CT, where she brings her mobile wood fired pizza oven each fall. Normally she would be out on the road this summer at music festivals, weddings and other events but for the moment the times have changed.  We’ll have her pizzas in our freezer and you can also find her pies at Marble Valley Farm in Kent.

Reach Cassandra directly at casserolepur@hotmail.com or 541-735-0498

Featured this week:

Sugar Snap Peas! It’s a beautiful crop this year. This is after a long battle for chlorotic, unhappy seedlings with hungry hungry geese. And in general, our farm is “pea-challenged” with its sandy soil. These snaps made it through it all with flying colors, and we’re grateful.

Red Beets:  we like highlighting an underrated vegetable that has an awesome source of age-halting antioxidants (that’s what all that purple color is!). Bunched beets with their greens are entirely edible, making them a “two for the price of one” vegetable.  You can chop the whole thing up and steam it (see pasta and goat cheese recipe at forthillfarm.com/recipes for a farm classic), grate the roots raw on salad, or roast them in the oven. Will store for a week in a loose bag in the fridge.  Topped beets will store in the crisper for at least a month.


Also available:

salad mix, arugula, head lettuce, curly green kale, rainbow chard, spinach, fresh basil, red radishes, escarole, scallions, fennel, kohlrabi, red beets, Chinese cabbage, garlic scapes


Coming Soon:

hints of: cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, salad turnips, lacinato kale, fits and starts of cucumbers as they sporadically ripen in our little greenhouse trials


Pick Your Own:

FRESH STRAWBERRIES: the patch is waning but there are still some very nice berries out there- best picking is earlier in the week.

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


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


Sugar Snap Pea Salad

From Bon Appetit

Ingredients

3⁄4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
A large pinch of kosher salt
8 oz. sugar snap peas, strings removed, thinly sliced 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, plus more
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and a large pinch of kosher salt in a medium bowl. Toss sugar snap peas, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. lemon zest in another medium bowl; season with sea salt and pepper.
Pour dressing into a shallow bowl and pile sugar snap peas in the center. Drizzle with more oil, season with more pepper, and top with more lemon zest.


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