2014 CSA Newsletters

 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 21 Newsletter
October 28, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Catherine Berwick’s Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake; Baked Parsnip Fries with Rosemary

Featured this week:
  Parsnips: this white member of the carrot family has candy-like sweetness when roasted. Also yummy shredded raw into slaws or cubed into soups. Easily stores for a month in fridge crisper drawer, if you keep the humidity high they will store for up to 3 months.   Red Maria Potatoes:  this is a new spud for us, we wanted a red potato that stored better than Red Norland.  Give them a try and tell us what you think.

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, tatsoi, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, onions, spinach, fennel, broccoli raab, escarole, leeks, celeriac, turnips, Gilfeather turnips, radishes, garlic, bok choy, collards, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and a variety of potatoes

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

Despite last week’s light frost, the 2014 season is finishing off super strong.  We still have plenty of cooking and salad greens, some nice carrots and parsnips, a decent crop of sweet potatoes, and some of the best butternut squash we’ve ever grown.  It feels good to pack out an abundant share for everyone this late in the year, and in many ways this has been one of our most successful growing seasons.  Despite a super cold start that left snow in the field into the first week of April, the summers moderate temperatures and extremely timely rainfall were a much welcomed gift, and we hope you enjoyed getting your veggies at the farm each week. 

Alex and Kim bunch broccoli raab in the brisk morning air.

This year’s crew was a stellar bunch and both the farmers and CSA sharers owe them a big thank you.  Elliot McGann did a super job running the harvest crew and managing the New Milford Farmers Market.  Elliot’s ready wit helps make farming fun, and we really appreciate his willingness to get the job done, and the energy and skill he put into the farm this year.  Apprentice Amanda San Fiorenzo-de Orbeta became our transplanter-in-chief, and kept the drip lines and PYO running all season.  Amanda’s quick laugh is infectious on the tougher days, and we are happy to hear that she is returning next season to work at the farm after a winter’s break in her native Puerto Rico.   Katie Ferrari lived up to her name, zipping around the farm spreading compost, finishing planting beds, and running the Fort Hill Farm wholesale department.  We especially appreciated her focus and attention to detail.  Katie is looking to travel over the next year to volunteer on different farms and see the sights around the U.S.  Justin Martel did yeoman’s work on the farm crew this year.  He has earned an honorary doctorate in chard and kale bunching, and we are happy that he will be applying his new skills here on the farm as an apprentice in 2015.  Sarah Fontoura put in a solid summer on the farm crew, and has worked part time in the fall after returning to her classes.  Kim LaMarre and Alex Ihlo came on board in late summer and the fall, respectively, to help us finish out the season, providing some fresh energy.   We also get a regular lift from a few special CSA sharers and friends:  Many Thursday pickup sharers will know Christen Laughlin, who also helps us with the spring administration chores.  Behind the scenes is the intrepid Westport Market crew, who shows up in all kinds of weather: John McGuigan, Sara Jaeger, Jon Jaeger and Jalna Jaeger (soon we’ll have the entire Jaeger family!).  And lastly we’d like to thank Kristyn Candullo, who was able to drag us kicking and screaming out of the bookkeeping dark ages and now handles our books on a computer.

Elliott and Justin cut cabbage behind a sea of Brussels sprouts.

Writing the last newsletter of a season leaves me with some mixed emotions.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say the first emotion that comes to my mind is relief.  It’s a big project to get each week’s distribution set, the newsletter written, and all the veggies cut, bunched, or pulled.  We are definitely looking forward to turning our attention to the big fall projects at hand:  planting 22,000 cloves of garlic, pulling up hundreds of trellis sticks, cleaning up messes we pushed aside in the spring, making and spreading compost, and generally putting the farm fields to bed.  But there’s a tinge of sadness knowing that another season has passed, the crew will disperse, and CSA sharers will be away for the winter.  The good news is that when the weather warms in the spring, we’ll fire it up and start all over, and we hope to see you then.   Paul, for Rebecca, Elliott, Amanda, Katie, Justin, Kim, Alex, and Sarah *************************************************

  IMPORTANT CSA ANNOUNCEMENTS!

  • We will send out share renewal information by email to primary shareholders in early December.
  • THIS is the last CSA distribution week for 2014.   The last CSA distribution will be Sat. Nov. 1.

But don’t despair!  Lots of Fort Hill Farm produce available on the following dates:

  • Nov. 8:  New Milford Farmers Market on the green, 9AM to Noon
  • Nov. 15:  CSA Bulk Produce Sale at the farm, CSA sharers and splitters only, from 9AM to Noon

We also plan to attend the New Milford Winter Farmers market!  Our dates are Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec 20 (and possibly January 3 and 17 too). And it’s indoors!  At The Maxx, 94 Railroad St, New Milford, 9AM to Noon.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Herbs still available, including chives, sage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, parsley.  Take a big bunch and dry some.  Rosemary plants available for sale in the barn.

Catherine Berwick’s Parsnip & Maple Syrup CakeFrom the BBC Good FoodThis was the winner of Good Food’s 20th birthday cake competition.   6 oz. butter, plus extra for greasing 1 cup demerara sugar 1 Tbsp. maple syrup 3 large eggs 1 cup plus 1.5 Tbsp. self-raising flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp mixed spice 8 oz. parsnips, peeled and grated 1 medium eating apple, peeled, cored and grated 1/3 to ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped zest and juice 1 small orange icing sugar, to serve   For the filling 8 -9 oz. tub mascarpone 3-4 Tbsp maple syrup   Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and maple syrup in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into this mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, followed by the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice. Divide between the tins, then bake for 25-30 mins until the tops spring back when pressed lightly. Cool the cakes slightly in the tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Just before serving, mix together the mascarpone and maple syrup. Spread over one cake and sandwich with the other. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Baked Parsnip Fries with RosemaryFrom EpicuriousThrow in some Red Maria (or any) Potatoes for variation.   2 1/2 pounds parsnips or carrots, peeled, cut into about 3 x 1/2″ strips 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs rosemary 1 large garlic clove, minced 3 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin   Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix parsnips, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over. Roast for 10 minutes; turn parsnips and roast until parsnips are tender and browned in spots, 10-15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs over; discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cumin over. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cumin, if desired.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 20 Newsletter
October 21, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Creamy, Smoky Whipped Rutabaga; Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Featured this week:
Gilfeather Turnips: it’s time for that great tasting rutabaga that masquerades as a turnip! Boil and mash, cube and stew, even roast, and enjoy the unique turnip sweetness that only heirloom Gilly can offer.  Will store for two months or more in fridge crisper.   Brussels sprouts:  these are some of the hardest crops to grow.  They take gobs of space, and are in the field from mid-June through October.  They need a lot of fertility, and have tons of problems with diseases.  We’ve also struggled for years to replace a favorite variety we lost in 2010.  By those standards, this is a pretty good crop, just snip off the sprouts, peel off the outer leaves, and enjoy.  Sprouts will store for a while in the fridge

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, tatsoi, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, onions, green & hot peppers, spinach, fennel, broccoli raab, escarole, celeriac, turnips, radishes, garlic, bok choy, collards, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and a variety of potatoes.
Potentially on the way:
parsnips

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

This week’s edition of the Farm News is brought to you by Fort Hill Farmer Rebecca Batchie.  Although our son Luca is 15 months old, he’s really been in our lives for just about 2 years now. Rebecca writes:

Autumn is in full swing and the change of seasons has brought us a new baby. Not literally, of course, but in the sense that Luca is growing and changing on a daily basis. He is a vastly different baby – err – toddler than he was when the season kicked off, and it seems we have a new version of our baby about every two weeks! This continuous transition is evident in his everyday movements around the farm and his interactions with the environment. Paul and I are incredibly fortunate to have doting grandparents nearby and a kind babysitter, all of whom help us care for Luca while we try to run this three-ring circus of a farm. Still, we often find ourselves with work to do and a baby who must accompany us on our various tasks. I thought I’d describe one aspect of our experience this season of “farming with baby.”

For one thing, those stories of women picking beans in the fields with their babies strapped to their backs has taken on something of a fantastic quality for me. You see, much of farming entails bending over, and Luca has never taken to lurching forward in mid-air. This aversion rules out harvesting, hand weeding, organizing crates of vegetables in the myriad ways we do, and, essentially, 90% of the physical aspects of our job. Okay, you say, how about greenhouse work … the steady seeding of flats and gentle watering? … Nope. In the spring, standing still for more than a nanosecond resulted in screams of protest. The same goes for working in the barn, where, unless he can get down, crawl around, and throw potatoes about, he gets completely bored … that is … until we began loading the benches with bins full of colorful vegetables.

What will we do when there’s nothing left to pick?!

It turns out that a saving grace in trying to juggle baby and farm has been the entertainment value provided by none other than the vegetables themselves. What began with us giving Luca storage carrots and parsnips for teething relief has transitioned into an almost constant placation of his toddler requests with fresh produce. At this point, he spends about half of his waking hours gnawing on raw veg. (Hopefully this doesn’t result in some kind of a weird food complex later on.) Luca typically enters a barn distribution, pointing and calling out to his vegetable friends: cucumbers and tomatoes earlier on, and currently, peppers and carrots. We have yet to find a veggie that he won’t eat (including escarole!) We’ll be crushed of course if, down the line, he turns his nose up at our produce and demands nothing but pasta … but for now, we’re going to hand over that red pepper, go about our business, and just thoroughly enjoy this phase.   We hope you enjoy the harvest, Rebecca, for Paul, Elliott, Amanda, Katie, Justin, Kim, Alex, and Sarah.

*************************************************   IMPORTANT CSA ANNOUNCEMENTS!

  • We will send out share renewal information by email to primary shareholders in early December.
  • NEXT week is the last CSA distribution week for 2014.   The last CSA distribution will be Sat. Nov. 1.

But don’t despair!  Lots of Fort Hill Farm produce available on the following dates:

  • Nov. 8:  New Milford Farmers Market on the green, 9AM to Noon
  • Nov. 15:  CSA Bulk Produce Sale at the farm, CSA sharers and splitters only, from 9AM to Noon

We also plan to attend the New Milford Winter Farmers market!  Our dates are Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec 20 (and possibly January 3 and 17 too). And it’s indoors!  At The Maxx, 94 Railroad St, New Milford, 9AM to Noon.

What goes up must come down, including the pepper trellis system. First Justin, Kim, and Alex cut and gather the string, and then pull and load the stakes onto pallets for winter storage.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. We finally did get a frost on Sunday night.  Flowers and beans are done.  Herbs still available, including chives, sage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, parsley.  Rosemary plants available for sale in the barn.

Creamy, Smoky Whipped RutabagaFrom the Kitchn1 ½-2 pounds rutabagas 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup whole milk 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks 1 tablespoon smoked olive oil 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Freshly ground black pepper Cut the rutabaga(s) in half crosswise. Place a half cut side down on a stabilized cutting board and carefully shave off the peel with a large chef’s knife. (See an example of this method here, demonstrated with celery root.) Cut the peeled rutabaga into small slices about 1 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the rutabaga. Heat the butter in a large, heavy 4-quart pot, set over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the chopped rutabaga and the garlic. Stir to coat the vegetables in butter, then sprinkle them with the salt. Pour in the milk and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the rutabaga is very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let the vegetables cool for about 5 minutes. At this point you can either leave the rutabaga in the pot and use a hand mixer to whip it, or you can transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the paddle. Drop the cream cheese into the rutabaga and use the hand mixer or stand mixer to mash it into the vegetables. The rutabaga will crumble then slowly turn into a mashed potato consistency. Add the olive oil and smoked paprika and mix thoroughly. Taste and add more salt and some black pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe by Ina Garten   1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core 4 ounces pancetta, 1/4-inch-diced 1/4 cup good olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar   Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they’re roasted. Add the pancetta, olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, toss with your hands, and spread out in a single layer. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender and nicely browned and the pancetta is cooked. Toss once during roasting. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings, and serve hot.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 19 Newsletter
October 14, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Spiced Sweet-Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing

Featured this week:
  Butternut squash:  This is one of the few varieties of winter squash that has reliably performed well for us over the years, and we concentrated our growing efforts on it for 2014.  This year’s crop is beautiful, sweet, and as Luca can attest, very tasty.  We’ll be distributing it each week for the remainder of the season, and have plenty available for sale.  For all winter squash, prepare by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds, oiling the cut edges, and putting face down in a baking pan with a quarter inch of water in it.  Bake at 375F until a fork slides in easily. Unblemished butternut will store easily until February, sometimes beyond, at around 60F.  Squash in less pristine condition should be used within 3 weeks.  Baked in oil and salt, the seeds can be a nutritious snack.   Turnips: Folks either love ’em or hate ’em.  Oddsmakers in Vegas have it going 1:19, which means most folks turn their nose up at turnips.  Which is too bad, because turnips are great in soups and stews, can also be roasted with other roots, and will store in your fridge crisper for months.   Sweet potatoes:  I would venture to say this is the only crop we grow that is truly adapted to the very sandy soil here at Fort Hill.  We will be distributing sweet potatoes for the next three weeks.  Will store for many months at 60F (we were eating the last of ours into July!). Mash, bake, roast, make into pies-any way you slice it they are yummy.

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, onions, sweet & hot peppers, spinach, fennel, broccoli raab, escarole, celeriac, green cabbage, , head lettuce, garlic, bok choy, Brussels sprouts tops, collards, and a variety of potatoes
Potentially on the way:
Brussels sprouts, parsnips

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News 

We got our second frost “false alarm” this past weekend, and this time we responded by stripping the pepper plants.  It’s a little spooky to be this far into October without having a frost on the farm.  Still, the season is chugging along, and the trees on the hill are making it clear that much colder weather is close at hand.  We’ve been digging like crazy and finally got the sweet potatoes all into Greenhouse 1.  This is the week they have sweetened up and get to CSA sharers!  We’re now concentrating on the Irish potatoes and have about two-thirds of them dug.  A push over the next 10 days should get them all into the barn.  We have good crops of chard, kale, and collards in the field, and will dig into the turnips this week.  The Brussels sprouts are topped, and should be in the share next week.  Although the stalks are tall, the sprouts are on the small side this year, we’re not quite sure why.

Tom runs the potato digger and Alex, Amanda, and Justin load the truck with crates weighing almost 40 pounds. Back care is critical at this time of year!

In other news, this week we say thank you and farewell to Tom Bellmore, who’s heading back to West Haven after trying his hand at farming this year.  At this point in the season, the farm crew is a whole lot smaller than it was from its peak in July.  While we certainly have less on the “to do” list now than then, there is a whole lot of harvest and clean up to go before we put our feet up in front of the wood stove.  One of the projects that we are tackling in earnest is mixing up our compost.  Compost is the primary way we maintain organic matter in our soil, and we put a lot of effort into making and spreading it.  We need to get last year’s leaves run through our manure spreader to bust up the leaf mats, and mix the dry leaves with the wet ones.  This gets them cooking down to “brown gold” and will have them ready to spread next season.  It’s a big job, and we usually wait until late October, but for some reason the leaves are coming down early, so we must clear a new spot for them now.

Elliot loads the mixed compost to be spread around the farm.

Making compost is one of my favorite jobs on the farm.  I suppose it might look a little boring, sitting on the loader tractor all day feeding leaves into the spreader.  But half-composted leaves smell great, and messing around with tractors, making big compost piles, makes me feel like a kid in a giant sandbox.  Now that Amanda and Katie are the primary compost makers and movers, I miss being on the tractor, but I’m happy to see the process moving along.   We hope you enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliott, Amanda, Katie, Tom, Justin, Kim, Alex, and Sarah

************************************************* Frequently Asked Questions … with Answers! When is the last CSA distribution week?  We distribute produce for 21 weeks.  This year Week 21 is the week of Oct. 28, which means our last distribution will be Saturday, November 1.   When can I renew my share? We are going to DELAY share renewals until early winter this year, so we have time to take a close look at the share price, and produce amount and variety.  We will notify primary shareholders by email with all the info they will need to renew. Will there be a fall produce sale?  Yes, we’ll peg a date next week.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers: Very, very surprisingly, still doing well, but winding down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share.  Be sure to wade into the dahlias before the frost takes them.   Beans: next stop for the mower, but there might be some gleanings if you come early in the week

Herbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley.

  Plum tomatoes: done for the season

Spiced Sweet-Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Icing From Bon Appétit     Cake: 4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes Nonstick vegetable oil spray 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract   Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract   For cake: Pierce sweet potatoes with fork. Microwave on high until very tender, about 8 minutes per side. Cool, peel and mash sweet potatoes.   Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray, then generously butter pan. Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Measure enough mashed sweet potatoes to equal 2 cups. Transfer to large bowl. Add sugar and oil to sweet potatoes; using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes. Using small knife, cut around sides of pan and center tube to loosen cake. Turn out onto rack; cool completely.   For icing: Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Stir brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, occasionally stirring and swirling pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour brown sugar mixture over powdered sugar. Whisk icing until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Cool icing until lukewarm and icing falls in heavy ribbon from spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Spoon icing thickly over top of cake, allowing icing to drip down sides of cake. Let stand until icing is firm, at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.)

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 18 Newsletter
October 7, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage

Featured this week:
Winter squash smorgasbord:  As mentioned above, grown using organic methods at Marble Valley Farm but NOT certified organic.  (We are required by our certifiers to tell you this.)  Megan sent us three types of acorn squash:  the standard green kind, the sweet and tan Thelma Sanders, and the multicolored Carnival.   Come early in the week for best selection as supplies are limited.  You’ll be able to choose from our own certified organic butternut squash this week as well.  For all winter squash, prepare by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds, oiling the cut edges, and putting face down in a baking pan with a quarter inch of water in it.  Bake at 375F until a fork slides in easily.   Acorn squash will store for a few more weeks at room temperature.  Butternut will store for a few months. Baked in oil and salt, the seeds can be a nutritious snack. Brussels Sprout tops: We top the Brussels sprouts a few weeks before harvest, and used to throw these on the ground.  A few years back a hurricane took out a big chunk of our fall harvest and we were feeling a bit desperate about what to distribute to the CSA.  We learned from a farmer friend that the tops are quite tasty.  Definitely give them a try.  Use in place of collards or kale, or just sauté in garlic, oil, and stock.  Will store for up to two weeks in a bag in your fridge, just don’t let them dry out.
  Satina potatoes:  this potato has wonderful yellow flesh, similar to Yukon Gold.  We find them equally yummy, plus unlike Yukon Gold, they don’t drop dead when the first leafhopper bug appears.   Adirondack Blue potatoes:  blue skins, blue flesh potato and tasty too.  We should have these in the distribution for just a few weeks so be sure to try them.   Storage onions:  As mentioned above, grown using organic methods at Provider Farm but NOT certified organic.  Max and Kerry grow nice onions.  We have limited amounts for each share.  You’ll probablyuse them this week, but if you do store them, Store in a cool, dry place (not your fridge) for up to a month.

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, sweet & hot peppers, spinach, fennel, broccoli raab, escarole, celeriac, garlic, bok choy, collards, and a Red Norland potatoes
Potentially on the way:
sweet potatoes, for sure

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News 

 

The fall harvest is in full swing at the farm, and it kicked into high gear over the weekend when we got a frost warning.  The first frost warning requires farmers to make some tough calls.  What to cover?  What to sprinkle?  What to bulk harvest?  What to just let go?  In the end, we stripped down most of the remaining peppers and eggplants, and to our surprise got over 800 lb. of eggplant that were hiding in the foliage.  The predicted frost didn’t materialize, but now we have a pile of eggplant to distribute in a hurry, instead of being able to meter it out over the next three weeks. The peppers will hold for a few weeks, but the end is in sight for that crop as well.

This billowy cover crop, Sudax, would have browned
 out and melted down at the first sign of frost.

This time of year we start turning our attention to roots crops, hardy greens, and winter squash.  We’ve had a hard time growing winter squash at Fort Hill, and this year we just focused on butternut squash, which pleasantly surprised us with a very nice crop.  We should have butternut available for the remainder of the season.  We did trade our friend Megan Haney of Marble Valley Farm in Kent some sweet potato “futures” for a limited amount of her winter squash harvest, and have some of her interesting varieties of squash available for distribution this week, see details below.  We also did a swap with Max and Kerry Taylor at Provider Farm in Salem, CT to get some of their great storage onions and also beef up our beet supply.  Both farms are local CSA and market farms that use organic methods very similar to our own.  However, they choose not to certify their farms for a number of reasons.

Good old Greenhouse 1: first a seedling production house, then a garlic curing house …. now home to bins and bins of curing butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

      For one, it’s kind of a pain to keep all the records and file the reports necessary to maintain certification.  It’s also an added expense (our farm’s certification bill is around $1500 a year). Many direct market farmers feel that is an unnecessary cost since they sell the bulk of their product directly to CSA shareholders and farmers’ market customers, most of whom they know personally.  But on a bigger level, many small scale, local, organic farms choose not to certify because they feel that organic farming is being coopted by corporate ag.  Organic certification is now overseen by a government agency called the National Organic Program, and there is a lot of tension between large corporate food interests and the small scale, local organic producers who followed in the footsteps of the farmers who created the organic movement in the 1970’s.  We choose to remain certified organic because for one, it’s the only way you can legally use the word organic!  On a deeper level, we also sign the Farmer’s Pledge from CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association), which you can find at http://ctnofa.org/documents/2014 FarmersPledge.pdf.  We feel this pledge most closely embodies the ecological, social, and economic principles that represent organic agriculture at its best.  Both Provider Farm and Marble Valley Farm sign the NOFA Farmers Pledge as well All of this gets confusing for shoppers.  Some farmers exclusively use organic methods, but choose not to certify.  Some farmers call themselves sustainable or IPM (Integrated Pest Management) famers, but will use synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers whenever they deem necessary.   How do you know if your squash was grown without synthetic pesticides?  Were the chickens that laid those $6 a dozen eggs locked in a cage, or allowed to graze and scratch outside on grass?  How do you know if the farmer even produced them herself?  Before you throw up your hands, remember the easiest thing to do is just ask the farmer. Most farmers, regardless of label, will be happy to answer your questions, and proud to talk about their growing methods.  If they are evasive or cranky, that’s a red flag.  But once you get honest answers, the onus is on all of us to be informed eaters, so we can make food purchasing decisions that are best for our families and the environment.

We hope you enjoy the harvest,

Paul, for Rebecca, Elliott, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew

Amanda and Katie swoon over the lush bunches of broccoli raab.

************************************************* Frequently Asked Questions … with Answers! When is the last CSA distribution week?  We distribute produce for 21 weeks.  This year Week 21 is the week of Oct. 28, which means our last distribution will be Saturday, November 1.   When can I renew my share? We are going to delay share renewals until early winter this year, so we have time to take a close look at the share price, and produce amount and variety.  We will notify primary shareholders by email with all the info they will need to renew. Will there be a fall produce sale?  Yes, we’ll peg a date next week.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers: Surprisingly, still doing well but winding down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share.   Be sure to wade into the dahlias before the frost takes them. Beans: Nearing the end. Herbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley. Plum tomatoes:  gleanings only

Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage
From The Bon Appetite Cookbook    3 tbsp butter 1 cup chopped onion 1 garlic clove, minced 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into1/2 inch cubes 4 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided ½ cup dry white wine 1 cup orzo ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage Melt butter in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash cubes and stir to coat. Add ½ cup chicken broth and wine. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring remaining 3 ½ cups broth to boil in heavy saucepan. Add orzo. Boil uncovered until orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain if necessary. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in squash, then Parmesan and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 17 Newsletter
September 30, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage & Cider Glaze; Asian Cabbage Slaw
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:
Delicata squash:  As mentioned above, grown using organic methods at Brookfield Farm but NOT certified organic.  (We are required by our certifiers to tell you this.)  Delicata are blimp-shaped, with a very yummy sweet, moist flesh.  Like all winter squash, prepare by cutting in half, scooping out the seeds, oiling the cut edges, and putting face down in a baking pan with a quarter inch of water in it.  Bake at 375F until a fork slides in easily.   These squash are not the best for storage, so try to eat within 2 weeks, and store at room temp in a dry place. See recipe below.
  Spinach: After much fending off of birds and poor germination, sowing/transplanting, and direct seeding in the field, we finally have a crop of fall spinach! Nice, deep green leaves are ready for spinach lovers and their dishes.   Green cabbage: these guys will store for many weeks in your fridge.  Cut a chunk off to use, and then put the head back in a bag.  Cut off the stale edges next time you need cabbage, and you are ready to go. See recipe below.

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, sweet & hot peppers, spinach, fennel, broccoli raab, escarole, celeriac, scallions, garlic, bok choy, collards, and a medley of spuds
Potentially on the way:
 either butternut squash or sweet potatoes, whichever is sweeter

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

 
We’re chugging along to bring in the fall crops.  Sweet potatoes are a big priority, as a frost could damage the tops of the roots.  We flirted with a frost last week but it stayed warm enough to keep all the leaves on the farm nice and green.  The potato vines died long ago, and the tubers have been patiently waiting to be dug.   They won’t mind a frost but can’t take a freeze, which means they need to be out of the ground by the end of October.

Beets and carrots actually benefit from a bit of frost, so we’ll get to those crops last.  We’ve got a nice crop of carrots waiting to be lifted, but the fall beets have been disappointing.  The foliage was diseased, which means reduced size roots.  We’re going to stop harvesting beets this week and hope they size up a bit. They will be on the scarce side this fall, which gives everyone a chance to eat up any loose beets rolling around in your fridge.  Our green cabbage crop looks pretty good, and we started cutting that this week. We’ve also done some crop trading this fall.  Back when we had a surplus of tomatoes in August, we traded some to Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA.  I apprenticed with farmer Dan Kaplan back in 1999.  Brookfield Farm uses organic and Biodynamic growing practices, and they grew some great delicata squash that we are able to give out this week.  We are looking into some other trades for beets and onions and will have those crops at distributions real soon. 

Elliott brings in a round of party-goers from a trip around the farm.
Long-time shareholders, Willa, Heather, and Hillary, with Ginny Bucciaglia in the middle and musician Dave Paton on the right.

In other news, we caught a great day for our fall potluck.  It was a smaller gathering than in the past, which allowed us to catch up with a lot of the shareholders who came.  The highlight was music from Wildcat Creek.  I’m always amazed at the level of talent that local musicians and artists have.  Thanks to everyone who came and as always, for bringing some really tasty dishes to the potluck. We hope you enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliott, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew ************************************************* Frequently Asked Questions … with Answers! When is the last CSA distribution week?  We distribute produce for 21 weeks.  This year Week 21 is the week of Oct. 28, which means our last distribution will be Saturday, November 1.   When can I renew my share? We are going to delay share renewals until early winter this year, so we have time to take a close look at the share price, and produce amount and variety.  We will notify primary shareholders by email with all the info they will need to renew.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers:  Flowers are beginning to wind down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. Beans: A good pick from the last planting of the season. Herbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley. Cherry tomatoes: done for the season Plum tomatoes:  gleanings only

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage & Cider Glaze By Jerry Traunfeld from The Herbfarm Cookbook   2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) 3 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup fresh sage, very coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, very coarsely chopped 1 ½ cups fresh, unfiltered apple cider or juice 1 cup water 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper, to taste   Peel squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into ½-inch thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar and salt. Cook over medium heat at an even boil, stirring occasionally, until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.

Asian Cabbage SlawFrom The Moosewood Cookbook … this is our favorite winter slaw.The Marinade:combine ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.4 TBSP toasted sesame oil 2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced 5 TBSP rice or cider vinegar ½ tsp salt, to taste 1 TBSP sugar

crushed red pepper to taste

3 TBSP soy sauce or tamari                             

1 tsp minced fresh ginger, optional 1-2 TBSP dry sherry or rice wine, optional

The Slaw:

1 head cabbage, shredded 1-2 minced scallions 1-2 carrots, shredded or cut into matchsticks 1 small red bell pepper, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, pour marinade over all the ingredients, toss well to coat, refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.  Top with any of the optional toppings listed below and Enjoy!

Optional toppings:

½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts

minced fresh cilantro diced fresh tomato sprinkling of sesame seeds mung bean sprouts

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 16 Newsletter
September 23, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Collard Greens Miniera; Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:
Collard greens:  Give ’em a try!  Super nutritious and surprisingly tasty.  I like mine with onions and black eyed peas.
Fingerling potatoes:  always a popular item, these are La Ratte fingerlings, which is a fancy French way of saying “the rat.”  A not so nice name for a very tasty spud, these are best steamed or boiled with butter and herbs, or roasted along with your favorite carnivorous delight.  Store like all potatoes in a cool (about 50F to 60F), dark place (not the fridge).
  Yukon Gem potatoes: Just as we were ready to trash the whole Yukon potato genre, our good friend, Howie Bronson, at Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury suggested we give Yukon Gem a try.  They grew and yielded much better than the Yukon Golds.  Please give them a try and email us your opinion on whether we should grow them again.

Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, sweet & hot peppers, celeriac, scallions, salad turnips, garlic, fennel, radicchio, escarole, bok choy, broccoli raab, a medley of spuds; limited amounts of eggplant and tomatoes
Potentially on the way:
 spinach

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

This is one of those years where when a season changes on the calendar, you can feel the corresponding change in the air as well.  Fall officially arrived on Monday, with a nice northwest wind to blow away what will most likely be our last muggy day.  This week we are saying goodbye to corn and tomatoes and working hard to bring in the sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes is one of the few crops that really likes dry, sandy ground, and we sure do have plenty of that.  We grow a big crop of sweet potatoes each year, dig them up in late September using a parade of tractors to mow and cut the vines, and then lift and bin up the tubers.

Number one in the tractor parade is Katie, mowing the sweet potato foliage.

It’s a big job, but the crew is digging in with enthusiasm, which can be a little harder to muster after a long season of harvesting veggies.  We think the cooler summer temperatures this year reduced the average tuber size, but we planted 4,000 slips (plants) so there should be plenty to go around.  We’ll put the sweet potatoes in a cozy, warm greenhouse to sweeten up, and should have them ready for the last three weeks of distribution.  

Number two is Elliot, cutting the vines (and Paul directing).
Last up is Amanda, running the tricky digger. In between all of this metal are many human hands: pulling and raking vines, picking up the goods, and emptying them into bins.

Last week we binned up the butternut squash, and they should be ready in about two weeks, after curing in the greenhouse with the sweet potatoes.  So we should have a nice starch-o-rama for the end of the season.  Meanwhile, we are continuing with strong harvests of peppers, leeks, celeriac, bok choy, carrots, salad mix, red kale and arugula.  Elliot and Rebecca have done a great job of managing the fall salad greens.  If you have been shy about taking arugula in the past, now is a great time to try it, as it’s a bit less pungent than the summer offerings. This time of year often brings changes with the crew.  Josh Painter joined us in May after taking a sabbatical from his career as a chef.  As a foundation member of the “bunch patrol,” Josh has brought in a big part of the harvest this summer, and has also done a whole lot of weeding and planting.  Thanks Josh, and we wish you well as you head down to do some good cookin’ in Philly! We hope you enjoy the harvest, and we hope to see you on Sunday at the Harvest Potluck! Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 
**********************************************************
TWELFTH ANNUAL FORT HILL FARM HARVEST POT LUCK !

RAIN OR SHINE, Sunday, September 28 from 4 to 6:30 PM Pot luck dinner!  Hay Rides!  Live music!

We’re really happy to have Dave Paton and his band Wildcat Creek bringing a variety of folk instruments.

Event goes rain or shine. Please bring a dish to pass for the potluck.

**********************************************************

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers:  Flowers are beginning to wind down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. Beans: Good picking towards the center of beds. Herbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley. Cherry tomatoes: gleanings only Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes.”  Walk a ways into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves; pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Extra plums available for purchase, if you want extra plums for saucing this is probably the last hurrah.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

From Gourmet   3/4 lb. collard greens, halved lengthwise, stems and center ribs discarded 1.5 slices bacon, finely chopped   Stack collard-leaf halves and roll crosswise into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into very thin slices (no thicker than 3/4 inch) with a sharp knife. Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Add collards, tossing to coat, and cook until just bright green, about 1 minute. Season with salt and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & LemonFrom the Kitchn. Generously shared by CSA member, Margo Frohlich1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs2 small fennel bulbs, between 1 and 1 1/4 pounds total4 large garlic cloves, minced2 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons white wine 1 Meyer lemon 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper   Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Trim the stalks and fronds off the fennel bulbs, and cut each bulb in quarters. Then slice each quarter into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Add to the bowl with the chicken. Mince about 1 tablespoon of fennel fronds and also add to the bowl. Add the minced garlic, olive oil, and white wine to the bowl. Zest and juice the lemon, and add both to the bowl. Toss all the ingredients together, and add the salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Spread the chicken and fennel on a large baking sheet, arranging the fennel around the outside and placing the chicken pieces closely together in the center. Pour any remaining juices in the bowl over the chicken.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F, and the fennel is tender and beginning to brown around the edges. Take the pan out of the oven, and cover with foil. Let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with rice or bread.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 15 Newsletter
September 16, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Beet Rosti With Rosemary; Potato Leek Soup
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

Leeks: a shareholder favorite, adds that unique onion-esque but not quite onion-y flavor. Clean carefully (sometimes soil gets tucked into the leaves).  Store in the fridge for up to three weeks.   Carola Potatoes:  yellow-fleshed spuds, very flavorful when roasted.  The New York Times raved about them a few years ago, which has really helped sales!     Also Available:

arugula, salad mix, baby red kale, green & lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, Ailsa Craig onions, eggplant, sweet & hot peppers, savoy cabbage, escarole, celeriac, scallions, salad turnips, beefsteak & heirloom tomatoes, garlic, bok choy, a medley of spuds, probably sweet corn but depends on weather this time of year
Potentially on the way:
 spinach

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News
While the crew is busy picking and packing the end of summer and early fall harvests, Rebecca and I have taken some time to ponder our growing systems and look for ways to make improvements.  This fall we have zeroed in our salad mix and greens growing.  Salad mix and arugula are two of our most popular crops with both CSA sharers and farmers market customers, but they also are some of the most labor intensive on our farm.  It’s interesting to look back on the history of salad mix and realize that before the mid-1980’s, if you wanted salad you started with a head of lettuce and went from there.
In 1984, two New York City farmer wannabe’s, Drew and Myra Goodman, moved to a two- and half-acre farm west of Carmel, California, and called it Earthbound Farm.  Since everyone knows that name now, the rest of the story is pretty easy to relate:  the Goodman’s found a way to bag and distribute the “spring mix” that was the mainstay of many small scale farms thirty years ago, and then contracted with growers across California, Arizona, and Mexico to produce salad mix on very large, industrialized (albeit certified organic) farms.  Earthbound processes the greens from these farms and sends them across North America.  Whether or not this is a good thing is a subject of endless debate: A. It’s good!  Look at all the synthetic pesticides no longer being sprayed!  B. It’s bad!  Look at the huge carbon footprint from shipping lettuce leaves all over the continent!
California dreaming?
The only concrete thing I can take from it is prior to industrializing salad mix, local organic famers of 30 years ago happily clipped salad mix with scissors and knives for hours.  That’s because three decades ago, salad mix sold for somewhere north of $15 a pound, and this crop quickly became “the” cash crop for many small scale growers.  Like any good agricultural idea, once salad mix production became mechanized, the supply mushroomed and prices plummeted.  Local growers in the Northeast can still cut salad mix by hand because we can offer a fresher product and sell direct to our customers.
Cutting greens is not the most ergonomic job!
But as our apprentices will tell you, cutting salad greens is hard work.  You have to bend over or kneel for hours, cutting handfuls of salad mix, dragging your harvest barrel down the bed of greens.  Add lots of weeds, and the occasional horde of mosquitoes, and all the sudden working in an office cubicle seems quite inviting.  Things were sort of stuck in this dichotomy for many years, until recently a young man who grew up cutting salad greens by hand on his parents market farm invented a hand-held greens cutter that was just right for smaller farms (see http://www.farmshow.com /a_article.php?aid=26846 for the story).
Although this little machine also lacks ergonomics, it may just be the right size for our farm.
We’ve been playing around with this tool for the past month, and it shows some promise.  But of course it has led to a whole bunch of other challenges, mostly centered on improving our soil preparation, seeding, and weeding, so that we have thick, clean stands of greens to harvest.  Still, it’s nice to know that we have a little mechanical whiz-bang to go up against those monster salad mix harvesters, slicing yards of greens at one time on some California valley farm.
  We hope you enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
**********************************************************
TWELFTH ANNUAL FORT HILL FARM HARVEST POT LUCK !

RAIN OR SHINE, Sunday, September 28 from 4 to 6:30 PM Pot luck dinner!  Hay Rides!  Live music!

We’re really happy to have Dave Paton and his band Wildcat Creek bringing a variety of folk instruments.

Event goes rain or shine. Please bring a dish to pass for the potluck.

**********************************************************

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers:  Still doing well but beginning to wind down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. BeansGood picking towards the center of beds. Herbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley. Cherry tomatoes: gleanings only Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes.”  Walk a ways into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves; pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Extra plums available for purchase, if you want extra plums for saucing this is the week, quality will decline greatly very soon.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieBeet Rosti With Rosemary

By Mark Bittman from the New York Times. Generously shared by sharer, Liz Kiritharan   2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium) 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1/2 cup flour 2 tablespoons butter Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish   1. Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.   2. Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.   3. Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat — the pancake should gently sizzle — cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Potato Leek Soup      From Simply Recipes   3 large leeks2 Tbsp butter2 cups water2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)*2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch piecesMarjoram – dash 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme Tabasco sauce or other red chili sauce Salt & Pepper 1. Clean, slice lengthwise, and chop white and green parts of leeks. Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sized saucepan. Cover pan, cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Check often. Do not brown the leeks. 2. Add water, broth, and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Scoop about half of the soup mixture into a blender, puree and return to pan. Add marjoram, parsley, and thyme. Add a few dashes of chili sauce to taste. Add some freshly ground pepper, 1-2 teaspoons salt or more to taste.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 14 Newsletter
September 9, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Celeriac and Apple Salad with Tarragon and Roasted Walnuts; Roasted Tomato Soup with Corn Salsa
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

Celeriac:  rooty cousin to celery, peel and cube the root for a yummy addition to soups and stews, roast with other root vegetables, or mix with spuds for a great gratin.  Greens are great for stock.  Store root for up to two months in the fridge crisper.   Watermelon Radishes: People will love or hate these.  They have a pretty, rose colored interior, with a sweet/hot taste.  Store in a bag in your fridge crisper for a few weeks.  Throw one in your roots bag and give ’em a try. Yukon Gold Potatoes:  Yellow, moist flesh, great for mashing and roasting.  Available in limited quantities (see lamentation in the Farm News).  Store cool, dark, and dry. Also Available:

arugula, salad mix,

bok choy, baby red kale, green and lacinato kale, Swiss chard, carrots, beets, Ailsa Craig onions, eggplant, sweet peppers, savoy cabbage, salad turnips, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, and sweet corn

Potentially on the way:
 leeks, scallions

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

The farm is chugging along nicely into an early fall rhythm.  We’ve still got tomatoes coming in, the last week of sweet corn is looking good, and sweet ripe peppers are peaking with an amazing display of red, yellow, orange, and green colors.  Be sure to try the small, pointy, petite orange peppers, they are by far the sweetest, crunchiest peppers I have ever eaten, and make a really great snack.  We’ve got a great crop of escarole, so make some escarole and beans, just in time for this crisp weather. 

September light on freshly turned beds.
On the down side, we are in a bit of a lettuce gap this week, though we do have a few more plantings on the way before we have a final dip in both head lettuce and salad mix in early October.  The end of the head lettuce is a planned event, as the heads don’t size up so well after mid-fall.  However, we did plan to harvest salad mix through October, but have been thwarted by birds, which have been munching for weeks on our newly sown seeds.  We haven’t seen this before, and were slow to get some anti-bird measures in place, so we might have a salad mix gap in the near future.  We seem to have new challenges like this crop up all the time, and sometimes it feels like I really have to be hit over the head to see a solution to our farming challenges.
Take potato varieties.  We successfully grow over a dozen potato varieties, and they all do well except for Yukon Gold.  Ah yes, Yukon Gold potatoes.  Yellow, tasty flesh, great for mashing and roasting, everybody’s favorite potato.  Only problem is they are one of our worst performing varieties.  Every year it’s the same story:  they are the slowest spuds to emerge, suffer the most seedling loss, grow weakly until the potato leafhoppers arrive in July, and then they are the first ones to succumb to ‘hopper burn’, which is the dieback we get in early August.  And then, because it’s hot and the ground is bare, a million crab grass seeds germinate, grow like crazy, and encase the meager yield we get from these guys in a solid mat of weedy roots.  We then risk life and limb trying free the few spuds we get from the crabgrass roots as they fly past on the digger chain, and then the crew digs through hundreds of bed feet of crabgrass-potato mess to separate the spuds and get them into buckets.
It must be fall, because bok choy is back on the menu. Amanda and Katie cut into a fresh bed this morning.

We relate all this because we are giving up on Yukons, amazing name recognition and all.  But fear not!  We have been growing Satina for the last few years and really like this spud.  We find it a bit moister, more golden, and just as good tasting as Yukon, but what really excites us is that it’s a bit more resistant to the leafhoppers and tends to stay alive longer, giving us more spuds and a lot less crabgrass. Look for Satina spuds in the next few weeks, and say farewell to Yukon Gold. Enjoy the harvest,

Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom and the crew
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
**********************************************************
TWELFTH ANNUAL FORT HILL FARM HARVEST POT LUCK !

RAIN OR SHINE, Sunday, September 28 from 4 to 6:30 PM Pot luck dinner!  Hay Rides!  Live music!

We’re really happy to have Dave Paton and his band Wildcat Creek bringing a variety of folk instruments.

Event goes rain or shine. Please bring a dish to pass for the potluck.

**********************************************************

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers: Still doing well but beginning to wind down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. Beans: new pick this week, fall beans often best tasting of the seasonHerbs: For fresh use; pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and the outer stems on parsley. Cherry tomatoes: sungolds declining in both yield and flavor, but it has been a great ride! Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes.”  Walk a ways into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves; pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Extra plums available for purchase, this will be a big week for picking.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieCeleriac and Apple Salad with Tarragon & Roasted Walnuts 

From Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables  – Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Supported Farm
4 cups water
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs.) 2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4 inch strips 1 large celeriac, peeled, and cut into matchstick-sized strips ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 ½ Tbs. apple cider vinegar 2-3 Tbs. mayonnaise 2-3 Tbs. plain yogurt 2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard 1 ½ Tbs. fresh tarragon, chopped; or 1 tsp. dried tarragon ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper salt   Combine water and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the apple slices and celeriac strips and let stand for 15 minutes (this will keep both the apple and celeriac from turning brown). Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over high heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to darken in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Drain the celeriac and apple mixture; return to the bowl, add the vinegar, and toss. Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, tarragon, pepper, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the celeriac and apple mixture; toss to coat. Add the walnuts and toss again. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Angelic Organics recommends 2 to 3 hours as even better.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Corn SalsaAdapted by David Lebovitz from The Bonne Femme Cookbook,by Wini MoranvilleFor the soup:2 pounds (900g) tomatoes6 cloves garlic, peeled2 tablespoons olive oilsalt and freshly ground black pepper2 cup (500ml) water (or low-sodium chicken stock)1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or savory 1 tablespoon sugar   For the salsa: 2 cups (300g) fresh or frozen corn kernels 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small tomato, diced 1 small red onion, diced ½ bell pepper, diced 1 small fresh chile, seeded and chopped ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro generous pinch of ancho or chipotle chili powder juice of 1 to 2 limes

salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

2. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze out the seeds. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and garlic on a baking sheet, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Turn the tomatoes so they are all cut side down, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are completely soft and beginning to char on the bottoms.

3. Warm the water or stock in a saucepan with the roasted tomatoes, garlic (and any juices on the pan), and thyme or savory. Once warm, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then blend the tomatoes with the water or stock, and the sugar. (At this point, you can chill the tomato soup for up to 2 days.)

4. Make the corn salsa by warming the corn kernels in a skillet with the olive oil until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. (If you have a grill, you can char them there instead.) Scrape the kernels into a bowl and mix in the diced tomatoes, onions and peppers, as well as the chopped chile, parsley, chili powder, the juice of 1 lime, and some salt. Stir together and taste, adding additional lime juice and salt if desired.

5. Warm the soup in a saucepan and divide into bowl, adding a generous heap of the corn salsa in the center. Note that you want to warm the soup pretty well so that the heap of salsa doesn’t cool it down. 

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158

 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic 
Week 13 Newsletter September 2, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: (Bloodroot’s!) Baba Ghanouj; Potato and Blue Cheese Pizza
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

 

Blue gold potatoes:  After hearing about this spud from our friend Megan Haney up at Marble Valley Farm in Kent, we grew a trial patch in 2013.  Pretty blue outside; moist yellow inside, what’s not to like?  This year we upped the planting so we should have enough for everyone to get a taste.  We also have Red Norland and the all purpose, white flesh Kennebec spuds to choose from.  Those with a patriotic bend will be able to whip up some red, white, and blue potato salad. Broccoli raab: uniquely and wonderfully bitter, as broccoli raab alone can be. Where are the sprouts, you ask? They’re sprouting as best as they can, given their genetics, which hail from entirely sprout-less Italian cima di rapa greens (we have the photos to document this!). See www.forthillfarm.comfor some tasty recipes. Escarole:  Looks like lettuce, but definitely not lettuce!  Escarole is a bitter Italian green that mellows into some really tasty stuff when cooked a little bit.  A must for my Mom’s Escarole and Beans recipe, see www.forthillfarm.com. Also Available: arugula, lettuce, salad mix, red kale, green kale, Swiss chard, cucumbers, carrots, beets, Ailsa Craig onions, eggplant, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, sweet peppers, broccoli, salad turnips, & sweet corn
Potentially on the way:
 bok choy, celeriac?

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes before Distribution Hours end*

Farm News

  With Labor Day behind us, twilight coming earlier, and kids back in school, seems like the shift in seasons is upon us.  We’ve said goodbye to some crops (summer squash), but for the most part it still feels a lot like summer.  In the tomato department, the heirlooms are winding down, and in general the plants are showing lots of damage from disease.  With some luck we should have tomatoes for a few more weeks, but expect some decrease in flavor from the summer peak.  Eggplants have a reputation as a hot season, summer crop, but in reality September is their month.  We’ve increased the number of eggplants per item in distribution, so now is the time to make a few pans of eggplant parm to put in the freezer.  Ripe peppers are coming in strong.  The fall cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts crops are coming along nicely, and the butternut squash is turning a nice shade of tan in the field.  On the waning side, our last cucumber patch is sputtering; this will probably be our last week with dukes. After debating whether to offer up the last of the season’s melons due to quality issues, we decided to chance it. It’s win-win for shareholders: if you get a bum melon this week, we’ll trade it for something off the bulk board next week.

Harvesting peppers has become one of our most time consuming jobs lately. Amanda takes on some sorting.

For the most part the weather continues to cooperate, with some very California-esque temperatures and reasonable (for the East coast) humidity levels, punctuated by some timely rain.  Speaking of California, we should all be keeping an eye on the drought in that state.  I keep wondering when the lack of water will begin to affect availability of produce in stores, since the majority of our fruits, vegetables, and nuts come from the central valley.  So far, the drought doesn’t seem to be affecting the long distribution chain that gets a head of lettuce from the San Joaquin valley into a grocery store in New Milford, but it is disconcerting to have so much of the nation’s vegetable production so centralized.  Another reason to preserve quality farmland in all parts of the country, and to support a vibrant agricultural community in each state. Enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom and the crew

This cloaked, mosquito evading man is Josh, a talented chef who is trying his hand at farming for a season. Yes, our potlucks have reached new heights of deliciousness!
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
**********************************************************
TWELFTH ANNUAL FORT HILL FARM HARVEST POT LUCK !

RAIN OR SHINE, Sunday, September 28 from 4 PM to 6:30 PM.

Pot luck dinner!  Hay Rides!  Live music!

**********************************************************

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column. Flowers:  Still doing well but beginning to wind down.  One healthy sized bouquet per share.

Beans: We’re in between plantings right now, but look forward to a nice fall planting in the weeks ahead. Herbs: Herbs for fresh use. Pinch back parsley’s outer stems and the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram. Cherry tomatoes: holding on, see sign in barn for limit Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes”.  Walk into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves, pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Limits will ebb and flow over the next two weeks.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

(Bloodroot’s!) Baba Ghanouj From The Best of Bloodroot: Volume Two, Vegan Recipes “The best baba ghanouj I’ve ever tasted,” says Paul!   1. Prop 1 eggplant directly on your gas burner over high heat so it is vertical, stem up, for a few minutes. (Note: An electric stove may also be used if the burner is preheated until red hot.) Then lay it on its side, turning every few minutes or so until the outside of the eggplant is charred and black, and the inside soft. 2. Immediately remove the eggplant from the stove. Slit it open and scoop out the white soft flesh with a spoon and put it in a bowl, being careful to keep charred pieces out. You should know that cooking the eggplant this way makes a mess of the stove and you may choose to bake it in the oven; however, the smoky smell and taste will be absent. 3. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley, the juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons tahini, and salt, and pepper to taste. 4. Refrigerate. When cool, serve with pita bread.

Potato and Blue Cheese PizzaBy David Lebovitz  For the pizza dough: 4 cups (560g) bread flour 2 teaspoons sea salt 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 1/2 cup water, at room temperature   1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and yeast. 2. Stir in the water until well blended, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.   To make the pizza toppings: 2 medium onions, peeled 6 to 8 ounces blue cheese 1 lb. small, firm potatoes (Blue Gold would be tasty & beautiful here!) 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, plus a handful of thyme branches

Garlic oil: 1 clove garlic, minced with 2 T olive oil
Olive oil; sea salt; freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). 2. Sauté the onions in a large skillet, stirring frequently over moderate heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, until soft and translucent. They will take about eight minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the fresh thyme leaves. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use. 3. Slice the potatoes in a little larger than 1/8-inch (.30cm) slices and toss them with a just enough olive oil to lightly cover them, a few teaspoons, along with salt and pepper and sprigs of fresh thyme. 4. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.   To bake the pizzas: 1. Heat the broiler in the oven and set the oven rack so it’s 5-inches (12cm) from the heating element. 2. Set a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat and let it get very hot. 3. Shape the dough into 8-inch (20cm) rounds on a lightly floured surface, then working one-by-one, overturn the cast-iron skillet and carefully put a round of dough on the upturned bottom of the skillet, using your fingers to nudge the dough to the edges and being careful to avoid touching the very hot skillet. 4. Bake each round of dough individually under the broiler until each is lightly browned and “set” – they will only take a minute or two, so watch them carefully. As they come out of the oven, pry the dough off the pan (you may need to use a spatula if they stick a bit) and set each one on a wire cooling rack. (You can also put the toppings on the raw dough, right before step #4, and bake the pizzas off to finish them.) 5. Brush each round of dough in the center with garlic oil, making sure to get some of the minced garlic on each round. Divide the onions over each round of dough, leaving a border, then top with potatoes and crumble blue cheese in large pieces over each pizza. 6. Run each pizza one-by-one under the broiler, on the overturned cast-iron skillet, then serve immediately.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm 

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Week 12 Newsletter August 26, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw; Crispy-Coated Eggplant Parmesan “Burgers”
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

 Savoy cabbage:

crinkly leaved cabbage, sweet and mild flavor.  Use and store like green cabbage.

Kennebec potatoes:

  all-purpose white potato, can be mashed, roasted, or baked. Assorted sweet peppers:
Just starting to come in, we should have them until the first hard frost.  We have red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, and of course the culinarily indispensable green bell peppers.  One of our favorites are sweet red Carmen peppers with the pointy ends, great for frying, roasting, or grilling.  Also try the pointy orange Oranos peppers, which are remarkably sweet and great for snacking and salads.
NOTE:  despite our best efforts, the elusive Pepper Maggot fly has been lurking in the patch.  These buggers create an exit hole when they leave the pepper to complete their life cycle.  We try to remove damaged fruit, but since the damage is internal, if you choose to take colored peppers in the next two weeks its likely you will get some peppers with some internal funkiness, caused by invading microbes.  Usually you can just cut out the bad parts (often it’s the seed cavity which is discarded anyways) and the rest of the pepper should be fine.
If you are squeamish, wait a few weeks to take them, as most years the fruit from mid-September on have a much lower incidence of damage.

 

Also Available:

arugula, head lettuce, salad mix, red kale, kale, Swiss chard, cucumbers, carrots, beets, Ailsa Craig onions, red torpedo onions, eggplant, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños, and sweet corn

Potentially on the way:
 
 storage garlic

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

  The end of August is upon us, and it brings up one of my favorite time of the year.  We still have literally tons of potatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks, cabbage, carrots, beets, and butternut squash to bring in, but we are almost done with veggie planting. We have made a good start at seeding the cover crops, which are busy growing a good chunk of next year’s soil fertility.  So even as the physical work load remains pretty heavy, the amount of planning and managing becomes a bit more manageable.  As our farmer friend Laura at Riverbank Farm likes to say, at some point it’s too late to worry about this year, and too early to worry about next year.

Katie lines up the salad mix, all ready to go.

This time of year is also a collision of great seasons, with the cool season fall crops beginning to come in, and the summer crops still kicking around.  We continue to bring in pickup truck loads of high quality tomatoes from the high tunnels, and the eggplants have begun to produce in earnest, so seize the day with this boom and bust crop.  We should have sweet corn through Labor Day and perhaps beyond. For the first time I can remember, we have a late cucumber planting that should bring us cukes into September.  The pepper harvest picks up this time of year, and if you have avoided arugula in the past, now is a great time to try it again, as the cool nights of the past few weeks have given us a very high quality crop.

Not the most accurate representation of the corn harvest: usually two folks don’t come out from the jungle smiling and sharing the heft of a single barrel.

On the waning side,  the summer squash is officially done putting out fruit for the year.  On the whole, the first three months of the season have gone really well.  Still, it’s best not to count any chickens before they’ve hatched.  We’re keeping a watchful eye on the Caribbean to see if any big storms are brewing down there, and these very cool August nights have me wondering if an early frost in the wings.  But for at least this week, there’s some great weather in the forecast, and lots of good picking to be had.

Enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom and the crew

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch is open 30 minutes before and beyond the barn distribution times. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.

Flowers:  Going strong.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. Beans: The patch is still producing, go to the middle for an easier pick. Herbs: Herbs for fresh use.  Pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley, pinch off outer stems.  Basil has succumbed to downy mildew, and won’t be available for rest of season. Cherry tomatoes: peaking, limit will stay at 1 pint per share.  Lots and lots of sungolds.  Additional pints available PYO for $3 each.  Be sure to try the Juliets (small red plum-shaped tomatoes) and the multicolored cherries at the far end of the high tunnel.  The small, red, round cherries are very tart and not so great this year, try them before you pick. Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes”.  Walk into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves, pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Limits will ebb and flow over the next two weeks.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw Adapted from Tyler Florence’s recipe on the Food Network; Ridiculously flavorful, this slaw is sure to become a regular in our home.   1 head Savoy cabbage ½ red onion or 4 scallions 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn 1/2 cup Vegenaise or mayonnaise (or more to taste) 4-5 tsp. maple syrup 1 lime Kosher salt and freshly ground   Shave the cabbage with a sharp knife or mandoline so you have thin ribbons. Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar in shape to the cabbage, or mince the onions is using. Toss the cabbage, onions/scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.   Make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, maple syrup and the zest of the lime in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.

Crispy-Coated Eggplant Parmesan “Burgers”From the Heart of the Plate, by Mollie Katzen1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds) unpeeledsalt1 ½ cups finely grated Parmesan Black pepper Pinches of dried thyme, oregano, and/or rubbed dried sage (optional) 2 large eggs 2-3 tablespoons olive oil   Slice off and discard the eggplants’ ends, then cut the rest crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. You should end up with 10-11 rounds. If you have time, salt the eggplant slices lightly and let them sit for 10 minutes or longer, then flip and do the other side. They can rest on a cutting board surface – no need to drain. Mop them gently all over with a paper towel. On a dinner plate, combine the Parmesan, a dash or two of salt (if you didn’t salt the eggplant), and some pepper. Add a few pinches of dried herbs, if you like, and mix to combine. Break the eggs into a pie pan and beat them with a fork or small whisk until smooth. Place a large (10-12″-inch) skillet over medium heat for a bout a minute, then add a tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Wait another minute or so, until the oil is to enough to sizzle a crumb on contact. Dip the eggplant slices, one at a time, into the egg, then let any excess egg drip off back into the bowl. (The eggplant will resist holding the egg beyond a slight dampening, and that is fine.) Put each moistened round into the Parmesan, pressing it down firmly so it adheres. Turn it over and press the second side into the cheese until it becomes completely coated all over. Resist the temptation to shake off the extra cheese, then transfer each coated slice to a plate (or directly to the pan). Carefully transfer as many coated eggplant slices as will fit in a single layer to the hot pan. Cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Use a small spatula with a thin blade to carefully loosen each piece, keeping its coating intact. Flip and cook on the second side for another 4-5 minutes, until the coating is evenly golden all over and the eggplant becomes fork-tender. Cook remaining eggplant, drizzling in additional olive oil as you go if the pan seems dry. Transfer the cooked slices to a plate or rack and repeat with remaining slices. Place on grilled garlic bread topped with a slice of tomato and grated mozzarella cheese; broil and serve.
Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158

2nd Newsletter

 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 11 Newsletter August 19, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Shakshuka; Ultimate Crispy Home Fries
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

 Red Norland potatoes:

yummy almost any way you cook them, leave the skins on for a striking effect.  Store in a dark, cool place (not your fridge) for up to a month.  We had some problems with tubers poking out of the ground, and you may encounter a green spot on your spud.  Just slice off and compost the green part, and the rest is good to go.

Gold beets:  these are a chef favorite, with a milder flavor than red beets.  They are great roasted and put over salads.  Store in the fridge crisper (in a plastic bag) for up to 2 months.  Amounts are limited, so beet lovers should mix with red beets. 

Yellow watermelons: Sweet and mild with that unique color.  Ripe and ready to eat, will store for a week or two in your fridge if you can wait that long.
Also Available:

arugula, lettuce, salad mix, red kale, kale, Swiss chard, curly green kale, cantaloupe, yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, red beets, Ailsa Craig onions, red torpedo onions, green bell peppers, jalapenos, eggplant, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, and sweet corn

Potentially on the way:
 
 storage garlic

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

The huge bubble of Canadian air over the center of the country has brought us some crisp, clear days, interspersed with that much needed rainstorm of last week.  I keep telling this year’s crew that they have it super good, as usually we are sweating out the hot, humid dog days of August this time of year.  Even though we have some nice weather, there is some heavy lifting to be done.  Lots of cukes coming in, and we are putting in some solid hours in the melon patch bringing in ripe watermelons and cantaloupe.  This has been a banner carrot year, with both yield and quality better than I can remember.  We’d like to take credit for it, but it’s safe to say the cooler weather and rainfall are making us look good.  The tunnel tomatoes are going strong despite the appearance of the dreaded late blight, and we have extra trays of “ripe today” heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes available for shareholders who wish to can and freeze.  Seize the day, late blight can move like a wildfire through a tomato crop, even in a covered tunnel.

High summer harvest against a backdrop of flowers.

Otherwise, the crew is settling into a great routine that makes managing the farm a whole lot easier for Rebecca and me.  And wouldn’t you know it, just as everybody is hitting the groove, half our crew is heading back to school.  Much thanks and best wishes to Gillian and Sarah who are heading back to college, and Chris, Carly, and David who are heading back to high school.

Enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom and the crew
This week, four seniors from Yale are trying their hand at farming while supporting entering freshmen groups on orientation/work stays at other farms. We are fortunate to have Maya, Eleanor, Eamon, and Grace aboard!

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours: The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.

Flowers:  Going strong.  One healthy sized bouquet per share. Beans: A nice fresh pick of beans out there. Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley pinch off outer stems.  Basil has succumbed to downy mildew, and won’t be available for rest of season Cherry tomatoes:  coming along nicely, limit will stay at 1 pint per share.  Lots and lots of sungolds.  Additional pints available PYO for $4 each.  Be sure to try the Juliets (small red plum-shaped tomatoes) and the multicolored cherries at the far end of the high tunnel.  The very small, red, round cherries are very tart and not so great this year, try them before you pick.

Plum tomatoes:  all the plum tomatoes are located in the open field patch labeled “Plum tomatoes”.  Walk deeper into the patch for best picking, the ends always get picked out first.  Look low on the plants and move leaves, pick the ripest fruit so we can reduce waste.  Limits will ebb and flow over the next two weeks.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Shakshuka by David Lebovitz This is a wonderful North African dish. “Because everyone likes their eggs cooked differently and various factors can affect cooking times, it’s hard to say precisely how long this will cook. When served, the eggs should be still runny so that the yolks mingle with the spicy sauce.”   2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, peeled and diced 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 – 1 chile pepper (or to taste), deseeded and minced 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed, or ¾ tsp. ground 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 2 pounds (1kg) ripe tomatoes, cored and diced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon red wine or cider vinegar 1 cup loosely packed kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped

4 ounces (about 1 cup) feta cheese, cut in generous, bite-sized cubes

4 to 6 eggs   1. In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until soft and wilted. Add the chile pepper, the salt, pepper, and spices. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly, to release their fragrance. 2. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat but is still loose enough so that when you shake the pan it sloshes around. (Fresh tomatoes may take a little longer to cook than canned.) Stir in the chopped greens. 3. If you want to finish the Shakshuka on the stovetop, turn off the heat and press the cubes of feta into the tomato sauce. With the back of a spoon, make 6 indentations in the sauce. Crack an egg into each indentation, then drag a spatula gently through the egg whites so it mingles a bit with the tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks. Turn the heat back on so the sauce is at a gentle simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, taking some of the tomato sauce and basting the egg whites from time-to-time. Cover, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

4. To finish them individually, preheat the oven to 375ºF (180ºC.) Divide the sauce into 6 baking dishes and press the feta cubes into the sauce. Set the baking dishes on a baking sheet, make an indentation in each, and crack and egg into the center. Bake until the eggs are cooked to your liking, basting the whites with some of the sauce midway during baking, which will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes – but begin checking them sooner to get them just right. If the yolks begin to get a little firm on top before the whites are cooked, drape a sheet of foil over them, but avoid having it touch the yolks. Serve with lots of crusty bread for scraping up the sauce. Yields 3 to 4 servings.

Ultimate Crispy Home FriesAdapted from The Kitchen Whisperer.In a jiffy, I like to skip the parboiling step by making “skillet home fries”: slice the spuds in half or quarters and about 1/8″ thick, brown them as written, and then add a bit of water and cover until tender.2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 Tbsp. butter1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped into small pieces 1/2 cup green pepper, seeded and chopped into small pieces 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional) 4 medium-large Dark Red Norland potatoes, skin on and cubed 1 tsp. coarse salt 1 tsp. black pepper 1/2-3/4 tsp. smoked paprika

       Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a heavy 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Do not let it smoke. Add the onion, pepper, and jalapeno and cook until browned about 8-10 minutes. Do not let this burn. Stir frequently. When done, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

While the onions and peppers are cooking add the potatoes into a large saucepan. Add just enough cool water just until the tops of the potatoes are covered and they float slightly. Place the pan over high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil (about 5 minutes), remove from the heat and drain the potatoes in a colander.

       Place the pan the onions and peppers were sautéed in back on the burner to medium-high and add the butter and remaining oil. When the butter foams, add the potatoes in a single layer, making sure each potato is touching the surface of the skillet. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. You want the sides to brown. Once browned on one side, carefully flip and brown the other sides. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Once all the sides are crispy brown, add the onions and peppers back in and gently stir. Next add in the salt, black, pepper and paprika. Stir gently and remove from heat.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 10 Newsletter
August 5, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Quick & Easy Guide to Freezing Tomatoes; Fresh Garden Salsa; No Cook Tomato Sauce (Salsa Cruda)
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

Tomatoes:

 Field grown tomatoes usually peak in late August, but our tunnels bring that peak to a head a few weeks earlier.  So right now we have beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes in abundance, with the field plums just starting to come in.  We’ve dropped the bulk price on our certified organic tomatoes so those of you who want to can, freeze, or otherwise process, NOW is the time to do it.  Even high tunnel tomatoes are prone to a number of diseases, so don’t wait as we can’t predict next week’s harvest.  See below for a quick way to freeze tomatoes, courtesy of our friend Megan Haney up at Marble Valley Farm in Kent.

Red watermelons: sweet red melons with plenty of seeds for spitting contests.  Ripe and ready to eat, but they will store for a week or two in your fridge if you can wait that long.

Also Available:   arugula, lettuce, salad mix, red kale, curly green kale, assorted cabbages, Swiss chard, yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets, Red Gold potatoes, garlic, corn, Ailsa Craig onions, and red torpedo onions, green bell peppers, eggplant

Potentially on the way:
  yellow watermelon

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

This week’s edition of the Farm News is brought to you by Grower Elliot McGann.  Elliot’s been an essential part of the farm’s management team for two years now and we are very fortunate to have his help.  Elliot writes: Believe it or not, the vegetables you take home every week don’t get their start as seeds in the ground. Everything really starts at “The Board” – which is actually three dry-erase boards screwed to one of our walk-in coolers. At 6:30 each morning, while the wash tubs are filling and before the field crew piles in and starts sharpening their harvest knives, Paul, Rebecca, and the apprentices congregate around our command center. Here, the harvest list – plus nearly every conceivable farm job from crawling carrots to rubbing garlic clean – is categorized, accessorized with a red star if it’s very important, and then doled out on pieces of scrap paper.

There’s a lot going on here!

My relationship to the board has mirrored my time at Fort Hill.  During my first year the board was kind of mysterious. New tasks and new fruits and vegetables to harvest would magically appear on it each day. In my second year (also Rob and Nicole’s second year) the board started to make a lot more sense – we could read the changes of the season on it and as we began adding our own tasks and notes to the board, we felt our knowledge of the farm deepening. This season, my third, I have had more of a managerial role – doing my best to legibly scrawl the harvest list and add or remove tasks from the boards. It is a satisfying feeling to understand the farm in a very different way than I did two years ago and make observations that never would have occurred to me before. But enough about me! Running Fort Hill Farm is a complicated, seven-day-a-week team effort and in addition to Paul and Rebecca making their normal superhuman effort, it takes around a dozen dedicated people to keep the farm humming along in various degrees of smoothness. A good chunk of our field crew will be heading back to school in a few weeks, so I had better voice my appreciation now. I’ll salute them by harvest groups – first we have the Bunch Patrol – made up of Josh, Justin, and Sarah – that has bunched nearly all of the kale and chard this season.  If you have found an unexpectedly massive bunch of chard, you can thank them. Then there’s the Greens Team – Amanda, Katie, Tom, and Gillian – who diligently harvest the salad mix, baby red kale, arugula, tatsoi, and lettuce.  And last but not least – the Teen Team (or Team Teen) – Chris, Carly, and David – who have bunched thousands of scallions, pulled countless beets, and shed tears during onion harvests.

We’ve loved having Elliot for a third season; it doesn’t hurt that he sees the humor in the worst episodes of farm drama either.

One of the best parts of working on a farm is having a fun and positive crew to work with and it has been a real pleasure working with this group. We’ll miss Gill, Chris, Carly, and David when they return to school in a few weeks! Enjoy the harvest,

Elliot, f0r Paul, Rebecca, Katie, Amanda, Tom, and the crew   ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 
-Just a note that it is Peak Blueberry Season in CT and berry quality will take a downward turn in a couple of weeks. Some local sources for PYO are: Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT, Swanson Blueberry Farm in New Preston, and Evergreen Berry Farm in Watertown.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.
Flowers:  Going strong.  One bouquet per share. Beans: We have green, wax, and Roma beans this year. Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Pinch back the tips on chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley pinch off outer stems.  Basil has succumbed to downy mildew, and won’t be available for rest of season Cherry tomatoes:  coming along nicely.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Quick & Easy Guide to Freezing Tomatoes

by Megan Haney Cut or pare off any questionable bits Cut tomato in half, angle knife around the core of the stem to remove tough flesh there Hold tomato over a compost bucket and gently squeeze, to persuade some of the juice and seeds away Throw tomatoes in zip-lock bag and freeze When making sauce or soup in the winter, use as you would canned whole tomatoes, keeping in mind that you might want to puree them if you don’t like how the skin curls up. If your freezer space is limited… and your time less so: Cut or pare off any questionable bits Cut tomato in half, angle knife around the core of the stem on each half to remove tough flesh there Throw tomato in a stockpot with sturdy bottom Keep going until stockpot is full Bring to boil then simmer for 6-8 hours or until desired reduction is achieved (no need to add water … juice will prevent scorching); stir once in a while Puree tomatoes if you don’t like how the skin curls up (an immersion or wand blender is easiest) Let cool, then pack in plastic containers (quart-sized yogurt containers, eg), leaving one inch headroom, label, freeze.

Fresh Garden SalsaAdapted from A Healthy Slice of Life10 tomatoes2/3 cup onion, diced2 garlic cloves, minced1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)1 tsp. cumin 1/2 cup cilantro the juice of 1 lime 1/2 tsp. salt 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed   Rinse and dry tomatoes from the farmers market, then slice the ends off and cut in half. Rotate each tomato around in your hand a gently squeeze out the juice and seeds. No need to stress if some seeds remain, but you want to get most of them out.Repeat until all the tomatoes are a little sad looking (no worries, they’ll be happy again soon!) and you have a bowl of tomato juice (unfortunately not fit for bloody marys). Toss the tomatoes in a large food processor. Pulse 4-6 times until the tomatoes are broken down but still chunky. Put all remaining ingredients into the food processor with the tomatoes. Pulse 3-5 times to desired consistency, taking care not to puree. You can eat it right away, or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

No Cook Tomato Sauce (Salsa Cruda)By Evan Kleiman, compliments of Fine Cooking2 lb. ripe tomatoes (about 3 large or 4 medium), cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups)1/2 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil1 tsp. minced garlic (1 medium clove)1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)   Combine all of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl large enough to hold the tomatoes and the cooked pasta; mix well. Let the sauce sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours. Toss the sauce with just-cooked pasta. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 9 Newsletter August 5, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Gazpacho; Summer Squash and Corn Pancakes with Greek Yogurt and Honey
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

Tomatoes:

 when we started distributing tomatoes in July, they came from our small heated greenhouse.  Now the larger high tunnels are starting to produce, and we’ve got some nice heirloom varieties in there.  Be sure to try some Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Striped German, Cuore di Bue, Paul Robeson, Lemon Boy, and Mortgage lifter, and of course there are plenty of beefsteak tomatoes as well.

  Yellow Squash: We have a good amount of this variety, which is now stealing the limelight from our dwindling zucchini patch. Delicious with olive oil and tamari and thrown on the grill; see recipe below for a treat.   Cantaloupe:

  look for ‘lopes with tan rinds and a pleasant scent.

Green Peppers:indispensable in the late summer/fall kitchen, store in fridge crisper for up to a week. See Gazpacho recipe below.

Jalapeño Peppers:

These spicy little buggers enliven summer fare, including the gazpacho recipe below.

Also Available:   arugula, lettuce, salad mix, red kale, scallions, curly green kale, red cabbage, Swiss chard, yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets, Red Gold potatoes, garlic, corn, Ailsa Craig onions, and red torpedo onions

Potentially on the way:
pretty much stuck in a nice summer pattern, next week should be pretty similar.

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

The farm is at high season this week, and the first sign of that was a very good pick of tomatoes out of the high tunnel.  It’s a great feeling to walk in the tunnels and see ready to pick heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes, and bright green foliage.  We grow most of our tomatoes under plastic tunnels because heavy rains cause a lot of damage to ripe fruit, and bring on many diseases, which devastate the plants’ foliage.  Many of you will remember the late blight epidemic in the Northeast in 2009 and 2011, where many farms, including this one, lost entire crops of tomatoes to this lightning-fast, and completely destructive fungus.  This disease seems to be a permanent risk in New England, and it is again rearing its head in the region.  Our plants are grown in compost and mineral enriched soil, with their clear plastic “umbrella” to keep out the rain, and so far seem to be doing well.  Although this doesn’t affect late blight, we also painstakingly graft our flavorful tomato varieties to disease-resistant rootstocks in wintertime, to keep many other diseases at bay.

In terms of other crops, we have loads of sweet beets and carrots to bring in, and we’ve just finished up the last harvest of our Ailsa Craig onions, which made a good crop this year.  We are storing them in a cooler, and should have them through mid-fall.  Cherry tomatoes continue to come in.  We’ve grown some interesting red ones, be sure to give them a try and tell us how they taste.

Justin, Chris, Tom, and Sarah bring in another round of sweet carrots.

On the iffy side, our cantaloupe harvest is a bit uneven.  For sure, there are some good tasting melons out there but we’ve lost some plants to disease and some fruit to rot.  We’ll do our best to get a melon to every sharer.  On the down side, our late planting of zucchini has displayed some bizarre growth patterns.  We were late getting the transplants into the ground, and the plants decided they would dispense with growing and just start flowering and fruiting.  So we have these bizarre bonsai squash plants, and very little fruit.  Which means it’s a great time to try yellow and zephyr squash, which have better disease resistance than the zucs and do a lot better in late summer weather.   Meanwhile we are still planting lettuce and salad mix for the fall, and the last of our broccoli successions.  We’re also getting the first of our cover crop seeds into the soil after turning in our spring crops, to build fertility for next seasons veggie crops. Enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Katie, Amanda, Elliot, Tom and the crew  

We’re stumped by the poor performance of our latest zucchini succession.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

-Just a note that it is Peak Blueberry Season in CT and berry quality will take a downward turn in a couple of weeks. Some local sources for PYO are: Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT, Swanson Blueberry Farm in New Preston, and Evergreen Berry Farm in Watertown. -Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com.  It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are:   *Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes) *Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes)

*Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative to send in your place-great way to score points with the In-laws!)

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.
Flowers:  Going strong.  One bouquet per share.  Please remember to bring your own shears, or you can buy a sturdy pair at the barn for $9.  We are no longer able to lend out clippers due to safety and economic concerns. Sunflowers: We’ll offer these beauties as they open up their discs.   Beans: We have green, wax, and Roma beans this year. Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Pinch back the tips on oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley pinch off outer stems.  Basil has succumbed to downy mildew, and won’t be available for rest of season. Sun Gold cherry tomatoes:  coming along nicely.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieGazpachoAdapted from Recipes from America’s Small Farms4 large vine ripened tomatoes1 medium cucumbers, peeled and chopped1/2 bell pepper, choppedsalt and fresh ground black pepper 3 TBSP red wine vinegar, or to taste 1-2 cloves garlic, minced ½-1 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (one would be hot!) 1/2 medium red onion, chopped 1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup chopped fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley

Core the tomatoes and dip into boiling water for about 10 seconds to loosen the skin.  Place the tomatoes in ice water to cool; slip off their skins.  Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and seeds into a strainer over a bowl.  Reserve the juice and discard the seeds. Puree half of the tomatoes in a food processor or blender.  Coarsely chop the remaining tomatoes.  Combine the pureed and chopped tomatoes in a bowl and add the reserved juice.  Stir in the cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, oil, vinegar, garlic, and jalapeno pepper.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.  Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the bowls for garnish, if desired.

Summer Squash and Corn Pancakes with Greek Yogurt and HoneyAdapted from Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and StoriesI’m a sucker for savory pancakes, and these do not disappoint – you will want to make a double batch right off the bat.3 T unsalted butter, plus more for frying1 T olive oil, plus more for frying1 ½ cups small-diced summer squash (about 1 medium piece, or 7 oz.)kosher salt 1 ¼ cups fresh corn kernels (from 2-3 ears ½ cup sliced fresh scallions (white and light green parts) 1-2 tsp. minced fresh jalapeño peppers Freshly ground black pepper 2 T chopped fresh parsley 2 T sliced fresh chives ½ cup plus 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour (whole spelt is delicious) ½ cup cornmeal 2 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1 large egg 2/3 cup whole milk 2 T plain thick Greek yogurt or sour cream, plus more for serving Honey, preferably local, for serving   In a medium (10-inch) heavy, nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat ½ tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the summer squash and 1/8 tsp. salt and cook, stirring only occasionally, until the summer squash is shrunken a bit and starting to brown lightly, about 3 minutes. Add another ½ T butter, the corn, scallions, jalapenos and ½ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels are glistening and some are slightly shrunken, 2-3 more minutes. Remove pan from the heat, season the veggies with black pepper, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (20-25 minutes). Stir in the parsley and chives. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar baking powder, baking soda, and ½ tsp. salt. Melt the remaining 2 T butter, let cool slightly, and whisk together with the egg, milk, and yogurt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture, whisking until just combined. Combine the batter with the vegetable herb mixture and stir well. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes. In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat about ½ T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, use a 1/4-inch measure to scoop batter in to the pan, forming 3-4 pancakes. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, then flip. Cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a low (200F) oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding butter and oil as necessary, and turning the heat down as necessary. Serve warm with dollops of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of honey.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 8 Newsletter July 29, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Green Bean, Red Potato, and Cucumber Salad; Grilled Beet Cheese Sandwiches
DISTRIBUTION HOURS

Featured this week:

Red Gold Potatoes:
We started growing this potato on the advice of our friends at Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT.   It’s a real beauty, with pink skin and yellow flesh.  I find them even more moist and delicious than the more common Yukon Gold.  This early spud kicks off our potato harvest.  Best served mashed, boiled, or in potato salad.  Store all potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place, but never in the refrigerator.

Red Torpedo onions: 

an heirloom onion from the Mediterranean regions of France and Italy.  Somehow the name went from “red long of Tropea” to “red Torpedo” when it made its way to the USA.  Go figure, but anyways they are pretty and taste great.  They don’t store particularly well (for onions), keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Chioggia beets:  an Italian heirloom, these beets have a very pretty red and white candy stripe center.  Use and store like red beets. See recipe below.

Also Available:   lettuce, salad mix, red kale, scallions, Ailsa Craig onions, curly green and lacinato kale, green cabbage, red cabbage, Swiss chard, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets, fresh garlic, tomatoes

Potentially on the way:
should have more of the same coming your way.  Maybe cantaloupe???

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

It’s mid-season, and time for a good case of farmer’s writers block.  That’s because we’re almost through the end of July, which is one of the most challenging times on a farm, or what one of my farming friends calls “the heart of darkness.” August brings on challenges of its own, as the harvest ramps up, and irrigation and weeding demands continue.  But there is less planting and planning to do, because at this point the direction of the farming season has been largely set.  

Yesterday the crew managed to dig potatoes during a short break in the rain.

Given that, it’s a good time for a crop update: Tomatoes have been coming in slowly, but are looking to ramp up in the next week or so as the high tunnel fruit begin to ripen.  The tomatoes we have been harvesting for you have all come from a greenhouse which we heated in April and May to get an early crop.  These guys are expensive to grow and take extra effort.  For comparison, field tomatoes (grown without a high tunnel) don’t generally ripen until mid-August in Connecticut.  Sungold cherry tomatoes are turning nice and orange and sweet, we hope to have them through August.  Garlic is curing in the shaded hoophouse, and we’ll have another week or two of the fresh bulbs and then a gap before we cut and clean the cured bulbs.  Cukes and summer squash should be around for the next few weeks – we put in some late plantings to try to get them into early September, but disease pressure is high that time of year, so it’s a bit of gamble.  We have a great crop of fresh onions. Kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, and salad mix are in good supply.  Arugula and some of the other cool season greens generally produce poorly in hot weather, and we may see a small dip in production before things kick back into gear in mid-September.   Cantaloupes and watermelon seem to be doing well, but they can go bust at any time so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for their arrival sometime in the next few weeks.  Sweet corn is doing well; we should have corn for most of August, with a few gaps here and there.   We dug the first potatoes today, and the yield and quality look quite good.  Late season plantings of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are in the ground and growing, but it’s a bit early to project how they will do.  In the meantime, the crew is busy planting the last rounds of lettuce, salad mix, and greens, keeping everything watered, and turning in the old spring crops in preparation for planting soil building cover crops.   Enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Katie, Amanda, Elliot, Tom and the crew

Chioggia (kee- oh -jeeuh) Beets: more proof that Dr. Seuss has nothing on Mother Nature.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

-Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com.  It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are:   *Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes) *Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes)

*Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative to send in your place-great way to score points with the In-laws!)

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.
Flowers:  Going strong.  One bouquet per share.  Please remember to bring your own shears, or you can buy a sturdy pair at the barn for $9.  We are no longer able to lend out clippers due to safety and economic concerns. Sunflowers: We’ll offer these beauties as they open up their discs.   Beans: We have green, wax, and Roma beans this year. Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Pinch back the tips on oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley pinch off outer stems.   Sun Gold cherry tomatoes:  just starting, we’ll do our best to rotate around to everyone this week.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieGreen Bean, Red Potato, and Cucumber Salad

Ah, a true summertime potato salad!
Adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

1 ½ lbs. red-skinned potatoes 1 lb. green or wax beans ½ lb. cucumbers ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill ¼ cup finely chopped Red Torpedo onion 2 Tbs. olive oil 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. sugar 1 tsp. Dijon mustard fresh ground pepper to taste   Scrub the potatoes clean and trim away any rough spots. Cut potatoes into cubes that are larger than the size of a walnut. Salt potatoes lightly and steam them for about 15 minutes, or until tender, then let cool.   Wash and trim the green or wax beans and steam for 5-7 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Also let cool. If you have slender, thin-skinned cucumbers, wash them, trim off the ends, and slice about 1/8 inch thick. If you have larger cucumbers, you will need a bit more by weight. Peel them, halve them lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds before slicing them.   Combine the potatoes, beans, sliced cucumbers, coarsely chopped dill, and chopped red onion into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt sugar, Dijon mustard, and dash of pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss together gently but thoroughly. Try not to break up the potatoes.

Allow the salad to rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so, then taste, and correct the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed. This serves 6-8 generously, or up to 10 in smaller servings.

Grilled Beet Cheese SandwichesKatie created this recipe and writes: “This is a hearty sandwich with a lot of options that won over not one, but two previous beet-fearers. I like to roast a bunch of beets early in the week and keep them in the fridge so I have them on hand to eat at a moment’s notice. The pesto, onions, and mushrooms can also be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for easy sandwich assembly.”Basic Recipe:4-5 beets (Chioggia could bring this sandwich to new heights of beauty!)8 slices good toasting bread, toastedHavarti or cheddar-gruyere cheese, sliced  Topping Options: Garlic scape pesto Sautéed onions (or caramelized onions) Mushrooms sautéed in balsamic vinegar   Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel beets and cut off the tops and tails. Toss with a bit of olive oil and place in a deep casserole dish with about ¼ cup of water. Cover with tin foil and roast until beets are easily pierced with a fork, about 45-60 minutes.   Slice beets and layer on toasted bread. Top with garlic scape pesto or onions and mushrooms. Top with cheese. Grill until cheese is melted. I like to use a George Foreman grill for this, but it can also be done on the stovetop or a barbeque.   For the onions, slice two to three onions and sauté in olive oil over medium to high heat until translucent and slightly browned (or longer for caramelized onions).   For the mushrooms, slice two cups of baby bellas. Sauté in olive oil to start, and add balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue cooking on medium to high heat, adding more vinegar as necessary until mushrooms have shrunk and are slightly sweet.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158

Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 7 Newsletter
July 22, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna; Quinoa Salad with Corn, Scallions, and Mint
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Red cabbage:
 Great for summer salads.  Store in fridge for several weeks.
 
Eggplant:
Classic Italian is just starting to come in, stay tuned for more. Slice, oil, and toss on the grill, or see Katie’s recipe below. Best used right away, or store in the coolest part of the house. May be stored for a brief period in fridge if wrapp
ed in a wet towel and plastic.

Sweet corn 

:
 this is our early variety, a diminutive “butter and sugar” with lots of sweet flavor. *Be prepared for some ears that have not quite filled out to the tips, or those with a friend (read: worm) inside. Please embrace organic corn wholeheartedly and do not pre-open husks in the barn -or the farmers will go mad – thank you! We like to soak our ears for ten minutes in a bucket of water, and then grill them to heat up and caramelize the sugar a bit.  Store in husk in the fridge for up to 3 days with no noticeable loss in flavor. After 3 days, the sugar content decreases slightly each day. See recipe below.

Ailsa Craig big sweet onions:  these guys are great sliced thick and coated with olive oil on the grill, or on top of your favorite sandwich.  They will store for several weeks at room temperature, or for up to 2 months in the fridge.

Also Available:   lettuce, salad mix, red kale, scallions, curly green kale, lacinato kale, green cabbage, Swiss chard, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, beets, garlic, and garlic scapes

Potentially on the way:
…not sure, it’s a funny time of year for making predictions.  Maybe some green peppers?  Potatoes in a couple of weeks, we will mow off the Red Gold’s pretty soon to prepare for digging.

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

This week’s edition of the farm news is brought to you by apprentice Katie Ferrari.  Katie hails from Queens, and has been making her way north, working on gardens and farms the past few years.  Katie writes:

It’s great timing that it’s my chance to write a newsletter just as eggplant is coming in from the fields. Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. Growing up, I always looked forward to my mother’s eggplant parmigiana. When I first started shopping at a farmer’s market a few years ago, I was smitten with a new, strange, and beautiful variety I’d never seen before – the round, white and purple Rosa Bianca. And here at Fort Hill, my harvest knife is the one labeled “Eggplant.” (Everyone’s harvest knives are named after a vegetable or fruit we grow.)

Rosa Bianca is a beauty. Photo by Kati Ferrari.

Eggplant is a member of the nightshade or solanaceae family and is a cousin of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and goji berries. It is believed to have originated in India, where it is widely used and considered the “king of vegetables.” In the 13th century, the Arabs introduced it to Italy, where it was named melanzana, or “crazy apple.” It seems that most of the world at that time couldn’t make up their minds about the fruit – some thought it caused madness because of it’s pungency and occasional bitterness, while others considered it an aphrodisiac. During the British occupation of India in the 18th century, the English began to call it “eggplant” because some of the cultivars in India were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs.

Katie bringing in the garlic.

I was thrilled this past week to harvest our first black Nadia eggplants with their gorgeous, shiny skin. Our Rosa Biancas and Machiaws are on their way soon. In addition to harvesting eggplant, we were also busy tackling the garlic harvest, transplanting Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, taking down the snap pea trellises, irrigating, and weeding, weeding, weeding!   Enjoy the harvest, Katie, for Paul, Rebecca, Amanda, Elliot, Tom and the crew

Harvest knives all in a row. Photo by Kati Ferrari.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  

-Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com.  It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are:  

*Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes)

*Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes)

*Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative to send in your place-great way to score points with the In-laws!)

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.

Flowers:  Doing well.  One bouquet per share.  Please remember to bring your own shears, or you can buy a sturdy pair at the barn for $9.  We are no longer able to lend out clippers due to safety and economic concerns.   Beans: We have green, wax, and Roma beans this year.

 

Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Pinch back the tips on oregano, thyme, sage, chives, and marjoram.  For parsley, pinch off outer stems.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieEggplant Parmesan Lasagna

Recipe adapted by Katie from Women’s Health; In her words, it’s “an easier, faster way to enjoy eggplant than full-fledged Eggplant Parmigiana.”

Olive oil 1 eggplant (about 1 lb), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds 1 jar (26 oz) marinara sauce 2 purplette onions, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 uncooked whole-wheat lasagna noodles 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 1 log (3.5 oz) soft goat cheese, room temperature 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese   Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil; spread eggplant in a single layer on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; pull up foil and seal edges to close. Let stand 15 minutes to allow eggplant to steam until tender.

Meanwhile, rub an 8-inch square baking dish with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil. Saute garlic and onions  in olive oil until translucent. In a bowl, combine marinara, 1/2 cup water, and sauteed garlic and onions. Spread 1/2 cup sauce mixture in baking dish. Place 2 noodles on top of sauce. You’ll need to break noodles to fit and form three rows, but don’t worry about making perfect pieces. Break off a third of each noodle to form the extra row.

Combine ricotta, goat cheese, 3 tablespoons basil, and pepper flakes. Dollop half of cheese mixture onto noodles, spreading carefully to cover. Top with half of eggplant slices and 3/4 cup sauce mixture. Repeat layers, beginning and ending with noodles each time.   Top noodles with remaining sauce mixture, spreading to cover edges. Cover baking dish with foil and bake at 450 degrees F for 45 minutes or until noodles are tender and mixture is bubbly. Uncover and top with Parmesan cheese and remaining basil; continue cooking 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 4.

Quinoa Salad with Corn, Scallions, and MintFrom Gourmet4 ears corn, shucked1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (from 2 lemons)2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted1 tablespoon mild honey1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups quinoa (about 10 oz) 4 scallions, chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Put corn in a 5- to 6-quart wide pot, then add water to cover and bring to a boil, covered. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer corn with tongs to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs with a large heavy knife. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest and juice, butter, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a large sieve each time. Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve over same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don’t worry if lid doesn’t fit tightly) and steam until quinoa is tender, fluffy, and dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand (still covered) 5 minutes. 
Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 6 Newsletter
July 15, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Pine Nuts
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:
Green cabbage: we’ve got two kinds this year, the cone head Early Jersey Wakefield, and the oval, flattened Tendersweet.  Both are great for summer cole slaw or salads.  Store in fridge for several weeks.

Fresh garlic:  just when a farmer thinks July can’t get any busier, her entire half acre of garlic needs to be pulled and hung to cure within a one-week window.  We’ll have fresh garlic available for a few weeks, and then wait for the rest of the crop to cure.  Store on the counter for several weeks.  Our garlic is a German White (porcelain) variety with big fat, easy peeling cloves and wonderful flavor, roasted or chopped into oil for your favorite recipe.

Also Available:   lettuce, salad mix, red kale, scallions, curly green kale, lacinato kale, Swiss chard, fennel, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, beets, garlic scapes

Potentially on the way:
sweet corn

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

A good friend of mine once said that the best thing about farming is that you always have next year to try to do it better.  We’ve taken that to heart each year as we try to see what problems dogged us over the summer, and look for solutions with the least environmental impact.  We’ve had some crops over the years that were always just easy.  Kale comes to mind.  As long as it has some rich soil, a reasonable supply of water, and not too much heat, there will always be kale.  Some crops have bedeviled us since the beginning.   Storage onions are a good example.  They really want a dark, high organic matter soil with lots of water.  Given our sandy soil, that might as well be on another planet.  But we try each year, tweaking soil conditioners, varieties, and planting configurations, and looking for treatments for our number one onion pest, the onion thrip.  We still have not found a good organic control for thrips, which is why we will have lots of fresh onions this summer and not so many storage onions this fall.  

Some crops started out easy to grow but have become a challenge as the years go on.  Basil use to count among our most reliable crops, but with the arrival of basil downy mildew, it has become extremely difficult to grow.  This year, as with most years, we’ve been able to get a few early crops in before the arrival of the downy mildew spores.  The spores have arrived, and we are seeing gray fuzz on the bottom of the leaves, which doesn’t bode well for current and future crops of basil this year.  This is a big problem for basil growers all over the country, but so far no effective organic control strategies have materialized.  Some crops have had issues each year but we’ve made some progress in dealing with them.  Peppers have always been a challenge for us to grow.  We get plenty of peppers, but the plants often get blown down in strong storms, and then the fruit rot on the ground while we are waiting for them to size up.  The past few years, we have taken on the laborious task of staking and weaving the crop, which holds the plants up and keeps the fruit nice and clean.  The crew did a great job of getting over 2,000 stakes pounded in the patch, and we were able to get most of the plants supported before the next round of storms.

It takes many hands to get the peppers staked and strung.

Last year we identified a new (to us) pest that we think causes most of the damage you see inside our peppers.  There is a fly the lays an egg into peppers, and the larvae hatch, develop, and then bore out of the fruit, leaving a wound that allows the entry of all kinds of fungi and bacteria in the otherwise sterile fruit.  These organisms commence to have a party in the core of the pepper, and when we pick them we can’t tell a good one from a bad one since the damage is inside.  We ran our problem past Jude Boucher, the UConn Vegetable Extension agent, and he told us of a bait that contains a natural insecticide produced by a bacteria.  We’ve spread this bait on the ground around the pepper plants, and hope to lure the mama flys to the bait before they can lay eggs in our peppers.  We’ll know if it worked in a month or so when the pepper harvest begins in earnest.  The beauty of this treatment is that we can skip the cover sprays of toxic insecticides that many conventional growers spray to combat this pest, and instead use a low toxicity, naturally derived insecticide that is specifically targeted to the pest.  That’s what makes organic growing so much more interesting, in that you really need to know your crops and your pests, and take the time to work out the most environmentally benign treatment possible.  It also helps to have folks in your CSA who will tolerate a little funk in the core of their pepper, or a worm in the corn, as we work out the details of organic growing systems!   We hope you enjoy the harvest, Paul, for Rebecca, Amanda, Elliot, Katie, Tom and the crew  

Today the crew begins the monumental task of bringing in the garlic.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  

-Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com.  It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are:   *Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes) *Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes)

*Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative to send in your place-great way to score points with the In-laws!)

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.
Flowers:  Just starting up.  Most folks will be able to get a small bouquet per share.  Please remember to bring your own shears, or you can buy a sturdy pair at the barn for $9 We are no longer able to lend out clippers due to safety and economic concerns.   Beans: also just starting up, limits will be light for a time until the patch kicks in.  We have green, wax, and Roma beans this year.   Herbs:  Herbs for fresh use.   Trim back the tips on oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram, and chives.  For parsley, clip off outer stems only.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieRoasted Green Beans with Garlic and Pine NutsFrom The Moosewood Cookbook2 TBSP olive oil1 cup thinly sliced onionSalt and pepper1 cup lightly toasted pine nuts1 lb. fresh whole green beans, trimmed 10 to 12 medium cloves garlic, peeled 1 to 2 TBSP balsamic or red wine vinegar   Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush a large baking tray with 2 TBSP olive oil.  Spread the green beans, onions, and garlic cloves on the tray and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, intermittently stirring or shaking the tray.  Taste a green bean to see if it’s as tender as you like it.  If not, put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.   Remove from over, transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with vinegar, and maybe some additional fresh ground pepper. Serve at any temperature, with lightly toasted pine nuts.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 5 Newsletter
July 8, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Couscous with Cilantro and Melted Scallions; Zucchini with Lemon-Basil Dressing; Red Onion Marmalade
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Purplette onions: fresh spring onions, the first bulbing onions of the season.  Tear off tops and store in fridge crisper for up to a month.  See recipes below for some new ideas.   Cilantro: folks either love or hate this herb, with most eager to add its unique, fresh flavor to summer salads and Mexican or Thai dishes. See couscous recipe below.   Also Available:   broccoli raab, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, salad mix, arugula, red kale, tatsoi, bok choy, salad turnips, scallions, curly green and lacinato kale, Swiss chard, fennel, zucchini, bunched beets, radicchio, spinach, garlic scapes; escarole and kohlrabi are trailing off    

Potentially on the way:
Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage, green and wax beans?

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

The summer weather pattern seems to be settling into plenty of heat punctuated by a mid-week thunderstorm.  Last week’s version turned out to be a particularly powerful storm, with about 2 inches of rain falling in less than an hour.  We had some erosion occur, and a few patches of flattened greens.  These types of severe thunderstorms are forecast to become more common in the Northeast as we continue to turn up the planet’s thermostat.  While these kinds of events are damaging, it’s sobering to think how increased monsoons, rising seas, and more powerful storms will affect people around the globe.  Despite the storm, crops continue to grow well, especially the incredibly healthy pigweed, lambsquartes, and purslane we have generated in most fields.  We are hoping to make a dent in the weed population this week, but must also focus on getting the fall broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower planted, along with seeding the last plantings of carrots and beets.

Gill, Amanda, and Elliot cut into a new bed of Broccoli raab.

As far as crops growth, the potatoes are looking good, with some nice tubers already developed.  We’ll wait for them to size up a bit, and then get a thick skin before we begin harvesting them in mid-August.  Corn has silk and tassels.  The ears are being pollinated by pollen shed from the tassels, which means the seeds will be developing soon.  Best guess is about 10 days to harvest.   We’ve got a nice crop of fresh onions this week, and plenty of beets, and carrots.  The weather has been pretty favorable for summer greens, which means plenty of chard, kale, and lettuce to go around.  We even still have spinach, which is kind of a miracle this far into July.  Cukes, zucs, and yellow squash abound, and the melons have made good start at forming young fruit.  Keep your fingers crossed….  The only the down side has been spring broccoli, which has had disappointing yields.  We’ve got some nice green and red cabbage on the way, so if you are a brassica fan, that will help fill in the menu.

We hope you enjoy the harvest,    Paul, for Rebecca, Amanda, Elliot, Katie, Tom and the crew

Corn tasseling is a good sign that corn is on the way.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:   NEW this year:  Bring Your Own…..clippers,

that is, for PYO herbs and future flowers. We’ve had little success in past years ge

 

tting our clippers returned to the barn, so for safety and economic reasons, we are asking shareholders to bring their own scissors (maybe stow them in your car’s glove box for convenience). We’ll also have sturdy clippers available for purchase for $9 each, if folks don’t have a pair handy. (These are tough enough to harvest eggplant, which we use them for.)
  -Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com.  It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are:   *Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes) *Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes) *Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative to send in your place-great way to score points with the In-laws!) 

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.
*Please see Announcements for news about farm clippers this week.
Peas and Strawberries: 

It’s been a great run for both crops.  Both are done for the season. Herbs:  Choose 3 of your favorite herbs and pinch back the tips of dill, chives, oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.   For parsley (pinch off large, outer stems) and cilantro (pinch back): take what you can use, up to one small bunch.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieCouscous with Cilantro and Melted ScallionsBy Perla Meyers of Fine CookingThis is a yummy base for grilled summer squash or fish.¼ cup unsalted butter1 bunch scallions1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro10 oz. (1 ½ cups, or 1 box) couscous3 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Juice of 1 lemon or lime   Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, add the scallions, and cook, covered, until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the cilantro, couscous, broth, ½ tsp salt, and pepper to taste.  Stir, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and remove from the heat.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  Fluff the couscous with a fork.  Taste for salt, add a large grinding of pepper, and season with some of the lime or lemon juice.

Zucchini with Lemon-Basil DressingFrom Bon AppetitWe deviated from the recipe by peeling the zucchini into “pappardelle” strips, marinating them in the dressing for 30 minutes, and eating them raw – very refreshing for a hot summer day.2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 teaspoon grated lemon peel1 teaspoon Dijon mustard5 tablespoons olive oil1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil1/2 cup paper-thin slices red onion1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise in half   Combine lemon juice, lemon peel and mustard in bowl; gradually whisk in oil. Stir in basil and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours, stirring occasionally.   Steam zucchini until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; cool completely. Add dressing and toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour for flavors to develop, stirring often.

Red Onion MarmaladeRecipe from All Recipes. We’ve not tried this one out yet, but it is supposed to be amazing on anything from crudité to pizza or burgers.2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon butter2 large red onions, thinly sliced¼ cup white sugar1 cup dry red wine1/4 cup balsamic vinegarsalt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions and sugar in hot oil until onions start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Stir red wine and balsamic vinegar into onion mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes more. Season with salt.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 4 Newsletter
July 1, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Grilled Whole Carrots With Fresh Nutmeg; Cucumber & Feta Toss with Mint & Dill; Paul’s Easy Marinated, Grilled Zucchini
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Carrots:  one of our most popular veggies, these are our baby spring bunching carrots, and they made a sweet crop this year.  We should have carrots for the next few weeks, with five plantings to follow.  See recipes below, or wash and serve with your favorite dip.  To store 2 days up to two weeks, tear off the tops and place in a plastic bag in the fridge crisper.   Cucumbers:    Cukes are such a feast or famine veggie!  Last year at this time, the entire crop we planted in the high tunnel collapsed and died from bacterial wilt.  It was tough to watch after investing so much time and effort.  This year, we were extra careful to keep the newly planted seedlings covered with the white row covers you see around the farm.  This kept the cucumber beetles, which vector the disease, from munching on our crop.  We have lots of dukes this week and have increased the number per “item” on the boards, so you can make lots of salads (see Rebecca’s recipe below.)  Keep in a cold, humid place-a loose plastic bag inside your fridge crisper should do.  Eat within one week as these are not coated in yucky wax.

Lacinato Kale:
  a dark green cousin to green curly kale, Lacinato kale is great sautéed with just about any member of the onion family (think garlic scapes at this point in the season) and olive oil.  Also good in soups and stews.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to one week.
Rosemary:
  every year we get lots of requests for rosemary.  We stopped growing it in the herb patch years ago because it grows so slowly and couldn’t keep up with shareholder demand. ***After some tinkering, beginning back in December, we’ve been able to get it started from seed quite effectively, and we’ve made up a pot for each share!  They could use potting up, so bring a spare pot from home and we’ll put out some free potting mix for you to use.   Enjoy sprigs snipped from the growing tips.

Also Available:   lettuce, salad mix, arugula, red kale, tatsoi, bok choy, radishes, salad turnips, scallions, curly green kale, Swiss chard, fennel, zucchini, bunched beets, kohlrabi, radicchio, spinach, escarole, garlic scapes    

Potentially on the way:
Lots more delicious greens for salad, sauté, and stir fry.  Plus the occasional tomato.

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

This week’s edition of the Farm News is brought to you by Farm Apprentice, Amanda Sanfiorenzo.  Amanda was a big help last year on the Field Crew, and has taken on some additional responsibilities this year as an apprentice.  Amanda’s first language is Spanish (viva Puerto Rico!), and she writes:

I am very happy to be back at Fort Hill Farm as an apprentice this season.  I was part of the field crew last year, which was a unique experience.  Now I have more responsibilities and new tasks to master at the farm.  I enjoy these new challenges because they are part of my learning process as a farmer. Since I spend a lot of time on the tractor, sometimes I miss being part of the summer crew and taking part in big weeding and hoeing projects. I’m very thankful summer is here, and excited for all the good vegetables that are growing in the fields.  I am also very happy for all our helpers, the bees, which keep our flowering crops pollinated. It is about the time of the year when all those little weed seeds are trying to take over our crops. So weeding competes with the other important tasks we are trying to keep up with this time of year: harvesting, seeding, and irrigating crops. Even though it feels like there is not enough time in each day, we always take the time on Fridays to sit together and have a family meal. It is a good time to rest from the intense work at the farm and have fun conversations about how the season is going and of course, share amazing food.
We’re lucky to have Amanda back for another season.

I hope that you have enjoyed the first three distributions. We are very happy for all the good produce we have been able to share at this time of the year.  Most crops are ready to be harvested every two days, which means we spend at least half of each day harvesting. We are enjoying the abundance of kale, lettuces, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, Swiss chard, greens, and bunched beets.  We’ve also had a great run with the strawberries and snap peas this spring.  Our first greenhouse tomatoes are coming in and we will try to get them to as many shareholders as possible this week. We also received our first local farm products for our mini farm store: maple syrup and meat are now available!   We hope you enjoy the harvest, Amanda, for Rebecca, Paul, Elliot, Katie, Tom and the crew

Believe it or not, we’re succeeding in keeping these cucumber vines more well-behaved than their natural inclination, and this week they are pumping out the fruit!

ANNOUNCEMENTS   Please read the boards in the barn each week before putting your share together.  We are experimenting with a new distribution system this year, and we will be making changes from week to week.  If you need some help deciphering, please ask a farmer for clarification.   -Please take a moment to review the Shareholder Guide atwww.forthillfarm.com (or click the link to the left). It has lots of answers to commonly asked questions about our CSA distributions.  Some questions we have fielded are: Can I pick up my share in the barn on a different day from visiting the Pick Your Own patch (Yes) Can I buy bulk produce from the Bulk Board even after I have picked up my share for the week (Yes) Can I make up a week if I am away (No, but please send a friend or relative in your place-a great way to score points with the In-laws!)   Be sure to read the section about Rosemary under “Featured This Week” and come prepared to pot up your own Rosemary plant!!

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.

Strawberries:  end of the road, still some to glean.   Snap Peas:  keeping snap peas from getting big is like holding back the tide.  We had trouble spacing out the crop this year due to the very cold spring.  Still some good peas to be had.   Herbs:  choose 3 of your favorite herbs, pinch back the tips on oregano, thyme, sage, marjoram.  For parsley pinch off large, outer stems only. A PYO patch of basil is just starting to size up-please pinch just the tops of one plant.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieGrilled Whole Carrots With Fresh NutmegBy Kim Galeaz

This sublime dish is good enough for company, but easy for weeknight fare.

2 large bunches of carrots (at least 12) with greens attached 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons good-quality balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 ¼ teaspoons nutmeg, very finely grated 1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh Italian parsley Additional fresh-grated nutmeg for garnish (optional) 1. Peel carrots and trim 1/8-inch off bottom tips. Cut greens off top, leaving 1 inch. 2. Microwave carrots for 5 minutes, until they’re barely starting to get tender. Preheat grill to medium-high while carrots are cooking in microwave. 3. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and grated nutmeg in a small bowl. Place microwaved carrots on a rimmed sheet pan and brush lightly with glaze. 4. Place directly on hot grill grates and grill until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Turn once and brush with remaining glaze at halfway point. 5. Garnish with minced Italian parsley and freshly grated nutmeg. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Cucumber & Feta Toss with Mint & Dill

By Joanne Weir Even sworn enemies of the cucumber like this salad.   2 to 3 cucumbers (about 1-1/2 lb.)                                        ½ bunch scallions (the original calls for ½ medium onion), sliced lengthwise very thinly 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint  1/4 cup chopped fresh dill 4 oz. feta, crumbled, (1 scant cup) 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil                                              2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice salt and freshly ground black pepper                 Mint leaves for garnish (optional)   Trim the ends of the cucumbers. With a vegetable peeler, peel them in 1/2-inch intervals, leaving 1/2-inch strips of peel intact. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, scoop out and discard the core, and then cut them into 3/4-inch dice. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, feta, onion, mint, and dill. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss the dressing with the cucumber mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with the mint leaves (if using), and serve.

Paul’s Easy Marinated, Grilled ZucchiniBy Farmer Paul 2-3 medium zucchini    1 tsp. apple cider vinegar     ½ tsp. maple syrup     2 Tbsp. tamari     1 Tbsp. olive oil     Salt & Pepper                 Heat grill to 350. Slice zucchini lengthwise into ½-inch slices. Whisk the marinade in a shallow bowl and let the zucchini soak in it for 10 minutes or longer. Grill until tender and slightly browned, turning once and basting with leftover marinade.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Logo
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 3 Newsletter
June 24, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Chicken Salad with Kohlrabi, Fennel, and Scallions; Radicchio, Fennel, and Pear Salad
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Kohlrabi:  one of the crazier-looking members of the cabbage family, these guys are great peeled and cubed as a dipping veg, or some folks grate them

for slaws or sautéing.  A little known secret is that the cooked tops are also delicious! Store in the fridge for weeks without their tops.

Chinese cabbage:  This crop took a little extra time getting to size this year, but still made a nice crop.  Chinese cabbage is great for stir fry or to shred into salad.  See recipe ideas below or atwww.forthillfarm.com.  Store in your fridge crisper for up to 3 weeks.   Zucchini: first pick of the season is always most appreciated! These tender fruits take us beyond the spring greens. You can sauté, roast, grill, shred or layer these beauties in a cheesy baked dish. Best used within a few days to a week.     Fennel:  this Mediterranean crop has a sweet anise flavor that is wonderful in salads, and it’s very yummy roasted or parboiled, brushed with olive oil and salt, and tossed on the grill.  Store for at least a few weeks in the fridge crisper.     

Radicchio: this is one of those vegetables people either love or hate, with most folks falling into the latter category.  One of Rebecca’s favorite veggies, it has a somewhat bitter flavor that balances sweeter crops like lettuce in the salad bowl, and adds extra nutrition.  Store in the fridge like you would a head of lettuce (but for much, much longer – you can just peel the outer leaves or slice into it, bit by bit).  A somewhat difficult crop to grow, we are lucky to have such nice heads this spring.

Also Available:   basil, escarole, lettuce, salad mix, arugula, red kale, tatsoi, bok choy, radishes, scallions, curly green kale, Swiss chard, fennel, bunched beets, garlic scapes, spinach  

Potentially on the way:
carrots, cucumbers

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m *

*Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

Our cold spring has morphed into a pretty delightful summer.  Our string of warm sunny days and cool, clear nights was interrupted by a brief bit of rain mid-week which allowed us to stop irrigating for – wait for it – one day.  Otherwise we have been pumping water to the crops full steam, and growth is beginning to kick into gear.  We’ve had a great run in the strawberries, and the sweet snap peas came in last week..  We’ve always been somewhat snap pea challenged.  We’ve found numerous ways to kill them (seeds rotting in the ground, powdery mildew disease destroying the plants in a matter of days, trellis collapses…) but this year things are much improved.  Also looking good is the potato crop, which seemed to respond well to the cool, gray weather of a few weeks ago.  Our tomato crop is mostly under plastic, and both the greenhouse and high tunnel plants seem to be doing well.  The first ripe tomatoes and cukes are just coming in and may make sporadic appearances at distributions until the crop really starts to red up sometime in early July.

Kohlrabi: don’t judge a book by its cover and try me!

But for now, the green crops take center stage.  Good crops of lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, are in, as well as a trio of less common crops:  fennel, radicchio, and kohlrabi.  Be daring and give them a try.   We hope you enjoy the harvest,   Paul for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew  

The crew plants the second succession of parsley. “Riding” the transplanter always looks like a cush job, but they are actually scrambling to keep up!

CSA ANNOUNCEMENTS   Please be sure to read the newsletter each week!   This is our way to communicate with you, our members.  We email a copy to each shareholder, we post it each Tuesday on our web site, and if you prefer, paper copies of newsletters are available at the farm.

More recipes, plus produce storage and processing info, are available at www.forthillfarm.com, or just click on the “Recipes” link in the lefthand column for a veritable cornucopia of information.

CSA Shareholder Guide is online at our updated website: www.forthillfarm.com, or simply click the link in the lefthand column.  Please take a few minutes to read this important document before coming to the farm.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open

in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left

column.

Strawberries:  still berries to be had, look for firm red berries that have not gone over.   Snap Peas:  nice crop of peas this year, they grew really well in the cool, cloudy weather of the past few weeks.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pick only plump pods.  Should be an easy pick this week, they are peaking.   Perennial Herbs (Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, and – new this year – Marjoram, a milder, somewhat sweeter cousin to Oregano) and Dill: Although these herbs are just starting to size up, a nip here and there won’t be missed. Please refer to the PYO board for tips on how to harvest the first herbal sprigs of spring.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Chicken Salad with Kohlrabi, Fennel, and Scallions Recipe adapted from Culinary Hill   ⅓ c. mayonnaise or Vegenaise  2 T. fresh lemon juice ¼ tsp. celery seed Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb. chopped or shredded cooked chicken 1 small kohlrabi bulb, peeled and finely chopped 1 small or half large bulb fennel, cored and finely chopped 2 scallions, sliced 2 T. minced fresh parsley   1.In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery seed, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.   2.Stir in chicken, kohlrabi, fennel, scallions, and parsley. Toss until evenly coated.  

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and chill at least 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Radicchio, Fennel, and Pear Salad

Recipe adapted from the Food Network   1 bulb fennel, halved and thinly sliced 1 head radicchio, cored, leaves torn into bite-size pieces 4 cups spring salad greens 2 Bosc or Asian pears, cored and chopped 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted One 2-ounce chunk Parmesan or Pecorino   Dressing: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons dry white wine or lemon juice (or a blend of each) 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper   For the salad: Place the radicchio, salad greens, fennel and pear slices, and walnuts in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until coated. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese on top and serve.     Chinese Cabbage Salad Check out our favorite Chinese cabbage salad recipe at theRecipes tab of forthillfarm.com. It’s a farm classic!

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
Fort Hill Farm Photos
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 2 Newsletter
June 17, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto; Steamed Beets and Greens with Goat Cheese over Pasta
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Garlic scapes:  These are the flowers of our topsetting hard neck garlic.  Viewed with suspicion by shareholders in the past, they have become very popular due to their great garlic flavor and many uses.  Cut off an inch of the thin ‘whip’ at the end of the flower, and the rest is good to go.  Sauté in oil and then add cooking greens.  Or check out our yummy garlic scape pesto recipe below.  Great over pasta.  Scapes will store for at several weeks in your fridge crisper (and can have last for months!).  They are a unique source of garlic flavor and will tide you over until we have fresh garlic available in about three weeks.   Basil: nice crop of basil from our high tunnel.  Use with the scapes for a great pesto.  Basil stores best like a bunch of flowers-put in a vase in indirect light. DO NOT put in the fridge.  Basil use to be one of our most reliable crops, but with the invasion of a new disease (downy mildew) we have had a very hard time growing it, so good idea to enjoy while we can.   Spinach:  Spinach is a decidedly hard crop to grow this time of year but we got a nice crop with all the cool weather of the last few weeks.  Steam some scapes, and toss with spinach in oil for a great side dish.   Beets:  We transplanted this crop to get a jump on the season.  Enjoy them tops and all.  See yummy recipe below.

Escarole:  a cousin to lettuce, very bitter raw but mellows to a deep, comfort-food type flavor when cooked.  Try some escarole and beans, very healthy and tastes great!  Stores like lettuce.

 

Salad turnips:  There’s nothing quite like these mild, sweet, crisp beauties. Enjoy them sliced raw into a salad.  Also good for light cooking and steaming, greens and all.

Also Available: lettuce, salad mix, arugula, red kale, tatsoi, bok choy, radishes, scallions  

Potentially on the way:
Chinese cabbage, Swiss Chard, green kale

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m*

Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

June and July are the serious crunch times on a farm.  April and May are busy months too, with field preparation, planting, and crew training being the major tasks.  This time of year, we have all that going on, plus harvests, and of course, irrigation.  Because we have very sandy soil, once we go three days without rain, we are in all-out watering mode.  It seems odd to think about watering the crops, because of all the rain we’ve had in the last few weeks, but after a few hot days with a stiff breeze, all previous rain is ancient history.  Then it’s time to fire up the irrigation gun, set up pipes on all the delicate crops, and pump water into the drip lines, which are kind of like a water ‘IV’ out to tomatoes, peppers, squash, cukes, and melons.  

Another transplanting party-It can take up to six people to transplant some crops!

We’re all working very hard, but then the kicker is all these water systems need to be turned on and off at all hours of the night, so we get to add sleep deprivation to the list!  Made me wonder if I was hallucinating on Monday when I looked up to see a mini-tornado lifting up a 200-foot piece of white rowcover up into the air.  We were planting lettuce and we all watched with our mouths open as the dirt devil lifted the row cover high in to the air, spun it around several times, and then waved it up and down, making it look like a giant white dragon.

Moving through the garlic patch, snapping scapes, is a big job.

We have had a nice string of weather this week, which makes working outside in these long days a real pleasure.  Hard to believe that summer starts on Saturday, when the day length will peak, and we will begin to roll the day length back for six months.  The plantings are starting to respond, and with some warm temps to go along with these long days, the crops are starting to roll in.   We hope you enjoy the harvest,   Paul for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew     CSA ANNOUNCEMENTS   Please be sure to read the newsletter each week!   This is our way to communicate with you, our members.  We email a copy to each shareholder, we post it each Tuesday on our web site, and if you prefer, paper copies of newsletters are available at the farm.

More recipes, plus produce storage and processing info, are available at www.forthillfarm.com

, just click on the “Recipes” tab for a veritable cornucopia of information.

CSA Shareholder Guide is online atwww.forthillfarm.com.  Please take a few minutes to read this important document before coming to the farm.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open

in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left

column.

Strawberries:  Holy ripe fruit! The strawberry crop was slow to ripen in early spring, gave a nice pick last week, and is currently packed with ripe berries.  The patch is peaking, and barring extreme weather, should be plenty of berries to pick this week.  It will decline rapidly next week.  We are doing our best to put up as many berries as possible for extra purchase.  Come earlier in the week for best picking, they will go over fast if we get a hot spell.  Thanks to everyone for cooperating with our efforts to place folks in the areas for best picking.  We are working hard to reduce squashed berries.  Please walk carefully in the patch.   Snap Peas:  nice crop of peas this year, they grew really well in the cool, cloudy weather of the past few weeks.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pick only plump pods.  Depending on when you visit the farm this week, this may require some searching.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto By Paul and Rebecca   This continues to be our go-to recipe for diving into garlic scape season. It freezes well, allowing us to enjoy these ephemeral flavors well into the colder months.   2 cups garlic scapes, whip removed, chopped into 1 inch pieces 2 cups basil leaves 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a high quality grade) 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 tsp lemon juice 3 TBSP pine nuts (can sub walnuts, pepitas, etc.)   Combine garlic scapes, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice to a food processor.  Pulse until well blended.  Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts; blend a bit more.  Mix into pasta (reserve some to put over the top of the pasta), or on top of fresh Italian bread. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Steamed Beets and Greens with Goat Cheese over Pasta

Recipe by Janine McCormick, inspired by Cassandra Purdy of Pizza to the People   1 bunch beets 2 to 3 TBSP olive oil 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (or use fresh garlic scapes) ½ tsp dried oregano (or 1 tsp fresh) ½ tsp dried basil (or 1 TBSP fresh) Goat Cheese ½ to ¾ lb of pasta, cavatelli or cavatapi, short pasta shape salt and pepper to taste   Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta al dente. Coarsely chop the beet greens; slice the beets into rounds and then ½ inch strips.  Steam the beets until the beets are soft enough to stick a fork in, remove from the heat.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet, once hot add the garlic and sauté one minute.  Then add the beets and beet greens, basil and oregano.  Toss together and cook until the greens are wilted. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta, add the beets and greens mixture and toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste, top with goat cheese and enjoy!

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776
860-350-3158
 Fort Hill Farm CSA
 New Milford, CT
 Fresh * Local *Organic
Week 1 Newsletter
June 9, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
FARM NEWS
FEATURED THIS WEEK
RECIPES: Little Quinoa Cakes
DISTRIBUTION HOURS
Featured this week:

Scallions: These versatile green onions will store for about a week in your fridge. See recipe below.   Lettuce: the cooler than average spring, coupled with regular rainfall, has resulted in some very crisp and tasty lettuce.  We have salad bowl, romaine, green and red leaf, and green and red butterhead.  Toss up a salad and enjoy a break from long-distance lettuce!

Potentially on the way:
Chinese cabbage, salad fixings

Distribution Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday:

2:30 to 6:30 p.m. *

Saturday:

8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m*

Please arrive at the barn at least 15 minutes beforeDistribution Hours end*

Farm News

This is it, the first week of Fort Hill Farm CSA distributions, a week that’s been over 6 months in the making.  We renew and enroll shareholders in late fall, hire a crew, and draw up enough crop planning spreadsheets to make any office person groan.  During the short days of winter, we look over and tweak the spread sheets until WE groan.  Coordinating multiple greenhouse and field plantings of 40 crops over 6 months is a daunting task! Then we order seeds and supplies, patch up all the equipment, assemble the crew (this is no small feat), fire up the greenhouses, rev up the tractors, and start dropping seeds into soil.  From that point on, we’ve found that farming is an exercise in letting go of expectations–this is something that Rebecca does rather well, and Paul does rather poorly.  As a region, New England experiences such wide variations in weather that it’s nearly impossible to predict how a given crop planting will work out.  For example, today we walked the spring lettuce crop and noticed that the first planting of lettuce was now being overtaken by the second planting of lettuce, which went into the ground 10 days later!

These early spring plantings are finally to size.
The bulk of the crew for 2014. Back row from the left: Josh, Justin, Elliot, Tom, Paul; Front: Sarah, Katie, Gillian, Rebecca, Amanda. Really, we don’t arrange our farm tasks according to gender, but apparently, our photos!

Helping us make sense of it all is Elliot McGann, back for his third season at the farm.  It’s a blessing to have such an experienced farm hand as we adjust to farming and parenting at the same time.  Amanda San Fiorenzo returns from last year’s field crew to apprentice for the season.  Amanda has been operating the big orange Kubota tractor, spading up the fields, and working on making perfect straight lines while operating the transplanter. Katie Ferrari joins us from NYC, after experiencing life at a monastic garden in Brewster.  Katie has gone from learning to drive a car to operating multiple tractors in the space of a year!  Rounding out our apprentice crew is Tom Bellmore, who is trying his hand at farming for the first time.  Tom’s been cutting all the beds on the farm and running pipe into the fields, and seems to be adjusting well to farm life.  As usual, we’ve hired a great bunch of folks to ride the transplanter and crawl (weed) the carrots, and we feel fortunate to have Josh Painter, Gillian Weyant, Justin Martel, and Sarah Fontoura do much of the heavy lifting.   We hope you enjoy the harvest,   Paul for Rebecca, Elliot, Amanda, Katie, Tom, and the crew

Luca tries out the Kubota. He likes anything with a wheel right now.

CSA ANNOUNCEMENTS   -Please be sure to read the newsletter each week!   This is our way to communicate with you, our members.  We email a copy to each shareholder, we post it each Tuesday on our web site, and if you prefer, paper copies of newsletters are available at the farm.   -More recipes, plus produce storage and processing info, are available at www.forthillfarm.com, just click on the “Recipes” tab for a veritable cornucopia of information.   -CSA Shareholder Guide is online at www.forthillfarm.com.  Please take a few minutes to read this important document before coming to the farm.

Pick Your Own

 

PYO Hours:

The pick your own patch opens 30 minutes before each distribution, and closes 30 minutes later. PYO patch is open

in all weather except thunderstorms. See distribution times in left column.   Strawberries: The moment we’ve all been waiting for! This year’s strawberry crop was looking good but the this week’s dark and rainy forecast has cast a long shadow over how things will go.  We’ve got about half the patch putting out fruit and so should be able to start the season with a good pick for shareholders.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca BatchieLittle Quinoa CakesThese are perfect for using leftover quinoa and infinitely adaptable to adding whatever cheese and veggies you have on hand. Adapted from Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi SwasonIngredients2 1/2 cups/12 oz/340 g cooked quinoa, at room temperature*4 large eggs, beaten1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt1/3 cup/.5 oz /15 g finely chopped fresh scallions1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped1/3 cup/.5 oz/15 g freshly grated Parmesan, Gruyère, or feta cheese3 cloves garlic, finely chopped1 cup/3.5 oz /100 g whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed Water, if needed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter Preparation Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the scallions, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch/2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer. *To cook quinoa: Combine 2 cups/12 oz/340 g of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 3 cups / 700 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

Paul Bucciaglia Fort Hill Farm

18 Fort Hill Rd.
New Milford, CT 06776