Farm News, October 27, 2020

The Farmstand is open today from 2 – 6:00 PM (PYO Hours: 1:30 until dark)

This week’s Farm News is from field manager Lauren Henderson. Here are her thoughts about the growing season:

This time of the year on the farm is special. It is a magical moment when all the winter vegetable favorites have arrived, yet the tastes of summer like tomatoes, peppers, and arugula still linger – this many varieties of vegetables feel luxurious every season.  The mild fall has me cherishing every morning that I can leave my winter hat at home and comfortably bunch kale with bare hands.   

Lauren can’t believe the rare sighting of beautiful arugula in October.

However, it looks like the unseasonably warm weather is coming to an end. We have begun preparing beds for garlic, planting the last of the winter spinach in the greenhouse and doing general field clean up to get ready for winter.  We have also been investing time on weeding next year’s strawberries, knowing well that the work this fall will mean happier, healthier, plants in the spring.   

It’s our favorite time of year! Connor and I get our ya ya’s out with the Brussels sprout harvest.

This is the most experienced crew that Fort Hill Farm has ever had, and it shows – in working together, communicating what needs to be done and doing it well. From the growers, to the apprentices, to the field crew, this group of people has been extraordinary during this difficult time. They are a hard working and enthusiastic bunch, and it has been amazing to work alongside them and see everyone’s farming skills grow.

This season, it has been lovely for me to be in the Farm Stand on Saturdays.  Experiencing so much community support and meeting so many folks passionate about quality vegetables brightens my week. Also hearing what people are cooking is super fun. So thank you! 

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

Emma accompanies the sprouts to the barn.

Featured this week:

German Butterball potatoes:  whoever named these was a marketing genius, and it doesn’t hurt that these taste like the butter is built in.  Very popular with the farmers, and veteran CSA sharers and market customers. Unfortunately, they don’t grow well for us here for some unknown reason, hence their small size – enjoy them while they last. Store like all potatoes in a cool (about 50F to 60F), dark place (not the fridge).  

Rainbow Chard: I know, we’re featuring this one twice, because it really comes into it’s own this time of year! See recipe below.

Also available:

salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, head lettuce (6 varieties!), curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, escarole, radicchio, red cabbage, Collards, spinach, parsley, cilantro, sage, and thyme, red radishes, red beets and Chioggia beets, fresh fall carrots, garlic, fresh leeks, storage onions (at the farmstand), celeriac, fennel, sungold cherry tomatoes, heirlooms and beefsteak tomatoes, green bell peppers, Jalapeño, poblano, cayenne, and shishito peppers, Classic Italian, Rosa Bianca, and mixed Asian eggplant (limited), Dark Red Norland, Blue Gold, and Satina Gold, Kennebec, and gold fingerling potatoes, Carnival and Butternut squash, pie and Jack O’ lantern pumpkins, sweet potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, fresh baby ginger (ON SALE THIS WEEK!) and fresh turmeric

Pick Your Own:

Flowers – open for picking, but Friday night looks like a freeze!

Perennial herbs – for your fall soups and roasts:

Oregano, Sage and Thyme – Trim the tops 4 ” down

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

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

To mix things up, I’m going to try to feature one classic farm recipe and one new one this year …

Polish Potato Dumplings (Kopytka)

From Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet


  • 2 cups cooled mashed potatoes cold (from about 1 lb. potatoes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 


  1. Place mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl. They should be cold, so this is a great way to use up leftover potatoes.
  2. Add egg and flour and mix until the dough comes together. Place dough onto a floured surface and divide into two parts. Roll one part of the dough into a long log and slice into 1.5 to 2″ dumplings.
  3. In a large saucepan or pot, boil water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add 5 to 8 dumplings at a time to the boiling water and cook until they start to float at the top. Remove and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining dumplings.
  4. You can serve the dumplings right away as a side dish or follow the suggestion below.
  5. In a skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add cooked dumplings and cook until golden brown. Remove onto a plate. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 small yellow onion (chopped), 4 slices of bacon (chopped) and 4 white mushrooms (washed, sliced). Sauté until fragrant and the bacon is crispy. Toss with dumplings and serve.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

From Allrecipes


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ small red onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately

½ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pinch salt to taste


Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

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