2016 CSA Newsletters

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Fort Hill Farm

CSA Newsletter
fresh * local * organic
Week 1
June 7, 2016
In This Issue
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Distribution Hours:
*  Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 – 6:30 PM      *  Saturday 8:00 AM- 12:30 PM

Farm News
Every winter it seems the time from saying so long in late full to hello in spring gets shorter and shorter.  That may be due to the fact that we do more over the cold months now.  Keeping two winter markets going from November through the better part of March takes a lot of effort, and we were lucky to have apprentices Justin Martel, Bailey Deutsch, and Lauren Henderson Tamowski washing the roots and cutting the winter spinach in the greenhouses and setting up the market displays while Rebecca and I planned out the season on spread sheets and made all the winter decisions that must be made on a farm.
Rae gets some practice cultivating the seemingly endless successions of brassica greens.
The mild winter had a brief cold spell in February, but gave us a warm March just in time for Elliott’s return from points south.  This is Elliott’s fifth year at the farm, and he’s never stayed for a winter, which is a testament to his intelligence and good planning skills.  Elliott is now managing the daily operations of the farm, and also spear headed our efforts to build an additional greenhouse for winter growing.  Rae Moore returned as well, to take on, among other things, a leadership role in the greenhouse, which helped make both the field and sale plant plans run ever so smoothly.
The warm March turned into a dry and cold April, which is quite possibly my least favorite weather combination.  We got a few well-timed rains, but more cool weather returned in May as we kept jamming plants in the ground as fast as we could, assisted by our new apprentice, Hannah Samuelson-Snyder, and our returning field workers, Adam Quattro and Mark Ventresca.
Adam and Justin harvest amidst the patchwork of our early spring plantings.
The farm in spring is kind of like those new-born gazelles you see on National Geographic specials that have a wobbly start getting up on their legs, and then you cheer like crazy for them to get walking around and then running before some pack of hyenas makes a lunch out of them.  For some reason, it’s felt like the hyenas have been a lot closer to our heals this season.  Rebecca noted that it seems to get harder to farm here every year, and I have to agree.  Last year the pest du jour was the leaf miner, which took out nearly all our beet, chard, and spinach plantings in the spring.
This year a different fly pest, the seed corn maggot, caused us more than a bit of trouble.  A week after planting 24,000 onion seedlings that we had sown in our greenhouse in February, we watched them keel over and wilt on a warm day in May.  A quick inspection found most of them eaten up from the inside out, and over three quarter eventually succumbed.  It took us 2 weeks to source some field grown plants from Texas, and the crew gamely replanted them on a hot Saturday in late-May.  I’ve never planted onions so late before, but hopefully they will make a crop.  On the plus side, we have much less leaf minor damage and therefore some great spinach and chard crops for you this week.
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul and Rebecca, for Elliott, Rae, Justin, Lauren, Bailey, and the field crew

Featured This Week

Salad mix: One of our most popular crops, our salad mix requires some extra care on your part, as it does not come ready to eat.  To prepare, wash the greens and then spin dry in a salad spinner, and either store them in the spinner or move to a clean, dry, covered bowl in the fridge.  Do not store salad or spinach for more than three days in the vented greens bag.   Spun salad mix will store up to 6 days.
Spinach:  nice to have it back on the spring menu.  Store in a loose plastic bag in your fridge crisper for up 4 days.  Great sautéed in oil and garlic.

Also available:

head lettuce, scallions, rainbow chard, escarole

Coming soon:
garlic scapes, snap peas

Pick Your Own

Please bring your own clippers or you can purchase sturdy clippers in distribution.
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 above the Farm News.)

Strawberries are in! 
It’s going to be a SHORT SEASON! Please come early in the week as there are many, many ripe berries now. Extra quarts available for sale while we can. Please be extra careful where you step in the patch.

Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie

Spinach, Green Onion, and Smoked Gouda Quiche
From MyRecipes
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated smoked Gouda cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1. To prepare crust, place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Combine milk, salt, and egg yolk in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour; beat just until combined. Press mixture into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Unwrap and place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
4. To prepare filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes.
5. Combine 1 cup milk and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in spinach mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Cut into 10 wedges.