September 22nd 2015 Newsletter

The Weekly Menu

What you can roughly expect to receive each week:

Here’s where we list what is going to be in the weekly shares. What we think we will harvest when writing the newsletter – may not necessarily be what’s actually ready on harvest day. We’ll do our best to get it right!

This week: Green Tomatoes, Potatoes, Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Green Peppers, Red Italian (Corno Di Toro) Sweet Pepper, Purple Pepper,and summer/winter squash, broccoli raab, greens mix, chard, and arugula.

Fall is Here!

The days have turned crisp and the summer crops are waning. Savor the last of the tomatoes, as they have been taking a hit from many sides (late blight, early blight, septoria leaf spot, cool nights, stink bugs and splitting). We’ll keep harvesting them, while they ripen, but also dabble into the realm of green tomatoes. (See recipe below).

This past saturday was quite productive for me – I was able to seed some crops with our Allis Chalmers G. The fall crops of Tatsoi, haukeri turnips, French Breakfast Radishes, Snow Peas, and Beets have been seeded. Some of these varieties are so hardy, they’ll handle a bit of snow and keep on growing! If you’re planning on signing up for the extended (winter) share (or already have), let me know. We’ll be happy to extend the season for you a bit longer (5 weeks from the the beginning of November to the beginning of December). We have limited room – so sign up soon!

This week you’re getting about a 1/2 lb of “greens mix” – which has a mixture of mild mustard greens – very nice, fresh in a salad – but also good quickly braised and added to omelets or quiche. There’s also a bag of arugula (see last week’s recipe below), and Broccoli Raab greens.

Now, typically, Broccoli Raab is just the little broccoli florets, but the plants actually produce an amazing amount of tasty greens. It seems a shame to leave those greens behind, just for the florets. So – what to do with that bag of greens? Saute, blanch, steam, add to soups…. it’s limitless. “A three-ounce serving (about 85 grams) of raw broccoli rabe provides your body with almost a third of the Daily Value for vitamin C.” from here. So eat up!

September is about over…. we had a nice turn out for Kindermusik with Christa Beck and rain for our movie night (canceled). The rest of the season seems so busy, I don’ know if we’ll try to squeeze in another movie night or not. We’ll be sure to let you know.

Big plans are happening with the Big Share event in October 3rd (see below). The chefs are roasting a pig from Heilman’s HogWash Farm (in Sarver), lots of veggies from our farm, and Pittsburgh Ice Cream for dessert. There’s live entertainment and a fun atmosphere- all at a reasonable price ($50 per adult and kids under 10 eat free!). Sign up soon! Profits from the dinner go towards buying CSA shares from our farm for those in need of good, nutritious food! It’s a win-win situation!

We need help!

Now that the weather is cooler and much more pleasant, volunteers are starting to come out of the wood work! It’s great!!

If you or you know someone who has a relatively open schedule – we could use some more volunteer help on the farm. Specifically, for harvesting: Tuesdays 9 – 1:30 or Fridays 9 – 1:30 (we’ll provide lunch). For weeding: Mondays, Thursdays or Saturdays – anytime.

Would this fit into your office’s community service needs? Send the appropriate person our way! We can work with groups too!

Get in touch with Jen@blackberrymeadows.com and let me know if you’re interested! Thanks!!

The Big Share

We’re collaborating with CHS (Community Human Services) for The Big Share. A Farm to Table Dinner and Concert. Saturday October 3rd.

Go to CHSCorp.org for tickets!

All profits from tickets sold will go towards buying produce (CSA shares) from our farm which we will then, deliver to the CHS food pantry.

If you’re looking for a fancy local dinner that serves multiple good causes, this is the one! Help benefit our farm and get good, nutritious food to those experiencing Food Insecurity!
Photo Courtesy of Adam Miliron

We need your help! With Garlic!

The great garlic planting is going to be upon us soon – and that means that we need to start “shucking” garlic. We’ve set aside the biggest and best bulbs of garlic as our “seed garlic” for the fall. We need help pulling the bulbs apart into cloves. Ultimately, we need about 10 5 gallon buckets of garlic bulbs. If you all take a few bundles of garlic home, shuck it and bring it back next week, that would be great! We’re looking to have all the garlic back here by October 7th.

Sewickely Academy is coming out on the 9th to help plant all that garlic!

In early October, we’ve got Sewickly Academy coming out with about 70 kids. We’ll have a power planting day with a bunch of student and get the job done in one day!

What to do with all those Green Tomatoes!?!

 

(From an NPR Article in August 2011)

According to Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano (HarperCollins 2005), from which this recipe is adapted, this is a Palermo variation on the classic pesto Genovese. The sour green tomatoes, punchy mint and arugula (in addition to the usual basil), as well as the omission of the standard nuts, make this pesto particularly light and tangy. It’s perfect for a warm evening, especially with a generous dusting of aged Parmigiano.

Deena Prichep for NPR

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup arugula
5 green tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-reggiano

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine the mint, basil, parsley, arugula, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and pulse to form a chunky puree. Season heavily with salt and pepper.

When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook until done to your taste. Drain, and return to the hot pot. Stir in the sauce until well combined, and serve immediately, topped with the cheese.

(A repeat from last week)

Some recipe ideas for this week:

I think arugula is a Love it or Hate it vegetable. I personally have a hard time eating it – it’s too spicy and bitter for me. That said, if I can doctor it up nicely – I can still eat it! So my trick for Arugula:

Balsamic Arugula Salad:

The salad:
One washed bag of arugula
Lots of other veggies (cherry tomatoes, peppers, squash, beets, onions, etc)
Dried fruit, nuts and seeds (toasted pumpkins seeds are great)
Blue cheese, feta cheese or chèvre

The dressing:
1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup maple syrup (this is the important part)
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and black pepper to taste

Slather with dressing and eat up!

A Generic Greens Recipe: Beans and Greens

There’s no particular recipe that I use when making beans and greens. For the non-vegetarians, there’s a couple of key ingredients that you’ll want to try to use. 1 – Broth… chicken, beef, pork – whatever, but that gives it a rich taste. A hambone is great too! 2 – a lot of garlic!

Above, I’ve linked to a google search for Beans and Greens recipes. I’ll give you the one I use from my head – but any of the ones above, will work, I imagine. (I like epicurious.com best)

Soak beans overnight and drain, and cook in new water the next day for a couple of hours until soft (or used canned beans). Any beans will do: Black, kidney, white, black eyed peas (which cook quicker if using dried beans).

Lightly sauté garlic and/or onions in butter, oil, or bacon grease, add beans and coat in garlicky flavored oil. Toss in your rinsed and chopped greens (chop stems smaller so they cook quickly) and stir around until nicely coated. Put the lid on the pan and let cook for a few minutes. Then, pour in meat or veggie stock and let simmer until greens are cooked and beans are heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. It’s nice topped with bacon too. This is a greens recipe that Evelyn has no qualms about eating.

Local Goods:

Natrona Bottling Co. – Brewed fresh here in Natrona, this beverage is High Fructose Corn Syrup Free and Local! If you’re gonna eat junk food – it might as well be local junk food!
Allegro Hearth Bakery Fresh bread and sweets available at the farm pickup only. Made fresh every Tuesday night – amazing stuff!
Jarosinski Farm – we’re excited to be working with Kevin, a young fellow in Buffalo Township who is tending high quality pasture raised chickens for eggs and meat.
Kopar Honey Farm – talk about local! The Kopars keep bees on our farm, as well as other locations in southwestern, PA.
Clarion River Organics – we purchase potatoes, watermelon, winter squash and other items from them that we may not be growing this year.
Brenkel’s Organic Farm – in Zelienople, supplies us with a few veggies too.
Conneautee Creamery – Artisan cheeses made from grass fed cows.
Harmony Hill Farm – supplies us with pasture raised, grass fed beef. We’ll have ground beef on hand at $7/lb.
Northwoods Ranch – located in Gibsonia area, this farm specialies in all pasture raised, Non-GMO and soy free beef and pork. They raise heritage breeds of pigs and Highland Cattle for beef. Currently, we only have ground beef from these guys.
Hunter Farms – keeps us supplied with the best Certified Organic Blueberries around. They usually start up in July.
Una Biologicalcreams, salves, and balms. All made in small batches, with organic and some locally sourced ingredients.

Value added from the Farm

We dabble in a few hand crafted items. We’ll purchase fair trade, organic, green coffee beans and roast them in our wood oven.

Mom’s Red Raspberry Jelly (made with our berries and organic sugar!) will be available this week.

Also – we’ve roasted coffee! We’ll have that for sale too!

Thanks for choosing our CSA. We strive to grow nutrient dense, wholesome foods for you. We think what we do is hard work – but important for our family, friends, and community. There’s a few things that we find important: growing good food, participating in the local economy, being good stewards to the environment, providing our community with access to a farm, farm animals and the outdoors, and teaching new and beginning farmers what we know. By being a CSA member and supporting our endeavors, you’re helping us to achieve our goals. Thanks!!

Sincerely,

Your Farmers,

Greg, Jen, Evelyn, Matt, Sam, Dawn and Haven

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