September 29th 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, Green Peppers, Red Italian (Corno Di Toro) Sweet Pepper, Purple (Islander) Pepper, broccoli raab, greens mix, baby turnip greens, scallions, and arugula.

The rain is back!

It’s only be 2 days of rain and we’re already grumpy about being wet. I think back to the Spring, where the rain was relentless – I don’t know how we kept our spirits up or if we even did. I think we’ve all gone through 3 outfits today while harvesting for the CSA tomorrow. It’s wet out there!

This kind of weather is great for our greens. The kale will be ready to harvest next week, and the arugula and greens are really living it up. I’ve pretty much given up on the tomatoes – but there’s still a bunch of green tomatoes in the field. You can either eat them green, or wrap them in newspaper and store in a cool dry place until they ripen. I do think that the cherry tomatoes have about had it….

This week you’re going to get a lot of greens…. please, please, give them a chance! The arugula is typically eaten in salads, but can also be cooked (it tames the flavor a bit). The baby turnip greens are so tender and amazing. I like to eat them raw – but a quick sauté in olive oil (or bacon grease) and garlic really makes them shine! The greens mix is best used as a salad too. It’s a mixture of mild mustard greens – and they really make a salad pop! They can be cooked too and added to omelets, lasagna, or stir fry. You’ll be getting broccoli raab again – this is great in soups – I made a hambone and black eyed pea dish in the crock pot and threw in a a whole bag of chopped broccoli raab. Yum! Lastly, you’re getting these strange radishes… Black (Nero De Tondo) and/or pink (Watermelon). The black radishes have a real kick – and are good raw (hot!), pickled, or cooked in butter. The Watermelon radishes are a bit more mellow – and are great chopped on salads. The greens are edible too- but much better cooked – add them to your broccoli raab dish!

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! Here’s a recent article in the Trib.

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

Progress on the Wood Oven!

We’ve made some great progress on our wood oven project. It’s been a looonng process – and I imagine it’ll still take some time before we actually “finish” anything! Check out these photos!


We’ve got our friend Gavin, from Woods of Plenty, working on a beautiful mosaic (that’s actually Sam in this picture).

And on Monday, we found some time to get dirty and put up some earthen plaster on the outside of the oven.


We mixed clay (from our own farm!), sand and straw with water and stomped it down. Then, we spread the plaster on the exterior of the oven. It’s looking good!

What to do with all those Green Tomatoes!?! (repeat from last week)

 

(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.

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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