Community-Supported Agriculture for the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont

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2014 Week 12

August 4 & 7, 2014

Hello Sunrise CSA-ers:

I have some sad news to report that I’ve been putting off for a few weeks - we had to put our old dog, Olive, to sleep last month. She was 14 1/2 years old, very creaky, and suffering from a jaw infection that was going to be difficult to treat. For those of you new to the CSA, you probably didn’t see much of her, since she mostly slept on her bed this summer. (She even missed the snap pea harvest for the first time ever, which is when I knew the end was near. Snaps were her favorite vegetable by far.) For those of you who have been part of the farm over the years, you know that Olive was my constant companion since before the CSA first started, and not even heavy rain or snow would deter her from making the rounds with me to feed the animals, check fences, and scout new trails up in the woods. She was always a big hit in the barn, where no number of small kids chasing her around and tugging on her ears altered her happy mood. It was a real gift to have her with us for so long, and as much as we all miss her, I know she misses us as well.

One of the great joys off living and working on a farm is being so close to the natural world on a daily basis, though on days like this, I feel like I’m a little too close.

Meanwhile, the natural world continues to provide sustenance to all of us, and nowhere more so than in our CSA this summer. The fields are lovely and green despite the advancing calendar. In the barn today, choose from among:

Raw greens: head lettuce, mesclun, frisee, raddicio

Cookable greens: rainbow chard, kale, braising mix

Heartier fare: sweet onions, garlic, zucchini and summer squash, cukes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, artichokes, and green beans.

A note on the onions and garlic: these are fresh from the field and not yet cured, so make sure to cook with them within the next few weeks. If you love the aroma of garlic, be sure to poke your head into the greenhouse today, where the beautiful heads are currently drying and curing for later storage.

Pick your own is in full swing, with yellow and purple beans, basil (cut heavily for pesto if you’d like), snow peas, blueberries, all the herbs, and flowers.

A note on blueberries: if you didn’t receive a pre-picked pint in the barn last week, please do so today. (If you did, please leave them for others.) A neighbor picked them for us, and she didn’t arrive in time last Monday to start the pickup, so we have some fresh pints today for those of you who missed them.

That’s the story today at the farm - see you later,

—Chuck

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2014 Week Eight

July 7 & 10, 2014

Hello Veggie Fans:

We celebrated the Fourth by easing back on the throttle a bit here on the farm. April, May, and June are by far the busiest months at Sunrise, and that was extra true this year since we were snowed out of early April. So it’s nice to get to July! By now, even the fall crops have been mostly planted, and we’re settling in to the summer routine of weeding and harvesting. The weather these past few months has been darned-near perfect, and we’ll hope that run continues as long as possible.

On the harvest end of things, the offerings are continuing to expand. Here’s what we’re looking at this morning:

Raw greens: sweet mesclun, head lettuce, arugula

Cookable greens: escarole, frisee, chard

Heartier fare: zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash, beets, kohlrabi, scallions, garlic scapes, broccoli, cauliflower

New and fun: snap peas, basil, cucumbers, carrots

The first beef pre-order is available for pickup today, and we also have chickens available for sale in the chest freezer. We’re a little short staffed today, but we’ll try to stick close to the barn or the nearby greenhouses if you need us. See you soon,

—Chuck

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Escarole and Potato Salad

Both escarole and frisee are members of the chicory family, and they have a mild bite to them that adds zest to a salad if shredded in raw or holds up to gentle heating and cooking. You can add them to soup or a casserole, and they won’t disappear the way spinach would. My favorite way to eat escarole is to use my wife Sue’s Grandma’s escarole recipe from Croatia, which is simple. Cube up some potatoes and boil them until they are still slightly firm and easily crushed without being totally mash-able. Wash and shred the escarole and add it (and some olive oil) to the spuds. Stir everything together. Let the escarole wilt for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and some of your favorite vinegar, either balsamic or white wine. Allow to cool if it’s a hot night.

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2014 Week Seven

June 30 & July 3, 2014

Hello Sunrise Fans—

It feels like summer is fully under way. Between the heat, the rapidly emptying greenhouse (as the last of the spring plants move out to the field), and the hum of the irrigation pump, the farm is in full swing right now. The weeds are also making some noise out there!

In advance of the holiday week ahead, we’ve fully stocked our fridges and freezers with summer-related foods, in the event that you have plans for a cookout or picnic. Here’s what’s available:

*Ice cream, many flavors, from Strafford Organic Creamery and frozen yoghurt from Cobb Hill.

*Cheese from Blythedale (brie, camembert, and gruyere) and Cobb Hill (Ascutney Mtn and Four Corners cheddar.)

*Fresh and frozen chickens from Sunrise, ground beef from Clay Hill, and sausage (lamb, 2 flavors) from Sunrise and Winter Moon (pork, 2 flavors as well.)

*We also have plenty of eggs available now that our hens are all grown up.

All of these items are self-serve, pay in the cash box. Enjoy!

In the vegetable arena, we’re also moving into summer crops, including the first of the zucchini and summer squash. Some of the first fruits from these vines have odd shapes, which is common during the first week of harvest usually due to incomplete pollination. We’ve included them anyway, since the flavor is great. Here’s the full harvest:

Raw greens: lettuce, mesclun, and perhaps some spinach (last crop for awhile.)

Cookable greens: kale, chard, bok choi, red beets, Napa cabbage

Heartier fare: scallions, garlic scapes, zucchini, summer squash

See you soon,

—Chuck

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Garlic scapes are the prehensile flower at the top of the garlic plant that we cut off at this time of year to encourage the garlic bulbs to grow larger. Their flavor is of a mild garlic, and you can use them in most any dish that calls for garlic or onions. Here’s a good standby from Epicurious, which involves making the scapes into a pesto.

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2014 Week Six

June 23 & 26, 2014

Hello Sunrise Fans—

I took 780 pounds of wool up to Randolph last week to sell at the annual wool pool. It felt like industrial agriculture here on the farm, sorting all that wool and compressing it into wooden crates for the ride north. There was wool all over the upstairs of the barn.

I’ve never participated in the wool pool before, largely because the price per pound is so low. (I’m hoping we’ll gross around $1/lb.) But with six years worth of wool piling up in the loft, it was finally worth it to make the trip. An added bonus: it inspired me to make a complete pass through the hay loft, organizing everything and making a clean sweep.

Sheep have been at the forefront of the operation this past week as we also went up to Corinth to attend a workshop at Tamarack Farm, one of the larger sheep operations in Vermont with 500 head. We learned lots about making quality hay and also about augmenting our feed rations with Vitamin E and selenium, both of which local sheep tend to be lacking. We went through our flock on Friday and fixed everyone up, turning them out onto fresh grass afterwards out by the pigs.

None of which is to say that we’ve been neglecting the vegetables! Here’s what we’re anticipating for the harvest this morning:

Greens: lettuce, mesclun, spinach

Cookables: beets make their debut, joining scallions, kohlrabi, Napa cabbage, bok choi, rainbow chards, and kale.

I hope everyone has been enjoying this outstanding weather! See you soon,

—Chuck

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KOHLRABI PARMESAN

Makes 4 servings

3 medium kohlrabi, trimmed of stalks and leaves
2 T. unsalted butter
¼ c Parmesan cheese
1 T. minced parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Peel kohlrabi 1/8th inch deep. Shred with grater or food processor.

2. Cook kohlrabi in butter over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with the cheese, salt and pepper. Toss and cook just until the cheese melts about 1 minute.

4. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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