Community-Supported Agriculture for the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont
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,
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.
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,
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.
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,
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.
2014 Week Five
June 16 & 19, 2014
Hello Sunrise fans:
I’m taking a leap of faith this week and acquiring haying equipment. Despite my longstanding admonition against buying equipment I can otherwise avoid, and despite the fact that the sheep continue to lose money for the farm, I’m hoping that making my own hay can help move the sheep to the positive side of the ledger while also giving us more options for managing our pastures.
None of the equipment is new; in fact, all of it was manufactured before I was born, and it’s going to be a test of my mechanical aptitude to see if I can keep it in working order. I used the sickle bar mower yesterday just as practice, and although the paddocks around the barn look a little shaggy this morning, I did manage to lay down some grass in a serviceable way without breaking anything. Count that as success.
In Vermont for the past century, farming has meant dairying. Operations like Sunrise, if they are viewed at all, are generally viewed as gardens, and this was confirmed for me as my neighbor drove off the other day after dropping off the sickle bar. His last words as he pulled out of the dooryard were, “I guess you’re a farmer now!”
You bet! Just hopefully not a dumb one.
Back in the arena that I actually know something about, our lovely harvest continues. The volume is lighter this week, and will be for some weeks to come as the field crops gain strength. This will give you a chance to clean out the fridge and rediscover the bottom of the crisper drawer! Choose today from among:
Raw greens: Lettuce (gorgeous again this week), mesclun (all you can eat), and arugula.
Cookable greens: Mustard, broccoli raab, pac choi, Napa cabbage, braising greens, rainbow chard
Other delectables: salad turnips, radishes, scallions, broccoli.
I’ve attached an image of a chard and chicken recipe that one of you sent in last week, which looks fabulous. See you later on this gorgeous day,