Community-Supported Agriculture for the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont
2013 Week Two
May 20 & 23, 2013
Hello Sunrise Fans:
It’s a lovely if soggy morning here on the farm, with this week’s rain bringing some needed moisture. The spring peepers and the birds are much louder after a rainfall, and it’s been nice to hear the cacophony this morning. It’s also great for the various seeds and seedlings we have planted now. No time is more critical for rain in the annual cycle than right now, when the crops are at their smallest with their roots closest to the surface.
Today’s harvest is similar to last week’s. We’ll have a choice from among:
Raab is my wife Sue’s very favorite vegetable. She cuts the main stems away from the tender leaves and sautés the stems in oil until tender. Then she throws in minced garlic and the leaves, sautés a few more minutes, then seasons with salt, pepper, and a dash of white wine. You could add a tad of maple syrup if your tastes run in that direction; she doesn’t. I occasionally add a splash of lemon juice.
One of you also just sent me the following parsnip recipe, which was a hit with all ages: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Parsnip-Spice-Cake-with-Ginger-Cream-Cheese-Frosting-234161
In the barn, we’ve added honey to our list of offerings, produced by our friends the Benson family in Norwich. We’ll be working close to the barn or in the greenhouse today, and always feel free to come find us if you need us for anything. See you soon,
2013 Week One
May 13 & 16, 2013
Good Morning CSA-ers:
Welcome to the new season! We have a lovely harvest underway this morning, featuring fresh asparagus, a miraculous crop that has been racing up out of the ground ever since we received that rain last week. We also have arugula and mesclun in the greens department, plus tatsoi and Napa cabbage for cookable greens. Meanwhile, we also have a lovely bunch of parsnips available - this is a crop that we planted last spring, overwintered in the ground, and harvested in April as soon as the ground started to warm up. Beyond that, there will likely be some radishes and rhubarb as well.
In the barn, we have a variety of local foods for sale, including maple syrup from here at Sunrise, cheese from Blythedale in Corinth, cheese from Cobb Hill in Hartland, frozen yoghurt from Cobb Hill, eggs from Bear Knoll Farm in Canaan, and beef, both ground and steaks, from Clay Hill in Hartland. For those of you pondering a pre-order of beef for later in the summer, this will give you a chance to sample the wares.
The soft cheeses from Blythedale are still young and will ripen over the coming weeks. Buy them now if you like your brie firm and mild, or wait a few weeks if you prefer softer and more pungent.
For those of you who owe a balance on your CSA share, I’ll have a list in my pocket with who owes what. I’ll be around in the barn all day to answer questions and meet folks. Don’t hesitate to tell me your name, since I know I’ll be rusty on day one! Pickup hours are between 11 AM and 6 PM.
Animal update: we have some 3-week old chickens in the barn that are eagerly awaiting their move outside onto pasture once tonight’s cold snap goes through. Our sheep are across the road, enjoying the new spring growth. We will have 5 pigs here in a few weeks, but they’re not here yet. Assume that the electric fences are on, though I’ll turn them off for the day just to be safe.
Recreation update: one of the big swings was damaged this winter, and I’ll try to replace it this week. The other one is ready to go.
That’s the scoop from Sunrise - see you later today!
A recipe for the tatsoi or Napa cabbage:
Wilted Asian Greens
Gourmet | July 2003
Active time: 10 min Start to finish: 10 min
Servings: Makes 6 servings.
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
6 cups pea shoots or pea sprouts (3 oz)
6 cups tatsoi (3 oz)
6 cups mizuna
Heat vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved (do not let boil). Pour hot dressing over greens in a large bowl and toss well. Serve immediately.
A recipe for parsnips from a shareholder last year…
It’s kind of a candied parsnip, with a sweet/hot tang, and the whole thing takes about 15 minutes.
1. Steam 2 lbs parsnips, cut into sticks (quartered and then about 2 in long) for about 10 minutes.
2. Melt 1 T butter in a small skillet over low heat and add ¼ c mustard seeds. Cook over low heat until they begin to pop (about 3 minutes) then cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit while the rest of them pop (about 8 more minutes).
3. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 3 T butter. Add 3 T maple syrup and 2 T Dijon mustard. Cook for a couple of minutes, until slightly thickened, then add parsnips and cook until well-coated, another 5 minutes or so, stirring gently once in a while.
4. Toss with mustard seeds and serve. Yum!
CSA Opens Next Week
May 9, 2013
Hello Sunrise CSA members:
We’ll be opening the CSA season this coming week – our earliest start ever. Asparagus, parsnips, arugula, and other greens are in store, plus whatever else responds to the warmth and rain this week.
I’ll email again on Monday morning with more specifics, but here are a few details in the meantime.
The barn is open for pickup between 11 AM and 6 PM. Come any time that’s convenient for you. I’ll be sure to be on hand for the first few weeks to help out and answer questions. I’ll also introduce you to Molly and Derek, my excellent employees this year. Please feel free to find us any time you have a question or want assistance.
You’re welcome to either bring your own bags for your veggies or use ours, which we have in abundance.
Parking is usually available in the barn parking lot, which holds 6 cars easily. If the lot is full, just park at the end of the road by the driveway. Directions to the farm are here on the website.
Dogs are welcome on the farm as long as they are leashed when around the barn and in the field. Wait until they’re in the woods to let them run so that we don’t scare or disrupt the animals or vegetables. Our two dogs, Olive and Maizey, are often walking around loose, though they’ve been trained to walk between the vegetable beds and poop up in the woods.
We encourage you to explore the farm and let your kids run free, with only a few places being off-limits: the upstairs of the barn, because there is no railing around the hay loft, and the pond, because our insurance carrier won’t allow aquatics. Also, though we often turn the electric fences off during pickup days, we don’t always, and it’s good for your kids to always assume that all fences are on. (Getting shocked is very frightening though not dangerous.)
Swinging on the swings and climbing on the tractor, meanwhile, are encouraged. Those are the highlights… summer starts next week! See you then,
PS: For those of you who are interested, we will have two add-ons available for the CSA, bread and raw milk.
Bread. I met Zach and Daniella of Green Mountain Flour this spring – Zach bakes fabulous bread in his wood-fired oven in Windsor. He grinds the flours himself from organic grains! I’d be happy to have Sunrise serve as a drop-off point for a weekly bread CSA, if there’s enough interest. I’ll have samples available next week. The loaves cost $4.50, and the choices are (for Mondays) Polenta, Mill House Batard, Stone Ground Wheat, and Pumpernickel Raisin, and (for Thursdays) Potato, Farmer’s Loaf, Moonrise Multigrain, and Oats & Honey.
Milk. We’re going to be bringing raw milk to Sunrise twice each week from Cedar Mountain Farm in Hartland, as we did last year. The raw milk laws are complicated, and we’re not actually selling their milk, we’re just delivering it free of charge as part of our regular trips to their farm for cheese, FroYo, and whey. Therefore, you need to pre-order your milk for the season. The cost is $88 to receive a half gallon every week for 22 weeks, $154 for a gallon, or $264 for 2 gallons. If you’re interested, email back to me so that I can place the group order. Then bring your empty jars with you to the first CSA pickup week – you’ll need twice the number of jars as your order so that you have one in your fridge while the farm fills the other. (We highly recommend using half-gallon canning jars – always available at Dan & Whit’s if the box stores are sold out – because they fit nicely in our carrying crates.) Make checks payable to Cedar Mountain Farm. Email back to me if you have more questions about this – we’ll be organizing the jars and payment in week 1 of the CSA so that the milk will start flowing in week 2.
May 1, 2013
Happy May to one and all! The Red Sox are off to their best start in years, and so is Sunrise. We’ve been taking full advantage of these glorious days, planting potatoes, transplanting onions, and even sneaking in some early season weeding. In fact the only thing we’re behind on right now is checking email… a task usually reserved for rainy days.
But with no rain in the offing, here’s the scoop. The CSA will open either the week of May 13th or the week of the 20th. Because of the way the calendar breaks this year, the 13th would be a few days earlier than before, but given this weather, we just might pull it off. I’ll email again next week with a final update. Either way, we’ll run a full 23 weeks into October.
Meanwhile, now is the time for pre-ordering meats for the coming season.
*Chicken. For those of you new to Sunrise, we sell whole broiler chickens on a pre-order basis. We raise the chickens out in the main pasture, moving the portable roofs to fresh grass each morning (following the sheep.) The birds eat a combination of grass, bugs, and non-medicated (but NOT certified organic) feed from Poulin Grain, a Vermont company. It’s a wonderful system, producing both delicious food and a greatly improved pasture. Two new developments this year: we’re adding a sixth batch of birds, which will fully utilize our existing infrastructure and enable us to (hopefully!) meet the demand for a change; and we’ll be packaging the frozen birds in a thicker, shrink-wrap bag that should hold much better in the freezer. If we ever have another rainy day, I’ll even make a fancy label.
The finished birds will average about 4.5 pounds dressed, which is a bit larger than the typical 3-lb. supermarket bird. The price is $3.50/lb, which translates to roughly $16 per bird. If you cumulatively order more than 10 chickens, the price will drop to $3.25/lb for birds 11 through 20 and $3 per pound for birds 21 and above. Grain prices have risen 33% since we first started raising chicken in 2006, and the price of high-quality, local chicken in the market has risen 25%. Our prices haven’t changed… we’re now the best deal in town on real chicken!
*Lamb. Our lambs are raised here at Sunrise, born in February and March and now chomping at the gate in anticipation of being let out onto pasture next week. They’ve been sneaking some of their mother’s grain these past few weeks in the barn but will be fed exclusively pasture from here on out. Each lamb should provide around 30 pounds of finished meat, which is roughly a full brown shopping bag, and will be available for pickup in mid November. The price is unchanged from last year: $9.75 per finished pound. You’ll receive chops, legs (butterflied, if you like), shanks, stew meat or burger, and we can customize beyond that as well. We’ll sell these either whole or in halves.
*Beef. We’ll have Clay Hill Farm beef again this year (these are black angus raised just across the Ottaquechee from us.) They’re raised on grass/hay year ‘round, with some grain at the end for finishing. We’ll have three pickups available – early July, late August, and early October. The price will be $3.75 per hanging pound (which will work out to about $5.99 per finished pound). We’ll sell the beef by the quarter (about 4 brown shopping bags worth / 150 lbs / approx. $475) and the eighth (two brown bags / 75 lbs / approx $240.) As in the past, the quantity will work out to roughly half steak and half burger.
*Pork. Jake Torrey, who worked here at Sunrise last year, has purchased his own place in Bradford, Vermont, and is eager to raise pork for us this year. He’s raising Tamworth crosses, same as the pigs we used to sell, and he’ll be feeding them organic grain in anticipation of having his farm certified this summer. The price is $7.50 per finished pound, including having the bacon and hams smoked, and he’ll sell either whole (about 150 lbs or meat, or $1,100) or half pigs.