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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Farm Kitchen Abundance!

This was a busy week in the Powisset Farm Kitchen!

On Thursday we made Sauerkraut and Kimchi using cabbage from Powisset and Vanguarden CSA (Chris Yoder, you rock!). Thanks to Audra Karp, Powisset Farm CSA member and fermentation expert, these delicacies were demystified and explored in all of their glory.

Here are a few of the secrets we uncovered:

  • Salt is KEY
    Regular old salt with nothing added is great and Audra prefers sea salt.
    Use one heaping teaspoon per pound of vegetables.
    Let the salt do the work for you of breaking down the vegetables; you don't need to constantly massage or stir the cabbage and vegetable mixtures.
    I thought fermentation required a special kind of crock. Much to my surprise and relief, Sauerkraut and Kimchi can be made and stored in any clean glass jar with a lid!
    We mixed all of the the Sauerkraut and Kimchi ingredients together in a bowl and added the salt. Once the salt worked to pull the water out of the vegetables we stuffed all the ingredients into glass jars, pressing everything down until the vegetables were covered in their own liquid.
I have three jars sitting on my counter and I'm eager to share my creations! Happy fermenting!

On Sunday we brought the day's unseasonably warm weather into the Farm Kitchen and created four delicious, warming, winter soups. Thanks to my current culinary crush, Peter Berley, for these amazing soup recipes:
  • Carrot Leek 
    I wouldn't have thought to pair these vegetables in a soup and the natural sweetness of the combination really struck me. Using an immersion blender to finish the soup creates not only a smooth, creamy texture, but also speeds up the process of merging the flavors. I could eat this soup every day. Yum!!!
  • Borscht
    Served warm, this recipe brings across the simplicity and richness of beet flavor and color.
  • Rutabaga with Sizzling Spice Oil
    In my experience, Rutabaga is one of the unsung root vegetables (along with parsnip, turnip and radish) of the world. By combining sauteed onions, garlic and freshly ground caraway seeds this recipe unlocked the rutabaga's deep flavor and sweetness. Again, the immersion blender joined all of this tasty goodness together to create a rockin' winter treat. Three cheers for the Rutabaga!!!
  • Winter Minestrone with Parsley Pesto
    True to Minestrone form, this is one of those "meal-in-a-pot" soups. Complete with vegetables, beans and pasta this soup has it all...and then some! Topped with an easy to make parsley pesto, this soup only got better. Thankfully, unlike basil, our usual go-to for pesto, parsley is still in season; this hearty herb can withstand a lot of cold. This pesto is a great addition not only to the other soups we made, but also to so many other dishes. In fact, the pesto was so good that there's already a pesto making workshop in the hopper for next year! Stay tuned!
It's so fitting to have an overflowing kitchen on the week before Thanksgiving. Together we harvested, washed, peeled, chopped, diced, salted, sauteed, boiled, blended, served, tasted and delighted. Workshop participants tried foods they'd never eaten before (rutabaga, celeriac (a.k.a. celery root) and pesto) and particularly enjoyed sharing time with others in the Farm Kitchen.

May we all be blessed with abundance on this Thanksgiving and the ability to take a moment to recognize and give thanks for all that we have.
I look forward to seeing you in the Farm Kitchen!
Rachel & The Powisset Farm Crew

Join Powisset Cooks! for our Upcoming Workshops:

Sunday, December 7 | 3-5PM

Potato pancakes and lantern making -- the perfect combination of activities to brighten any holiday season!

Sunday, December 14 | 2-4PM

Join  us to learn fun new ways to incorporate farm fresh veggies into school lunches!

Sunday, January 11 | 10AM-12PM

Walk, snow shoe or cross country ski around the farm trail and then warm up with Stone Soup created by participants!

Email Rachel with any questions! 

Looking for Help Caring for our Chickens!
Do you love spending time with chickens?
Are you around this winter?
Would you like to receive farm-fresh eggs in exchange for some basic chicken care?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please email Meryl to find out more information!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Ready for Winter!

At the end of the work day today, I walked around the fields checking the irrigation outlets one by one.  As I stomped around in my winter boots, rain pants, extra thick gloves and four sweatshirts, I could feel the ground freezing into place with each clunky step.   A week ago, I had met up with my tractor repair man for our annual field walk and irrigation line evacuating session.  His truck carries an air compressor, and we have outfitted one of the irrigation risers with an air attachment.  In mid-to-late fall, he drives into the field; we hook up our special outlet, turn on the air and clear the water out from under the fields, protecting our system from the damaging effects of freezing.   I open and shut valves and run back to the truck when the generator shuts off and talk with Gary about farming and life and whatever else is on his mind that afternoon.  The ritual went according to plan and we congratulated each other for getting the job done before the really cold weather sets in.  

So as the sun was heading down and the weather report was warning me of temperatures in the teens, I took a cold walk through the nearly veggie-less fields to make sure no water was hanging out, waiting to freeze.  With a shovel over my left shoulder I made my way to each outlet, opening and closing the values, flushing the remaining drops deep into the pipes below the soil, tucking it away for winter, hiding it at the bottoms and elbows of pipes a few feet below me.  I replaced the covers, and pulled out the mouse nests that were tucked in the corners.  I walked across our fields-named for the states-Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and over to Maine.   A shell of frost encased the soil as I walked.  Where I had been sinking, I now stood tall on ridges of once muddy soil.  The sun was about to set.  Winter is on its way to the farm and we are getting ready.  

See you at the farm!  Dress warmly!

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

Third Winter Share Pick-up & Farm Stand!
This Saturday, November 22 

At the farm stand & in the share:
carrots, potatoes, shallots, onions, leeks, butternut and delicata squash, spinach, lettuce mix (most likely), rutabega, garlic, beets, celeriac, cabbage, kale and more! Plus eggs, pies, pork, beef, cranberries, coffee, applesauce, honey and lots more produce at the farm stand!

Come see us at the farm!!  

Special Holiday Pies!

It’s the time of year to unabashedly eat your heart with some delicious seasonal pies. We’ll have a few holiday pies in the farm stand freezer to take home if the mood sways you, but you can also order a large variety of pies directly from Bushel + Crumb. Here are the details from our favorite pie-makers:

It's November, which means it's time for Thanksgiving pies! Brighten your holiday table with a variety of sweet and savory Bushel + Crumb pies.
For a full description of the different pie varieties and to order your pie online, visit
Pies will be available for pickup at Powisset on both Saturday, November 22nd and on Tuesday, November 25th from 4pm-6pm. On Saturday we are excited to offer a selection of frozen, unbaked pies.  Simply pull from your freezer and pop in the oven on Thanksgiving morning for a fresh-baked pie (or stock up for the cold months ahead).
Feel free to contact us at with any questions about Thanksgiving pies.

A New Potter Joins Us in the Barn!

For this Saturday’s pre-Thanksgiving Winter Share and Farm Stand, we’ll be joined by Judy Ogilvie, a community member and talented potter who will be bringing her unique clayware to the barn. Here is a bit about Judy in her own words:

My name is Judy Ogilvie.  I am a retired school librarian who is following a long-held dream - to be able to throw clay pots.  Every step of the process of creating something from clay is a fascinating undertaking, from wedging up a ball of clay to the finished product.  Every time I sit down at the wheel I learn something new, maybe about the feel of different clay bodies, maybe about the science of why some pots hold their shape and others collapse.  Then there is the magic of glazing.  No matter how well you know your glazes and kiln, when that kiln is opened there is always a surprise inside!  I look forward to bringing my pottery to the Powisset Farm barn and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  

Get your Berries!

Winter is right around the corner, and just when you feel like it’s freezing outside and you don’t want to get out of bed and it gets dark somewhere around 2 pm and all there is to eat is celeriac, have hope! Remember those sweet wild blueberries from Maine that herald the long and lazy days of August? We’ve got these treats stocked in the freezer, ready to come back to your kitchen and sweeten up the holiday season. So far - in our many exhaustive tasting trials as a crew - we haven’t found any way to eat these that we don’t like: throw the frozen berries into your morning bowl of cold or hot cereal, put them frozen onto your yogurt or ice cream, make muffins, make pies, make scones! The list goes on. If blueberries aren’t for you, we’ll also have fresh cranberries from The Edible Yard, to either eat right out of the bag on your drive home or for your Thanksgiving staple dishes. Taste the real rainbow! 

From the Farm Kitchen:

Join us for in the Powisset Farm Kitchen to warm your bellies and feed your mind! 
The following workshops are coming up:
Thursday, November 20 | 5:30-7:30PM

CSA member and fermenter extraordinaire, Audra Karp, will guide us in the process of creating easy, delicious, sauerkraut and kimchi that you can make at home. When Audra is not fermenting everything in sight she works as a Homebirth Midwife!
Sunday, November 23 | 10AM - 12PM

Winter there a better way to stay warm from the inside out?!
Farm Fun for the Whole Family: Potato Latkes and Lantern Making
Sunday, December 7 | 3-5PM

Potato pancakes and lantern making -- the perfect combination of activities to brighten any holiday season!

Email Rachel with any questions!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Powisset All Year!

On this sunny, 60 degree day when the crew is working in t-shirts, it's hard to believe that the farm season is winding down. After ten season of working in the fields my internal rhythm is so closely tied to the cycles of the farm. Fall and Winter are naturally slower seasons and less intensely focused on the farm as there's less to do in the fields. I have more time to spend with family and friends and I'm eager to spend more time in my kitchen. 

Although I do not currently live on the farm, Powisset is my farm home. This landscape, these fields, this community amounts to so much more than a "job" for me. I hear from you, time and again, that Powisset is also your farm home, so much more than a place where you come to pick up vegetables. Many of you share that the farm is deeply rooted in your lives, that time spent here refreshes your spirit, re-energizes your soul and reconnects you to the natural world, your self, your family and loved ones.

Coordinating and teaching Powisset Cooks! workshops has not only diversified the tools in my farm toolbox, but also reshaped the way I think about the cycle of the farm and how the farm can be integrated into our lives the entire year. There is so much to do at Powisset even as the fields grow cover crop in preparation for next season's vegetables. The late fall and winter landscape's subtle, striking beauty can transform a blah day into an inspiration. Walking the Powisset trail, visiting the pigs and chickens and learning in a Powisset Cooks workshop -- all of these offerings can be shared with family and friends. The Farm Kitchen has the natural gravitational pull of any kitchen with the added bonus that there is room for so many of us to eat, explore, learn and laugh together.

The colder months on the farm is the time to rest and reconnect. Our farm is your farm and we look forward to spending more time with you here over the coming months -- eating, exploring, learning and laughing together!

Rachel & The Powisset Farm Crew

Powisset Happenings:

Regular Farm Stand Hours Until November 22:
Tuesdays: 1:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 10am-5PM

Two More Winter Share Pick Ups: 
November 22: 10AM-5PM
December 13: 10AM-3PM

Firewood for Sale

Walking, Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing on the Powisset Trail

Visiting the Chicken and Pigs

In the Farm Kitchen:
We have culinary workshops and Farm Fun for the Whole Family scheduled through March!

Here is a complete
Powisset Cooks! Schedule

These are the next three workshops on tap:

For the Pantry: Sauerkraut and Kimchi
Thursday, November 20 | 5:30-7:30PM

From the Fields: Winter SoupsSunday, November 23 | 10AM - 12PM

Farm Fun for the Whole Family: Potato Latkes and Lantern MakingSunday, December 7 | 3-5PM

A Unique Volunteer Opportunity:

We are looking for 1-2 volunteers to join us in the Powisset Farm Kitchen this Saturday, November 15, from 11AM - 2PM to serve soup to hikers!  

This Saturday, November 15th, Open Minds and Open Space - A Day-long Hike
The Trustees of Reservations and Hale Reservation are thrilled to partner up for this day-long 12 mile hike that will wind through a network of open space on more than 2500 acres in the towns of Westwood, Dover and Medfield. People will be hiking at their own pace and each stop will provide refreshments. Hot soup will be offered at Powisset, featuring vegetables from the farm! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Festive Winter Pick-Up! This Saturday!

It’s the first full week of November and things are still moving at full steam here at the farm!  This week we have planted more than half of our garlic crop for next year and the crew is spreading the leaf mulch as I write this!  We are closing down our flower and herb gardens and taking down the raspberry trellis in preparation to mow them down once winter really sets in.  And starting tomorrow we will be preparing for our second of four winter CSA pick-ups!  I hope that you will join me at the farm this Saturday for more winter veggies from Powisset and even catch a listen to one of our very own CSA members’ bands—playing from around 2-4 pm at the barn! Festive! 

I hope to see you there!

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew

Saturday Hours:
10am-5pm for both the Farm Stand and Winter share pick-up #2

Regular Stand hours:
Tuesdays: 1:30-5:30pm
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Until November 22

Pottery in the Barn!
Artists Lisa Walker and Sue Brum will be with us in the barn this Saturday with a wide selection of their beautiful pottery for sale! Stop by to say hello to your favorite potters and marvel at their work - they’ll be with us from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Take a look at this photo for a sneak peek . . .

It's the time of year for those sweet, tart and glorious berries to make an appearance - cranberry season! This season, we're proud to offer fresh and frozen cranberries from The Edible Yard, just down the road in Plymouth, MA. Cranberry grower, Jen, gives her crop a lot of intense TLC from start to finish. These berries are dry harvested in small batches before being sorted by hand to ensure the highest quality possible. Check the Farm Stand shelves and the freezer and take home some of these treats for all your fall baking and cooking projects!

News From the Powisset Farm Kitchen:
On Sunday a hearty crowd braved our first snowfall and joined us at the farm to celebrate the farm season with Sweaters, Soups and Pies. While some rocked to the beat of the “Something Shameless” band , kids and adults enthusiastically jumped on our bicycle powered apple cider maker. Sweaters warmed our bones from the cold night as the abundant array of soups and pies warmed us from the inside out. As always, it is a pleasure to see community members gathering to enjoy the farm.  An especially sweet moment struck me as the evening’s clean up began; a father and son teamed up to wash and rinse dishes. Most 9 year olds I know are not particularly psyched about dish washing. While I’m not sure of the exact initial draw, many times over the course of the 30-45 minutes of dishwashing with his dad I overheard the boy exclaim, “this is so cool!” I admit that our rinse sprayer is pretty fun to use. It’s almost like the kitchen equivalent of a water gun although of course we don’t use it that way! I wonder if the sprayer was only part of the allure. Perhaps the joy and connection that overflowed from the music, cider pressing and sharing of food tapped into a deeper inspiration. Whatever the reason, it was a pleasure to see family members working together to add to our community. Watching this father and son reminded me that the kitchen is a hugely powerful space to create connection and learning.  As the days get shorter and the nights longer, may we all enjoy kitchen time that nourishes on all levels. Read below for upcoming opportunities for you and your family to connect, learn and receive nourishment from the Powisset Farm Kitchen!

Upcoming Workshops with Powisset Cooks!

Looking for a family-friendly Veterans Day activity? Join us in the Powisset Farm Kitchen to prepare delicious treats for the whole family to enjoy!

Thursday, November 20 | 5:30-7:30PM
For the Pantry: Sauerkraut and Kimchi

Get your fermentation on and join us in the Powisset Farm Kitchen to learn this time honored tradition of food preservation!

Sunday, December 7 | 3-5PM
Farm Fun for the Whole Family: Potato Latkes and Lantern Making

Join us for a light filled afternoon of delicious potato pancakes and lantern making!

If you have any questions, please email Rachel: