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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Farm Dinners and Bike Rides!



Last night was our second barn dinner potluck extravaganza of the season!  I am still full.  Once again, on a steamy summer night, we lined our picnic tables down the length of the barn, placed our potluck items on dusty distro tables, where bits of corn husks still lingered from pick-up the previous day, claimed the perfect spot in the wooden table next to someone we might recognize from the farm and commenced our community feast.  Like all other dinners, my plate was full with delicious farm produce, prepared with care from someone at the table that night.  Tomatoes and corn were the stars of the night as well as cucumber and potato salad and of course, watermelon.  

After Tod (the amazing tod dimmick, because of whom, all these dinners actually happen!!) gave his lovely speech thanking our community and our farmers, I got a chance to blunder through some of my own thoughts—before forcing everyone present to share their names and their deepest feelings about the farm!--  I shared how August always remind me of my grandma, Mary LaTronica and how she passed away during tomato season of my very first year farming.  And how each August I think of her and almost smell her out there in the tomatoes, picking with me.  I looked up and down the length of the table as I shared my family story and felt totally seen, heard and held by this incredible community.  I thought about what we have created and continue to create every time we gather to share food and every time we see each other at the farm and ask, ‘how are you?’  

As Tod said last night, to someone who isn’t part of our farm, this experience, a CSA, could be just like going to the grocery store—drive car to farm, pick up veggies, leave.  But, it is (or can be) so much more than that.  It is an experience rich with community, if we want or need that (and even if you don’t, you might get it anyway).  It is a place where I can share my remembrances of my grandma and how I will bring tomatoes and basil to her Cambridge grave and that farming connects me to her and to my family’s huge holiday meals and to everyone at this farm.  Thank you for sharing in my past and in my present.  Feast on!


See you in the fields,

Meryl & the Powisset farm crew



Speaking of Community...The Ride for Food!

I am SO pumped to have finally signed up to participate in The Ride for Food! Please join me in supporting this awesome event and organization, Three Squares New England, http://www.threesquaresne.org/ .  In their words; ‘Three Squares New England (“TSNE”) raises money and awareness for organizations that actively provide the good, nourishing food that our neighbors and their children need now to lead healthier, less stressful lives.’

I am riding with the Ride for Food event team and would love you to consider joining me on the ride!!  I chose the 25 mile route…you can choose from 10, 25 or 50 miles….I haven’t been on a bike since the farm season started, so I hope I can make it!!

If you don’t want to ride, or can’t, please consider making a donation to my ride! I am hoping to raise $1000 for the event team, which will support a wide range of hunger relief agencies throughout greater Boston!  


To register to ride yourself: (you can join a team of your choice, or ride with me on the Ride for Food Event team): https://ride.threesquaresne.org/dedham/events/three-squares-new-england-fourth-annual-ride-for-food/e48393


What's in the share this week!
in the barn: tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, peppers, mini lettuce heads, onions or scallions, chard or cabbage, potatoes & carrots, cukes & squash, hot peppers/tomatillos/specialty eggplant
in the fields: cherry tomatoes, beans, husk cherries
 

Powisset 4-H Club Show!! This Saturday!
This Saturday starting around 10:00am, our wonderful Powisset farm 4-H club will be showing pigs, goats, dogs and other animals! Please head down to the piggery at 10am to watch, and learn, from  our young farmers as they work with their animals!
Where: Powisset Farm Piggery!
When: Saturday, September 5th, 10am
for more info, please email Melissa at: mgilbert@ttor.org


Winter shares and Pork Sales now for sale!
Sign up at the barn!

What’s a winter share?

Picture this: a chilly fall day at the farm, leaves fully turning yellow and red and orange, the barn door wide open, filled with our farm crew layered in sweaters and jackets and hats and knit gloves with the little cap on them, turning them from gloves to mittens then back to gloves again.  Inside the barn is humming with people and the tables are packed with fresh, crisp greens, earthy roots and sweet squash.  Bags of onions and carrots and parsnips to one side and lettuces, kales and broccoli to the other as you pass from one table to the next.  With the twinkle lights on in the farm stand side of the barn, you are pulled in to take a peek at the special fall treats; apples and dry beans, pies and Powisset eggs.  

I love the winter share time of year.  Each pick up is like a small fall festival, our farm crew filling the tables with our abundance of winter veggies, our members happy to be at the farm in this beautiful time of year when the light looks different in the barn and we all slow down just a little to enjoy each moment of light as it moves across the fields.  Like the veggies that fill the share, each pick up feels nourishing, filling me with warmth and sustenance to help motivate me through the cold harvests and even colder mornings that are to come.

Join us this season for our winter CSA!  Find how much better kale and carrots taste when they are chilled by their first frost.  Roast cauliflower and turnips together as soon as you take the share home.  Hang with us at the farm on a Saturday morning or Friday afternoon to kick off your weekend, and be delighted if you get to the farm and we have hot cider to share, or taste the squash and whole garlic cloves fresh from the smoker that we will coax Allan to bring out to the farm again this fall.  

The atmosphere is festive; the share is abundant and thoughtful.  Many items are pre-bagged for you and there is always additional produce available in the farm stand for those of you making mashed potatoes for 50.  The share is full of things that will store for a long time and we provide a detailed guide on how to store the vegetables as well as some delicious recipes.  (the storage guide alone, is totally worth signing up).  

I hope you will join us for this year’s winter CSA!

Details on the winter share:

What’s in it (most likely & possibly more):
Greens & more: lettuce, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radicchio, spinach, salad greens and/or arugula, kohlrabi, herbs
Roots: potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, celeriac, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, storage radishes, daikon, parsnips
And: onions, shallots, leeks, butternut  (or other) squash, popcorn, hot peppers, garlic, dry beans and more
 
The pick-ups are:
Pick up #1: November 6th + 7th
Pick up #2: November 20th +21st
Pick up #3: December 5th
Pick up #4: December 19th

The cost of the full share is $300 (all four pick-ups)
The cost of the small share is $195: you must choose 2 pick-ups ahead of time!
Please join us this season! Please sign up at the barn.  You must pay at least a deposit to secure your spot in the winter share.

Pork Share!
 
Powisset Farm is offering a Pork Share again this season.  The pork share is about 22 pounds of pork (or roughly a quarter pig).  There will be sausage, loin chops, country style ribs, spare ribs, ham slices (or ham roast), smoked ham hocks or pig feet, liver or heart and bacon included in the share.  The price will be $195. If you are excited about getting a wide variety of pork from our very own Powisset-raised pigs, then this share is for you!  There will also be cuts of pork available at the farm if you just want a little pork and do not want to commit to a share.  

 There are a limited number of shares available; so we will sell shares at a first-come-first served basis.  Please contact Meryl at: mlatronica@ttor.org to sign up or with any questions.  You can also sign up at the barn.  Pick up for most of the share will happen in early October.

In the Farm Stand

SAY CHEESE! We're excited to announce that starting Thursday this week, we will have cheese the farm stand!. We will be carrying two varietals from Shy Brothers Farm in Westport Point, MA. The Shy Brothers are known for their tiny hand made, artisanal cheeses, called Hannahbells (flavors: original, lavender bud, rosemary, and shallot) and Cloumage, a fresh lactic curd made from cow's milk that has the texture of a baked ricotta. The Cloumage is so versatile you can use it in place of cream cheese, topping for pizza, substituting milk/cream in baking and so much more. Both cheeses have great shelf life, too. The Hannahbells can keep for up to 5 weeks (unopened) and the Cloumage can keep up to 7 months (unopened) and four weeks once opened.



Blueberry Update: Sadly, the Maine blueberry season has come to an end. With all the warm weather recently, the blueberries have softened. But do not fret, we still have a few 10lb boxes left in the freezer!






Past & Upcoming Events

Thank you to those who participated in the Corn & Tomato cooking class on Saturday. We had lots of fun cooking up a corn & tomato tart, salsa, corn raita, and an updated caprese salad! Annie's next class will be held on Sunday, September 20th where we will be cooking up Baked Stuffed Eggplant, Ricotta Gnocchi & Beet & Goat Cheese Napoleon. To register, visit our web site.

Thursday, September 3rd at 6pm is our Composting 101 class with Grant Berman from Dirty Boys Composting. Learn the benefits of composting and how to get started in your own home!

On Saturday, Sept. 19th from 1-4pm, we will be hosting a Trustees Membership Drive & Ice Cream SocialFor those Trustees members, bring a non-member and ice cream and home made apple crisp is on us! 





Recipes of the Week: Pickles & Scallions
Pickles! With all the cucumbers we have been getting in the share lately, I thought is would be helpful to share my favorite pickling recipes. Below is a link to the recipe If you're not into the "canning" process then following the recipes below for my favorite refrigerator pickles.

Regular Dill Pickles & Step-by-Step Guide to Canning Them:

http://www.food.com/recipe/blue-ribbon-dill-pickles-241139




Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles

Makes 3 pints

Ingredients
2 pounds of cucumbers
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (if you don't have apple cider, you can use white vinegar)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
6 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar (3/4 teaspoons total) OPTIONAL
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar (3 teaspoons total) or a few sprigs of fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (1 1/2 teaspoons total)
Wash and slice the cucumbers.
In a large pot or pan, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer. This is your brine for the pickles. Arrange jars on counter and divide and place the spices to each jar. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. Be gentle but pack 'em tight. Pour the brine into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch headspace. Tap jars gently on countertop to dislodge any trapped air bubbles. Apply lids and let jars cool at room temperature. Place jars in refrigerator. Let them sit in the fridge for at least 48 hours before eating.  You can store these in the fridge for 2-4 weeks.
My other favorite recipe is for Bread & Butter pickles. I found this recipe years ago in Cookng Light magazine.  It's a refrigerator recipe as well but you could certainly can these pickles as week and have them throughout the year.  For the canning process, use the link above and just follow this recipe for the ingredients.
Recipe adapted from www.thekitchin.com

Bread and Butter Pickles from Cooking Light Magazine

YIELD: 16 servings (serving size: about 1/4 cup drained pickles)Ingredients
5 1/2 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

Combine cucumbers and salt in a large bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours. Drain; rinse cucumbers under cold water. Drain; return cucumbers to bowl. Add onion to bowl. Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Scallions!

Finally I thought it would be fun to give you a list of things to do with scallions. We often think of scallions as an added ingredient or garnish but these beauties can also be the star of the show.  Here is a list of ideas for your next bunch of scallions:

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