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Monday, September 28, 2015

Sounds of a Powisset Farm Apprentice

The hum of Powisset, through the ears of a farm apprentice:

Sometimes I think that I experience my life here at Powisset Farm primarily through my ears.  There are a lot of things that make Powisset the magical chunk of Earth that it is, but it’s the sounds that really get me. 

I hear the whir of fans in the greenhouse. I hear harvest knives trimming leeks. I hear the cacophony of chickens when I walk into the coop, and I hear farmers laughing while weeding beets. I hear water rushing through irrigation tubes and scattering out of sprinkler heads.  I hear the low rumble of the transplanter carrying people and plants down another bed.  I hear singing in the wash station, and I hear “Back in Black” as Meryl gets a call.  I hear the beautiful mayhem of a Saturday morning distro – kids running, scales creaking, tongs clanking, bins sliding, people chatting. I hear Henry barking because she heard something.  I hear Simba meowing because he’s stuck again. I hear nothing but the hushed whisper of swaying trees, and then I hear nothing but the jubilant blare of the farm truck horn.  I hear coffee brewing in the morning, and crickets and toads at night.   Everyday my ears happily pick up a small fraction of the innumerable sounds comprising the collective hum that is Powisset Farm. 

Other times – maybe in the quiet at the end of a long day, with light fading, birds chirping, and the farm at peak serenity - I find myself aware of the things I don’t hear.  I don’t hear the wind blowing through the thousands of food deserts, both urban and rural.  I don’t hear the pens scratching ink across the bills of sale of small family farms. I don’t hear the whining of conveyor belts at factory farms.  I don’t hear the toxic chemicals leeching into the water tables of otherwise farmable land, now poisonous to its inhabitants. I don’t hear the grumbling of hungry bellies, all around the world, and also right down the road in Boston. 

It is at moments like these that I have to remind myself that this wonderful place and all of its emanating noises do not exist in a vacuum.  The sounds coming from these one hundred acres are part of a larger story unfolding all over the globe, and one that is still being written.  The best sounds of Powisset Farm fill me with immense gratitude for this place and the time that I have here, while at the same time underscoring the need to remember places distinctly devoid of such sounds.  With pride in the place where I work, limitless faith in the amazing people that I work with, and the belief that every sound produces an echo somewhere, I feel thankful to be part of the hum here at Powisset Farm.

From the fields,
Russell and the Powisset Farm Crew

Whats in the share this week:

We are winding down to our last three shares of the season! woa!
This weeks' share will be a little smaller before our final two shares when we distribute more roots and squash and hope that the broccoli and cauliflower do their thing and show up for us to enjoy!  It's been a tougher fall for us than usual, as the fall crops which need water and cooler weather have been met with drought and super hot temps--we wish we had more plentiful greens for you--they are coming...slowly!  

Remember if you want to participate in our winter veggie share, there is still room to sign up!

in the barn:  lettuce, chard, tatsoi or arugula, peppers, apples! (it's been so fun to give you a taste of these the last few weeks), leeks, radishes or turnips, carrots, sweet peppers/eggplant/tomatillos, maybe the last of the tomatoes, maybe broccoli!
in the fields: the last of the flowers, raspberries and cherry tomatoes

powisset gourds!

funky spuds. (my new band name)

veggies boxed up for donation to mattapan food pantry

In The Farm Stand

Yes, We're OpenAlthough the CSA will be done the week of October 13th, we will be keeping the Farm Stand open through October! The hours will remain the same through the end of the month:

Tuesdays 1:30-6:30pm
Thursdays 10am-6:30pm
Saturdays 10am-5pm

Events: Past & Future

Powisset Farm was full of activity yesterday as Beantown Jewish GardensBJEP (Boston-area Jewish Education Program) and Temple Beth Zion held a Sukkot Festival to celebrate the feast of the harvest. The day included many activities from harvesting in the fields to making kale salad in the kitchen, a sauerkraut mob, and of course building a Sukkah. However, the most popular activity by far was riding the cider press for samples!

 And...for future events, I am very excited to announce that our very own Nicole Lewis (also known as N1) will be teaching some upcoming (fun) classes. In October, Just for Fun on the Farm: DIY Manicures with Jamberry (Oct. 20th) and Baking with Einkorn (Oct. 27th) for those of you who have either purchased or have been curious about Einkorn flour which we recently started selling in the farm stand.

And lastly, in light of the lunar eclipse, I do have to share an amazing photo that "our local astronomer" took last night. We will be holding our next Astronomy Night on Saturday, Oct. 17th. Not only will we get to view the moon, stars and planets, but preceding this, Al Navarro will be sharing a brief overview of how ancient astronomy was intertwined with agriculture. Since he is clearly an amazing astro-photographer, feel free to come on by to get some tips on your own shots.

We have many more events and while we can't mention each one, you can find them all here.

Crescent Ridge Home Delivery SPECIAL

Have you LOVED getting Crescent Ridge milk at Powisset Farm? We will continue to carry it though the days the Farm Stand is open (see above section) but if you would like to receive home delivery service during the winter months, there's a great special Crescent Ridge is offering! Sign up and the delivery fee will be waived for four months! To take advantage of this offer, type in POWISSET in the “Who referred you?” box located on the registration page at Please note it may take a day or two for the waiver to be applied so if you see an initial delivery charge, not to worry, it will be removed once approved. Enjoy!

More beef is coming!

Keep an eye out this week for beef in the freezer. Lots of great fall and winter cuts will be abvailable! 

Recipes of the Week

Are you loving the apples in the share these past two weeks?!? Since it's apple season and we've been getting this little surprise item in the share, I thought it would be fun to do a couple of apple recipes. This first one is for Apple Rustic Tart. This is a wonderful recipe I got from my mother-in-law (not sure where she got it). It's a lovely alternative to apple pie.

Apple Rustic Pie
2 Tbl butter
1/4C brown sugar
2 Tbl granulated sugar (I've done this recipe without this and just used brown sugar)
2-4 pounds of peeled and sliced apples (golden delicious and granny smith are usually recommended for this recipe ut I say go ahead and use whatever apples you want!)
2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
a refrigerated pie dough (if you have a great pie crust recipe then certainly use that but if you're looking for something quick, go ahead and buy the pre-packaged kind).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a small pan over med-high heat. Add the sugars and cook until dissolved (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place dough on a pie pan or on a flat baking sheet. If using a cooking sheet put parchment paper or aluminum foil down first. Roll out to dough into a 14" circle. Add the apple mixture to the middle of the dough and fold the edge up and over the edge of the apple pile. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Eat and enjoy!

Note: If you prefer softer apples you can cook the apples with the lemon juice, spices and butter/sugar for about 15-20 minutes and then add to the crust and bake as usual.

Apple Salads
I love salad with apples in it! There's the classic favorite Waldorf Salad  but this Chopped Autumn Apple Salad is perfect for this time of year.

6 to 8 cups chopped lettuce
2 medium apples (or pears if you prefer), chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled (omit if you don't like or eat bacon)
4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
For dressing
Store bought Poppy Seed Salad Dressing and 
Balsamic Vinaigrette. Or take a couple tbl spoonfuls of mayo, add some balsamic vinegar and mix.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, apples, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with the dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette.

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