Saturday, August 29, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 13 Beets ready for pickling

Pretty Beets from todays CSA waiting to be pickled.....

Season 2009 - Week 12 Recipe Peperonata

Delicious served on crackers or crostini, meaning little toasts, if you feel like doing a little extra work.

· 2 yellow bell peppers

· 2 red bell peppers

· 1/4 cup olive oil

· 2 garlic cloves

· 2 Tbsp. salt packed capers*

· 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

· 1/2 onion, diced

· 1/2 tsp. dried red chile flakes

· 1/2 tsp salt

· 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

· chopped parsley, about 1/4 cup

Put the oven on broil. Cut tops off peppers, cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Lay a piece of foil on a baking sheet and lay peppers (including the tops) on sheet, skin side up. Broil until skin blackens. Place peppers in paper bag and let steam. Remove and let cool. Skins should slip off. Chop peppers into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Rinse the salt off the capers and dry capers. Add the capers to the oil and fry for about one minute over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes and then add onion, chile flakes and salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.

Add the vinegar to the pan and deglaze, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and then stir in the chopped peppers. Adjust seasoning for more salt or vinegar. Add parsley. Remove topping to a bowl and let cool. Do not refrigerate. Let sit at room temperature until ready to use.

*tip: Don't use vinegar packed capers, only salt packed! They are far superior. Just give them a rinse before you use them. They are so delicious.

Season 2009 - Week 12 Produce List

This week's share: (Subject to change as newsletter goes out before the harvest)
  • Lettuce
  • Chard
  • Potatoes
  • Herbs
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash

Season 2009 - Week 12 Farm Notes by Lynn Duval, Woodstock member

I grew up in the 50's and 60's in Jamesport, NY on eastern Long Island
in the heart of farm country. My family were not farmers but were in
the restaurant business so I was surrounded by food. In season we
always bought produce from the farmstands along with beautiful flowers

In the 70's my generation was on the move. That meant that lots of
those old family farms I grew up with were on the block with kids
opting out and land prices soaring in pristine vacation land
surrounded by the Peconic Bay, LI Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. This
island land poised within these waters is full of sand; there’s no
other soil like this in the state. Thankfully the government stepped
in and provided money to farmer/landowners to keep the land in trust,
so to speak. Grapes found a home and really saved the land out there.
Horse farms also played a large part in keeping the land from being
lost to development. There are many wineries now, even in my little
one stop light town of Jamesport. Happily, there’s still a lot of
food grown out there too and some of it organic.

I moved to the Saugerties/Woodstock area in 1972 and soon after we
joined the Beggar’s Banquet food coop in Woodstock. Bulk foods were
delivered to the community center and members would gather to bag up
their orders. At this time I was also getting acquainted with the
local health food stores and my food world was changing fast.

In 1991 I was living in Saugerties at a former retreat for nuns that
was owned by a well known musician who had converted the place into
five apartments rented out to artists and musicians and the like. One
of the tenants, Brian Farmer (his real name) along with his Mom Rema,
who lived nearby, started one of the first, or the first local
organic CSA on that land. I didn’t have much to do with this
operation but did get to help plant the strawberries and
blueberries...I’ll never forget tasting those first berries...I
remembered that taste. I was blown away that it had been so very many
years since I’d tasted that rich berry flavor...the intervening
berries had been poor knock offs. That was another changing moment in
food for me. Around this time another CSA came into being, Cody Creek
Farm. Viv and Jim Beatrice were the founding farmers and today are
members of Hearty Roots.

I’ve been a member of Hearty Roots Farm since the beginning and I have
been nourished on so many levels. Every year I pack my freezers with
veggies, a variety of sauces and dishes to savor in the winter months.
This farm has been a blessing in my life. We are so fortunate to
benefit from the incredible dedication, very hard work and great
passion the farmers and their assistants bring to Hearty Roots.

Season 2009 - Week 12 Recipe Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte

Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2001

This torte can easily be made ahead and reheated as you need it for guests, or even a meal for a few, if you halve it. In fact, I suspect that it might be even better reheated because there is something about potatoes that have been cooked twice–they’re always better.

And if you’re not reheating it, be patient enough to get a better browning on the bottom than my impatient hunger allowed me to.

This also might work well in a cast iron, though you would probably have to adjust your cooking times slightly.

Makes 8 servings

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
6 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (Deb note: I had only a 9-inch pan around, so what you see in my pictures is slightly thinner.) Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.

Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.

Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)

Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve.

Season 2009 - Week 13 Photos from the weekly collection

Season 2009 - Week 13 Notes from Montgomery Place Orchards

This week you are getting our seedless table grapes. These are very
different from than the California seedless grape you may be use to.
The flavor is intense. We love to freeze these – there is so much
natural sugar in them that they do not freeze solid and they are like
little sorbet balls. We hope you try some frozen. We have had to
spray the grapes with a fungicide. We have had to spray them a lot –
at first this sounds bad to you, but the reason we had to spray a lot
is that this is not a systemic fungicide and can easily be washed off
and so every time it rained, (it did that a lot this year), all the
protective spray gets washed off. This spray has 0 days to harvest.
Grapes do also have a natural bloom which looks like spray residue.
Just rinse off the grapes before you eat them.

We are really happy to be able to send you some nectarines this week
and the last of the white peaches. We had a lot of heat and humidity
last week and this means that you will have to work a little harder to
enjoy good fruit. Again, we ask that you spread your fruit out to
allow it to soften. Fruit should not touch each other because, if
there is brown rot, we do not want it to spread to the other fruit.
IF you get brown spots, you can just cut out the bad spot. This year
we have VERY few perfect nectarines or peaches, but the flavor is
worth the extra work you have to do.

For our final fruit, we kick into the wish for fall with apples. Each
share will receive 5 Whitney Crab apples. Now we know that when you
hear the words crab apple, you think YUCH!! This variety will make
you change your mind. They are great hand apples and really good to
eat. Enjoy.

Happy last days of August.

Doug and Talea Fincke and all of us at Montgomery Place Orchards

Season 2009 - Week 13 Produce List

Product List (subject to change as newsletter goes out before harvest)

· Salad Greens

· Tuscan Kale

· Beets

· Herbs

· Eggplant

· Garlic

· Sweet corn

Crop to Cup Coffee

Don't forget to place your coffee order online at:
Please specify that you're a member of the East Williamsburg CSA, and if you're a half share, let them know whether you're an A or a B share.
There are both A and B week deliveries, and we'll make sure the coffee gets to you on the appropriate week.

Delivery dates are as follows: August 22 (B), Sept 12 (A), Oct 3 (B) and Oct 24 (A)

Email Fernando with any questions:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Season 2009 - Week 13 Recipe Indian Spiced Eggplant

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 small eggplant (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

  • In a small bowl combine spices and in a measuring cup stir together water, sugar, and vinegar. Cut eggplant into 2-inch pieces.
  • In a large heavy non-stick skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and cook spices, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and salt and toss to coat with spice mixture. Stir vinegar mixture and add to eggplant mixture. Simmer mixture, covered, without stirring, 10 minutes, or until eggplant is just tender. Uncover skillet and cook eggplant mixture at a rapid simmer, without stirring, until liquid is almost evaporated and eggplant is slightly charred (but not burned) on bottom, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and let eggplant stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  • Serve eggplant sprinkled with fresh coriander.

Season 2009 - Week 13 Farm Notes

This has been a big year for Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In May, the 2nd Annual "Greening the Ridge" Festival brought together organizations and residents driven to create better connections to the neighborhood's shore front, healthy recreations, and natural resources, and grow a stronger, healthier and more sustainable place to live and work. Greening efforts in the neighborhood drew an enthusiastic crowd, as residents have struggled to find fresh organic produce in the area for years. The 2008 closure of a major grocery store stirred up a healthy storm of response from neighbors, politicians, and organizations who rallied to bring a Greenmarket to Bay Ridge, with local fish, honey, cheese, fruits, eggs, and vegetables. This closure also prompted the formation of Bay Ridge Food Coop ( Still in the planning stage, members of the Food Coop have an active community outreach effort, and are determined to create a sustainable business that will improve access to fresh, affordable produce, creating a new link to local and organic producers.

The Bay Ridge CSA is also in its second year, and CSA members are fortunate to have access to incredibly fresh ingredients, which I once heard described as the "closest you can get to growing your own food without actually doing it." The popularity of community supported agriculture in the city is incredible, and we unfortunately had to turn away many people, who are now on our waiting list. Many of our 100 members joined the CSA for their love of fresh organic produce. Since our membership includes many faces new to CSA, we all serve a cheerful work shift, and enjoy the fresh harvest, but we are also getting a first-hand lesson in regional agriculture. This season we have had an introduction to the problems caused by excessive rain: difficulty working in the fields, and the onslaught of pests, fungus, blight, and what our fruit farmers at Montgomery Place Orchards call their "most challenging growing season in 23 years." The Bay Ridge CSA is dedicated to supporting local organic farming, and in the process we hope to better understand our connection to our food, and how to respect and maintain the delicate balance needed for a healthy food supply.

Our CSA members are active advocates for sustainability throughout our community. We have members who are writing grants for nutrition outreach, building gardens and recycling programs in local schools, and helping with local cleanup efforts. They are teachers, parents, and health practitioners, and they work with local publications like Edible Brooklyn and organizations such as Just Food, the group that originally helped connect us to our farmers.

The core group's aim is to support this network of enthusiastic and responsible citizens in the CSA, but primarily to nurture the link between our local farmers and their concerned investors, and be informed guides for the extended community as they weigh the economy and benefits of participation in sustainable agriculture. We maintain a lush garden distribution site at the 4th Avenue Presbyterian Church, and will host upcoming demonstrations in composting on-site, cooking to encourage creativity and discussion among members, and a film night. As well, we will be exchanging favorite recipes at upcoming potlucks, growing sprouts, caring for windowsill herbs in recycled pop-bottles, trading Kombucha Scoby and tips, and sharing resources through a lending library and our developing website,

For our farmers, we are proud to be a supportive part of this exciting movement. At the very least, we will have a greater awareness of seasonal weather, and you can count on us in your network of folks to do an extra rain dance (or stop-the-rain dance!), when you need it.

We hope the rewards for everyone sharing in these efforts are bountiful, delicious, and nourishing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A little remiss....

Apologies as I have been a little remiss in my updates over the last month... travel for work and play and still trying to play catchup. Will be catching up this weekend... watch this space....