We’re turning a corner this week! With temps promising in the 70s and green babies popping up everywhere, color is coming back into our lives! We are eager to start sharing our work and food with you, and in a couple months time we will have enough food to feed an army! If you are in NYC or living near the farm upstate, you will want to reserve your share this week! And remember you can add fruit, eggs and meat to your share and reduce your time in those grocery stores! The more food in your diet that is grown and raised with love, the more love in your life! Cheers to waking up this spring into green life again.
Article above: One of our CSA members sums up very eloquently what it means to join a CSA . I’d buy me one of those shares!
Watch out for our table at at Brooklyn Boulders Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout March. Deadlines for sign-ups are April 1st!
Thanks to all who have already signed up– looking forward to 2013! Don’t forget that we also are offering an Egg Share and Fruit Share in addition to the vegetable share in Brooklyn.
Our paypal platform on the website will soon be up and running… for now you can pay by check or send money via paypal through “firstname.lastname@example.org”
More updates to come…!
Some of you have already emailed about signing up for next year! We’re so excited.
I am writing to let you know that I’m in the process of updating our online sign-up form (for new members) and also updating our paypal set-up through the website.
For now, we are accepting checks via mail. Money can be transferred via paypal or we can send you an online invoice.
Send me an email and I can help you personally.
We’ve analyzed the survey and also reflected on our own observations for the CSA offerings in 2012. Here are our thoughts :
Finding the right balance of foods that suits the needs of our member base is always a learning curve, and we promise to honor that learning curve… after-all, in a sense, this farm is as much yours as it is ours. We often have to overcome our own tendencies and indulgenecs, such as Dan imposing his love of exotic radishes, or Tess imposing her love of weird herbs and edible flowers….But we’ll find the balance!
Part of the challenge is also field based. Farming a new field in the first year presents challenge after challenge, sometimes leading to failed crops. It also yields a lot of successful ones, but they aren’t always the favorites. For example some crops that did not yield enough for us this year but will most likely be more vital next year as we further work fertility into the soil are: sweet potatoes, eggplants, melons, red peppers, corn, flat leaf parsley, celery, then there are some things that we had this year that we will have more of next year:
Tomatoes: Sorry that there was a wait on these! We didn’t yield as much we we’d hoped and the early yields were not enough for all members. Our trellis system in the future will be improved, and we will do what it takes to present diseases from weakening the plants’ productivity. Along with fixing this, next year we are planning on growing some awesome heirloom varieties that will blow you away…
Potatoes: They didnt produce well this year. We spent hours digging long trenches and putting in the work to hill them by hand throughout the season (shovel and shape more dirt to create a bigger mound that in turn creates a healthier space for the roots to grow in). While our yield was low this year , as soon as people start signing up we are going to buy a new potato digger to make larger quantities easier. Potatoes will also produce more this season with the enriched soil and biodynamic compost!
Carrots: We found we could never plant enough. We doubled and tripled our quantities throughout the season and they went so fast. People love carrots and it seems you can not over plant these beauties. Next year we will have to double that quantity again, and of course, keep ’em colorful- ruby, purple, yellow, etc…
Kale: Everyone loves kale, many juice it regularly, its a basic human right, people should always have access to kale. We will work to provide more of this basic vegetable, as much as you desire…
Garlic + Onions: Our yield of these staple alliums was far too low. As a result we have quadrupled all onion and garlic production for next year. Garlic is already in the ground, and mulched! While we always had plenty of scallions, our onion crop turned up too small, and some of it rotted in the field before we could grab it up. We’ll work on this next year!
Feel free to leave you comments! Well keep you posted with more ideas on on what awesome goods we have in store for next season…
this week we have…
Red Rain (A Mizuna type of Mustard, to cook like Bok Choy)
Red Cross Head Lettuce
Shungiku (to add a little flavor to salad)
Pick One: Watermelon Radish, Black Spanish Radish or Daikon Radish
Swiss Chard with Balsamic, Maple Syrup and Fresh Ginger
- 1½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 bunch (12 to 13 oz.) Swiss chard, unstemmed, rinsed and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped or sliced toasted almonds
In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and the balsamic vinegar.
Pull or cut away the stems from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into large (2- to 3-inch pieces) and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise into thin (1/4-inch) pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large (11- to 12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and a pinch of kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, 7 to 8 minutes. (They will begin to crackle in the pan as moisture evaporates.) Add the fresh ginger, stir, and cook just until fragrant, a few seconds. Add all of the chard leaves and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and toss until just wilted (45 seconds to 1 minute). Scrape the balsamic-maple mixture into the pan, stir, and remove from the heat. Add the butter and toss and stir until it is melted. Serve warm, garnished with toasted sliced or chopped almonds if desired.
Serves 2 to 3
– Recipe courtesy of Susie Middleton at <sixburnersue.com
Here are some recipes pulled together by our lovely Brooklyn CSA Co-Coordinator SARAH to help you get creative with your veggies!
This week’s share:
- one bunch D’Avignon (French Breakfast) Radishes
- one bunch Broccolini
- one bag Arugula
- one bunch Red Kohlrabi
- one bunch Peppercress (spicy herb with a sweet kick, hard to explain without trying!)
- one head lettuce- Green Pablo
Part 1. MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT KOHLRABI!!!
how to eat? excerpted from this website where you can read more about the origins, nutritiousness and deliciousness of kohlrabi
- Remove the stems by pulling or cutting them off the kohlrabi globe. Stems and leaves can be chopped and included in a tossed salad. Their flavor is mild and takes well to salad dressing. If the kohlrabi is small, there is no need to peel it, however you may want to cut off the tough base end. If you’ve purchased large kohlrabi, peel it and slice off the tough woody base before slicing or dicing.
- Slice or cut into julienne and include on a relish tray with dips.
- Coarsely grate kohlrabi into a tossed salad. Because it is mild, succulent and porous, it absorbs the flavor of a mild or pungent salad dressing quite well.
- Dice kohlrabi and combine with your favorite vegetables and dressing for a chopped salad with delightful crispness.
- Slice kohlrabi, wrap in plastic, and pack in your brown bag lunch for a crunchy snack.
- Chop and include as one of the ingredients in a raw soup. (see soup recipe below)
Slice kohlrabi or cut into bite-sized pieces and put into a saucepan with 1/2 inch (1 cm) of water. Add a dash of salt, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to low and steam for 5 to 7 minutes. Leaves can be steamed lightly just as you would do spinach.
Slice or chop kohlrabi and toss in a bowl with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a dash of salt, and wrap in aluminum foil (shiny side inside). Place on the grill and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Dice or chop into bite-size pieces and stir fry 5 to 7 minutes in a little extra virgin olive oil with a clove or two of minced garlic and a dash of salt.
if you’re looking for something a little more complicated, try this soup!
Kohlrabi Vegetable Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and diced
4 to 6 kohlrabi leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add broth, cabbage and kohlrabi bulbs and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are fully cooked. Add kohlrabi leaves and parsley and cook until heated through.
Spring, as everyone knows, is a season for love. Its not hard to spot love all around – in the wind and the woods, or on the street and in the subway. Here at Common Hands Farm, we have been pouring our love into our newly-tilled, richly-fertile, four-acre field for many weeks. And as the season progresses, our fields are starting to really bring the love back to us, and soon – to you!
Up here in the upper Hudson valley, we are finding ourselves with many things to be grateful for. The nutrient-rich, easily-tillable soil, the abundant sunshine, and the (recent) rain have conspired to make the beginning of this growing season incredibly abundant. Our natural good fortune is magnified by our tireless hard work and good cheer – the Common Hands Farmers have been working every day planting, weeding, thinning, cultivating, tilling, harvesting, building fences to keep the deer out and building connections to bring the community in. We are working hard, and with joy.
And the good news is, all the energy and love, all the work and joy that we are putting into this farm is being returned to us from the field in the form of DELICIOUS ORGANIC PRODUCE. Its still early in the season, but the field is already bursting with radishes, lettuce, mustard greens, purslane, swiss chard, salad mix, braising mix, peppercress, tatsoi, broccoli rabe, kale (many types), beet greens, japanese turnips, arugula, broccolini, spinach, baby bok choy and baby chard. And this, remember, is just the beginning.
This weekend we will begin selling at Farmer’s Markets in Hudson, Chatham, and Philmont. And on Tuesday, we will have our first CSA drop off at Brooklyn Boulders in Park Slope. Hudson-area residents: come check us out at the farmers markets this weekend, or visit us at the farm! Talk to us, and see what we are all about. And CSA shareholders: we are beyond excited to see you this coming Tuesday. We have been excited about this day for months. Now its time for you to get excited- if you’ve paid for your share, you’ve got 23 straight weeks of incredible produce to enjoy. So get ready for some delicious, nutritious, organic, sustainably-produced, and did we mention DELICIOUS food. Its coming your way soon.
One final, but very important note: there are still CSA shares available. As we mentioned above, the fields are looking GREAT. So spread the word! If you haven’t bought a share yet, or know someone who hasn’t and lives in Brooklyn or Hudson, there’s still time!
Get your salad bowls and woks ready, folks. The vegetables are coming!
– The Common Hands Farmers –
– Dan, Tess, Eric, and Peter –
Early Season: Panisse head lettuce, Baby collard greens, Baby turnips, Dunja Zucchini, Magenta spreen+Italian dandelion, Gailon Broccoli, Red Scallions
Mid Season: Lemon Cukes, Swiss Chard, Rainbow Beans, Purple Haze Carrots, Indigo Rose Tomatoes, Green Sweet Peppers, Corn
Late Season:Salad Mix, Kale bunch, Beets, Arugula, Tomatillos, Bok Choy, Mixed Potatoes
Each share turns out to be roughly $25/week…what a deal for fresh, hand-picked produce delivered especially for you!!
We are busy, busy— planting up a storm and protecting our seedlings in the greenhouse from intermittent frosts…. but our baby ducks and plants are growing bigger and stronger everyday! We’ve already planted a lot and we will keep on doing so through May….
Thank you to all who have already signed up, we can’t wait to see you all in June!
Help us spread the word before the May 15th deadline!
Love to you all,