Welcome to the spring harvest!
We find ourselves at the beginning of our seventh farming season on this beautiful land. Certainly a little older, hopefully a little bit wiser, and continuously grateful to be doing this work in this special place beneath the Seven Sisters and alongside the Connecticut River. Thank you for joining us in a collective effort towards feeding all of our families heartily while hoping to help create a sustainable and life-affirming community food system.
This first farm letter is filled with logistics. If your new this year, please keep on reading for some important information. You can expect to receive a farm love letter from us each week with the week’s share contents, farm news, events, and other odd and ends.
Our Crew this season
We are infinitely thankful to welcome back Edvin, Rosendo, Alfonso, Jorge, Annie and Mary Joelle, who have become the wise and steady foundation of the farm. They are the magical, hard-working, full-hearted folks who keep things flowing. We are also very excited to welcome some new friends… Szal and Liz are joining our field crew this season, and Sammi is our new Shareroom Manager. She will be the one you will be seeing each week when you pick up your share… please introduce yourselves and welcome her!
To those of you new to the farm, the field right next to the barn is dedicated entirely to pick-your-own crops: herbs, flowers, strawberries, sugar snap peas, green beans, and cherry tomatoes (this 2 acre field is just one of our 15 different fields around Hadley, which together make up a total of about 35 acres). Each week we will list what is available for u-pick on the chalkboard in the share room as well as in the little turquoise kiosk in the field (where you will also find scissors and containers). Like the rest of your share, the u-pick crops start out limited and gradually become generous. You can come do u-pick any hour and any day of the week you like – you don’t have to stick to share hours or your share day.
Unless you have a hard time walking, please park in the lot on the south side of the u-pick field (you can’t miss it, just follow the big finger-pointing parking sign). Please help us keep the few spaces right next to the barn free for those who truly need it (and those who need it, please use it without hesitation! If you have trouble walking or if its pouring out, feel free to park next to the barn.
Please bring along that pretty bag if you have one…
For those that have them, please bring along your NBO bags. For those that don’t, you may want to bring another canvas bag of some sort to use for the first couple weeks. These first weeks don’t require the specific NBO bag because, while crops are more limited, we specify how much of each crop to take. However, during most of the season, we let you take as much as you want of anything that’s in season, up to a certain total volume. So, starting in a couple weeks, the volume of your share each week will be measured using the specific canvas NBO bag. Here is the hitch… we are trying to get more bags and have run into a little snafu. For those of you who don’t have one, we will keep you updated as soon as they are available!
For the first couple weeks we will have a current member list in the shareroom – please check your name off when you come in. Thank you!
In this weeks share (spring greens!):
Mixed salad greens – arugula, baby kale, mustard
Cooking greens – green curly kale, dino kale, collard greens, swiss chard
* Green garlic is young garlic, before it matures and separates into separate cloves. It is more mild. Use green garlic just as you would use clove garlic. Except you can use the whole stalk – including the whole green part chopped finely.
looking forward to reuniting,
– Ray, Mary Joelle, Rosendo, Edvin, Alfonso, Jorge, Annie, Szal, Liz, Sammi, and Tory.
Spring Garlic Fried Eggs
adapted from the Crepes of Wrath
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large stalk spring garlic, thinly sliced
ground black pepper, for garnish
Heat your butter in a small pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the butter has browned and has a nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes. Add in your sliced spring garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Stir until garlic has wilted and browned a bit, 3-5 minutes.
Crack your eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still wiggly. Sprinkle with salt. You can poke the eggs whites around the yolks to speed up the cooking process. Work a spatula around the eggs to loosen them, then place onto a plate and garnish with freshly ground black pepper.
Bok choy with green garlic
adapted from steamykitchen.com
1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 stalk green garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (p.s. this recipe is good even without the ginger)
3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
salt to taste
1. Quarter the bok choy lengthwise. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water.
2. Mince green garlic and grate fresh ginger. Grating the ginger helps break up the tough fibers!
3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt.
Sauteed swiss chard with onions
• large bunch Swiss chard
• 1 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 stalk green garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Cut stems and center ribs from chard, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Creamy garlic dressing
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 1-6 medium cloves garlic, minced (or 1 stalk of green garlic minced)
• 1 tablespoon minced herbs, such as oregano, parsley, basil or cilantro
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
Lemon mint vinaigrette
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves (or green garlic!)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (there is a lot of mint growing in the flower bed outside the barn)
1/8 teaspoon salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper