Monday, June 30, 2008

week 3

Hello CSA members

Good morning after a rainy night following another sunny day that was forecast to be rainy. Whew… while we wish that we were better at understanding the weather, the crops are enjoying this fantastic mixture of sun and rain. It is a blessing.

We are still going strong planting both in the fields and in the greenhouse. The third succession of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage transplants went out this week as well as more herbs (basil, cilantro and dill), salad greens, winter squash and cukes. The cosmos are blooming and beautiful and so is the red amaranth which is sometimes overlooked, but is a nice addition to bouquets. Also this week you might notice the slow de-junking of the veggie pick up area since we finally finished the new shed. Yay! In other important farm news, we have a new household member- Nisi, a Canaan Dog brought to us by Oliver's cousin. She is acclimating well to farm life since she actually grew up on a kibbutz in Israel. We hope she'll help to take care of the critter that has been indulging on our lovely hens.

We have received many inquiries from shareholders who pick up on Fridays about this week's pick up which falls on July 4th. We are keeping the same regular 4-6 PM time slot, but in order to make it easier for folks with holiday plans, we are inviting anyone who needs an alternate pick up time to come on Tuesday (12-1PM) or to visit us this Thursday afternoon at the Manchester farmer's market at the Rec Park (3-6 PM) but keep in mind that we will have a more limited selection of veggies at the market. Please email us if you would like to come at either of these times instead of your regular Friday pickup.

This week we add more summery choices like zucchini and more broccoli and cauliflower to the mix of available produce. We've still got lots of head lettuce, garlic scapes, radishes, mizuna, kale (p.y.o.), scallions, and the rest of the herbs.

Also a new newsletter tradition- the weekly veggie joke:

A guy has celery sticking out of one ear, lettuce out of the other, and a zucchini up his nose. He goes to the doctor and asks him what's wrong. The doctor tells him, "Well, for one thing, you're not eating right."


Cauliflower is the mildest member of the brassica family. Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is actually a mass of unopened flower buds that would burst into edible yellow flowers if allowed to mature. Hiding its head demurely within a bonnet of furled leaves, cauliflower stays tender and maintains a white or creamy color. In spots where the leaves uncurl a little early, the sun turns the cauliflower slightly yellow brown or pink.


Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week but is sweetest if used within a few days.


Trim off the leaves and any brown spots. Rinse the cauliflower and cut out the cone-shaped core at the base using a small paring knife. Stop there if you plan to cook it whole. Otherwise, proceed to break it into florets, or chop.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Zucchini and summer squash are sure signs of summer. Big beautiful heat loving plants that produce loads of tender versatile fruit. We grow half a dozen varieties for aesthetic diversity though they all taste pretty similar. We try to start the season picking small fruits often with their blossoms still attached, these are the most gourmet- crudité grade. Once things heat up and the plants are really cranking we let them get a little bigger and then it's time to start making ratatouille and zucchini bread.


Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel.


Rinse zucchini and summer squash under cool running water to remove any dirt or prickles; then slice off the stem and blossom ends. Slice the vegetable into rounds, quarters, or chunks according to the specifications of your recipe.

Cooking Greens

A bunch of cooking greens is strikingly distinct from a bag of salad. Most cooking greens are big. Kale and chard leaves, for example, might grow to be longer than your forearm. A side dish of greens always rounds out a meal, and, in main dishes, a few tender ribbons of greens curled among vegetables enhances a meal.


Cut beet and turnip greens from their roots; store roots separately. Broccoli and cauliflower greens are surprisingly tender and delicious, Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Thicker greens will keep for up to two weeks, but tender ones should be eaten within a week.


Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basin of lukewarm water until grit settles to the bottom. It's fine to leave the stems on small baby greens, but many greens (choi, chard, collards, kale) have thick stems that cook more slowly than the leaves. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. To use the stems in your dish, slice them 1/4 inch long and begin cooking them before you add the greens.

Lettuce be friends,

The Teleion Holon crew & Nisi

PS if anyone wants to come to the farm on Wednesday evening, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra will be playing in our back yard… Well actually in Hildene meadow which is practically in our garden. There will be fireworks and lots of family fun. You can beat some of the traffic and crowds by walking over from our place.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

week 2

Hello CSA friends

We're just catching our breath- doing the two farmer's markets, growing for twice as many shareholders at two weekly pick-ups while attempting to tend the fields, make large amounts of the prepared foods and take care of two kids keeps us on our toes. Life is never boring. We love what we do.

It was great to be able to match new faces with new names (and email addresses) at the pick-ups this week. Although there was some early confusion about the point system, we think that its a great way to give folks some choices. We had a lot of positive feedback about the herb garden tour. Kat loves herbs and she'll be there again this week to help you find cilantro, parsley, oregano, basil, mint, papalo, tarragon, anise, spilanthes, wasabi mustard, peppercress, dill, fennel, and scallions in the garden.

A brief word about eggs—the folks who picked up on Friday noticed that there was a bit of an egg shortage. This will be apparent this Tuesday as well. We've got enough chickens to provide plenty of eggs, but the problem is that a good percentage of them haven't started laying yet. We anticipate them starting soon, but until then we have to ask that those with small shares only take a half dozen and for folks with large shares to only take a dozen if they really need them. We hate to have to ration the eggs like this, but it should be a very temporary thing. In other chicken news, we have finally started our food waste program with many local restaurants thanks to Merideth, a Bennington College student who will be working on this project for the season. The chickens will feast on foodwaste from Laney's, Zoey's, Perfect Wife, Little Rooster, Mrs. Murphy's, The Bagel Works, and of course the Wilburton Inn, among others. The system of using chickens to create high quality compost from food waste is based on the work of Karl Hamer, the awesome compost genius from the Vermont Compost Company. Hopefully the added nutrition will also encourage the young hens to start laying!

More crops are just starting to come in, this week we'll have kohlrabi, kale, a little cauliflower and the very beginnings of the summer squash.

Before leaving you all with the recipes for this week's harvest, here's an inspirational tidbit from "The Omnivore's Dilemma" author Michael Pollan's latest book, "In Defense of Food". Advocating for people taking pleasure and exercising power by cooking their own food, he states:

"To reclaim this much control over one's food, to take it back from industry and science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time cooking from scratch and growing any of your own food qualify as subversive acts. And what these acts subvert is nutritionism: the belief that food is foremost about nutrition and nutrition is so complex that only experts and industry can possibly supply it. When you're cooking with food as alive as this…you're in no danger of mistaking it as a commodity or a fuel, or a collection of chemical nutrients. No, in the eye of the cook or the gardener or the farmer who grew it, this food reveals itself for what it is: no mere thing, but a web of relationships among a great many living beings, some of them human, some of them not, but each of them dependent on the other, and all of them ultimately rooted in soil and nourished by sunlight. I'm thinking of the relationship between the plants and the soil, between the grower and the plants and the animals he or she tends, between the cook and the growers who supply the ingredients, and between the cook and the people who will soon come to the table to enjoy the meal. It is a large community to nourish and be nourished by. The cook in the kitchen preparing the meal from plants and animals at the shortest of food chains has a great many things to worry about, but 'health' is not one of them, because it is given."

So now that you are all totally empowered to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen, try some kohlrabi:


The alien spacecraft of the garden has arrived. The green and purple orbs are in fact relatives of broccoli. Kohlrabi initiates know what a treasure these outlandish vegetables are. Their sweet crunch is excellent cooked or raw.


If you plan to use it soon, wrap the whole unwashed kohlrabi—stem, stalks, leaves, and all—in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, store the bulb in a plastic bag in the fridge and use it within two weeks.


Rinse kohlrabi under cold running water just before use. Unless the skin seems particularly tough, kohlrabi does not have to be peeled. Just trim off the remains of the stalks and root. Grate, slice, or chop kohlrabi as desired.

Keep enjoying the salad, we'll be eating leeks and winter squash before long.

Have a good week and a happy summer.

-your friends at Teleion Holon

Monday, June 16, 2008

week 1

Hey CSA folks,
We are looking forward to seeing everybody this week. You will notice the beautiful skeleton of the much anticipated packing shed. We had intended to have it all finished before the first pick up, but believe us when we say that we have thousands of good excuses for its incompleteness. Among other things that happened this week was the transplanting of the winter squash and watermelons, the seventh succession planting of lettuce, the third seeding of carrots and beets and the continued trellising and pruning of the high tunnel tomatoes, and the eternal chore of weeding, weeding, weeding.

This week was also the first week of farmer’s markets for us. It felt great to return to the Manchester market (Thursdays at the rec park from 3-6). We’ve been doing it there for the last 3 years and were greeted with enthusiasm by our regular customers. We made our debut at the Dorset market on Sunday (10-2 by Williams store) it was a new crowd for us, but it won’t be long before we have hoomoos addicts coming to us for their fix. It was wonderful to see a good number of CSA members at both markets. While we’ll be happily taking care of your veggie needs for the rest of the season, we encourage you all to support other local food producers- there are amazing bread, cheese and jam producers at these markets. Also, if you happen to visit our stand, please introduce yourself as a CSA member to whichever wwoofer is working there (just to be friendly and also to get your 20% discount).

We’d like to offer a bit more information about your veggie pick-ups. We’ve asked folks to choose either Tuesdays (12-1) or Fridays (4-6). When you show up at the packing shed (located here at Teleion Holon- 2106 River Road) you’ll find bushel baskets of everything that’s been harvested that week. There will be a sign by each basket letting you know the quantity of that particular veggie that is equal to one unit (i.e.- ½ pound of salad mix = 1 unit). A small share will be entitled to less points than a full share, but you can choose to use the points however you want. As the season progresses, you will have more points to use and a wider variety of veggies to choose amongst. Pick your own flowers and herbs do not count as points, but eggs do. We promise that this is not as complicated as it sounds and we will be there to help folks figure things out. Also, we will have prepared food (crackers, hoomoos, veggie burgers, granola) available for sale at 20% off our market prices. Everyone has a $20 credit to try things out and after that we’ll use a debit system for keeping track of purchases.

And last but not least are the veggies of the week: you can look forward to salad mix, spinach, head lettuce, bok choi, mizuna, radishes, garlic scapes, eggs and herbs- parsley, cilantro, super spicy pepper cress, lemon balm, anise hyssop, greek oregano and more. Kat will be giving herb garden tours to show folks how to harvest and give ideas for how to use herbs (including our delicious house iced tea). Speaking of ideas, the following recipes are from a favorite of ours: Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables. It’s full of great recipes, farm stories, essays, and hilarious quotes and is seriously worth investing in. We’ve also included suggestions for proper storage and handling to keep your veggies fresh and tasty

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2008 intro

Dear CSA members

The big news of this past week was our marvelous "barn" raising. We had a great time catching up with CSA friends from last year and meeting new members. Folks worked up a sweat laying out and pounding in the posts, putting together and installing the bows, and doing some weeding too. It was hot hot hot, but satisfying to work together to accomplish a goal. We so appreciate the help—it will make things work a lot better for us to have a separate packing shed for tools and equipment, garlic drying even room for some hay storage. And on a deeper level, this gathering strengthened our vision of our farm being a real part of the community. There is a reciprocity to what we are doing here that goes beyond the exchange of veggies and money; we felt it on Sunday as we watched the structure go up with kids running around in the background and our family and farm interns and CSA members making connections that will last this season and beyond. Don't worry if you missed it; there will be plenty more opportunities.

CSA Pickups will begin next Tuesday (6/16) and Friday (6/20), you can expect mostly greens for this first week: salad mix, spinach, bok choy, spicy peper cress, mizuna mustard, kale, cilantro, parlsley, and eggs. By the following week we should start to see broccoli and zucchini coming in. As the season progresses the weekly pickups will become more bountiful, but for now we'll enjoy lots of salad and the sweet taste of the potential this season holds. We'll send out our next newsletter this Sunday, with more details and a few recipe ideas.

In other farm news, the heat and then the rain has been good for the peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, eggplants and melons. The herb and flower garden has become even more beautiful, and the tomatoes are receiving some much needed attention (it's a bit overwhelming to trellis and prune 1000 plants at the same time). We've been spreading compost on the beds where we'll be planting winter squash and watermelons this week.

We thought it would be nice for you all to know a bit about our farm interns. They have all come to us through an organization called Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Kat is a returning wwoofer from last season and will be graduating from Guilford College in NC next year. She is getting credit for working with us this season and doing a project focusing on how local agriculture can support community peace building. Brian hails from Ohio and has been teaching high school science for the past two years. He will continue his wwoofing adventure for the next 14 months, down the east coast and up the west. Colleen, Mochi and their daughter Ambiana joined us on Sunday. They've been on a journey since September through Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US picking up lots of farming tricks they plan to use when they start their own farm in Vermont. We are so lucky to have such an interesting, hard working, and loveable crew.

We look forward to seeing you next week.


Bonnie, Oliver and the crew