Monday, July 28, 2008

week 7

Hola CSA,

We write from the big apple, having just picked up Oliver's brother Max who's been in Israel for the past year. We welcome Max back and invite all to stop by and get to know him. It's the first time we've left Vermont since firing up the greenhouse this Spring. We've also procured 24 gallons of extra virgin Kalamata olive oil from the Greek mafia in Astoria, Queens. Most of our prepared foods products are made with lots of olive oil and we have found that using really good oil makes a big difference. So now its back to VT and all the projects back home. We have been using the walk in cooler and its working great but we still need to build a roof over it (to keep it working great).

In our absence the woofers have (hopefully) harvested carrots for this week's pickup. Our carrots are truly baby carrots unlike the machine milled water logged mini fingers at Shaw's. They do not need to be peeled, only washed right before crunching (they'll keep longer with their greens cut off, unwashed, stored in a plastic bag). We're not including a recipe for them because we hope you'll savor them raw- they are truly good as gold. Some folks have been enjoying the pick your own green beans, scallions and kale. There is plenty more to pick. Just a reminder, the pyo herbs and flowers do not count as a point, but the veggies do.

Just a few storage and handling suggestions/reminders:

-Don't refrigerate tomatoes

-Don't tie your bags of salad greens closed- they need to breathe too

-Keep herbs at peak freshness in a loosely closed Tupperware with a damp paper towel inside.

This weeks veggie joke:

What did one snowman say to the other snowman?

Something smells like carrots!

Monday, July 21, 2008

week 6

Good morning csa folks,

It been an adventurous week on the farm, topped off by a lightning strike that left us without power from Sunday until last night (hence the newsletter delay). It was back to basics, lugging water up from the creek and using candles for light. Very Little House on the Prairie.

This week we'll offer pick-your-own green beans, as well as garlic. We've also got plenty of summer squash, cucumbers and cabbage. The tomatoes are ripening nicely, (though at a slower clip when it's not sunny). It won't be long now for eggplants and peppers. I personally like to let the peppers fully ripen before picking, so you won't see many green bells at the pickups. The whole mini-baby- veggie thing works well for greens like bok choi, but I'll take a big sweet blocky red pepper over a green one any day.

Speaking of bok choi, people have been telling us how much they like it, well, we'll have it for another week or two and once this planting is gone we'll be choi-less for a couple weeks- so it's a good time to take some. (you may recall a recipe for buttery gingered choi from week 3, you can see all the previous newsletters and recipes at ) This week we'll also start harvesting a new crop of broccoli, one of the varieties is called "Green Goliath" and we think it will live up to its big name! Looking ahead, purple Cauliflower, a favorite from last year should be ready in a couple weeks. We're also anticipating a big potato harvest in mid august maybe we'll make it another CSA helpfest.

Also a reminder that those of you who claim to love kale should be picking it. Its there every week in the PYO garden.


The Teleion Holon crew

Monday, July 14, 2008

week 5

Hello CSA gang, sorry for the newsletter delay, it's the 5th week already and the main season crops are starting to really come in, cukes and zukes in particular. This week we'll include recipes for chilled cucumber yogurt soup, stuffed summer squash, and a zucchini crumble. Having CSA pickups and farmers markets spaced pretty evenly around the week has helped a lot in balancing out our harvest schedule and keeping the produce really fresh. However, we've still been faced with large quantities of food and no way to keep it cold for a day or two between pick ups. Now, with thanks to Frenchy, owner of the Bagel works here in Manchester, we are building ourselves a nice walk in cooler. Hopefully it will be up and running by the time you come this week to pick up.

In other exciting (to us) farm news we have finally gotten our flail chopper running. This machine consists of dangling knives that swing and chop tall grass. The clippings land in an auger which crams them into a sort of fan that blows them up a chute and into a wagon towed behind. The chute is aimed by turning a crank reached from the tractor driver's seat. The whole operation is quite a sight to see, and since the machine is a 40 year old hunk of rust and rubber it is all the more impressive. The hens are loving the fresh cut grass. It provides forage and recreation for the birds, a good fuel source for the compost action and a nice odor blanket for the smelly summer coup.

The flail chopper and walk-in cooler projects have both been helped along tremendously by Yochai, our newest wwoofer who came to us directly from Israel along with his wife, Efrat, and their children, Eitai, Dana and Guy. They are spending 2 months traveling the USA wwoofing on different farms- quite an interesting family vacation. The kids have been our official egg collectors and they have been keeping detailed records of how many they bring in each day. The good news is that the numbers keep going up and all full shares should be able to take a dozen per week from this point on.

Besides eggs, this week we'll have cukes and tomatoes, baby bok choi, zucchini, broccoli, tender salad greens, and a bit of early cabbage. And as always, pick your own herbs, flowers, scallions and greens.

Veggie joke of the week: What do you call it when worms take over the world?
Global Worming


Easy to use in the kitchen, loved by children for snaking, refreshing in salads and exotic if cooked (for those very brave). We grow mostly the small pickling varieties but also some of the fancy long European and Japanese types, let us know what you prefer.


Store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin for about a week. Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus—these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.


You can do a lot of fancy things to the skin of a cucumber, and when it is young, fresh, and unwaxed, it really only needs to be thoroughly washed. However, if the skin seems tough or bitter you can remove it; if the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out.

have fun in the sun

Monday, July 7, 2008

week 4

Hello CSA folks,

Greetings on this late Sunday night. We hope everyone enjoyed the sunny weekend. We had a nice day off on Saturday and a busy market in Dorset today. It was a fairly recreational week with a group field trip to the natural water slide and nearby waterfall in Danby, and a festive July 4th in our "backyard" (Hildene meadow). Lots got done in the fields, high tunnels and the greenhouse, but there is also much value in fun.

We've haven't reported our wwoofer updates for the past couple of weeks, so here's a roundup of the hard working folks currently on the farm. Alicia is Kat's friend from Guilford College (NC) and is a psych/english major who has become a great chicken caretaker. Sara graduated recently from Gordon College in Mass and will be with us for an extended period of time (yay!) before embarking on a career in humanitarian something or other. Job leads would be appreciated. She is our official tomato pruner. Ellie will be going to Washington University this fall and is our soil block prodigy. Annie, who just graduated- from Scripps College in CA- recently joined our team. She and her mother are about to go on an exciting four month trip, spending time in Russia, Ghana, Turkey and India thanks to a sabbatical related grant. She turned 22 today and we are eating delicious cake while writing this newsletter.

This week's veggie offerings are similar to last week's- broccoli, summer squash, salad greens, p.y.o. kale and herbs, and garlic scapes. Here is a somewhat inexact but very delicious recipe from our good friend Theo Talcott of Healthy Future Farm for garlic scape "string beans":

A sweetly spicy side for any main meal.

We hope you all have been enjoying your veggies. Tomatoes and cukes are on the horizon, so be prepared for some fantastic additions to your salads. Speaking of salad, have you heard this charmer: Question: What vegetable do you want on your honeymoon? Answer: Lettuce alone with no dressing.


--the Teleion Holon crew