The Official Bay Ridge CSA Blog
We’re just a few hours away from the first pick-up, and the start of another great season of the Bay Ridge CSA! Here’s what you can expect to receive in a bumper first share of the season
Hard though it is to believe, there is now less than a week until the Bay Ridge CSA season kicks off for another year. After hearing Hearty Roots’ farmer Benjamin Shute’s plans for the year ahead, we’re completely over-excited about another summer of great tasting local vegetables, eggs and fruit coming our way!
From June 9, the CSA pickup takes place every Saturday between 8:30am – 10:30am at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church (on Fourth Avenue between 68th & Senator Streets). Please do be on time, as the pickup ends promptly at 10.30am, and there won’t be any vegetables on the site after this time. If you’re going to be away, or think you might be late, ask a friend to attend the pickup for you to make sure you’re not disappointed!
The first weeks of the CSA are traditionally a little slow on produce, just because the growing season is still getting into full swing. With the weather we have had recently, that might be a little different this year, but don’t be too concerned if you’re getting a lot of garlic scapes in the first few weeks – the season is usually hugely bountiful as the weeks go on!
The fruit share, which is operated by Montgomery Place Orchards, will begin on July 7th for those who have signed up. And as ever, we have partnered with Lewis Waite Farm and their network of local producers to offer Bay Ridge CSA members access to healthy, organic, and locally produced products all year round, including breads, meats, cheese, jams, eggs, grains and syrup. You can find more details at the Lewis Waite Farm website at www.csalewiswaitefarm.com.
The Bay Ridge CSA is a great community of people, and we have events both at the farm and in Brooklyn all season long. This blog, and the Bay Ridge CSA website are good ways to keep up with what’s going on – with plenty of recipes with ideas on what to do with your vegetables. You should also join the Bay Ridge CSA listserv at Yahoo, to enable you to exchange recipes and views with other members.
Now, as a lifelong campaigner to have beets declared unconstitutional, I have to say I’m skeptical. But Bay Ridge CSA member Lenore Montaperto insists that this beet recipe has been a definite hit with non-beet eaters. It also works equally well with potatoes or carrots, so there’s possibly hope for us all!
6 cups coarsely shredded peeled beets (about 6 medium)
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
Canola oil (for frying)
Place beets in large bowl; press with paper towels to absorb any moisture. In another large bowl, whisk flour and next 5 ingredients. Mix in beets, then eggs.
Pour enough oil into large skillet to cover bottom; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, drop beet mixture by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet; spread to 3 1/2-inch rounds.
Fry until golden, about 5 minutes per side.
Still got one or two of those amazing acorn squashes to use up? Why not give this fantastic recipe from Bay Ridge CSA member Anna Thornton Taylor a go?
CORNBREAD STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
There are many different ways to stuff an acorn squash —a ll delicious! I ended up making the following:
Make some fun cornbread (fun =w/corn? w/cheese? w/jalapenos?) and set aside.
Halve acorn squash, remove seeds, brush with olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. Place halves face down on oiled baking sheet for 30 min in 350 degree oven.
Saute an onion, two cloves of the CSA’s aMAZing fresh garlic, two red peppers, and pickled jalapenos in olive oil, and then add a ½ cup of chicken broth to the mixture. Mix in cornbread to make the cornbread stuffing. FYI – I also added an apple to the mixture and I would have added sausage if I had it in the house…
Remove the squash from the oven. Use a wide, flat spatula to turn it over and fill to overflowing with the cornbread stuffing. Bake in oven for another 30 min until squash is tender and stuffing is starting to brown.
TIP: cut a slice on the back of the squash to make it sit flat on the pan.
After my plaintive plea in Friday’s email, two people have stepped up with recipes of their own to share with the group, and we’ll publish both of them here over the next few days. This one’s from Tara Messenger, who picked it up from an Algerian friend of hers. She insists that it “couldn’t be simpler, and it is delicious” so why not try it out today?!
Kahina’s Algerian Roasted Pepper Salad
1. Roast a few green peppers (in the broiler or on the stovetop as you wish), skin, seed and chop.
2. Add a few chopped tomatoes, some salt, and cover with good olive oil.
3. That’s it! Serve with good warm bread, eat and enjoy!
Thinking of complicating this? Maybe think again. Tara says, “After she made it for me, I tried to recreate it, adding garlic, cumin, and lemon juice, but she steered me in the right direction of simplicity. The green peppers and the tomatoes have a lot of natural acidity that balances the salad perfectly.”
Those of you who have the milk share will have been understandably surprised to find a notice at the pickup this week letting you know that the farmer has gone out of business. We wanted to provide you with a little more information on this.
When the farmer was called on Saturday morning (after a communications mix-up caused by various people’s recent vacations), he told us that his business was heavily reliant on sales in the Green Markets around the city. As you may have read in the New York Times recently, business has been way down this summer at those green markets. As a result of this, the farmer has not been able to meet his costs, so in order that his property doesn’t get foreclosed he had to make the quick decision to sell some property and his milking equipment. As a result of this, there will be no more milk – for the CSA or anyone else.
The farmer believes that he will be able to reimburse parties in October. He is incredibly sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment that this has caused. Clearly it’s a situation that demonstrates the perilous nature of local farming in the United States right now, and we’re saddened that another farmer has been forced out of business – something that shows exactly why CSAs are becoming more and more important for small-scale producers of such amazing quality produce.
For those affected by this, we are truly sorry. As the farmer says, we are hopeful that you will be reimbursed within the next few months, and we will keep you updated as and when we hear more.
On another note, there was a recent mix-up involving grapes for people with A week fruit shares, at the August 13th pickup. If you are saying to yourself, “Grape mixup. . .what grapes?” then you are probably one of the 16 A week fruit share holders who did not receive grapes because of a simple miscount of the number of shares necessary to fulfil all Bay Ridge CSA members.
After conversations with Hearty Roots Farms and the Montgomery Orchard, Montgomery Orchard will try to provide an extra helping to those who did not receive their full share on the 13th. At this point, it is unknown what – or when – that extra helping will be. Moreover, we have no records of who didn’t receive those grapes, so it will be up to the share members’honor to decide whether or not they will receive the fruity reimbursement. We know we can rely on our members to do the right thing!
Some weeks the Bay Ridge CSA has surplus vegetables. The Saturday morning volunteers at the CSA who work so hard to make sure you get your share are first rewarded with these leftovers, but the bulk of the surplus goods go to the Ecumenical Neighborhood Lunch Program (ENLP).
The ENLP is a 20 year old lunch program, housed within the Zion Lutheran Church on 63rd St and 4th Ave, and run entirely by volunteers which serves lunches to between 60-100 people every Saturday. The Bay Ridge CSA has been partnering with them for 4 years.
The ENLP has always appreciated the vegetables for two reasons. Firstly, the costs of running a Soup Kitchen on a low budget with an increasing number of guests means what we offer is a real and needed help from a budget perspective. And secondly, as we all know, cheap food is often not quality food. Rarely are the homeless and-near homeless able to eat any fresh vegetables, much less local, organic vegetables. The lunch program is run entirely by volunteers and help is always welcome!
Another ongoing opportunity for outreach will now be available through the community food pantry at Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church. This initiative is being coordinated by one of our members, Danielle Bullock. Though the food pantry is long established at the church, she had the thought that this could be an opportunity for the members of our CSA to contribute to the wellbeing of the greater Bay Ridge Community. Next to the registration table each Saturday, you will find a container in which non-perishables will be gathered.
While certain popular objects will be gratefully received by the food pantry (for example, canned beans, pasta, rice, canned vegetables, oatmeal, peanut butter, tuna, canned fruit, toiletries, etc.), there is also a real need for products that are low in salt and chemical additives – many who come to the food pantry suffer from diabetes and/or high blood pressure.
Never seen garlic scapes before, and wondering what to do with them after today’s pick-up? Garlic scapes – a stem that’s removed from garlic plants as they grow, in order to focus the plant’s energy on the bulb are a regular feature of the early weeks of the CSA. Fortunately some seasoned CSA members are well used to finding new and exciting ways to use the scapes, so why not try this recipe for Garlic Scapes Bruschetta from Chiara Scandone.
1. Take the scapes and put them in a lightly oiled roasting pan,
2. Roast in a hot oven (425 °F) for 35- 45 minutes or until they are
beginning to turn brown. Or grill them over medium flame.
3. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste and fresh olive oil.
4. Toss to guarantee seasoning, cut into bite-friendly pieces, and serve on
a slice of toasted bread slightly covered with goat cheese.
OPTIONAL: add hot pepper flakes if you enjoy some heat.
There’s now just four days until the BayRidge CSA season for 2011 kicks off – hope you’re all as excited as we are about the prospect of a whole summer of great tasting local vegetables! The whole CSA team looking forward to seeing you all at the pick-up point over the coming weeks!
This year for the first time ever, the Bay Ridge CSA is offering a milk share alongside its vegetable and fruit shares. We’ve teamed up with Duncan Dairy Farm in Troy, NY, for this exciting new venture, which will provide members with access to great tasting fresh milk straight from the farm.
Milk from this 4th generation dairy farm is low temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized from grass-fed Holstein cow as, who have no antibiotic or hormones administered to them. You can Find out more about about the farm either at their website or take a look here.
Members signing up for the share can choose between a full share or half share, and will receive half a gallon of milk for each week of their share. The Full Share price is $154 for 22 weeks, while the Half Share costs $77. This equates to $5.00 per half gallon, with a $2.00 glass bottle deposit. The deposit will be reimbursed to you at the end of the season based on the number of bottles returned.
We’re also hoping to have some samples available at the CSA pickup this weekend, so if you want to try before you buy, come along to taste the milk for yourself on Saturday.
See you at the weekend!
As we get ever closer to the holiday, thoughts turn inevitably towards the Thanksgiving dinner! And you’ll be pleased to know that this year Hearty Roots are again making a special one-off Thanksgiving share available – a one-time bonus delivery of fall favorites, good for a Thanksgiving feast, but also good for storing well into the winter.
This is separate from the traditional CSA, so to sign up, please visit http://heartyroots.com/thanksgivingbrooklyn.htm. There you can reserve your share and pay through PayPal.
More details on the Thanksgiving share below. But before you take a look, just a quick reminder that it’s also time to renew your CSA membership for next year. You can save money by signing up today and sending your deposit check in, so don’t miss out! The form is attached here for your convenience.
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When & where do I pick up?
Pick up on Saturday, November 20th at the regular location. If you can’t make it to pick up, just send a friend or neighbor and tell them to check off your name from the list.
How do I sign up and how much does it cost
You can purchase your Thanksgiving Share directly through the Hearty Roots Farm web site, using a credit card, debit card, or Paypal account. The cost for the vegetable share, which contains quite a bit more produce than a typical CSA delivery (since it will store so well), is $40. We estimate that if you were to buy the same produce at the farmers’ market or grocery store, you would spend about $60. Quantities are limited, so please sign up soon.
What’s in a share?
The share from Hearty Roots Farm will likely include:
Salad greens – 1/2 lb. (will keep for a week in the fridge)
Spinach – 1 lb. (will keep for a week in the fridge)
Root vegetables (mix of potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, and celery root) – total of about 10 lb. (will store for weeks in the fridge)
Cooking greens (kale or collards) – 2 lb. greens (will keep for a week or two in the fridge)
Butternut Squash – 3 squashes (will store for months at room temperature)
Garlic – 3 bulbs (will store for months at room temperature)
Weekly Veggie & Fruit list normally posted here.
2013 Veggie Shares start June 8th!
Fruit starts July 6th!
Next Lewis Waite Farm delivery
Order Pickup: May 14th(Tuesday)
Deadline to Order: May 8th (Wednesday)