I'm trying to find those small moments to enjoy the beauty in what we are doing right now. I hold so much profound wonder and awe for the world around me at bay so I can make myself efficient, make sure we are all on task and ready for the next one. We are in a start up year, and we asked for this, and we are only grateful for this farm, and we are pushing ourselves harder than we ever have to make it work. And luckily we have an amazing crew who are all willing to keep pushing, even when the sky opens up and we are all drenched in a cold rain for hours trying to get the harvest out of the field.
Last Monday was 97 degrees, today was cold rain. We've got to call it what it is: Climate Change. I can't help but wonder, as I'm modifying my plans based on extreme weather if my time wouldn't be better spent sabotaging oil rigs or protesting in front of the White House. I want to write more on this, but it's 8:52 and I've got a lot more to do before bed, but it wouldn't be right to not call it what it is. Here's an interesting article I read while attempting to write a more Climate/Environment focused blog that will just have to wait: Solving the Plastic Issue: In Depth

On that note, though, we are bringing your vegetables from a little farther now - it would take major systemic change to have everyone's food grow in their own town (something we've experienced first hand). So I did the math, and it takes 6 gallons of diesel to make a round trip to one of our CSA pick up sites. 6 gallons/160 CSA members*16 weeks means .6 gallons of diesel per share. I'd love to be able to afford electric vans and solar panels, but for now, .6 gallons/share is pretty good. We use more fuel on the farm to bring the harvest in, fuel our tractors, pick up supplies, probably another .6 gallons/share (mix diesel and gas). Plus we have supplies shipped to us, so probably another .6 gallons (that's completely a guess, I actually haven't tried to calculate that). Although it's argued that worrying about our personal carbon footprints is a distraction from advocating for corporate accountability and major systemic change, it does matter when it comes to supporting local businesses.

We couldn't be here without your support, and we like providing produce that uses minimal fossil fuel inputs. We are excited to move past year one and really start to innovate ways in which we can reduce that even further.
And we really wouldn't be here without our team! Seriously - without the people who day after day, week after week, year after year show up and give their best regardless of the weather or their feelings about the task at hand. We've got a really great crew this year. I wanted to highlight each of them in these emails so you can know the people growing your food a little more.

Haley (above in the helmet with the post pounder) joined us in April this year with some vegetable production experience and a lot of animal husbandry experience. She's got a great attitude, asks great questions and is happy to do everything, including drive the box truck around and distribute produce! For those of you lucky enough to meet her, know that although she seems perfectly adept at managing a retail/distribution space, she's also great and getting all of the jobs on the farm done as well. I snapped this the other day while we were pounding tomato stakes in the caterpillar tunnels because I wanted to make sure you saw this side of her too!
I also wanted to make sure you knew that we reached our goal to donate 20 CSA shares to local food pantries. We promised to donate 10 shares no matter what, but asked our members to match our donation, and through matches and some additional funds from the Community Supporter Shares we were able to meet our goal. On Tuesday 12 shares go to the Holliston, Pepperell and Ashland Food Pantries, and on Thursday 4 shares and any surplus goes to a community food pantry in Framingham, and on Saturdays 4 shares plus extra produce goes to Project Just Because in Hopkinton. I've gotten some great feedback from some of the Food Pantries already about how happy their clients are to have a variety of fresh produce to select from. Thank you, all for your support.

We were also able to donate many seedlings to area community gardens and organizations growing food for hunger relief this spring after our seeding sale.
We've managed to make some progress on our wash and pack area! Right now we are still using that little cooler trailer as our only refrigeration (It's packed to gills right now with Tuesday's CSA Shares), but the washable wall and ceilings are going up, hopefully coolers will be built in the next month . . . Building infrastructure while farming full tilt is definitely not ideal, but we were supposed to close in October last year, and we lost 3 months of time to work on infrastructure. It's ok - we're doing it!
So . . . What's in the Share?

We are very happy with how our crops are coming out of the field. We invested heavily in compost and committed to following the recommendation from an agronomist based on our soil tests and we are seeing the results! (Plus its new vegetable fields, so pest pressure is reasonably low . . . but I do think we are doing a really great job.) Wait, sorry, I'm supposed to be telling you what's in the share!

Romain lettuce: one head (these are the bigs ones!)
Choose two bunches of roots: Beets, Turnips, Radish, Scallions, Kohlrabi
Choose two greens: Curly Kale, Tuscan Kale, Swiss Chard, Escarole, Frisee, Bok Choy, Cabbage
Choose one bag of greens: mustard greens, arugula, pea tendrils, microgreens, lettuce spring mix
Sprouting Broccoli: One bunch

Here's some things I'm loving this week

Grilled Scallions (my favorite?). Just clean and trim your scallions, coat with olive oil and grill until tender and a little crisp. Eat whole. Seriously. It's big bunches this week and I bet you can eat them all this way! Or just use half and save the other half to use in a stir fry with bok choy or pea tendrils!

Frisee: These are know as a bitter green, but Jess, Kevin and I just ate a whole head sauteed with a little garlic, oil and salt and wished we had cooked two. It's really special flavor and you won't have a chance to get a head again until fall! (maybe next week, but maybe not!)

Bok Choy: Did you know eating it raw is delicious? I actually serve it to Harvey that way (he's not a big cooked vegetable kid - is any kid?) and he crunches the stems like celery. But dress it up and make a bok choy slaw!

A note on Sprouting Broccoli: The green sprouting broccoli is not producing as heavily, so I will be cycling it through as an option for all the CSA locations, but the purple is yeilding well and is really delicious. The stem is super sweet! Seriously, I chomp a lot of purple broccoli stems in the field right now. A really easy way to prepare them is to trim the bottoms (just barely, the stem is sweet, remember) and either pan fry or grill on medium high to high heat with a little bit of oil until just crispy on two sides. You can cover for the first minute of cooking to get a little steaming action in there.

More recipes from our recipe queen Jess:

These fruit & veggie stuffed wraps were even a hit with my kids! Great to have on hand for quick lunches.

I'm not a fan of fish sauce so I use their suggested substitution of Worcestershire and soy sauce.

This link has a lot of fun facts and info about Rainbow Chard in addition to the mouthwatering recipe!

Don't miss this versatile fall salad with apples, pine nuts and feta.

This pasta salad can be served as a side or as a stand alone. I love the addition of the white beans and sun-dried tomatoes.

Here’s another chance to use up any leftover radishes! Salty feta, sweet honey, tart lime and crunchy pea tendrils and radishes.

If you can't make it, please feel free to send someone else to pick up your share, or reach out to us and we can coordinate an alternate pick up plan.
CSA Pick Up Hours:

Holliston Community Farm
34 Rogers Rd, Holliston
Tuesday, 1pm-6pm

Weston Nurseries
93 East Main St (but don't use the main entrance. At the light in front of the Nursery, turn uphill on Legacy Farm road and make your first right. It's a back entrance and you'll see the box truck!)
Thursday, 12pm-5pm

On Farm
65 Brookline St, Pepperell (but really it's more like 60 Brookline st, just east of where the GPS will take you. There's a big sign and a parking lot.)
Thursday 4pm-7pm

Brittany and the Upswing Farm Team