Notes from the Farm

Week #1 of the 2016 CSA is here and it marks the first harvest of our seventh growing year at Massaro.  It has been an interesting winter and spring leading up to this moment with multiple stretches in these months that were unseasonably warm or unseasonably cold,  overly wet or overly dry.  It seems that abnormal weather conditions have become the norm here and around the globe.  We work with the conditions on the farm no matter what they may be and find ourselves now in mid-June ready to harvest our overwintered and spring-planted crops just as we would hope to do.

Those of you who have been part of the CSA in previous years will probably remember that the early season harvest is a bit lighter than the mid-season picking, with a good amount of leafy greens in the first month, along with root crops, herbs, and the heavier fruiting crops soon to follow.  I trust you have not forgotten our famous strawberries, which will be featured in our first week’s harvest along with garlic scapes, lettuce, kale, spring onions and more.

Below is a list of important reminders about the CSA, a mini orientation of sorts to help get you prepared for the harvest season. Please read through it to make sure you are ready for the first pickup. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!

Best,

Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Alyssa, Diane, Tyler, Ed, Genna, Dan, Jocelyn, Jon and Ella

Important CSA Reminders

Looking ahead on your calendar:

The 4th of July falls on a Monday this year, but since we know many of you might be heading out town for a long weekend, we’ll move our normal Friday pick up to Thursday, June 30. Pick up hours will remain the same 2:30pm-6:30pm. And of course, if you need to switch to a Tuesday pick up for that week, please let us know a week in advance so we can plan accordingly.  Normal pickup days resume the following week with pickups on Tuesday, July 5 and Friday, July 8.
Communications:

We send out a weekly CSA newsletter during the harvest season, and additional messages throughout the year.  Please read them. There is often helpful information in them, important information relevant to you that might answer questions you have, and possibly even great photos or fun and funny anecdotes from the farm that you’ll enjoy.   Our website is also updated regularly with those newsletters, as is our facebook, twitter and instagram, so you can check us out in the real world and in the virtual world too.

If you have a question, request, feedback, or need to be in touch for any reason, emailing us at  csa@massarofarmcsa.org is the best means of communication.  This email is checked regularly, and we do our best to respond quickly.  We’d love to talk with you when you are here on the farm and we can usually be found around the barn during CSA pickup hours, so grab our ears, pick our brains, chat us up or tell us what’s on your mind!

Pick up Days: Tuesday or Friday, please come to the farm on your designated day. If you need to switch days, please email csa@massarofarmcsa.org to make arrangements. Wednesdays in New Haven, at Cedarhurst Cafe; *Please Note: Since we have limited capacity for delivery, switching from on-farm pickup to the drop site in New Haven is not possible*
Pick Up Times: 2:30pm-6:30pm at the farm; (New Haven: 3pm-6pm at Cedarhurst)
Bags: Please bring your own bags for your produce. Canvas bags, paper bags and plastic bags can all be used to take home your produce. We do have our own Massaro canvas bags available for sale here at the farm.
What if I miss a week?:  If you are not able to make it to the farm to pick up your produce on a given week, you are welcome to have someone else pick up it up for you. Just have them come to the farm and check off your name. Any produce that is not picked up will be donated, so know that it is put to good use! If you do miss a week, please understand that you are not entitled to additional produce any other week.
Produce Donations:

Part of the farm’s mission and commitment to the community is to donate produce to local hunger relief organizations. To make this happen, we harvest additional produce for donation on CSA distribution days. Any produce not picked up by our CSA members is added to that donation. Thus, if you can’t make it one week to get your vegetables, know that your produce will go to people in need and is never wasted.

CSA is our #1 Commitment: While the fresh produce donations are at the core of our mission, and while we do offer produce at farmers’ markets and to local restaurants, the CSA has always been and continues to be our #1 priority and commitment.  You, as a CSA subscriber come first.   We know how dedicated you are as our CSA subscribers, and your support is essential to maintaining this healthy, vibrant farm in your community.  Our commitment to you as CSA subscribers means that we will never sacrifice the quality and quantity of our produce distributed to the CSA.  We are grateful to those of you who have been with us in the CSA for many years, and welcome those joining for the first time this year.

Want more of our produce?: We will make extra produce available for sale in the barn during CSA pickup hours.  In addition, you can find us at the City Seed Edgewood Park Farmers’ Market on Sundays throughout the season from 10am-1pm, and at Wooster Square on Saturdays in June, November and December on Saturdays from 9am-1pm. You can also find our produce at the Woodbridge Farmers’ Market on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30pm-6:30pm starting at the end of June, and at a handful of local restaurants including Zinc, Caseus, Heirloom, Miya’s and Roia.

Fruit option still available:
Get 15 weeks of fruit from High Hill Orchard when you pick up your veggies. The cost is $90, and includes blueberries, melons, apples and pears. See complete details on our website: www.massarofarmcsa.org
*Please note: there will be no peaches in 2016, as the peach crop was wiped out throughout the state*
Final payments: If you still have a balance for the CSA, please send in your final payments, or be in touch to work out a payment plan. Email csa@massarofarmcsa.org

In This Week’s Distribution

Our Harvest:  Strawberries, Garlic Scapes, Red Russian Kale, Carrots, Red Butter and Green Leaf Lettuce, Red Torpedo Spring Onions,  Flowering Broccoli Rabe

U-Pick: Begins with Cherry Tomatoes in July

Fruit Option: Starts in July

Recipes and Cooking Tips

Kale: Packed with nutrients, this leafy green can be steamed or sautéed and served as a side dish, included in soups, stir fries and casseroles, blended in to green smoothies, or baked in to chips for a great snack.

Lettuce:
Salads, sandwiches… you know what to do.

Garlic Scapes: These are the flowers of the garlic.  You can chop them up and use them just as you would use cloves of garlic.  My favorite thing is to brush them with a touch of oil and put them on the grill until they get a bit crispy.  Eat them on their own as a crispy garlic snack, or chop those up and add them for flavor to any dish.

Sesame Broccoli Rabe with Garlic Scapes and Torpedo Onions

adapted from thekitchn.com; serves 4 as a side dish 

1 bunch broccoli raab
2 red torpedo onions
2 garlic scapes
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Chop the broccoli rabe and including the leaves and flowers. Peel and finely chop the torpedo onions and mince the garlic scapes. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with the sesame oil. Add the garlic and onions and turn the heat to low. Cook slowly over low heat until they soften and turn golden. Add more oil if they begin to look crispy. When golden and fragrant, turn the heat to medium high and add the broccoli raab, stirring constantly. You want the leaves to wilt evenly. Pour in the vinegar and enough soy sauce to dampen the leaves. Cook, stirring, until the soy sauce evaporates somewhat and the leaves are wilted enough for your taste. This might take anywhere from two to five minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

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