Keep farming, feed people, build community
July 5, 2022
Notes From the Farm
Our normal Tuesday on-farm pickup will be held today, Wednesday, July 6; normal hours 2:30-6:30pm.
The fourth of July holiday serves as a marker in the season for us, and a welcome day of rest, as we’ve been working throughout the previous months getting the farm prepped and planted for the height of the season. At this point we have harvested through some early successions of greens and roots like lettuce, carrots and radishes; main summer crops like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants have been planted; trellising to support growth is in place where needed, and our summer squash are yielding fruit, with cucumbers coming soon – a colder May having pushed our first cucumber planting back by a couple weeks. Winter squash were all planted last week and we’ve begun seeding broccoli, kale, cabbage and kohlrabi for fall harvest. Now we are finding the summer rhythm of CSA harvest, continued crop maintenance, weeding, irrigation and more. Plenty happening on the farm for sure!
One impact from spring that we are feeling now is the threat that was posed by highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak
, which you may have read about. We had downsized our flock of laying hens as winter approached, with a plan to add more hens in the spring. With avian flu confirmed in locations throughout the east coast, and an expected 100% mortality rate if our flock were impacted, we decided not to risk bringing in any new birds. Happily, our flock remained healthy, and continues in our pasture, though with fewer hens laying eggs than we planned for. Now that the avian flu threat has passed we’ve been seeking to increase our flock again. Thus far that effort has been unsuccessful and may have to wait until fall. Until then and beginning this week, we’ll supplement our inventory as needed with eggs from other farms in the area, including Sub Edge Farm
in Farmington and Titusville Farm in Poughkeepsie. Both farms raise their chickens on pasture like we do, though neither certify their eggs organic. Thanks for understanding.
-Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Alyssa, Alanna, Ariel, Cass, Hali, Kayla, Leah, Maddie, Maia, MC
This Week’s Anticipated Harvest:
Zucchini & Summer Squash, Beets, Scallions, Green Beans, Lettuce, Kale, Radishes/Salad Turnips or Peas
Closed this week – peas are finished, green beans, cherry tomatoes and herbs are coming soon
CSA parking area/pickup images
See images below for an overhead view of the pickup areas at Massaro and at District.
Recipes and Cooking Ideas
Pasta Salad with Zucchini and Scallions
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if you like
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces or almonds, coarsely chopped
- kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bunches scallion
- crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 pound, or 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 3–4 oz drained capers, optional
- 8 ounces pasta, such as rigatoni or another tubular shape
- 2–3 garlic cloves or scapes, finely grated
- 1–2 lemons, juiced or 2 tbs/28 grams vinegar
- 2–3 ounces parmesan, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup fresh, leafy herbs such as parsley, cilantro, dill and or mint.
1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and fry them till deeply golden brown, smelling almost like popcorn, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon if you have it, remove nuts (leaving oil behind) and transfer to a small bowl; season with salt and set aside.
2. Thinly slice about 1/3 of the scallions and set aside. Coarsely chop the remaining scallions (light and white green parts– the whole thing!) and add to the skillet with oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until they’re lightly browned at the edges and completely tender, bordering on “melty,” 8–10 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes if using, then add half the zucchini.
3. Season zucchini with salt and pepper and let it cook down until tender and translucent, 10–15 minutes. This time will vary depending on the zucchini– larger squash has more water and will take longer to get to that melty translucent stage, but just stir or shake your skillet occasionally, taste one every now and then, and be patient. Once it’s there, add the remaining zucchini (you should have more space in your skillet now) and season again with salt and pepper. Add capers and cook zucchini until it’s wilted and tender, but still has a little bite, another 5–8 minutes or so (you want some very soft, tender zucchini and some less so).
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until just past al dente (you aren’t cooking it again, so it should be basically fully cooked without feeling mushy). Drain and rinse under cold water; set aside.
5. Transfer the zucchini mixture to a large mixing bowl and add garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, and remaining thinly sliced raw scallion; season everything with salt and pepper. Add pasta and gently toss to coat (I don’t even like using a spoon here, just some casual bowl tossing). Season again with more crushed red pepper flakes and lemon juice if you think it needs it.
6. Add half the parmesan, walnuts and herbs and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl (you can also serve out of the bowl you just made it in) and top with remaining parmesan, nuts and herbs.
Kale Pesto (with zucchini noodles)
from Nadine Nelson
Makes 2¼ cups divided between 6 servings
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted or walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds
¼ cup parmesan, grated or nutritional yeast
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons sea salt
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup water
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
1 bunch of kale, 12 ounces roughly chopped
1½ cups basil, parsley, mint (any combination of herbs of your liking), roughly chopped and packed
Vegetable Noodles (or any pasta of your choice)
Cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
Grated Parmesan (optional)
Toasted Pine Nuts (optional)
Place the ingredients in the order listed into the blender or food processor. Blend on low, pushing the kale down little by little. Increase the speed when necessary until the pesto is mostly smooth.
To make vegetable noodles with zucchini, summer squash etc, peel if desired and cut the ends off the zucchini. You should have around one zucchini per person. Push zucchini along the top of the grater in long strokes in order to create long, thin ribbons. Grate zucchini by height not width. Strain and dry “pasta”.
- Serve immediately with vegetable noodles and toppings. If you’re keeping the Kale Pesto for a day or two, cover the surface with plastic wrap or a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from turning brown.
CSA Pickup Instructions and Reminders
A request for 10-week Flexible/Half CSA subscribers:
Please send your pickup plan in an email to [email protected]
if you haven’t already. The majority thus far have chosen to begin picking up Week 1 and doing alternating weeks from there. If you haven’t yet sent your plan in, you can help balance out our harvest days and limit crowding by starting with Week 2 or choosing even numbered weeks (2,4,6, 8, etc.). We generally suggest picking up every other week, beginning either week 1 or 2, but the plan is flexible to allow you to choose any 10 weeks you would like. Please send us your plan now.
Reminder emails from GrownBy: GrownBy sends reminder emails ahead of your CSA pickup day each week for our 20-week subscribers, and uses a default of picking up alternating weeks, beginning with either week 1 or 2 for our 10-week subscribers. We know that many people switch pickup days as needed, and have a different pickup plan than the alternating weeks. As a result, you may receive some reminder emails that don’t match with your pickup plan or changes. Know that we are working with GrownBy to make adjustments to the auto reminder emails. Thank you for patience and understanding on this.
On-Farm Pickups – Tuesdays and Friday, 2:30-6:30pm
Safety is our top priority for everyone on the farm, and Covid remains a risk in our community. With that in mind we’ll plan to move forward with two options for our on-farm CSA pickup, and will adjust as needed during the season:
- Outdoor, drive thru pickup: Pull in to the barn yard area between the red barn and white house for a drive thru pickup of your CSA, which will be bagged for you in advance.
- Barn pickup, fill your own bag, masks optional: Park in the parking area on the north side of the barn, walk down the steps and and enter the barn through the east barn door entry. Our harvest will be set out in bins with instructions for you to select and bag your own produce. Staff and/or volunteers will be there to help you as needed. Please bring your own bag or box. Please help protect our staff and community, do not enter the barn if you are sick, have tested positive for covid in the last 10 days, or have had a known high risk exposure.
- ALWAYS DRIVE SLOWLY at the farm – there is often programming here for kids, and the farm family with young children live here.
- When U-Pick crops are available, we recommend doing U-Pick first, then picking up your CSA when you are done.
- See map in the section below.
Delivery to District – Wednesdays, 3:30-7:30pm
- Located at 470 James St. at State St.
- Go to Door 004 for District Athletic Club (see map below).
- CSA boxes will be stacked through the door and down the hall in the gym kitchen area.
- Pick up time is 3:30-7:30pm on Wednesdays.
- Take only one box of produce unless otherwise indicated, all boxes will be the same. Return your box each week and pick up a new one.
NEW: Summer Flower & Dahlia CSA, 12 weeks – bring a home a beautiful bunch of flowers each week along with your produce. In July and August we’ll harvest a great mix of flowers grown here at Massaro, then in September and October you’ll receive dahlias from our friends at Two Meadow Farm (North Haven) and Off Center Farm (Woodbridge). Bunches will vary week to week as we bring in flowers of different colors, shapes and sizes.
Limited availability; farm pickup only (Tuesday or Friday), $180 ($15/week). Start date Tuesday, July 19; end date Friday, October 7. To reserve your flower CSA, email [email protected]
Egg CSA Subscriptions – sold out; will make more available if possible
- Pickup along with your vegetables on your regular pickup day and location.
- Massaro egg cartons can be returned to us as long as they are in good, clean condition. We are not accepting non-Massaro egg cartons at this time.
- Comes from High Hill Orchard in Meriden.
- Typically begins in early July once blueberries are ready to harvest.
- Pickup along with your vegetables on your regular pickup day and location.
Farm Store – for on-farm pick up only; not available for New Haven delivery
- Our eggs, honey and tomato products will be available each week as long as we have them. Purchase at pickup along with your produce. Note – we reduced our flock of laying hens, and egg availability may be limited.
- Products from our partner farms and local vendors may be available as well.
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, or important updates that might answer questions you have. We try to keep our website updated with those newsletters, and we also share news, stories and photos on facebook, twitter and instagram.
If you have a question, request, feedback, or need to be in touch for any reason, emailing us at [email protected]
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!
Bags: Please do bring a reusable bag or box to take your produce home in. We will have compostable bags available for you if needed.
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. Simply have them come to the farm or District on your behalf. 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 on another week.
Produce Donations: Part of the farm’s mission and commitment to the community is to donate produce to local hunger relief organizations, which is more important than ever right now. 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.
Want more of our produce?: As our harvest allows, we will offer additional produce for sale at the farm. If you don’t see something you want available in the store, please do let us know when you are here and we’ll see if we can offer it. We will be at the Q House market in Hamden on Wednesday afternoons beginning in late June, and some weekend markets again beginning in August.
Payment plans, and final payments: If you signed up through GrownBy for weekly or monthly payment plans, your card will be charged automatically. Please make sure your card is up to date. If you paid by check and you still have a balance for the CSA, please send in your final payments, or email your payment plan to: [email protected]
For years, we’ve been dreaming of a sturdy structure that can host the increasing number of farm visitors. Now, thanks to partnerships with Haynes Group and Emmett O’Brien Technical School, the farm will erect a 20′ x 32′ post-and-beam pavilion in September. If you visit the farm this summer, you’ll likely see the foundation and lumber staged for this project.
This new structure, located in the farm’s Learning Garden adjacent to our new parking area, will provide year-round gathering space for 75-100 guests and expand our sustainability footprint with two composting toilets.
Etch your place in farm history by purchasing a brick that will form the foundation of the pavilion! Revenue raised through the sale of bricks will provide matching funds already received for this project from The Crippled Children’s Fund and Paul and Judy DeCoster.
4″ x 8″ Brick – $100
8″ x 8″ Brick – $250