Keep farming, feed people, build community
July 11, 2022
Notes From the Farm
Please note: summer camp at Massaro begins this week. There will be peak traffic in the parking area for camp pickup from 3:15-3:45pm, from July 11-August 19.
Tomatoes are starting to show some color in our high tunnels, so we’ll harvest a mix of red and green for you, plus some plum or cherry tomatoes as well. Green tomatoes can be left on the counter, table or windowsill to ripen or be used green in many ways. Cucumbers are just beginning to size up as well so we’re hoping to include a couple for everyone this week, along with plenty of zucchini and summer squashes. If the shapes and colors of some of the summer squashes are unfamiliar to you – like ‘zephyr’ the mixed yellow/green squash or ‘patty pan’ the flying saucer type squash, don’t worry; they have a taste, texture and consistency just like the zucchini or yellow crookneck squash you have used before and can be used interchangeably. We’re also harvesting fennel this week – which goes great in salads, pasta dishes, fish dishes, pickles and more – plus torpedo onions, green beans, collards or broccoli greens. Broccoli is closely related to collards, kale, cauliflower, they are the same genus and species in fact: Brassica oleraceae. Broccoli has been bred and selected over time to make the heads and sprouting types that we’ve come to know today. At Massaro we grow more of the sprouting types, but for both types the greens or leaves of the broccoli plant are edible, delicious and nutritious, closely resembling collards. These greens unfortunately are often cut away at harvest and are rarely found in stores. We’ve harvested most of the sprouts we’ll get from our spring broccoli planting, but before mowing down the plants and turning them in to soil, we’ll harvest what we can of the greens alongside our collards; you’ll likely get one or the other this week.
Eggs: in case you missed it in our newsletter last week, please note that we are currently supplementing our egg supply from 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, Cucumber, Green & Red Tomatoes, Fennel, Collards or Broccoli Greens, Scallions or Torpedo Onions, Lettuce Green Beans
Closed this week – 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
Braised Fennel with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers
- 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed (3/4 to 1 lb. after trimming)
- 1-1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced fresh tomato or green tomato (2 or 3 small tomatoes) OR a 28-oz. can whole tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), drained, seeded, and diced
- 3 Tbs. capers, drained and rinsed
- 8 large green Sicilian or Cerignola olives
- Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise and then cut each half lengthwise into four 1-1/2-inch-thick wedges. Trim a little of the core but leave enough to hold the layers together.
- With a pairing knife, slice the olive flesh off the pits lengthwise.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, one cut side down, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, turning once with tongs, until the wedges are lightly browned on both cut sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and gently so as not to break up the fennel wedges, until the onions are slightly softened and browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, capers, and olives to the pan along with 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low or low, to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until the fennel wedges are fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and simmer briskly until most of the liquid evaporates, leaving a thick sauce, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Serve on its own with pasta or as a side with grilled swordfish or tuna, roast chicken, or grilled sausages.
Green Beans and Summer Squash Salad
- 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot or fresh onion, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups rainbow chard, torn
- 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- In a large saucepan cook the green beans in boiling water 7 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; drain again.
- Meanwhile, for dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the shallot, the Dijon mustard, and the garlic.
- In an extra-large bowl combine the rainbow chard, the red kidney beans, the yellow squash, and the green beans. Drizzle with the dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the walnuts.
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