Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 19 (A-Week) Share List and Farm News

FARM NEWS: Sign ups for our Winter CSA Share are now open! Winter Shares are important not only to customers who want to continue eating locally and seasonally through the winter, but also to our farm community. Because our members have supported the Winter Share over the past years, we have been able keep at least some of our great farm staff with a job year-round, so that they can support their families in a more stable way than the traditional “growing season” often allows. 
Those who have experienced the Winter Share can vouch that it is a throwback to times before mass transportation and globalization, when Americans could get whatever they want to eat, whenever they want. Diversity remains high through the early winter, when we are able to offer both storage crops (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions etc) as well as cold-hardy greens from the field. During deep winter (Jan and Feb) we look forward to giving out in addition to the storage crops, delicious, quick-frozen crops we’ve stored this fall, including green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet corn. Last year we made a large investment in 2 new “high tunnels”, adding more than 10,000 square feet of indoor growing space for spinach, lettuces, kale, and other hardy greens in the winter, in addition to the 10,000 feet we have already been using on the farm. These spaces are heated only by the sun, and no fossil fuels are burned to bring you farm-fresh greens all winter (or most of it)!
We’ve also been pickling, pesto-ing, and raising chickens to prepare for winter share. These items will appear in add-on options such as the Shopping Basket share, the Locavore share, and the Meat Share. Although our Plant Share is not delivered until next May, you can sign up for it now with the rest of your shares! (or you can wait a bit as well until gardening is more on your mind!)
We are happy to announce new pick-up locations in Carroll Gardens (for winter), Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, and are working on setting something up for our members on the UWS of Manhattan (sorry not available quite yet! More news to come). Remember to tell your friends that you don’t have to be a summer share member, to get winter share. All the info, and signup process is on our website at 
In other news, CSA members on Long Island should remember that our PumpkinFest Funpass (admission to the Kids’ Play Area, normally $10 per child and $5 for adults) is free for CSA members. Just ask for a wristband at the register or at the entrance to the Play Area.  Each weekend till Halloween we have our huge hay tower, Go Kart track, farm animals, hayrides, pony rides (1-4pm), organic “Corn” Maze, and more (Weather permitting).
We’re also gearing up for Gleaning (Sunday October 25, 10am-noon) and Oktoberfest (Sat and Sun Oct 24-25, 10am-5pm). Oktoberfest is a Music Festival to benefit WUSB public radio, Long Island’s largest not-for—profit radio station. You can buy tickets by clicking on the link to the date of your choice: Hope to see you at some of these events!

Share items for Oct 14, 17:
Pea shoots, 1 bag ($3)
Tatsoi, 1 bag ($3)
Radishes, 1 bu ($2)
head lettuce (Romaine) ($3)
purple potatoes, 1 lb ($2)
Acorn squash “cream of the crop” variety ($3)
Spaghetti squash ($4)
Sweet peppers 2-3 ($3)
Shishito Peppers 3-5 ($4)
String beans, 1 qt ($5)

Fruit share:  Sekel Pears (fun little snack pears, eat them whole), 1 qt ($6), AND mixed varieties apples 3 lbs ($10.50)

Flower share: REMINDER: Flower shares end on Oct 24 – this is the next-to-last week for flowers! (and it is your last week if you are biweekly A week flower share): marigolds, celosia, cosmos

Egg Share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Cheese share: To be determined

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 18 (B-Week) Share List and Farm News

FARM NEWS: Today we wanted to give you some insight into the way our packing house works. Most farms have enough work on their hands with just growing, harvesting, and packing the produce into boxes, where it gets taken away by a wholesale distributor. We have the additional challenge of BEING that distributor ourselves.

There are 14 dropoff sites peppered around 5 counties. 4 to 8 different kinds of shares are being given out on any given week. Then there are different counts for the A and the B week schedules. So this makes literally over 200 different numbers that the Packing House Manager needs to work with,  over the course of 2 weeks! Where many farms just have storage shelves on the wall, we have white boards with giant spreadsheets!

The job of getting the correct amount of produce picked, washed, packed, and delivered to you is one of the most challenging on the farm. To help you understand how  hard this job actually is, it involves working lifting the 40 lb crates of produce day in and day out, as well as some pretty advanced arithmetic (such as counting produce in crates, multiplying by how many crates, dividing by the number of members per site, etc) and a good memory for special orders, paperwork, and more.
 Our Packing House Manager Ernesto, who has filled this position for more than 5 years, came down suddenly with Appendicitis at the beginning of August and was been out since then recovering from surgery. He just returned to work this week. Welcome back Ernesto! In the meantime two other staff members Chris and Onorio have pitched in to fill the job, which was new to them.  Thank you Chris and Onorio!

All it takes to make a mistake, is to count wrong or use the wrong number. This causes an occasional shortage of something like one bunch of flowers or a couple of half dozens of eggs. We know that when those last few people coming to pick up their shares realize they’ll have to wait for us to make it up to them, we know this makes people sad and upset. We so much appreciate your patience with this system, which we continue to strive to improve so as to make things run smoothly all of the time, not just most of the time.

These days we are competing not only with other CSAs nearby, farmers markets nearby, but also with so many door-to-door delivery services (they mess up your order too sometimes!), faux-CSA delivery services (aggregators buying wholesale from a variety of sources, and putting a box together – with most of the produce NOT being organic in most cases), and supermarkets doing delivery and selling organic produce – mostly non-locally grown – for which the farmer received almost nothing.
Your support of CSA support really makes our farm possible! It really makes a difference to us, and makes it possible for this 85 acres out here on the East End of Long Island to stay open and agricultural. It makes it possible for us to offer fun activities in the summer for visitors like you, to enjoy a slice of country life and learn about where your food comes from. If you are reading this and your friends and family are not newsletter readers, please let them know for us! CSA started out as an ideological movement, and became more of a consumer option, but it is still one that really contributes to doing good in the world, above and beyond the transactions that we both engage in. We just want to make sure you are aware of our appreciation.

Share items for Oct 7, 10:
Red and green shishito gourmet peppers, 10 (excellent roasted, or with potatoes, you can also preserve them in oil in the fridge after roasting) ($5)
Red onion, 1 ($1)
Bok Choi, 1 head ($3)
Tat Soi (green or purple) (like Bok choi, great sautéed with some garlic and soy sauce for a stir-fry), 1 bag ($3)
String beans, green purple or yellow, 1 quart ($5)
Winter squash, spaghetti AND Acorn (1 piece each) ($6)
Potatoes, 1 quart ($4)
Spinach, 1 bag ($4)
Radishes, 1 bu ($2.50)
one tomato – most likely the last of the season! Proud to be bringing you tomatoes in October, when no other CSA is giving any to their members. ($2)


Fruit share:   3 lb apples mixed varieties Macintosh, Gala and others ($11) AND sekel pears (fun mini pears that kids and adults love) ($5). Total Value: $16

Flower share: cosmos, celosia

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 17 (A-Week) Share List and Farm News

A-week (cheese and meat)

Farm News: Still waiting for rain, which may arrive this week and thus cause a whole different set of problems from drought! We are harvesting lots of potatoes and other storage crops, to get them out of the field before the eventual bad weather hits. We are getting greenhouses ready for winter crops and will have our winter share signups up hopefully by next week. We will let you know! Everything for the rest of the season is done being seeded and planted out into the field. Whew!

We have a lot of fun events at the farm. Our new “Kiddie Korral” play area is free for all CSA members, so come on down! It includes hayrides and pony rides (weather permitting) 12-4 on weekends. October 24-25 is our annual Oktoberfest to benefit WUSB radio, the largest not-for-profit radio station on Long Island! We are hosting a Gleaning of the field on on Sunday October 24 from 10am-12pm. This is a free event (does not require RSVP) we host several synagogue groups who come out and harvest crops that are not saleable or have been left behind in the fields. Usually several hundred people come out, and about a thousand pounds of produce are donated to Island Cares Food Bank. More info as usual on our website

Share items for Sept 30, Oct 3 (best guess in advance):
Baby beets, 1 bu
Cherry tomatoes, 1 box
Braising greens
Sweet Peppers
Shishito peppers
Mixed colored string beans, 1 qt
Lettuce, 1 head
Garlic, 1 bulb

Fruit share:   WED:  mixed apples and other items. SAT: apples AND sekel pears. 

Flower share: zinnias, celosia, cosmos, etc.

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Cheese share:
·         Tres Bonne - Aged (3 mos) Goat's milk cheese from Vermont, slightly sweet and nutty with a sweet milk finish. This farmstead cheese is made at Boston Post Dairy - VT. Pairs with Sparkling wine or Chianti Riserva. American Cheese Society Award Winner.
·         Shelburne One Year Aged Cheddar - Made at Shelburne Farms in VT, this rich complex farmstead Cheddar has a slight creaminess and medium Cheddar bite. Made from the natural milk of pure bred Brown Swiss cows. American Cheese Society Award Winner. Pairs with Sauvignon Blanc wine.
·         Boucher Blue Cheese - Smooth and creamy with undertones of chestnuts, sweet hay and truffles this raw milk farmstead cheese aged 3-4 mos is made at Boucher Family Farm in VT and is modeled after the French Fourme d'Ambert. American Cheese Society Award Winner. Pairs with Port.

Meat share: whole Garden of Eve-raised chickens, beef, assorted cuts.

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 15 (A-Week) Share List and Farm News

Week 15 (A-Week, cheese share, no meat share)

FARM NEWS: Our Garlic Festival is this Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm. Of course admission is free for CSA members – as always! In addition to lots of vendors selling garlic foods, sauces, and crafts, we’ll be doing hayrides, talks on growing garlic, and more! We are still looking for entrants for the garlic eating contest, and Junior Garlic Iron chef, where kids in teams of 1-3 make a garlicky sauce out of ingredients that we give them! They win prizes and trophies! If you are interested, please email us! More info and festival schedule is here:

            Fall crops are coming in. Tomatoes are starting to wind down and sweet corn, sadly, is done. We are proud to be giving you another new winter squash – acorn! Roast it whole, or cut in  half and put a little butter and brown sugar inside each cup, when you roast in the oven. An easy and fast dinner. And we finally got some rain this past week! what a relief.

Share items for Sept 16, Sept 19 (best guess in advance):

Garlic, 1 bulb German White variety
Acorn squash, 1
Cherry or plum tomatoes, 1 pint OR 1 red slicing tomato
arugula, .25 lb loose
Trendy Shishito peppers – so good roasted whole! – 4-6
Hot peppers, 2
Broccoli rabe, 1 bu (for those of you new to the CSA, our broccoli rabe is mostly leaf – it has not yet developed large florets like you might have seen in store-bought broccoli rabe – but you cook it the same way, chop and sautee in oil with some garlic! Great on pasta)
Potatoes, 2 lb mixed types
Fennel, 2 bulbs

Fruit share: apples, 2 lbs, AND 1 other item (plums or grapes)

Flower share: cosmos, gomphrena, sunflowers, etc.

Egg share: ½ doz pastured eggs

Cheese share: one piece Thistle Hill Tarentaise, a certified organic, award-winning cheese from Vermont that has been featured in Martha Stewart Living ( AND  Champlain Valley Creamery Triple Cream button. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 14 (B-Week) Share List and Farm News

FARM NEWS: Welcome this week to all our new Fall Share members! We created the new “Fall Share” this year (it consists of the second half of the CSA season, Sept-Nov) to allow those who may have summer vacation schedules that conflict with CSA or other issues, to still participate in the fall. Overall, our CSA membership was down somewhat this year, despite a really strong vegetable growing season last year. Especially at our NYC locations, we feel we are now competing with so many “CSA-style” delivery services that offer door-to-door service, but lack a connection with any specific farm, and are usually NOT organic (even though they gloss over that fact by using the “local” and “sustainable” terms. “sustainable” is a completely unregulated term, and unfortunately is mostly used by “conventional” farms to gloss over the fact that they use the entire arsenal of toxic sprays). These services are still basically just middlemen, as is a supermarket, which pay the farmer very little for their goods, and make it difficult for farms to thrive in expensive, semi-suburban areas like ours on Long Island.

So we are happy to welcome our 60 new Fall Share members! Please feel free to greet them at pick up, and if you notice new people, feel free to explain how the CSA works, as they’ll be picking up for the first time this week! 

Coming in to the home stretch of the farm season, we harvested tons and tons of winter squash last week, which is appearing in shares this week – spaghetti squash! A favorite of children and adults alike, you can roast it whole or even microwave it (stab a few times with a knife to let steam through the shell), then just scrape out the inside, add a little butter and salt and voila! The original veggie spaghetti.

Soon it will be time to plant garlic again soon for next year – don’t forget our upcoming LI Garlic Fest September 19 & 20! Lots of fun at the Garlic Eating Contest, and $100 cash prize!

YOM KIPPUR NOTE: If there are Jewish members who cannot pick up on the usual dates for religious observance, contact the farm directly and we’ll work out a make-up on a case-by case basis.

Share items for Sept 9, 12 (best guess in advance):
Cherry tomatoes, 1 box
String beans green or yellow
sweet peppers
spaghetti squash
salad turnips OR radishes, 1 bu

Possibly: (sending this list out earlier than usual)
Sweet corn
Hot peppers
Broccoli rabe
Fruit share: Plums AND peaches
Flower share: zinnias, goldenrod, sunflowers, celosia, etc.
Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market