Monday, November 16, 2015

LAST PICKUP - Week 24 (B-Week) Farm News and Share List

FARM NEWS: Last week of the CSA! Who can believe it? We hope these vegetables make it onto your family’s Thanksgiving table and your own connection to our farm adds to your own Thanksgiving celebration!

Thanks so much to all of our great members for your support. We feel good about the season which although it brought 6 weeks at the height of summer with no rain, we were equipped for this with lots of irrigation and were able to provide bounty, for a very long season. We tried to give out as much produce as you could handle, hopefully you were able to use it all!  We will be sending out some online surveys to you, to get your feedback on this season, and ideas for the future. We appreciate your response, in advance.

FALL SHARE WEEKLY subscribers – don’t forget to pick up your extra box this week! (site coordinators – see names for YOUR SITE at the BOTTOM OF THIS EMAIL)

We started many of the crops you are receiving now, way back in February, or April, or July.  Our farm apprentices who started in August and September are tired, the crew who started in February is tired, and Chris and Eve, who are finishing our 15th year, are tired. Modern farming involves not just growing the crops, but so many details about handling, distribution, storage, certifications, permits, and more. However, at Garden of Eve, things have barely slowed down, as we get ready for the winter growing season and our many winter projects.

The frosts we receive in the fall actually enhance the flavor of many other crops like kale, cabbage and carrots.  When these plants get hit with frost they produce sugar to protect them from the winter weather.  That is why the greens that are given out this time of year, and in the Winter Share, are so delicious. It is a real treat to have these vegetables harvested at this late stage of the season, instead of those from grocery stores, which are ripened in warmer growing regions and as a result don’t have as full flavor.

We’re gearing up for winter shares! Don’t forget to sign up for winter shares at at Riverhead, Roslyn, Glendale,  Bushwick, Williamsburg, Manhattan, or Kensington-Windsor-Terrace, till Dec 1 and First pickup is Dec 5!

These are some of the items that are likely to be in the December Winter share: Kale; Spinach; Swiss chard; Onions;
Fingerling potatoes; Garlic; Squash; Mesclun mix; Radishes; Popcorn; Broccoli; 2-3 dozen eggs; Turnips; Broccoli; Broccoli raab

Returning member signups (with the usual returning member discount – you pay 2015 prices for 2016 shares!) will start soon. We will send you an email with the discount code and signup link within 2 weeks!

Share items for Nov 18, 21:
1 bunch Kale or collard greens
Head lettuce or salad greens
Wild arugula 1 bunch
Potatoes, 3 lbs
Carrots, 1lb
1 napa or green cabbage
Garlic 1 small
1 or 2 Onions
.10 lb parsley
2 sprigs sage classic thanksgiving herb
One large winter squash or pumpkin
1 popcorn

Fruit share: 3 lbs apples – some fresh eating and some baking or sauce varieties bosc pears 1lb

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs



Kensington/Windsor Terrace WED
Kensington/Windsor Terrace WED

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 23 (A-Week) Farm News and Share List

NOTE: very cool apple recipe here: Thanks to Naomi from Greenpoint Williamsburg CSA. Something good to do with apples!
Alsatian Apple Cake, from The San Francisco Chronical Cookbook Vol II

Ingredients:10 apples, cored and sliced
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick and 1 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup butter
2 cups breadcrumbs (can be homemade)
½ tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp powdered ginger
¾ cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8 inch springform pan. Combine apples, sugar, water, lemon jice and cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until apples are soft but not mushy. Uncover pan during the last few minutes of cooking until liquid evaporates. Discard cinnamon stick. Stir in vanilla.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Add breadcrumbs, stirring until well mixed. Add ground cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar. Heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Spring 1/3 crumb mixture over bottom of pan. Top with half of the apples, then sprinkle with half remaining crumbs. Make a final layer of apples and top with remaining crumbs. Pat smooth. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crumbs are golden.

Farm News: The last of the root crops to be harvested are carrots and rutabaga.  Carrots are as difficult to remove from the ground as they are to weed. We planted many different types but mostly a great storing very sweet variety called “Bolero”. 
As we strive to reduce fertilizer inputs I am proud to say that all of the fertilizer that went into growing these beauties came from the air.  In the spring we planted peas that are a legume, a type of plant that takes nitrogen from the air and fixes it in nodules in their roots. You can see these when you pull the pea plant up.  Peas also produce massive amounts of organic matter which makes the soil light and fluffy, perfect for producing nice straight carrot roots. The nitrogen that was “fixed” from the air into the root nodules, is slowly released as the plant decays after being tilled into the soil.
Producing on-farm fertilizer from peas and compost is a goal of ours. We haven’t done the math on how much energy is saved but just thinking about the alternatives (conventional farms use fertilizer made from petroleum!) makes it feel massive.  If you have never seen how nitrogen fertilizer is made search for images.  You may come across the Texas fertilizer explosion of 2013. We choose peas!
The majority of the farm is now in cover crops: this means the summer crops have been turned under and all that’s left is winter rye, field peas, sorghum, clover, and oats planted to hold the soil against winter winds and erosion. Our field crew spends their time undoing all the hard work of May, June, July and August: unstaking tomatoes, pulling up irrigation lines, picking up row cover. The lambs and ponies are being fed hay since there’s nothing left for them in the fields (especially due to the fall drought, which has put quite a damper on the fall grazing!). We have spent the last few weeks canning and pickling the last of the green tomatoes, split cabbages and whatever else, for winter share use.
Don’t forget to sign up for WINTER SHARE, deadline is Dec 1. We have lots of new locations this year, 11 in all! Sign up online at
Share items for Nov 11 and 14
Carrots, 1 bu or 1 lb
Mesclun, .3 lb
Sweet potatoes, 2 lbs
Winter squash 1 or 2 acorn, butternut, kabocha, Red kuri
Tot soi
Kale, 1 bunch
Potatoes 4 lbs

Fruit share: apples, 4 lbs 

Egg share: ½ dozen eggs

Cheese share: Dutch Farmstead, an aged,raw milk medium firm Gouda style from Cato Corner Farm, lovely for melting, pairs nicely with Pinot Noir and/or Belgian style Ale. AND Eleven Brothers Farm Aged goat's milk cheese, slightly sweet and nutty, pairs with Sparkling Wine, Sauvignon Blanc and/or a Pilsner. This is the last week for the Cheese share. One more week to go for vegetables though!

Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 22 (B-Week) Farm News and Share List

Farm News:  What do buzz words really mean about the food you are eating?   We heard recently that demand for “local” is outstripping demand for “organic”, and will continue to gain in the coming years. This concerns us, because when used without the term organic, “local” almost 100% of the time, means “conventional farmed” which means “lots of chemicals used!”.  And yes, chemicals used nearby! “local” and “sustainable” are good words.  These words are often used by farmers, restaurants and grocery stores to get customers attention and make them feel a connection to their food.   Often it is implied to mean organic. But as an UNREGULATED term, it does not need to mean anything, really. Many chemical-conventional farms use the term “sustainable” when selling their produce. So take this into account when you make your purchasing decisions – as you did by joining our CSA. 

People select “local” in part because they want to supporting their local community or helping to reduce air and water pollution. At a “local”  debate (actually one mile from our farm)  last week  a candidate for Supervisor (Mayor) of our town of Riverhead claimed that they were going to help local farmers by lobbying state and federal government to allow pesticides and water soluble fertilizers that were banned for use on Long Island. Why did the candidate make this statement? Because she “wants to support local”. However, we live on top of an aquifer that is our drinking water supply.  And our ground water seeps into the Peconic Bay, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  Although the only people who see these chemicals being used, usually, are the farmer and the chemical salesperson, after several rain episodes, seasons or years they are seen by everyone, in the form of water tests showing contamination, fish die offs or algae blooms. So no thank you to this type of support! 

We do not use water soluble fertilizers of synthetic pesticides and distribute our “local organic” farm goods within 75 miles of our farm. We just received our updated Organic Certificate (from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY) for 2015-16. Thank you for supporting our farm!

Share items for Nov 4 and 7 (best guess):
Mixed cabbage, 1 head
Red and green tatsoi, 1 bunch
Beets, 1 bunch or 1 pound
Fennel, 1 large head
Kale, 1 bu different types and colors
Broccoli raab
Garlic, 1 small
Swiss chard, 1 bu

Fruit share: apples, 4 lbs 
Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 21 (A-Week) Farm News and Share List

Farm News: One of the most unique aspects of CSA and market farms that makes us different from a wholesale organic conventional farms that sell to supermarkets is the diversity of the crops we grow and the diversity of our staff.  One thing that really struck me this week while teaching a female staff member how to drive one of our tractors is how many women we have working on our farm.  After thinking about it more I realized women represent about 2/3 of our workforce here on the farm.   

Most supermarket-supplying farms are geared towards large acreage and few crops. For example a farm may grow potatoes, cabbage and broccoli on thousands of acres.  Some may grow one crop one year and then another crop the next. This system is favored by wholesalers and supermarkets or anyone who wants to buy cheap and profit from a flooded market. Some people get excited by machinery, computers and robotics in agriculture and think technology will solve all our problems and keep food as cheap as possible.  One recent cold morning I started dreaming about how nice it would to be to have a carrot harvester that I saw online that cuts, washes, bunches and boxes carrots with very little human touch.  That company supplies 95% of the organic carrots sold in the USA and is nowhere near being local.

Farmers like us get caught between trying to defend our prices while upholding diversity and depending on mostly man power or woman power to harvest, clean and pack the vegetables you receive.  For us there is pride in providing a fair wage, housing and food for as much of our staff as we can while teaching a farming philosophy that we hope will someday become the norm.

On a different note, Thanks to those of you we met who came all the way out from NYC and our other CSA sites for our Oktoberfest. As always, great to meet you and thanks for supporting our farm! After Nov1, our Farm Market will be open wed-Sunday 9am – 5:30 pm till the Tues Nov 24. Winter Share signups are open for monthly pick ups Dec-May!

We’d like to extend an invitation to CSA members to join Farmers Eve and Chris, and the Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA group, at the annual Harvest Dinner to be held Saturday Nov 7, from 6-8pm, at Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell St, near the corner with Nassau and McGolrick Park. Please bring a dish to share and a beverage. We hope to meet some of you from nearby sites, such as Bushwick and Glendale especially, and others, in addition to the folks at Greenpoint-Williamsburg who plan and run this lovely event!

Share items for Oct 28 and Oct 31 (best guess):

Sweet potatoes 2 lbs
Arugula 1 bunch
Potatoes Yukon gold 2 lbs
3-5 sweet bell or Italian frying peppers
bok choi, 1-2 heads
Parsley, .10 lb
Onion, 1
Winter squash, 2 mixed, mostly butternut  and spaghetti
Greens, spinach OR kale OR swiss chard 1 bag  ¾ lb or 1 large bunch

Fruit share:   
2 large honey crisp and 2 golden delicious apples AND 2 lb mixed variety yali, bosc and bartlet pears

Flower share: 
last week was the last week of the flower share. See you with flowers in the spring!

½ dozen pastured eggs

Cheese Share: 
This week cheese comes from one of our favorite Hudson Valley Creameries, Chaseholm Farm (formerly called “The Amazing Real Live Food Co.). They sell at some NYC Farmers markets so you may see them someday on a sidewalk near you. They also sponsor periodic “burger nights” at their farm, which we’ve never been to, but sound so fun!

This week you will receive 3 of their offerings:

·         Moonlight Chaorce log: A slightly aged, bloomy rind cheese whose white rind just conceals the ash exterior beneath; ripened gently with a firm chevre style center when the cheese is young. Moonlight is just shy of double ‘créme’ and so is quite rich and savory with a slightly tart center. As it ripens from the outside in the pate sweetens and taking on an evermore delicate body. An ash layer beneath the bloom has characteristics of a goat’s milk St. Maure. Pair with salted almonds and honey.

·         Probiotic Queso Blanco: This is a traditional Latin style cheese also made with unhomogenized whole cow’s milk. We prepare our Queso Blanco in three distinct ways. Often used in cooking, our Queso Blanco is heat friendly and won’t melt as other cheeses do…try sautéing in oil or on the grill.

·         Herbed Farmers Cheese: Basil Garlic Flavor: A fresh, spreadable, ‘boursin’ style cow’s milk cheese made using unhomogenized milk. We offer it in four fabulous garden fresh flavors, each of which is fortified with the powerful probiotic organisms; lactis acidophilus, bifidus longum, lactis rhamnosus and lactococcus lactis — four of the most well researched probiotic strains available.

Meat Share: 
The meat share was originally scheduled for this week, however the Nov share will be postponed to Nov 1, the next A week.


Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 20 (B-Week) Farm News and Share List

Please sign up for your volunteer shift! Wednesday members must volunteer on a Wednesday. Saturday members have a choice between Wednesday and Saturday. We've been short Wednesday volunteers.

Farm News:
Winter Share signups are online

We are coming close to getting our first frost of the season, and it seems an apt time to reflect on the value of a CSA share.  Our goal is to supply 7-10 different vegetable items per week. This week I took a minute to look back over the previous share lists from this summer. I see that we met that goal every week and gave as many 13 items during the peak of summer.  Overall we averaged over 10 items per week.   Our barn and coolers are really becoming full with beets, squash, cabbage, potatoes, and  onions! So we should have no problem finishing strong and continuing to supply good value.  This is certainly not the case with every CSA farm, even in this hurricane-free season.  We do take a fast look online at some other CSAs and often we see that they are giving out 4-5 items, in the same quantities we are giving out 9+ items.

We often get calls from people starting delivery services across LI or NYC, who want us to sell them our produce at a very low wholesale price so they can mark it up and give people “CSA boxes.” We’ve noticed that these “fake-CSA” boxes usually cost $40-$50 for the same quantity you get from your CSA for $26, and that most of the items are not organic. We are happy to see that our members are getting good value in the marketplace.

Thanks to you, our actual CSA customers, we are able to avoid wholesaling, so that we can make a living wage from growing these vegetables. The reality is that we farm in one of the most expensive places in the country.  Our relatives in upstate New York are amazed that we pay 10 times the taxes for our house alone that they pay for a 55 acre farm.  But we love Long Island, which has some of the best soils in our country, and a great climate for growing.  Thank you again, for supporting our farm - Farmer Chris

Share List (best guess in advance)

Vegetable share:
Leeks, 2 or 3
Potatoes, 1 Qt Nicola
Bok choi, 1 head
Butternut squash, 1 
Sweet salad turnips, 1 bu
Kale, 1 bu
Broccoli, 1 head or 1 bag

Fruit share: 1 Quart OR 2 lbs Yali pears AND 2 lb apples


EGG SHARE: ½ dozen pastured eggs