Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 9/24/2013 11:30am by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Winter Storage Crops and Brassicas!!! Wow and Oh No!

So, the good news is, we’ve been harvesting like crazy. The bad news is, one of our coolers went out and some of our harvested brassicas (like cauliflower) significantly lost shelf life. Imagine the disappointment after growing and harvesting a bumper crop (relative to last year) only to lose it to a storage glitch! So, this week, we are recommending you use your cauliflower quickly and maybe in soup as you will find some spots on the heads. It’s fine for eating, just not pretty. Our cooler has been repaired, so hopefully that’s the end of that issue.

On another note, the days continue to be spectacularly beautiful here on the farm and our fall extension / winter season are filling up nicely. So, if you haven’t reserved your share yet, please consider doing so soon. Hannah

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Acorn Squash, Potatoes, Onions, Cauliflower, Green Peppers, Tomatoes, Garlic, Collards, Bok Choy, Lettuce Heads (Med), Mesclun Mix (Full), Green Beans

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: October 5th from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month April-November).

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkeys available for Thanksgiving! Preorder online or at a staffed distribution!

 

 

 Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Greens

Martha Stewart Living

- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

- 4 cloves garlic, chopped

- Sea salt

-  1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), florets and stems cut into 1-inch pieces (8 to 9 cups)

-  4 1/2 cups filtered water

- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

- 5 large kale or collard leaves, or a combination, tough ends removed and leaves roughly chopped Freshly ground black pepper

 

STEP 1

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat; cook onion, covered, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3 minutes more. Add cauliflower, and pour in filtered water until it reaches just below the top of the cauliflower.

STEP 2

Bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons dill. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in greens, and simmer for 3 minutes.

STEP 3

Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons dill. Puree soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, adding more water (about 1/2 cup) if it's too thick. Return to pot, and reheat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with dill, black pepper, a drizzle of oil, and sea salt.

Posted 9/17/2013 12:44pm by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

This week we got our first visit from students involved in the 2014 Envirothon. This year’s theme is “sustainability” and it was great to walk the farm and see it from the perspective of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! They all seemed fully engaged and interested in all the major sustainability practices here: crop rotation, crop diversity, integrated pest management, attracting beneficial animals, soil fertility, managed grazing, physical removal of weeds, water management, use of alternative energy, and growing to sell locally. As stewards of our land, sustainability means more than just economics (though that’s important too or we won’t be here in the future), it means restoring and rejuvenating the soils that produce so much for us.

Come on out and see what we’ve got going on sometime, Hannah

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Leeks, delicate squash, sungolds, cabbage, eggplant, peppers, snack peppers, broccoli, Valencia tomatoes, garlic, kale and lettuce mix

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: October 5th from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month April-November).

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

 Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!

Broccoli, Leek, and Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices bacon, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3 large leeks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 cups chicken stock

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

3 cups broccoli florets

2 1/2 cups whole milk

3 green onions, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.       Stir the bacon and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until the bacon has turned golden brown and released its grease, about 7 minutes. Add the butter, leeks, onion, and celery. Cook and stir until the leeks have softened, about 7 minutes.

2.       Pour in the chicken stock, potatoes, herbes de Provence, coriander, fennel, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are just beginning to turn tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the milk, and continue simmering until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes more.

3.       Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper; sprinkle with chopped green onions to serve.

 

 

Posted 9/10/2013 11:31am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

The flannel shirts are starting to appear in the wardrobes of the farm crew and a couple of mornings with temperatures in the low 40’s really start to make the reality of fall settle in.  Our winter squash crop is 75% harvested and starting the curing process and we are starting to harvest broccoli and cabbage which feels like a real win for us after a very disappointing Cole crop season last year.  As I strolled around the farm on Sunday evening, it was stunning how different the farm looked- rows of leafy greens, and bushy tops of root vegetables, and where there were tall staked rows of tomatoes and vining melons, now level fields with tracks of the grain drill waiting patiently for the needed rain. The pastures are filled with happily grazing turkeys, hens, and chickens.  Every season brings with it its own beauty- and I’m so happy to be able to be surrounded by it day in and day out!

 
 

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Yellow Watermelon (last of season), Broccoli, Fennel, Red Beets, Lettuce Heads, Chard, Bell Peppers, Snack Peppers, Eggplant, Onions, Garlic, Hot Peppers.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: October 5th from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month April-November).

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now openSign up online or at a staffed distribution

 Pastured Turkey’s available for Thanksgiving- Preorder online or at a staffed distribution!

 

 

Recipe:

Roasted Beets, Fennel, and Apples

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium beets, peeled and quartered

4 apples, cored and chopped

1 heads fennel, trimmed and thickly

sliced

1/2 cup honey Dijon salad dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.       Place the beets, apples, and fennel in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix together the honey Dijon salad dressing, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing mixture over the beets, apples, and fennel and mix well.

3.       Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the beets are tender.

 

 

Posted 9/3/2013 11:59am by Hannah Smith-Brubaker.

Logistical Changes Coming!

What a beautiful day! Clear sky, bright sun and cooler temps…clears my mind enough to remind me to mention a few logistical changes coming up for the next few seasons.

We are going to be experimenting with a few things and look forward to hearing from you regarding how they work for you and we’ll let you know how they are working for us. For one, we are going to try to actually take a break over the holidays this winter. A year-round CSA doesn’t allow for much hibernation – a necessary experience when heading into spring with all its demands.

Here’s what we are planning:

  1. We will offer a 3 week fall extension this year (first three weeks of December). Please reserve your spot by November 1. Perhaps respond early as we anticipate reaching capacity.
  2. We will take a 5 week winter break from mid-December through mid-January.
  3. Winter/Spring season will begin January 21/22 (depending on where your distribution is located) and run until May 27/28 with our typical every-other-week distribution schedule.
  4. Starting with the Winter/Spring season, Harrisburg and perhaps Lewisburg will move to a Wednesday distribution.
  5. Starting with the Fall Extension, we are going to go back to one size share again. This is also part of our quest to give ourselves the gift of a more manageable system. At the end of the 2014 Summer/Fall season we will re-evaluate and look forward to your feedback. The size for the Fall extension and Winter/Spring season will be larger (as it has always been in the winter) to accommodate carrying your family through every-other-week distributions. The size for the Summer/Fall season will be somewhere in between a medium and full share, but closer to the standard full size. We anticipate not everyone will like this change; please know we took the decision seriously and feel we can be better farmers for you with this change. If the share size seems potentially too large for you, please consider the option of sharing with someone.
  6. We’ve decided to accept credit cards. Soon we will begin processing cards on any distribution day with a minimum purchase of $10 and will accept cards through the PayPal system on our website.
  7. We hope to have online sign-up for Fall Extension and Winter/Spring Season available by next week.

I think that’s it for now. Please feel free to ask questions and offer your thoughts! Hannah


IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Sweet corn*, lettuce mix, potatoes, green beans, bell peppers, snack peppers, cucumbers, garlic, heirloom and standard tomatoes, and hot peppers

*from neighbor farm –corn is not certified organic, but is no-spray.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: Sept 7 from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).



Results of Mid-Season Survey – Thanks everyone!

Feedback on Quantity:

 

Quantity expectations are, almost without exception, met or exceeded. We received a lot of feedback from people finding “delight in the bounty.” Some folks expressed a desire for more choice with regard to what goes in their share. We will be experimenting next year with some new options in this area, though we will remain committed to equitable distribution of each week’s harvest.

Feedback on Quality:

 

Quality expectations are met or exceeded. Mostly, we received very good feedback about the quality of items this year. As typically happens, though, the very crops some had some strong negative feedback about are the same crops others extoled as superior. That’s what happens when we choose a diverse ecosystem over standardized production of just a few crops. That said, we work hard to ensure the best quality we can and will continue to focus on improving in this area.

Feedback on Chicken & Eggs:

We always receive very positive feedback about our eggs and chicken, particularly as it relates to taste. Our chicken and eggs taste so good and have such deep colored yolks primarily because of the insects and pasture greens they eat in addition to their grain. We occasionally receive comments about price being higher than other places. This is a bit perplexing to us as we are generally lower than other farmers in our area and, to be blunt, we don’t cover our feed and labor costs for our eggs. We just consider them an important part of our offerings. And, if we convert to non-GMO feed next year, we will have to raise our prices. If you see eggs elsewhere for less, it is not because that farmer can afford to produce them for less (assuming they are also fully pastured). Also, no, storing the eggs point up or point down doesn’t make them last longer. :) However, washing all the protective natural coating off eggs (like is done for a grocery store) decreases storage time. We do spot clean our eggs before packing (but concentrate on clean nesting areas vs cleaning dirty eggs) but, like in all of Europe where eggs are not even refrigerated, we leave the “bloom” on the eggs (meaning our eggs can last for months when properly stored in a cool area).

General Feedback:

Again, people are always so generous with their positive feedback and we love to hear it. We also heard that people appreciate a sign with the week number and extras listing at pickup, that it would be greatly appreciated to get the box predictions in a timelier manner (Thursday) and to “bring back” the sharing table. We will work on all these areas. Just a note, even if you don’t see a tablecloth that says “sharing table” there is always a lot of informal trading of unwanted/wanted produce going on at CSA so feel free to participate!

Posted 8/27/2013 11:07am by Debra Brubaker .
Farm Notes…

School bus #1 streamed by our farm this morning at 7:40 AM…the same exact time it used to come by 28 years ago when, after what seemed like an endless summer, I so eagerly hopped on the school bus-escaping another day of bean picking or tomato sorting.  I must say there is something nice about the academic calendar and the change of routine that it allows.   While the farm doesn’t offer such a drastic change of routine, we are in transition.  All of a sudden we have to hustle to get the summer plants removed from the greenhouses to afford the fall plants that replace them the most growing potential before frost.  Today tomatoes and cucumber plantings are being removed and beds quickly prepped and replanted with kale and spinach.  Winter squash harvest is starting (unfortunately a little prematurely due to some aggressive powdery mildew which caused the plants to die back early.) In the brassica field small heads of broccoli and cabbage are starting to form.  So while I didn’t hop on that school bus this morning, I am getting a good education on all that I missed out on 28 years ago- the school of fall crops.  I’m learning a lot, and enjoying the subtle transitions of the season.  Wishing all of you impacted by the academic calendar a great new beginning! Deb

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Cantaloupe, green beans, bell peppers, snack peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, garlic, herbs, heirloom and standard tomatoes, kale, and hot peppers

Recipe:  I realize we have been throwing lots of sweet peppers your direction.  If they are beginning to fill up your refrigerator drawers may I suggest roasting and freezing them for later use.  Every year I freeze roasted peppers and am so happy to take them out for pizza, roasted red pepper hummus, or for use in a great pasta dish in the cold of winter.  Below is the general process I use.

Roasted Red Peppers-
Directions
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.

Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds.

Once completely cooled, place a typical recipe portion in a Ziploc bag and freeze.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: Sept 7 from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).

Posted 8/20/2013 11:34am by Hannah Smith-Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

If there’s one thing we all have on this farm, it’s an inquisitiveness (OK, an obsession) around creative solutions to problems, including the optimization of underutilized spaces. Sometimes, though, there is so much joy taken in the solving of the problem that we forget to actually enjoy the solution. This was the case with the food dehydrator that Roy installed years ago in some open space in the back of one of the greenhouses. It’s an ingenious contraption, taking advantage of the heat and exhaust system already part of the greenhouse system. Imagine our delight when, after several days of dehydrating tomatoes and cantaloupe in a kitchen-sized dehydrator, that Debra came across this 7 shelf industrial unit one night while closing up the greenhouses! Somewhere in the back of her mind, she probably knew it was there but it certainly hadn’t been on our radar for quite a long time. It required a bit of cleaning out, but boy did it speed up our process. Oh the joy this winter when, on a dark day, we remember we have dehydrated fruit we can eat!

Hannah

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Sweet corn*, bell peppers, snack peppers (Carmen, Jimmy Nardello, Yummy), eggplant, cucumbers, onions, garlic, herbs, hot peppers, heirloom and standard tomatoes, watermelon** and chard**

*Corn is from neighbor’s farm - not certified organic, but non-GMO/no spray. **watermelon and chard are outside the box - don’t forget to pick them up!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Farm Breakfast: Sept 7 from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).

Roasted Tomato Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

3 yellow or red bell peppers

8 cherry tomatoes or cubed standard tomatoes

2 cups boiling water

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil1 small bunch fresh basil, thyme, parsley or oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 ounces goat cheese

1 loaf of crusty French bread

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) then lightly oil a shallow sheet pan with one tablespoon of the olive oil.

Cut each pepper in half then remove the membrane and seeds, but leave the stalk intact. (The stalks are not edible, however, will help the peppers keep their shape while roasting). Lay the pepper halves in the oiled sheet pan with the inside of the pepper halves facing up.

Score an “x” into the bottom of each tomato then place into a heat-safe bowl. Pour the hot water over the tomatoes and leave for one minute. Drain the tomatoes and use fingers to slide the skins from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into quarters (or cube), evenly divide and add to each pepper half.

Divide the garlic slices and fresh herbs then add to each pepper half. Drizzle the pepper halves with the remaining olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan into the oven and allow the peppers to roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer the cooked peppers to a serving dish, pour any juices left in the pan over the peppers, crumble goat cheese into each pepper and serve alongside crusty French bread.

Posted 8/13/2013 10:56am by DebraBrubaker .

Farm Notes…

It’s a week of vibrant colors here on the farm.  The packing shed and coolers are a glow with seemingly all colors of the rainbow.  The peppers have emerged from their early bout with the European corn borer thanks to some help from the Trichogramma wasps which come to me every Thursday through the postal service.  These wasps prey on the eggs of the Corn Borer moth and seem to be very effective in helping us produce the quality of peppers we like to share with all of you.  Adding to the color spectrum this week we have rainbow carrots and yellow watermelon!  I hope you all enjoy the diversity of color.  I’ve been taking lots of photos so I have them to look at in the cold of January!

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Sweet Corn* Tomatoes, zucchini (green & yellow), Cucumbers,  Red and Yellow Bell Peppers,  Frying Peppers, Snack Peppers, Rainbow Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Yellow Watermelon and Hot Peppers.

*From neighbor’s farm- not certified organic but non GMO/no spray.

 

A little on the pepper varieties: All the varieties in your box are sweet peppers and include:

Bell Peppers- We have both yellow and red bell peppers.

Carmen Italian Roasting Peppers- Larger elongated peppers (look like a red chile pepper)

Jimmy Nardello Italian Frying Pepper- Smaller elongated pepper (looks like cayenne)

Yummy pepper- small orange pepper

***Hot peppers will always be either outside the box or in a bag or container in order to distinguish from the sweet varieties!***

 

And on the Sweet Corn…We admit the growing sweet corn is not always our forte.  Sometimes we have good luck and sometimes we don’t.  This year luck was not with us other than the fact that we have a neighbor that is good at growing sweet corn and was willing to supply us we enough to offer it to all of you today.  David Swarey is not certified organic, but his sweet corn is non GMO and not sprayed.  As with most unsprayed sweet corn, you may encounter some worms on the tips of the ears so just pay attention when husking.  

Upcoming Events:

Farm Breakfast: Sept 7 from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).


Posted 8/6/2013 9:20am by Roy Brubaker .

 Farm Note…

How do we get to be so lucky with all this wonderful weather?  I hardly know how to write a newsletter because there haven’t been extreme weather conditions to write about.  The muck boots have been stashed in the corner and even the straw hats have returned to their hooks on the wall.  We are trying to take advantage of these ideal conditions.  They come at a great time as we are trying to keep up with harvest while also transitioning to the fall season.  Cover crops are emerging in fields that, just a week ago, were home to our early vegetable plantings. Nice rows of carrots, beets, and turnips are shooting up and with a little thinning and hand weeding are looking in good shape to fill our bellies and coolers later this fall and winter.   We also just finished baling all the straw from our wheat harvest and the blanket of clover underneath is now ready for our young turkeys to take to pasture!  There are daily hiccups and minor frustrations, but in the past week it has been satisfying to feel in sync with the rhythm of the seasons.

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Cherry tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini (green & yellow), Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, Sweet Snack Peppers, Red Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Basil and Hot Peppers.

 

Upcoming Events:

Farm Breakfast: Sept 7 from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).

Community Canning Days: Once again we are opening our FoodShed kitchen for tomato canning.  Canning is always more fun and more efficient when working with others.  Julie will be canning Thursday August 8th in the afternoon and folks are welcome to join!  Other dates/times can be negotiated as well.  If interested email Julie at foodshed@villageacresfarm.com

 

Recipe:

Basque Chicken

Julie made this dish yesterday for an event here at the FoodShed and it was amazing!  Since it is a fresh chicken week and the peppers and tomatoes are rolling in, it seems like a fitting recipe to include this week!

1 Pieced Chicken (4lbs)

2 Large Onions

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

6 Bell Peppers

3 Mild Chiles (optional)

6 Ripe Tomatoes

2-4 garlic cloves (Minced)

2 tsp. salt (or more)

2 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

¼-1/2 tsp. Chile Powder

Black Pepper.

Sauté Onions in olive oil until translucent.  Add peppers, tomatoes, and seasoning and cook for 20 minutes. 

Brown chicken in oil and.  Use ¾ c. white wine to deglaze pan.   Add vegetable sauce and chicken back into pan and cook together for 40 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Posted 7/30/2013 12:03pm by Hannah Smith.

Farm Notes…

What a beautiful day! A bit odd for this time of year, feels more like September, but we’ll take it! This past week brought with it continued good harvest, completion of the task of bunching and hanging garlic, a whole new system of drying onions in the barn (benefited by Roy’s hand constructed drying racks), trials in the sweet corn field (including Roy happening upon not 1 or 2, but 10 deer devouring your prized crop…stay tuned for whether we will have enough now), and the benefit of help from a dear friend’s son, Steven, who many of you met at CSA distribution last week. This week also saw the return of our daughter Chandler (15), back from 70 some miles of hiking in the Adirondacks and then on to Mt. Kathadin in Maine. She and our son Owen (11) will be more regularly helping out on distribution day as we are starting a new venture of “life schooling” on the farm this year.

Enjoy your share in this week’s harvest! Hannah

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, red slicing tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini (green & yellow), sweet peppers (Yummy, Bell, Carmen* (full only), Jimmy Nardello), Fennel, Basil and Parsley

Heirloom Tomatoes, Fennel and Hot Peppers are out of the box – be sure to pick up!

 

Upcoming Events:

Farm Breakfast: Aug 3rd from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month).

Fundraiser for PASA*: Aug 3rd from 4pm to 6pm. Come on out to the FoodShed for a Pampered Chef show. There will be kitchen tool stations for you to see and try, and then taste the results using Village Acres Farm fresh organic products! Check out the catalog at www.pamperedchef.biz/lizzysplace Click on Shop Online then enter Village Acres FoodShed as the host.

*10-15% of total sales from the show will be donated to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

 

Recipes…

Gazpacho (Ina Garten)

Ingredients

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled

2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded

4 plum tomatoes

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess! After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.


Posted 7/23/2013 11:55am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes… It’s getting to the point of the season when our coolers become an organizational nightmare.  Every day cartloads of the day’s harvest come into the packing shed and by Monday, we are barely able to figure out how to fit it in to the already full coolers.  Needless to say we are happy when CSA day comes and much of the produce gets packed up and shared with all of you.  It is very freeing to see the empty space return to the cooler.  In late July there is little time for anything other than harvest- melons arrive, tomatoes take off, and the garlic and onions that have been largely out of mind for much of the spring all of a sudden are ready to harvest. Our wagons, coolers, and barns/sheds are filling up quickly.  We are so happy to have all you folks to share in the fruits of this land and our labors and hope that you have an enjoyable time finding places for our harvest in your coolers and on your dinner plates. Deb

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Sungolds, Slicing Tomatoes, Red Potatoes, Fresh White Onions, Carrots, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Eggplant, Kale and Basil

Cantaloupe and Watermelon are out of the box – be sure to pick up!

Upcoming Events:

Farm Breakfast: Aug 3rd from 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm-style breakfast (occurs first Saturday of every month).

Fundraiser for PASA*: Aug 3rd from 4pm to 6pm. Come on out to the FoodShed for a Pampered Chef show. There will be kitchen tool stations for you to see and try, and then taste the results using Village Acres Farm fresh organic products! You can also check out the online catalog at www.pamperedchef.biz/lizzysplace click on Shop Online then enter Village Acres FoodShed as the host.

*10-15% of total sales from the show will be donated to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Recipe:

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
1 1/2 pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Accompaniment: 1 (1/2-lb) piece ricotta salata, cut crosswise into thin slices

Roast eggplant and zucchini: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

Cook barley:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Make dressing and assemble salad:
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Serve with cheese slices.

Mailing list sign-up