Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 10/18/2016 11:54am by Debra Brubaker .
Week #23

Just a quick reminder to come and pick up your  share.   This is an Odd week for egg pick-up.  Please remember to return share liners and (paper) egg cartons. We are especially short on the plastic liners, and we really do like to re-use them as many times as possible. If your liners are intact, please be sure to return them to us! We also reuse pint and quart jars (used for honey).

Have questions? Call 717-348-4916 (Deb's Cell) or email csa@villageacresfarm.com

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Kale, Bok Choy, Salad Mix, Ginger, Garlic, Onions, Delicata Squash, Peppers, Tomatoes.

 FARM NOTES:

It's all about root crop harvest and getting our greenhouses cleared for seeding of winter. Here are two photos from this week:

 

 

2016 Fall Carrots: We plant our carrots 3 row on a raised bed.  When harvesting we hand dig one of the 3 rows, and once the one row is out, we have an implement that attaches to the tractor the can quickly undercut the remaining two rows (it's just a little too narrow to do all three beds without damaging some carrots).  Once undercut the carrots are very easy to pull up in clumps as done in the photo above.  

 

Greenhouse 16 (our big one): This summer, this greenhouse was filled with all types of peppers.  Late last week, all the pepper plants were pulled and carried out. Early this week, compost was added and beds were reworked.  We will begin seeding greens with plantings spaced a few days aparts over the next 2 weeks for successive harvest throughout the winter.  The turmeric (on the right) will be harvested in a couple of weeks. 

Fall/Winter/Spring CSA signup and Thanksgiving Turkey preorder:  We are taking reservation for winter share options and Thanksgiving turkeys!  If you plan to sign up for both, visit our one stop sign-up shop.  If you only want to reserved your turkey, you can do so here.  Please don't delay, as both winter shares and turkeys often sell out for us.  

Recipe Ideas

 

 Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com
Posted 10/11/2016 11:00am by Debra Brubaker .
Week #22

Just a quick reminder to come and pick up your  share.   This is an Even week for egg pick-up.  Please remember to return share liners and (paper) egg cartons. We are especially short on the plastic liners, and we really do like to re-use them as many times as possible. If your liners are intact, please be sure to return them to us! We also reuse pint and quart jars (used for honey).

Have questions? Call 717-348-4916 (Deb's Cell) or email csa@villageacresfarm.com

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: green cabbage, chard, salad mix, sweet dumpling squash, celeriac, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.

 FARM NOTES:

We had just a light touch of frost overnight- while it did not harm any of our crops, it does mean that we really need to hustle to go the last of the temperature sensitive crops out of the fields. Luckily there is not much left- some celeriac as well as the last of the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.  We finished harvest sweet potatoes yesterday, and will have some in your shares as soon as they are cured. 

We are still waiting patiently for our Broccoli and Cauliflower to form heads.  I see little ones coming, but they will still need a week or more.  Luckily cold temperatures help to make these crops even sweeter, so we will wait patiently!

~Deb 

Fall/Winter/Spring CSA signup and Thanksgiving Turkey preorder:  We finally have our website set up to take reservation for winter share options and turkey preorders!  If you plan to sign up for both, visit our one stop sign-up shop.  If you only want to reserved your turkey, you can do so here.  Please don't delay, as both winter shares and turkeys often sell out for us.  

Recipe Ideas

Celeriac: http://www.hellawella.com/9-mouthwatering-recipes-will-change-your-mind-about-celery-root-celeriac

Sweet Dumpling Squash: https://www.pinterest.com/recipes/acorn-or-sweet-dumpling-squash/

 Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com
Posted 10/10/2016 7:25pm by Hannah Smith-Brubaker.

Hello Friends of Village Acres Farm

The seasons are turning and time has come to spread the word regarding turkeys and our CSA offerings for Late Fall/Winter/Spring. If you have questions please don't hesitate to contact us

Know the routine and want to go directly to our website and reserve your choices of our Fall/Winter offerings?  Visit our one-stop-signup-shop

Thanksgiving Turkey deposits are now being accepted: 

We raise primarily Broad Breasted Whites and Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys.  Our turkeys are raised on our farm from day old chicks.  From the time they are feathered, they are raised on pasture with ample space for grazing, roaming, and foraging for insects. They are supplemented with non-GMO grain.  Preordered Turkeys will be available fresh the week of Thanksgiving. Weights are variable (15-24 lbs). We try our best to match your request as closely as possible, but as with all things in nature...there will be variability. Reserve your turkey at the same time as signing up for our winter CSA (follow links below) or you can Order now!

Thanksgiving week and December 2017 Share options: Sign up now open!

We know that the holidays are both a time of great feasting and frequent travel, so in an effort to accommodate CSA members' holiday plans and schedules we thought we would let folks sign up for shares on only the weeks that fit best with your schedule. We will deliver the week of Thanksgiving and then every other week until Christmas.  

Please also note that if you are a current Summer/Fall CSA member you may have already selected and paid to receive a share the week of Thanksgiving. So, if you don't remember if you have, please check with us before signing up again for Thanksgiving week!

2017 Winter/Spring Season: Every other week from the end of January (Early Feb for Friday Pickups) through the end of April: SIGN UP NOW OPEN!

Start Date: January 31st (Tuesday pickups: Village Acres Farm, State College); Febuary 3rd (Friday pickups: Harrisburg)
End Date: April 25th (Tuesday pickups: Village Acres Farm, State College); April 28th (Friday pickup: Harrisburg)

Produce Shares: 

The full produce share includes both a "greens share" and a selection of storage crops with each delivery. This is a great option for folks who can make use of a wide variety of produce and who may otherwise find it difficult to remember to preorder produce every week. 

The greens only share will include a variety of leafy greens grown in our high tunnels during the winter months.  These greens will include salad mixes, kale, chard, spinach, and other asian greens.  Get your dose of freshness with this share option. 

Egg Shares:

Our Egg Share come from our own Pasture Raised hens. These hens are on pasture year round (with access to shelter as desired). Their diet consists of non-GMO feed, clover, grass, grubs and insects, and select discarded produce throughout the season. Choose to receive 1 or more dozen with each delivery.

à la carte options:

Are you interested in getting winter storage crops but would like to pick and choose what you want with each delivery?  If so, you can select to buy our root and storage crops a la carte this season.  With this option you will need to preorder items through our website in advance of each delivery.  You can choose to pay at the time of pickup, or if you would like to purchase a credit to deduct from over the winter months, you may do so through the sign up process. Please note that we do not promise to have greens as an option for a la carte purchasing in the coldest months of winter. 

Sign up for Fall/Winter/Spring Season!

Thank you. We are honored that you have chosen us to be your farmers!

 

Posted 10/4/2016 11:26am by Debra Brubaker .
Week #21

Just a quick reminder to come and pick up your  share.   This is an  ODD week for egg pick-up.  Please remember to return share liners and egg cartons. We are especially short on the plastic liners, and we really do like to re-use them as many times as possible. If your liners are intact, please be sure to return them to us! We also reuse pint and quart jars (used for honey).

Have questions? Call 717-348-4916 (Deb's Cell) or email csa@villageacresfarm.com

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Kale, Arugula/salad mix, White Tokyo turnip, green peppers, red onions, garlic, fingerlings, green frying tomatoes, and hot peppers

 FARM NOTES:

The fall frenzy is starting- each day we are torn between the two main priorities, harvesting the remaining crops in the field and getting the greenhouses cleaned out and seeded into winter greens. The rainy days of the last week have given us some good greenhouse time and we will start seeding and transplanting today.  As soon as the ground dries out a little we hope to start our fall carrot harvest- my all time favorite farm task!  Also on the list for this week harvest butternut squash,cabbage, and celeriac.  After those, the sweet potatoes are next, followed by more beets, turnips, watermelon radishes,  and parsnips.  We also have plantings of broccoli and cauliflower that should be forming heads in the near future (don't worry Medium share folks-we have not forgot your broccoli).  

I have not been sitting at my computer much this summer, but in the next week, hope to set up our website for taking signups for our December Share options, Winter Share (January-April) and thanksgiving Turkey preorders, so please stay tuned!

~Deb 

Recipe Ideas

Tokyo Turnips (aka White salad turnip, Hakerui Turnip)

Green Frying Tomatoes

Arugula

 
 Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com
Posted 8/30/2016 1:22pm by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK:  Sungolds, Celery, Yellow Onions, Garlic, Chard, Beets, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Summer Squash, Hot Peppers. 

 FARM NOTES:

What a start to the week! Yesterday morning we received word that the grandmother of 3 of our works passed away so they would be spending the day with family, and at the same time our employee Kat started having contractions.  To further add to the excitement, Hannah's father who has been in and out of the hospital, and is currently living with us, had to return to the emergency room midday yesterday.  So today's share is brought to you by fewer hands workings as quickly as possible.  Some of the frills we had hoped for are missing, but we promise to add those next week.  

The great news is that Kat and Fred will be returning from the hospital today, with a new addition to the farm community (we are all waiting excitedly to hear the details and look forward to them introducing their new one soon!) 

Recipe Ideas

We have celery again this week.  My mother has been making use of all the seconds we have by sauting chopped celery with onions and mushrooms and freezing the mixture in small portion to add to soup throuhout the winter.  I have also been adding this mixture to my morning eggs which has been delicious.  
 
Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com
Posted 8/23/2016 1:00pm by Debra Brubaker .
In the Share this week:Leeks, Garlic, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Squash, Cantaloupe, Bell Peppers, Yummy Peppers, Eggplant, Basil, and Hot Peppers

 FARM NOTES:

The nights are cooling, the turkeys are out on pastures, children are prepping for school to start, and all is feeling a bit fall-like.  This weekend I quickly seeded some of the last of the root vegetables for the season- turnips and radishes as well as the first of the fall salad greens (now that the flea beetle pressure has subsided in the field.) My evening walks these days include checking in on the ripening of the winter squash and some of them are ripe, but the vines are so dense so before traipsing through the field we will let them continue to ripen until the plants give up for the season- it won't be long though!

Deb

 

Recipe Ideas
There are many options for your celery this week, but you might want to try something like celery soup or butter braised celery to make it the star of your plate!
 
Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com
Posted 7/26/2016 2:18pm by Debra Brubaker .
Week #11

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Cantaloupe, Red Watermelon, Sweet Corn, Sungolds, Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Field Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Chard, Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, Hot Peppers

***Upcoming Events***

First Saturday Breakfast: August 6th 8-11AM, Please join us for a farm breakfast- donations benefit our community fund which help make our shares available to all. 


FARM NOTES:

This past week has been one of those weeks that really makes me as a farmer feel a little anxious.  Crispy pastures and wilting trees are never a good sight.  And when I leave the farm and our irrigated crops, I feel pain for our neighbor farmers who are powerless to help their crops along. We did get a little bit of a shower on Sunday evening for which we are very grateful, but off course we need more, especially when the temperature are so high every day. 

Despite the fact that we can get water to most of our plants, we are still noticing some effect of the drought on our crops.  Our tomato yields are lower than last year at this time as we have lost some of the fruit to blossom end rot (a common side effect of drought).  The melons too this week may not  be as flavorful as some in past year, as the vines they grew on were more stressed than ideal (the watermelons especially).  We have tried our best to pick out the melons that look the most promising to include, but problem with watermelons is you never know for sure until you cut it open.  

The sweet corn in your shares this week is from plants that we started in the greenhouse and transplanted.  We have additional plantings of corn planted, but we have struggled to achieve uniform stands without steady rain to get them germinated well. We tilled under 2nd planting because it was so poor, so it will likely be late August/September until you see it in your share again.  

The one nice thing about the dry weather is that the onions we are bringing in to cure are starting the curing process nice and dry.  Similarly, the potatoes (whose plants have died back already) are dry coming out of the ground so should store better.  Expect to see both onions and potatoes in your share fairly consistently over the next months. 

Deb


Recipe Ideas
We have been sending a lot of zucchini your way so perhaps some different uses of zucchini could come in handy.  This recipe for Mama Ghannouj (Baba Ghannouj made with zucchini) might help use up a few:-)  It comes highly recommended.
Posted 7/19/2016 2:20pm by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Salanova Lettuce Heads, Sungolds, Green Beans, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Cucumbers, Green Zucchini, Gold Zucchini, , Tomato, Hot Peppers (outside the box or in plastic bag), and Herbs (Basil, Dill, and Cilantro.)

***Upcoming Events***

First Saturday Breakfast: August 6th 8-11AM, Please join us for a farm breakfast- donations benefit our community fund which help make our shares available to all. 


FARM NOTES:

It's really beginning to feel a lot more like summer now that we're harvesting ever-increasing amounts of cherry tomatoes, and now that we have enough eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes for everyone's shares. The shares are definitely beginning to fill out, and we're eagerly anticipating cantaloupes, watermelons, and sweet corn. As the summer continues, more and more of our efforts turn towards harvesting. The summer squash and cucumbers are picked on a nearly daily basis, tomatoes are picked every other day, and green beans a couple times a week (depending on how our succession plantings are doing). We're still definitely weeding crops, planting, and staking peppers and tomatoes, but the majority of our focus is on the harvest. Thus is the ebb and flow of the work on the farm: we are constantly busy, but enjoy the changes in the pace of things as the season progresses. -Kat

 

Recipe Ideas
 
Now that your shares include cucumbers, tomatoes, AND peppers, it's time for gazpacho! I like this refreshing, cold soup with a side of sauteed green beans, or just a full summer salad. There are probably hundreds of gazpacho recipes out there, and I'm sure you will easily find one that suits your tastes. The important thing is that the ingredients are going to be very freshly picked and ready to mix. Enjoy it during these hot summer days! -Kat

Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com

Posted 7/12/2016 1:19pm by Debra Brubaker .
Week #9

Just a quick reminder to come and pick up your  share.   This is an odd week for egg pick-up.  Please remember to return share liners and egg cartons. We are especially short on the plastic liners, and we really do like to re-use them as many times as possible. If your liners are intact, please be sure to return them to us! We also reuse pint and quart jars (used for honey).

Have questions? Call 717-348-4916 (Deb's Cell) or email csa@villageacresfarm.com


IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: New Red Potatoes (from our neighbor, Aaron Kanagy), Red and Chioggia Beets, Cucumbers, Green Zucchini, Yellow Zucchini, New Garlic, Lettuce Heads, Eggplant (full shares only, for now), Tomato, Basil, Dill, and Cilantro.

***Upcoming Events***

First Saturday Breakfast: August 6th 8-11AM, Please join us for a farm breakfast- donations benefit our community fund which help make our shares available to all. 


FARM NOTES:

Last week, we had the year's garlic harvest. Garlic harvest is always a very exciting time of the year, as it only happens once a season, and it means that the wait for garlic to use in cooking is almost over. We plant the garlic in the fall, and mulch it to protect from the cold, as well as to provide some buffer against weeds in the spring. Usually, we end up weeding the garlic a time or two anyway, to make sure that it has as little competition as possible. The garlic that we plant is a hard-neck variety, which means that in the late spring/early summer it makes a scape (we hope you enjoyed them in your shares earlier in the year). If the scape remains on the garlic, the head of garlic itself does not get very big because it takes a good bit of energy from the plant. This is another reason why we try to harvest the scape: to maximize the size of the garlic head. 

During the harvest, we use both forks and the tractor's undercutter to loosen the garlic from the ground. We pull it up into piles on the ground, then transfer it to a wagon, and take it to be strung up to dry in bundles in a barn. The drying period is crucial for garlic--that is what allows it to be stored for the remainder of the season. The garlic that you're receiving in your shares is not fully cured yet, and you will probably notice that the inner membranes separating the cloves are fresh, rather than papery. You can see pictures from the garlic harvest and the storage of it in the barn on our facebook page.  Hope you enjoy the garlic as much as we do! -Kat

This Week's Extras: Frozen ground turkey, Honey, and Olive oil.  


Recipe Ideas
Although we're trying to not inundate you with squash, there is a fair bit of it in the shares this week. One of my favorite ways to use a surplus of squash it by turning it into a delicious, herby spread. You can find the full recipe here on Philly Homegrown. Both the yellow and green zucchini work well in this recipe. You can definitely substitute one of the herbs available this week for the thyme, but perhaps add it in later during the cooking process, as the flavors of fresh dill, cilantro, or basil are a bit more delicate. -Kat
 

Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com

Posted 7/5/2016 2:24pm by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Rainbow carrots, chard, kale, lettuce heads, fresh onions, cucumbers, green and gold zucchini, garlic scapes (the last), and string beans. 

***Upcoming Events***

First Saturday Breakfast: August 6th 8-11AM, Please join us for a farm breakfast- donations benefit our community fund which help make our shares available to all. 


FARM NOTES:

We are very grateful for yesterday's rain--glad that it reached us before the slight heat wave that is predicted for later in the week. Even though we are fully prepared, with irrigation reaching almost all or our crops, nothing quite replaces a good, saturating shower. This rain also softened the ground for seeding the winter carrots and beets. We love those crops in the summer, as they come out so vibrant, and the weather allows their tops to stay nice enough to enjoy. In the winter, though, they are irreplaceable as storage vegetables, and help bridge the gap in fresh produce. 

The days are getting shorter already, but summer is just getting into full swing. Each day, we are keeping our eyes on the few ripening tomatoes; know that it won't be long before they are included in your shares. We harvested the first few eggplant this week, which means that an abundance of them is coming relatively soon. The melons are starting to size up in the field, and a few are even getting a fine netting on them--a sure sign that they will be ripe in a matter of weeks. As you can tell from your share this week, the bounty keeps increasing! We hope that you enjoy the fruits of the season.

This Week's Extras: Frozen ground turkey, Goat Burger/Sausage, Honey, and Olive oil.  

Recipe Ideas
 
When looking at the vibrant rainbow carrots going into the shares this week, we couldn't help but think of their beautiful greens, too. Carrots are related to parsley, which means that the whole vegetable is usable and delicious. I hope you forgive me for reaching for Deborah Madison as inspiration again; I don't think you'll be disappointed in this soup. 
 
 Carrot Soup with olive oil and minced carrot tops (makes about 1 quart)
 
The Stock:
Carrot peels and tops from the soup ingredients (below), a few of the finer greens reserved
1/2 onion
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
 
The Soup:
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 lb rainbow carrots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced (or a few garlic scapes)
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon chopped carrot tops
1 Tablespoon white rice
Few drops of apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
 
To finish:
3/4 cup cooked rice (optional)
Olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced carrot tops
 
1. Put 5 cups water in a pot with the stock ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, and tablespoon of rice. Cook a few minutes, then add 1/2 cup water, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, pour the stock through a strainer into a 1 quart measure. Add water if necessary to make a quart and add the stock to the pot. Simmer until the carrots are soft, 15-20 minutes.
3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Add a few drops of vinegar, then taste for salt. To serve, pour the soup over cooked rice, if you're using it, drizzle olive oil over the top, sprinkle on the minced carrots tops, and season with pepper. 
 

Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com

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