Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 7/1/2016 10:20am by Hannah Smith-Brubaker.

Posted 7/1/2016 10:18am by Debra Brubaker .

Week #7


IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Red and Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Green and Gold Zucchini, Lettuce Heads, Garlic Scapes, Dill, and Basil

***Upcoming Events***

First Saturday Breakfast for July is CANCELLED, Please join us August 6th for our next Farm Breakfast!


FARM NOTES:

We are officially one week into summer, and things are looking pretty great on the farm.  The heat has been pushing the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant to grow very quickly, and the crew has been spending lots of time staking and trellising these plants.  They should be ready to start harvesting in the next few weeks.  The crew had a good time harvesting the first early summer crops for the box this week.  In addition to red beets, we have some beautiful stripped Chioggia beets.  These beets are very sweet, and will not take quite as long to cook as other beets.  If cooking in water, add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to retain the beet’s color.  Also, don’t forget to eat your beet greens (see recipe)!  We were impressed with the first carrots of the season, which can be tricky due to inconsistent spring weather, but the majority were nice and long and oh so tasty!  We also picked the first green beans of the season, which are one of Roy’s favorite vegetables and he was right out there on his home-made bean picking stool all morning.  Have a great week and enjoy your box!


Recipe Ideas
 
There is a great Roasted Beets with Beet Greens and Feta Salad on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-salad-with-beet-greens-and-feta-3188
 

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 6/21/2016 12:34pm by Debra Brubaker .

Week #6

 

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: (It's a green one) Cucumbers, Green and Gold Zucchini, Snow Peas (from our neighbor Aaron Kanagy), Lettuce Mix, Lettuce Head, Kale, Garlic Scapes, Dill, and Basil

***Upcoming Events***

Revival Kitchen: Village Acres Featured Farm Dinner, Reedsville, PA- Wednesday, June 22nd. Make a reservation now to enjoy a 9 course meal created by Chef Quitin Wicks.  Space is limited.  If you haven't visited this fine dining establishment that opened last August, you must make it a destination!  More information on this event will be available soon, but to make a reservation or for more information on Revival Kitchen visit http://www.revivalkitchen.com/ or call 717-667-7089.


Village Acres Farm & FoodShed, llc's photo.

FARM NOTES:

Summer is upon us! The little tiny cucumbers from just a couple weeks ago are swiftly turning into more recognizably-sized vegetables. The summer squash row already seems almost endless. Soon, it will be time to start picking the tomatoes--we're keeping a close eye on just a few that are starting to slowly change from green to orange or red. The garlic harvest also won't be long from now, especially since the majority of the scapes have been harvested. All of the work of spring transplanting is transforming into the familiar routines of harvesting and preserving. Although we've had the longest day of the year, the days will seem quite long for a while yet. We are enjoying the newness of the hot season, with the crisp cucumbers and squash. And maybe in August, we'll feel differently, but for now, it's a nice change. 

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

Recipe Ideas
Now that the summer squash is starting to roll in, I like to make a dish that really celebrates it. Later on in the season we'll have to get creative in using it up, but for now, I'm excited about the summer vegetable, after a long spring of various greens. This thai-inspired stir-fry is the perfect way to use them; when I make it, I extend the sauce a bit and also throw in some of the tender peas at the end for a nice crunch. Also, feel free to substitute the garlic scapes in for the garlic cloves. Hope you enjoy!
 

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 6/15/2016 7:08am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Strawberries, Asparagus, Lettuce Head, Garlic Scapes, Chard, Snow Peas (from organic neighbor), Summer Squash or Cucumbers, and Dill

Because we are still waiting for the full abundance of the summer squash and cucumbers, we had to split them up between the different pick-up sites this week. The State College CSAs received cucumbers, while the on-farm pick-up folks are getting a handful of young squash. In the next few weeks, we should have enough that everyone will receive some of each. Thanks for understanding!

***Upcoming Events***

2016 Village Acres CSA Strawberry Festival- Saturday June 18th, 10 AM- 1PM.  Come pick your own strawberries and enjoy a lunch time picnic potluck by the creek.  Please bring chairs and a potluck item to share.  In case of inclement weather please stay tuned to emails. 

Revival Kitchen: Village Acres Featured Farm Dinner, Reedsville, PA- Wednesday, June 22nd. Make a reservation now to enjoy a 9 course meal created by Chef Quitin Wicks.  Space is limited.  If you haven't visited this fine dining establishment that opened last August, you must make it a destination!  More information on this event will be available soon, but to make a reservation or for more information on Revival Kitchen visit http://www.revivalkitchen.com/ or call 717-667-7089.


FARM NOTES:

 Although it does not seem like much changes here from week to week on the farm, things are starting to move at a summer's pace. We're still busy transplanting and harvesting, but are also engaged in the ever-important task of plant support here at the farm. The long-season summer crops require quite a bit of help from us, as they will become large plants and begin bearing heavy fruit. If the fruit is in contact with the soil, it tends to spoil very quickly, and is also difficult to pick. We are supporting our tomato plants with a variety of methods: cages, poles and woven string, and just plain stringing them up to the greenhouse rafters. The greenhouse cucumber are also given something to climb on, and vine--whether it's strings or cattle fencing. Sometimes, we have to get a bit creative to accommodate the large number of plants, but we like to make sure that all the plants are supported so they can accomplish their fullest potential. It's long work now, but will make for a more successful season for both them and us. -Kat

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

Recipe Ideas
 
When the spring vegetables (and not just greens) start really coming in, I look to Deborah Madison for inspiration. She is most renowned for her vegetarian cooking, and I especially like her vegetable soups. Soup is a simple, but very nourishing way to enjoy all the flavors of the season at once. This soup is best enjoyed just as everything is finished cooking, and still a bit crisp. Feel free to improvise on the vegetables; the peas and asparagus are the stars of this recipe, so don't substitute those out. Try it out for a quick and refreshing dinner, with a side of salad!
Ingredients: 
1 quart vegetable stock, 2-3 cups water
9-10 small, fresh turnips, cut up into quarters
12 radishes, cut up into rounds
1 tablespoon butter
1 bay leaf
a sprig of thyme
1 bunch of finely chopped garlic scapes
1/2 bunch scallions or half an onion, chopped
1 pound of asparagus, ends snapped, and cut into inch-long pieces
1/2 pound of peas, stems removed
(chopped fresh parsley as garnish, optional)
 
Prepare the vegetables. Warm up the butter in a stock, and start by cooking the garlic scapes. Once the scapes have cooked for a couple minutes, add in the scallions or onion, and the turnips. Cook those for 3-5 minutes, and add the stock with the water and the aromatic herbs. Bring to a light boil, then add the remaining ingredients, except the peas. Simmer gently for 7-10 minutes, depending on how done you like your vegetables. Add the peas at the end, and cook for one additional minute. Serve with the parsley and a dollop of cream. Savor the flavors of spring! -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 6/7/2016 12:05pm by Debra Brubaker .

 Week #4

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Strawberries, Asparagus, Lettuce Mix, Green Garlic, Garlic Scapes, Braising mix, Red Beets (from last fall!), Kohlrabi (full shares only), and Herbs (Rosemary, Cillantro, Oregano, and Dill)

***Upcoming Events***

2016 Village Acres CSA Strawberry Festival- Saturday June 18th, 10 AM- 1PM.  Come pick your own strawberries and enjoy a lunch time picnic potluck by the creek.  Please bring chairs and a potluck item to share.  In case of inclement weather please stay tuned to emails. 

Revival Kitchen: Village Acres Featured Farm Dinner, Reedsville, PA- Wednesday, June 22nd. Make a reservation now to enjoy a Mulit course meal created by Chef Quintin Wicks.  Space is limited.  If you haven't visited this fine dining establishment that opened last August, you must make it a destination!  More information on this event will be available soon, but to make a reservation or for more information on Revival Kitchen visit http://www.revivalkitchen.com/ or call 717-667-7089.


FARM NOTES:

 It seems like oftentimes throughout the season farmers go through periods of anticipation--waiting for something to be big enough to harvest, or ripe enough to pick. Once a crop is planned and planted, the waiting begins. Before too long, though, the anticipation turns into abundance (if the weather and pests cooperate with us!). The strawberries that we've been waiting for are upon us; probably as early as the end of the week, we will be picking the first summer squash and cucumbers--after which there will be ever-increasing amounts. The cycle continues with the season! We planted more young cucumbers, melons, and watermelons just yesterday, and will be looking at those for new growth, and eventually production. Keep an eye out for them in your CSA shares this summer. ~Kat

This Week's Extras: Strawberries, Eggs, Frozen ground turkey, Honey, and Olive oil.  Also for the first time we have Village Acres Raised Goat meat options- Moroccan goat sausage, goat burger, shanks, leg roasts, and tenderloin. . 


Recipe Ideas

We continue to be sending kale your way.  Here is a link for a recipe for a massaged kale, strawberry, asparagus, walnut salad.  I made this over the weekend for Chandler's graduation party and it was a hit.  

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 5/31/2016 2:42pm by Debra Brubaker .

 Week #3

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Lettuce Heads, Kale/Chard, Scallions, Potatoes (last fall's), Rhubarb, Rosemary, Dill, Cilantro, and some Asparagus. 


FARM NOTES:

This heat makes it feel like summer, but it really starts to feel like summer on the farm when the melons go into the field.  We transplanted them this past week and immediately covered them to protect them from pests.  We have had issues with our floating row fabric floating away, but the crew really piled on the dirt this time so the fabrics would stay put until we are ready to take them off, as you can see from the picture.  We have also been spending a lot of time setting up irrigation in anticipation of this heat wave, as well as weeding beets and carrots this past week.  

 In pollinator news, Hope has the flower beds and the pollinator strips around the farm looking great and they are loaded with happy flying creatures every day.  Jackie was able to catch a swarm of bees this past week in one of her traps, and spotted another, but they relocated before she could get to them.  Finally, we have been spotting many toads around the farm, and captured a shot of this one sitting on top of the lettuce bed when we went out to harvest this morning.  

This Week's Extras: Eggs, Frozen ground turkey, Honey, and Olive oil.  Also for the first time we have Village Acres Raised Goat meat options- Moroccan goat sausage, goat burger, shanks, leg roasts, and tenderloin. . 

Recipe Ideas

There are tons of great recipes out there for kale...soups, salads, chips, smoothies, pasta, but I like to make kale grilled cheese.  Take some good bread, a little parmesan and sharp cheddar cheeses, a sprinkle of garlic powder and some finely sliced up kale. A tomato is also good if you have one on hand.  Grill it up and enjoy!

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 5/26/2016 7:23pm by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Asparagus, Scallions, Salad Mix, Kale/Collards, Chard, Radishes, Oregano, Parsley Plants, tomato plants. (Full share pictured at above right)


FARM NOTES:

Some warmth has come to Central PA with the start of this week!  These are the days that I think having a time lapse camera would be a lot of fun- zooming in on those tomato plants as they transform from a small single stemmed transplant to a bush in short order.  After a slow start to the season, we are eager to see this growth spurt.  This week in addition to our normal routines of packing and harvest, we will be focusing on manicuring our strawberry patches-  the little green berries are forming, and we want to ensure the best air flow and sun exposure to bring on this spring favorite. We should start seeing red in a few weeks!  

Deb

Posted 5/17/2016 11:15am by Debra Brubaker .

Greetings and Welcome to our Summer CSA!

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Asparagus, Rhubarb, Scallions, Lettuce Heads, Kale, Bok Choy, Onion Chives, Thyme, and Basil Plants. (Full share pictured at above right)


FARM NOTES:

This is the start of our 19th CSA season and while much has changed from that first season, the excitement that we have a group of folks willing to commit to supporting us for a full growing season has not changed.  We are extremely grateful for your commitment to local, conscientiously grown food, and we will be doing all we can to make sure we bring you the highest quality food possible from this land we are so fortunate to have.  

At the start of each season, I often refer back to the first emails of the previous season to make sure I am covering the necessary details for folks that may just be joining the CSA.  It is always a good reminder of how different each year is- and of course much of the difference is a result of the weather.  Last year's first email came after a period of unseasonably hot and dry weather- temperatures in the 80s and I was speaking my praise of the evening rain shower that cooled things off, and brought needed rain to new planting.    Well, this year is a very different start- with the past three weeks being rainy with below average temperatures. Growth rates are slow, and many fields are too wet to prepare for our next plantings so we are eagerly looking forward to some heat and sun in the forecast to help bring on the strawberries, speed up the asparagus, and allow us to make beds for the many plants in our propagation house that would like more soil.  

While we wait, we will enjoy spending some time in our rhubarb forest, and delight in the leafy greens that thrive in these conditions.  We hope you enjoy your first share of the season- and if you have any sway on the weather gods, send some sun our way;-)

~Deb 

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


Need ideas for using your Rhubarb?  Here is a link to the Local Kitchen Blog which has a wide variety of recipes to utilize this spring favorite.

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 4/26/2016 11:13am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Full Share: Beets, Butternut, Watermelon Radish, Sweet Potatoes, and Carrots plus the green share items below.
Greens Share: Lettuce Mix, Lettuce Heads, Kale, Green Garlic

Please remember to return share boxes/liners and egg cartons! Also we happily reuse quart and pint mason jars. 

Photo to right: Kat, Fred, Lena, and Mary transplanting onions while Jackie drives. 


FARM/PRODUCE NOTES:

Today marks the end our 2016 Winter/Spring Season.  While we are always eager for spring, it is still a little sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful greens in the greenhouse which are always sweeter and more exotic when the temperatures are cold and little else is growing.  We also will miss the slower pace that winter provides with the every other week delivery schedule, but... the excitement of asparagus beginning to emerge (we are just starting to harvest a small amount each day- it needs some rain!), and the smell of tomato plants being rustled as we plant them into high tunnel is quickly energizing us for the main growing season!  

We truly appreciate our winter CSA members, and your commitment to supporting our farm, and sourcing local food year round!  We hope you enjoyed your winter share options this year, and of course would like to hear feedback.  

After a three week break from deliveries to provide some time for us to concentrate on getting our main summer crops into the fields and off to a good start, we will begin our Summer/Fall Season with our first delivery on May 17th (Tuesday) or May 20th (Friday).  We look forward to continuing to provide many of you with vegetables over the summer.  If you are taking a break for the summer to do your own gardening or frequent the many local farmers markets that grace our region, we hope to see you back next winter!  

Thanks again for your support!

Deb for all at Village Acres

Also, our first Farm Breakfast will take place on Saturday, May 7.  Bring the family (and your Mom for Mother's Day) to celebrate with farm-fresh eggs, sausages, omelettes, quiche, pancakes or scones; and to see all of Chandler's new lambs!  This year, breakfasts will be pay-what-you can, and proceeds go to our Community Fund, which helps families in need to purchase a share.  Farm Breakfasts will be the first Saturday of each month through November. 

Last Call for 2016 Summer/Fall CSA shares!

If you haven't signed up yet,  please do so immediately- we still have some room.   Our first Summer delivery will be in 3 weeks.  Visit  http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa for more information and to sign up! We'd love to continue to grow for you and your family!
 
You are our best advertiser, please spread the word of our CSA to friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  

 

Posted 4/12/2016 10:47am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Full Share: Carrots, French Fingerling potatoes, Yellow Onions Sweet Potatoes, Frozen Red Raspberries  plus the green share items below.
Greens Share: Salad Mix (Lettuce and Mesclun), Bunch of Assorted Kale,  Yakina Savoy, and Bok Choi.
 
We will also have some of our remaining daikon radishes, and turnips available at pickup.  They are not very pretty and we don't want to put them in the box, but if you can use some, please help yourself!

Please remember to return share boxes/liners and egg cartons! Also we happily reuse quart and pint mason jars. 


FARM/PRODUCE NOTES:

What a week!  Between bracing for record low temperatures and the excitement of lambing season, I have been a little bit on edge this week-. Luckily it seems like we did not experience significant loss over the weekend. Spring has always been an anxiety producing season for farmers, but it appears that with climate changes, the temperature swings in swing are becoming more frequent.  We are grateful for the tools of high tunnels that provide us a nice buffer for early spring plantings. In the next week we hope to start field plantings in earnest.  Our onions are eager for new soil so we are hoping for some warmer dryer days to grace us. 

Today's distribution is the second to last distribution of the 2016 Winter/Spring Season.  We hope you all have enjoyed having local produce, fresh greens, and eggs available through the darker months of the year.  We will work at creating our season end survey in the next week or so, so please do give feedback if there are things that we can improve on.  Also we still have room in our 2016 Summer/Fall season so if you have not yet signed up, please do so soon.  The first summer distribution will be the May 17 (Tuesday)/ May 20 (Friday).  This means there is a three week break (farmer planting spree) between the last winter share and the first summer share.  We will have extra eggs available at next distribution if you want to stock up for those 3 weeks and help us work to reduce the nearly inevitable backlog of eggs that occurs when we take a break. We also have some storage crops that will be available as well, so feel free to preorder lots of extras next distribution to hold you through:-)

2016 Summer/Fall Season Sign-up Now Open!
If you plan to sign up for our Summer Season but haven't signed up yet,  please do so soon so we can plan for the season- our first summer delivery is just 1 month away
Visit http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa for more information and to sign up! We'd love to continue to grow for you and your family!
 
You are our best advertisers!  We will have brochures for our CSA available at distribution over the next few weeks.  Please help us recruit new member by taking some brochures with you to give to friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  

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