Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 5/26/2015 12:08pm by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK (As pictured in photo roughly left to right): Rhubarb, bok choy, potatoes, swiss chard, kale, asparagus, oregano, cilantro, basil

Pick up times and Locations are listed below. Please remember to return share liners and egg cartons!


FARM NOTES:

This week's notes come to you from farmer Jackie and the letters T & W, for Transplanting and Weeding.  That's right, we are getting loads of good stuff out into the fields this week including sweet corn, fennel, lettuce and melons!  We have also started making the rounds on everything we have planted to keep the weed pressure down.  The garlic and onions were on the top of our list for this week, as well as some hoeing work in the carrots and beets.  I think that everyone on the farm has now taken a detour through the strawberry patch to get their first berry of the season, so it won't be long now folks!  I think the prize of this week's share has to be the kale, I know we had it last week, but I was in awe when I pulled back the cover for this week's harvest.  The chard is a close second in my book, but that kale was just too beautiful today.  

I am keeping bees on the farm again this year, and I'm sorry to say that last year's bees did not make it through the winter.  I had two larger hives I was hopeful about, but one seemed to have been attacked by yellow jackets late fall/early winter and the other looked like they succumbed to the cold.  We are starting fresh with two hives and they are doing a great job building up their colonies thus far. Since they are only first year bees, I will not be taking any honey off of them this year.  

Also of note, I have been working on beds for herbal teas again this year, but I way over seeded a few items!  We will be offering them for sale on the website and at distribution.  I mainly have Chamomile and Tulsi (Holy Basil) starts as well as a few Yarrow and Mint plant starts.  

This Week's Extras: Frozen Pasture Raised Chicken and Eggs, Tomato plants, Tea Plants, Honey, Olive Oil and more

Interested in a Chicken Share?: We will be offering Chicken Shares again this year.  If you are interested in one, please talk to Deb at distribution or email csa@villageacresfarm.com for more information.

Next Farm Breakfast:  Join us on Saturday, June 6 for our monthly farm breakfast from 8-11 am.  Farm fresh eggs, pancakes, omelettes, quiche and baked goods are on the menu.  Stop in, enjoy a meal and have a stroll around the farm.  We look forward to seeing you!  Proceeds support our community fund.


Recipes: 

We realize we sometimes throw some new vegetables or one's that may take some culinary creativity.  Here's a keeper for swiss chard,which is also great sauteed with just a little olive oil and garlic. I also find the epicurious.com site a great tool for finding creative recipes. Also, 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.  If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com and we will add it to this site.

Bruschetta with Swiss Chard & Pecorino Cheese (adapted from italianfoodforever.com)

Ingredients:

Crusty Italian Bread, sliced
1 Garlic Clove, roasted and peeled
1 Large Bunch Of Swiss Chard
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Minced Sun-Dried Tomatoes (I Prefer Oil Packed)
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Shaved Pecorino (or your favorite) Cheese

Directions:

Wash the swiss chard and dry it well, chop the leaves coarsely, and finely chop the stems. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat, and then add the minced garlic and cook just until fragrant. Add the swiss chard and cook until it is wilted and soft. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, and then season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well, and then set aside. Either grill the bread slices, or place under the broiler, lightly browning each side.  Spread a bit of the roasted garlic on each slice of toasted bread. Divide the swiss chard mixture between the slices of bread, and then top each with some of the shaved pecorino cheese.

 

Posted 5/19/2015 9:40am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK (As pictured in photo roughly left to right): Asparagus, Rhubarb, Spring Onions, Purple/Green Kohlrabi, Potatoes*, Mixed Kale/Collards, Celeriac or Turnips (Choice), Lettuce, Basil Plants, Parsley, Rosemary, and Oregano (not pictured).


FARM NOTES:

May is always one of the trickier months to plan a CSA box.  For us here at Village Acres, we are transitioning from greenhouse lettuce and greens planting to those in the field which leave us subject to temperature fluctuation, insect pests emerging from there winter slumber, and (this spring) dryness.  At the same time we are waiting for the outside greens to take off, we are rapidly filling the high tunnel space with our heat loving summer favorites- cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant- coaxing them to grace our dinner plates as early as the sun allows in the season. The cool start to the spring season this year, following by the unseasonably hot dry recent weeks have made some of this transitional month even trickier.  We had to wait longer to plant things out and once we did, we have been needing to spend a good bit of time setting up irrigation for the newly planted crops which in most springs has not been an immediate need.  All this is to say, we are working hard to provide you with balanced shares every week, but if there are a few shares that seem a bit unbalanced, please rest assured that we will be doing everything in our ability to balance it over the season- There are baby tomatoes and cucumbers forming on our high tunnel plantings, green strawberries swelling in size every day. The summer squash plants are pushing on the row covers, causing us to check daily for those first blossoms which will mean it's time to take the covers off and let those squash bees do their pollinating.  While we wait for these summer stars, let's make sure to savor the asparagus;-)

~Deb

This Week's Extras: Frozen Pasture Raised Chicken and eggs, Tomato Plants, Honey, Olive Oil and more

Interested in a Chicken Share?: We will be offering Chicken Shares again this year.  If you are interested in one, please  email csa@villageacresfarm.com for more information.

 


Recipes: 

We realize we sometimes throw some new vegetables or one's that may take some culinary creativity your direction.  Below are two recipe ideas to work with for kale, kohlrabi, and rhubarb. I also find the epicurious.com site a great tool for finding creative recipes. Also, 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.  If you come across a recipe that you would like to share, please send it to csa@villageacresfarm.com and we will add it to this site.

Sautéed Kale with Kohlrabi


Yield: Makes 8 servings 
Active Time: 25 min Total Time: 45 min (includes cooling)
GOURMET | SEPTEMBER 2009 BY IAN KNAUER

Ingredients

1 1/4 pound kohlrabi, bulbs peeled
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds kale (2 bunches), stems and center ribs discarded
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, chopped

Preparation

Very thinly slice kohlrabi.

Whisk together lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi with dressing.

Finely chop kale. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté garlic until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Add kale by the handful, turning and stirring with tongs and adding more kale as volume in skillet reduces. When all of kale is wilted, sauté with 1/2 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. 3Toss kale with kohlrabi and pistachios.

 

Rhubarb Chutney

Yield: Makes about 4 cups
BON APPÉTIT | APRIL 2003

Ingredients
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cardamom
4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb (from 1 3/4 pounds rhubarb)
3/4 cup dried currants
4 green onions, chopped

Preparation
Stir first 6 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Add rhubarb, currants, and green onions; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate chutney until cold, at least 1 hour. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Posted 5/12/2015 9:20am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK (As pictured in photo roughly left to right): Asparagus, Rhubarb, Broccoli (Full Shares this week), Carrots, Lettuce, Easter Egg Radishes/Salad (Hakerui) Turnips, Salad Mix, Tatsoi, Carrots, Chives, Thyme, and Parsley plants(not pictured).


FARM NOTES:

After a refreshing overnight thunderstorm and some lovely cloud cover keeping those 80 degree temperatures at bay this morning, we are feeling energized for our first CSA day of the 2015 Summer Season.  A month ago, I was fretting the decision to start our summer season in the middle of May- sure that we would not have enough to fill the first week's share but the last few unseasonably warm weeks helped make up for the cool start to the season and we have a nice full box to start the season! We hope you enjoy this week's share and a full season of fresh, organic, and locally produced food!  We are looking forward to building relationships with all of you over the season and welcome your questions and feedback along the way!  Thank you for choosing us as your farmers and enabling us to do what we love to do!

~Deb

This Week's Extras: Pasture-Raised Chicken (Fresh for Tuesday, Frozen-Friday), Tomato Plants, Honey, Olive Oil, Pecans, and Eggs.

Interested in a Chicken Share?: We will be offering Chicken Shares again this year.  If you are interested in one, please talk to Deb at distribution or email csa@villageacresfarm.com for more information.

 


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 4/21/2015 8:34am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Salad mix, Lettuce Heads, and Bok choi and/or braising greens


FARM NOTES:

Here we are at the last Winter Distribution.  It seems appropriate as the last spinach was harvested this week, and the beds were quickly reworked, compost added, and made ready to be the need home for cucumber and tomato plants which are eager to spread their roots.  There is much activity in the field as well- potatoes are planted, and last week's dry weather gave us the opportunity to till and prepare bed space for our onions and first planting of tomatoes. We are poised for a planting spree- once the aisle dry out from the recent storms, and the sub freezing night time lows disappear from the 5 day forecast, all hands will be planting.  We are always eager to get plants in the ground, and fresh local tomatoes to your dinner plate, but at this time of year it is prudent to be patient and we are trying our best;-)

We are truly grateful to all of you for your support over the season- we would not be able to farm the way we do with out your commitment to supporting local, consciously raised food.  I also want to thank you all for being flexible as we experiment with a different structure for our Winter Season.  We want to hear your feedback on the season and have created a Winter 2015 CSA Survey.  Please take some time to complete this survey.  Feel free to also talk with any of us, or email or call me to let us know your thoughts and suggestion.  We will use this information to help us plan for next winter as well as improve the overall CSA experience for our members. 

Our first Summer distribution will be the second full week of May (May 12 for Tuesday pickups and May 15 for Friday).  This break will give us time to concentrate on field work and preparing for the busy summer months.  Our 1st Saturday Breakfast for May (May 2nd) falls in this period, so if you are missing our vegetables and eggs we would encourage you to come for breakfast, see what's going on on the farm, and restock!  

With much gratitude,

Deb


Summer CSA Registration: It's less than 1 month away! Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.

1st Saturday's Farm Breaksfast- Saturday May 2nd, 8-11AM:  We will be serving farm fresh foods- eggs, sausage and bacon (Blue Rooster Farm), berry pancakes, and more. Take a stroll around the farm, and see what we are up to. We will continue to have Farm breakfast the first Saturday of every month April-November.  


Recipe: 

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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

Posted 4/7/2015 10:29am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Kale


FARM NOTES:

         

In the span of a morning, the population on the farm went up by six: baby animals have arrived! Pepper and Lulu gave birth this morning to twin goat kids each. Interestingly, the kids don’t seem to know which is their mother! They’ve been trying to feed at both mama goats, and since we were sleeping during the births, we can’t be sure ourselves which kid belongs to which mama. Happily, Pepper and Lulu don’t seem to mind feeding the other’s baby goats.  It’s impressive how quickly the kids adapt: I went to see them midday, and they are already prancing about like they’ve been doing it for years.

Lambs, on the other hand, I now know aren’t as ready from the get-go. Linnet, a Shetland sheep that’s surely been past her due date, finally gave birth to twins yesterday. They are equally adorable as the baby goats but much more skittish. One hid under the shelter, and the other awkwardly and fearfully escaped my attempts to pet him. I am sure these kids and lambs will provide plenty of entertainment in the coming weeks!

We finally have started planting outside of the greenhouses: arugula, carrots, chard and more. While exciting news, I think hearing about newborn animals is more appealing!

-Allison


Summer CSA Registration: It's less than 2 months away! Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


Recipe: To help you keep up with your spinach, I recommend you revisit a favorite given to us from a CSA member: Very Easy Spicy Creamed Spinach. Who's going to say no to cheesy spinach?

 

 

Posted 3/24/2015 9:41am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Chard/Beet Greens


FARM NOTES:

Happy Spring everyone- the mornings are still cold, and the green seems slow to return to our fields, but now,even outside the greenhouse, growth is resuming.  The rhubarb crowns are pushing out new shoots (see photo to the bottom left) and our bred goats and sheep are walking around twice their normal size, ready to birth any day.  Even though these things happen every year, somehow they always seem new and exciting.  Our to do lists are growing faster that the day light is expanding so, you know what that means...

We are looking forward to some new things this year- one of those things is some on farm research!  While we are always conducting our own little trials and what not, this year we will be working with researchers from University of Vermont and Penn State to look at some biological pest control methods in our greenhouses and high tunnels.  As organic growers we are always looking for effective biological or cultural methods for controling pest and diseases.  This year we will be testing some of these controls specifically with aphid control on tomatoes and winter greens.  We will be planting habitat plants (pollen producing flowers and the like) that are host to natural enemies of our common pest in some of our high tunnels as well as releasing purchased natural enemies into others.  We're excited to see what we learn, and I'm excited to see even more diversity in our tunnel!

I hope you are all enjoying seeing subtle changes around you and have some new things to get you excited in the coming months! ~Deb


Summer CSA Registration: It's less than 2 months away! Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.

1st Saturday's Farm Breaksfast- Saturday April 4th, 8-11AM: Come down for the first Saturday breakfast of the 2015.  We will be serving farm fresh foods- eggs, sausage and bacon (Blue Rooster Farm), berry pancakes, and more. Take a stroll around the farm, and see what we are up to. We will continue to have Farm breakfast the first Saturday of every month April-November.  


 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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

 

 

Posted 3/10/2015 9:27am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Chard, Baby Kale


FARM NOTES:

This past Sunday was International Women's Day, and it reminded me what great female role models I have on our farm. With Deb at the helm, our farm falls into the 14% of U.S. farms operated by women. In fact, this winter, everyone who helps run the farm except Roy and Owen is female! In an industry still dominated by men, this is impressive. Deb, Jackie, Hope, Hannah: I've got four outstanding examples of women succeeding in agriculture I can talk to everyday. Internationally, women make up half of the agricultural workforce and are essential for family nutrition, yet access to land and resources is more difficult for women than for men. Despite their obstacles, women around the world, in the U.S., and at Village Acres are leading many efforts towards sustainable and organic agriculture.

On a more local note, we've begun to transplant! The first of our lettuces and bok choys carefully seeded in the cold of January have been relocated to new beds in the high tunnels, and are happy for the increased space and sunshine. ~Allison


Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


 

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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

Chop up that spinach you received and satisfy your Indian food cravings!

 

Saag Paneer (Spinach and Paneer Cheese) from The Daily Feast cookbook

Saute in oil: 1 onion; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 inch ginger, minced

Add and saute a few minutes: 2 t. each coriander and garam masala; 1 t. each cumin and chili powder; 1/2 t. turmeric; cayenne pepper

Add: 15 oz or 1 pt canned tomatoes

Add, cover, cook on low for 7 minutes: 0.5-1 lb spinach as desired

Salt to taste, and serve with rice and cut cubes of paneer cheese* on top.

*Make your own paneer easily with milk and lemon juice here,  Or substitute farmer's cheese, ricotta salata, or tofu. I pan-fried my paneer cubes before eating, but this is optional.

Posted 2/24/2015 7:29am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Cooking Greens: Kale

Salad Greens: Blend of Spinach, Mesclun (Young Asian Greens), and Arugula


FARM NOTES:

Yesterday morning, as Allison and I were packing up your greens mix, Roy came into the packing shed from the cold and proclaimed, “Now, where did you get all that?” I was elbows deep mixing a giant bin of spinach, mesclun and arugula, and I looked up and replied with a grin, “I grew that.” Okay, we grew that, but if someone would have told me three years ago that I would be in that moment, I would not have believed them. When I left my previous career to start this adventure, I had no idea if I could be a farmer. Now, I can’t imagine anything better than the feeling of pulling warm, fresh eggs out from under a hen; the snap of spinach as we harvest in a warm greenhouse; or joking with the crew over a high fence of sungold tomatoes. So, even with subzero temperatures, hunching over spinach beds for hours, and albino groundhogs hiding under row covers, I’m proud to say, “I grew that!”
~Jackie


National CSA Sign Up Day this Saturday, February 28th! Based on a 2014 CSA Farming report, February 28th is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA. This Saturday, CSA farms and communities across the country will be celebrating what CSAs offer our farms and local communities.  Of course we will all also be calling folks to action so if you'd like to be part of the movement and an exciting season of good eating, why not help us celebrate this weekend by signing up. If you are into social media, help us create a trending story by using the hashtag #CSA to share your excitement about what a CSA offers your family:-)

Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays: 
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays: 
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life 
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street 
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! 

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.


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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

I discovered this easy salad dressing this summer and it would be awesome on your salad greens, sometimes I don’t even put anything else on my salad. From http://www.suzyhomemaker.net/2012/03/zesty-sun-dried-tomato-vinaigrette.html?m=1


Zesty Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
8 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
5 cloves garlic - minced
4 sun-dried tomato halves - reconstituted in oil - minced
Salt and Pepper to taste


You can either reconstitute your tomatoes overnight in oil (I mix in some basil or oregano) or buy them in oil at the store. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it’s just a little chunky. I like to let it sit in the fridge overnight to let all of the flavors marry.

Posted 2/10/2015 9:53am by Debra Brubaker .

Seed starts in Greenhouse

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Baby Kale, and Bok Choy Heads.


FARM NOTES:

This past week has been full of excitement for us here at Village Acres.  Not only did we get to attend the PASA conference (an annual gathering of sustainable minded farmers for learning and idea exchange) but we also celebrated the announcement of Hannah's appointment by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture for Pennsylvania!  While Hannah has been widely involved in the agriculture community through her work with the Pennsylvania Farmers Union, PASA, the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, and, of course, on behalf of our own farm, this appointment came as a bit of a surprise.  But of course Hannah was honored and willing to take on the job. We family farmers dream of having a persons that reflect our values in government and with Hannah's appointment, we know we have an effective advocate who has the creativity to bring about real change in our state.  She is already off to work (starting yesterday) and we are scrambling to make sure that all the things she does here on the farm don't get forgotten- Like this weekly newsletter/blog :-) We are excited to see what the next 4 years hold and are so very proud of Hannah!

~Deb


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays: 
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays: 
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life 
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street 
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! A la carte extras should be ordered by Thursday for Tuesday delivery and by Tuesday for Friday delivery to ensure that we have time to get your veggies washed and ready to go.

State College Folks: We will have a bit of a different set-up with the a la carte style ordering, so we are asking that you please bring your own bag/basket/box to the delivery site.

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.

Summer CSA Sign-ups- If you plan to join us for the 2015 Summer/Fall season, please don't put off signing up.  We have already started seeding, and it's easier to know how many seeds to plant if we know how many people we are feeding;-) Sign up online at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

The baby kale in the greens share is some of the sweetest I've tasted.  As we were bagging, we were all talking about our favorite Massaged Kale salads.  Here is a link to several massaged kale salad recipes. http://www.nutritionstripped.com/massaged-kale-salad-three-ways/

 

 

Posted 1/27/2015 10:37am by Hannah.

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Salad Greens: Mesclun Mix

Cooking Greens: Super Sweet Braising Chard


FARM NOTES:

Greens! Greens! Greens! It's that time of year when we our bodies are so hungry for them and it's the best thing in the world that we've got some to share! These early weeks, while it's still so gray, your share will be smaller than perhaps we'd hope. But...as with the summer abundance that hits mid-season, we'll likely experience the same with our winter greens as the sun comes out and the days lengthen. So, hold on!

Welcome to our Winter CSA Season. We know the change to a greens-only share this winter is taking some getting used to. We look forward to your feedback as the season progresses. At least for now, the a la carte option for root vegetables and specialty items seems well received. 

Yesterday, we decided to open the heat valves to our propagation house. Can you believe it's time to start seeds for summer already? We are officially open for Summer/Fall Season signups. Please visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/csa to secure your place.

Here's to another great season,

Hannah

 


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays:
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays:
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! A la carte extras should be ordered by Thursday for Tuesday delivery and by Tuesday for Friday delivery to ensure that we have time to get your veggies washed and ready to go.

State College Folks: We will have a bit of a different set-up with the a la carte style ordering, so we are asking that you please bring your own bag/basket/box to the delivery site.

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.


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 you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPE:

Mediterranean Braised Chard
www.Chow.com Adapted from Ana Sortun
Though braising sounds like a time-consuming effort, this recipe from Ana Sortun, chef and owner of the Mediterranean restaurant Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, can be pulled off in less than 30 minutes. The mix of Mediterranean ingredients like anchovy, raisins, capers, olives, pine nuts, and lemon lends tons of bright flavor and unexpected complexity without extra fat or calories.

Game plan: This recipe can be made with beet, mustard, turnip, or older dandelion greens in place of the chard; serve it with grilled meat or fish, or eat the greens on their own with a dollop of tangy yogurt.

Ingredients
2 bunches Swiss chard, washed, thoroughly dried, and stem ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup small-dice white onion
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons golden raisins, also known as sultanas
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Slice the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely chop the stems and set aside; cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, anchovies, and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the capers and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the reserved chard stems and cook until they start to brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring the leaves with tongs, until they’re wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, pine nuts, and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.