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Friday, August 19, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 11 (August 22-26th)

Good morning shareholders,

Thank you to all who have participated in our mid-season survey.  We appreciate your feedback and ideas to make the CSA the best it can be.  We are reading your submissions daily and will keep the survey link open and paper copies in the share room for one more week. After next week, we will be addressing some of the most common questions and concerns through the blog and in the share room.  Your kind words of understanding during the severe drought and the support for our farm team has been greatly appreciated.  Thank you.  



While the farm camp was wrapping up its last week, we had the pleasure of being featured on NECN's Making the Grade series.  Check out the link to see our farm camp in action: link to watch online! We will miss the farm campers and the life they brought to the farm each day and can't wait to see many of them back on the farm this fall on school trips or at Family Farm Day on September 18th.  



Speaking of kids... Do you have some teenagers who need to keep busy before school starts? Send them over to help us stack our winter wood piles!  We are also looking for some volunteer landscape gardeners to help keep up the garden beds around the store, Old House, and Dairy Barn neat and tidy. We're also looking for another handyman/property steward and help in the dairy barn.  If you're interested in any of these volunteer opportunities or for more information, email the farm at appletonfarms@thetrustees.org




The Share:
Potatoes
Leeks
Peppers
Squash
Lettuce
Garlic
Chard
Carrots

From the Fields:
I posted this drought map several weeks ago.  Check out the neat slide comparison tool to track the progress of the drought over time.  We have official entered “Extreme Drought” conditions. Hooray!?

The tomatoes are taking their time in ripening up as they seem to do every year.  We really need them to be ready for next week in order to fill out the share and because I know how happy everyone will be to see them.  Nature doesn’t take advice from me unfortunately, so we will most likely be forced to wait another week before tomatoes join the share.  The tomato plants have been given the highest watering priority through the drought and heat waves but have never the less still been impacted.  Most of the vines are looking extremely healthy if a bit stunted and the fruit sets have been erratic but my hope is that this will not have a dramatic effect on the yield or harvest window for these plants.  Eggplants have not been so lucky.  I’m actually very resentful that, in spite of a tremendous amount of effort and resources allocated to the eggplants, they continue to be contrary and unproductive.  One in every 5 plants has a single fruit or blossom.  The rest just sit out there; stunted, tip burnt and extremely irritating.  It doesn’t help that last season at this time of year we were harvesting twice a week and bringing in 50-60 bushels with each harvest.  Our last harvest yielded 4 bushels.  I took pictures to document last years harvest and this one.

We have been cultivating extensively after last weeks rain.  The soil stayed moist for several days which allowed plenty of time for weeds to germinate.  It has been a pleasure to work in the soil again without having to inhale quite so much of it.  We are in race to weed and cultivate as many beds as possible before it becomes too dusty.  The fall brassicas have been getting quite a bit of attention as have the lettuces.  Our final extra large beans planting actually germinated (somewhat) and has survived against the odds so we have set to work hand weeding the beds.  With any luck our members should get at least one decent bean haul this year.


We have also been planting as much as possible this past week with the weather finally favoring us a bit and with the window for fall plantings closing.  Lettuce, fennel and celery went into the ground in the beginning of the week and I am hopeful that we will get chard and Chinese cabbage into the ground today.  The greens we seeded two weeks ago popped up and were almost immediately devoured by flea beetles.  Believe it or not we hadn’t been seeing much flea beetle damage prior to this so it was a nasty surprise.  With our next planting we will try a combination of organic deterrents and row cover.  Normally we wouldn’t dedicate this much attention to fall greens but they have taken on a greater importance this year with the success of our late season crops still uncertain.

If you were unable to fill out the survey online or in the share room- here it is again.  We hope you will take a few minutes to fill it outhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AFCSAmidseasonsurvey




Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here

Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 

Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here   

Cooking with Fire: August 28th at 6PM.  Inspired by the farm’s very own wood-fired Earth Oven, this special workshop celebrates the season with signature recipes featuring the freshest farm ingredients along with all the skills needed to enjoy your own backyard grilling all summer long. Class begins in the farm kitchen with menu preparation, culinary tips, and instruction before heading outdoors to the kitchen patio for fun grilling, dining, and local beer! Pre-register online here

Friday, August 12, 2016

Appleton CSA: Week 10

Good morning shareholders,
The summer heat continues to bake the pastures, veggie fields, farmers and staff but we had lots of fun with our group of farm campers this week, made some tasty pickled carrots, zucchini and corn salsa at our Putting Up the Harvest class in the kitchen, and have our new batch of Broad Meadow cheese in the farm store.  We'll be heading off the farm this weekend to sample and sell cheese at the Ipswich Farmer's Market and Beverly's Bacon and Brew Fest.

We are looking forward to an exciting week ahead with our  monthly Farm Store Open House on Thursday the 18th and our first Graze the North Shore Food Festival on Saturday, August 20th.  Get your tickets and join us for a fun night on the farm with live music by the Jason Spooner band, your favorite local restaurants and beverage crafters.

Next week marks the half way point in the CSA season.  In our continuing efforts to improve communication between CSA shareholders and farmers, we will be doing a mid season survey this year in addition to our end of season survey. The survey will be posted here on the blog and will also be available to fill out in the share room next week. This is an opportunity to provide feedback on your CSA experience thus far with a focus on aspects of the CSA that we can improve for the second half of the season.  We hope you will participate and let us know how we’re doing and what you would like to see us do better between now and November.  Thanks in advance!      


The Share
Lettuce
Chard
Carrots
Potatoes
Cabbage
Onions
Melons
Cucumbers
Squash

From the Fields:
We finally got some rain this week!  It wasn’t a season altering quantity but it was enough to keep the soil moist for the past two days.  More importantly, the rain signaled both a climatic as well as spiritual shift here on the farm. With more wet weather a possibility in the forecast maybe we can begin to hope again for a good fall. 

Hope has been wrestling with Pragmatism in my mind for the last couple of weeks and it hadn’t been looking good for Hope prior to this Wednesday’s storm.  It remains to be seen how much of a practical impact one storm will have but just for fun lets look on the bright side today.

Tomatoes are still at least a week away from ready but the red slicers look very large and healthy.  When they do finally start coming in I’m expecting a fast flush.  The extra fall crops that we seeded over the last two weeks have had strong germination and fast growth in the greenhouse.  If we can beat the pests, the extra napa cabbage, sprouting broccoli and kohlrabi should be great this fall in addition to the extra greens, radishes and turnips.  We aren’t certain exactly when the sweet corn will be available in the share but it will reportedly be here this month.  I think we may also begin to harvest cantaloupe next week which is extremely exciting for me.  If the yields are reasonable and if they are popular in the share room we may increase the number we grow next year.  The few cantaloupes that we’ve sampled for science have made me believe that they should be extremely well received.

Recipe Exchange:

We didn't have any recipes submitted this week in our recipe exchange but our Office Manager, Susan, made Betsy M's Kohlrabi and Veggie soup and claims it is amazing!  Check out last week's post if you want to try it.  More on the recipe exchange in the survey.  






Volunteer Opportunities: Interested? Email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org

We are still looking for a few more volunteers for our Food Festival, Saturday August 20th, from 6pm-9pm.  Lend a hand for an early or late shift at our food and beverage stations, set up, or clean up.  Volunteers can bring a friend for free.  Away on the 20th? Save the date to lend a hand at Family Farm Day on Sunday, September 18th.  Your help makes our events possible for hundreds of families to learn, connect, and get involved with Appleton Farms.  



Upcoming Programs and Events:

Friday Farm Dinners: Every Friday in the Stone Paddock at 5:30PM.  Join us for a summer evening of farm fresh food, live music, and lawn games! Pre-register online here


Fun in the Farmyard: Every Sunday in the Carriage Barn from 10am-3pm.  FREE drop in program where you can meet the animals, make a farm craft, and learn all about Appleton Farms. 

Rise and Shine Little Farmers: Saturdays at 9AM.  Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast pigs will run for their morning helping of veggie scraps? This Saturday morning program brings families behind the scenes of our working farm.  Pre-register online here   

Cooking with Fire: August 28th at 6PM.  Inspired by the farm’s very own wood-fired Earth Oven, this special workshop celebrates the season with signature recipes featuring the freshest farm ingredients along with all the skills needed to enjoy your own backyard grilling all summer long. Class begins in the farm kitchen with menu preparation, culinary tips, and instruction before heading outdoors to the kitchen patio for fun grilling, dining, and local beer! Pre-register online here

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Appleton Farms CSA: Week 9


Good morning shareholders,

We want to thank you all for your understanding in this year of severe drought. Your reassuring words in the share room and kind emails showing your support mean a lot to the farm team.  Our campers spent the week digging into farm chores and letting the farmers know how much they appreciated their hard work too.  We look forward to seeing everyone back on the farm this week.  

Last week we celebrated the completion of our new wooden play structure built by our Monday Morning Volunteer crew. "Bob the Tractor" was added so that our littlest farmers can spend some time in the driver's seat of their very own tractor.  Why "Bob"? Our Monday crew named the tractor in honor of one of our longtime volunteers who passed away this summer and was instrumental in the completion of countless projects here at Appleton.  We will think of Bob T. each time we see kids enjoying the view of the farm from their new tractor.  

Last week we also opened up the public pick-your-own flower field that was planned, planted, and cared for by our Olivia on our Education team.  Proceeds from this Flower Field will help support programs like Sunday's Fun in the Farmyard and our Farm Field School program that engages over 40 schools each year in sustainable agriculture, the working farm, and healthy cooking.  


The Share
Onions
Scallions
Carrots
Cabbage
Melons
Potatoes
Squash
Cucumbers

From the Fields: 

We worked late this Friday bringing in just over 4000lbs of watermelon.  They just barely fit into the cooler but they should be cold, crisp and sweet for next weeks share.  I’m going to try to keep this brief since my wife and I are moving this weekend and I’m sure she is waiting for my help back home.


It is still dry as can be out there.  We are smack dab in the middle of the expanding drought zone.  The tree out in front of the CSA barn lost all its leaves this week.  They dropped all in one day as if to say “That’s the absolute limit, I give up!”  It was sad to see but the rasping sound of the falling leaves was soothing. The share begins again this Monday.  A part of me wishes we could wait until the tomatoes, eggplant and peppers start coming before we open again but we can’t add any more extra weeks in the fall.  Hopefully the shares that we are able to offer in the coming weeks keep everyone satisfied.  We are going to be forced to limit more of the available items than usual but the farmers won’t be holding anything back.  If you don’t see it in the share room it is because we just don’t have it.  We are also working on getting corn into the share as soon as possible.  Hang in there everybody.


Recipe Exchange: Recipe of the Week

We want thank Betsy M. for her second delicious soup recipe submission. Vegetables can be varied according to what is in the share.  She also notes that except for the tomatoes, all of these were available this week and that this recipe is delicious served with toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Kohlrabi and Vegetable Soup: Serves 4
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 garlic scapes, chopped
1 onion or 2 scallions, chopped
1 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
2 carrots, unpeeled and sliced
1 small zucchini or summer squash
6 or so green beans, chopped
1 large sprig of basil, chopped (optional)
1 pint chopped stewed tomatoes
2 pints water

Sauté onions and scapes until onions are translucent. Add carrots and kohlrabi and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add zucchini and green beans, then cover with 1 cup of water and simmer until kohlrabi is tender but not too soft. Add chopped tomatoes, basil, and remaining water and simmer another 2-3 minutes until all is cooked through. 


Volunteer Opportunities: For more information email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org

Flower Fields Volunteers: Thursday, Friday or Saturday mornings with Olivia. Weeding, watering, planting, and making flower bouquets for the farm store. 

Food Festival Volunteers: Opportunities include set up, break down, decorating, slicing cheese samples, parking, welcome and registration, and more. Work a shift and get a free ticket for a friend. 

More Upcoming Events and Programs:

Putting up the Harvest: Pickling

Thursday, August 11th 6-8PM
This is a great hands-on opportunity to get comfortable with these skills for confidence at home as we cover proper safety guidelines, the do’s & don’ts, and traditional techniques for best end results.  Our ‘putting up’ recipes will pair distinctly with the growing season and incorporate the freshest foods of the farm harvest. This week: Recipes such as Bread & Butter Field Squash Pickles, Dilly Carrots, and Summer Corn Relish. Pre-registration required.  Members: $40. Registration at www.thetrustees.org/appletoncooks


Graze the North Shore Food Festival
Join us for our first local food festival! On Saturday, August 20th, Appleton Farms will host Graze the North Shore, a food festival with local farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners and food enthusiasts for a day of summertime feasting. Graze your way through this one-of-a-kind summer event featuring generous tastings of local food, beer and wine, a pig roast, farm tours, cheese sampling, and live music by the Jason Spooner Band. Attendees will experience a true farmer to chef experience among the rolling pastures and historic barns here at Appleton Farms.  Tickets include all samples. Buy your tickets now

Friday Farm Dinners: Join us every Friday for a casual, family-friendly farm dinner in the Stone Paddock. Live music, delicious buffet dinner highlighting what's in season right now. All menus designed and served by local restaurants, chefs, and caterers in partnership with Appleton.  Full schedule and tickets at www.thetrustees.org/appletoncooks



Farm camp, Rise and Shine, Fun in the Farmyard, and Carrot Club continue each week!  Find all the details and registration at www.thetrustees.org

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Appleton Farms CSA: Week 8

Good morning shareholders,

We have a lot to communicate about the field conditions this week so we will be catching you up on general farm news and updates next week.   
If you communicated with the CSA Manager or Share Room Manager and you are planning on taking the voluntary week hiatus, please do not pick up a share this week.
 The Share:
Cabbage
Carrots
Kale
Onions
Scallions
Potatoes
Cucumbers
Squash
 Field updates:
Boy, what a week.  If it were not for the growing chance of cooler, wetter weather today I don’t know if we would have had the morale to make it through.  We have watched with thirsty anticipation as the percent chance of rain slowly inched up. Today is supposed to be the big day but the wet stuff just refuses to come.  When I last checked the accumulation expectation was down to less than a tenth of an inch.  This is a pretty big blow.  On the positive side it seems that the heat has finally broken and in many ways this is as important as getting rain.  We have been holding off on transplanting and seeding fall crops for as long as possible in fear that they would be instantly killed.  Yesterday we were finally able to transplant our broccoli and we are working on cabbage, cauliflower and kale today.  It takes between 60 and 90 days for most of these crops to mature so we are cutting it a little close.  I took a closer look at our melons, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes this week as well.  The melons are showing signs of fatigue in spite of receiving a large amount of irrigation.  Fortunately it looks like quite a bit of the fruit set before the heat wave began.  The melons look a little puny but there are plenty of them.  It looks like the fruit sets on the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes are a little more erratic but most of the plants look healthy.  The summer and winter squash have been similarly impacted.  The lettuce looks so good that deer have begun staging raids through our fencing.  We have been forced to construct a secondary fence within the first to protect our lettuce.  Unfortunately our plan to get the deer to pay for this project failed.
I mentioned earlier that the heat wave coming to an end is almost as important as getting rain.  This is because most of the vegetables that we grow do not thrive when the weather is consistently above 85 degrees during the day time.  Long season, fruiting plants (melons, squash, tomatoes, etc.) will terminate fertile flowers above this temperature in a bid to conserve energy for a more favorable time.  Cool weather loving, short season plants (lettuce, greens, etc) tend to “bolt”, that is to become fibrous, bitter and go to seed, when the weather becomes too hot because their shorter life cycle doesn’t give them the opportunity to wait out unfavorable conditions.  Obviously the hot weather has resulted in more rapid moisture loss as well.  Fortunately it does not look like we will be returning to 85+ degree weather anytime soon.  With luck we will be able to catch up on watering a little bit and our plants will respond favorably.  
To summarize the bad news: our summer crops aren’t producing as much as they normally would be and some lower priority crops have succumbed.  Even if we get an inch of rain today things aren’t going to go back to normal over night.  Our staple fall crops have gone into the ground later in the season than we would normally like and some may not have the time to mature.  There isn’t much we can do about the summer crops other than adding this hiatus and riding it out but we can and are taking steps in an effort to safeguard our fall harvests.  First, we are beefing up our plans for faster growing fall crops.  We will be growing extra greens, spinach, turnips, beets, winter radish, napa cabbage, kale and others.  We may also try sowing extra carrots although it is a little late to be seeding those.  I know these might not be as popular as broccoli or cauliflower but they are solid, tasty and quick maturing crops.   Secondly we will be attempting to transplant more of these crops rather than direct seed them.  This will give us a greater degree of control over germination and maturation since we can’t afford to wait for the weather to favor us. Finally we will be turning to our neighboring farms as we have done in years past to help us fill in any gaps that might pop up in the share.  This may be a bit tricky since most other local farms are going through a very similar ordeal right now but it is certainly worth the try.  It is a little early to say how this will impact the fall share which we offer each year but the main season CSA is our first priority. 
Looking forward it seems as though this may not be the last hot, dry summer that we see.  I have been having lots of conversations with other farmers this week both about how they are trying to manage this drought and how they are thinking about dealing with future drought conditions.  Sometimes it takes a minor disaster to rouse us to action and I think we may have some opportunities to further improve our well, irrigation system and other core infrastructure for next season.  Many people have written to me this week offering their support and help in dealing with our water troubles.  Some have even offered to port water in!  While I don’t believe anything short of a long, steady, soaking rain will have a noticeable immediate impact, there is something that anyone and everyone can do to help.   
We will be putting out a mid season survey sometime in the next several weeks.  Your responses to this survey will be reviewed not only by myself but also by the Appleton General Manager, Engagement Manager and the Statewide Agriculture Program Manager as well as several others.  Your feedback on this survey is important for two reasons.  First, just by responding you can show that you are invested in the CSA program and that its future is important to you.  Second, this is a chance for you to directly advocate for the CSA program.  The Trustees is a large organization and capital reinvestment funds are distributed based on a number of criteria.  The CSA has grown quite a bit over the years and reinvestment in the program hasn´t always kept pace.  Your collective voice will make a large impact and you can use this chance to say “Yes we do care about the Appleton CSA program and we would like to see investments in its future stability.”  This year we are dealing with drought but next year we will likely be dealing with some new crisis.  We need to be proactive about potential weaknesses in the CSA program.  Yes this takes hard work from the farm staff and resources from the organization but most importantly it requires the will from our CSA members to see the farm succeed.  You are core supporters of Appleton Farms and The Trustees and your voices are powerful. 

Volunteer Opportunities: For more information email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org

Flower Fields Volunteers: Thursday, Friday or Saturday mornings with Olivia. Weeding, watering, planting, and making flower bouquets for the farm store. 

Food Festival Volunteers: Opportunities include set up, break down, decorating, slicing cheese samples, parking, welcome and registration, and more. Work a shift and enjoy the rest of the festival for free. We promise this will be a fun time and we really need your help!

More Upcoming Events and Programs:

Graze the North Shore Food Festival
Join us for our first local food festival! On Saturday, August 20th, Appleton Farms will host Graze the North Shore, a food festival with local farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners and food enthusiasts for a day of summertime feasting. Graze your way through this one-of-a-kind summer event featuring generous tastings of local food, beer and wine, a pig roast, farm tours, cheese sampling, and live music by the Jason Spooner Band. Attendees will experience a true farmer to chef experience among the rolling pastures and historic barns here at Appleton Farms. 

Tickets include all samples and must be purchased in advance. This event is 21+. IDs will be checked at the gate as well as by breweries and vintners. Full size beverages can be purchased directly from our vendors.  Rain or shine. Buy your tickets now

Taking part are our friends from the following restaurants, breweries, and vintners:

Restaurants:Grassy Roots, WenhamEva's Butcher Shop, Danvers, A & B Burger, BeverlyForeign Affairs, Manchester,  Vidalias, Beverly FarmsIpswich Clambake, IpswichNaumkeag Ordinary, SalemGulu Gulu Café,  SalemFlying Saucer Pizza Company, Salem Flatbread, GeorgetownKim Gregory Pure Pastry, BeverlyTatiana’s Treats, North Andover

Breweries and Vintners:Old Planters, BeverlyNewburyport Brewing Company, NewburyportAlfalfa Winery, TopsfieldFar From the Tree, SalemIpswich Ale, Ipswich1634 Meadery, Ipswich


We expect to host an additional 5-10 food and beverage crafters in addition to those above.  Think your product or business would be a great fit for our event? Email Kathryn at appletoncooks@thetrustees.org


Farm camp, Rise and Shine, Fun in the Farmyard, and Carrot Club continue each week!  Find all the details and registration at www.thetrustees.org

Friday, July 22, 2016

Appleton Farms: Welcome to Week 7

Good morning shareholders,

One of the most rewarding aspects of farming and working so closely with the land is the natural beauty you experience every day.  No matter the season, nature inspires awe.  Unfortunately, when we experience record breaking temperatures, extreme storms, or stretches of drought like we are in now, it is all farmers are thinking and talking about.  The daily moments of awe have become focused on the rapidly changing landscape before us here at Appleton.  We are adapting our practices to protect our crops and livestock each day that passes without rain.  We hope you are conserving water at home and finding ways to reduce your impact on water supplies.  Check out this nifty drought map for Massachusetts.  It has lots of features and interesting ways to compare historical and regional drought conditions.  The coolest thing about drought is this map!  Drought Monitor Map

Farm Camp, our Friday Farm Dinners, the support of our faithful volunteers, and our early morning runners are still keeping the farm filled with vibrancy despite the drought.  We are looking forward to this Sunday's Meet the Machines Summer Picnic where little ones can climb aboard our tractors and make friends with our farm yard animals. We hope you will join us!  Register online if you are coming at the link above. 

From the Fields:
In my updates from the last several weeks I have tried to communicate the harshness of the field conditions tempered with humor and cautious optimism. Unfortunately the time for putting on a bold face in hopes of a reprieve has passed.  Uncomfortable as it is, it is time to be very frank.  Many of the vegetables plantings have tipped from “just holding on” to “giving up”.  Although the week’s forecast doesn’t show a high probability of rain outside of a passing thunderstorm, even if we should get the steady soaking rain that we need it will come too late for many of our plantings to recover.  We have been trying to prioritize getting water to our most important crops to keep them from withering.  These include carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, cucumbers and melons.  We are only able to water for about 6 out of every 24 hours as our well continuously runs dry and requires time to recharge.  Irrigation is keeping these crops alive but they are not thriving.  When the temperature rises above 85 degrees, most of the plants we grow will not set fruit while crops like lettuce will attempt to go to seed.  With continued stretches of 85+ degree weather we expect to see dips and stutters in yields.  Without speculating too much on the short and long term effects this weather will have on the rest of our season, I can say that we are in for a rough couple of weeks out in the fields and in the share room and that the late summer/early fall hinges on getting some substantial rain and cooler conditions in the near future.


On the bright side Moraine farm does not suffer the same water limitations as Appleton.  The winter squash especially looks very good in sharp contrast with last season’s crop.  Soon we will begin harvesting our new potatoes from the Moraine fields.  I am also hopeful that the fruits set before the blazing hot weather settled in will be of concentrated sweetness from all the dry weather.  Sooner or later this dry spell has got to break.  

In the Share
Kale
Cabbage
Kohlrabi
Onions
Cucumbers
Summer Squash
Garlic Scapes
New this Week
Carrots

In Other News: 
Check out this great article about the Appleton CSA on Foodtank.com, written by one of our fellow shareholders, Kathryn Chiffer.  Kathryn is an undergraduate student and the founder of "Project Lunchbox: Let's Eat!," an endeavor committed to empowering consumers, inspiring informed food choices, and instilling the belief that every person is capable of igniting change within the local and global food system. 

From the Farm Store:
We hope our shareholders who picked up last Monday enjoyed our Farm Store Open House with samples and tastings from our friends at Mojo, Carolyn's Farm Kitchen and our own Appleton cheeses.  Our August Open House will be on August 18th.  Also, Freedom Ranger pastured chickens from Eden Pond Farm are back in the store.  

Volunteer Opportunities: For more information email appletonfarms@thetrustees.org
Flower Fields Volunteers: Thursday, Friday or Saturday mornings with Olivia. Weeding, watering, planting, and making flower bouquets for the farm store. 
Food Festival Volunteers: Lend a hand pouring local beer or slicing cheese for samples at our upcoming food festival.

More Upcoming Events and Programs:
Graze the North Shore Food Festival
Join us for our first local food festival! On Saturday, August 20th, Appleton Farms will host Graze the North Shore, a food festival with local farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners and food enthusiasts for a day of summertime feasting. Graze your way through this one-of-a-kind summer event featuring generous tastings of local food, beer and wine, a pig roast, farm tours, cheese sampling, and live music by the Jason Spooner Band. Attendees will experience a true farmer to chef experience among the rolling pastures and historic barns here at Appleton Farms. 

Tickets include all samples and must be purchased in advance. This event is 21+. IDs will be checked at the gate as well as by breweries and vintners. Full size beverages can be purchased directly from our vendors.  Rain or shine. Buy your tickets now

Taking part are our friends from the following restaurants, breweries, and vintners:
Restaurants:Grassy Roots, WenhamEva's Butcher Shop, Danvers, A & B Burger, BeverlyForeign Affairs, Manchester,  Vidalias, Beverly FarmsIpswich Clambake, IpswichNaumkeag Ordinary, SalemGulu Gulu Café,  SalemFlying Saucer Pizza Company, Salem Flatbread, GeorgetownKim Gregory Pure Pastry, BeverlyTatiana’s Treats, North Andover

Breweries and Vintners:Old Planters, BeverlyNewburyport Brewing Company, NewburyportAlfalfa Winery, TopsfieldFar From the Tree, SalemIpswich Ale, Ipswich1634 Meadery, Ipswich

We expect to host an additional 5-10 food and beverage crafters in addition to those above.  Think your product or business would be a great fit for our event? Email Kathryn at appletoncooks@thetrustees.org

Farm camp,Rise and Shine, Fun in the Farmyard, and Carrot Club continue each week!  Find all the details and registration at www.thetrustees.org




Friday, July 15, 2016

Appleton Farms: Welcome to Week 6

Good morning shareholders,

This week on the farm we welcomed our new Artist in Residence, Laurie Miles.  Laurie Miles (http://lauriemilesart.com/) has been a friend of the farm and The Trustees for many years.  She knows our properties well and has long been inspired by the nature they provide access to.  Laurie's artistic process at Appleton is focused on paper making using the farm and field leftovers; broccoli and cabbage leaves, the tops of leeks, seed pods and roots left in the wake of the plow.  Laurie's weekly medium is as dependent on the harvest as what goes home in your share bag. Her process is available for all to experience in front of the Old House.  Please wander back and say hello- you won't be disappointed as both Laurie and her paper making process are absolutely wonderful. 

We also enjoyed the first week of Appleton Farm Camp!  The Little Peeps, Farmhands, and Foragers dug into farm chores, gardening, cooking in the kitchen, hiking, crafting, and plenty of sprinkler fun.  You should see these kids cook! Staff favorites included the herb biscuits (with their own homemade butter) and the zucchini muffins with a close runner up in the mini quiches with eggs and herbs collected by the campers.  We may be training the next generation of chefs AND farmers here at farm camp.

Back by popular demand, Carrot Club is back! If you have little ones, make sure to stop by and say hello to Caroline, our Farm Educator, on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 2pm-4pm. She will be in front of the CSA barn offering farm crafts, discovery stations, and more fun for the kids while you pick up your share.

 Don't forget! GARLIC HARVEST THIS SATURDAY!  BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!  9AM-NOON, MEET IN THE CSA BARN!!! 




Field Updates:
Unfortunately I’m going to be square this time around as I will be away this weekend but please come to help with the garlic harvest- it is fun for all ages.  Stop by for some or all of the morning to lend a hand. We are still waiting for any substantial amount of rain with a string of 85F days behind us and another string in front of us.  There is no doubt that this weather is having an impact on our growing season at this point but we can’t do anything except wait it out.  When the heavens finally do open up we’ll be out there dancing. -Ryan and crew

The Share
Lettuce
Chard
Scallions
Beets
Cabbage
Kohlrabi
Summer Squash
Garlic Scapes
PYO Herbs
PYO Flowers
New This Week
Fennel
Onions

The Recipe Exchange: We had some great submissions this week.  Keep them coming shareholders!

Email your favorite recipe highlighting veggies coming out of the fields to appletonrecipeexchange@gmail.com.

Spanish Gazpacho  from Kate S
This one is from her Spanish abuela (grandma) from Madrid .Very yummy and very healthy
For four - Adjust according to number of people

8 large peeled tomatoes (fresh) (peel by dunking in boiling water and cool skin peels off)
4 cored green peppers. 1 cored and diced green pepper for garnish
3 or 4 depending on size peeled cucumbers. 1 cucumber peeled and diced for garnish
One red onion diced for garnish
Slightly stale bread, cut into rough cubes for garnish
3 cloves garlic
Three tablespoons good olive oil for soup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt
Pepper
Garlic salt

Put tomatoes, 4 peppers, cucumbers, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and tablespoons olive oil in mixer and blend. Remove, season to taste and chill
Drizzle bread with oil, garlic salt and salt and pepper and bake to make croutons
Garnish soup with croutons, teaspoon of onions, peppers and cucumbers.


Lettuce and Broccoli Soup from Betsy M. who warmed out hearts with this quote at the end of her recipe: "It is wonderful to be part of the Appleton Farms community!"

This is a recipe that uses only CSA ingredients, except for the oil & water, salt & pepper. ..        
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 scallions
2 garlic scapes
1 cup lettuce, chiffonade
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup lightly chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Chop scallions and scapes. Saute scallions and garlic scapes for about 2 minutes. Add broccoli stems, then lettuce. When lettuce is wilted, add 4 cups of water (broth/ stock optional) . Boil until broccoli is tender but not soft. Use an immersion blender or blender to "cream" the soup.
This is delicious hot or cold. Dollops of sour cream or yogurt could be added.

From the Farm Store:
We have pastured heritage chickens from Eden Pond Farm back in stock as well as mozzarella, ricotta and burratta just in time for basil picking season.  Know of something that you’d like us to carry?  Please let the shopkeeper know. We are always looking for new products.

Upcoming Events:

Meet the Machines Summer Picnic | Sunday, July 24th from 4pm-7pm
Balers and bucket loaders and harrows, oh my! Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening at Appleton Farms meeting our machines. You'll get to climb aboard backhoes, check out manure spreaders and try out the view from our tractors. Afterwards, enjoy live music and your picnic brought from home in the stone paddock. When you’ve gotten your fill of machines try your hand at some lawn games or get your face painted! Also make sure to say hello to our goats, sheep, and bunnies in the barnyard.  Limited picnic tables will be available, but feel free to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. We'll have free lemonade and water available for all. Top it off with ice cream for sale from Honeycomb Creamery, made with our own Jersey cream.  Member family: $24. Nonmember family: $30. Register online at http://bit.ly/29DlaNR

Graze the North Shore Food Festival  | Saturday, August 20th from 6pm-9pm
 Graze your way through this one-of-a-kind summer event featuring generous tastings of local food, beer and wine, a pig roast, farm tours, cheese sampling, and live music by the Jason Spooner Band. Attendees will experience a true farmer to chef experience among the rolling pastures and historic barns here at Appleton Farms.  Members: $40. Nonmembers: $50.
Restaurants:Grassy Roots, Wenham, Eva's Butcher Shop, A & B Burger, Beverly, Foreign Affairs, Manchester,  Vidalias, Beverly Farms, Pastaio Via Corta, Gloucester  With more joining each day!
Breweries and Vintners:Old Planters, Beverly, Newburyport Brewing Company, Newburyport, Alfalfa Winery, Topsfield, Far From the Tree, Salem, Ipswich Ale, Ipswich, 1634 Meadery, Ipswich

Friday, July 8, 2016

Appleton Farms CSA: Welcome to Week 5!

Greetings Shareholders!

Ashley here - I'll be taking over the CSA blog this week. For those who don't know me - I'm the CSA Share Room Manager. Hopefully I've had the chance to introduce myself to you at pick up - it's been great getting to know the friendly faces of shareholders over the past weeks. If we haven't had a chance to meet, please introduce yourself at pick up. I'm in the share room every day and I'm happy to answer questions, address concerns,  tell you about programs at the farm, and let you know what's happening in the fields. Last season I worked as a Farm Educator and helped out at the Friday Farm Dinners, so I have first hand experience with our great programs and would love to let you know more about them if you're interested.

The farmers are nice enough to let me tag along and help out in the fields every Monday morning. This has provided me with wonderful insight into what we will likely be seeing in the share room each week. So if you're wondering about when your favorite vegetable is making it's way to the share room, ask me! I can't guarantee I'll have the answer, but I'll be happy to figure it out for you. Last time I was out we harvested kale and transplanted watermelons. I'm also out their checking the progress of the pick your own fields - beans, basil, and dill will hopefully be ready for picking soon.

We are still encouraging share holders to submit to our recipe blog. If you have a great CSA recipe you just can't get enough of, please share it with the rest of us! Thank you Stephanie for your wonderful recipe a couple weeks back! I printed out recipe cards and people were excited to try the recipe themselves. Please submit your recipes to: appletonrecipeexchange@gmail.com. See week 2's blog post for more information about recipe submissions.

Have you noticed the beautiful garlic scapes have made their debut in the share room this week? I know many people were anxiously awaiting their arrival, and they are here! Curious as to what to use them for? Here's my favorite use for garlic scapes: pesto!


The most recent batch I made is as follows:

Garlic Scape Pesto
-1/2 cup fresh basil
-1/2 cup garlic scapes, chopped
-juice from half a lemon
-a few pinches of sea salt
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts or cashews
-1/2 freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:
In a food processor, blend basil, garlic scapes, lemon juice, nuts, and salt. Slowly add olive oil while blending. Once finely blended, stir in parmesan cheese.


See you in the share room!
-Ashley Chapman
CSA Share Room Manager

From the Field:

In the share room this week:
Lettuce
Salanova
Cabbage
Broccoli
Garlic Scapes
Kale
Scallions
Kohlrabi
PYO Herbs
PYO Flowers
New This week:
Chard
Beets
Summer Squash

News from the Field:


After some light rain in the beginning of the week we are back to dry weather.  Keep your fingers crossed for some good rain this Saturday.  We really need a full day of very steady precipitation, 1” or more, to get us back on track.  The continued lack of rain is definitely having a deflating effect on certain crops, especially on higher, well drained ground with sandy soils.  If this dry spell keeps up we may need to sacrifice one of the apprentices as an offering to the weather gods.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
We are coming to the end of our spring crops but with our cooler bulging with stored broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi there may well be brassicas in your diet until late summer.  The summer squash has started up and our first succession looks very strong.  In another week or two the pickling cucumbers should begin with the slicers soon to follow that.  With any luck we should shift into seamlessly into the summer bounty without missing greens and turnips too much (they will be back again in the fall).
The Garlic Harvest is swiftly approaching!  Come one come all to help pull, bunch and hang our garlic.  If you are interested in volunteering to assist with harvesting garlic we would love to have your help on Saturday July 16th from 8am-noon (or whenever you are able to arrive until noon).  This is a very fun and social event for aspiring farmers between the ages of 8 and 80 and we can accommodate all ability levels and levels of physical intensity as there will be activities happening both out in the field and in the shade of the barn.  Help us Bank the Stank!
 Ryan Wood
CSA Manager