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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Friday Farm Dinner spots available for this week!

Greetings CSA Shareholders!

Our Friday Farm Dinners have been selling out each week so we just added an additional dinner for THIS Friday the 31st.  Our friends from Bonne Bouche catering will be serving up an amazing menu featuring BBQ chicken, fresh farm salads and plenty of side dishes.  Unlike most of our dinners, this one will be BYOB. 

Tickets are $35 per member adult, $45 per non-member adult, and $15 for all children.  Your ticket includes your delicious dinner, live music by Labor in Vain, refreshing non-alcoholic drinks, lawn games, and a visit with our farm animals. 
You can register online right here:

Tempted but not ready to commit? Watch this video taken by GIGI + MAC at our first Friday Farm Dinner this season and then decide.

Coming up: Meet the Machines: Summer Picnic and Movie Night
August 9th, 4-8pm Pack a picnic, load up the kids, and ride over to the farm to get your fill of trucks, tractors and heavy equipment followed by a showing of our favorite farm movie "Babe" in the Carriage Barn.
You’ll get to climb aboard backhoes and bucket loaders, check out manure spreaders and harrows, then enjoy the picnic you brought from home or purchased in our Dairy Store in the beautiful Stone Paddock.  We’ll have lemonade and water available for all. 
At 6pm, it is time for popcorn and the movie.  Bring your lawn chair, bean bag, or other comfy seat.  (The Carriage Barn floor is stone tile which is good for wagon wheels, but not so great for tushies.)  Register online  and tell your friends to join you! Member Adult: $10 Nonmember Adult: $15 All Kids: $5.

See you there!

Beth and the education team

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 7

This Week's Share
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Cukes
  • Eggplant
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel 
  • Scallions
  • PYO Beans
  • PYO Herbs
  • PYO Flowers
New This Week
  • PYO Sunflowers
  • Uncured (Fresh) Onions
  • Carrots
Hey folks, in lieu of a proper blog post this morning I wanted to encourage everyone to check out the Appleton CSA recipe blog.  You can find the link to our sister blog located just beneath the banor at the top of this page.  Have a great week!  We'll see you in the fields. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 6

What's in the Share
  • Lettuce
  • Salad Mix
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Scallions
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • Squash and Zucchini
  • Beets
  • PYO Beans
  • PYO Herbs
  • PYO Flowers
New this week
  • Red Cabbage
  • Some combination of Cucumbers, Peppers and Eggplant (depending on what's ripe and in what quantity)

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday to help bring in our garlic.  With the help of nearly a dozen volunteers we were able to harvest and hang almost half of our garlic.  Getting the rest out of the ground and into the barn to cure will be a major project this week and we couldn’t hope to accomplish this had it not been for the efforts of our superstar volunteers.

Updates from the Field

The last couple of weeks in July are always a bit stressful  This is the time of year when our early summer crops begin to falter but our late summer crops have not yet begun in earnest.  For a week or two it is a struggle to keep the share room consistent filled with a diversity of products.  Cucumbers, eggplant and peppers have begun producing but only in drips and drabs.  One day we may have them and the next day we may not.  Onions and carrots could be harvested but are still a bit on the runty side which makes for very time consuming harvests.  The melons and tomatoes seem to swell impossibly larger each day but remain obstinately green.  In the share room we hear lots of people asking when their favorite summer veggie will be ripe and we try to evade a direct answer with the promise of “Soon”.  To lend credence to that promise, below you will find photographic evidence that all the fruits of summer are fast on their way.  I hope you’ll bear with us a little longer as we bid farewell to greens and prepare a warm welcome for the hot season crops.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week 5 Garlic Harvest Next Saturday! Volunteers welcome

What’s in the share:

Very large basil leaves. Quarter for scale!
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Radishes
  • Salad Turnips
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bok Choi
  • Broccoli
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • PYO Parsley
  • PYO Basil
  • PYO Dill
  • PYO Cilantro
  • PYO Flowers

Updates from the fields
We are looking for volunteers to help us harvest and hang garlic next Saturday.  Come join us in the CSA barn anytime between 8am and noon (Saturday morning PYO hours) if you are interested in helping us bring in the bounty.  Garlic is a fairly easy and very fun crop to harvest and in past years we’ve had volunteers of all ages join us.  Garlic harvesting tasks include pulling garlic up out of the ground, loading it onto our truck, bundling garlic stalks into bunches and hanging the bunches in the barn to cure.

Still weeks from ready but it won't be long now
Next week we begin harvesting our garlic.  This is the high point in a cycle which began late last October when we planted our biggest and best garlic bulbs into the quickly cooling soil.  We covered the garlic beds with mulch hay and those pungent sleeping pearls remained cozy and semi dormant through the long cold winter.  In the spring garlic sprouts where the first green growing things we saw in our fields.  In the early summer we pulled the garlic scapes   (the developing flower bud of the garlic plant) to encourage strong bulbs to form.  If you have been out in the fields to pick herbs this season you’ve probably noticed the blue-green stalks over your right shoulder.  Maybe you’ve followed the progression of the lower leaves and leaf tips as they have faded to a golden yellow: a sign that the garlic is almost ready to harvest.  We won’t know exactly how well the garlic did this year until we begin pulling up bulbs and that is a big part of the fun.  Once all of the garlic is harvested we hang it in the barn to cure for a couple of months.  This greatly increases the shelf life of the garlic.  Finally we will sort the garlic bulbs by size into small, medium, large and extra large categories.  Medium and large bulbs will be distributed in the share room while extra large bulbs will be divided and replanted for next season’s garlic. 

Lettuce fresh from the field
In other news we will continue our efforts to trellis the tomatoes this week.  We have also begun planting our fall Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.  As always weeding and cultivating are tasks we are hope to stay on top of this week.  Although I sometimes look at the fields and feel as though we can’t possibly do it all, I am very pleased with the way this season is going so far.  Each week the farm crew surprises me with their passion and drive in surmounting our Herculean list of tasks.  As always I encourage you to thank your farmers whenever you see the chance.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Farmyard Fun, Cooking with Fire, and a video for you

Happy Summer Shareholders!

Our Education team has been thoroughly impressed with the amazing selection of veggies being grown by our talented CSA team and can't wait to show off a little of what we have been producing for programs and events lately.  You can't eat what we produce, but you CAN create family memories that you won't forget, get the inside scoop on how we grow and raise your food, and discover what else Appleton has to offer beyond your CSA share.  

So farm dinners, culinary workshops, kids programs, and cheese making tours are offered every week. What else you ask?  Yesterday, a group of 40 children from Chelsea got a special surprise.  During their visit to the farm, a new calf was born.  Meeting a one-hour old calf prompted them to sing her a spontaneous Happy Birthday! That was a new one for us here and we wish that had been captured on video.  It wasn't, but our last farm dinner was and we can't wait to share it with you.  

Check it out on vimeo at: 

Lots of amazing things just like that happen each day at our programs, fields trips and events.  Here are some upcoming programs for you to try.  Sign up on our website:
Hope to see you there!  

Beth, Caroline, Ashley, Kathryn, and Caitlin

Fun in the Farmyard- NEW*
Sundays through October 25th 10 AM-2PM
Experience the Appleton anytime of day with Fun in the Farmyard!  Drop in anytime between 10am-2pm to learn something new! Activities change every half hour and can include meeting a goat, patting a chicken, planting seeds, butter making, farm story time, crafts and more.  No need to pre-register, just drop-in.

Families in the Farm Kitchen: July: Homemade Ice Cream
Saturdays in July | 1-2PM (except July 4th)
Member Family: $20. Nonmember Family: $30
Cooking together and having fun in the kitchen makes our farm family happy and we want to share that enthusiasm for cooking with you. 

Join us to make homemade ice cream with the rich milk from our Jersey cows. We will learn about how our cows turn green grass to creamy, nutritious milk, then enjoy the sweet fruits of our labor together. 

This program is designed for families with children ages 5-15.  Pre-registration is required as we can not accommodate a large group with drop-ins for this program. 

Fresh Crop Farm Culinary Workshop

Thursday, July 16, 2015 | 6-9PM
$75 member $90 nonmember

Our "Fresh Crop" workshops offer a truly unique farm-based culinary experience in the heart of the summer season. When our fields are bursting with fresh produce, we invite you to get a closer look at our vegetable production on a guided field walk where you take part in harvesting ingredients for your cooking class.

 After a stroll through the fields we will head back to the farm kitchen where our professional farm chef will lead a hands-on culinary class celebrating our day's harvest.

From the Fields: Greens and Dressings
Thursday, July 30, 2015 | 2:30-4PM & 4:40-6PM
Members: $35. Nonmembers: $50

Can't get enough tender greens and fragrant herbs or are you secretly composting all the greens that you picked up two weeks ago in your share?

Get inspired and find new "green thrills" at our Greens and Dressings Workshop.  Start with a field walk where you will taste baby greens of all types, some of our tastiest and unusual herbs then head to the kitchen for a demonstration by our farm chef Carolyn Grieco on storing your greens, tips for mixing greens for the best salads, and a handful of our favorite dressings.

Guaranteed to be delicious!

Cooking with Fire and Local Brews
Thursday, August 13, 2015 & Thursday, August 27, 2015 | 6-9PM
$85 members $100 nonmembers

Looking for a perfect date night? Looking to show your summer guests a great time?  Join us for an amazing evening at Appleton Farms.

Here at the farm, we know that outdoor cookery is one of summer’s greatest pleasures.  Let our Earth Oven inspire you to fire up your backyard grills, barbecues, or fire pits.  Learn the art of cooking with a wood fired oven then learn grilling tips and techniques from our professional farm chef.

In order to fully appreciate those rich smoky flavors we will pair each dish with a tasty local brew.

Our menu will be filled with the freshest farm ingredients and flavors of the season, which may include recipes such as Earth Oven Flatbread with Farmstead Sausage, Grilled Field Caesar Salad, Individual Clambakes, and Grilled Orchard Stone Fruit for dessert.

Hands-on cooking, chef instruction, printed recipes, and a wonderful summer meal on our kitchen patio!