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Bringing fresh, local, and affordable produce to the Central Brooklyn Community of Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding areas

Summer Season Newsletter 16,  Sept 21, 2014


Fresh from the Field: 
Our 16th week's share

  • Potatoes
  • Delicata squashes
  • Yellow onions
  • Beans or corn
  • Golden beets
  • Sweet peppers
  • Chiles
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Bok choy, dinosaur kale, Swiss chard (your choice of two)

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A Letter from our Farmer Ted

The coming of fall usually corresponds with the departure of several people on our staff. Farm work is something that people can afford to do only because they are good at stitching together different parts of their economic lives. Sara, who has been with us for seven years, normally leaves us in October to join her family in their seasonal wreath-making business. (This year, however, she left us even earlier than usual to travel through Europe for a few weeks before wreath-making season.) She also does portrait photography. Three staff members returned to college – including my two boys and Mack, who is at FIT in New York. Mack is interested in sustainable dwellings and has helped fellow staffer Daren design the cabin he’ll be building on family land not far from here. Daren grows celeriac and garlic for the market, and works with us on various winter projects. He has been with us for eight years. Aidan will be heading to Telluride, Colorado soon to work at a ski resort for the winter season. Sisters, Victoria (a nine-year veteran) and Naomi (seven years), will be leaving us soon, Victoria to have a baby (!) and Naomi to retreat to the deep Maine woods to draw and read and hike. But we expect to see them over the winter for winter share packing and, in Victoria’s case, to take possession of the jams she’ll make for our winter share. Andrea, who started working with us ten years ago, makes teas in the winter from herbs she grew and dried during the summer. Andrea also works on weekends on the farm of a friend in Columbia County. They are a creative group of modern day homesteaders whose outside income not surprisingly is mostly food or farm-related.
For the last seven or eight years we have employed an extended family from Mexico. Some of the Medinas return to Mexico for the winter. Martin and Monica will join the corn, bean and squash harvest back in Laguna Prieta, their home town, where they also plan to participate in the many celebrations that take place throughout the winter. They leave five children behind to work on our farm each summer, and, as you can imagine, they are counting the days until their reunion. Monica calls home almost every day. Martin has been coming to the states for nearly 20 years under H-2A visas. Although I think they would make excellent neighbors, there is no path for citizenship (or even that type of visa we call a green card) for their side of the family. Salvador and Candelaria remain in their small house in nearby Cambridge during the winter. Because of a long, clean record of employment in the US, much luck, and by spending many thousands of dollars in fees and payments, they have managed to obtain green cards for their entire family. I am happy for them, but find the arbitrary nature of the visa process maddening. The cold has taken getting used to, but they tell me it has been worth it. Their youngest children are in the local school and maintain full schedules. Their oldest daughter and her husband, Gabriel, also work with us, and they will be heading to Juarez, Mexico in three weeks for an appointment to procure for him, too, a green card. With that they can start a new chapter in their life together, part of which includes attendance at the local community college and, perhaps, a clearer path to the American dream.

Have a great week, Ted
Crispy Delicata Rings with Currant, Fennel and Apple Relish
From Food52

Serves 4

Ingredients for Squash
2 Delicata squash
olive oil
1 lime

Ingredients for Relish
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 crisp apple, peeled, seeded, diced
1 fennel bulb, outer layer removed, diced
1 cup apple cider
1 T Calvados

1. Slice the ends off of the squash. Slice into 1/2" rings and remove the seeds with a spoon. Reserve the seeds for another use or roast them with some cayenne pepper, salt, and cumin and sprinkle over the finished dish.

2. Lightly salt the squash and let sit for 30 minutes. Completely dry off with paper towels, removing the salt. Heat enough oil to coat a saute pan over medium high heat. Lightly salt the squash rings with fresh salt and add them to the pan. They should sizzle the moment they hit the pan. Don't crowd them or they'll steam more than they'll brown. Saute until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side).

3. Combine all relish ingredients in a small pot and simmer over medium low heat until the cider is reduced by half. Strain and sprinkle over the Crispy Delicata Rings.

4. Remove to a plate and grate lime peel over them and squeeze lime juice on them. 
Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Nuts
From Bon Appetit

Serves 4-6

1/3 cup nuts (recipe calls for pine, but can substitute sliced almonds)

4 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
12 ounces farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving


1. Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Scatter beet greens over onions. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl. Return water to boil. Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

3. Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese.

Our CSA is a partnership between the Central Brooklyn Community and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH). 

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Carrette at 212.825.0028 ext. 217 or email