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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 4, 3 July 2014


This Just In:

Our fourth week's share

  • Hakurei turnips
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale (your choice: Red Russian or Dinosaur)
  • Small potted herb (final distribution; your choice: thyme or Thai basil)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Squashes
  • Scallions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Those who ordered a fruit share will receive strawberries.
  • Those who ordered a flower share will receive a mix of snapdragons, dianthus, calendula, campanula and godetia.



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A Letter from our Farmer Ted

Please note: Fruit shareholders will be getting Yonder Farm’s strawberries. Their cherry crop was destroyed by our unusually cold winter, but their blueberries appear to be in good condition. And now that we have a refrigerated delivery truck, we are going to try sending their raspberries (which are highly perishable). 

My oldest son, Nathaniel, and I have been spending our Sunday mornings in kayaks on the Battenkill River, which flows from near Mt Bromley in Vermont to its confluence with the Hudson River not far from our farm. Blooming yellow irises and cascading wild roses line the bank this time of year, and brown wood ducks hover near their fledglings as they dart in and out of the cover along the creek’s edge. With so many projects calling out, it’s hard to leave the farm, but Nate and I were celebrating. The first sixty or seventy days of our farm season – from about April 20th to the first days of summer – set the tone for the year as a whole. If they go well, the chances are favorable for a good season. In those first months we plant virtually the entire farm, leaving only late successions of salad crops to plant during the remainder of the season. It’s something of a race here in the Northeast, a race that begins with the planting of potatoes and onions shortly after the snow has melted, proceeds with the planting of salad crops and greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers, and concludes once sweet potatoes and winter squashes have been planted. Now that we’d arrived at this point in the season, we decided it was time to take a moment away from the farm to celebrate having established our crops and to regroup for the weeding challenges ahead.

Have a great week,

What's this in my CSA basket? 

The Hakurei turnip is a Japanese turnip that is best eaten raw. Its delicate flavor and crisp texture are perfect as is. Just slice it, thick or thin as you prefer, and add it to salads, appetizer platters, or serve it on its own as a snack or side dish. Hakurei turnips are also great for pickling, so long after CSA season is over you can continue to enjoy the fresh crisp of turnips.  Also, its greens are edible. They can be sautéed with some olive oil and onion for just a few minutes, for a pleasant and slightly spicy flavor.

With green tops rem
oved, Hakurei turnips will keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for over a week.

Turnip roots are high in vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. The greens are high in vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, plus potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Source: Sauvie Island Organics
MEMBER PROFILE: Elizabeth and Ernie

Elizabeth’s Italian grandmother calls the CSA “the Communism.” “How’s the Communism?” she asks, calling from her own vegetable garden in Long Island.

"The Communism” is doing fine, replies Elizabeth. No doubt her affirmative answer is accompanied by a smile as warm as that with which she recounts the exchange.

The Communism has been a topic of conversation for six years now, since Elizabeth joined the CSA organized by New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Elizabeth began her NYC CSA participation with the West Harlem CSA when she resided in West Harlem.  

“I was looking for a way to get good and fresh vegetables and eat them at home,” explains Elizabeth.“Now I feel as if I’m cooking like my grandmother.”

The weekly basket of CSA vegetables inspired her to plan and prepare meals with an essential creativity. Elizabeth fed her enthusiasm back into the virtuous loop by committing her time and skills as a Core Group Member in West Harlem.

In 2010, Elizabeth moved from West Harlem to settle in Crown Heights with her husband, the writer Joshua Furst, and brought her passion for CSAs to the Central Brooklyn CSA. They take turns picking up the share or come together, and they continue to prepare and enjoy their favorite CSA dish of arugula salad with sliced kohlrabi, steak, and a dijon mustard vinaigrette (recipe shared here!). “We also really like strawberries with whipped cream,” Elizabeth divulges.

Elizabeth and her husband share responsibility for caring for their effervescent 8-month old son Ernie, switching several times each evening between cooking and caring for him. Nurturing Ernie has been more of a successful endeavor than tending the potted herbs from the CSA: they have all died. That Ernie’s health glows in comparison is an understatement.

“Ernie’s favorite veggie dish is sweet potato and celery root puree,” says Elizabeth. Ernie’s outgoing smile widens, strengthening his already-apparent promise as the Central Brooklyn CSA’s new cover boy. Perhaps he’ll grow up to be a farmer, muses Elizabeth, who readily admits her dream of yeoman farming will at most materialize into a small city plot. “Until then I’m thrilled to pick up veggies and continue doing what I most love-- eating them!”

In the meantime Elizabeth will also continue toting her CSA fennel, peppers and onions to her grandmother’s home in Long Island, to cook up a scrumptious-sounding Italian-American dinner. Her grandmother “loves it”-- despite its Communist-root connotation.  

Easy Sausage and Peppers with Fennel and Onions 
Serves 2-4 people
Contributed by our Member Elizabeth Grefrath

4 big links of sausage (pork sausage is best)
2 or 3 long green peppers (you can also use red, green and orange bell peppers, if you want)
1 fennel bulb
1 large or 2 small onions
Olive oil
Salt (kosher salt or sea salt is good, anything coarse)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the fennel bulb and onion(s) into medium-sized wedges. Don't chop finely! Slice the peppers in half longways, and scoop out the seeds. Slice the pepper in half again (longways), and then cut the entire thing in half along the middle. Cut the sausage links into smaller pieces, if desired (I usually cut each link into 3 pieces). Put the onions, fennel, peppers and sausage into a roasting pan, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables and sausage until they are lightly coated with oil, salt and pepper, and put into the oven. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables soften. Remove from the oven and put the roasting pan under the broiler. The pan should stay under the broiler for about 10-15 minutes, until the sausage is browned and the vegetables are caramelized in a delicious broth of sausage juices and olive oil. Throughout the time under the broiler, pull out the pan every 4-5 minutes or so and turn the sausages with a wooden spoon, so that all sides get browned and nothing burns. Serve with some good thick bread, or in a hero. Alternatively, you could toss the sausage,  fennel and pepper mix with penne pasta-- just add a little butter and parmesan or pecorino romano cheese to make the sauce really indulgent!

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 contact Carrette at 212-825-0028 ext. 217 or