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

Summer-Fall Season Newsletter 21,  Nov 6, 2014


Fresh from the Field: 
Our 22nd week's share

  • leeks
  • sweet potatoes
  • red and yellow onions
  • sweet peppers
  • Irish potatoes
  • delicata squashes
  • lettuces
  • broccoli (or Happy Rich)
  • a selection of greens that include kales, Swiss chard, choy and Yukina Savoy

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Please note
This week is a "B" week. 
This week is the final regular pick-up. 
Next week will be the makeup vegetable pick-up for the missed week of August 21st, which was an "A" week.
A Letter from our Farmer Ted

On this Sunday, the day before we commence the final week of harvests and deliveries for the year, we awoke to a cold wind and a power outage. We were pleased to find it had not snowed, contrary to the weather forecast, because it is unpleasant to harvest in snow. But the plastic cover had been blown off the large greenhouse containing our winter spinach. The crop is fine, but the plastic is ruined, and will have to be replaced. It used to cause me a good deal of grief to replace our plastic, but now, because we have found a recycler, the plastic will be compressed into a bale and shipped, not to a landfill, but to a clothing manufacturer for its new life as sports wear.  

This was a productive year for infrastructure development at Windflower Farm: we built a new packing shed, a new cooler, a small workshop and a new equipment barn. Now that we are wrapping up the delivery season, we have a few weeks of relatively mild weather during which we’ll be able to finish the small details related to these projects, and then we’ll turn our attention to equipment maintenance and to repairing various broken implements - all part of the cycle of life on a small vegetable farm. February 20th, when we start seeds for next year’s CSA harvest, will be here before we know it! 

The crew is headed off to the four corners: Aidan to Telluride and then Hawaii, Andrea to Sicily, Naomi to Nepal, I think, and Martin and Monica back to Laguna Prieta, in Mexico. I’ll be happy if I can haul my catamaran to the Florida Panhandle for a week, but, for the most part, Jan and I plan to stay close to home. We have winter shares to harvest and assemble, family to visit, boys to send off to college, books to read.

This week’s vegetable share is the last of the season. Before I itemize its contents, I’d like to extend some thanks, direct you to our end-of-season survey, and let you know that, because we started late, we’ve extended the winter share signup period for another week. A link to the winter share signup page is here:

I’d like to extend a heart-felt thanks to the CSA organizers in every neighborhood and community where we deliver. The CSA movement depends on people like you. The success of our farm depends on you. And increasing the number of small, local and economically viable organic farms depends on more people like you. Thank you for all the work you do, from securing a location that can host us (and store our many harvest totes) every week, to recruiting your neighbors to join our CSA community, to working with our farm so that what we offer every week is what you want. Consider getting involved with your CSA’s core group, they are committed volunteers from your neighborhood who are making a very real difference.

Our end-of-year survey can be found here: Your responses will provide us with information that will guide our crop planning for next year. Thank you in advance for your time and thoughtful responses. 

Thank you from all of us at Windflower Farm, Ted

Winter Share details from our Farmer Ted

Our summer season will come to an end soon. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop getting some of your vegetables or local fruits and eggs from us. Once a month on four Saturdays during the fall and early winter, we assemble a one-bushel box that consists of greens, storage vegetables and fruits and some kind, along with a little treat. Each year we get a little better - we’ve been growing hardy winter greens in our unheated winter greenhouses for more than ten years, and we’ve built a new vegetable storage and packing building this year to help maintain crop quality (and to give the staff a warmer place to work!). Each month you’ll get approximately 2 lb. of our organically grown hardy greens, including arugula, tatsoi, spinach, kale and Swiss chard. You’ll also get 8-10 lb. of our storage vegetables, including carrots, red and yellow onions, potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes and more, plus 4-6 lb. of fruits, usually from the Borden Farm. And, depending on the month, you’ll get one of the following: maple syrup, honey, apple cider, our own frozen strawberries or preserves from neighboring producers. We’ll also reach out to friends and neighbors in our organic farming community to fill in odds and ends, including black beans from John Sats and celeriac from the new farm belonging to a member of our staff. An optional egg share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available.
Meet our Member, Molly Rugg



To say our CSA member Molly puts a lot on her plate might be the under-statement of this season.   

Molly’s to-do list this autumn included, among others, celebrating her Vermont barn wedding with husband River; training for and completing the New York City Marathon; and registering for the Law School Admission Test.  That’s in addition to her full-time work for a civil rights non-profit, where she learned about CBCSA from her colleague and fellow CBCSA member Elizabeth.

“I thought it was such a cool concept,” says Molly, citing the appeal of becoming a member of an organization that enables access to organic, local vegetables for Brooklynites, no matter their income. “We should all eat our veggies.” The collective “we” hints at Molly’s social justice sensibility from which her CSA commitment stems. She later refers to the Martin Luther King, Jr. thesis that injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere.

Molly has expanded her CSA enthusiasm beyond that basic of eating veggies. At the beginning of the season, Molly shared her and her mother’s scrumptious recipe for Summer Squash with Montreal Seasoning, published in the newsletter. In September, she arranged a pick-up swap so as not to risk spoiling veggies while she was away for the  wedding, and shortly afterwards she carved out time for the conversation that informs this piece. Last week, Molly contributed her cheerfulness and solid work ethic during her distribution shift.

Once at home, in Crown Heights where Molly and River have lived for two and a half years, Molly appreciates the challenge of cooking with an abundance of seasonal vegetables. “It’s been an adventure for sure,” says Molly with a smile, identifying her go-to as tomato-onion-garlic. “I had never cooked chard before, for example. The CSA has caused me to branch out a lot.”

Branching out not only in her recipe repertoire, but to meet more neighbors was another factor that motivated Molly to sign up for CBCSA.  She said she looks forward to making the acquaintance of fellow members during the remainder of this season -- and hopefully next season, too.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
From Southern Living/My Recipes

5 cups self-rising flour 
1 T sugar 
1 t kosher salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes 
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening 

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato 
Parchment paper
2 T butter, melted 
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

2. Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once. (Do not twist cutter.) Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

4. Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Yields 3 dozen

Sweet Potato Leek Soup

1 medium leek (about 250 grams/9 ounces)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 T extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnish)
600 grams (21 ounces) small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into coins
1 cup + 2 cups soy milk
1 cup water
salt and white pepper to taste
curry powder (for garnish)

1. Trim the end off of the leek, and slice it into thin rings, discarding any darker green leaves. Put the sliced leeks in a salad spinner and fill with water. Use your hand to swirl the water around and dislodge any dirt from between the leek's rings. Lift the basket out of the spinner, then dump the water out and repeat once. Dump any water out of the bowl of the spinner, return the basket, cover and spin the leeks to remove the excess water.
2. Add the leeks, celery and olive oil to a pot and cover with a lid. Turn the stove on to medium-low heat and cook, string occasionally until the leeks are soft (10-15 minutes). Remove the lid and turn up the heat and sauté, string constantly until the leeks are reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume and caramelized.
3. Add the sweet potato, 1 cup soy milk, and water. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium low heat until the potatoes are tender and falling apart.
4. Turn off the heat, and then add the rest of the soy milk.
5. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you are using a regular blender, cover the lid with a large towel and hold it there as you slowly turn up the speed of the blender.
6. Add salt and white pepper to taste, as well as more soymilk if you want the soup thinner. Return the soup to the pot to reheat.
7. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of curry powder.

Yields 4-6 servings

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