Blooming Glen Farm | Weekly Share
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Weekly Share

This week’s share introduces a few new crops, broccoli and celery, and we also shift gears with a new winter squash variety- delicata. Delicata, also known as sweet potato squash, has a sweet nutty flavor with a creamy smooth texture. My favorite way by far to prepare this sweet squash is to slice it into rings about 1/2 inch thick, scoop out the seeds, then quickly dip the rings into a marinade that is a mix of toasted sesame oil and tamari sauce. Place the squash rings on a cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping the squash rings half way through the cooking time. Cook until tender and slightly browned. Delicious!!

September 27, 2011

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Tender and spicy arugula makes its way into the share this week, as does a bit of caulifower. The cauliflower is suffering in all the rain and damp conditions, so unfortunately we have to harvest it on the small side, as it is starting to mold and rot in the centers. But toss it in some stir-fry and it will jazz up your dish! 

Sept. 20, 2011.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This week’s share sees the first winter squash of the season. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an ornamental pumpkin to let rot on your front porch- cook it quick, it won’t store for long. The scarlet kabocha squash, “sunshine”, could hands down be the sweetest and most flavorful it has ever been since we started growing it five years ago. To cook it, I just cut it in quarters, remove the seeds and sit it in a casserole pan cut side up with a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 375 degrees until soft (about 45 minutes) and enjoy! Another vegetable you might not be familiar with is celeriac, or celery root. To enjoy this root vegetable just peel off the roots and rough exterior until it resembles a white turnip. The flavor is just like celery, but a little goes a long way. Use in soups, mashed with potatoes, roasted with other root crops, or grate it raw on a salad.

September 13, 2011

We thank everyone for their support during all this crazy weather. This season by far has been the most challeging for us, from the wet spring to the catastrophic rain and flooding of the last few weeks. We are seeing major crop loss from the over 17 inches of rain we received in under two weeks. We are still assessing the damage (as some crops we thought were okay are succumbing to the moisture and others we just don’t know the extent of the damage- for example our sweet potatoes and potatoes), but it may be that we will have to end the season earlier then anticipated. In the meantime we will do our best to keep the shares as robust as possible, and we give thanks for all the bounty that the farm has already provided. We are scrambling to get our greenhouses cleaned out of their summer crops and prepped in the hopes that we can get something planted in there to make up for all that is rotting or dying in the fields. Our biggest concern now is that our fields dry out enough to get our garlic planted for next year. Keep your fingers crossed, and again we appreciate all the words of encouragement!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

What a rainy week ahead: four inches already and it’s only Tuesday evening. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t worried about the latter part of the season as we look out over our flooded fields. We are desperately hoping for a long stretch of sun and dry weather soon. There’s plenty of crops looking sad out there sitting in our soggy cold clay soil. We are seeing disease spreading rapidly in the late cauliflower, seedlings emerging only to be washed away, radishes splitting from too much water, and portions of our potato crops rotting in the saturated soil. You wouldn’t know it from the bountiful share this week, however. The offerings are starting to change a bit as we start to see an overlap of late summer crops and early fall crops. For example, there’s still plenty of eggplant, peppers and tomatoes in the share, but also the first cabbage, french breakfast radishes and escarole. Enjoy the bounty, and pray for sun!

CSA share, week 15.

Just a reminder to save the date: Our annual Fall Fest is Saturday October 8th, from 2-5 pm followed by a potluck dinner until dark. This year we are flipping the script a bit and having a contra dance during the festival. Contra dancing is simple walking steps accompanied by a caller who calls out what steps to do as the dance progresses. All the while, this is done with great music, good humor and wonderful company, our incredible CSA members! The festival will also include open mic opportunities so if you are a musician and interested in sharing your talent, please email the farm. Sign-ups for helping with crafts at the festival will be posted in the distribution room. Small children’s sized clothing donations for scarecrow making are appreciated (long sleeves and long pants, are perfect for stuffing with straw.) The popular pie bake-off contest will also be happening, so start brainstorming your entries now!!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This week’s share is a little bit wacky, even for us. Blame it on the hurricane, if you will! Our windswept eggplant and bell pepper plants left a whole lot of fruit exposed to the sun, and susceptible to sunburn, so we gave out lots of both this week. Get out your favorite stuffed pepper recipe, or give Jana’s Green Pepper Dolmas a try.

CSA share, week 14.

For all the early birds that picked up your share right at 1:00, unfortunately we had a major harvest error, and you most likely took home an unripe watermelon. We caught the mistake close to 1:30, and removed the melons from the share. So sorry folks! We are battling quite a bit of downy mildew at the farm- our basil plants have succumbed to it, and the mildew is sweeping through the melon patch. We are hoping the fruit will ripen completely before the vines die, but there’s a chance they won’t. Today’s watermelon harvest fooled us a bit, so we’ll see what happens. The tomatoes are also winding down: 19 inches of rain in the month of August, along with these cool nights, just hasn’t been kind to our tomato plants. However,we are pretty excited that we took a chance on an early planting of broccoli (one crop that likes cool, wet weather), which you are enjoying this week in the share. Just a taste of what’s in store this fall!

The plants that looked so wilted after the whopping 9 inches of rain we received during the hurricane looked a lot better today. (That 9 inches was reported on CBS news for Perkasie… we’re still not sure if it was closer to 7 inches, but our raingauge was definitely full to the brim!) It is certainly a soupy swamp in our fields, so we are thrilled that we managed to harvest all our winter squash on Friday and Saturday before the storm. Now we start to think about all the potatoes and sweet potatoes that need digging….

Butternut Harvest

As we watched the sunset over the greenhouses Monday night, we were very thankful that they withstood the wind, a true test of the “seatbelt” straps anchoring them down. Our thoughts are certainly with those folks living in the river communities and elsewhere, still dealing with power outages and flooded homes.

Post-hurricane sunset

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This week has been one for the record books…first an earthquake and next a hurricane! Looks like a good weekend to stay home and enjoy your veggies, cook, eat, and cross your fingers we don’t get too much rain, or wind!

Last week at the Grange Fair we received the wonderful honor of being awarded the 2011 Fred Groshens Memorial Conservation Farmer of the Year, by the Bucks County Conservation District. The Conservation District presented us with a framed aerial photo of the farm, taken just weeks before. As I said on the farm Facebook page, we love this photo for the fact that you can’t see any of the weeds that need pulling!

And to top off our moment of glory, our entry in the market basket category at the Fair received a blue ribbon for first place, as well as Best in Show.

Pretty exciting! It’s hard to believe how far the farm has come in the past six years. Not too long ago it was just a dream that kept Tom and I moving from farm to farm, gathering knowledge and looking for the right place to put down roots. Well, we certainly share this recognition with all the many folks who have been with us since the beginning- family who never doubted our decision over 11 years ago to ditch our liberal arts degrees and become organic farmers (or at least didn’t vocalize it too loudly!) and continue to be our best “unpaid” labor force, friends and farmers coast-to-coast who have taught us invaluable lessons, our wonderful community of CSA members and market regulars who nourish their families from the farm’s bounty, the Rosenbergers who own this beautiful land and with a shared vision gave us the opportunity to soar, and all the wonderful people who have passed through the farm over the years, bringing their sweat and muscles to the nitty gritty of gettin’ it done and growin’ food!

Posted by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Over the past few days the farm has received over 4 inches of rain. That’s quite a lot in a short period of time! Luckily we had a busy week before the rain came getting lots of our fall crops in, as well as seeding our fallow fields in a variety of cover crops. The rain, however, does spread disease quickly, so enjoy the tomatoes while we have them: 4 pounds this week plus free-choice “grazing” in the last of the cherry tomatoes. And yes, the bird netting worked, and you’ll be getting sweet corn this week!! Enjoy!

CSA share photo, week 12.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This week’s share sees the debut of tomatillos, a lesser known plant in the nightshade family (sharing the stage with potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant). The tomatillo, or husk tomato, is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American sauces. The most well known way to eat tomatillos is as salsa verde. The husk of the tomatillo turns brown as they ripen, and the fruit can be any number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

CSA Share, week 11.

Posted by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Edamame: the Japanese name literally means “twig bean” (eda = “twig” + mame = “bean”) and refers to these young green soybeans grown on a twig-like branch. This very delicious and nutritious kid-friendly snack is very simple to prepare: the pods are boiled in water or steamed, until they soften. The most common preparation uses natural coarse sea salt for taste. The salt may either be dissolved in the boiling water before adding the soybean pods, or added after the pods have been cooked. Boiled soybean pods are usually served after cooling, but can also be served hot. Either squeeze the beans out with your fingers or slide them out of the pod with your teeth, getting a nice taste of the salt (the pod is a little tough and fibrous, so you don’t want to eat it). This popular snack is great with a cold beer! 

CSA share, week 10.

Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service braved last Friday’s thunderstorms and joined us again for a cooking demo during CSA pick-up. He had another wonderful assortment of recipes. Two of my favorites featured cantaloupes, which return to the share this week, and another crowd favorite featured grilled fennel.

Grilled Honey Mint Cantaloupe 

First, preheat your grill to medium-low. Then, heat 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup honey together in a saucepan.  Once melted, stir in 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped and a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Next, take 1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 8-12 wedges and place melon wedges on a sheet pan and brush with sauce. 

Rub grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil and place melon on grates (basted side down). Grill until lightly marked and softened, about 2-4 minutes. (The smell will be heavenly!)

Cantaloupe wedges on the grill.

Baste tops of melon with sauce and flip to grill on other side, another 2-4 minutes.

Remove melon from grill and allow to cool slightly.  Cut melon off of rind and into bite-size pieces; place in serving bowl.  Drizzle with remaining sauce before serving.

Cantaloupe Guacamole

Combine the following ingredients, and serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled fish or steak: 2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly mashed, ½ ripe cantaloupe, cut off of the rind and finely diced, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, 1 teaspoon jalapeno (or more to taste), seeded and minced, ½ a 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed, 2 teaspoon lime juice (or more to taste), ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste).

Grilled Fennel from the Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

Use 4 small or 2 large fennel bulbs (1 ½-2 lbs). Cut each bulb lengthwise into ½” wide slices through the narrow side.

Combine in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 small shallots, minced and 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon or basil, chopped.  Add the fennel and toss to coat thoroughly.  Cover and let marinate for 2 hours, not necessarily in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill to high. When ready to cook, remove the fennel slices from the marinade, arrange on the hot grate, and grill, turning with tongs until just tender, 8-16 minutes in all, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Chop into bite-size pieces, if desired.  Toss grilled fennel with remaining marinade and serve warm or at room temperature.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

It’s been a hot few weeks here at the farm…not that we need to tell any of you that! The hot weather has some of the crops struggling- like the lettuce, and others thriving- like the watermelons. This week’s share saw the parking lot full of gigantic watermelons- a wonderfully productive and sweet variety we discovered last year. The only problem- finding harvest bins large enough to hold them!

Watermelon Bounty!

CSA Share- Week 9.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.