This is the winter CSA after all

Hey ya’ll!  Nat and Sarahlee here.  Everyone else is taking a much deserved winter break.  We are holding down the fort as winter sets in.  I feel like November is winter, but the solstice truly marks the first day of winter and the big white freeze showed up right on time.  We’ve been keeping our animals as comfortable as possible.  This seems to take all day with shoveling or plowing snow before feeding, hauling extra feed, breaking ice or thawing “frost-frees”.  We also find time to clear greenhouses of snow.  Being present is critical in these times, really noticing the well-being of the living things here at the farm, of which there are many.  
As you all know, we sustained some pretty cold temperatures in the last couple days.  -2 specifically here at the farm on Friday night.  Going into the new year frozen solid, shall we?  I’m listening to some ripping wind at the moment and am curious what is will blow in.  Supposed to get warmer this week…….  We don’t peak at the kale when its this cold.  I just hope it can thaw before we harvest.
We have heaters and fans in our storage areas and we check our thermometers daily.  Don’t want to be too warm or too cold.  Just a bunch of ‘goldy locks’ round here…..  As we hit the mid winter mark this month and next, we’ll be going through every bag and box in our barns and walk-ins.  We’ll be looking for funky business that wants to make everything funking, and moving along the things that are not storing as well.  From my incessant checking, everything is looking good and you’ll be seeing a wide array of veg this week.
I have to say that we may include a half of a cabbage.  Now, please do try to get inspired.  These guys are just so dense and juicy and nutritious. I just love cabbage. I once ran the first true decent of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia.  We spent 40 days running 1000 miles of the biggest rapids and widest flatwater I know of.  And we carried with us:  cabbage.  Every day we put it in our dinner… slivers of ruffage, little medicinal gems.  No cooler, just a watertight barrel under incredible heat.  We just cut the black or funky edge off and inside was crisp, juicy cabbage.
Did you know that cabbage is an anti-inflammatory?  If you are having trouble getting it eaten, then just tear off a few leaves and lash them with a bandana to a knee or ankle or any troubled body part you might have.  Lay off the ibuprofen and lean on the cabbage.
Seriously though, cabbage is the new lettuce.  Try Thai salads, shredded cabbage in tacos, cabbage in scrambled eggs, cabbage in green drinks, cabbage in casseroles, cabbage in soups, cabbage layered in scalloped potatoes, cabbage cabbage cabbage!!!
In other news, we finished our crop plan and seed order and we will be growing less cabbage next year. So please don’t worry.

Happy New year!

Your January CSA share

This is a Sunday estimation of what we will be harvesting this week. We have been keeping an eye on the weather, the hoops, and our storage crops and have a pretty good idea of what is out there and ready to be harvested and packed, but we won’t really know until we start packing. Consider this a very educated guess.

This month, we think your Vegetable CSA share will include:

Siberian Kale
Tetra winter squash


Just a little reminder that we harvest and pack boxes after this email goes out. While we **THINK** the above vegetables will be what your box will hold, we make **NO GUARANTEES** about the box contents until we hand it over to you. Then we guarantee you will enjoy organic, nutrient dense goodness until the vegetables are gone!
Our Meat share this month includes:
1 stewing hen**
2-3 pounds ground beef
beef steak cuts to round out the 10 lbs

**A note about stewing hens

A stewing hen is not a roasting bird. This is very important to note. If you try to roast this bird you will be SO disappointed. Stewing hens are retired female egg layers from our farm. They have been walking around for the last 2-3 years supplementing their GMO and Chemical free feed with bugs and seeds found while running around their pasture. After a couple years of hard work, they stop laying eggs and, you guessed it, we retire them into the stew pot.

These ladies are small, primarily dark tough meat, and absolutely delicious when boiled for hours. After 6 hours, their meat is tender and perfect for soups, stews, enchiladas, or other things you wouldn’t use a succulent and tender roaster for. And the broth, let me just say the broth is AMAZING. Thick, full of flavor, and perfect. Check out the recipe round up for a recipe on stewing the hen and then a soup I turned the stewed bird and broth into. 

Recipe Roundup

How to Cook a Stewing Hen
(adapted from the Brookford Farm blog)
I cooked this last weekend and it was amazing! 

1 stewing hen, whole
vegetables of your choosing (I used onion skins, parsnip skins, a whole carrot, some celery I had in the freezer, a leek, and some thyme from my indoor garden)
herbs of your choosing (I used 2 Bay leaves, 10 peppercorns, and some thyme from my indoor garden)
2 TBS apple cider vinegar (I meant to add this, but forgot. It tenderizes the meat and  releases the minerals from the bones.) 


  1. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot and fill with water until the chicken and everything else is covered.
  2. Turn the heat to low and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 to 24 hours. (I did 6 and it was great.)
  3. Remove the chicken from the broth to cool. When cool enough to handle, pick meat from bones and use in a dish of your choosing that calls for shredded, cooked chicken.
  4. Strain broth and use or freeze. It will be SOLID and jiggly when it cools down which is normal and delicious. 
Cozy Chickpea Stew with Kale, Parsnips, and Stewed Hen
(adapted from Local Dirt by Andrea Bemis)
This is a great way to use your stewing hen, but this can also be a vegetarian soup. Omit the chicken and substitute vegetable broth. 

3 tablespoons cooking fat
1 large yellow or red onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped parsnips
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry red wine
1½ cups cooked chickpeas 
4 cups chicken broth from stewing hen
All or part of your shredded stewed hen
1 bunch of kale, finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1 bay leaf
Plain full-fat yogurt for serving


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the cooking fat. Add the onion, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring to coat the onion in the spice mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for about 1 minute longer. Pour in the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any brown bits. Reduce the heat and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add the chickpeas. Cook, stirring often, until the chickpeas are coated in the seasonings. Add the broth and toss in the shredded chicken, kale, and bay leaf. Add more water if needed. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the chickpeas are tender and everything is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls and stir a dollop of yogurt into each. Serve with crusty bread and a pinch more of salt and pepper taste.

20-week Summer CSA for sale!

Have you purchased your Summer CSA yet? Our summer CSA sells out every year and we don’t want you to miss your opportunity.  Check out our

Summer CSA webpage

 for more information and purchase your CSA by clicking on the Buy Now! button below.