Farmer’s Note and Update on the 2014 Season

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Shareholders,

What an exciting time. Spring has really sprung. And on this blustery day I wanted to share a bit of news with you. Thanks in large part to support from the City and your on-the-ground stewardship, we spent much of 2013 rebuilding. I’m happy to report that the Red Hook Community Farm has been rebuilt.

The reinvigoration of the Farm (designed by Gita Nandan and her colleagues at ThreadCollective) has increased growing space, provided us with the new solar array, and radically expanded infrastructure for our Community Composting Program. With this improved infrastructure we have the opportunity to grow more food and a greater diversity of crops, expand programming, build new systems (such as rain water harvesting systems) and reestablish the Farm as a model for sustainable development while helping Red Hook shrink its environmental footprint, expanding economic development and improving the employment potential for young adults in our community.

You, our past and present CSA Shareholders, have been and continue to be a very special part of the extended Added Value community, and we are excited to begin the 2014 season with the following news.

This year in addition to running our Youth Empowerment Program, the Urban Farm Corps, and our Farm Based Learning Programs, we have established the following goals for the Farm:

· Reestablish a minimum of one acre of agricultural growing space

· Grow 7-10 tons of produce

· Diversify crops

· Install fruit crops to diversity flora and fauna on the farm

· Reintegrate apiculture (bees) into the farm

· Pilot a small chicken operation with an eye towards implementation in 2015

· Hire a Food Systems/Marketing Coordinator to run the RHFM, RHCSA and Restaurant Partnerships

· Engage 1000 volunteers

· Host the Red Hook Harvest Festival

This will allow us to:

· Reestablish the market as a source of healthy locally grown food stuff for 200 regular customers, representing the diversity of the neighborhood, and reinvigorate the space as a place for community gatherings

What does this mean for the CSA?

· We’re going to return to 50 full shares this year!

· We will have sliding scale, work shares and special project shares

· We are seeking your input. Please take this survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8D9M2DY, by Friday April 4th.

· Your response will help guide us in our plans to diversify product offerings to the market and CSA with the potential of bringing bread, grains, legumes, meat coffee, and honey.

· Contracts will be circulated to returning members by April 14th. Those on the wait list will receive contracts no later that the 28th, with the CSA opening up to the general public soon there after.

We hope to have you all back for the 2014 season!

All best,

Ian and the CSA core group

Invitation to the first ever Wine and Cheese Benefit Event

wineandcheese

On the Red Hook Community Farm, hosted by Added-Value and the Red Hook CSA

Welcome the Autumn, meet fellow CSA members and other wine and cheese enthusiasts. The event will be under the stars, and candle lit.

When : Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time : 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Cost $40.00 per person.

The event will be a tasting of five cheeses provided by our local CSA cheesemonger, Ann Saxelby, along with local wine purveyor Gowanus Wine Merchants, bringing in six wines, with several biodynamic options, to be paired. A discount gift card will be given to each attendee to shop at the wine vendor.

Space is limited to 30 people. The event is open to the RH CSA first. RSVP AND PAY BEFORE SUNDAY TO RESERVE. AFTER SUNDAY IT OPENS UP TO OTHERS OUTSIDE THE CSA.

Please pay via the paypal link:

http://redhookcsa.com/join/make-a-payment/

(note the link above works in Firefox but not in Safari browser)

You must be over 21 to attend.

We hope to see you there!

The CSA Core Committee and Added Value.

What I Made: Peaches and Cream Crepes

Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 large eggs
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. granulated sugar, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
4 peaches, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Canola oil for cooking
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
About 2 Tbs. heavy cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:
To make the crepe batter, in a blender, combine the milk, flour, cornmeal, eggs, 2 Tbs. of the butter, the 1 tsp. granulated sugar and the salt. Process until smooth. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the peaches, lemon juice and sugar to taste, and toss to coat evenly. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the peaches to release some of their juice.

Lightly oil a 7-inch nonstick frying pan and place over medium-high heat until hot. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom evenly. Drizzle a little batter into any holes. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed and stacking the crepes, separated by parchment or waxed paper, as they are ready. You should have 10 crepes, or 2 more than you need (the extra crepes are the cook’s treat!).

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the remaining 3 Tbs. butter. In a small bowl, using a fork, stir together the mascarpone and enough cream to create a creamy mixture, then stir in granulated sugar to taste. Set aside for serving.

Place 1 crepe on a work surface. Spoon one-eighth of the peaches in an even layer on half of the crepe, then fold over the other half to cover. Fold the crepe in half again, to form a triangle. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with 7 more crepes and all of the peaches. Brush the tops of the filled crepes with the remaining butter. Bake just until hot throughout, about 5 minutes. To serve, place 2 crepes on each plate. Crown the crepes with a dollop of the mascarpone cream, and then sift confectioners’ sugar over the top. Serve at once. Serves 4.

peachesandcreamcrepes

What I Made: Eggplant Rollatini

1 large eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut lengthwise into 8 slices
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs
3/4 cup pesto (I made mine with basil, parsley and garlic from our shares, and used pine nuts)
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
1 cup store-bought marinara sauce

Season the eggplant with salt and pepper. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and 4 tablespoons pesto. Pour the bread crumbs onto a large plate. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees ;. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil or cooking spray over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the eggplant until golden, 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and 3 tablespoons pecorino-romano; season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining pesto on each eggplant slice and top with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Roll up each slice. Bake until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a toothpick, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer. Serve the roll-ups with the sauce and remaining pecorino.

Yum.
eggplantrollatini

What I Made: Chilled Tomato Soup

For this I just threw together a bunch of stuff we got in our shares.

4 large tomatoes
2 peppers (I used the white ones, mmm)
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
a few stalks of celery
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
a splash of agave
salt and pepper to taste

throw everything in a vitamix or high speed blender and eat with a chunk of bread. This uses a ton of stuff from our share and is super yummy.

What I Made: Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken

I altered this recipe to use what I had on hand from the CSA. I had a couple of bundles of basil from the last couple of weeks that I kept alive in water, so there was plenty…although technically this recipe calls for holy basil the basil we have from the farm works wonderfully!!

1lb ground chicken
2 bunches of basil, stems removed
3 tblsp fish sauce
6 hot peppers from last weeks share — less if you don’t like spicy, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 large clove minced garlic
cooking oil (I used hot sesame oil)

Heat oil in wok
add garlic, shallots and peppers and cook until garlic and shallots start to brown
add ground chicken, and cook, stirring, till browned and juice from meat is almost gone.

Add fish sauce and stir. Add basil and mix in a few times. Remove from heat and eat! This is wildly delicious and goes well with rice or a leafy salad.

thaibasil

What I Made: Peach Trifle

Ingredients:

6 – 8 peaches
1 8 oz. angel food cake, cut into chunks
1 jar peach preserves
1 packet fat free vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups of milk
cool whip

mix instant pudding with milk till thick

In trifle bowl or serving bowl, place 1/3 of the cake, then peach preserves, pudding, peaches and cool whip. Repeat x 3. And maybe add a couple of peaches to the top.

peachtrifle

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