CSA update: After the storm

Farm volunteers cleared the debris and prepared the flood-soaked crops for composting.


The core idea of community-supported agriculture is that those who purchase shares become stakeholders in the farms they support, sharing the benefits of a great harvest season and the risks of a scant one.

This week, our farm’s dice came up snake eyes.

Monday’s storm surge covered the farm with several feet of water, and Added Value’s office also flooded, drowning its computers and other gear. Ian estimates that the equipment damage is in the $10,000 – $40,000 range — and that’s not counting the crop losses.

The good news is that the farm is committed to rebuilding. The soil is being tested to find out what contaminants got in (petroleum, at minimum, is pretty likely), and Added Value is putting together a list of what equipment and infrastructure is needed to get  back in business. Stay tuned on more updates on how you can help.

We still had a few weeks left on our CSA season. Here’s where things stand with each of the shares.

Veggies: Done for the season. Anything that didn’t drown risked being contaminated. Volunteers hit the farm on Saturday (check out this video about the effort) to pull everything that remained up for compost.

Eggs: These were being paid for by Added Value on a month-to-month basis, and hadn’t been delivered recently because the provider abruptly lost most of its flock late this summer. The CSA was about three weeks behind on vouchers to offset the missing eggs. Right now, that money remains in Added Value’s coffers. Anyone who would like a refund for their missing eggs can email redhookbkcsa@gmail.com; otherwise, those egg payments will become a farm donation.

Cheese: Saxelby’s had its cheese cave in Red Hook. We’re trying to get in touch to find out how it weathered the storm. Stay tuned for an update on what happens to the last few weeks of cheese deliveries.

Fruit: Our fruit came from outside the city, and the CSA is reaching out to fruit vendors to see if we can arrange the last few weeks of fruit delivery. If so, it’ll be available at the usual pickup spot on the farm, though probably for curtailed hours — likely 10 am to noon on Saturday. Stay tuned for an update.

Fish: Mermaid’s Garden extended all subscriptions by a week to offset the missed delivery on 11/3. Deliveries are on track to resume 11/10 with pickups at the farm as usual, Saturday 10am to noon.

If you have any questions, please comment on the blog or email redhookbkcsa@gmail.com. Thanks for your commitment to the farm and the CSA. We look forward to being back in business next summer.


CSA Share: Sept. 22

Edamame photo by paige_eliz.


Fall is officially here! This past week has been beautiful on the farm, and most of the crops are really enjoying a break from the heat. We’re finishing up our seeding for the season, which is a little sad but also sort of exciting to be able to focus more on caring for and harvesting all the things in the ground.

New this week is the edamame. You will be getting whole plants, which is a little bit of work to get to the beans, but SO worth it! Soy beans are one of the most useful crops. There are any number of things you can do with them in the kitchen, but I have to say they are quite delicious fresh and raw straight out of the pod.

Some other things you may find in this week’s share: eggplant, the last of the summer squash, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli rabe, sorrel, mustard greens, kale, chard, collards, arugula, mizuna, and/or beans.

Hope you are all enjoying these lovely days,

CSA Share: Sept. 8

Radicchio will show up in many of this week’s shares. Photo by FoodMayhem.com.


Some things are the same this week, but there are some new and exciting things happening. The next succession of beans was harvested, and will get picked again today; there should be enough for everyone.

The radicchio is ready! If there isn’t enough for everyone, I will probably offer a choice between the radicchio and dandelion greens, so everyone will get some bitter greens. If you’re not into bitter stuff, try cooking them. It takes some of the bitterness out, and you can add onions and other strong -flavored stuff to influence the final taste. Bitter greens are very good for your blood and liver! Some other stuff you might find in your share: broccoli rabe, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, arugula, mizuna, celery, radishes, beets, melons and/or lettuce mix …

Happy Friday,

CSA Share: August 18

Small shares will be getting pears this week, grown on the farm. Photo by brokinhrt2.


This is an exciting week for the farm: We harvested our first “fruit” of the season!

I put it in quotes because I’m referring to the cultural definition of fruit (a sweet fruit that is more often eaten as a dessert or snack) rather than the scientific one (any fruiting part of the plant regardless of use). Zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes are all the fruit of the plant, but are vegetables and not “fruit” in the common lexicon…

Anyway: Large shares will be getting melons and small shares will be getting pears this week. The pears are still pretty hard. Personally I like crunchy pears and think they taste great right now, but you could leave them out for a couple days to get a bit riper if you prefer. Who knew we’d actually get a small harvest from one of our fruit trees!

Other things you might find in the share this week are tomatoes, beets, squash, raddichio, arugula, cucumbers, eggplant, collard/chard/kale, and garlic…


CSA Share: July 21

Will anything come of Shayna’s spore experiments? Stay tuned! Photo by frankenstoen.


Yay for rain! This will definitely help us as we transition into the full summer crops in the next coming weeks.

For this week, we’ll basically be cleaning out the fields of all the remaining smaller quantities of things like onions, potatoes, broccoli, beets and carrots. The share will likely involve some option for those things, as well as a greens option (broccoli rabe or collards). There will definitely be squash. And cilantro! One thing to bear in mind with the squash is that it’s great for freezing and saving for those winter months when pasta primavera sounds like a long ago dream … speaking of pasta, I am a big fan of squash with fresh herbs on pasta.

Also, we got some mushroom spores in the mail that we’re going to be experimenting with this week. No guarantees that we’ll get anything out of it, but I just had to share my excitement.

Look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!


Saxelby Cheese Share: July 14

This week’s Tarentaise comes from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont.


Cheese: Tarentaise (raw cows’ milk)

Farm: Spring Brook Farm; Reading, VT

What Saxelby has to say: A gorgeous, Beaufort-style cheese that is based on the recipe perfected by John and Janine Putnam of Thistle Hill Farm.  Spring Brook and Thistle Hill Farm have forged a unique partnership in the American cheese-scape, making the same cheese on two different patches of farmland. This partnership evokes the Alpine tradition where cheese makers within a certain area all make the same style of cheese. Made from rich, raw Jersey cows’ milk in a traditional copper vat, Tarentaise is a complex and full-flavored wheel of cheese.  Aged for 7 months or more, the texture is smooth and rich, with deep, nutty, and spicy flavors abounding. Hints of wet grass and sweet toasted hazelnuts accent the flavor profile.

CSA Share: July 14

Lots of purslane is available for the taking this week. Photo by h-bomb.


After all the regular rain we’ve had all spring, we’ve entered a bit of a hot, dry spell. Getting things enough water has proven challenging, but on the plus side the weeds aren’t growing quite as fast. We’re steadily approaching summer crop abundance, though this week might be a bit light as the spring crops have mostly finished and the summer crops (except the squash) haven’t really kicked in yet.

I very much hope to have a full share, but if it seems a bit short please forgive us — it will be made up and then some later in the season. Some things you might see this week: beans, beets, broccoli, onions, squash, chard, and/or collards.  There will also be a bunch of edible weeds available as extra if you wish to help yourself, but not counted as the share — mainly amaranth (also known as callaloo) and purslane.

Stay cool!