Thursday, November 14, 2013

This week, the final harvest week, your farmers are grateful for the sun when it chooses to shine as we prepare for garlic planting next week, changed the spades on the spader, worked on the blueberry mulching and prepared for gift box making.  It's amazing how many vegetables can be grown into November and even beyond perhaps, weather depending.   

Great job on the blueberries everyone!
Gleaning the Fields: as a farm shareholder, you are invited to glean the fields for your family's use from Monday Nov 18th until there is nothing usable remaining (probably around Christmas time). There will continue to be dill, cilantro, turnips, radishes, napa and bok choi and others afield after this final harvest. 
Gleaning Hours: 
Mon-Fri  4pm-dusk
Sat: dawn-dusk
Sun: Closed.

Please bring your own harvest supplies--bucket/bag, pruners, trowel etc. 
                                                    Law Reh cuts the cilantro

As our fourteenth season winds down we are grateful for the cooperation of the weather and the hard work of the farm crew that planted, tended, and harvested the thousands of pounds of crops.  In early spring we planted an additional one hundred blueberry plants to give abundant blueberries in the years to come. We also re-established a rhubarb planting of several hundred plants from seed as an experiment, one that looks like it will go gangbusters next season already.  Hold on to the rhubarb!

We started as a pick up site for Abendessen bread shares and Hillacres Farm cheese shares in addition to the North Star Orchard fruit share that began last year.  We are pleased at how these shares compliment what we harvest and support other farms. There was a great article in the Sunday paper's Good Life magazine about the farm that was well written and captured the story of our farm. Many people learned about the farm this way and were inspired by three organizations working together to make this place successful.

 The potato digger that we constructed over the winter hit the field and did outstanding work: helping us to get in the 8,000lbs of potatoes that we dug this year.  We are very thankful to Bob Mclure for the weeder that made the first field test last week with outstanding results. We expect to have highly improved weed control next year--always a an extreme challenge on an organic farm, especially in a very wet season where the weeds just have far too much encouragement!  Goodwill funded the purchase of a rototiller that will prepare the soil better for small-seeded crops such as carrots, cilantro, beets and lettuce so that we will have increased germination, growth and harvests of these crops and others.

 It was a season in which the calendar and the weather seemed at odds with each other. We had July weather in September and September weather in June, rain in July instead of September.  Despite the quirky conditions we are very happy with the abundant and high quality harvests that continue to come in. The harvest highlights were the potatoes going gangbusters, the sweet potato mulch experiment succeeding, great greens, autumn beans and a super pumpkin and butternut squash harvest in addition to many other crops that did well.

The farm staff and trainees, both seasoned ones and green foots alike, were reliable, dependable and hard-working to bring in the fresh weekly harvests for the farm members. Working together in the field and in all weather conditions gives the farm a close family feel-- like a large extended family as we work together to pull off this thing called CSA farming. We expect that next season will be even better as we continue to refine our methods and learn new ways to work around the numerous challenges that pop up daily when working with living systems. Thank you for being a part of the farm this season, for appreciating the food and work that we do, and for lauding our efforts. 

Looking forward to seeing you for the 2014 farm season in June! 

There is an early bird special for 2014--save $20 off of your share if you sign up before Jan 15th.

PS: don’t forget about that butternut squash that’s rolling around in your trunk J
Homefields Gift BoxGift Boxes at the Farm:
The Gift boxes are back! Each year as the fields get colder and colder, then frosty, then frozen, and your farmers do too, we look forward to the aroma of freshly ground coffee and chocolate as we make gift boxes for Christmas time using locally produced goods.

The small gift box includes a packet of College Coffee Roaster’s custom blend, “Goodwill at Homefields Farm” coffee, an eight-ounce bag of tasty Wilbur Buds, one eight-ounce jar of the local specialty Kauffman's Apple Butter and a bag of Snyder's of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches.Price: $18.95

The large gift box features more Lancaster County premium flavors. It includes a 1/2 pound bag of “Goodwill at Homefields Farm” blend coffee from College Coffee Roasters, an eight-ounce bag of yummy Wilbur Chocolate Buds, one ten-ounce jar of Kauffman's Apple Butter and one ten-ounce Kitchen Kettle Village Pear Butter, (a delicious Lancaster County treat that spreads easily on bread and crackers) and a bag of Snyder's of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches. Price $26.95

Order deadline is Dec 6th Place orders by emailing or call us at 717-871-3110. Please Pick up Gift Boxes at the farm on Dec 16th and 17th between 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Thank you for supporting the farmers and the CSA program.


           The harvest season fades to a close as the days grow short and brisk

Suggestions for the Harvest
Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Chunks: My wife roasted some sweet potatoes, chunked and coated with coconut oil and sea salt, in a baking dish at 400 for 1-2 hours until soft and crispy-edged and they went over like melt-in-your-mouth chocolate confections.

Napa Cabbage: at its finest for kimchee making. See the recipe a few newsletters back, or search it on our farm blog, or find your own recipe online.

Bok Choi: this Asian cabbage was made for stir fries with soy sauce, peanut butter, or chicken or a combination of all three.

Butternut squash: your farmers find that the butternuts and Long Island Cheese squash are tops when it comes to baking and cooking winter squashes and pumpkins. Did you know that canned "pumpkin" at the store is usually squash due to its superior flavor and texture?

Black Radishes:

Black Radish Russian-style
First peel the black skin off. In a bowl, grate the radishes, chop or mince green scallion, grate a carrot and dice fresh cucumber...mix together with sour cream If you want more of a spicy tang, use less carrot and cucumber, if it's too spicy then use more carrot and cucumber. Use as a salad or eat on crackers. --adapted from

Popcorn: our popcorn is very tasty--put oil in heavy bottomed pan and heat up the oil. Put a test kernel in when you think the oil is hot. When that one pops--pour in popcorn enough to cover the pan bottom and shake. Put a lid over the pan--but not tightly, so that steam can escape. Shake the pan as corn pops until popping slows. (it must be said that everyone seems to have a different method that works for them--and only them, perhaps ;-)

All Winter Squash: these hard squash will keep in cool and dry storage for months. Great for apple and squash bake, curried or sweet soup.

Cilantro: great in a sandwich, soups, salads, recipes from around the world Dill: great for pickling or with potatoes.

"Dessert Turnips": Our pet name for the sweet and mild white Hakurei salad turnips is dessert turnips. These are not your ordinary firm and strong purple top turnips. They are best eaten raw like carrot sticks with or without some kind of dip. Growing up, we had carrot, celery and turnip sticks at holiday meals.

Arugula: Yes, the arugula is back—cheers from all corners. This spicy green's nutty flavor jazzes up a salad or sandwich really well! Kind of zingy for most people--use as your palate prefers.

Ornamental/Flour Corn: feel free to shell your corn from the cob sometime and bring the kernels in to grind in the mill that we have here. Run it through once to grind coarsely and then tighten it up and run through again for finer grind for cornmeal for cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, muffins etc.

Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes are the farm favorite for French-fry making, hands down. Potatoes are a wonderful source of nutrients, versatile to cook with, and very satisfying to the eater--they even help you sleep well at night. (Potatoes not Prozac book)

Chard: Remove the lower portion of the stalk as it is usually tough. Sautee leaves in butter, olive or coconut oil, add salt, and red pepper, top with Parmesan cheese.

Mustard Greens: Known for their pungent flavor, these greens can be added to a salad for a mustardy hot punch, or can be added to soups or stir frys. Flavor mellows when cooked. Tatsoi: A mild green that is great raw in salad or cooked. We think of it as fall spinach.

Purple Mizuna: a unique mustard green from Japan that has mild flavor and is great in salad for color and flavor. Senposai: has a sweet and tender cabbage like flavor. Makes a great outer wrap for veggie wraps. Use raw or cooked.

Senposai: very kale or leaf cabbage like and can substitute for either.
Thank you:   I don't think words can say quite enough thanks for all that people gave and did to make the farm and harvest work out this season. Thank you Elizabeth for a super job directing, scheduling and working with trainees, Law Reh for Swiss-watch like work in the field, harvest, and with equipment, Marci for excellent harvest day help in the distribution area, Bob for both potato digger and weeder innovations, Butch for the shade canopy on the transplanter and many repairs and fixits, Tom for tools and counsel, Flanagan welding for donated weldling time, Brandon, Lance and Rebecca for keeping the place in order! Thank you to Homefields for hosting the farm program on their farm, and Goodwill Keystone for operating the farm program.  

See you soon and keep warm,

Scott for all of the farmers--Elizabeth, Law Reh, Marci, Brad, Scott, Patrick, Brian, Matt, John, Cameron, Del, Mike and Glenn


Allison said...

Thank you to all the farmers & other helping hands who made this 14th season exceptional. Loving the options of bread, cheese & fruit shares. I'm a little sad about the end of the season, but know the fields & the farmers need to rest. See you next year!

Heather Conlon-Keller said...

ditto that... another delicious season!