This is the time of year when so many varieties of winter squash are available and at their best. Winter squash are some of the most delicious, nutritious, and versatile ingredients of the season. Winter squash are loaded with antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C. They also contain folate and omega 3 fatty acids! There are so many ways to prepare squash and they're easy to store. You can extend the season just by keeping a box of squash in a cool dry space in your own home.
We'll have all of our winter squash varieties on display at the Fairlee Market on Friday 3-6pm and the Saturday Norwich Farmers' Market 9-1pm. These are our final outdoor markets of the season! Come try a new variety this week! You can also order additional quantities to store your own for winter by emailing Danielle.
We grow nine different varieties of winter squash because they each have their own unique cooking qualities and storability! You can find a simple guide to the many varieties we grow on our website.
Delicata squash is one of the first to ripen in the field and it doesn't keep as long as other winter squash, so we try to use them up first. Delicata is one of our fall favorites because it's so simple and satisfying to cook up for a weeknight meal. You don't have to peel the tender skin, you can simply slice them into circles and roast in the oven.
Another one of our favorite this season is this mini butternut called "honeynut". These are the perfect portion size, just slice in half, scoop out the seeds, roast in the oven and you've got a meal. The flavor and texture of this squash is really outstanding! We love the story of how honeynut came into being and we think you will too!
Kabocha is another amazing squash variety, not to be overlooked. This late ripening variety has very dense, dry flesh that's remarkably sweet with a nice nutty flavor. Kabocha squash is very versatile in the kitchen, it can be roasted, steamed, or simmered into a smooth creamy soup. The skin is also tender enough to eat if you don't want to peel it. One of our late winter favorites is "winter sweet" grey kabocha because they continue to sweeten and the flavors improve after two months in storage.
Check out Ali's latest recipe Squash Apple Cheddar Soup. This hearty fall soup will warm you up! We recommend trying it with Buttercup or Kabocha squash this week!
It's the height of the season, we've reached the pinnacle. That short but sweet time of year when we're loaded with the beautiful fruits of our summer labor- tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, and cantaloupe. It's a great time to stock up and cook it all down into sauces and salsas, and maybe preserve a bit of that sweet summer flavor to save for the colder months. Check out Ali's Super Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe.
We'll have flats of Roma tomatoes for sale at the markets this weekend: Friday 3-6pm in front of Chapman's in Fairlee, and Saturday 9-1pm at the Norwich Farmers' Market. CSA customers can order from our online store for pick up along with their weekly share.
All the ingredients you need to make a delicious Salsa Verde are available right now: tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, hot peppers. It's so simple, you're going to love it! Check out the recipe here.
This is the final week of our Summer CSA Shares, but there's still much more to come! We have a few spaces open for our Fall CSA Shares. Sign up today and receive the best of our fall harvest for the next 16 weeks, until the end of December. Weekly deliveries or Half Share bi-weekly deliveries available for the fall season.
Join us on Sunday August 21st, 10-2pm.
Stop by for a tour of our fields on Sunday anytime between 10-2pm. We'll also offer a tasting of some unusual vegetable varieties, and a pop-up market if you'd like to buy fresh vegetables or sauerkraut. Bring a hat and good walking shoes, and come take a tour of the farm at the height of our harvest season!
Our tomatoes are at their peak, so it'll be a tomato party at market this weekend! Stop by our Fairlee Market in front of Chapman's Store on Friday afternoon 3-6pm or the Norwich Market from 9-1pm on Saturday. Pick up a 10 lb flat and make a batch of tomato sauce or salsa this weekend. This is a great time to do some canning!
August is a time of transitions at the farm. Most of our planting and weeding is done for the season and now we're focused on bringing the harvest in, setting our open fields to cover crops, and planning our fall projects. August is also the time when we say goodbye to some of our summer crew members. Sammy is heading back for her Junior year at Endicott College, and Lauren has made her way back to Rhode Island after graduating from VT Law School this summer. We're so grateful for all of the hard work and dedication of our amazing summer crew! Thank you Sammy & Lauren, best of luck to you both!!
Speaking of transitions... It's time to sign up for our Fall CSA Shares!! Our fall shares begin September 1st and go for 16 weeks until December 21st. Fall Shares still hold the best of the summer harvest with tomatoes, peppers, and melons extending through mid-October and fresh greens and herbs all the way until December. Check out photos of our Fall Shares and sign up on our website today!
Open Farm Day! Join us on Sunday August 21st, 10-2pm.
Guided farm tours every 1/2 hour starting at 10am. Come see our vegetable farm at the height of harvest season. We'll also offer a tasting of vegetable varieties, and a pop-up market if you'd like to buy fresh vegetables or sauerkraut. Bring a hat and good walking shoes, and come take a tour of the farm! Interested in seeing more farms in the area? Check out the complete listings for Vermont Open Farm Week online.
This week we'd like to introduce Ali Price, a Root 5 Farm CSA member and local food educator. Ali provides group and private cooking lessons to folks in the Upper Valley. She's also an aspiring Health Coach and born and raised vegetable lover.
This season Ali is creating a series of weekly recipes that work with the ingredients in her CSA box. Her recipes are clear and easy to read, with lots of step-by-step photos. We're excited to share these fantastic recipes with you on our website. Look for links in our weekly newsletter, or just check out Seasonal Recipes under the 'info' tab on our website.
Many people find that being a CSA member or shopping at the farmers' market and working with seasonal ingredients fosters a new approach to cooking. You can enjoy delicious meals and save time and money by adapting recipes to use what's freshly harvested and what else is on hand. Many recipes can be made successfully with substitutions or omissions, and vegetables are especially suited to this approach.
When you're looking for a substitute, think about plant families. For example, main courses often call for at least one member of the onion family (scallion, onion, garlic, leek, chive, etc). Alliums can usually be substituted for each other with excellent results. Members of the diverse brassica family can often stand in for each other. Kohlrabi, for example, could fill in for broccoli or cabbage in a variety of situations, because their flavors and crunchy textures are similar.
Ali is working on a series of master recipes that use some basic staples and flexible combinations of vegetables and spices, rather than a fixed set of ingredients. Check out these delectable examples- Grilled Summer Vegetables and Simple Summer Bites.
If you want to learn more about keeping your produce fresh once you get it to your kitchen, check out the storage tips on our website. Not all vegetables should be stored in the same way. For example, did you know that the best way to keep basil fresh is in a glass of water on your counter top, not in the fridge? Or that if you take the tops off your fresh carrot, beet, and radish bunches and store the roots in a plastic bag in your fridge, they will stay crispy and keep for months? Or that tomatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator? Learn more about the ideal temperature, humidity, and expected storage time for different vegetables on our website.
Some welcome rainfall over the last week has given us a moment to put down the irrigation pipes and update you on some Root 5 Farm news.
Succession plantings of greens, herbs, and roots over the last two months have filled our farmers' market stand and our CSA boxes with a beautiful variety of vegetables. The shares have been bountiful and most crops have been loving the heat this summer.
We've been working hard to keep the crops planted, weeded, watered, and harvested on time. Our fields and greenhouses are looking great this season! Tomatoes are ripening and other summer crops like squash, cucumbers, and peppers are coming in strong now.
Sweet potatoes, winter squash, and melons are vining out and we've also planted many of our late fall storage crops like carrots, beets, and cabbage.
We hope you'll enjoy this recipe for Summer Greens Rice Casserole from our friend, Chef Alison Price. You'll find that this delicious and simple recipe is easily adaptable for any cooking greens you find in your CSA box or at our farmers' market stand.
We're only 4 weeks away from the start of our CSA shares! We plan to begin the season with lots of leafy greens, fresh herbs, tender asparagus, and crispy radishes. We've also stored some delicious gold potatoes, sweet carrots, and tasty sauerkraut to round out our early spring shares. We still have a few shares available, you can sign up online today!
The weather is warming up and we're in high gear at the farm. The seedlings in our greenhouse are growing quickly on these warm, sunny days, and much of our time is spent seeding, watering, and potting up.
We're getting the fields ready for planting, fixing equipment and getting our machinery up and running. We're especially excited about this new 6' disc we bought from our friends Becky and Scott at Singing Cedars Farm in Orwell. Thanks, Becky and Scott!
Over the weekend we started to work the soil and prepare our fields. Ben plowed in some cover crops of rye, oats, and peas that added valuable nutrients and protected our soil from erosion over the winter. It takes a few weeks for the cover crop to break down before we can prepare these beds to plant.
We've outgrown our greenhouse and we need more space for our seedlings, so we just built this 60-foot cold frame. We'll use this space to harden off seedlings before they get transplanted. We can also plant a summer crop of heat-loving ginger or peppers in here once the transplants are all out.
Jump into spring and get a taste of local foods this weekend! We'll be at the Norwich Farmers' Market at Tracy Hall this Saturday from 10-1pm. We'll have some unique early spring offerings- pea shoots, radish sprouts, spinach, sauerkraut and kimchi varieties, carrots, and our own Root 5 Farm honey!
On Sunday from 10-3pm, bring your plate and fork to Flavors of the Valley at Hartford High School in White River Jct. This is the 15th annual celebration of local foods organized by Vital Communities with over 50 farm and food related vendors. We're so excited to be part of this tasting event that brings together Upper Valley chefs, farmers, and specialty food producers. Root 5 Farm will be offering a taste of our sauerkraut varieties and spring greens. We'll be set up next to our friends at NOFA-VT and Shire Beef.
Despite the fresh snow outside, it's warm and cozy in our greenhouse and thousands of seedlings are popping up. We've been planting greens, radishes, and turnips in our high tunnels and our first field planting of peas is scheduled for Friday!
If you've been meaning to sign up for a CSA share, don't delay! The growing season has begun and shares are going fast! Sign up today and receive your first CSA delivery in mid-May.