<< Back


Posted 7/25/2014 12:31pm by Brittany Sidway.
Well, they are finally here - after a cool spring and a late start our first tomatoes are finally rolling in.  We are going to try to put a few in your share this week, but remember, this is just the beginning - if all goes according to plan we'll be fill swimming pools with tomatoes by August.
We grow a lot of varieties of tomatoes.  Our tomatoes are picked for several reasons:
1. Ability to resist Late Blight.  Late blight is fungal disease that thrives in warm, moist conditions.  It travels up to New England from the south either on thunderstorms and hurricanes or on cheap seedlings shipped to box stores.  The spores can travel up to 30 miles on the wind.  Once they have infected the plants, there is no organic cure.  You can use copper to try to mitigate the problem/prevent infection, which we did in 2012 when we had late blight arrive on some really healthy tomatoes on July 7th, but who wants to wash copper off of their tomatoes?  If I can't eat while I'm picking it's just not worth it to me.  I love tomatoes as much as anyone, but part of why I farm is that I want to stuff my face with awesome produce all day long and not worry.  So, we don't use copper (plus is expensive and VERY time consuming to apply the appropriate amount of copper on our small scale).
2. TASTE!  We want tomatoes that taste great, and in lots of ways!  There are sweet tomatoes, tangy tomatoes, complex tomatoes - they all have their unique flavor.  Brittany and Kevin's favorite tomato is Valencia, an orange heirloom with absurdly amazing flavor and texture.  The heirlooms take longer so we won't be seeing them in the shares for another 3-4 weeks, but we've got some great early yellow and orange tomatoes from our greenhouse tunnels, Taxi and Orange Blossom.  Our early red tomatoes, Polbig, are tolerant to cooler weather and have great flavor, but aren't doing great this year - so get excited from some early yellow and orange tomatoes for a few weeks and then an onslaught of red field tomatoes!
3. Productivity, disease resistance, adaptability.  A tomato might taste great, but if there is a low chance that you will get a profitable yield, it's hard as a small farm to grow it in large quantities.  We love heirloom plants, and if we were gardeners we might only grow heirlooms, but on our scale, we have a certain accountability to our customers, and our bottom line, which encourages us to choose hybrid varieties and modern crosses which benefit the small, local farmer.  None of our varieties are GMO and we only buy from seed companies who pledge they will never knowingly buy GMO seeds.
That's a lot of writing for the one or two tomatoes you are going to see in the share this week, but there are lots more to come, so I just wanted to prepare you!
The Share:
Beans: some Dragon Tongue Beans (flat, purple, white) Brittany's absolute favorite bean - an heirloom
Carrots: they just keep coming.  If you've got some building up in the fridge maybe make carrot cake?
PYO: Beans and Flowers (lots of flowers) cherry tomatoes are almost here!
Posted 7/12/2014 2:48pm by Brittany Sidway.
(this text is written by Kevin, sent by Brittany)
Week 4 and Veggies Galore. There are a lot of vegetables in the MCF fields, things could be worse (first thing that came to mind were the Ring-wraiths horses tramping all over things on the farm). Thanks to our drip irrigation system our vegetables are staying healthy and our farmers are keeping the freak-outs to a minimum. There is maybe nothing more stressful than a lack of rain when it comes to growing food. Our soil seems to be made of some mysterious material that absorbs water and quickly transports it to another dimension, because let me tell you, it dries out fast. That being said, I have worked on farms where you have to literally wade through knee-high water to pick your onions, so I'm not complaining, work with what you've got.

Brit and I just came inside from a long, exciting harvest. We got to pick our first new potatoes and onions. Pretty amazing right? I know, that's what I said! 

I would go into more detail about the amazingness of things, but I'm sleepy, and I'll just riddle this page with spelling mistakes if I continue, so without further adieu...

what's in the share?

Carrots - It's hard not to eat them as is, but they go great finely chopped in slaw - these are the best tasting ones yet, Mokum, our favorite summer variety.
Beets - Wrapped in tinfoil they go great roasted on the grill, eat the greens too
Zucchini - Sliced in half grilled is a quick, delicious side.  There are some big ones this week, so maybe zucchini bread?  zucchini fritters?
Cucumber - I like a couple of slices in a gin and tonic on a hot day, or add some flavor to a pitcher of water in the fridge
Green Onions - so fresh, so potent, very excellent, eat them!
New Potatoes - they make an excellent potato salad chopped into quarters, add some roasted beets for a crazy spin on an old dish
Peas - shmease
Turnips - raw, roasted, sauteed, steamed, pickled... and on and on
Chard / Kale / Cabbage / Basil (small amounts in choice)
LOTs of Peas
(cherry tomatoes are on their way, along with okra, mini sweet peppers, tomatillos and husk cherries!)

Brittany says this is one of her favorite shares ever, must be all the great food and flavors and stuff. Thanks for reading, happy eating.
(Brittany is writing now)
Roasted Beets, Carrots, Turnips (I'd skip the sage and toss in fresh basil after the roots come out of the oven)
I made a great beet and potato salad last week.  I boiled the beets (ha! remember when I said don't boil them?  We'll I was short for time and not about to turn on the oven in the sweltering heat) and potatoes then toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and veganaise to taste (yes, it's a household staple here, we call it "the white stuff" - all recognizable ingredients and great flavor).  I also poured in a splash of veggie broth I made with carrot tops, scallion tops and broccoli stalks a few weeks ago.  It was a hit.
Ok, thanks enough, it's time to get to bed so we can get up in a few hours - good thing I had iced coffee at lunch today :)
Brittany and Kevin
Posted 6/29/2014 12:08pm by Brittany Sidway.

Well, we made it through the first week of Summer!  

We've got another great share planned for this week.  The crops are coming in nicely and I'm excited to see potatoes, spring onions and field cucumbers on the horizon. 
The Share
(Some of these items might not be in your share)
-broccoli (eat this first, the broccoli doesn't keep long, even in the fridge)
Pick You Own (for PYO members): peas, basil, a few flowers
Kevin and I just finished eating our first beets of the season.  They were in the Spring Share, but they have been slow growing, and we usually end up eating a lot of what's in abundance.  Beets are one of my favorites.  I probably never ate a beet before I started farming and now they are a highlight of my summer diet.
I don't boil beets.  I don't boil anything except potatoes and sometimes pasta and eggs.  You can boil beets, but try this:
•Peel (if you want) and slice 1 bunch beet roots into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices
•Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in a skillet
•Put the beets in the skillet and cover, stirring every minute or two until the beets start to release their liquid
•Wash and chop the greens, adding the stems after the beets have begun to brown in the pan
•After the beets are tender and slightly browned add the greens, cover and let steam - you can also add salt, pepper, some chopped scallions or scapes (if you have some left)
•Once the greens are just wilted the beets are ready to serve
This is simple but an incredibly enjoyable way to savor the first beets of the season!  I know some of our returning members think Kevin and I eat too much salt and too much oil (since that is almost always our recommendation for how to cook vegetables) but we work hard, and we need the calories and electrolytes!  Always use oil and salt to taste, don't be afraid to adjust recipes according to your preferences.  
Other ways to cook beets; if you have AC you can just turn on the oven and roast them.  Or wrap them in tin foil and put them on the grill (make sure to put them on first, as they take a long time to cook).
(Side note: Tom Ashbrook is on NPR right now talking about "food trends".  I roll my eyes at these kinds of discussions but the questions he's asking are kind of interesting.  They are talking about "taste-makers" or people who influence your food choices.  Apparently Kevin and I are, as your CSA farmers, "taste-makers" on a small scale.  :) Hopefully we make you crave some great, healthy choices and not Cro-nuts!)
Also, just so you all know, the Farm to Fork Tickets go on Sale Sunday.  We'll be sending out an email/facebook blast! We'll also be drawing the Friend of the Farm lottery to see who gets the two free tickets - you are all entered to win!
Thanks and enjoy,
Posted 3/10/2014 9:50am by Brittany Sidway.

I've never had one of those dreams where you look down and realize you're naked in public.  I dream vividly most nights, usually some sci-fi like combination of the last movie I watched, something I read in the news, a place I visited when I was twelve and my college roommates (or some other random assortment).

But, from January through March, about once a week, I have a stress dream.  It's never the same, but always similar.  Here's how it goes:

It's the first CSA pick up day!  The weather is beautiful, I'm so excited to see customers who have come to feel like friends over the years.  I'm feeling hopeful, inspired and excited for the future of our farm and for agriculture in general.  

And then I realize: I forgot to plant the vegetables!  

I'm wondering how this is possible, did I black out for two months?  Was I too relaxed over the winter and just forgot time was passing?  Did I miss-read the calendar?!!  I start to quietly panic inside, not wanting anyone to know how badly I've messed up.  I rush to the greenhouse to find seedlings, barely emerged from their seed casings and begin cutting micro greens.  Three leaves per CSA member.  What else can I do?!  But if I cut these it will be even longer before I can harvest crops for the next pick ups.  I'm a month behind and frantically trying to figure out how to produce a thousand dollars worth of produce in an instant.

And then I wake up.  I suck in air and try to force my delinquent brain to figure out what month it is.  PHEW. It's only March.  We've got a month and a half until the first CSA pick up and we've already got two hoop-houses in the field fully planted and growing, we've got our onions and other early greens seeded.  Everything is on schedule - or as on schedule as it can be in this incredibly cold winter!

I love the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model.  I love having a strong relationship with customers, I love the financial security, I love the boundaries a CSA provides for the farm plan.  But having a CSA is like taking out an opperating loan from a bank with a few hundred board members who have a real stake in what you are doing.  There is a little pressure there - but for me, it's good pressure.  It pushes me to meet the goals I have set for myself and the business.

So, the CSA might give me a few stressful, late-winter dreams, but I wouldn't ever give it up.  Our CSA is the backbone of our organization and the foundation of our farm.  Thank you to everyone who has, does and will participate in our CSA program!

Upcoming Events
Our Sponsors

Whole Foods Market

Restaurant 45

Mirick O'Connell

Creations By Carol

Middlesex Savings Bank

The Greene's Pit Stop

Charles River Bank

Medway Imports

Peak Organic Brewery

Become a Sponsor

Mailing list sign-up