Westfield Area CSA Blog

Heirloom Vegetables

Heirloom Vegetables

Farmer John loves to experiment with heirloom vegetables and we get to enjoy the results!  But what exactly is an “heirloom” vegetable, and how does it differ from a “regular” vegetable? According to Wikipedia, “An heirloom vegetable is a cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Many heirloom vegetables have kept their traits through open pollination, while fruit varieties such as apples have been propagated over the centuries through grafts and cuttings.” (more…)

Soupe Au Pistou

Soupe au Pistou

From an old (2001!) Cuisine Magazine recipe, this French garden soup makes 10 cups and is perfect as we transition into Fall. Pistou is the French version of Italian pesto, which should be made a day ahead, chilled, and stirred into the soup before serving. Give it a try! (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 15, 2016

Hi Folks!  It is my firm belief (or perhaps my desperate hope) that we are over the worse of the heat wave.  It’s been a tough couple of weeks!  I thought that it was forecast to break on Tuesday with some rain followed by more tolerable temperatures but now it seems the temps will climb toward the upper eighties later in the week with no real relief in sight until early next week.  The good news is that we received nearly 3 “of rain during the week a huge benefit to the fall crops that we have been seeding and transplanting. (more…)

Okra

Okra

In the south, it’s available year-round, but for the rest of us, summer is a great time to take advantage of fresh okra. While it looks like a ridged pepper, okra belongs to the same family as hibiscus and cotton, and likely came to the U.S. from Africa more than three centuries ago. (more…)

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi (okra) is a staple in Indian cuisine. This recipe for Bhindi Masala comes from Slate Magazine. If you were scarred by stewed okra as a child, you might be wary of overcooking your okra here. Don’t be. Counterintuitively, you want to cook it so long it’s just shy of burning. A long frying session will give the okra time to dry out as its liquid evaporates, and that dried out texture is what you want if you’re trying to avoid slime. Your okra’s not done until it looks wilted and deeply browned. (more…)

Tomatillos

Tomatillos

Tomatillos are also called “tomate verde” in Mexico (which means green tomato) and are considered a staple in Mexican cooking.  They are a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes.  Tomatillos now grow everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and are common in Texas gardens.

Tomatillos can range in size from about an inch in diameter to the size of apricots.  They are covered by a papery husk which may range from the pale green or purple color of the fruit itself to a light grocery-bag brown.  Before using tomatillos, remove the outer inedible husks, and rinse well, as the fruit is covered in a sticky wax.  They are very easy to cook because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded.  Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked.   (more…)

Circle Brook Farm

Farm News – August 8, 2016

Hello Everyone!  We received about 2/10 of an inch of rain on Saturday from a brief downpour.  It appears we will have multiple chances of precipitation during the week ahead and dry spell is over for now; I only hope it doesn’t start to rain too much.  The tomato crop is coming in heavy now, but many of the vines are succumbing to disease, and wet conditions serve to exacerbate the problem.  The squash crop is also quite prone to diseases such as powdery mildew, that are promoted by warm, wet conditions. (more…)