Marinated Asian Kale Salad

•October 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

From Frank Schmidt and Nancy Lasher at

Kale – Tuscan is best but any will do – washed, destemmed, and thinly shredded
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
5 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sugar (other sweeteners like agave are fine)
½ Tbsp Minced Ginger
½ Tbsp Minced Garlic
Red Pepper Flakes or Sriracha
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a jar and mix well. This can be made a day or so in advance.

One to two hours before serving, mix kale and dressing in a big bowl. Stir to coat all kale pieces. Dressing should cover all the kale and have a few tablespoons in the bottom. Stir every 10-15 minutes to make sure dressing coats and wilts the kale. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. Enjoy.

Note: The flavors are all very strong in this recipe. Feel free to increase or reduce any ingredient according to taste. If it’s too strong, increase the rice wine vinegar and/or add a tablespoon or two of water to the dressing before mixing.


Celeriac Apple Potato Soup

•October 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

From, Saturday, September 01, 2001

1 large celeriac root or two small (peeled and chopped)
2 medium sized potatoes (peeled and chopped)
1 large apple (peeled and chopped)
1/2 onion, diced
1 Qt chicken broth
1 T butter
1 T oil
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in butter and oil under medium heat for a few minutes until browned and translucent. Add the celeriac and potatoes. Saute for about 8-10 minutes until they are cooked. Add broth and apples. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender or, if using a blender, blend in batches in the blender. Garnish with toppings of your choice and serve!

You can cook some bacon, pancetta, or proscuitto in a pan and crumble a small amount on top of the soup. Another variation by Gordon Ramsey adds a splash of lemon for tartness and crumbled stilton.  You can also consider chopped chives, croutons, or blue cheese.  There’s really a lot of room for creativity here. You can easily make this soup vegan by omitting the butter and the bacon. You can also thicken it up by adding a bit of heavy cream to the soup.

On the Farm- October 11th

•October 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is an exciting week on the farm and I hope many of you will make it out to our Fall Farm Festival, However,  I am going to curtail my weekly comments in order to lend this space to Anna Duhon from the Farmscape Ecology Program. She will be at our distributions this week and I hope you will spend some time talking with her and learning more about her research.


Greetings from the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program!

We’re very excited to have the opportunity to visit your CSA pickup site this week, and hopefully gather some of your thoughts and experiences about food, agriculture and your CSA share through a brief (5-10 minute) survey. 

 As some of you might know, we’re a small research and outreach program within the Hawthorne Valley non-profit that is dedicated to exploring the cultural, ecological, and agricultural landscape of Columbia County, NY.  We work closely with Columbia County farmers, and have been working on a Rural/Urban CSA Study in conversation with Hand Hollow Farm and others to provide useful information to help CSA farmers better connect with their members and to help us better understand our county’s food system.

 In this study we’re exploring the relationship between CSA farms in Columbia County and the CSA members in both rural and urban areas that are served by these farms.  We’re particularly trying to better understand the diverse rural and urban populations that are supporting agriculture in Columbia County – in other words, you!

 We would love to include you in this study, and to this end we’ll have an anonymous survey with us that we hope you’ll take a few minutes to fill out while you’re at the pickup site.  Your responses will help us provide useful information to not only your CSA farmer and core group, but also a larger group of CSA farmers.  You’ll also have the opportunity to see the results of the study once they’re compiled.

 We are grateful for any time you can spare to participate in this survey, and look forward to talking with you!

-Anna Duhon

Eggplant, Fennel, and Peppers

•October 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

From Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large white or yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 fennel bulbs, stalks and fronds trimmed, thinly sliced

2 large yellow peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

2 large red peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried basil

2 tsp whole fennel seed

6 Japanese eggplants, cut into bite-sized cubes (If you have to substitute regular eggplant, be sure to salt it, place it in a colander, and drain the bitter juices for about 30 minutes before using it.)

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 425º F. In a large casserole or large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions, fennel bulbs and seeds, peppers, oregano, and basil over medium-low heat until the vegetables are soft and limp about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the eggplant in a single layer on a nonstick or lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the vinegar to the vegetables in the casserole, and stir over medium-low heat until most of it evaporates, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the eggplant, coating it well with the other vegetables. Stir until heated through, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

On the Farm- October 4th

•October 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This has been a tough year for the farm, which experienced a lot of weather extremes. I can easily recount the challenges and disappointments, but let’s take a chance to remember some of the biggest  successes of the season.

After 3 years of meager onion crops, I set my mind to having a good onion year, to closely tending this slow growing vegetable. We have enjoyed a steady succession of onions since the second week of July- starting with large, succulent sweet onions, moving into sharper red onions and their sweeter, flatter cippolini companions, and now adding small, but pungent yellow storage onions.  Onions are not the first vegetable we think of when we think “fresh” or “local,” but most dishes are not the same without them.


I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the Eggplant and the Pepper. Both have been producing steadily through our hot season, hopefully spicing up your share in the absence of tomatoes.  I have never grown such a bounty of eggplant or such a wide selections of peppers, hot and sweet. As cold settles in, these fruits will stop producing and your shares will include some new crops. Fall brings roots, and rutabagas and celeriac will make their season debut, with cabbage as their green companion.

After a season of struggling in the moisture to meet planting dates, next year will herald a focus on some of our basics, making sure each week brings beet, carrots, and salad in your share. I also hope sweet potatoes will be a successful new addition to the crop rotation. What new veggies would you like to see on the farm?

On the Farm- September 27th

•September 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After a bout of cold, the muggy heat feels like a second summer, a gift of extra growth for our last month of produce. But it has also brought mosquitos, more mosquitos then I remember ever seeing on the farm. They hover and hum, they land and feast until a hand leaves its work to swat them away.

Amidst the joys of working the land each day, there are unpleasant moments. Fingers search the dirt for potatoes, but find the rotten mush of the seed potatoes the tubers sprung from.  Hornworms munch and clack as they grow on tomato plants. But the farmer pushes on, wiping rotten potato into the dirt and continuing the tuber search, finding the clacking bug, destroying it and getting back to work. The mosquito lands, and the farmer swats it away, another lands and the day goes on.

On the Farm- September 20th

•September 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The first warnings of frost passed us by without blackening the basil and turning firm fruits to mush. We can enjoy another week of summer fruits and enjoy them more after feeling the rushing winds of fall, the cool mornings nipping at tender fingers. 

 As days in the field seem less busy and hectic for me, I look down, though thinning trees, at fifty white chickens hard at work in the field. They scratch and peck, snapping up bugs and grubs and weed seeds. They roam and grow and fertilize. They pile up at night- sharing warmth with each other, and fan out in the day- seeking the choicest morsels for themselves. One patch at a time, I can hand the field over to the chickens . Not planning or cultivating, just watching and waiting.