Gold Frill Baby Greens
White Russian Kale
New Red Fire Head Lettuce
Muir Head Lettuce
Flatleaf Italian Parsley
Notes from the Farm
Normality doesn't seem to be an achievable goal these days.
It's been years of upheaval, there's a good bit of tension in the air, the cost of living has gone berserk, and most of my good friends feel a little more rundown than usual... but, summer is here, the farm season is here, and it's hard to not feel optimistic cruising into July...
I'm a nostalgic guy, it's a little intense... It's easy for me to hang my hat on the fuzzy feelings and community dynamics I grew up with... but the past is the past, and it's just as easy for me to be resistant to change because of my love for the (my) good ole days.
But, you can't be neutral on a moving train, I know that, and I feel that, and because of that, we've made some changes to our farm this year... changes that likely no one would notice, but significantly change the structure of how we do business.
We have been, every year, continuing to focus our efforts on Casco, on being here, on producing food for our area, doing less, to produce more.
8 years ago when we moved here, we used to send trucks twice a week to North Conway with food bound for CSA members and restaurants up and down the valley. We delivered CSA shares to Bridgton. We sent a big truck to the Kennebunk Farmers' Market, and a van to the Bridgton Farmers' Market. We sent trucks to Portland.
Now, as of this year, we haven't wholesaled a single vegetable in 2 years, all of our CSA members come to the farm, we've sold our big trucks and only send one little van to the Kennebunk Farmers' Market (and mostly only do that because there is a criminally good bakery there that I would never go to otherwise)... everything (or nearly everything) we grow, is picked up right here in our front yard... and that's a blessing we don't take lightly.
All of our focus is on Casco, and anyone who comes to Casco to visit us.
That wouldn't be possible without the growing support of you folks. We know we're not the best at what we do, we have hits and misses, but we also know, we've come to know, that all you all have our backs... and that means something...
So, here's to the hope of another good year... maybe one where some new normality sifts out, some kindness and openness prevails, and we have a summer like the one's we used to have...
Don't underestimate the ability of a Raspberry Vinaigrette to make any green delicious. Kale or Swiss Chard cut into thin ribbons, thoroughly mixed with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and let to set in the fridge for a half our or more, will transform both greens, and make greens eaters out of even the most picky family members.
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts
1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (keep stalks and leaves separate)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1. Wash chard, leaving some water clinging to stalks and leaves; set aside. In a large saucepan with a lid, toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat, shaking pan to brown evenly, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.
2. In same saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add stalks, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add leaves, raisins, and garlic. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pull lid back slightly, and tilt pan to pour off water. Stir in vinegar and pine nuts; season with salt and pepper. Serve.
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 bunch kale
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a food processor, pulse garlic and almonds until finely chopped. Add cheese and half of kale; pulse until combined. Add remaining kale; pulse to a paste. With motor running, pour in oil. Season with salt.