How many blueberries would it take to feed Hampshire College for a year? This was the question campus farmer Nancy Hanson asked dining service general manager Jim Lachance last July. Farmer Nancy proposed to take her hard working crew of student farmers out of the campus vegetable fields and up to the blueberry barrens of the Berkshires to pick enough berries to supply the dining for the entire school year. According
I am probably not the only one who is sad that there are no new CSA vegetables this week. I will miss my weekly trips to the CSA barn, not to mention all the lovely vegetables in my kitchen. I suspect that I'm also not the only one, though, whose CSA share will last at least a few weeks into the future.
Butternut squash has been a staple in my kitchen for years, decades, even, I’ve used butternut squash into soup and risotto. I’ve roasted it and steamed it and pureed it. I’ve added it to pasta and salad. I’ve used it in lieu of pumpkin in bread and pie both. It is, as you probably know, extraordinarily versatile.
One group that has a yearly share in the Hampshire CSA is Hampshire's Early Learning Center. Each week, children come to collect the share--if you've ever wondered why there are tiny shopping carts in residence at the CSA barn, here's your answer! Casie Smith, the Early Learning Center's director, sent along some photos of her charges enjoying their share. Here's what she has to say.
Carrots are another stalwart of the CSA share--there at the beginning and there at the end, there to be weighed out weekly in 2 pound increments. Unless you keep on top of them, the carrots have a way of multiplying in your refrigerator, and when you go to look for something, you find three or four identical bags, each holding 2 pounds of carrots of varying degrees of freshness.
First things first, on this last day of October: Yay Red Sox!!
And Happy (Hampshire) Halloween!
It's only too bad that the weather outside is not in tune with the festive celebrations we should be having today. The weather is cooperating, though, with the recipe I'm going to post. Damp, chilly weather makes soup almost an imperative.
First things first. The sweet potatoes that Farmer Nancy Hanson and her crew have grown this year are fabulous.Truly delicious. If you haven’t done so yet, go home and roast some of the sweet potatoes in your share and eat them as they are–or with butter or goat cheese or salt or whatever else you might like atop a spectacular sweet potato.
October is the time when blogging along with the CSA gets tricky. I look at the list that Farmer Nancy puts out on Facebook and wonder whether I can possibly make a mustard green-green tomato-kohlrabi-sweet potato casserole, or some such, just to use as many vegetables as possible. Alas, no. Each week, it's a choice.
There are two things that are making me believe that fall is really here, even if the weather outside doesn't really feel like it. One is that my calendar now says October. The other is that winter squash are now plentiful at the Hampshire CSA and in our corner of the world in general.
In recent years, chard has become my go-to green. Don't get me wrong--I love spinach as much as the next (spinach-loving) person. But spinach's season is brief--just a few short weeks in spring and fall for the fresh stuff, and the rest of the time you're either spinach-less or reduced to bagged spinach from the grocery or even frozen in a pinch.
We're delighted to welcome Hampshire President Jonathan Lash to the blog with our very first guest post. President Lash has offered us his gazpacho recipe so that we can continue to enjoy these last brief weeks of tomato season.
I wanted to start with something exciting happening in our very valley next week. The wonderful chef and writer Deborah Madison is going to be at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley next Wednesday, September 18, for a discussion and book signing of her gorgeous new book, Vegetable Literacy.
Greetings, and Welcome to Hampshire’s new CSA blog! I’m a longtime writer, gardener and (vegetarian) home cook, and I’m excited to share stories and recipes with you as the CSA moves week to week, from the bounty of late summer to the onset of winter.