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News and Notes
from the Field

Posts Filtered by Month - November 2018 |
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November 26, 2018
Farming Out of November
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

a view of the high tunnel with extra covers on the inside to protect crops as temperatures bottomed out near single digits
We hope you enjoyed your holiday last week and were surrounded by family, friends, and good food! We enjoyed our 3rd Thanksgiving celebration in the past 1.5 weeks due to a multitude of branches on our family tree.
For the farm it's been quite an eventful couple of weeks with the end of one CSA season and the start of another CSA season sandwiching a major holiday with the latest batches of extreme weather thrown in just for fun. A heavier-than-forecast snowfall as the Main Season concluded, the coldest Thanksgiving in years with lows near the single digits as we welcomed the start of the Late Fall, followed by 4 more inches of rain just to remind us what kind of year this has been. Officially, now, all our crops are coming from protected tunnels and storage so at least we have slightly more control over plant health and yield.
The rainfall can basically be ignored at this point since the crops are sheltered but we do have to add extra covers to the crops when temperatures drop below 25 or so. A forecast of 10 degrees forced us to add a double layer to be safe. We uncovered everything during Sunday's beautiful weather and all the crops survived unscathed. I'm definitely looking forward to eating all these greens!

a view of the greens in the high tunnel after the interior covers were removed following the extreme cold
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November 26, 2018
After the Holiday
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana

red russian kale in the hoop tunnel
Late Fall Harvest #2 (Week B) should include sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, potatoes, mini cabbages, napa/chinese cabbage, daikon radishes, hakurei turnips, kohlrabi, kale, collards, spinach, and greens mix. Some items will be a choice.
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November 26, 2018
Late Fall CSA Pick Up Information
Other News
by Farmer Derek

homemade farm-sourced wreath made by Farmer Dana
  • The Late Fall CSA begins this week for Week B Half Share members. Full and Medium Share members continue collecting their produce.
  • Pick up days are typically Wednesday 1-8pm and Saturday 11am-12noon. During the week of Christmas (Late Fall week #6, Week B), pick up is Thursday instead of Wednesday. Saturday's pick up is still 11am-12noon.
  • Log in here to view your day/week/balance.
  • You can temporarily switch your pick up day/week be notifying us by 5pm Sunday prior to your pick up day/week. If you miss your pick up we will contact you to reschedule.
  • Bring your own bags to collect your share. Full and Medium Shares pick up weekly, Half Shares every other week (A or B, log in to check your week).
  • Driveway potholes should be filled this week.
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November 25, 2018
Thanksgiving Bounty
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving - one of the things I am thankful for every year is the bounty of delicious, healthy local food from Anchor Run. This year it is especially true. I am involved in additional local food organizations and know that all of our local farmers have struggled through this record breaking rain year, all of them losing a significant amount of their harvests and therefore, their incomes. As I have spoken to Derek through the year, the crop losses suffered at Anchor Run have been significant; however, we have still had enough high quality produce to provide plenty of beautiful, delicious shares for us.
Here are a few things I did with my share this past week:
Kale, garlic - made the Kale Rice Bowl. This is especially easy and yummy with the small young kale leaves we receive this time of year. Made it on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving as a light, easy meal prior to the big day.
Sweet potatoes, potatoes, celeriac - made a "mixed mash" for Thanksgiving - the added flavor from the sweets and celeriac make a special treat for the day.
Celeriac, Carrots, Onions - have you heard of the French term mirepoix? It is a mixture of celery, carrots and onions used a a base for many soups and stews. So, what do you do when you don't have celery? Use celeriac! The version of turkey we made this year had us put a base of mirepoix in the bottom of the roasting pan to provide yummy flavors for the gravy. Since we didn't have farm celery this year, I chopped up a celeriac - since it is in the same family, it provided that taste element.
Fennel - Thanksgiving is is such a heavy meal that I have trouble convincing my family to eat a salad - so I made something light: I have arugula in my garden but any green would work. I shaved one of the fennel bulbs from the farm into arugula and then made a very simple, light lemon vinaigrette - everyone loved it, saying it really cut through the heaviness of the turkey and all the trimmings - keep it in mind for any big meal, such as a stew.
Enjoy the upcoming delicious greens from the high tunnels and please continue to support Anchor Run Farm by signing up for your 2019 share!
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November 18, 2018
Welcome to the 7th Annual Late Fall CSA
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan

Greens in the hoop tunnel.
Thanks for joining us! Most of you were members of our Main Season CSA while some of you are new to our farm and perhaps new to CSA in general. This six week season should be a good one. Crops in our four tunnels are looking happy, healthy, robust, and right on schedule. After all of the extreme weather we endured during our 26-week Main Season it's nice to now be able to harvest from inside a more protected and almost weather-controlled environment. We still need to monitor and adjust accordingly the levels of moisture in the soil (irrigate or no), humidity levels (open doors during the daytime), and temperature (add extra covers inside the tunnels on low hoops). The cold weather suppresses diseases as well as pests so it almost feels 'easy' to farm inside during the cold months. A forecast high below freezing followed by night in the teens this coming week will have us perhaps feeling a tad uneasy but from experience we know that crops in the unheated-except-for-solar-radiation structures can endure much colder outside temperatures before they're damaged. One of our tunnels has a propane heater which we'll gladly set for 35 degrees.
We still have some crops outside under hoops and heavy duty row cover but we're not sure how they and the hoops plus cover fared with the 4-5 inches of snow. They're probably okay except for a few bent hoops and maybe flattened plants but we won't know until the snow is fully melted and we can remove the cover. (Monday update: hoops, cover, and crops stood up to the snow load so we'll retrieve what we can there before 15 degrees descends Thursday night).
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November 18, 2018
Commence the Late Fall Share
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana

Greens in the high tunnel.
Late Fall harvest week #1 (Week A) should include sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, chives, celeriac, hakurei turnips, daikon radish, potatoes, cabbage, napa/chinese cabbage, lettuce, and greens mix. Some items will be a choice.
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November 18, 2018
Giving Thanks to Greens and Veggies
Other News
By Linda Dansbury
Do you have a set menu for your Thanksgiving Day dinner? Every family has their favorite traditions - we do as well, but I try every year to add something new to our menu, and it is usually the veggies. Think about doing something new for your family!
Roasted veggies - you might think you can't do this because of the turkey being in the oven, however, the turkey comes out and rests for about 30 min, and by the time it is carved and plated, there is plenty of time to roast veggies - try a mix of daikon/turnips, celeriac, onion, sweet potato and garlic. You can prep veggies early in the day - but place cut up celeriac and sweet potatoes in water with a little squeeze of lemon juice so they don't discolor. Dry well before placing on cookie sheet to roast. You can also place a variety of roots under the bird while it roasts.
Sweet Potatoes - I for one grew up with candied sweet potatoes on the table so for that reason, I didn't think I liked sweet potatoes until I was an adult. A delicious sweet potato dish that can be prepped ahead of time is the Sweet Potato Casserole on this site. It is slightly sweet, but not cloying and it is a delicious addition to your holiday table.
Turnips, carrots, chives - looking for a simple and not too filling appetizer to start your celebration? The tender turnips and sweet carrots we have been receiving are perfect with the Radishes and Goat Cheese Dip recipe on this site. The recipe says to use a food processor, but I just mix by hand.
Lettuces and mixed greens - all so delicious when touched by frost - I always have a large salad in between the main meal and dessert - make a light lemon vinaigrette and dress the salad lightly.
Have a wonderful, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. If you have a holiday tradition you would like to share, email me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line.
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November 18, 2018
Late Fall CSA Pick Up Information
Other News
by Farmer Dana

Farm dog plus sunset.

  • The Late Fall CSA begins this week for Full, Medium, and Half Share Week A members.
  • Pick up days are typically Wednesday 1-8pm and Saturday 11am-12noon, but due to the holiday this week pick up is on Tuesday 1-8pm instead of Wednesday. Saturday's pick up is still 11am-12noon.
  • You can switch your pick up day/week by e-mailing us. Log in here to view your day/week/balance.
  • Pick up begins next week for Week B Half Shares.
  • You can temporarily switch your pick up day/week be notifying us by 5pm Sunday prior to your pick up day/week. If you miss your pick up we will contact you to reschedule.
  • Bring your own bags to collect your share.
  • Full and Medium Shares pick up weekly, Half Shares every other week (A or B, log in to check your week).
  • During the week of Christmas (Late Fall week #6, Week B), pick up is Thursday instead of Wednesday.
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November 11, 2018
The Final One
Notes From The Field
by Farmers Dana and Derek

Sun setting on the 2018 Main Season.
Thank you, CSA members, for all of your support and continued collection of your harvest shares during this most difficult of growing seasons! While our growing and harvesting plans haven't always worked out exactly as planned this year somehow some way there will be knowledge and experiences gained that will hopefully prove practical and valuable in the future. It's easy for us to recall all of the crops that failed or under-performed, especially during late summer and through the fall, but we'll be able to do that later, when the ground is frozen or snow blankets the earth. What takes up most of our time right now is focusing on what has survived or thrived and trying our best to fulfill our commitment to you: filling your shares with enough quality produce to enrich your culinary endeavors at home.
At some point later this fall or early winter we'll have ample time to truly reflect on this season and build on these experiences to develop and implement what could make harvests more predictable and foolproof in the future. Ultimately this may require us to invest money and resources in more earth moving and infrastructure development to help temper weather extremes. These challenges are part of why we love our job and are thankful to spend our time doing it. And it goes without saying, that without you, our members, none of this would be possible.
We hope we've come close to satisfying your expectations during this growing season and would love to hear back from you if you have any thoughts, opinions, or comments to share with us. There probably won't be an official survey this year since (we're hoping) this year is an outlier, an anomaly, and not one we should let dictate all of our growing plans for the future. We'll have to mix it with the prior five seasons as we adjust the crop plan.
As the main growing season of 2018 comes to an end we remain truly grateful for our shared journey through it and for your support. We hope this winter proves to be restful, joyous, and healthful for you and your families. When Spring rolls around again we hope to see you back on the farm for another growing season adventure!
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November 11, 2018
Main Season Finale
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana

Hoop tunnel greens will be harvested at some point this week!
Harvest #26 (Week B) should include sweet potatoes, carrots, daikon radishes, hakurei turnips, celeriac, garlic, chives, lettuce mix, greens mix, arugula, napa greens, Napa cabbage, green cabbage, and rosemary. Some items will be a choice and may not be available during all pick up times.
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November 11, 2018
Another CSA Sign Up Method
Other News
by Farmer Dana

We love our CSA members!
Over these final two weeks we're going to prompt members to check off a box on your sign-in sheet in the barn to automatically renew your share (i.e. sign up for 2019 Main Season). This will give your farmers a better sense of what to plan for next season by having current members commit sooner rather than later. This will be helpful information to have earlier in the winter months when we do most of our planning and purchasing. Please consider checking off that box when you pick up your share this week or next. We'll then renew your share for the 2019 Main Season. Share prices remain the same and a $200 deposit will hold your spot. Balances are due by May 1st, 2019. Thank you for your support and we hope you have a great winter!
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November 11, 2018
Organic Pastured Turkeys!
Other News
by Farmer Derek
Three sources of organically raised pastured turkeys for Thanksgiving:
Follow link for more information and to order!
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November 11, 2018
Late Fall CSA
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Rutabagas take 3-4 months to mature and are now almost there. They also love frosty freezing temperatures as they respond sweetly.
The Late Fall CSA begins in one week during the week of November 19th. We're almost full but you can still sign in here to sign up!
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November 4, 2018
What A Long Strange Trip This Season Has Been
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan

Fall hiking trip in Ralph Stover State Park.
Well, it's official: with the additional rainfall received Friday night, 2018 is now the wettest growing season during our ten-year tenure at Anchor Run Farm. Four feet of rain has fallen since March 1st, providing 13 inches above the ten-year average. We're thankful we've made it through the Main Season with farm shares that have hopefully been ample and satisfying to you, our CSA members. Years like this give me pause when I consider our tenuous relationship with and full dependence on our soils, the earth, and the climate to try to grow healthy organic produce. While we strive to control as many variables as possible within the realm of organic agriculture, there remains a most powerful independent one: the weather. Raised beds, waterways, water diversions, contour buffer strips, etc., help our crops deal with excess water, but our most foolproof tool is the plastic covered steel structure, i.e. the greenhouse, hoop house, hoop tunnel, high tunnel.
During this penultimate week of pick ups for Full and Medium shares and the final one for Week A Half shares our attention continues to shift to these almost weather proof structures for November through December harvests. Last week we finished planting the final succession of cold season crops and now we'll simply coax them along with weekly additions of well water through drip irrigation. Three of our four structures have no supplemental heat besides solar radiation so we'll monitor closely the forecast temperature lows so that we can erect low tunnels within the larger tunnels. The greenhouse has a built in propane heater which we'll set for 35 degrees to keep plants from freezing. This will enable them to grow/regrow faster than their unheated counterparts.
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November 4, 2018
Penultimate Pick Up: Bitter and Sweet
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana

Radicchio-sly beautiful.
Harvest 25 (Week A) should include sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic, sweet peppers, carrots, daikon radishes, hakurei turnips, chives, lettuce mix, arugula, napa cabbage greens, turnip greens, Italian dandelion, rosemary, dill, radicchio, and cilantro. Some items will be a choice and some may not be available during all pick up times (we'll do our best).
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November 4, 2018
Organic Pastured Turkeys!
Other News
by Farmer Derek
Three sources of organically raised pastured turkeys for Thanksgiving:
Follow link for more information and to order!
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November 4, 2018
New Member Sign Up Method
Other News
by Farmer Dana
Over these final two weeks we're going to prompt members to check off a box on your sign-in sheet in the barn to automatically renew your share (i.e. sign up for 2019 Main Season). This will give your farmers a better sense of what to plan for next season by having current members commit sooner rather than later. This will be helpful information to have earlier in the winter months when we do most of our planning and purchasing. Please consider checking off that box when you pick up your share this week or next. We'll then renew your share for the 2019 Main Season. Share prices remain the same and a $200 deposit will hold your spot. Balances are due by May 1st, 2019. Thank you for your support!
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November 4, 2018
Using up the Bounty
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

At least it's been a very colorful fall.
This week proved to be a week of going through the fridge/pantry and using things up - my hubby had a bad cold, so it was all about comfort food.
Onions/leek, parsley, carrots, turnips, chicken - One cool thing I learned on the first day of him feeling bad is that you can make truly delicious chicken soup in 1 hour in the pressure cooker. I used breasts, which is rare for me because under pressure they don't get dried out. We had a couple delicious dinners and my hubby a lunch from this hour of prep time - a really good investment!
Beets, onions - I roasted all the beets I had in my fridge - 2 weeks worth - peeled them and broke them into 2 bowls. One bowl I did into pickled beets - much more sour for me than sweet. The other I made a Dijon vinaigrette, adding tarragon because I like that flavor combination with beets. I grow a plant called Mexican tarragon. I never had luck getting French tarragon to over winter. It definitely tastes like French tarragon but it is grown as an annual. I currently have a sprig on my counter in a glass of water, hoping to root it.
Carrots, onions, parsley, garlic, butternut squash (last one), tomatoes (frozen) - made long cooked beef shanks - very easy to do and tastes like it took hours of prep - it takes hours to cook, but the prep is about 30 minutes at most - season the shanks and brown well in a large dutch oven. Remove and add celery, onions, carrots to pan and saute until slightly soft. Add squash (optional) and garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add some red wine and deglaze for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a slow simmer. Add the shanks back to the pot and add enough of your favorite broth to cover the shanks. Cover and place pot into a 305 degree oven for about 3 hours or until meat is tender. Serve over your favorite starch or just a nice crusty loaf of bread for sopping up the deliciousness!
Greens - several large salads, mixing bits of all the greens along with some of the beets I cooked up - yum!
How did you enjoy the harvest? Email me at lindadansbury@comcast.net
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November 4, 2018
Late Fall CSA
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Watering in the last of our 2018 transplants, planted last week into our heated greenhouse.
The Late Fall CSA begins in two weeks during the week of November 19th. Sign in here to sign up!
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