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Posted 6/30/2013 5:07pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
Farm News - all this rain and our new plots:
On the farm, we have been busy, but more so than usual it seems this time of year due to the wet and cold spring, followed by continued rain.  It has done a few things to make us crazy: delayed the harvest of crops like cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers - delayed NOT lost; flooded portions of our fields thus losing some greens that we planned to offer in the next few weeks such as spinach; more rain left half our potato field under water and we suffered some loss here too; wet fields have kept our tractors in the barn that we use to cultivate for weed control (LOTS of weeds) and plant and replant as needed according to our CSA schedule. 
While this might sound somewhat worrisome, the CSA has acquired more land at B&B Farms this season on higher and drier ground thanks to owner Art Brown.  We thank him for his support and commitment to local and sustainable agriculture.  The new plots are not Certified Organic rather Transitional as the certification process takes 3 years to accomplish.  Our commitment remains to offer quality crops on a weekly basis for a 20 week season.  We ask our members to be patient with some crops like eggplant and embrace bumper crops like cabbage! 
As we look ahead to the week 4 harvest, we will welcome beets!  Also, lots of green beans out there in the pick-your-own fields.  
  
Produce Tips - cookbooks and recipes:

As more and more people sign up for a CSA or decide to shop at the farmers market, they find themselves faced with what to do with all the produce! No one likes to waste food, and not everyone is equipped to pull veggies out of the frig and just start cooking, especially when their local farmers are introducing them to members of the plant kingdom that are entirely unfamiliar. ("Errr.... what is this thing and how on Earth do you eat it?").  Therefore we are offering a few resources to help answer some questions:  what else can you do with kale? And, what's for supper?
The first cookbook is a new publication from the creators of the popular  From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, I rely on this one. The new book is called Farm-Fresh and Fast: Easy Recipes and Tips For Making the Most of Fresh, Seasonal Foods. In addition to all the new recipes, this book is valuable for its unique organization. Fruits and vegetables are grouped by anatomical type (e.g. leafy greens, roots) so that readers can learn how to make substitutions within like types. Each section also includes several "master recipes" from which home cooks can absorb the basic template for making, say, a blended vegetable soup, and then venture off on their own.
As a CSA member, whether new or returning, perhaps you need a shot of inspiration and to set yourself up for a successful season of eating:  get a good cookbook. Having appealing recipes at your fingertips takes the intimidation out of working with vegetables that are new to you, and makes the process of cooking even your old standbys something to look forward to.  

See you on the Farm.
Posted 6/25/2013 8:23pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 3:
On the table in Farm Shop... Cucumbers, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Chinese Cabbage (also called Napa), Lettuce.  Mix and Match - you choose Scallions OR Garlic Scapes.  Also greens, your choice - Bok Choy, Kale OR Swiss Chard.

Pick-Your-Own (PYO):  BRING YOUR OWN SCISSORS AND CONTAINERS FOR HERBS AND FLOWERS, THANKS! WE SUGGEST WEARING SNEAKERS OR SHOES THAT YOU DON'T MIND GETTING DIRTY.  FIELDS CAN BE WET TOO.
-  Green Beans - 1 quart, AND Peas (go for the snaps, the tall plants) - 1 quart 
-  Herbs (Basil and Thyme) - take what you need.  These crops are just coming in. 
-  Flowers - Zinnias.  Please take a few as they are just coming in.  As we pick, they will get fuller.

PYO HOURS:  Fields open all week, pending Mother Nature.  Pick when the time and or the weather is right for you!  PLEASE LEAVE ENOUGH TIME TO BE FINISHED PICKING BY CLOSING HOURS.  THANKS!  We will have signs posted for you to follow.  Peas and Beans are in the same field along the driveway, Zinnias and Herbs are across the pond over a little walking bridge.  
CSA fields Mon-Fri 8-4, Wed 8-6, Sat 9-12, Sun closed.   
B&B Farms PYO Blueberries Mon-Sun 8-4, Wed 8-6.  Blueberries $1.40/lb.  CSA members during Farm Shop hours can pick from the barn, you do not have to go to the house garage.     

SEAFOOD - WED PICKUP ONLY:  SCALLOPS We will be selling extras, first come first serve.  $25/2 lb bag.  These scallops are the best, very nice portion size and are fresh.  Extras freeze well too. 

Chicken Sausages - Griggstown Farm, Princeton, NJ.  $6.75/package.  Our freezers are now stocked with 4 varieties:  Sun dried Tomato/Basil, Broccoli Raab, White Wine/Parsley, Granny Smith Apple.  All varieties pair nicely with pasta and greens.  Help yourselves to the freezers and we will ring you up at the counter.

Bulk Sales:
Peas, Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Bok Choy, Swiss Chard  

Cash or Check only in Farm Shop.  We do not accept credit cards at this time. Thanks.

See you on the Farm. 
Posted 6/19/2013 5:59am by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 2 Harvest:
On the Table in Farm Shop...
Greens -  Spinach, Lettuce, Swiss Chard - nice big bunches, Kale and Bok Choy.  Mix and Match Arugula and Beet Greens.  Also Kohlrabi and Garlic Scapes.

Next week, looks like some yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers.  Picked a few this week, so just coming on.  No more rain, please!

Pick-Your-Own - Peas, 2 quarts.  Bulk available, bring a friend and pick too!  Extras 2$/quart.
Also, Blueberries.  

Farm Tips - stock up the freezer!  From now until November, the farm crew will do our best to preserve the harvest.  We compete with each other to see who can put up the most crops and make the most interesting and delicious dishes.  Caroline was freezing garlic scapes last night.  In food processor, chop fine.  Add olive oil and blend some more.  Pour mix into ice cube trays.  Pop out as needed for soups, stews and whatever else you like garlic in.  Ryan made a few Stromboli's for the freezer using chard, beet greens, caramelized onions and a blend of cheeses.  This recipe is sweet from the caramelized onions and earthy from the greens - perfect combo I think.  Pick up dough from the pizza shop and cut into 3 or 4 balls.  Caramelize onions and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.  Throw in chopped greens for the last few minutes to cook down a bit.  Roll out the dough balls, spread filling and cheeses and fold over to form Stromboli's.  Wrap in plastic and freeze.  

Farm Shop Hours -
Wed 3-6 OR Sat 9-12

Pick-Your-Own Hours - weather permitting
Peas, CSA: Mon-Sat 8:30-4:30, Sat 9-12, Sun closed
Blueberries, B&B Farms: Mon-Sun 8-4, Wed 8-6  


Posted 6/18/2013 7:49am by Jennifer LaMonaca.
Pick-Your-Own Crops:
Peas, included in the price of the CSA share.  OPEN ALL WEEK!  Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30, Sat 9-12, Sun Closed.  

Pick-your-own share for the week is 2 quarts.  If you want to increase the size of your share and pick extra, bulk available - $2/quart.  Bring a friend and show off your farm! Peas for non-members are $2/quart.    

On picking peas...the first 3 rows, the short plants are snow peas.  Lots of peas out there.  Please pick these first as they will not last as long on the plants as the snap peas.  The snap peas are the taller plants.  Snow peas are flat and snap peas should be fuller when picked.  All peas are holding well in the field but they will not be around for long.  Pick extra and freeze for later use.

How does it work?  As you know, Farm Shop is open Wed and Sat for pickups.  Staff will be in the fields or around the barn working, but you can help yourself to quart containers in the Farm Shop and enjoy the peas.  If you would like to purchase bulk, we will have an honor box on the counter next to the quart containers.  Please leave exact change or an IOU note.  You can settle your pea tab with us during the next Farm Shop.

Blueberries, NOT included in the price of the CSA share.  B&B Farms hours Mon-Sun 8-4.  Extra hours on Wed for CSA members who would like to pick, open until 6.  Blueberries are run out of the main house from the garage.  Proceed up driveway, past the CSA parking and follow signs for blueberry parking. 

See you on the Farm.

Jen  
Posted 6/13/2013 2:57pm by Jennifer Lamonaca.

Patties:

2 kohlrabi bulbs, both ends trimmed, stems/leaves removed.  I don’t peel kohlrabi.

3 garlic scapes, seed head and tough end trimmed/discarded

1 red/colored sweet bell pepper (I had some frozen from last season, but substitute spring carrots if you like for a little sweetness)

1 cup peas – snap/snow, whole.  OR try half peas and half greens that you don’t know what to do with!  Try a handful of Asian greens, beet greens or chard.

1 egg

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

¾ cup bread crumbs plus more for dredging

Old bay seasoning to taste OR salt/pepper.  I use old bay to mimic a crab cake. 

Sauce:

½ cup plain yogurt or sour crème

1 tsp. lime juice

Fresh herbs – cilantro, parsley or scallions, chopped.  Use what you have/like here.

Dash of hot sauce

Combine sauce and set aside to chill.  For the patties, a food processor is great and quick for chopping veggies.  I love this thing!  Finely chop all veggies, one at a time, and transfer to large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Form mixture into balls then roll in bread crumbs.  If patties are too flat, they will fall apart when cooking.  Fry patties in oil on both sides until golden brown.  Serve with dipping sauce.

Posted 6/11/2013 7:36pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
CSA Week 1 
Veggie Shares:
On the table in Farm Shop...  Greens - Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, Arugula AND/OR Braising Mix, Beet Greens.  Also Kohlrabi, Garlic Scapes and Radishes. 

Pick-Your-Own (included in the veggie share):
Peas!  Lots of Snow Peas out there.  Fields are wet so best to wear sneakers.  We will provide containers.  2 quarts per share.  Bulk available for purchase.

Seafood Shares:
Soft shell crabs - click here for more info.  4 jumbos per share.  Extras available for purchase; WED PICKUP ONLY! 

Other farm notes...
Cucumbers and Squash/Zucchini a week or 2 behind schedule due to cooler/wet weather.  We tried to buy in strawberries but due to the recent heavy rain, the harvest has ended.  We will buy in other fruit when in season.  Coming soon, pick-your-own blueberries at B&B Farms!  Maybe another week or 2.  As for other items for sale in Farm Shop such as turkey sausages, mushrooms and eggs, we will have them available in the next week or so.  For now, we open the 2013 season with a bounty of peas and greens.  We hope you enjoy experimenting with new crops and eating fresh from the fields.  We look forward to seeing and talking to everyone in Farm Shop. 
 
Farm Shop Hours:
Wednesday 3-6 (veggies and seafood)
Saturday 9-12 (veggie only)
Posted 6/10/2013 6:41am by Jennifer LaMonaca.

Dear Members and Friends of the Farm,

CSA Opening Day, Week 1:

When?  Wednesday, June 12 (seafood and veggie) OR Saturday, June 15 (veggie only).

Time?  Wednesday 3-6 OR Saturday 9-12

Where?  B&B Farms, 250 S Mannheim Ave, Galloway Twp. NJ 08215 (for GPS directions use Egg Harbor City).  CSA pick up in old barn – first building on the left.

During the last few weeks I have been getting lots of eager phone calls and emails about shares so here is some information about your veggies and farm investment this season.  For seafood shares, pickups will coordinate with our veggie pickups on Wednesdays – sorry we cannot hold seafood shares for Saturday pickup.  Week 1 – soft shell crabs!  For veggie shares, I will send out an email the day before or day of pickup with a list of crops.  The farm crew thus far which includes myself and Caroline full time, Ryan part time and Art, the owner have been working hard to make 2013 our best season yet.  Since late March we have been busy preparing fields, working in the greenhouse, planting and seeding the fields, weeding, irrigating and whatever else it takes to run a farm.  Here is what you can expect from us:

Our Crops and the Weather:  Based on the weather this spring, it seems that our crops are a bit behind, but with warmer weather stuff will catch up quickly.  Some crops enjoy the cooler temperatures like greens – spinach, lettuce, arugula, chard and braising mix love it, otherwise they can be stronger flavored and bolt quicker.  Lots of greens for you early on so get your salad spinners ready!  Others need heat to size up such as cucumbers, zucchini, melons, herbs and flowers.  We walk the fields daily and keep a close eye on the harvest.  Other crops we plan to offer early in the season include beets, radish, scallions, cabbage and kohlrabi.  What is kohlrabi you ask?  It is a cross between broccoli and cabbage.  Great raw or cooked – shred it for a tasty slaw, serve with dip or make fritters.  Another spring favorite, kind of unique to CSA’s are garlic scapes.  I love these strange looking things, long and twisted and packed with good garlic flavor.  Scapes grow up through the center of the plant and put out a seed head which become a flower.  We remove the scapes just before this happens allowing the growth to be concentrated on producing the garlic bulb rather than the flower.  I love garlic scape and radish dip.  Think garlic scape pesto too.   For pick your own crops this spring we will have lots of peas and green beans followed by the herbs, flowers and cherry tomatoes.   Looking ahead, our tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are in the ground and sizing up to be very nice crops this summer.  We will continue to plant crops throughout the season to ensure a nice variety.  Our late summer/fall crops are in the greenhouse – broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.  The CSA is a constant flow of planting in the greenhouse and fields, weeding, fertilizing, more weeding, harvesting, irrigating, more planting, battling pests and diseases and so on.  Thus far, we are doing our best to keep to our planting and harvesting schedules, pending Mother Nature.  Rain is good, but we could use some drying out!  We will keep you updated weekly on the shares and look forward to talking with our members in Farm Shop.

What is in a share?  How do I Use it?

The shares will vary depending on the season and the harvest size; we aim for 6 different crops on the table each week.  The amount of food will fill about half to ¾ full of a brown paper bag.  In the past we might have overwhelmed our members with too much food or not have given enough at times.  Based on a few years’ experience and customer feedback though, we have adjusted our size and prices accordingly to find the right fit for our members.  The farm will provide recipes and help with ideas for substitution style cooking - to use what's in the share to create simple, delicious meals.  It is my hope that CSA members are confident in the kitchen, love canning and lacto-fermenting and are excited to cook for family and friends and tell the story of where their food comes from.  However all members have different skill levels. So when an eater comes to a CSA for the first time, it can be difficult to make the adjustments that a CSA asks of its members. These do not need to be exotic skills, but there is a trick to turning a basket of fresh food into meals.  I feel the classic recipe does a disservice to the CSA member because it is a set of discrete steps that need to be followed with these specific ingredients and it doesn't fit with the seasonal CSA eating model. I want CSA members who see a recipe for broccoli slaw to realize that they can substitute cauliflower from their CSA share into the existing recipe.  I make broccoli fritters which are absolutely delicious. They are equally delicious as zucchini or kohlrabi fritters too!

What is the Farm Shop?  Is it open to the public?  The Farm Shop, the old barn, is our CSA pickup location.  Members bring a bag/basket and pack their shares from around the display tables – we call this “market style”.  Also for additional purchase, we will continue to buy in products from Griggstown Farm in Princeton like turkey sausages and maybe some additions.  New this year – say cheese!  We will partner with Fulpler Family Farms in Lambertville to bring you fresh ricotta, mozzarella and maybe some hard cheeses.  Our very own Caroline, back again for another season, will offer her cultured oyster mushrooms when available and we are happy (for her return and the mushrooms!).  Also, we will buy in seasonal fresh produce from local farms that we do not grow ourselves at this time such as fruit, corn and more.  Although our Farm Shop is members only, we encourage you to bring friends and family who may have an interest in our program and products.  While here with a member, they can enjoy the farm and purchase extras we have for sale.  As a thank you, we will offer you an extra produce item from the display tables or pick your own.  We appreciate our members helping us continue to grow our CSA! 

From all of us here on the Farm, thanks for your support!  We look forward to seeing everyone in Farm Shop throughout the season.

Your Farmer,

Jen

Posted 3/27/2013 6:37am by Jennifer Lamonaca.

Click here to read about our "Fishermans Catch" in the 2013 spring edition of Edible Jersey.

Posted 3/6/2013 3:58pm by Jennifer LaMonaca.
Dear Members,
 
Returning and New - WELCOME!  I am so excited to start working in the greenhouse again this week, and at the end of this month we will be out in the fields preparing the ground for seeds and plants.  I am looking forward to a great season of working outside and healthy eating.  I have been busy over the winter making plans for the upcoming season - crop planning and selections, drawing field maps, scheduling plantings for the greenhouse and field, ordering supplies, hiring staff and the list goes on.  For all of us on the Farm, we are eager to get back out there and do some farming - it is what we love to do!  Every year has its challenges, but we do our best to prepare for whatever may arise.  Also in the "off" season, I have attended a few conferences and have been checking out equipment at local farm auctions.  As we spring our clocks forward this weekend, the days get longer, the weather gets a little warmer and we are full steam ahead.  It is exciting!
 
I have posted the Winter Newsletter on the website - check it out for what's new.  Seafood Shares back again!  Pass it on to a friend who may be thinking of joining as we have slots available for veggie and seafood shares.
 
Also, we have added a new feature to the website for our members, "Membership Actions"  - check your status, update your membership (add a seafood share, change your email, etc) and make a payment.  We now accept payments through PayPal.  If you would like to pay your balance IN FULL, you may do so here.  Otherwise, please submit your payment installment to our mailing address.
 
If you would like to add a seafood share to your current membership, you can do so by clicking on"Update Membership".  If you do not wish to pay your balance IN FULL using PayPal (as your veggie share balance will be included in this total), please submit a check to our mailing address for the seafood portion. 
 
Veggie Shares - 1st and 2nd payments past due (as of Feb 28th).  3rd and final payment due April 30th.
 
If you have questions about the upcoming season or payments, let me know and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.
 
See you in the Spring.
 
Your Farmer,
Jen
Posted 2/22/2013 1:52pm by Jennifer Lamonaca.



 

Dear Member,
 
We are requesting a payment as indicated below.  If we have received your payment in full please disregard this message.

Payment terms:  1st due at sign up, 2nd due Feb 28, and 3rd/final due April 30. 
 
Regular-priced share @ $525: payment in 3 equal installments of $175.

Early birds @ $495: payment in 3 equal installments of $165.

Checks made payable to "Sea Salt CSA"
PO Box 832, Oceanville, NJ 08231 - 
 
Renewing members, please note the change of address!  
 
If you have questions or if you would like to discuss your payment, please let me know.

Thank you for your payment. 

Jen