Thursday, August 27, 2009

What to Expect!

Full Shares: Corn, Green beans, Cucumbers, Peppers – Assorted, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Beets, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Pattypan, Arugula, Thyme, Peaches, Red Kale (pictured at left)

1) Choose the freshest green beans you can find.

2) Rinse your green beans in cool water. Drain.

3) Cut the ends of the beans off. Cut the beans to whatever length you prefer.

4) Put the green beans into rapidly boiling water, cover the pot and time them for 3 minutes. (You can re-use this water three to five times)

5) Use a large slotted spoon to remove the green beans from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Keep them in the ice water for 3 minutes. Drain them.

6) If you have a FoodSaver a great time to use it is right now. If you don't, put the green beans into ziplock freezer bags. Make sure you get as much air out of the ziplock bag as possible to help prevent freezer burn.

7) Get ready to enjoy farm fresh green beans whenever you want!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Following on Amy's great ideas you may find that thermotherapy is an easy and fast method to preserve this seasons fresh berries for a few days, weeks longer..

Thermotherapy is basically immersing berries in hot water (113-145F) for a few minutes at the lower temperature and a few seconds at the highest.

It's as easy as that. Bathe the berries in the hot water and then set them well spread apart on a kitchen towel to dry off. Then refrigerate (cold temperatures slow fruit metabolism and mold growth) and enjoy them when you want.

Harold McGee of the NYTimes found that 30 seconds at 125F worked best for batches of Strawberries, Raspberries, Black berries, Grapes and Stone fruits. "For thicker-skinned blueberries, a Canadian study recommended a 140-degree treatment for 30 seconds. I tested it twice, with samples of around 150 berries each time. That heat took the bloom off. It melted the natural wax that gives the berries their whitish cast, and left them midnight blue. I couldn’t taste much of an effect on briefly heated ripe fruits. Thermotherapy can be healthy for all concerned" he writes.

So give those delicious fruits a quick hot bath and enjoy them for days to come.
Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

September 19, 2009: Massachusetts Food Preservation Workshop Day

Awhile ago, I took a class on Converting Cars to Run on Vegetable Oil. Needless to say, it was awesome. And so I always like to keep my eyes peeled for interesting classes run by NOFA (New England Organic Farming Association). And so I thought I was pretty lucky when I stumbled across Massachusetts Food Preservation Workshop Day! Check out the details below. - Amy
This fall as the local harvest peaks and thoughts shift toward winter eating, NOFA/Mass presents our first annual statewide Fall Food Preservation Day. On September 19, there will be food preservation workshops spread throughout the state. Preserving food that we grow or purchase locally at the height of its freshness and flavor can save money, lessen our dependence on the global corporate food chain, and provide wonderful flavor and real food all year round. Isn't now a good time to learn skills to do this?

Workshops in this series cover some or all of these topic areas:

  • Lacto Fermentation: Using salt to suppress spoiling bacteria while fostering growth of beneficial lacto bacillus bacteria, which are present on vegetables and produce the preservative, lactic acid.
  • Pickling: Using vinegar to preserve vegetables or fruits along with spices and herbs.
  • Water bath Canning: Using a boiling pot of water to push out air and seal the rubber lid of glass jars containing high acid foods.
  • Pressure Canning: Using a pressure canner to create high temperature steam that pushes out air and seals the rubber lid of glass jars containing low acid foods.
  • Freezing: Maximizing nutrient preservation in the food.
  • Drying: Removing most of the water from a food and then keeping it dry so molds cannot take hold.
  • Culturing: Using microorganisms to transform the sugars or lactose of various liquid foods into other kinds of nutritious and tasty substances.
  • Root Cellaring: Putting foods - particularly root crops - in cool, dark, and properly humid conditions for extended storage.
Workshops in this series will take place in 11 cities across the state:
  • Brookline
  • South Natick
  • Concord
  • Groton
  • Princeton
  • Winchendon Springs
  • Shelburne
  • Cummington
  • Northampton
  • Springfield
  • Great Barrington

These workshops are being led by experienced food preservation educators with wide ranging skills and culinary styles. Read each workshop description below to find which of the above topics will be covered, and follow the website links provided in the presenter bios to learn more details about them. In addition to explaining and demonstrating some key steps that can empower to you incorporate food preservation as a part of your culinary life, these workshops provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and meet others in your community who share your interests. Whether you are a newcomer to food preservation or you are looking to expand your skills and concepts in certain areas, these workshops are for you.

    Workshop Registration Information:

  • All workshops are $50 except as noted below. There is a $5 discount for membership in NOFA/Mass. There is also a $5 discount for registration on or before September 5, 2009.
  • Pre-registration (do so by clicking one of the links at the top of this page), but on-site late registration is available for an extra $5 charge with on-site registration form.
  • Cancellations will be honored and refunds issued (except $10 processing fee) with notice made by Sept. 9, 2009. After that, you may designate someone else to attend in your stead, but refunds will not be available.
  • Scholarships may be available for those who need and apply for them. A short application is required. Please ask!
  • Potluck Lunches will be shared at each 6hr event. Bring utensils & plate and something to share, or bring your own lunch.
  • Contact: Ben Grosscup, 413-658-5374. By email,; put "September 19" in subject.
To learn more, click here. To learn more about NOFA (and their other great programs, including Yoga for Farmers, Winemaking, etc), visit their site at

Monday, August 24, 2009

CSA Dinner 1, 2, 3 ready!

Appetizer: 'Chile relleno'
take a couple of those wonderful chilis (jalapenos), wash, dry and make a slit in each one. Insert a piece of chees (cheddar, monterey etc). Dredge in flour and fry in a skillet, slit side up, until cheese melts. Serve hot/warm with a sprinkle of salt.
Entree: 'Eggplant pasta'
Cook desired amount of short pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
Meanwhile, cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of good extra-virgin olive oil (Italian or Spanish) turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.
Drain pasta, not too well (keep a couple of tablespoons of the water) and add to eggplant and cheese mixture when ready. Add some fresh basil leaves and serve.
Dessert: 'Grilled Peaches'
Slice peaches in half and remove pit. Place flesh side down on hot grill pan or grill for 3-4min. Remove when grill marks appear. Meanwhile heat a couple of tablespoons of honey with a pinch of salt and a couple of fresh mint leaves, just until runny. Pour over warm grilled peaches. Serve with vanilla ice cream or alone.
Buon Appetito!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bamboo Spoon Award: Zucchini Muffins!

Congratulations to Ivy Connelly, the winner of our Bamboo Spoon Award on Thursday! She baked insanely yummy zucchini muffins with oat-graham-brown sugar topping (pictured above). And she was kind enough to email the recipe so we can all copy her! Thanks Ivy!

Zucchini Muffins (or bread)

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour (can use white or whole wheat or a combination)
2 cups zucchini grated (can substitute summer squash or use a combination)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins or nuts (optional)
Mix ingredients thoroughly.
Pour into muffin tins or loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees, 25-30 minutes for muffins, 1 hour for bread.

Oat-Graham-Brown Sugar Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 sheets of graham crackers, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pieces
Mix the first four ingredients together.
Cut the butter in with a pastry knife.
Spoon on top of the muffins.
Bake as directed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bamboo Spoon Awards: Muffins!

Here's a fast and very simple muffin recipe to which you can add your favourite CSA ingredient and enter it in our Bamboo Spoon award this Thursday!

Sour Cream Muffins

(Recipe Courtesy Paula Deen)

yields: 24 small muffins or 12 large muffins


  • 2 cups self-rising flour*
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • any CSA ingredient such as: blueberries, tomatoes, chards, carrots, dandelion greens, parsley, basil, chives, onions etc


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients and spoon into small, un-greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

*If you don't have self-rising flour do not panic, making your own is super easy!

For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix to combine. That's it :)

Buon Appetito!

What To Expect

Full Shares: New Potatoes, Corn, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Carrots, Peaches, Grape Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Napa Cabbage, Onion, Beets, Lettuce & Radishes

Shareholders are invited to bring in homemade muffins, featuring at least one ingredient from our CSA. Then as other shareholders wander in to pick up their produce, they can taste all the breads and vote their favorite. The dish with the most votes wins the Bamboo Spoon!

Muffins should be dropped off at the shop by 3PM on Thursday, and (if wrapped tightly) can be dropped off the prior evening.

CGB (along with some help from our friend Licia!) hopes this Cook Off strengthens the CSA community. And if nothing else, gives us an opportunity to taste some yummy food!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Organic Cooking Class

- Organic Cooking Class (w/North Shore C.C.)
- Sept. 8, 15 and 22 (6:30 - 9:30 PM)

- Learn how to create interesting and wholesome organic meals within a budget!

Wondering what to do with the abundance of your early fall produce? Join a three week non-credit organic cooking class in a state of the art kitchen (Eurostoves in North Beverly) to determine how to best utilize the abundant early fall harvest.

In this hands-on class, you will learn how to best prepare fresh organic veggies and meats for maximum flavor and vitamin content. Learn the advantages of eating organic, determine how to stay healthy while staying within a budget.

During the first class, students will determine recipes for the subsequent two classes. Possibilities include braised radishes, roasted vegetable salsa, herbed grilled chicken, marinated flank steak, grilled radicchio, homemade chicken broth, ceasar salad pizza, carrot and celery slaw, and fresh tomato herbed soup.

For more information and to register, click here or call Julie at 978.745.4055.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

1951: Brandied Peaches

Back then, like today, a good summer peach was worth preserving. Our CSA Peaches are too.

(recipe courtesy of Jane Nickerson & Eugenia Bone, NY Times).

2 pint-size wide-mouthed Ball or Kerr jars with bands and new lids

3 pounds ripe peaches

3 cups sugar

About 1/2 cup brandy or cognac

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using the tip of a paring knife, make a shallow “X” in the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches, one at a time, to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove the peach from the water and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the remaining peaches. Peel off the skins, then pit the fruit and quarter the flesh.

2. In another large pot, combine 3 cups water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Add the peaches and simmer until just soft.

3. Have the jars, bands and new lids scalded and ready. (To scald, dip the jars and rims in boiling water. You don’t need to sterilize the jars, as you will be processing them for more than 10 minutes.) Simmer the lids in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Gently pack the peaches into the jars.

4. Boil the leftover syrup until it thickens slightly, then spoon it over the fruit, filling the jars ¾ full. Use a butter knife to release any air bubbles caught in the jars. Pour in enough brandy to fill the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe the rims, cover with the lids and screw on the bands fingertip-tight. Place the jars on a rack in a big pot and cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and gently boil for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and then, after about 5 minutes, remove the jars. Allow them to cool, untouched, for 4 to 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.

Makes 2 pints.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What to Expect!

Note from the Farm: "What a wonderful week full of normal summer weather! We are starting to finally harvest peppers and a limited amount of full size tomatoes. We are also into a delightful set of radishes…(greens are edible) Please remember that you share in the bounty and the potential loss regarding your CSA membership. So far the responses from you the shareholders, have been overwhelmingly positive."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quick Veggie Marinade

Summer is grilling time, so slice up those beautiful CSA veggies and throw them on the grill!
Make sure they're all cut
more or less the same thickness so they'll have the same cooking time and look pretty on your serving platter. Zucchini, summer squash, onions, fennel, radicchio, mushrooms, peppers etc all work great.

Prepare a very simple marinade (see recipe below) and brush one side of the veggie. Place brushed side down on grill for a couple of minutes or until you'll have great looking grill marks. Brush the top side and flip over. When done arrange them on your favourite serving platter and drizzle a little extra marinade over them. Serve immediately or place in a 50F oven to keep warm (or re-warm). I love them room temperature too.

For an extra kick you can sprinkle the arranged platter with some goat cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. Delicious.

Already grilled veggies keep in the fridge for almost a week.

Left overs:
use the marinade to dress a salad or pour over cous cous.
Also, if you have both veggies and marinade left over you may cook some pasta and grill a few shrimp with the same marinade and mix it all together. A fast gourmet dinner.

Simple marinade
1 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
zest of 1/2 a small lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley (very dry, do not chop when wet or damp)
salt and pepper to taste

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sat Nite! Peach & Lemon Bellinis!

Ingredients: 1 pound very ripe white peaches, peeled and quartered 1/2 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves 1 cup ice 2 bottles Prosecco, chilled


1. In a blender, puree the peaches until smooth. Strain the puree into a glass measuring cup; you should have 1 1/2 cups.

2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon verbena leaves with the ice. Add the peach puree and shake well. Strain the puree into the measuring cup. Pour the peach puree into Champagne flutes, top with the Prosecco and serve right away.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fall CSA Share Opportunity!

We need just 6 more shares to be able to run the Fall CSA and I am confident we can make it! If you're interested, then be sure to register ASAP. And for those who have already signed up, please be sure to get payment to us no later than August 14th.


- Shareholders will receive produce for 8 weeks, and pickup will be Thursday afternoons 3-6:30pm. Prices are as follows: Full Share $320 and Half Share $200.

- Payment is due by Friday, August 14. To register (or if you have questions), please call 978.741.0800.

- Checks made out to Heaven's Harvest Farm, mailed or dropped off to Crunchy Granola Baby 72 Washington St. Salem, MA 01970

- Expected produce includes: Arugula, Beans, Beets (Red, Golden), Bok Choi, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage (Green, Red, Savoy, Napa), Carrots, Caulifower, Collards, Corn (Butter/Sugar, Gold, White, Indian), Cucumbers (Pickling, Slicers), Eggplant, Endive, Escarole, Kale (Dino, Green, Red), Lettuce (6-8 varieties), Onions (Red, Storage, Fresh white varieties), Peas, Peppers (many varieties- Purple, Red, Yellow, Orange, Chocolate, Hot), Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radiccio, Radishes, Spinach, Summer Squash, Tatsoi, Winter Squash (Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut, Carnivale, Hubbard, Sweet dumpling) and fruit like
Apples, Late berries, Pears, and Plums.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


(submitted by shareholder, Thanks Sarah!)

1 medium onion, diced
1 T canola or other neutral oil
1 large bunch collard greens (or other greens), chopped
3 cups drained cooked black eyed peas (2 16 oz. cans) pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, saute the onions in the oil until soft and starting to caramelize a bit. Add the collards to the skillet. Stir for a few minute until it wilts. Add the black-eyed peas, black pepper, and cayenne if desired. Heat thoroughly.

Serves 4.

This recipe is (slightly) adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home" and goes well with grits (for a little extra flavor, mix in some cheddar cheese) and a few wedges of fresh tomatoes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What to Expect!