Weekly Newsletter and Recipe

For more ideas about what your fellow CSA members are making with their boxes each week, visit and post at FeedFeed

Week 10: July 28th

The wheat harvest is finished and now we can go back to “regular farming!” Between our fields in Amagansett as well as some space we were borrowing in Sagaponack we brought in about 10,000 lbs or roughly 165 bushels. Please enjoy whole wheat flour in your box this week freshly milled from this year’s harvest.

We are still patiently awaiting the arrival of our tomatoes and many of you have been inquiring about how they look and when they’ll get here. The plants look better than we can remember in any other year and the fruit is slowly ripening. The cold spring combined with a tractor breakdown in May that put us about a week behind in planting is now manifesting in the form of late tomatoes (although I just peeked at last year’s box rundown and saw that tomatoes entered the scene on August 6th, so maybe we’ll be right on target). In the meantime we have so much eggplant to enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Whole wheat flour (try this pizza dough recipe and sub in either all or half the flour for Amber Waves whole wheat flour)
  • Curly kale
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers
  • Shishito peppers (sautee/blacken them over high heat on the stove top and dip them in your favorite sauce!)
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Balm (cocktail recipe below)

This week’s add-on shares:

  • Carissa’s dark beer bread is baked using a rich, flavorful, and milky beer called Guardsman Stout, which is crafted by our local Montauk Brewing Company. The creamy stout lends its distinct flavor to the one-and-one-half pound loaves, which sell out weekly at the Montauk Farmers Market. Other ingredients include bread flour, molasses, salt, and yeast.
  • Fruit from Briermere Farms
  • Fresh Mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties in East Hampton
A note from our chef (and mixologist)  in residence, Megan
We’ve got lemon balm in your shares this week. In the same family as mint, the herb possesses a very floral, lemony scent and adds an interesting level of flavor to chilled dishes. It also makes a great tea or infused lemonade like the one below.
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I’ve also included a recipe for my chilled green gazpacho (don’t be turned off by the color or the ingredients — I know it sounds a little crazy!). It’s incredibly creamy and savory and has been a huge hit every time I’ve served it. Try it out! If you’re all out of zucchini, we still have plenty to share from our unlimited bins at the farm!
Lemon Balm Lemonade
Yield: About 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch lemon balm
  • 1 quart water
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
Procedure
Boil water in a medium pot. Add lemon balm and steep, about 20 minutes. Allow to come to room temp and strain. Stir in lemon juice, honey and sea salt. Chill and serve straight up or over ice (works very well as a cocktail with vodka, too!).

 

Savory Green Gazpacho with Basil and Walnuts

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tightly packed spinach (or sub-in kale sliced into thin ribbons)
  • 2 zucchini, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small sweet green pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ medium jalapeno, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • ½ Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ½ avocado, peeled and pit removed
  • ½ cup tightly packed basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • Dash of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dashi, vegetable broth, or water

 

Procedure

 

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Week 9: July 21st

The wheat harvest is upon us! Over the next week we’ll be bringing in several tons of hard red, soft red, and soft white winter wheat that we planted last October. We have about nine acres in the ground, four on our Town Lane fields and five in a Sagaponack field farmed by Mecox Bay Dairy. In addition to lending us some space for wheat, Pete Ludlow of Mecox Bay Dairy is instrumental in helping us bring in the harvest – he is highly skilled in working with older equipment and always lends a hand to make sure our combine is in good working order before we get out into the fields. After running the combine through the wheat, which cuts the seed head, threshes it, and separates the wheat from the chafe, we run the wheat through our grain cleaner, which removes weeds and any other field debris that were brought in with the harvest. Next the wheat is transferred into our grain dryer, which is a homemade grain bin equipped with a screen drying floor and a high-powered fan. We aim to bring the wheat in as dry as possible, so we’re hoping for a week of hot weather – and it looks like we’ll get it. Keeping the wheat dry has become one of our greatest storage challenges since wheat readily absorbs moisture in the air (think of its cousin-grain, rice, absorbing moisture in a salt-shaker).

 

This season’s wheat harvest is particularly exciting because of the arrival of our new bread/pizza oven. Since the start of Amber Waves Farm we’ve wanted a pizza farm with an on-farm oven, and this harvest is a celebration of that milestone! Look for whole wheat flour and pizza dough recipes in your box next week!

This week’s box:

  • Okra!
  • Eggplant
  • The first onions
  • Zucchini
  • Red and green curly kale
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Garlic

(The entire contents of this week’s box could be roasted together and served over pasta or eaten as-is – I did it on Sunday night and it was one of my favorite things I’ve had so far this season!)

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers
  • Sunflowers
  • Beans
  • Raspberries
  • Herbs

This week’s add-on shares:

  • Carissa’s one-and-one-half pound honey oat loaf is baked with bread flour, freshly milled locally grown oats, rolled oats, local honey, oil, salt, water, and yeast. Each loaf is washed with a combination of egg, cream, salt, and honey, then topped with additional oats before baking.
  • Blueberries and sugar plums from Briermere Farms
  • Mecox Bay Dairy Sigit (Gruyere – style hard cheese)

Recipe will be posted later today!

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Week 8: July 14th

Well folks, this is the time in the season when the work gets hard – when we take a look around the fields and think, huh, how are we going to get all of this done? We’re at the critical point in the season when we need to focus on fall plantings (winter squash, carrots, beets) while also continuing massive weekly harvests and welcoming the arrival of new crops (eggplant, peppers, and soon tomatoes!), trying our best to stay on top of the weeds, and, of course, the wheat harvest. Despite the pressure to get everything done, this is supposed to be fun, so this week we paused on Tuesday to celebrate Amanda’s 30th birthday with our farmer friends, and then Wednesday we got back to work! The crew is handling the long hours and hard work beautifully – when we hear laughter echoing out of the office at the end of a long day, we know we’re still in good shape. Onward!

This week’s box: (we might have jumped the gun on the first baby eggplant and peppers, but we couldn’t resist, we were so excited to share them with you!)

  • Italian Kale
  • Siberian Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Fennel (Use the whole plant from base to tip! Here are some suggestions for fennel fronds)
  • Eggplant (the first of a lot!)
  • Green Peppers (just a few!)
  • Garlic
  • Parsley

In the field to pick:

  • Raspberries
  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Sunflowers (all the way out in the field on the left past the chickens)

This week’s add-on shares:

  • Carissa’s herb focaccia is baked with locally grown whole wheat flour, which is milled just before baking, then blended with bread flour, salt, water, and yeast. It is topped with a variety of locally grown herbs, olive oil and sea salt.
  • Raspberries and black currants from Briermere Farms
  • Fresh mozzarella from Villa Italian Specialties

A note from our chef in residence, Megan:
I whipped this up for the crew this week to get through that unlimited zucchini pile out there…and they devoured it! This is a great way to get through some zucchini that you may have hanging around…
Zucchini and White Bean Hummus
Yield: About 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped and divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 large zucchini, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 16 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and 3 tablespoons reserved for garnish
  • Splash white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons shaved Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

 

Procedure

1.     Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and a pinch or two of salt. Sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

2.     Add the zucchini, beans and remaining salt. Sauté 1-2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and simmer until alcohol has cooked off and zucchini is tender, 4-5 minutes.

3.     Pour the mixture into a food processor with the remaining garlic and lemon juice. Pulse until well combined.

4.     Pour mixture into a shallow serving platter. Spread reserved beans over top, sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil. Serve with toast, chips, and/or vegetable sticks.

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Week 7: July 7th

The garlic harvest is upon us! Over the next week we’ll be harvesting all of our roughly 7,500 heads of garlic by pulling each one out of the ground one at a time. We planted the garlic in the front of the farm outside the fence (it is one of very few things the deer won’t touch) and for the last nine months we’ve been watching it turn into what we think will be our best-ever garlic crop. Once we get the heads out of the ground, the trick will be finding a place to store it all! Once harvested we will hang or lay out the garlic for drying, or curing, a process which allows the garlic to be stored for many months, hopefully until next season’s green garlic or garlic scapes are ready! For about the next six weeks the garlic is considered “fresh,” meaning uncured. You’ll notice the skin surrounding each clove feels thicker, wetter, and less paper-y than traditional garlic. The cloves themselves will also be juicier and the flavor a bit more mild than what you may be used to. Since almost everything we grow is extremely perishable, the garlic crop that lasts into the winter is such a treat – as is the wheat, more on that in a couple weeks when we undertake that massive harvest.

Out in the field, peas, raspberries, and flowers are ready for picking! There are some beautiful beans a week or two away which will be closely followed by husk cherries and cherry tomatoes. We hope you’ll venture out and enjoy!

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This week’s box:

  • Garlic!
  • Baby (maybe adolescent?) fennel
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Red curly kale
  • Scallions
  • Parsley
  • Basil

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This week’s add-on shares:

  • Carissa’s Black Cocoa Bread: one-and-one-half pound black rye loaves are made with bread flour, locally grown freshly milled rye flour, cocoa, coffee, molasses, yeast, and salt. Excellent served with soft cheeses or toasted with nut butter & jam.
  • Blueberries and currants from Briermere Farms
  • Mecox Bay Dairy Cheddar

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A note from our chef in residence, Megan:

We’ve got baby fennel in the line up for this week. Anyway you prepare it, it’s great, but I happen to really love it raw in salads paired with green apple. This recipe is super simple and perfect for a hot night in July when you don’t feel like using the stove!
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Shaved Baby Fennel and Apple Salad with Lemon, Mint and Toasted Almonds
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 baby fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Procedure

1. Toss the fennel, apple, almonds and mint in a large bowl. Set aside
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Toss with salad and serve.
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Roasted Garlic
Yield: 1 clove
Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the very top of the head of garlic, exposing the tops of the individual cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and wrap in tinfoil.
2. Roast garlic for about 30-35 minutes or until tender and caramelized. Let cool.
Serving Suggestions:
Spread on toast with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Roughly chop and toss with pasta, olive oil, grated parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Use as a pizza topping!
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Quickles (quick pickles)
Ingredients
  • 1 quart apple cider vinegar
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 4 cucumbers, cleaned and ends trimmed
Procedure
In a large pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, dill and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and add cucumbers. Simmer about 8-10 minutes or until peel turns olive green. Remove cucumbers from brine and place in a quart-sized deli container. Fill with brine and let chill before refrigerating. Allow to sit for at least 24 hours before eating.

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Week 6: June 30th

In addition to producing food for the CSA, some of the most important work we do at Amber Waves Farm is welcoming children into the fields. We regularly welcome school groups, summer camps, and families into the farm to explore what the fields have to offer. We have learned that bringing children into the farm fields and encouraging them to pick and taste their food while seeing how it goes has an extraordinary impact on their perception of flavor and eagerness to try and enjoy fresh vegetables. We believe this simple act of touring and tasting the fields gives children empowerment over their food choices that sets a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. This season we’re excited to expand our educational programming with our new Educator in Residence, Chris, who’ll be working with us to increase on-farm programming. Beginning this Saturday, Farmer Chris will be leading kids programs on Wednesday -Sundays at 9am and 10am that will be free and open to the public. Chris is also busy this week painting a map of the farm and setting up self-guided tours for when the farmers are not there to guide people through the fields. You can find this new space to the right of the gate, along the fence line under the tree canopy. Whether you’re six or 76, there is so much to be learned by walking through the gates to explore!

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This week’s box:

  • Cucumbers!
  • Cincinnati Market radishes (look like carrots!)
  • Zucchini & summer squash
  • Siberian kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Scallions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Head lettuce
  • Basil

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This week’s add-on shares

  • Carissa’s one-and-one-half pound golden buttery brioche loaf is baked with bread flour, locally grown freshly milled local wheat flour, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, salt, and yeast. Each loaf is washed with a combination of egg, cream, salt, and honey just before baking. Perfect for sandwiches & french toast!
  • Blueberries and rhubarb from Briermere Farms
  • Mozzarella Cheese from Villa Italian Specialties
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A note from our chef in residence, Megan:
We now have beautiful Cincinnati radishes! They look just like carrots, except a lovely shade of pink, and immediately made me think of a butter braise. Leave a little bit of the green stems behind before cutting them in half lengthwise. The cross section makes for quite a gorgeous plate!
Butter-braised Cincinnati Radishes with Garlic Scapes and Parsley
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic scape, minced
  • 2 bunches Cincinnati radishes, greens trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
Procedure
1. Melt butter over medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add scape and sauté, 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add radishes, cut side down, and sprinkle with salt. Let sit and lightly brown, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add white wine and bring to a simmer. Allow alcohol to cook off, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth and lemon juice. Simmer radishes in broth mixture until liquid has reduced by about half and coats the radishes. Toss with fresh parsley and serve.

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Week 5: June 22nd

Zucchini made its first appearance in the share last week, but after the solstice it is here in FORCE. The arrival of zucchini and summer squash is always exciting because it is the first to arrive of the summer “solid foods” (closely followed by cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and finally tomatoes). For anyone who has grown zucchini, you know that the fruits double in size seemingly overnight – going from the size of a small cucumber to that of a large baseball bat in a week. It is one of the few crops we harvest every single day – whether we need more or not – since picking every day ensures we won’t wind up with too many baseball bats, and picking the squashes while they’re young helps maintain the plant’s vigor in producing more. The crew is always excited for the first few harvests because picking squash is such a nice change from harvesting and bunching greens, but within a few weeks of reaching our arms into prickly plants and carrying hundreds of pounds out of the field each day…we start looking forward to tomato season. We have 12 varieties planted this season, including slim yellow, green, and striped varieties, as well as some fun “patty pans” shaped like small flying saucers. Throughout the summer you’ll have the opportunity to try them all and select your favorite! We will undoubtedly get into the world of “unlimited zucchini” for members, and we encourage you to preserve as much of it as you can! Although by the end of summer you may feel like you’ve had your fill of squash for the year, you’ll love yourself this winter if you have some sliced or shredded in the freezer to make zucchini bread or add to a lasagna or pasta dish.
This week the farmers got together to celebrate one of our fantastic crew member’s birthdays, and we put almost everything in this week’s box on the grill. The lettuce, chard, and parsley went into a salad, but the kales, collards, scallions, scapes, and obviously zucchini are fantastic grilled! What a great way to enjoy your box with friends!
This week’s box:
  • Zucchini!
  • Parsley
  • Italian kale
  • Russian kale
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Scallions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtium leaves and flowers (leaves and flowers are both edible and a great addition to salads!)
This week’s add-on shares:
  • Fruit has finally arrived! Strawberries and rhubarb!
  • Alternating loaf share: Salty Soured Pickled Rye___This one-and-one-half pound loaf is baked with a combination of bread flour, locally grown rye flour, salt, pickle brine, caraway seeds, and a natural rye starter that was first cultured in Southampton over 15 years ago.
  • Mecox Bay Dairy cheese: Showandasee
A note from our chef in residence, Megan:
These two recipes are good for those days when you want something quick and easy. Zucchini fries are a yummy, healthy snack and the green smoothie is an excellent way to get your greens in without much fuss. Have one for a breakfast or lunch on the go. Easy peasy!
  • Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries
Yield: About 32 fries
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ sticks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
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Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 425. In a medium mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and pepper.
2. Scramble eggs in a wide, shallow bowl. Dip zucchini sticks into egg and then into breadcrumb mixture, being sure to coat all sides of the zucchini. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake fries for 25-30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
  • Green Smoothie with Kale and Parsley
Yield: About 4 16oz servings
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups swiss chard, tightly packed
  • 1 cup kale, tightly packed
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 3 cups frozen mango
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt
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Procedure
In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients. Pour in 1 quart cold water. Blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately. Will stay fresh in refrigerator for up to 72 hours.
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Week 4: June 16th

We’re so excited about this week’s box because zucchini and garlic scapes have joined the party! I devote a weekly topic to garlic scapes every season – but they’re so magical I think it’s worth repeating. Garlic scapes – the boingy bunch of what looks like alien antennas in your box this week – are the flowering part of the hardneck garlic plant. We plant garlic in the fall in clove form, and by early spring a green shoot emerges from the soil. We mulch the garlic with chopped leaves in April since this crop does not compete well with weeds and it is planted so densely that hoeing by hand is made difficult. In mid-June the garlic plants are nearing the end of their life cycle, and each one sends out a single twirly seed-head, called a scape. We farmers snap off the scapes in order to redirect the plant’s energy into growing a larger bulb of garlic underground, rather than producing a flower. If left on the plants, the tip of the scape beginning at the white unopened bud near the top will continue to transform into a white blossom (resembling a chive flower) with extremely small garlic cloves in place of petals. We grow hardneck garlic, which has 4-8 large cloves per head and produces a garlic scape, whereas softneck garlic that you find in grocery stores does not produce a scape and is therefore easier to grow on a large, commercial scale.  Removing scapes is necessary in order to produce a crop of large bulbs, but the added bonus here is that scapes are a delicacy! Farmers used to compost scapes until they became so popular as a marketable (and now sought after) item at farmers markets and in restaurant kitchens. The window of scape season is short – so enjoy them while you can! They store well in our cooler, so you can expect to receive them in your box for the next few weeks. Garlic scape season also always coincides with Father’s Day, so you better believe our dads get big boxes of scapes every season, one of the many joys of being the dad of a farmer.

 

On a field note – the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers (25,000 plants in total) are finally in the ground (phew)! We were held up in May with a flat tire on one of our tractors which delayed some of our field work, and we have finally just caught up with a backlog of transplanting, just in time to take advantage of Monday’s rain! Next up for transplanting this week is winter squash…which is hard to believe because summer isn’t even here yet, but we’re always living a season ahead.

 

This week’s box:

  • Italian Kale
  • Head lettuce
  • Ovation greens mix
  • Rainbow Swiss chard
  • Bok Choy (we like to cut up the greens and sautee with olive oil, and then use the stems sliced lengthwise to enjoy dips and spreads of our choice…like garlic scape pesto!)
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini!
  • Garlic Scapes!
  • Parsley
A note from our chef in residence, Megan:
We have garlic scapes! And zucchini! Who else is pumped? Normally, you see scapes in pesto or pickled, but I thought we could try them out grilled in a flavorful soup. You may notice that I call for soaked raw cashews in this recipe which offer a lighter, cooler dairy alternative for a summer soup, but feel free to use a 1/2 cup or so of whole milk or cream if cashews aren’t your thing. Serve it warm (on days like yesterday) or chilled (on days like today) with a slice or two of toasty bread drizzled with good olive oil and a pinch of flakey sea salt. Enjoy the shaved zucchini salad along side it and you’ve got yourself a light and (almost) summery meal.
Grilled Garlic Scape Bisque
Yield: about 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 3/4lb garlic scapes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews, soaked
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • Fresh chopped parsley
Procedure
1. Prepare grill and toss the scapes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch or two of salt.
2. Grill the scapes, about 2 minutes per side, until browned and crisp. Set aside to cool slightly and roughly chop.
3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a 3 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, celery and a pinch or two of salt and sauté, 1-2 minutes until fragrant and tender. Reduce heat, cover, and sweat, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the scapes, potato and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook, about 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
5. Working in batches, blend the soup with the cashews, lemon juice, and fresh basil in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Serve hot or chilled with a garnish of chopped parsley.

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Fresh Basil, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Lemon
Yield: About 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium-sized zucchini, cleaned and ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Small handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Procedure
1. Using a mandolin or a sharp hand peeler, shave thin slices of zucchini, stopping just before you hit the seeds. Reserve the core for another use (juice! zucchini bread!).
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and pepper flakes. Toss with zucchini ribbons. Divide the zucchini onto 4 or 5 salad plates.
3. Sprinkle each salad with a tablespoon pine nuts, and a 1/2 teaspoon of basil. Finish with a pinch of good finishing salt and ground black pepper. You could also top with shavings of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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Week 3: June 9th

One of our favorite things about growing the farm over the last several seasons has been the evolution of our crew. We run an apprenticeship program where people with varied experience in farming (many of them none at all) join us for the season to learn how to farm in a fully hands-on approach. In exchange for housing, a monthly stipend, and all the produce they can eat, our apprentices work side by side with us from April through October, learning about everything from plant propagation in the greenhouse to tractors to bookkeeping. Some of them join us straight out of college or graduate school and others found their way to farming after working in another field. The positive energy and innovation these fresh minds bring to Amber Waves each season is extraordinary (the herb garden and the CSA pick up chalk board are both apprentice creations), and we are so happy to have another great crew (of 8!) on board this season. In addition to four new apprentices (Colleen, Katie Rose, Paige, and Hannah), two of last year’s crew members, Adrienne and Ben have rejoined our crew for a second season. We’ve also created two new positions on the farm, a culinary apprenticeship/chef in residence position staffed by Megan, who works with us in the fields, makes lunch for the crew, is spearheading all canning, pickling, and freezing in mass quantities, and will run our new pizza oven. Chris joins our team as the educator in residence, and will be at the farm throughout the summer to lead workshops, tasting tours, and other events for children and families.

 

We hope you’ll take the chance to get to know our fantastic crew this season!

This week’s box:
  • Red Russian kale
  • Head lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Collard greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Pea Shoots
  • Tri-colored radishes
  • Edible broccoli flowers (great tossed in a salad)
  • Thyme (with beautiful flowers!)
  • Check out the herb garden for sage, marjoram, lemon balm, winter savory, sorrel, and so much more!
**New additions next week will include zucchini and garlic scapes!**
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This week’s cheese share: Mecox Bay Dairy Cheddar
This week’s alternating bread share: Carissa’s one-and-one-half pound honey oat loaf is baked with bread flour, freshly milled locally grown oats, rolled oats, local honey, oil, salt, water, and yeast. Each loaf is washed with a combination of egg, cream, salt, and honey, then topped with additional oats before baking.
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A note and recipe from Chef in Residence, Megan:
We’ve got leafy greens for days here at Amber Waves. They’re so tender and flavorful, I’ve been having super simple salads on the regular topped with a fried egg — delicious! When I can’t quite get through the stockpile in my refrigerator before they wilt into oblivion, however, juicing is a tasty alternative.
This recipe is a very basic green juice. With its mild flavor, zucchini provides an excellent base and helps to keep the sugar content of the juice low since you don’t have to use as much fruit to bulk it up. Feel free to switch up the varieties of kale depending on what’s available in your CSA box from week to week. You can’t go wrong no matter what you use from the fields over here!

10 HERB SALAD WITH MISO VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 heaping tablespoon white miso
  • ¼ cup tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • 1 bag Ovation mixed greens or arugula
  • 4 large sorrel leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Fresh ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, vinegar and honey. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the olive oil. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.

2. Toss together the greens mix with the herbs. Toss with dressing. Season with pepper and salt to taste.

 

REFRESHING GREEN JUICE

(Yield: About 1 quart)

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini, quartered (coming next week!)
  • 4 green apples, quartered
  • 2 large bunches kale
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1” piece ginger
  • 1 large lemon, peeled and pith removed
  • Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

Process first seven ingredients through a juicer. Stir in sea salt.

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Week 2: June 2

It’s leafy greens galore this week! Greens thrive in the cool spring weather, so they have been flourishing. This has been the driest spring we’ve had in all our growing seasons, but since we’ve been able to water with our irrigation system, the fields are beginning to come alive and the crops are taking off. Even though we have irrigation, we welcome this week’s rain with a sigh of relief. In addition to watering, we use “floating row cover,” called remay, in the fields to speed up plant growth – many of you have remarked on this white fabric covering large portions of the field. It is a translucent and breathable material that warms the soil and creates a sheltered micro climate for young plants – as a bonus, it  also prevents insects from attacking young seedlings. The remay works – we spied some baby squashes and zucchini that will likely make an appearance in your box next week! But first, you’re looking at seven days of salads (we also recommend working your greens into a smoothie, making pesto kale, arugula, or pea shoot pesto and freezing it).

This week’s box:

  • White Russian kale
  • Lacinato kale
  • Pink & purple radishes
  • Arugula
  • Mixed greens (are great as a raw salad or cooked)
  • Pea shoots
  • Purple Bok Choy
  • Winter Savory (available for u-pick all season in the herb garden)

A note and recipe from our Chef in Residence, Megan:

The biggest challenge I face feeding the Amber Waves Farm crew (aside from satisfying their seemingly limitless appetite) is ensuring that I’m not dishing out the same plates of food every week. Having thousands of each type of plant on the farm available for use can make this difficult. So, one way that I like to use a veggie or leafy green that differs from its typical preparation is to make a pesto: arugula, peas, carrots…you name it, you can make pesto out of it.

This week, I have fusilli with radish top pesto on the menu and thought it would be nice as a dressing in a warm lentil salad, too. If you have green garlic left from last week’s share, throw that in, otherwise, regular garlic is fine.

I’ve also included the winter savory in this recipe, which is a hearty, peppery herb that tastes like a hybrid of mint and thyme. Swap it in for thyme in any recipe; it’ll turn out great (it also possesses antiseptic and antifungal properties!). Here, I recommend using it in the lentil cooking liquid. They’ll soak all that flavor right up.

Warm Lentil Salad with Radish Top Pesto and Lemon Yogurt

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the lentils:

  • 2 cups French green lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 sprigs winter savory
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 bunch radish tops
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 stalk green garlic, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
  • For the yogurt:
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of sea salt

For garnish:

  • Pea shoots

Procedure

1. Combine the lentils, veg broth, salt and savory in a sauté pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, about 20-30 minutes, adding more broth/water, if necessary. Cook until water has absorbed and lentils are tender, but not mushy. Remove savory sprigs.

2. While lentils are simmering, combine the first five ingredients for the pesto in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and then, with motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until smooth. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and salt. Set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, minced shallot, and pesto. Divide amongst four bowls. Top with a generous dollop of lemon yogurt and garnish with pea shoots.

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Week 1: May 26

Happy season seven! We’re looking forward to another great year at Amber Waves Farm. This year we have a fantastic crew of eight, including four new apprentices, two returning apprentices from last season, a chef in residence, and an educator in residence. The crew has been hard at work since early April and we are so excited to share a fantastic season of food and fun with you.

It has been a cold, dry spring, but your first box includes some glorious greens and your choice of three seedlings from our greenhouses. As the weather warms up you’ll see cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, beans, garlic, eggplant, and eventually tomatoes in your share. When you visit the farm each week you are encouraged to venture out into the fields to visit the chickens and take advantage of the u-pick crops we offer in the field. The herb garden is already open for cutting and flowers, raspberries, beans, and peas are on the way in the next few weeks.

As you arrive at the farm to pick up your share you’ll notice our new wood-burning pizza oven! Since the farm’s inception it has always been our dream to have a pizza farm (with a little cheese help from our friends at Mecox Bay Dairy) and this year we’re finally able to make that a reality. The oven was built especially for us by the Maine Wood Heat Company in Skowhegan Maine. We will use this beauty to make pizza at the farm and at schools and events off the farm (it’s mobile!) We look forward to seeing you at many farm events this season revolving around this exciting new addition to the farm. It is available for rent (it comes with all pizza ingredients and a baker), so please let us know if you’d like to have the oven at your home or another event this summer.

As always, we are tremendously grateful for your partnership and commitment to our work at Amber Waves Farm. It continues to be a joyous process to build community around the farm and we are looking forward to spending another season with you!

This week’s box:

  • Green kale
  • Italian kale
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Ovation salad mix
  • Green garlic
  • Wheat berries
  • Edible cilantro flowers
  • Three seedlings of your choice

Our chef in residence, Megan, has this suggestion for your share this week:

Spring Wheatberry Salad with Radish and Arugula

Mince 1 or 2 stems of green garlic and sauté in a medium pot, 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup wheatberries, 4 cups water, and a teaspoon of sea salt. Simmer until berries are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Strain and let come to room temp.

Meanwhile, roughly chop radishes, tear arugula into bite-sized pieces, and prepare your favorite salad dressing. I’m currently really into a combination of white miso, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon zest.

Once wheatberries are cooked to your liking, toss with radishes and arugula. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with a flakey sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can serve as is or over a bed of the Tuscan kale or ovation mix.

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Week 20: October 7

What a great year we’ve had! Each year we’re honored to have the commitment and support of our members. Your partnership in the farm is not only extraordinarily important to keeping the farm going – it’s also a lot of fun to spend a season with you sharing what the farm has to offer and learning about your favorite ways to prepare the food we grow. We are already looking ahead to next season and we hope you’ll join us again as we continue to expand what we grow and can offer our members. If you have suggestions or questions about membership, please let us know!

We finish each season with our annual Oktoberfeast party, which is a celebration farmers, members, and friends of the farm. We encourage you to join us on October 12th for this year’s celebration. Look for the invitation in your inbox!

This week’s box – the last one of the season!

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Arugula (we have been making arugula pesto and have also been loving fresh arugula salads with sliced apples to add some crisp sweetness)
  • Mizuna (Asian lettuce with jagged green leaves, excellent raw in salads mixed with arugula and mustard or sauteed quickly with garlic and olive oil)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Curly Kale
  • Carrots
  • Delicata Squash
  • Sweet Dumpling Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers

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Week 19: September 30

This week we’re celebrating a milestone at the farm…Amanda and Katie met First Lady Michelle Obama while taping an episode of ABC’s The Chew! Michelle Obama and Let’s Move Executive Director (and White House Chef) Sam Kass visited The Chew to talk about the First Lady’s food initiatives and celebrate the people that bring our nation’s kids healthful cafeteria meals each day. The episode also features a segment filmed at Amber Waves Farm of children enjoying the fields and making their own pizzas with toppings they harvested themselves. We are extremely excited about the airing of the show and grateful to be included in the national dialogue about food and health as they relate to children. Please tune in (or set your DVR)! The episode will air this Friday at 1pm est on ABC and will then be posted online (although only for about a week). Click here For more information about the episode and to find a link for the show after it airs on Friday.

This week’s box (they just keep getting better!):

  • Arugula!
  • Italian Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Sage (sage butter anyone…? recipe below. We have also been using a lot of sage in our roasted medleys)
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Delicata Squash
  • Sweet Dumpling Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Roma Tomatoes (probably the last of them)

Our crew’s suggestions for what they’ve been making lately:

–Sage Butter

–Moroccan Carrot Salad
Roast carrots (at 400 until tender and browned) and toss in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, fresh mint, cumin, and garlic, and salt
–Roasted Cabbage with Garlic and Feta Cheese– (Ben says it’s like brussels sprouts meets kale chips!)Chop cabbage into quarter inch strips, toss in olive oil and salt, roast at 350 until just browned (about 20 minutes). Just before removing from oven, add garlic to cabbage and roast for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from oven and add feta (optional) just before serving.

–Cabbage and Apple SaladShred the cabbage and apples in a mandolin and mix together , honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt

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Week 18: September 23

Wow we needed that rain! After a remarkably dry late summer, Thursday’s rain will enable cover crops that have been seeded to germinate, help the fall carrots really take off, and facilitate end-of-season tractor work that is difficult in dry and dusty soil conditions. Phew!

This week I popped into Almond in Bridgehampton to make an early evening produce delivery and the chef Drew told me not to leave right away, he wanted me to try something. He handed me that evening’s meatless Monday special right there in the kitchen – Delicata 3 ways – butterscotch puree, sherry & maple roasted, and tempura battered (and deep fried in rounds like onion rings). We have always loved Delicata and its cousin Sweet Dumpling (coming next week), but my – oh -my I have not had a dish like that before! We encourage you to try this dish at home or to venture in to Almond to enjoy that and many other of the other incredible dishes on the menu (our favorites this season are the crostata, the mac and cheese, and you can never go wrong with the duck).

This week’s box:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Eggplant
  • Delicata Squash
  • Shishito Peppers (are red now! enjoy!)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes (still!)

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Week 17: September 16

This week at the farm the crew has gotten really into roasting vegetables for lunch. Throughout the season our crew lunches evolve and change with the food we have available. In the spring we make a lot of salads and sauteed greens, in July and August we eat a lot of raw tomatoes and slice everything we can get our hands on to use as pizza toppings, and in the fall we’re roasting! Our favorite combination is cubed delicata squash, sweet potatoes, and broccoli tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, (and sometimes cayenne pepper, sometimes sage) in the oven at around 425. The squash and sweet potato can go in first since they take longer to cook than the broccoli, we also tend to cut them into smaller pieces to speed up the cooking time. Adrienne often whips up an incredible fresh herb pesto on the fly from a speed walk through the herb garden – parsley, basil, chives, mint, thyme, and lemon balm may make it in – this works incredibly as a side to this roasted vegetable side!

This week’s box:

  • Delicata Squash (very thin skin that you can eat too – either cut them in half and roast them cut-side down or cut into cubes and add to a roasted vegetable medley)
  • Mixed Greens (great raw in salads or very quickly steamed or sauteed)
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Parsley

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Week 16: September 9

There’s a first time for everything…and this year it’s broccoli! While we love the “brassica” plant family, which in addition to broccoli also includes radishes and our old stand-by, King Kale, we have been resistant to broccoli because it’s a one-hit-wonder. Unlike kale, which is known as “cut and come again,” meaning we harvest leaves from the same plants over many months, most broccoli varieties take about 90 days to produce only one head – and that’s it! As much as people love broccoli, we haven’t had the luxury for such a time and space intensive crop in previous years. This season, a few new key pieces of equipment (including a transplanter that enables our crew to ride along and drop seedlings into pre-made holes, and a plastic mulch layer, which creates a raised bed mulched in plastic in the field reducing our need to weed), have enabled us to grow some new things. Although broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and winter squash aren’t the new hot items in any of this fall’s Style issues – we’re always excited to expand what we grow for you!

This week’s box:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Icicle Radishes
  • Tomatillos
  • Red Peppers
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • (even more!) Tomatoes

Recipes:

Easy (easy easy easy) Tomatillo Salsa Verde (we’ve given this recipe to you before – but we think it’s the best, so we want to make sure you have the chance to do it!)

Chimichurri Sauce (another repeat – but if you’re not using all of your parsley each week, you’ve got to get into this!)

Crispy Brown Butter Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms and Goat Cheese (from halfbakedharvest.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup pureed burrata cheese or ricotta (use whole milk for best results, I used burrata chese)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce + Mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Make the gnocchi. Mix the mashed sweet potato, pureed burrata or ricotta, eggs, salt and parmesan together in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well with your hands. The dough should be very sticky. Add another half cup of flour and mix in. You want the dough to still be pretty sticky, but sturdy enough to shape into a ball. If it’s not, keep adding a little flour at a time until you can get a soft dough that will be rollable.
  2. Spread some flour on a large work surface. Cut the dough log into four equal pieces. Take one piece and cut it in half. Roll the piece of dough into a snake about 1/2 inch thick, then cut it into pieces about the width of a fork. Dust the gnocchi with a little flour, then use one finger to push the gnocchi up onto the tines of a fork. Let the gnocchi drop back to the work surface. Doing this helps create ridges for the sauce to stick to, but you can skip it if you would like. Repeat this process with the other piece of dough and place the gnocchi on a large plate, cover and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  4. To make the mushroom and brown butter sauce. In a medium skillet over high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer. Don’t stir them! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the remaining butter and cook until it begins to brown. Once the butter is browned reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Then stir and remove the pan from the heat and slide the mushrooms and sauce off to the side.
  5. Now grab your gnocchi and add it to the salted boiling water. Boil the gnocchi until they float, then remove them with a slotted spoon and add them right into the skillet with the mushrooms/sauce. Return the skillet (with the mushrooms and gnocchi in it) back to medium heat. Let the gnocchi get crisp on one side for 2 minutes and then two minutes on the other, then stir gnocchi into the mushrooms. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with crumbled goat cheese on top. EAT!

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Week 15: September 2

Welcome to the fall part of the share! In the coming weeks we will have sweet potatoes, winter squash, collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage. For now, though, the summer food is still here in force and we’re going to enjoy a couple more weeks of tomatoes and eggplant, and hopefully red, orange, and yellow peppers well into the fall. Even though we’re expecting this week to be one of the hottest of the summer, this is the time of year we start thinking about putting the fields to sleep for the winter. That will mean mowing and tilling spent crops (zucchini and cucumbers for example), and planting cover crops in our open fields to prevent erosion and feed green matter to the soil (crops such as oats, rye, and field peas). We’ll also start planning for our crops that overwinter – wheat and garlic in particular, which we plant in mid October.

We’re looking forward to six more weeks of great food, and our annual Oktoberfeast party on October 11 to celebrate the end of another season.

This week’s box:

  • Mustard greens mix (a little spicy! great raw as a salad or chopped and quickly sauteed)
  • Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Tomatoes (beefsteak & heirloom)
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Jalapenos

Recipe: Red Bell Pepper Coulis

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Week 14: August 26th

What a great summer season we’ve had, and what a great box we have this week to wrap up the summer share! As always, included in this week’s box is a collection of what’s best now out in the fields, which today includes a variety of beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplant, and wheat berries in celebration of our successful wheat harvest in July (you’re more than welcome to mill your wheat berries at pick up if you’d prefer whole wheat flour).

Today is a bittersweet day – reaching the final day of the summer CSA with 14 great weeks of boxes under our belts feels like a win, but we’re sad to see many of our members be done at the farm for the year. This season’s CSA was the largest and best to date – 130 families. For those of you for whom this is the last week of pick up – thank you for your membership and support this season! And for our full season shareholders – we’re looking forward to another six great weeks of deliciousness – a couple more weeks of summer treats like tomatoes and peppers followed by winter squash, collard greens, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. We hope to see everyone at our annual Oktoberfeast party at the farm on Saturday, October 11th (Colombus Day weekend) when we celebrate the season with incredible food and drinks from local farms, fishermen, breweries, and vineyards. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

This week’s box:

  • Sauce Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat Berries
  • Multicolored Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Parsley
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Garlic

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the eggplant? Eggplant is tricky – while some of you probably have a collection in your refrigerator, others are asking us for extras each week. When prepared well, eggplant is absolutely amazing, below are some quick suggestions for how to make it great.

Whole on the grill: spear the eggplant a few times with a fork, put the entire thing (unsliced) on the grill on low- medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, it will shrivel a little like a raisin. Cut it in strips from top to bottom (leaving the stem on for a more attractive presentation). The center turns almost to custard, drizzle the slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped mint.

With smashed potatoes: Prepare the eggplant as described above (you can also use this method in the oven). When cooked, scoop out the insides and mix with mashed or smashed potatoes – it adds an incredible creamy texture and rich flavor your guests won’t be able to identify

Cubed and fried: Cut into cubes and deep fry (peanut oil works best). Top the fried cubes with shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. It’s a good thing that deep frying is a pain, otherwise it would be easier to do more often, but this delicious treat is worth the time, effort, and calories.

Broiled and baked: Slice the eggplant into strips, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and broil for about 20 minutes. Remove the strips from the oven, mix with goat cheese, bread crumbs, and chopped capers and olives, and bake for 15 minutes at 350. A farm member has made this for us twice – it will change the way you feel about eggplant!

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Week 13: August 19th

The tomatoes are here, what happened to the basil?? You may remember we had beautiful basil earlier in the season, but along with other organic growers, by this time of the year the basil has been largely taken out by basil downy mildew – a disease that’s new to the United States. Black spores travel through the air and latch onto the undersides of leaves, turning them brown and eventually killing the leaf and causing it to fall off. There are few organic controls to combat downy mildew on basil, although we’re hopeful that in the next few years more disease resistant varieties and other disease controls will be developed. Basil used to be one of our fool-proof crops, and this new pathogen has been such a disappointment! But, although there’s no basil in your box this week, there is a bed of basil across from the herb garden that you’re welcome to pick from. There is new growth on some of the plants that is mildew-free and would be great to pair with your tomatoes!

Recipes:

Eggplant Bacon!

Amanda’s Favorite Panzanella – It is so simple and delicious, I make it a couple times each week

  •  Cube Carissa’s bread and toast it on the stove top for about five minutes (I like to toss it in Arlotta’s hot pepper olive oil, available at all east end farmers markets)
  • Cut about a quart of cherry tomatoes in half (you could also use full-size slicing tomatoes) and add them to the toasted bread cubes
  • Add roughly chopped basil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle with a high-quality balsamic vinegar (I also like to use Arlotta’s aged balsamic)
  • Toss again and serve right away. I sometimes also add sauteed kale to this dish or top it with a poached egg. Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Tomatoes!
  • Multicolored peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Shishito peppers
  • Russian Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Parsley
  • Garlic

In the field to pick:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

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Week 12: August 12th

NOW the tomatoes are finally here! A great thing to do when we’re buried in “solid food” (unlike the springs when we’re swimming in leafy greens) is to make ratatouille (could also be a great place to hide that okra if it isn’t your favorite…). We farmers also grill a lot, and slice vegetables either into strips or cube them and put them on skewers so everyone gets a taste of all the summer colors. Since we have red kale this week, we also think it would be fun to do a red kale ceasar salad, (from our pal at ABC’s The Chew, chef Michael Symon).

Out in the field our crew is just trying to keep up! We have been harvesting so much so often that we have hardly had time for weeding, planting, and other field work that needs to be done. We never complain about having “too much” food to harvest, since the reverse would be unfortunate, but we have spent many-a-morning hauling zucchini out of the field. Last week 1,000 lbs of squash went to local food pantries and this week another 1,000 lbs is heading to the Long Island food bank for distribution farther west. We’re always glad when we can share the wealth! (Sorry sweet potatoes, looks like you’ll have to wait until September to get weeded…)

This week’s box:

In the field to pick:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

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Week 11: August 5th

Where are those tomatoes?? One by one they’re ripening out there…ever so slowly. We can’t remember another year in which the tomatoes were so late – it just hasn’t been that hot this season and they’re ripening slower. While we wait for full-size slicing tomatoes, please take advantage of mixed u-pick cherry tomatoes! They are planted in rainbow order on the right side of the central walkway across from the flowers. Varieties include Favorita and Matt’s Wild Cherry (red), Sungold (orange), Yellow Mini (yellow), Sweet Treat (pink) and Black Cherry (brownish purpleish).

Please enjoy this week’s box, some new recipes, and two of our favorite recipes from years past below – Thai Curry and Eggplant Sandwiches!

This week’s recipes:

Assorted Gazpachos from Michael Pollan (NYT)

Smokey Eggplant Spread

Thai Curry, from Chef Jeff Schwarz

 

Our good friend Jeff Schwartz, formerly the executive chef at the Crow’s Nest, puts together an amazing Thai curry using nearly all of the vegetables in your box. He explains it here:

 

Ingredients:

  • RED curry: the fresh in the refrigerator is better but the one in the plastic packaging on the shelf is good as well.
  • palm sugar is best but regular sugar works
  • fish sauce….if vegan skip on it
  • 3-4 cans coconut milk
  • kaffir lime leaf is good but not a must
  • 1 bunch of thai basil
  • bunch of cilantro
  • red peppers, carrots, shallots
  • 3 limes
  • jasmine rice
Preparation:
  • chop up 1 red pepper, 3-4 shallots, 2-3 carrots….should be equal parts of each (use zucchini, squash, eggplant, peppers, and kale…and any other farm veggies you may have in your fridge from weeks past…)
  • place a healthy amount of peanut or canola oil in a good sized pot.
  • add the peppers, carrots, shallots, or other vegetables and saute for a few minutes over
  • medium heat until sweated….add 3 tbsp of the red curry paste. stir. push it around. break itup. cook for two mins or so. add the kaffir lime leaf. maybe two leaves.
  • add 1 tbsp of palm sugar, 2 tbsp of fish sauce, 30 seconds later add 3 cans of coconutmilk. bring to a simmer. taste. if too spicy. add more coconut milk, if not spicy enough. add more curry paste. add salt and more sugar as desired.
  • add whatever pre cooked vegetables at this point.
  • add a lot of thai basilleaves. no stems. at least 10. add a nice amount of cilantro leaves as well.

taste. squeeze some lime juice in at the end.

Serve with jasmice rice.

and away we go.

Eggplant Sandwiches:
  • Slice the eggplant thick 1/4 inch (2 slices per sandwich – use the wide, black Italian eggplant in your box)
  • Let the eggplant slices sit in salted water for 20 minutes
  • Remove from water and pat dry
  • Dip in a beaten egg to coat the entire slice
  • Coat one side of each of the slices with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese
  • Put whatever your delight may be between the slices, breaded sides out (inside try mozzarella and marinara to take it in the Italian direction, or other sliced vegetables and cheese…)
  • Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, flipping once during baking
  • Slice it and eat it like a sandwich

This week’s box:

  • Sweet peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers
  • Thai Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Parsley
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Radishes

In the field to pick:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

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Week 10: July 29th

The wheat harvest is nearly complete! All that remains of our 16 acre harvest is the half acre plot beyond the raspberries at our primary field (the other fields are scattered between Amagansett, East Hampton, and Sagaponack – we leave the home field for last because it is nearly impossible to fit the combine through the gate). Unlike vegetables, wheat is very low-input almost all the time, becoming a high-intensity crop for us only during sowing (in mid-October), fertilizer application and undersowing clover (in March) and harvesting in July. For a successful harvest we rely heavily on our neighboring farmers for help: Dean Foster of Foster Farms in Sagaponack stored our combine in his barn for the winter and spring, Layton Guenther of Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett helps us move around the harvested wheat with trucks and tractors, and Pete Ludlow of Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton helps us tune up the equipment before the harvest,  partners with us on actually growing a ten acre parcel, and is instrumental in helping us clean, dry, and store the grain. The collaborative partnership we have with other farmers demonstrates the purpose of the Amagansett Wheat Project, which is a primary pillar of Amber Waves Farm, to work as a farming community to reintroduce food-grade grains eastern Long Island. Together we have trialed different varieties for flavor, productivity and resistance to deer, as well as varying methods of fertilizing, and different equipment for sowing and harvesting.

Our harvest of nearly 14,000 lbs (including 1 ton grown by Quail Hill Farm for their CSA members) is our largest harvest to date. Much of the wheat is milled and used by our baker Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s Breads to bake the bread for the CSA, her farmers markets, and local restaurants. We excitedly await the harvest each year so we can experience the terroir of our local wheat- which is especially evident in the nutty, cinnamon-y smell of the flour, which, to us, is always reminiscent of the holiday season. (Dan Barber opens his recent book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food with a shout-out to the farmers at Lakeview Organic Grain, our wheat seed supplier near Rochester, for the great work they’re doing producing grains – Dan regularly speaks about the importance of reestablishing a sustainable regional grains system, both for flavor and food security). Despite the special nature of our flour, the majority of the wheat is actually sold in the form of wheat berries at farmers markets and to local restaurants (including Rowdy Hall, South Edison, Ruschmeyers, Topping Rose House). The fact that most wheat was in higher demand as a whole grain rather than whole wheat flour came as a great surprise to us after our first harvest, so we have done much less milling in the last five years than we anticipated. Wheat berries and whole wheat flour will make an appearance in your box several more times before the end of the season!

This week’s box:

  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Eggplant
  • Squash & Zuchinni
  • Cucumbers (a lot of cucumbers this week!)
  • Garlic

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers
  • Herbs (including basil, which is not in the box this week)
  • The last of the raspberries (for now, they’ll be back again in the fall)
  • Maybe the first of the cherry tomatoes…

 

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Week 9: July 22nd

This may be the busiest week of the season, we’ve started the wheat harvest but the vegetables continue to demand our attention. As long as the rain holds off for a few days we’ll be in great shape. More on the wheat harvest next week.

What a box we have for you this week! After a cool spring and a mild summer so far, the true summer food is finally rolling in. The highlight of this week’s box are the Shishito peppers, which many of you have likely tried in restaurants over the past couple years. This small Japanese frying pepper has become extraordinarily popular – there was a national shortage last season and east end chefs were paying a premium to bring them in from anywhere they could. This season, we took our Shishito crop seriously and planted more than 2,000 plants, which we hope will satisfy the CSA, farmers market shoppers, and the chefs we regularly work with. Shishitos are excellent pan-seared in olive oil with salt and pepper and then a squeeze of lemon juice. They’re also fast and easy on the grill – either directly on the grates or wrapped in tin foil. The peppers are notorious for 1 out of 10 being spicy while the rest are very mild – but after the fist-fulls of Shishitos I’ve eaten I’d say it’s more like 1 in 100. As a condiment and sauce guru, one of my favorite things about these peppers is their little stem-handle, which makes them the perfect vehicle to be dipped in a sauce of your choice! Suggestions for preparation and sauces are below. Next time you’re out be sure to order our Shishitos – available at Ruschmeyers in Montauk!

A few weeks ago I mentioned the concept of an “opportunity vegetable,” a vegetable that isn’t your favorite that you have the opportunity to learn to enjoy it. This week’s opportunity vegetable may be the okra. If a vegetable can be polarizing, this is one of them – people either love it or can’t get past the sliminess factor. Try one of the recipes listed below, we planted enough okra for all of Long Island so if it isn’t your favorite this week, you’ll get another chance.

This week’s box:

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers
  • Herbs
  • Raspberries

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Week 8: July 15th

Every farm season brings ups and downs, laughter and tears in the fields, and crop successes and failures. We have so far been blessed with our best season to date and an excellent crew, for which we are very grateful. The last week has been very sad for us – our beloved farm cat Tim was hit by a car and killed. He was an intensely friendly cat that made even dog-people fall in love with him, and along with his feline companion Jim, Tim was a treasured member of the farm crew that will be missed tremendously.

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Earlier in the week a predator of some kind (either a possum, raccoon, or fox) dug under the electric poultry fence and killed 17 of our ducks in a single night. Life and death is a reality on every farm, but can be hard to swallow anyway. Despite our heavy hearts we will keep our heads high and work hard to take care of our many thriving plants, animals, and each other as we bring you the best the fields have to offer. In the coming weeks we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of okra and eggplant next week and tomatoes and peppers the following week.

This week’s box:

  • Collard Greens (recipe below)
  • Scallions
  • Russian Kale
  • Lettuce (is back!)
  • Radishes
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Basil
  • Amethyst Basil
  • Parsley
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers (including sunflowers!)
  • Herbs (the lavender is blooming and the lemon grass is now open for cutting)
  • Raspberries (all the way to the right as you enter the farm gates)

 

Recipe: you don’t have to overcook the collard greens!

People often think you have to cook the heck out of collards to make them palatable, but you don’t! The collards in your box this week are young and tender, and can be eaten like kale (our go-to is always sauteed with garlic and olive oil) or even raw in a salad, like this suggestion from Epicurious. Enjoy!

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Week 7: July 8th

This week’s box includes the first of the garlic harvest – something we wait all year for. When we harvest the garlic we pull the entire plant up (the whole plant is included in your box so you can see it), tap the soil off of the grabby roots, and load it up to be brought back to the barn for curing. Just after the garlic is harvested there exists a special two week window in which the garlic is still considered “fresh” (because it hasn’t yet been dried or cured), and you’ll notice how juicy it is, and also how the skin that divides the cloves has not yet turned papery. To cure the garlic we’ll lay it out in the barn, stem and all, for the next couple months before we tie it in bundles and hang it from the rafters. With a CSA as big as ours (125 families) and farmers market shoppers as hungry as they are for fresh garlic, we know by the time we hang it up in the barn we probably won’t have much left!

After we began the garlic harvest on Monday the crew sat down together to have our weekly “pizza lunch,” our one communal lunch of the week when all eight of us sit down together. Instead of pizza this week we raided the “farmer bins” in the cooler (bins of produce that are leftover, can’t be sold, aren’t perfect, etc.) and cooked a feast. When we all cook and eat together it gives us a great opportunity to taste each others’ favorite dishes and talk about what else we’ve been making. My favorite discovery this week were apprentice Laura Rose’s patellis (recipe below). I also learned that to use up the last of their zucchini the other night Mark and Abby cubed it up, added bread crumbs, grated cheese, and olive oil, and baked it. I tried it last night (at 400 for about 25 minutes), topped it with freshly made basil pesto, and it turned out to be a delicious meatless Monday! For dessert, I also heard about bluebarb pie (another great way to use that rhubarb in your fruit share – scroll down to last week’s post for more rhubarb suggestions). It can be hard to go back to work in the hot field after a farmer lunch feast, but we managed to get back out there to make sure you get your share of the farm’s bounty this week, too. Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Garlic!
  • Arugula
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Italian Kale
  • Parsley
  • Basil

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers (including sunflowers!)
  • Herbs (the lavender is blooming and the lemon grass is now open for cutting)
  • Raspberries (all the way to the right as you enter the farm gates)
Recipe: Laura Rose’s Patellis
Ingredients:
  • 4 medium or 6 small zucchinis—chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 eggs (1 egg per 2 medium sized zucchini)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup parmesan cheese—shredded
  • 1/3 cup parsley—chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic—minced (add more if you love garlic)
  • 1 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Preparation:
Using a frying pan (or any pan with some depth), pour enough olive oil to cover the surface plus about 1/8 inch.  Each side of the patelli must be fried, but should never be completely submerged in oil.  Put on medium high heat while prepping.
Mix chopped zucchini, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Once everything is mixed, add the flour.  The consistency should not be thick enough that it’s sticky like dough, but there should be a little more cohesiveness than pancake batter.  Scoop a large spoonful and drop it in the oil.  It should stay together and begin to fry on one side.  If the patelli seems like it is falling apart in the oil, add more flour.
Let the one side fry, checking underneath every couple of minutes. Once the bottom looks brown—>dark brown, flip it over and cook the other side in the same fashion.

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Week 6: July 1st

Happy Fourth of July! Amber Waves loves this holiday – the farm is named for America the Beautiful after all. To celebrate we’re busy out there in the fields hoeing, weeding, planting, trellising – and it’s paying off, the summer crops are looking great! Zucchini and cucumbers are coming in beautifully and raspberries, cherry tomatoes, okra, eggplant, and the wheat are on the way in the coming weeks. To read and see more about what’s going on at the farm, visit the kitchn (where we always send you anyway for great recipe ideas!), which will feature blog posts about Amber Waves Farm throughout the season. Also check out our recent interview with Beach Magazine in their latest issue (page 64).

This week’s box:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Basil
  • Parsley (we love this stuff – it will continue to appear in your box throughout the season. Not only is it more than a garnish and a delcious addition to almost any meal – it’s incredibly nutrient-dense. If you have some left over at the end of the week, add it to your smoothie or start practicing Chimichurri)
  • Scallions

In the field to pick:

  • Flowers
  • Herbs
  • Sugar Snap Peas

And if you’re signed up for the fruit share and wondering what to do with all that rhubarb…here are some suggestions from Saveur for new takes on desserts and our favorite, the Kitchn’s ideas for savory rhubarb dinners. Enjoy!

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Week 5: June 24th

Welcome to summer and the start of the fruit share this week! We are so excited to be partnering with Briermere Farms for fruit, Mecox Bay Dairy for cheese, and Carissa’s Breads for our whole wheat loaves. The CSA is one of the best insurance policies for farmers, since members agree to share the risks and the rewards of the season with the grower. This year, we’re happy to be including more nearby farms into the Amber Waves CSA and keep our food dollars local. We hope you enjoy this partnership as much as we do!

Garlic scapes are making another appearance in your box this week, and will likely appear at least once more before the “real garlic” is harvested in the next couple weeks. Growing a garlic crop is a 9 month labor of love (beginning with planting individual cloves in mid-October and a harvest around the fourth of July) and the arrival of the scapes means full heads can only be a few weeks away. The garlic scape is actually the flowering or seed-producing part of the garlic plant. Over a period of only a matter of days in mid-June they spring out, cheerfully twisting and twirling. In order to redirect the energy of the garlic plant into producing large cloves and a large head underground rather than a flower above, we farmers snap off the scape. If left unharvested (we always overlook at least a few…) a beautiful white globe-like flower with tiny garlic cloves in place of petals emerges. The plant will use most of its energy to produce this flower, and the tradeoff is a very small head of garlic at the base of the plant. Farmers used to compost the scapes, seeing them only as an unusable byproduct of a traditional head of garlic, but the demand for this short-season specialty has grown such that chefs are asking us about them in April – reserving their share of the June harvest. Scapes are great on the grill, or chopped up and treated as you would garlic clove in a sautee with olive oil and greens. Primarily, though, people go wild for garlic scape pesto. Read a 2013 T Magazine article about scapes at Quail Hill Farm here, and also check out this 2008 story about scapes that Katie and I remember enjoying when we were just discovering scapes for ourselves as farm apprentices at Quail Hill Farm. If you’re not in the mood for dealing with your scapes now – put them in a vase on your table in place of flowers! Especially now that you can wow your guests with your abundant knowledge of the garlic plant cycle :)

This week’s box:

  • Zucchini!
  • Baby fennel
  • Endive
  • Basil
  • Bok Choy
  • Rainbow swiss chard
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Parsley
  • Garlic scapes

In the field to pick:

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Herbs
  • Flowers

Recipes:

Endive and Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Summer Squash Carpaccio with Fennel, Basil, Mint, and Pecorino

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Week 4: June 17th

It’s mid-June and our full farm crew has finally arrived! In stark contrast to the first few seasons of Amber Waves when Katie and I were alone in the fields, the last few years have brought new enthusiastic farm apprentices to the farm. Apprenticeship programs are perhaps the best way to reach and influence the grower/producer component of our food system. Outside of growing up in a farm family, apprenticeship programs are one of the only ways to save and pass on the incredibly important knowledge required to grow food. Operating a biologically diverse, efficiently run farm is highly skilled work, and we think it is incredibly important to spend significant time and energy to teach this trade. It is our intention to grow as many farmers as we can – and we believe that after an experience like the one we provide at Amber Waves new farmers will have the tools they need to pursue a life in this field. The apprenticeship program is not only a primary component of our education work at the farm – working with a bright, driven, opinionated crew is fun and engaging. Katie’s and my business plan was born while we hung and hovered over the swiss chard, zucchini, and eggplant during our own apprenticeship at Quail Hill Farm, and we still value the great conversation that sprouts out of hours of laboring in a farm field. It takes us months to assemble the right crew each season, and we’re thrilled to have everybody on board. Read more about this season’s crew!

This week’s box:

  • Garlic scapes! (and not a moment too soon, I just used my last measly garlic clove from last season…)
  • Baby Hakurei turnips (little white turnips, excellent raw or sauteed in butter)
  • Mustard greens (Oooh they’re spicy! Use them chopped in a salad or mixed in with other greens in a stir fry)
  • Swiss chard
  • Frisee
  • Parsley
  • Head lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Edible bok choy flowers

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Week 3: June 10th

A farm friend of ours refers to vegetables that aren’t her favorite as “opportunity vegetables,” since she has the “opportunity” to find ways to enjoy them! Common “opportunity vegetables” are okra, eggplant, and even our beloved kale (Katie and I have our own opportunity vegetables…which between us include fennel, beets, green beans…). This week’s opportunity for you may be the frisee, a type of leafy endive. It’s much more bitter than lettuce although it can definitely be eaten raw in a salad. Because of the bitter flavor, we suggest using a sweeter dressing than we’d usually use…maybe a blend of olive oil, balsamic, honey, and cranberries. There’s also a link to a frisee recipe below.

Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Baby scallions
  • Spinach
  • Endive (also called frisee, in the plastic bag)
  • Lamb’s Quarters (wild spinach)
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Head Lettuce

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Week 2: June 3rd

These few early weeks of the season give us a a chance to appreciate the simple pleasure of greens. After an especially long, cold winter, it’s pretty exciting to just enjoy an enormous fresh, crunchy salad straight from the field! Since this spring has been particularly cool and the vegetables were slow to get started, we were given the opportunity to get creative and take advantage of sometimes underutilized wild edibles. Last week’s box included lamb’s quarters, or wild spinach, which not only grows like a weed (because it is a weed!), but is also absolutely vitamin-packed and delicious. Read more about this amazing plant on NPR’s Last Chance Foods, (and while you’re there, scroll down to the Long Island wheat piece that Amber Waves recorded with WNYC’s Amy Eddings in April!). The yellow edible flowers in last week’s box were also a lucky find in the field, leftover from a late cabbage planting last season that flowered this spring.

This week’s box contains more greens (with the addition of radishes, green garlic, and wheat berries), and if you’re in the mood for something more than a salad, go for one of the recipes below. Yesterday one of our apprentices whipped up green garlic pancakes with sesame oil & soy sauce on the side for lunch, and we highly recommend that as well!

We hope you enjoy this week’s box! And the herb garden is open, please take advantage of everything marked with a blue and white stake (especially those beautiful chive blossoms – they won’t be around for long!).

Your Farmers,

Amanda & Katie

This week’s box:

  • Radishes
  • Green Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Wheat Berries (or mill your own whole wheat flour at the farm!)
  • Kale
  • Head Lettuce
  • Pea Shoots
  • Bok Choy

Recipes:

We know, there’s a LOT of bok choy in the box. One of our favorite things to do with bok choy is to slice it in half lengthwise and put it cut-side down right on the grill (covered in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper).

Bok Choy Gratin

Here are some other nice ideas to experiment with: Thekitchn.com recommendations for the best way to use more greens into your meals

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Week 1: May 27th

Welcome back!

This week’s box:

  • Italian Kale
  • Russian Kale
  • Head Lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Pea Shoots
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • Lambs Quarters (our favorite wild edible! also called wild spinach – use it raw in a salad or sautee it!)
  • Cabbage Florets (another wild edible, the beautiful yellow flowers are both decorative and delicious, use them as a colorful addition to your greens)
  • Seedlings of your choice

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2013

Week 19: October 8

The last week of pick up has arrived! We are so grateful to have shared the bounty of our fifth season with you. Each season has its own personality, its own successes and failures. A few of our many season highlights include our largest CSA membership to date (100 families) and our biggest crew yet (six people) – both of which contributed to our best season so far. We had banner years in eggplant, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and kale and put a new field into production on Town Lane (we were disappointed only in this year’s garlic crop, and are very much looking forward to planting next year’s garlic within the coming week). We bought a truck and a tractor and put up two new greenhouses, got two farm cats, and after months of saying we would – we finally moved the chickens out into the field in their coop on wheels! In August we filmed a segment with ABC’s The Chew and were featured in a recipe series in T Magazine’s blog. And perhaps most excitingly, the bread included in the weekly share is finally made with Amber Waves whole wheat flour! Thanks to Carissa Waechter of Carissa’s Breads, this new addition to the farm’s activity was a delicious success.

Our CSA membership is the driving force behind the farm and we are deeply appreciative of the partnership we have with our members. We hope to see you this weekend at our annual Oktoberfeast this Saturday, October 12th! to celebrate members, farmers, and friends of the farm. We also hope you’ll join us again next season – your commitment to the farm makes what we do possible. Enjoy your last box of the season!

This week’s box:

  • Italian kale
  • Collard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Tat soi
  • Parsley
  • Carrots (finally!)
  • Icicle radishes
  • Watermelon radishes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broad beans (a racy variety called Dragon’s Lingerie…recipe below)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Pie pumpkin

Recipe:

Ina Garten mentions her favorite farmers in this recipe for the beans in your share this week – so we thought we’d share it with you!

Flat beans with Pecorino (from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?)

Ingredients:

  • kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Romano beans
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tea spoons sea salt or fleur de sel
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 ounces of shaved aged Pecorino Romano cheese (shaved with vegetable peeler)

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and the flat beans, and cook for three minutes or until the beans are just tender. Drain immediately and place the beans on a platter. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper. Toss with the Pecorino and serve hot or warm.

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Week 18: October 1

The first of the 2014 crop wheat has been planted! This year we are partnering with Pete Ludlow of Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton to significantly expand our wheat acreage to about 15 acres (which should yield about ten tons) – and the first five acres were planted last week! Currently on this Tuesday morning Pete is heading to Amagansett with equipment to help us get going planting wheat on our own Town Lane field, where we hope to plant in the next two weeks. In celebration of our fifth year of planting wheat on the east end, your choice of whole wheat flour or wheat berries is included in this week’s box. There is also a mouth-watering recipe for butternut squash wheat berry risotto – we hope you’ll try it this week. Enjoy!

This week’s box:

  • Italian kale (recipe below)
  • Rainbow kale
  • Napa cabbage
  • Mizuna (bagged salad green)
  • Ruby streaks mustard greens (great in a salad with the mizuna, quickly sauteed or as a bed of greens under roasted chicken or fish)
  • Tat soi (Asian spinach – best raw in salads or very quickly steamed or sauteed)
  • Purple scallions
  • Icicle radishes
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Italian parsley
  • Butternut squash (recipe below)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Wheat berries or whole wheat flour (your choice)

Recipes:

Butternut Squash and wheat berry risotto

 (from pbfingers.com)

  • Serves: Two as an entrée, four as a side dish
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 heaping cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (use tat soi instead!)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are slightly soft, about five minutes. Add wheatberries and allow to cook, stirring constantly, for approximately two minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add broth and butternut squash. Stir constantly and allow to simmer until broth is nearly completely dissolved and butternut squash breaks down and becomes creamy (somewhat like mashed potatoes), approximately 25 – 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
  4. Add spinach and stir until leaves are somewhat wilted.
  5. Divide up mock risotto and enjoy!

Kale chips (Dan Barber of Blue Hill published this now famous recipe in 2009, still one of our favorite go-to’s for Italian kale)

Creamy Parsley Sauce (from Canal House Cooks Every Day - great as a side sauce for meat or roasted hearty vegetable dishes)

Put 1 1/2 cups whole milk and 1 bay leaf in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, 5-10 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup chicken stock and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup minced fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper. — makes about 2 cups

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Week 17: September 23

Well folks we have some b-e-a-utiful fall food on our hands this week! Making their first appearance in your box are Napa cabbage, collard greens, and winter squash! We suggest making kimchi that uses the cabbage, scallions, and radishes, but Katie also insists that you take the cabbage in the baja fish taco direction to take advantage of striped bass season ( you can also make use of the tomatillos and peppers in fish tacos too!) Recipes for both are listed below.

We should take our own advice and have fish tacos for lunch this week, but in the meantime we’re headed back out to the fields  – it’s all hands on deck to put the farm to bed for the season. That means tilling under old summer crops, planting winter cover crops to enrich the soil, taking down the tomato stakes, and generally putting everything away for the season. We’ll also be planting next year’s wheat and garlic in the coming weeks – we have plenty to do!

*There are still beautiful flowers in the fields for cutting as well as the last of the tomatoes, please take advantage of them while they last!*

This week’s box:

  • Italian kale
  • Bok choy
  • Collard greens
  • Napa cabbage
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Delicata squash
  • Scallions
  • Parsley
  • Icicle radishes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatillos

 

Recipes:

Baja Fish Tacos

Kimchi!

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Week 16: September 17

This week’s box includes potatoes from Balsam Farms. Potatoes may seem like a run of the mill food to most people, but to us, potatoes are a delicacy! We hardly eat any produce we don’t grow ourselves, and since we don’t grow potatoes, well, they seem special! Although Long Island is known of its potatoes they are somewhat challenging to grow organically, largely because of the Colorado Potato Beetle that eats the leaves of the plant. After centuries of potato growing on Long Island the beetle population has a stronghold here. They are resistant to most organic pesticides and if left unchecked, the beetles can easily take out an entire potato crop. This is one of the reasons we have opted out of potatoes at Amber Waves – with neighbors like Balsam and Quail Hill that do such a good job, it’s easy to outsource this crop. Organic farmers outfox the beetles through field rotation – moving a potato crop far away from last year’s planting hoping that the beetles are slow to find the new crop (they thankfully can’t fly so are forced to walk to their food source), spraying organic pesticides when the beetles are young and more susceptible to the spray – or, my personal favorite – vacuuming up the beetles. Balsam Farms has a beetle vacuum that sucks up and then chops up the insects as they are devouring a crop – it’s an ingenious implement. At Amber Waves we are slightly lower-tech, and every year when the beetles go after the eggplant (same plant family as the potatoes and the beetles’ second favorite food source) we head out to the field and collect the beetles by hand three times each week – it’s no one’s favorite job but has been effective the last several season’s in helping us achieve a bumper eggplant crop!

 

So – enjoy those potatoes!

This week’s box:

  • Rainbow Italian kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Japanese eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mixed sweet peppers
  • Tomatoes (but probably the last of them)
  • Scallions
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Baby red onions
  • Potatoes! (Guest appearance from Balsam Farms)

Recipe:

Mashed Potatoes and Kale

-or-

Simply cube up the potatoes, and toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary from the herb garden, and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. You can finish them on broil for 1-2 minutes for crispier skin

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Week 15: September 10

This week’s box is a collision of summer and fall – sweet peppers and tomatoes are still going strong while the first sweet potatoes and tat soi (one of our our favorite fall greens) are making their first appearance. This week at the farm we are embracing the fall by direct seeding kale and other cold hardy greens into the soil in the greenhouses. The climate on the east end is mild enough so that we’re able to grow leafy greens all winter long without any supplemental heat in the hoop houses – it is a great way to use the very simple infrastructure that enables us to start early spring seedlings all year long! When you visit the farm in the coming weeks take a peek into the greenhouse to see the new life emerging from the soil!

As excited as we are about fall food and winter greens – the highlight of our week is Amber Waves Farm’s appearance on the season 3 premier of ABC’s The Chew! The episode aired on Monday, if you didn’t catch it you can now watch it online (the recipe used on the show is included below)!

Enjoy your box and have a great week!

This week’s box:

  • Lacinato kale (we’re so glad to have kale back after a two week break! You all know by now that kale is our favorite…try the Ribollita recipe below for something new! )
  • Bok choy
  • Tat soi (Asian spinach – use raw in salads or steam very briefly)
  • Baby beet greens
  • Parsley
  • Shishito peppers (see last week’s newsletter and recipes for the cooking instructions)
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Garlic
  • Baby sweet potatoes (we love these cubed up and roasted with salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes)

Recipes:

“Ribollita is a wonderful bread and vegetable soup proudly served by almost every cook in Tuscany. Italian for ‘reboiled’, ribollita will  change dramatically when you reheat it the next day – and that’s exactly how the Tuscans love it. The first day’s helping will be chunky and soupy, and the next day’s reboiled serving should be thick and puddinglike, as the bread absorbs the broth. No matter which way you prefer your ribollita – soupy or thick – finish it with a drizzle of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano.”

1 cup dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced zucchini (1 medium)
1 1/2 cups diced onions
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup scrubbed and diced carrots
1/4 pound pancetta, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 head savoy cabbage, washed and
cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped basil
2 cups cleaned spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cubed day-old sourdough bread
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Rinse and cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight.
2. Drain the beans and place them in a saucepan with 8 cups cold water. Cook, covered, for 1 hour. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Set the beans aside with their liquid.
3. Over a medium flame, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Over medium heat, sauté the zucchini, onions, celery, carrots, pan- cetta, and garlic until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, basil and spinach. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
4. Strain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. Purée half the beans in a food processor. Add the puréed beans, the whole beans, and their cooking liquid (8 cups) to the soup pot and simmer over low
heat for 20 minutes. If you don’t have enough cooking liquid, add water to make up the difference.
5. Add the diced sourdough bread to the soup and cook for 10 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Serve with the Pecorino Romano and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serves 6 to 8

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Week 14: September 3

 

Phew! It feels good to be on the far side of Labor Day weekend. Now that the rush of summer is over we all have a chance to enjoy beautiful fall weather, continuing bounty from the fields, and the ability to make a left hand turn on 27 again! We’re looking forward to a transition into fall food over the next six weeks of boxes, which will culminate with our fourth annual Oktoberfeast party that celebrates farmers and CSA members on the day of the last pick up of the season. More Oktoberfeast details will follow soon!

While many items in the box make an appearance week after week, we try to introduce at least one new thing each week. Last week it was okra, and this week’s new arrival are shishito peppers. While technically a hot pepper, their spice is very mild – it’s rumored that one in 10 has some heat, although in my experience it’s closer to one in 100. These fun little peppers started showing up on restaurant menus throughout the last few years, so this season we decided to grow some of our own. Sometimes it can be hard to recreate a dish you’ve had in a restaurant – not so with these little guys – it couldn’t be easier to enjoy them at home. They are excellent simply sauteed whole on the stove-top on medium heat for 5-10 minutes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, or oven roasted.  We hope you enjoy them – they are a delicious and beautiful bite-sized treat, complete with a little handle in the form of their dainty stem. Here’s a link to roasting instructions as well as suggestions for great side sauces for dipping. What will be new and exciting in the box next week? Wait and see!

 

This week’s box:

  • Baby greens salad mix
  • Bok Choy
  • Parsley
  • Tomatillos
  • Mixed Colored Sweet Peppers
  • Shishito Peppers (recipe below)
  • Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Eggplant (see recipe for ratatouille below)
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers

 

Recipe:

Ratatouille

If you haven’t made it already this summer, it’s time for ratatouille. With nearly all the components of this hearty dish in your box, it’s a good way to use up a lot of your share (especially all that eggplant…). Here are two different approaches to this well loved dish:

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Week 13: August 27

 

New addition to the box today – OKRA! Not only is it the first time this semi-exotic vegetable has made it into the box this season, it’s the first time we’ve ever grown it. Our crew leader Emma made a passionate appeal that we grow okra this year during an early season planning meeting and we jumped on board. What we’ve learned so far: the plants are so intriguing, the fruit forms by seemingly engulfing the flower rather than growing out of the flower like most fruits with which we’re familiar. We recommend you check it out yourself – the plants are located on the near side of the u-pick husk cherries and tomatillos in the back left section of the field. Something else we’ve discovered about okra is that it seems to be the most polarizing vegetable we’ve ever grown – people either LOVE it or HATE it. The haters find the texture to be slimy, and the lovers, well, they seem to love it unconditionally – deep fried, steamed, pickled, roasted and slow cooked in gumbo. We started you out this week with just a “teaser” amount to play around with – we look forward to including more okra in the box in the coming weeks. Check out this list of okra recipes and suggestions and get excited for more to come! Thank you to Emma for bringing this fun new delicious experiment to the farm!

 

This week’s box:

  • Pea Shoots
  • Bok Choy
  • Parsley
  • Amethyst Basil
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Fairytale Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Roma tomatoes (see recipe below)
  • Mixed Colored Sweet Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Okra

 

Recipe: Oven Roasted Tomatoes

 

This is one of our favorite summertime recipes, given to us by our friend Eileen.

 

Ingredients:

  • Cooking/Roma Tomatoes
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly black pepper
  • Thyme
  • 1 head of garlic, roughly chopped
  • High quality EV olive oil

 

Preparation

  • Slice the roma tomatoes (and beautiful striped caverns) in half, scooping out the seeds
  • Arrange them sliced side up on a cookie sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, and thyme (from the herb garden)
  • Place the cookie sheet in the oven at 250 for 4 hours (you can shorten the time if you’re impatient, but the magic really happens a couple hours in)
  • Serve roasted tomatoes on freshly toasted bread with pesto, as a side dish at dinner, or freeze them and surprise yourself midwinter with a succulent summery treat!

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Week 12: August 20

 

Where is the summer going? Yikes! Not to worry – there are still many weeks of boxes for you before the end of the season on Columbus Day Weekend. But still, it’s hard to believe it is late August already. At the farm we’re already thinking about when the fall crops will start coming in, and sowing winter cover crops along with the annual wheat and garlic planting in October. But enough about nearing the end of the summer- the height of the summer food is here in force! I’ve used my allotted writing time this morning to gather lots of great recipes for nearly everything in your box this week, all listed below. Enjoy!

 

This week’s box:

  • Rainbow Italian Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Tomatillos (see salsa verde recipes from Week 9 below)
  • Eggplant (we know – so much eggplant! try caponata, baba ghanoush, or eggplant parm - this is a recipe for “mini” eggplant parmesan courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)
  • Baby Red Onions
  • Tomatoes (oh so many tomatoes!)
  • Mixed Colored Bell Peppers (recipes below)
  • Basil
  • Parsley (if you’re not making chimichurri yet…please give it a go! Recipe is below in Week 3)

 

Recipes (both from the SmittenKitchen this week! also check out her recipe right on the home page for rice stuffed tomatoes…whoa)

Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers (a great way to use up the eggplant and zucchini from your box!)

Mediterranean Pepper Salad

 

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Week 11: August 13

 

It’s always easier to write the newsletter when there is less going on at the farm. Then I can observe, reflect, and share. But now, there’s almost too much going on to know where to start. For farmers, August brings a flurry of new activity – something that would seem nearly impossible after the chaos of July, but every season August rolls in like a freight train, bringing with it new tasks along with those that have been simmering ignored on the back burner for weeks. Should we talk about the work associated with producing the tomatoes that are the rock star in the box? The organic farming conference that our apprentices just attended in Amherst? The accomplishment of getting the fall crops seeded and transplanted? How well-timed this last rain was – and that we haven’t had to use irrigation yet this season? That we have two new kittens at the farm?? The possibilities are almost endless, but the truth is this: the tomatoes are here, the farmers are exhausted but contented, and we hope you are too! Please enjoy all the fields have to offer!

 

This week’s box:

 

  • Curly kale (Chef Alex at South Edison in Montauk deep fries the curly kale to make kale chips while across the street Chef Andrea at Naturally Good juices it and makes smoothies…try either of these methods and if you’re in Montauk, stop by both of these great places and try for yourself!)
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips (just SO good sliced and eaten raw, salted, dipped in pesto, or plain, we can’t complain. If you must cook them please sautee them in butter!)
  • Fairytale Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Scallions
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Parsley

 

Recipes:

 

 

It is so simple and delicious, I make it a couple times each week

 

  • Cube Carissa’s bread and toast it on the stove top for about five minutes (I like to toss it in Arlotta’s hot pepper olive oil, available at all east end farmers markets)
  • Cut about a quart of cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the toasted bread cubes
  • Add roughly chopped basil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste
  • Drizzle with a high-quality balsamic vinegar (I also like to use Arlotta’s aged balsamic)
  • Toss again and serve right away. I sometimes also add sauteed kale to this dish or top it with a poached egg. Enjoy!

 

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Week 10: August 6

 

This week we’re celebrating the skewer. It’s a perfect way to combine all of the colors and flavors of your box into one linear snack. Last weekend Amber Waves put together several hundred kebobs for a worthy cause – one centered around food and beer, but also love and gratitude for life. Our friend Anthony and his fishing partner John recently made national headlines after John fell overboard before dawn one morning on an overnight trip nearly 50 miles offshore. After 12 hours in the water – during which John used his rubber boots that went overboard with him as a flotation device – the coast guard located and rescued John and Montauk breathed a sigh of relief. To celebrate John’s life Anthony assembled a feast for fishermen, farmers, and friends to enjoy last weekend. Amber Waves was honored to participate by toting several hundred veggie skewers to Montauk where a grill was waiting – there’s no better way for a farmer to show love to a fisherman than by pairing what both work so hard for – the beautiful bounty of sea and soil.

 

This week’s box:

 

  • Rainbow Italian Kale
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatillos
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Slicing Tomatoes (the first of many!)
  • Parsley
  • Basil

 

To make our favorite skewers:

 

  • Cube up a vegetable medley into bite-sized pieces (we like the combination of eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatillos)
  • Toss the vegetable pieces in olive oil, salt, and pepper (and garlic if you like)
  • Assemble your preferred veggie mix on the skewer, leaving enough space on each end of the skewer so that it can be picked up with two hands when it’s eaten later (if you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for about 15 minutes before loading them up so they don’t catch fire on the grill)
  • Grill on medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning a couple times

 

Other farmer grilling tips:

 

When we have the grill going we like to take advantage by putting as many different things on their as possible. We love to toss the kale in olive oil and grill it until it’s crispy – we do the same with scallions. We also like to slice Carissa’s bread, toast it on the grill for a couple minutes, then scrape a peeled garlic clove back and forth over the surface of the bread for a speedy garlic bread.

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Week 9: July 30

 

So as all of you probably already know, August is national sandwich month (just kidding – yes it is sandwich month, but no, we don’t really expect anyone to know that). To celebrate both the kick-off of sandwich month and the incredible bounty of eggplant we have on our hands this season, we are sharing with you this recipe from Emma’s Aunt Linda, enjoy!

 

This week’s box:

 

  • Rainbow Italian Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Jalepeno Peppers
  • Baby Onions
  • Basil (if you haven’t tried making pesto deviled eggs yet, go for it this week!)
  • Parsley (we’re hoping you’ll make chimichurri every week if you haven’t already – it’s great as a side for meat, fish, and other veggies!)
  • Tomatillos (the base ingredient for salsa verde in Mexican cooking, recipe is below)
  • Garlic

 

Recipes:
Eggplant Sandwiches:
  • Slice the eggplant thick 1/4 inch (2 slices per sandwich – use the wide, black Italian eggplant in your box)
  • Let the eggplant slices sit in salted water for 20 minutes
  • Remove from water and pat dry
  • Dip in a beaten egg to coat the entire slice
  • Coat one side of each of the slices with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese
  • Put whatever your delight may be between the slices, breaded sides out (inside try mozzarella and marinara to take it in the Italian direction, or other sliced vegetables and cheese…)
  • Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, flipping once during baking
  • Slice it and eat it like a sandwich

 

Tomatillo Salsa:

 

Use the tomatillos in a fresh salsa – just chopped along with freshly chopped onions, parsley, and a few squeezes of lemon

 

OR

 

Try a cooked version here at thekitchn!

 

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Week 8: July 23

 

Hello from the farm – (recipe for Thai curry below)

 

This week at Amber Waves we are finishing up the wheat harvest. You’ll notice when you visit the farm that the golden wheat field that has been billowing gracefully over the last couple of weeks has been harvested – all of its grain is currently being stored in the barn. That small wheat field that welcomed all who entered our gates for almost a year is a soft white wheat variety, typically used for pastry flour. We’re also growing two other varieties on additional fields we lease – a soft red wheat also for pastry flour and a hard red wheat for bread flour that is also used as a whole grain in cooking (sold as wheat berries – which, to our surprise, are much more popular than whole wheat flour to restaurants and at farmers markets).

 

It’s always a relief to get the wheat harvested and safely in the barn (although the challenges don’t stop there – we then have to keep the wheat dry in our humid climate and also safe from mice, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, and anyone else who might like to share it with us). Compared to growing vegetables, wheat is incredibly hands off. We sow it in mid-October, fertilize in the spring, harvest in mid-July, and then begin preparing other fields for planting the next year’s crop. Because the majority of the country’s wheat production has moved west, there isn’t a tremendous amount of equipment for sale for growing wheat and other small grains on the east coast, and especially this far out on Long Island. It has taken us several seasons to cobble together the equipment we now own – a 1956 Allis Chalmers All-Crop Harvester (which we bought from the Ludlows in Bridgehampton), a large grain cleaner we bought from a dealership in Pennsylvania, a much smaller 100-year-old grain cleaner we picked up this spring at an auction in Calverton, and a small, table-top electric stone mill to grind whole grains into whole wheat flour. Balsam Farms and Quail Hill Farm have been generous enough to lend us their grain drills each fall for planting wheat, and that about rounds out our equipment!

 

This year’s wheat harvest is especially meaningful because it follows an important milestone in the 2013 season – using our own whole wheat flour for CSA bread. Our baker Carissa Waechter has done an incredible with the bread this season, and she needs more flour! As soon as this rain clears we’ll get back to work getting the rest of the wheat out of the field!

 

This week’s box:

 

  • Russian Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Thai Basil (used in Thai curry – recipe below)
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant (yayy!)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Garlic

 

Recipe: Thai Curry, from Chef Jeff Schwarz

 

Our good friend Jeff Schwartz, formerly the executive chef at the Crow’s Nest, puts together an amazing Thai curry using nearly all of the vegetables in your box. He explains it here:

 

Ingredients:

  • RED curry: the fresh in the refrigerator is better but the one in the plastic packaging on the shelf is good as well.
  • palm sugar is best but regular sugar works
  • fish sauce….if vegan skip on it
  • 3-4 cans coconut milk
  • kaffir lime leaf is good but not a must
  • 1 bags of thai basil
  • bunch of cilantro
  • red peppers, carrots, shallots
  • 3 limes
  • jasmine rice
Preparation:

  • chop up 1 red pepper, 3-4 shallots, 2-3 carrots….should be equal parts of each (use zucchini, squash, eggplant, peppers, and kale…and any other farm veggies you may have in your fridge from weeks past…)
  • place a healthy amount of peanut or canola oil in a good sized pot.
  • add the peppers, carrots, shallots, or other vegetables and saute for a few minutes over
  • medium heat until sweated….add 3 tbsp of the red curry paste. stir. push it around. break itup. cook for two mins or so. add the kaffir lime leaf. maybe two leaves.
  • add 1 tbsp of palm sugar, 2 tbsp of fish sauce, 30 seconds later add 3 cans of coconutmilk. bring to a simmer. taste. if too spicy. add more coconut milk, if not spicy enough. add more curry paste. add salt and more sugar as desired.
  • add whatever pre cooked vegetables at this point.
  • add a lot of thai basilleaves. no stems. at least 10. add a nice amount of cilantro leaves as well.

taste. squeeze some lime juice in at the end.

Serve with jasmice rice.

and away we go.

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Week 7: July 16

 

Well folks, there’s no denying it – it’s hot out there – finally! The plants are growing like crazy and the weeds are growing even faster. This week we will spend our time hoeing and hand weeding, harvesting for the CSA and farmers markets, and transplanting late rounds of zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We are also working to trellis up our first round of tomatoes, which are looking great and should be ready soon! And, later in the week, we are anxiously awaiting the wheat harvest.

 

We hope you have been enjoying your boxes so far. In the coming weeks we are looking forward to tomatoes, eggplant, many more peppers, tomatillos, husk cherries, and okra. In the mean time, please take advantage of u-pick flowers and raspberries in the the field. The raspberries will bloom for a short while longer and will then fruit again in the fall – enjoy them while they’re here!

 

This week’s box:

  • Curly Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Squash & Zucchini (recipe below)
  • Cucumbers
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Parsley (is so good for you – we use it chopped as a topping on almost everything – a Thai salad recipe featuring the parsley is below)
  • Basil (a LOT of basil! Make pesto this week!)

 

Recipe: Zucchini “Carpaccio” with Parsley and Parmesan from Jack Bishop’s Vegetables Every Day

Ingredients:

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small hunk Parmesan cheese

 

Preparation

 

Trim the end of the zucchini. Using the slicing disk of a food processor (or try a vegetable peeler), slice the zucchini into very thin rounds, an 1/8 inch thick or preferably much thinner. Arrange the zucchini rounds on a platter. Sprinkle with the parsley, then the oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Next, using a vegetable peeler, shower several dozen cheese curls over the zucchini. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Recipe: Summer Thai Salad (adapted from fruitguys.com)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups sliced cucumber
1–2 cups bell/ other sweet pepper strips
3/4 cup carrot, julienned or grated
1/4 cup onion, very thinly sliced (or use scallions)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons peanuts or cashews, finely chopped

 

Dressing:
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 

PREPARATION

  • Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk well.
  • Combine cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, onion, and half the fresh parsley.
  • Drizzle with enough dressing to lightly coat, tossing gently, and sprinkle with nuts and remaining herbs.
  • ***add your mung bean srpouts from this week’s box to top of this recipe!***

 

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Week 6: July 9

 

Hello from the farm -

This week marked the garlic harvest at Amber Waves – usually one of our favorite (yet most daunting) events of the season. It is typically an epic undertaking in the inescapable July heat – days of pulling by hand thousands of heads of beautiful, pungent smelling garlic whose stubbornness to leave the ground after nine months brings new blisters to even the callused hands of a mid-season farmer.  This year, however, we finished the harvest in just a couple short hours, as there wasn’t much of a harvest at all. We noticed early spring that many of the cloves we planted in October simply didn’t germinate, and that many others looked sickly. After attending the annual Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) conference this winter – we determined that there was likely a fungus called Fusarium affecting the crop. Once we realized that many of the heads didn’t look quite right we because harvesting early much of what looked less likely to produce a head under ground as spring or green garlic (which was enjoyed in the early CSA boxes of the season). The Fusarium likely came in with the garlic seed we purchased or was perhaps even present in our own saved seed, we will send it to a lab for testing to be sure, and this season will start with an entirely new seed stock to avoid the problem next season.

 

While this garlic loss is disappointing, we are grateful that we did salvage some, and that what we harvested is beautiful and delicious. In times of crop failure we are also especially appreciative of the variety of crops we grow on the farm (over 250 varieties of heirloom and modern varieties of fruits and vegetables) as well as the participation of our CSA members. The distribution of risk among our nearly 100 members functions as our version of a safety net or crop insurance. Our 100 members can help us more easily shoulder the burden of a marginal harvest of any kind, knowing that there will be many other foods to enjoy from our varied crop list as the season marches on.

 

Besides the garlic, we think things on the farm look great! The wheat is about a week away from harvest, there are many green tomatoes just waiting to turn color, and the flowers in the field are attracting bees and pollinators of all kinds. Please take a moment to explore the field on your next visit!

 

This week’s box:

  • Red Russian Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Purple Scallions
  • Amethyst Basil
  • Parsley
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Cucumbers!
  • Garlic

 

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Week 5: July 2

 

This week’s box:

  • Lacinato/Italian Kale (also known as kale chip kale!)
  • Curly Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Squash & Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips (preparation suggestion below)
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Scallions

Recipe:

One of the most special delicacies in your box this week  is the Hakurei Turnip. This Japanese variety – the only turnip we even bother to grow – is delicately flavored and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. We love it sliced raw on salads or cut lengthwise (leaving a little bit of the edible greens) and lightly salted.

To cook the turnips, slice them into rounds and suatee them in butter for 2-3 minutes, or cut them lengthwise, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until they have browned a bit.

 

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Week 4: June 25th

 

Welcome to summer!

 

After one of the coldest springs we can remember on the east end, summer is here! June has been a glorious month of mouth-watering greens that have been great for salads, sautees, and juicing. This week’s share includes another mountain of green goodness, so we’ve included a recipe for swiss chard gratin below (we suggest adding in kale and vivid choy to round out the recipe).

 

As the summer sun arrives we can see the heat-loving plants in the field (tomatoes and peppers in particular) basking in the glory of long, hot, sunny days and getting ready to produce beautiful fruits in every color in July and August. Crops we planted last fall – the garlic and the wheat – are nearing the end of their respective life cycles and are almost ready for harvest. To celebrate the coming wheat harvest in mid-July we have included whole wheat flour in the share this week. We hope you’ll use it in pancakes, zucchini bread, cookies, muffins, and any other goodies you may be baking in your kitchen. When you visit the farm, take a moment to appreciate the wheat just inside the front gate – each week it deepens shades closer to our farm’s golden namesake and the waves of wind that pass through it induce a crackling that reminds us of the coming harvest each time we pass by.

 

This week’s box:

  • Rainbow Italian Kale
  • Vivid Choy
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Pea Shoots
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Radishes
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Whole Wheat Flour

 

Recipe: Swiss Chard Gratin from Epicurious.com

(use all your greens together if you like and substitute garlic scapes for garlic cloves)

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Week 3: June 18th

Hello from the fields -

 

Now that things are finally drying out we’re back to work in the fields! The intense rain we experienced over the last couple weeks has made it impossible for us to work in the fields with tractors, otherwise we risk compacting the soil. This was particularly disappointing this week, since we are celebrating the purchase of another tractor! We bought this beauty – a 1977 Allis Chalmers 175 – a couple weeks ago at an equipment auction in Riverhead where 90 other tractors were also sold. Our friends and fellow farmers Alex and Ian of Balsam Farms joined us at the auction, which was entirely made up of the estate of a single farmer and tractor-collector in Calverton. Alex would never miss the rare opportunity of a farm equipment auction this close to the east end – he is somewhat of tractor geek, and weeks before the auction he had us convinced that this tractor needed to come home with us. After hours of standing in a crowd of several hundred, all facing the quintessential fast-mouthed auctioneer one might imagine, we placed the winning bid on our new tractor! Currently, it sits in our mechanic’s shop in Bridgehampton, getting a final tuneup before joining the Amber Waves tractor team in Amagansett.

 

In all this rain and auction excitement we also made some time to harvest food! (We often joke that dealing with food is really only about 40% of farming). As we’ve mentioned, the cool spring has really slowed things down in the field, so it has been a greens-heavy couple weeks. We are hoping for squash (finally) starting next week, followed by swiss chard, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers as the summer goes on!

 

This week’s box (and suggestions for some of our favorite ways to prepare them):

Russian Kale

  • sliced thinly (chiffonade style) and eaten raw – tossed with either homemade or your favorite ceasar dressing

Curly Kale

  • chopped and sauteed in garlic and olive oil – it never gets old for us!

Lettuce

  • wash and chop the lettuce as soon as you get it home, store in a plastic bag in the fridge and you’ll be ready to have a quick salad any time throughout the week.

Parsley

  • chopped and used one eggs, salads, meat and fish…and in chimichurri! Here’s a link to some great chimichurri suggestions.

Amethyst Basil

  • make a purple pesto! Or, try making pesto deviled eggs, the suggestion of one of our members a few seasons ago. You won’t believe how good they are.

Radishes

  • enjoy them like the French do: halved or quartered, served with firm butter and coarse salt for dipping

Bok Choy (the last of it, for now!)

  • cut the stems from the leaves and use the stems as you would celery – great for dipping! Chop the leaves finely and sautee with garlic scapes and olive oil.

Pea Shoots

  • the purple flowers are beautiful atop a salad, and the shoots themselves can be eaten raw in salads as well

Scallions

  • scallion pancakes served with an Asian fusion sauce for dipping (mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to taste, add freshly grated ginger) is one of our favorite spring treats when we have time to make them! They take a bit of time to prepare, but it’s worth it!

Garlic Scapes

  • garlic scape pesto took the nation by storm a couple years ago! If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s a simple recipe. You can make several batches at a time, they freeze well and are a great summery-tasting treat in mid-winter.

 

Out in the field for you to pick: SUGAR SNAP PEAS! And suggestions from our favorite food blog, The Kitchn, on five great ways to enjoy them (if you manage to get them home without eating them all on the way!)

 

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Week 2: June 11th
Hi from the farm -

 

As of last week, our 2013 crew is complete! Veronica, Nick, and Abby are doing an incredible job as our apprentices this season. Thanks to their many hands and bright minds, our fields are full of more produce and laughter than ever. Together we have finished the daunting spring task of first starting tens of thousands of seedlings one seed at a time in the greenhouse, and later planting each of those seedlings by hand out in the field. The 15,000 kales, 3,500 tomatoes, 2,000 cucumbers, and thousands of other seedlings add up to many linear miles of plants – all of which are anxiously awaiting their next peek at the sun after a very wet couple of weeks. We are so grateful for our allstar team of apprentices and to our crew leader Emma, who is with us for a second season. We hope you all get a chance to meet each of our crew members in the coming weeks. In the meantime, feel free to read up on them on our Meet the Farmers page and please check out Emma’s article in the latest edition of Edible East End!
Your box this week includes the following:
  • Bok Choy (see recipe below)
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Radishes
  • Vivid Choi
  • Lettuce
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Rainbow Italian Kale
Recipe: Bok Choy with a Touch of Class
Our recipe this week is for bok choy, an all too often under appreciated delight. As much as we love to get our hands into long, involved recipes, we also understand that sometimes our food is at its best just the way it grew. In honor of that, this week’s recipe adds a little something special while allowing our bok choy to shine in its simplicity.
2 Bok Choy, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic scapes
8 Teaspoons soy sauce
4 Teaspoons lime zest
1 Teaspoon honey
2 Teaspoons spicy sesame oil
Grill or steam the halved bok choys; about 15 minutes on the grill or 10 steamed. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients. When the bok choy is cooked to tenderness, remove from heat and drizzle the sauce over the top and serve! Simple and delicious! (Try this recipe served over Amber Waves wheat berries)
Enjoy!
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Week 1: June 4th
To our members -
Welcome to the fifth season of the Amber Waves Farm CSA! Our Community Supported Agriculture program is a progressive way for the farm and the community to share the risks and rewards of the growing season – and we’re thrilled to have you as our partner. Thank you for joining us this season as we look forward to a beautiful and bountiful summer. Don’t forget – when you come to the farm to pick up your box please take advantage of the field by harvesting herbs from the herb garden and (soon) u-pick flowers, peas, and some other treats we’ll point out to you.
Each of our seasons farming on the east end has been different – and this year has so far been one of the coldest. The cool spring has made for a slow start to the season, but the plants in the field have a way of catching up by the time summer hits. Although the heat-loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are shy about growing in the cold, the mild temperatures are perfect for early season greens like kale, arugula, and lettuce. This week we’re happy to kick off the season with piles of beautiful spring greens perfect for salads or a quick sautee. The box this week includes:
  • Pea shoots (see recipe below)
  • Arugula & mizuna salad mix
  • Bok choi
  • Vivid choi (great raw in a salad or cooked – one of our favorite new discoveries this season)
  • Lettuce
  • Russian kale
  • Green garlic
  • Radishes
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Potted herbs – basil & parsley
Pea Shoot Pesto Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (nuts are optional, you could also use pine nuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)
  • 1-2 stalks green garlic (white part and about an inch of green stem)
  • 1/4 pound of fresh pea shoots (1/2 of the bag in your box)
  • about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Put all ingredients except salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and mix well. Add salt and pepper after blending to taste. Enjoy on pasta, toast, salads, or as a dip for your radishes!

Enjoy and we’ll see you soon!
Your Farmers,
Amanda & Katie

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