Cold Weather Veggies

Winter at Moraine Farm

Winter at Moraine Farm

Don’t let winter catch you by surprise and leave you hungry! Our Fall Farm Share consists of four, every-other-week distributions of cool-season vegetables. The cost is $250 and distributions are on Saturdays, noon to 3:00 on Nov 8 & 22, Dec 6 & 20. Friday afternoon pick ups are also available. More information and sign up form: Moraine Farm Fall Share.

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Thank you for a great Summer Season!

This is the last week of the Moraine Farm CSA’s summer farm share. It’s been an interesting growing season. The weather – a chilly spring, followed by a cool summer and ending with a warm fall – kept us on our toes and challenged us.

  • Danger of late blight had us (Liz mostly) wearing a 50 lb back pack sprayer to apply organic copper on our tomatoes. It was difficult, heavy work that saved our tomato crop.
  • The need to warm up our crops in the cold spring found us covering our chard and beets with row cover later than usual with the unintended consequence of speeding the growth of grassy weeds. We lost two plantings of beets and one of chard to weeds this season. These were particularly hard loss for us – we love beets and chard is my favorite veggie. These losses were particularly hard to stomach because we pride ourselves on having excellent weed management practices at Moraine. (I hear my mother’s voice saying, “pride goes before a fall”).

On the bright side:

  • We had our best tasting and most bountiful strawberry crop ever! The beans, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers weren’t bad either!
  • We grew bumper crops of sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash and carrots.
  • We discovered a new lettuce mix (called Salanova from Johnny’s) that grows well in our sandy soils and tastes and looks fantastic.
  • We offered a new 25-week CSA share (almost 6 months of veggies!!!) and a new ½ share – both were well-received.
  • We  worked with a really fantastic crew of young farmers – Tim Hines, Hadley Piper, and Henry Mauck, and interns Sarah Visnick and Eli Ross. We all learned a lot, laughed more and grew a lot of really super food.
  • Our shopkeepers, harvest worksharers and volunteers have been awesome this season.
  • Our shareholders, partners in this farming endeavor, have been terrific! Words of support and appreciation, and love of Moraine veggies and this beautiful landscape beautiful  mean so much to us. Thank you!

What’s next? We’ve not yet made plans for 2015, but I will be in touch once we have. As always, current year shareholders will have first dibs on next year’s shares.

We still have Fall Shares available, all four pick ups or fewer, whatever works for you. Information about the Fall share is on the farm blog. You can sign up here.

Our Food Access fundraising is going well, and later this week we will draw names to see which donors win prizes – TTOR swag including totes, umbrellas, lunch boxes. It’s not too late to donate to our work. This year we will grow, harvest and donate over $12,000 of organically-grown vegetables for Beverly Bootstraps and Cape Ann Food Pantry. Your donations help us pay for the seeds, supplies and labor needed to make these donations.

Thanks again for an excellent season!


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What’s In The Share?

I just posted the share over on the What’s in the Share blog page. This week we will be distributing sweet potatoes! They are not quite ready to eat yet as they need a bit more heat to sweeten up. It’s been too cloudy for our greenhouse to get warm enough for them, so we are sending them home with you. Place your sweet potatoes in a pantry, a cupboard or on your kitchen counter for a couple of weeks. They’ll be ready to eat in a couple of weeks.

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More Fall Festival Photos

Nice festival pictures  in the Beverly Citizen.

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2014 Moraine Farm Festival

Saturday was a great Fall Festival day: 80 degree weather, blue sky and lots of fun things happening at the farm. Here are pictures of Moraine Farm’s 4th Annual Fall Festival. Enjoy!

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Red Tail

This juvenile red tail hawk has been hanging around the farm, perching on the cedar posts that are part of our deer fencing. A very patient Paula V. got these great pics.Moraine hawk 1915sq_Moraine hawk 2

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Fall Harvests – all hands on deck!

Looks like we got a touch of frost at the farm last night. The evidence is dead sweet potatoes leaves – they really don’t like cold! We need to get our sweeties out of the ground this coming week! If you’d like to help us with the sweet potato harvest, come by the farm this Tuesday or Wednesday at 10:00. Not much heavy lifting involved in this harvest, just a lot of digging.

We finished the winter squash harvest last week and tucked all the squash into the greenhouse to cure and sweeten up. We hope to start distributing butternut squash in October.


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Farm Happenings @ Moraine Farm

Family Astronomy Night at Moraine Farm, Saturday, September 20.
*Registration for this event is full, but you can get on the waiting list!

Moraine Farm 4th Annual Fall Festival, Saturday, September 27, 10:00-3:00
*register now for Project Adventure’s Static Course
*check out the schedule of events

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Moraine Farm Fall Festival Saturday the 27th!

Moraine Farm welcomes the public to its 4th Annual and much expanded Fall Festival at 719 Cabot Street, Beverly, on Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The family-friendly festival has grown this year offering horse-drawn hayrides through the historic property, puppet shows, cooperative games and crafts, backyard chickens, miniature horses and dwarf Nigerian goats, walking tours, a farmstand and bake sale, touch-the-tractors area and much more sponsored by the six non-profit organizations that own and manage the 170-acre farm. Listen to the bluegrass music of EC & the Moonshiners while strolling the Meadow Marketplace, where specialty food, produce and craft vendors offer their wares, or reserve a spot on Project Adventure’s Static Course tour. The event is also part of the extensive Trails & Sails event line-up, presented by Essex Heritage.

Moraine Farm is permanently protected conservation land along the shores of Wenham Lake that includes meadows, woodlands and formal gardens as well as farmland. Frederick Law Olmsted designed the landscape in the 1880s and its woodlands are studded with mature rhododendron stands and azaleas.

Moraine Farm is home to Project Adventure, the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, and The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR). Essex County Greenbelt, the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape and the Batchelder Trust. These organizations act in partnership as stewards of the protected land. Each partner is offering free activities for the whole family.

Schedule of Events

Red Barn continuous slide shows
The Trustee’s Community Farm, 2011-2014
Historic Moraine Farm

Meadow Marketplace Opens – all day
Moraine CSA Farmstand and Bake Sale, Touch-the-Tractors (farm equipment display), Mr. Piper’s Face Painting, Tomten Beesworks, Moon’s River Farm local organic garlic and pottery, Agway, Ashley’s Chickens and miniature horses, Matthew’s dwarf Nigerian goats, Clothing by Mr. Nutter, Wallpusher handmade guitars, Valley View Farm.

Cooperative games begin in the Meadow – all day

Static Course Tour – Project Adventure, Advance registration required
Event repeats 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15

Edible Weed Walk in the fields of TTOR’s CSA Farm with Dr. Nicole Andrade

Horse Drawn Hayride with Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust
Event repeats 12:00, 1:00

Nature Walk and Journaling – Waldorf School
Event repeats 1:00

Bluegrass music begins in the Meadow Marketplace
Walking Tour of Moraine Farm with the Friends of the Olmsted Landscape (45 mins)

Lunch for sale at Waldorf School
Purchase farm fresh soup, bread and dessert until 1:30

A Fairy Went a Marketing Puppet Show – Waldorf School
Event repeats 1:45

Corn Husk Doll making with TTOR– until 3:00pm

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Collards are the new Kale

I saw this on a poster in a Whole Foods store last year. “Okay,” I said to myself “collards it is.” We’ve planted a few of these hardy, nutritious greens for the farm share this year. I cooked up a bunch of them for my family this weekend: Tough stems removed, sauteed in bacon fat, a half pound of polish sausage added; they were delicious. Served over brown rice and garnished with a mix of yellow and red tomatoes – this was dinner last night.

You can boil them, as in this recipe: Sauteed Collard Greens.

Sautee them in bacon fat or olive oil: Collard Greens Miniera

Boil them, then bake them: Collard Green Gratin

In my household, collards are indeed the new kale. Give them a try, you might like them! (Our best guess for this week’s farm share is over on What’s in the Share?)

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