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June 13, 2017 - CSA Week 5
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Fresh from the Farm

Read about Week Five Veggie Shares, news on Willowsford chickens and summer camp with the Conservancy.

In Your Share

Your veggies this week. We’re plenty happy to harvest this week, even in the heat. There’s a lot happening in the garden! New to this season: kale, salad mix, scallions, blueberries and cilantro.

Cilantro, a fresh green herb, can be dried but we recommend using it fresh. A little goes a long way, but use the whole thing, stem and leaf. In addition to adding a fresh flavor both as a garnish and a late addition to many dishes, it can be used to make a pesto – try cilantro with garlic, a hard cheese like parmesan, a little cayenne pepper (we have dried peppers at the farm stand), walnuts or pecans, and either white wine vinegar or lemon or lime juice. And of course, salt to taste. Store cilantro in a bag in the crisper. Or, put the cut end in a short glass of water on a shelf in the fridge. It will last many more days than otherwise. This is a great trick with many fresh herbs and bunched leaves.

Salad mix this week combines sweet, buttery lettuces with a variety of other, colorful species: mustards, mizunas, tatsoi, and other Asian greens. If it’s peppery for you, try a salad dressing that includes something sweet (honey, fruit, maple syrup) as well nuts, fruit, goat cheese… It should store well in the crisper. Take a damp piece of paper towel

Read about Week Five Veggie Shares, news on Willowsford chickens and summer camp with the Conservancy.

In Your Share

Your veggies this week. We’re plenty happy to harvest this week, even in the heat. There’s a lot happening in the garden! New to this season: kale, salad mix, scallions, blueberries and cilantro.

Cilantro, a fresh green herb, can be dried but we recommend using it fresh. A little goes a long way, but use the whole thing, stem and leaf. In addition to adding a fresh flavor both as a garnish and a late addition to many dishes, it can be used to make a pesto – try cilantro with garlic, a hard cheese like parmesan, a little cayenne pepper (we have dried peppers at the farm stand), walnuts or pecans, and either white wine vinegar or lemon or lime juice. And of course, salt to taste. Store cilantro in a bag in the crisper. Or, put the cut end in a short glass of water on a shelf in the fridge. It will last many more days than otherwise. This is a great trick with many fresh herbs and bunched leaves.

Salad mix this week combines sweet, buttery lettuces with a variety of other, colorful species: mustards, mizunas, tatsoi, and other Asian greens. If it’s peppery for you, try a salad dressing that includes something sweet (honey, fruit, maple syrup) as well nuts, fruit, goat cheese… It should store well in the crisper. Take a damp piece of paper towel (wet then wring it) and put it at the top of the bag to keep it even longer.

Blueberries come to us from Barbara at the Inn at Creek Crossing Farm. She grows them without any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. And they are good. After our strawberries, fruit that we bring into CSA boxes is a rare treat. Blueberries should be available at the farm stand if not in CSA, until the end of their season.

Cauliflower doesn’t like the heat so much – we grow an older variety with purple tints, and doesn’t hold in a tight “cauliflower” head well when the temperatures rise. We like to say this helps to chop the head into pieces, which is reasonably true, but admittedly spin. It tastes fantastic and when cooked no one will be any wise. It’s garden cauli at its real-est.
Summer squash loves this weather. Here comes summer!

Coming Soon to the Farm Stand: Chicken in Parts

We know a lot of you are vegetarian or vegan, and we want to honor that as well as those of you who choose to eat our animal products. We offer whole chickens, largely because they are the best value for you – your dollar goes much further on a whole chicken than one that is made into its parts. This year we’ve made some of our birds into a more convenient form. We have strong feelings both ways about doing so, and welcome your thoughts. By the end of the week you should see: boneless, skinless breasts; thighs; drumsticks; wings; livers; hearts; necks; and backs (backs in ten pound packages). You will find them in the freezer. You’ll find whole birds there, too. If you would like to purchase or pick up your chicken fresh this coming Sunday or Monday, 2 PM to 7 PM at the barn in The Grange, contact Deb at ddramby@willowsfordfarm.com for details.

If you haven’t yet, try one. Raising poultry outside and on fresh pasture produces a superior bird, and we think you’ll notice a difference.

If you buy one of our birds you’ll see it in a neat, shrink-wrapped bag, no freezer burn; it has good color, which may vary during the season based on what they eat; the breast should be obvious from the back; it will be clean. We are very proud of what we raise and both want to know if one is not up to our standards and that we exceed your expectations. Let us know if you like. And if for any reason you’re not happy with your chicken, let us know that, too.

Thawing. We recommend thawing in a refrigerator, this is the safest way, but you can also thaw submerged in cold water in the sink. A third way of course is to use the microwave – fast, yes, but we find the flavor and juiciness is compromised. We care a lot about our quality and want you to notice the difference!

You may find that our shrink wrap bags don’t leak juices, but it is a good idea to put poultry in a dish or container while it thaws. A rule of thumb is five hours to thaw one pound in the fridge. In the sink, perhaps an hour per pound. Once thawed, keep in the fridge and use within 1-2 days.

Of course, follow safe handling practices around raw meat. Don’t let your kids handle it; wash your hands and any contact surfaces well with warm, soapy water after doing so yourself. I like to use a cutting board dedicated to meat only. The USDA is a good resource for food safety stuff including safe temperatures and the like.

What to do with a whole chicken. Now that it’s unfrozen, what to do with it? Roasting your chicken whole is, of course, easiest. Breaking a chicken down is a good skill to acquire. We can’t stress enough the value of using the frame of the bird and all the parts you might not usually use to make stock. Chicken stock gives you far more value from you bird – and a little bit of it goes a long way. It’s easier than you think and can be a good excuse to binge watch Longmire while you’re keeping near the kitchen.

We used to teach a class called The Whole Chicken where we showed you how to break a whole bird down, a few recipes, and then how to make a tasty and healthy stock with all the leftovers. Let us know if there’s interest and we’ll see about offering it again.

Mike’s easy recipe, adapted from both Alice Waters (The Art of Simple Food) and Donna Quinn (the art of being a good friend): chicken in a dish, oven to 425°F, put some oil on the bird, 20 minutes one side, 20 minutes other side, 20 minutes first side again. You can embellish with rubs, marinating, garlic under the skin, herbs stuffed in the cavity (cook it longer if you add stuffing). Tell us what you like to do with it!

We do mean that – please share what you think, and what you do with your chicken. We’re working on an easy way for all of us to share recipes and cooking hacks and will have details in the coming weeks.

Be great,

Willowsford Farm
Mike, Deb, Al, Anya, Lex, Jen, James, Nate, Bree, Annie, Julia and The Menagerie, starring Roscoe RIP and Popcorn, ready for next year Go Cavs

 
 
Farm Stand Hours
Tues. – Fri.: 2pm – 7pm | Sat.: 9am – 2pm
 
 

In the CSA Bag This Week

LARGE SHARES:
Beets, Blueberries, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Kale, Radish, Salad mix, Scallions and Summer squash

SMALL SHARES:
Blueberries, Kale, Salad mix and Summer squash

Weekly Features

Willowsford Honey
Cauliflower

Featured Items at the Farmstand

Seasonal vegetables and fruit Willowsford Farm and Tuscarora Organic Co-op

Free-range eggs from Willowsford Farm

Milk, butter, yogurt and ice cream from Trickling Springs Creamery and Pequea Valley Farm

Fresh baked breads and sweets from Lyon Bakery

Goat Cheese from Georges Mill

Cows milk cheeses from Mountain View Farm Products

Sauerkrauts, pickles and relish from Sweet Farm

MTO Kombucha

Granolas from Cool Mama

Beef and Pork from Heritage Hollow Farm

Lamb from New Asbury Farm

Willowsford Farm Whole Chicken

Flowers from Greenstone Fields

All Natural Grains from Woodsons Mill

Commonwealth Joe Coffee

Prepared foods from Willowsford Kitchen

Seasonal fruit, ketchup and sauces from Three Springs Fruit Farm

Pure Love Macarons

 
 

All About Chicken

Just like our laying hens, Willowsford birds are pasture-raised without hormones, antibiotics or GMO-feed.

Basic Ingredients
Choose meaty chickens with short, plump legs. The skin, which can range in color from cream to yellow depending on what the bird has been eating, should be smooth. A fresh chicken has no odor. Thaw it in the refrigerator and then keep your chicken in the coldest part of the fridge. Once thawed, it’ll keep for two days uncooked and three days cooked.

Easy Steps
Chicken is so versatile. You can bake, braise, broil, fry, frill, roast or sauté it with terrific results. There are three parts to a chicken: white meat (breasts), dark meat (legs and thighs) and bones. White meat is best for quick cooking methods, like grilling and sautéing. People tend to shy away from darker cuts of chicken, which is a mistake. Legs and thighs marinate beautifully and the meat is extra tasty. And the bones are great for making homemade stock; you can freeze them until you’re ready to use.

Tasty Combinations

  • Chicken, garlic and lemon
  • Chicken, mustard and parsley
  • Chicken, tomatoes and red wine

From the Kitchen

Recipes and tips are created for each week’s harvest by Willowsford’s Culinary Director, Bonnie Moore.

CLICK on the links below for this week’s fresh from the kitchen recipes:

Stock

Chicken or vegetable stock is the most useful of all stocks. Its neutral flavor can be used in red meat, poultry, fish, rice, grain and vegetable preparations. There are some basic guidelines for making stock but the recipe is meant to be flexible and take advantage of what is on hand in the kitchen.

North African Braised Chicken with Saffron, Olives and Preserved Lemons

Serves 4.

What's Happening

Camp Willowsford: Lost & Found in the Wilds of Willowsford
Dear Farmily, Willowsford Conservancy is opening up summer camp and there are only 5 spots left! Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28. This year in Conservancy Camp, participants will learn how to blend and flow within nature while working together in small groups to hone their awareness skills, learn about the natural world, and nurture their connection to the earth. In this safe learning environment, with experienced instructors, campers will learn ancient & practical skills, including Animal Tracking & Identification, Lost Proofing, Basic Wilderness Survival Techniques, Natural Cordage, Caretaking, Survival Fires, & much more. This outdoor nature adventure camp provides an exciting week of discovery, adventure and games. $330/camper (ages 9-12). Read more, create an account and register!

Willowsford Farm Volunteer Hours: The Grant Farm
Sunday, July 2 from 3 to 5 PM. Farm Trivia: What gets planted around Halloween and harvested around the 4th of July? Garlic! This is a volunteer session for the heat-tolerant, bug-tolerant, “gosh I miss a hard day of haying a field” kind of volunteer. If conditions are right, we’ll be forking and delicately harvesting a whole lot of garlic, bundling it up to hang and cure, and wiping the sweat off our brows. If not, we’ll be weeding. Come ready to work, wear sunblock, put a hat on, and bring lots of water.
Create an account and register!

Willowsford Farm Tour: The Grant Farm
Sunday, July 2 from 5 to 6 PM. With a beautiful view of Bull Run Mountain and fields filled with vegetables and cover crops, you’ll want to bring your camera to the Grant Farm tour. The second of three farm properties, this space is home to crops like garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash. We’ll talk about the history of the soils, what plants and animals grew here last year, and how the space is evolving into a second retail sales location. This is a great tour for veggie-loving neighbors, beginner farmers and garlic lovers.
Create an account and register!

 

CSA Pick Up Hours & Locations

FARM STAND: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:30 PM, Saturdays 9:00 – 2:00 PM

BOAT HOUSE: Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:00 PM, Saturdays 10:00 – 2:00 PM

Willowsford Conservancy

44095 Pipeline Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147

Phone: 571-252-3727

info@willowsfordconservancy.org

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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