Sunday, December 1, 2013

Greenhouse: Glazed!

Here's Jason, barcapping off the last pane of our greenhouse... a beast of a project now complete (except for a few accoutrements). 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First snow

Borage flowers hanging on
We've got the greenhouse two-thirds glazed and we've put to bed three-quarters of our vegetable beds. But the first snow has fallen, which sends a little sense of urgency our way to finish our tasks before winter sets in. The farm is so peaceful now, with all of our winter greens growing under greenhouse plastic low tunnels. It's quite a sight to see fall kale with absolutely no insects. Some flowers are still holding onto life. Our Brussels sprouts (those that weren't eaten earlier in the season by the groundhog) are really sprouting.

Trailer full of wood chip mulch
But we're still working away -  Seneca helped me mulch the fruit garden this morning, only in exchange for a ride in the trailer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recipe w/ collards

Collard greens w/ bacon + pine nuts over linguine

Ingredients: collard greens, shallots, garlic, bacon, pine nuts, hot pepper flakes, white wine, tomatoes, broth or water, parmesan, linguine (or other pasta)

Preparing: Chop the bacon (about 1/2 lb) and cook in heavy-bottomed pan. Remove and drain on paper towel. Toast pine nuts (about 1/4 cup) in the bacon fat. Remove and drain on paper towel. Mince 4-6 shallots and 4-8 cloves of garlic and cook in bacon fat along with a pinch or two of red hot pepper flakes. After the shallots have turned golden, pour in a big splash of white wine and some chopped tomatoes and cook down. Chop about 2-3 pounds of collards (de-stem and chop coarsely). Throw the collards into the pan and stir until slightly wilted but still bright green. Add 1-2 cups broth or water, cover, and let simmer about 15-20 minutes.

Eating: Stir your favorite cooked pasta (we use linguine, fettuccine or bucatini) into the collard sauce. Place in bowls, add bacon pieces and pine nuts, and top with shaved parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Dish history: We showcased this dish at a special supper on the farm, trying to convert everyone into collard-lovers. I think it worked. This dish is delicious in the summer (sub the chopped tomatoes in the sauce for fresh cherry tomatoes as a garnish) or fall (canned tomatoes work well).

Recipe w/ tomatillos

Roasted tomatillo salsa

Ingredients: tomatillos, garlic, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, red wine vinegar, salt

Preparing: Clean the tomatillos and leave whole, peel the garlic, de-stem the jalapeno (and de-membrane if you don't like things spicy) and chop the scallions to pieces a few inches long. Put all of these vegetables into a wide-bottomed pan on the stovetop and roast for 10-15 minutes with no oil or water, shaking the pan occasionally (I'm sure grilling would have a similar effect). The veggies should turn brown/black in spots, taking on a deeper, sweeter flavor. Once roasted, throw them all in a food processor, along with some cilantro sprigs, a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar and a pinch or two of salt, depending on your taste. Blend well.

Eating: Serve with tortilla chips. Or spread in a quesadilla or on a taco or other Mexican treat.

Dish history: The end of the season always brings us hundreds of tomatillos that had fallen from the plants during fall bed preparation. They last a long time in the fridge, so you can make fresh batches of this salsa recipe for several weeks into the fall.

Recipe for pickles


Ingredients: fresh vegetables, vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic clove, spices

Preparing: Bring to a boil a half vinegar/half water solution with some sugar, salt (I use 1 cup water to 1 cup vinegar to 1 tablespoons sugar to a huge pinch of salt) and some spices (e.g., coriander seeds, bay leaf, red hot pepper flakes, whole cloves, allspice). Meanwhile, clean and cut your fresh vegetables (e.g., radishes, green beans, cauliflower, cucumbers, zucchini, fennel, beets, jalapenos, etc.) to desired pickle size and fill a sterilized jar with them and a garlic clove or two, some herbs (e.g., thyme sprigs, dill, shiso leaves) and more spices, if desired. Once the vinegar solution has boiled, pour it over the vegetables and fill it about 1/4 inch from the top. Seal the jar. You can either store the jars as (a) refrigerator pickles (allow the jars to cool and then leave in the refrigerator for at least a week to pickle nicely) or (b) processed pickles (while the jars are still hot put in a boiling water bath for at least 10 minutes, depending on the size of your jar - or see this website for some basic instructions on canning).

Eating: This is one of our go-to snacks we put out with cocktails.

Dish history: This is based off of an Alice Waters simple recipe. We love radish and jalapeno refrigerator pickles the best.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recipe w/ ground oats


Ingredients: oats, water or milk, butter, salt, extra stir-ins (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, fruit, buttermilk)

Preparing: Melt 2 tbsp. butter. Mix in 1 cup oats w/ 1 tsp. salt. Cook 5-8 minutes. Add 4 cups of water or milk or a combo, bring to a boil and then simmer gently, covered, for about 15-20 minutes. Stir in your favorite additions.

Dish history: Our farmer friend, PJD, grew hull-less oats this season. The oat itself looks quite different from the oats we're used to, resembling farro or wheatberry. So we washed it, dried it, and ground it so you can make a creamy, delicious oatmeal. Thanks to PJD for this recipe.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final 2013 CSA basket

Thank you so much for being a part of our 2013 season! We hope you enjoyed your vegetables and the experience.

We'll meet one final time for some food and fun and hand out the final basket. Expect the following:
Leeks, beets, popcorn, oats, parsley, cilantro, scallions, kale, chard, mustards, bok choy, braising mix, broccoli raab, lettuce, butternut squash, pumpkins.

Current CSA members - if you'd like to join our 2014 season, please send along a deposit by November 15th to secure your spot. In January we will open enrollment to the public.
Planting the 1st crop of 2014 - garlic!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Glazing greenhouse glass

To think we've had the foundation wall up since spring and the framework assembled since mid-summer, I am slightly ashamed - although relieved and happy - to say that we have finally begun the glazing process. We got our first pane in last week and are waiting on some supplies to continue with the job. Please let it be just a few weeks away when I post again showing the completed house!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 October Work-ation

We had beautiful fall weather for our October work weekend and I am still sneaking glances at our now beautiful garden, thinking, "wow, we got so much done!"

Thanks to all who came out to help on the farm. Together we hauled 8 truckloads of manure, sifted 85 cubic-feet of compost, prepped 30 beds for the winter, popped 18 pounds of garlic for next week's planting, scraped off the majority of our greenhouse frame and secured 30 bails of hay for mulching. Lots of other tasks throughout the day - like raking the manure,  harvesting the last of the peppers, eggplants and tomatillos, and washing all the dishes - did not go unnoticed! And it wouldn't have been a proper work-ation if we didn't haul at least one gigantic boulder out of a bed and add it to our bonfire collection.

Thanks for another good season and for coming together as a community of friends and neighbors to support Longhaul Farm. We couldn't do this all without you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

19th CSA basket

This will be the last regular pick-up of the season. We'll let everyone know when the final basket is ready, depending on when the squashes have cured, the popcorn has dried and the frosts have come.

Expect the following this week:
Parsnips, leeks, eggplant, peppers, broccoli raab, braising mix, cabbage, kale, chard, scallions, parsley.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

18th CSA basket

A few more days of heat will help the eggplants and peppers coming and boost the greens. But the frost is looming, so squashes and pumpkins must be harvested soon, big or small.

Expect the following this week:
Eggplant, pepper, summer squash, melons, lettuce, mustard greens, kale, chard, scallions, parsley, cabbage.

Please join our work-ation on October 12th

We're hosting a work day at Longhaul Farm on Saturday, October 12th.

Rain or shine, our morning work session is from 9-1, followed by lunch, an afternoon work session from 2-6 and dinner and a bonfire to celebrate the end of a hard day's work.

We'll be prepping our vegetable beds for the winter, cleaning up our greenhouse frame and possibly digging some new space for asparagus crowns. If you have work gloves, bring them; wear sturdy shoes; and bring extra layers for when the sun goes down.

 Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

17th CSA basket

Now into fall... expect the following this week:

More corn!, squash, watermelon, beets, radish, eggplant, peppers, chard, braising mix, lettuce, scallions, parlsey, a few tomatoes, edamame.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

16th CSA basket

Expect the following this week:

Corn, squash, edamame, melon, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, celery, lettuce, braising mix, parsley, cilantro, scallions, basil.

This is the last of the tomatoes and basil! We harvested all of the tomatoes from the plants this week (even the green ones) and are pulling the dying plants. If you take any firm tomatoes in your share this week, just ripen them on your counter.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recipe with eggplant

Burnt eggplant - from Jerusalem cookbook

Ingredients: eggplants, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds (optional), salt + pepper

Preparing: Burn your eggplant: put your eggplants (at least 2 large or 3 medium) on a hot grill* for about 20-25 minutes, burning each side of the eggplant until it is actually flaky and black. Allow the eggplant to cool a bit and then peel off the skin, reserving all of the soft, silky meat in a colander. Allow to drain for about an hour to get rid of excess liquid. Then place the eggplant meat in a bowl with chopped garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil (at least 1/4 cup), salt and pepper and marinate at least 1 hour (the longer the better).

Eating: When ready to serve, stir in some chopped parsley and mint, garnish with a bit of the parsley and pomegranate seeds if you have them. Great as a dip with pitas.

Dish history: We love a mezze platter, and the Jerusalem cookbook has amazing recipes for vegetable-based dips. We've served it several times and people are always surprised at how silky the eggplant is.

* The original recipe also suggests placing the eggplants directly on your gas range or broiling them.

15th CSA basket

The veggies had a whole week to grow without us picking and prodding around in there, so there is plenty to go around. Expect the following this week:

Corn, squash, edamame*, eggplant, peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, lettuce, basil, cilantro, parsley, scallions, onions.

* What to do with edamame? Steam the whole pods or boil the whole pods in salted water. Then just pop the beans right out of their shell and enjoy as a snack.

Our other day jobs

We love farming, but farming is not enough. We manage to take some time off from the fields to teach; Jason at Bronx Community College and I teach at the Bard Prison Initiative. Being in front of the classroom fills an important need in our lives to spark interest, spread the word and challenge both young and old minds.

Take a second to look at a recent article written in Modern Farmer about the prison garden I work in when I'm not in my own. I swear, they really do like their kale chips.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

14th CSA basket

A reminder that we'll be away next week so there will be no baskets on 9/3 or 9/6. We'll resume pick-ups on Tuesday, 9/10.

Expect the following this week:
Corn, squash, onions, shallot, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, parsley, cilantro, scallions, basil, chard.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

13th CSA basket

Now we've got corn! And lots and lots of tomatoes. Expect the following this week:

Corn, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, onions, shallots, arugula, Chinese cabbage, radicchio, chard, parsley, cilantro, scallions, basil

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

12th CSA basket

We've got some cucumbers! Expect the following this week:

Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, kale, arugula, parsley, cilantro, scallions, basil

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

11th CSA basket

Still waiting on our slow-growing cucumbers and lettuce has taken a break this week. But the garlic has cured and the tomatoes are plentiful.

You can expect the following this week
Garlic, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, onions, carrots, arugula, basil, chard, parsley, cilantro, scallions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10th CSA basket

Mid-season is here. You can expect the following in your basket:

Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, peppers, arugula, lettuce, kale, parsley, cilantro, scallions, basil, onions, carrots

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

9th CSA basket

In your baskets this week:

Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, peppers, arugula, kale, radicchio, lettuce, scallions, parsley, basil, cilantro, onions

Eggplants coming soon...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

8th CSA basket

You can expect the following in this week's basket:

Lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, parsley, scallions, cilantro, basil, carrots, green beans, dandelion greens.

Tomatoes are coming soon!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The pigs have arrived

We've finally got our pigs.

Coming from Glynwood Farm, a local farm about 15 minutes north of us, they rather quickly made their way to their new home. This is their first experience living in the woods and the farmers who dropped them off told us they would love it. They are tucked nicely in the shade and have a fresh water supply and lots of food scraps to feast on: now all of the compost we've been collecting from our neighbors will be feeding our pigs instead of our compost heap.

Not sure if they'll stick, but the names Bo and Peep came to me as we were corralling them from the trailer to their electric-fenced in area.

Bo and Peep are happily lying in the mud pit I created for them this morning.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7th CSA basket

The heat is doing a number on the peas and lettuce. But I see some ripening tomatoes and a few eggplants and peppers.

You can expect the following this week:

Lettuce, tatsoi cabbage, collards, kale, chard, fennel, turnips or radish, carrots, green peas, sugar snap peas, parsley, cilantro, scallions, dandelion greens

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

6th CSA basket

You can expect the following in this week's basket:

Lettuce, kale, collards, tatsoi cabbage, arugula, sorrel, fennel, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, parsley, cilantro.

When you get your fennel bulb with all of its fronds consider making a delicious fennel pesto right away with the fronds and stems. And if you haven't used kohlrabi: I like to slice it into very thin rounds and top with shaved parmesan, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Or you can chop it up to add it to a slaw (with the fennel) or a salad. The leaves of kohlrabi are edible. You have to peel the bulb lightly - it tastes like broccoli stem to me. Enjoy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Recipe with sugar snap peas

Sugar snap pea salad w/ orange

Ingredients: sugar snap peas, orange, vinegar, olive oil, honey, fresh oregano, salt, pepper

Preparing: De-string the peas. Cut them lengthwise so the peas are long and you crosscut the actual peas inside. Zest some orange rind and reserve for dressing. Cut the orange into small chunks. Make the dressing: olive oil, vinegar (red wine or white balsamic or cider), orange zest, honey and fresh oregano. Combine the peas, oranges and dressing.

Eating: You might stick it back in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve it crispy cold.

Dish history: I hate to cook sugar snap peas, but when I do I usually make an orange glaze... this is a fresh alternative.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5th CSA basket

You can expect the following in this week's basket:

Head lettuce, kale, tatsoi cabbage, Chinese cabbage, arugula, shelling peas, sugar snap peas, globe top turnip, hakurei turnip, cilantro, parsley, green onions

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

4th CSA basket

You can expect the following in this week's basket:

Shelling peas, head lettuce, kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, tatsoi cabbage, parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano.

Some pictures of things to come...

Fava beans


Swiss chard

Trellised peas


Seeding leeks

Cilantro + dill

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

3rd CSA basket

You can expect the following in this week's basket:

Lettuce mix, head lettuce, arugula, tatsoi cabbage, radishes, kale, bok choy, collards, cilantro, dill... maybe shelling peas if we get some sun

Monday, June 3, 2013

2nd CSA basket

Thanks to all who were able to come out to our member gathering on Friday.

Now that the heat has subsided, we can finish putting a few things in the ground. And we finished prepping our last 2 beds for tomatoes - how did we ever get anything in the ground with all of these rocks and boulders we keep finding??!? Most things are looking good, the garlic is starting to scape... but our eggplants have been targeted by the flea beetles, which I didn't think would ever happen, so we are trying to nurse them back to life.

In this 2nd basket you can expect the following:
lettuce mix (washed and dried), head lettuce, spinach, kale, greens for cooking (chard, vitamin green, Tokyo bekana or braising mix), arugula, radishes, oregano, cilantro, sage

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 1st CSA basket

Welcome to the season! We'll have out first pick-up today.

Pick-up days are Tuesday or Friday and you can come by the farm between 4-6pm. We'll have the produce available up at our wood shed in the garden and we'll be supplying you with a basket to put your veggies in. There might be times during the summer bounty that we ask you to bring extra bags for yourself.

This week you can expect the following in your baskets:
Kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, radishes, sage, oregano, chives, parsley.

Coming soon... tatsoi cabbage, Chinese cabbage, peas

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some wins and some losses

The dry weather has kept slugs at bay, but the cool temperatures (up until today - hit 90 at 2:30 here) have delayed some vegetable growth (but I did see a pea flower this morning). We've ordered some more meat birds and laying hens and have 3 turkey poults coming our way, but the hawks did get two of our favorite birds - a strong white plymouth rock layer and - sniff, sniff - our lone bantum rooster. All's quiet on Longhaul Farm without the banty's call.

We're pining for June, when we get a reprieve from planting and can focus on maintenance and other tasks around the farm. And this also marks the start of the CSA season, kicking off on Friday, May 31, with a member gathering and distribution of the first basket. We'll update the blog posts weekly so folks know what's coming their way... holding off now because you never know what might explode or whither away in the next 10 days. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More progress on the greenhouse

With help from Dane, we put up the insulation, outer cedar wall and cap on the greenhouse foundation. Next we'll put up the inner wall... and then, finally, we'll be ready to figure out the actual framing.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recipe w/ corn + tomatoes

Corn and tomato savory pie (adapted from

OK, OK, so why am I publishing this recipe in May, when corn and tomatoes are still 3 months away? Because I used my frozen veggies... inspiration for everyone to stock up during peak season for a taste of summer even on a rainy spring day.

Ingredients: pie dough, tomatoes, corn, onions, herb (basil, oregano, thyme, etc.), shredded cheese (I used
cheddar), mayo, lemon juice, butter

Preparing: Make your pie dough - you'll need a top and bottom. Caramelize several onions (I used 6). Spread onions on the bottom pie crust. Then layer tomatoes (I used frozen-then-thawed roasted cherry tomatoes), corn (I used frozen-then-thawed kernels), herbs (I used oregano), salt and pepper, shredded cheese. Repeat the layering. Pour about 1/2 cup mayo whisked with juice from one juicy lemon over the filling. Put the top crust layer on, scoring for steam release. Brush with melted butter and bake at 400F for ~40 minutes, or until crust is perfectly browned.

Eating: Serve with a fresh salad. Can be eaten warm or room temp.

Dish history: I can finally make a good pie dough (thanks, Olga!). Plus, we are chipping away at our frozen vegetables during this spring hunger gap and today's humidity reminded me of a summer pie.

A quenching rain

It's been a dry spring. But today's rain has hopefully soaked the fields to the core so that all of our little seedlings can grow. We are putting in our precious tomatoes, eggplants and peppers this week. And they'll be joining a nice spread of veggies already in the ground: kale, collards, spinach, lettuce, chard, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, carrots, peas, beets, fennel, cilantro, celery, radish, turnip, onions, leeks, parsnips. Basil and beans are following shortly.

Take a look at these before-and-after photos - the first one taken 2 years ago today in 2011; the second taken yesterday.

May 2011
May 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 April Work-ation

Thank you from the bottom of our double-dug beds to all of our friends, family and neighbors who joined us on Saturday for our Spring Work-ation!

We spent the day yesterday taking in all of the amazing work that was accomplished in just a few short hours because of the time and energy you put in. I'm sure there are some sore muscles and maybe some farmer's tans/sunburns out there in the crowd, but I hope it was well worth it.

Can you believe what we accomplished together?!?... Thank you for:
- planting 1,000 onion plants
- edging and weeding 8 vegetable beds
- harvesting spinach and kale
- prepping 4 new beds for planting
- getting that huge boulder out of the pathway : )
- clearing tons and tons of rocks
- building a beautiful flower bed
- clearing the red pine field
- helping clean all the dishes after lunch
- helping cook in the kitchen while others were outside in the sun
- making the orchard look like a truly beautiful place
- digging 26 blueberry and 2 tree holes
- moving more tons of rocks
- building the fire pit
- shoveling gravel onto the greenhouse floor
- moving that chicken coop!
- consuming lots of food and beer together, and
- singing songs by the bonfire.

It is days like Saturday that remind us how awesome our friends, families and neighbors are. We love building this farm and community with you.

Enjoy some videos and photos...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A frantic day of planting... and now patience

Getting that last tree in

Our 25 fruit trees arrived three weeks earlier than planned, but with a lot of hustle and some crucial babysitting by grandma, the orchard has been planted! We now have Asian pear, Seckel pear, sweet cherry, pie cherry, peach and plum trees nestled into their holes, watered in well and happily mulched. These are 2-year-old trees, so nothing but 3-4 foot wisps, but we are patient - in it for the longhaul - and looking forward to the sweet taste of the summer of 2016.
South-facing view of the orchard