Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quite the storm last week!

We hope that everyone is safe and sound with little damage to body, spirit and property.

When we woke up with no power on Friday, we needed to make a large, unbudgeted purchase (the loud generator!) This was very necessary to save all of our frozen items in the store. The generator, however, only let us power the freezers and refrigerators and not the well. So, the vegetables were not too happy in the intense heat on Friday. Luckily, our power came on Saturday and they were once again happy!

A couple of weeks ago, we posted that we needed a new freezer.
Well, thanks to Pete and LuAnn MacIlvane for donating a great freezer to us!

Our coffee supply is being replenished this week. Please let us know if you have certain preferences and we will stock them for you.

You will notice that we are now also carrying Granola from Sweetwater Bakery. The oats, seeds and nuts in the granola are all soaked and dehydrated, making it easier for you to digest and assimilate all of the nutrients. The granola is also gluten free! It sells for $7 per pound.

Don't miss our upcoming workshop with herbalist, Cindy Koser
Making the Most of Maysie's Herbs- July 10th 10 am - 12:30 pm

Six of the world's most popular and useful herbs are grown right here at Maysie's Farm! We will discuss Basil, Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. We will discuss how these delightful herbs will serve you both in the kitchen as well as the medicine cabinet.
We will also discuss The Fine Art of Making Herbal Tea as we sample a few of the splendors being grown here- Lemon Balm, Red Clover, Nettle, Peppermint, Spearmint, Apple Mint and Chocolate Mint!
Come join us
$10 per person. Sign up sheet is posted in the barn, or you may call or email the farm to register. All proceeds will go to Maysie's Farm Conservation Center.

Zucchini and cucumbers are really coming on!!
This week's recipe is from Deborah Madison's cookbook, Local Flavors. It serves as a great way to use up some marjoram from the farm as well!!

Zucchini Frittata with Ricotta and Marjoram

Serves 4-6
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, preferable Costata Romanesco
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 large market eggs
1 large garlic clove, crushed or minced with a pinch of sea salt
1 Tablespoon chopped marjoram
1/3 cup grated Dry Monterey Jack or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta, drained if very wet

Coarsely grate the zucchini, toss with 1 teaspoon slat, and set aside in colander for 30 minutes. Rinse briefly, then squeeze dry
Warm half the oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, strirring frequently, until it's dry and flecked with gold, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan.
Preheat the broiler. Beat the eggs with a few pinches of salt and some pepper, then stir in the garlic, zucchini, marjoram, Jack cheese and ricotta. Allow the ricotta to remain streaky. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and when it's hot, add the eggs. Lower the heat, cook for a minute or so, then shuffle the pan a few times to make sure the eggs are loose on the bottom.
Cook over low to medium heat until the eggs are set and the tip is nearly dry, about 10 minutes, then slide the frittata under the broiler to finish cooking the top. Invert the finished dish onto a serving plate.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And the Beets Go On and On and On!!

Happy Summer!!
Thanks to those who came out to help us celebrate the solstice on Sunday evening. We had a great time sharing food, stories and listening to great music by The Spinning Leaves!

The heat is definitely on, and unfortunately, we have not had much rain at all and the forecast looks dry. Great for going to the beach, but not so great for growing. If the dry weather continues, we may need to wait a bit longer before lettuces are available again.

Peas and favas are on their way out, but, alas zucchini are on their way- Yellow, Green, Costata Romanesco and Bush Baby.....mmmmm- hold tight!!

And, the beets are continuing. Aren't they beautiful this year!! If you are running out of things to do with your beets, have you ever thought of drinking them? Sure, you can add about a quarter of a beet into fresh vegetable juice, or you can ferment it!

A traditional Ukranian drink known as BEET KVAAS is a very valuable tonic. According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions "Beets are loaded with nutrients. A four ounce glass of beet kvaas in the morning and at night is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments"... Quite poweful for one little vegetable!

It is a great refresher during this hot weather, and it is incredibly easy to make.
The recipe below is taken again from Nourishing Traditions.

3 medium or 2 large organic beets, peeled and chopped up coarsely (not grated)
1/4 cup of whey (available through Pleasant Pastures)
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt (celtic Sea salt is also available through Pleasant Pastures)
filtered water

Place the beets, whey and salt in a 2 quart glass container. Add filtered water to fill the container. Stir well and cover securely. Keep at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to the refrigerator.

We will have some kvaas for sampling next week during the pickups!!

We are now carrying fresh, locally roasted coffee from the new Kimberton Whole Foods coffee line. All of the coffee is Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance, and all are purchased organic at origin. Kimberton Whole Foods will soon be participating in the USDA certification.
Ed Humpal, the coffee roaster writes a blog: More than Just a Pretty Cup, where you can read all about some of Kimberton's social objectives in coffee roasting.

We will be carrying their most popular blends: Morning Mojo, Midnight Special and Lost Coal Mine. We will also carry their Mexican and Peruvian coffees. All bags have "roast meters" on the back so that you can see the degree of roast.
If you are interested in Decaf, please let us know, as we can carry a pre-blended half decaf or a full decaf.

This recipe was provided by CSA member Cristie Kennie- Thanks, Cristie!!

Glazed Carrots and Turnips:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 pound white turnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 large carrots, trimmed and peeled; the fatter end sliced in half lengthwise, then cut in 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. - or melt it on medium to avoid the butter from burning, if you are preparing the vegetables at the same time!
Add the turnips and carrots in an even layer in the pan and stir to coat. Let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Stir again and let cook for another 4 minutes.
Add broth, brown sugar, salt, pepper, thyme, lemon zest
Stir to coat.
Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
Uncover and turn heat to high until liquid cooks down to a glaze (stirring frequently)- this could take a few minutes!
Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately.

See you around the farm!
Sam and Annmarie

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Fava beans are really coming on now and persoanlly, they are one of my favorite things that we grow here. They are rich and buttery and have a terrific bright green color!

You will notice that the beans are well protected inside the pods (with a cotton like coating on the pod and a waxy covering on each individual bean). The covering slips off after boiling the beans for about a minute or two.

Ok- they are labor intensive, but the rewards are worth it!

Once you have freed the bean, the cooking possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas:

  • Simply saute in olive oil and garlic. Add chicken stock and grated cheese and add to pasta

  • After sauteing in garlic and olive oil, place the beans in a food processor. Add fresh mint, parmesan cheese and olive oil. This is a delicious spread for crostini or polenta squares

  • Puree the cooked beans with butter and cream!

  • They are delicious cooked with other spring vegetables like peas and artichoke hearts.

Here is a classic Italian recipe adapted from Marcella Hazan's book: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 slice pancetta, diced

1 pound unshelled favas, shelled and washed

Black Pepper

1/4 cup water

Sea salt

Cook onion in olive oil until translucent. Add pancetta and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in fava beans and black pepper. Add water and cook about 10-15 minutes. Larger beans will need longer cooking time. Cook until water is evaporated. Season with sea salt. Serve hot.

Friday, June 11, 2010

CSA Update


We have had some wonderful pick ups the past two weeks. Our beets are now making the transition from growing in the hoop house to growing outside. The carrots are taking a bit of a break, as the ones in the ground need to get a bit bigger before we harvest them.


We continue to have delicious greens coming on!!

Are you overwhelmed and stymied as to how to cook them and enjoy them every week?

Then join us here this Saturday June 12th from 11-1  for a cooking class where we take the mystery out of preparing greens.

Menu includes (but is subject to change based on availability)

Swiss Chard Bundles with Fried Shallots and Mint Dipping Sauce


Tuscan Risotto with Kale, Bacon and Caramelized Onion

Green Smoothie

Collard and Green Olive Pesto


Price for members is $15 and non members are $20

Please call to RSVP or sign up in the barn!



We still have some room in our cooking camps- Information and sign up is in the barn. If you know of other children who may be interested in the camp, please pass the information along!



Summer is always a busy time! Here are a few items of interest:

First, please join us in celebration of the Summer Solstice at our Potluck on Sunday June 20th beginning at 6 pm. It is a great opportunity to meet CSA members, share great food and listen to great music from the Spinning Leaves (who played at FarmFest)! We do realize that it is Father's Day that Sunday; bring Dad out to the farm!!


Ben Stoltzfus and his family are hosting a FARM DAY at Pleasant Pastures on Saturday June 19th- this is a wonderful opportunity to meet Ben and his lovely family and witness the amazing farming operation they have built! Please RSVP directly to Ben at 717-768-3437.


 Also on Saturday June 19th, the Berks- Lancaster Green Buildings Association is holding its 2010 Sustainability Festival at Twin Valley Elementary School:

50 Mast Drive Elverson, Pa 19520. This is an opportunity to learn how you can reduce your impact on the environment. Admission is free  Runs from 12-5 pm.




CHICKEN: Jeremiah Eldridge of Laurel Hill Farms will be supplying us with chicken again this year. He is making his first delivery on Saturday evening, so come Monday, be prepared to pick up some of his delicious pastured chickens. He is offering whole chickens and parts.

SWEETWATER BREAD: We continue to carry Sweetwater Bread and cookies. They now offer a rye bread, but typically only have a couple to give us each week. If anyone is absolutely interested in getting the rye, let us know and I will order it in advance! The bread is delivered fresh on Fridays. On Mondays, you will find the bread in the freezer. Once defrosted, it is as good as fresh!


ONLINE ORDERING SYSTEM: Please remember that if you need to change your pick up date, you may do so on line. This is also where you have access to order products from Pleasant Pastures. All members are registered on the site. Please make sure that you can access your personal page, as well as the page for placing orders. If you have any problems, let us know and we will rectify it immediately!


THE BLOG!!  No, it is not some scary sci- fi  movie, it is our attempt to move into the 21st century!! We will now be posting ALL updates and farm information on our blog, which you may find at  If you go to the site, you can register and have the blog sent directly to your email address. Otherwise, we ask that you save the web address in your favorites and check it frequently for updates. Please contact us if you have any questions. Of course, if there is any urgent information, we will send out an email the old fashioned way!!




Two recipes this week taken from


TURNIP GRATIN:- you can get most of the ingredients right from the farm- if you haven't yet tried Ben's butter and cream- try them with this!!


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds medium turnips, trimmed and left unpeeled
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped savory
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (use a Microplane)
Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Melt butter in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet, then cool.

Slice turnips paper-thin with slicer, then arrange one third of slices, overlapping tightly, in skillet, keeping remaining slices covered with dampened paper towels. Sprinkle with about a third of thyme, savory, kosher salt, and cayenne. Make 2 more layers.

Cook, covered, over medium heat until underside is browned, about 10 minutes. Add cream and cook, covered, until center is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Sprinkle evenly with cheese, then bake, uncovered, until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


- A great way to use the radish tops!

4 bunches radishes with greens attached (2 lb)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Cut greens from radishes and coarsely chop. Trim radishes and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté radish wedges with salt, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Sauté garlic in remaining tablespoon butter in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add greens and sauté, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute   .Return radish wedges to skillet and stir in chives.


See you around the farm!

Sam and Annmarie

Think Globally, Eat Locally
Maysie's Farm Conservation Center
15 St. Andrew's Lane Glenmoore, PA 19343