Maysie's FarmMaysie's Farm Newsletter: Fresh from the Fields
June 2007

June 29, 2007
We are excited to provide a new web-based on-line facility designed to enhance your CSA experience. It is available exclusively to you as members of the CSA at Maysie's Farm and was developed for us by Tim Chambers, who is a member himself. This site will facilitate your ordering of high quality foods from our "Cooperative Marketing Partners" who bring their products to the farm so that you can pick them up when you come for your share of our vegetables.

To access this on-line facility go to the home page of our website: On that page you will see a new "CSA Members' Access" link that will take you to the home of this new capability.

The first time you visit there you will click "Create New Account" and pick a username. FOR THE EMAIL ADDRESS, YOU MUST USE THE ONE YOU HAVE PROVIDED TO MAYSIE'S FARM. You will get an email at that address with a temporary personal password - you can change that when you log in.

Your profile of information will be displayed when you log in. There is a button labeled "Update Profile" that will let you put in your information (CARE membership number, corrections to your address, phone number, etc.) as well as make any necessary changes to your pick-up day. We will depend on this information to generate the pick-up list/sign-in sheet that we harvest for on each harvest day, so please make sure it is accurate. This on-line site will become the preferred means of making temporary (or permanent) changes to your pick-up schedule.

On the left sidebar of the page you'll find the capability to order from our Cooperative Marketing Partners. The organic raw milk products and organic pastured meats from Ben Stoltzfus will be supplemented by organic raspberries, peaches and apples from Willow Creek Orchards, wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon from Wild for Salmon and possibly other hard to find, nutrient-dense foods from other local (or as local as possible) producers.

We encourage you to take full advantage of our unique cooperative marketing arrangements and this new, convenient ordering system that was made just for you by one of your fellow CSA members.

~ Sam

June 26, 2007

Now it feels like summer! Especially when we start getting basil and cucumbers! The cucumbers are actually being grown in the hoophouse (which is why we have them already) but the zucchini should be following the cukes pretty soon! The Swiss chard is taking a rest for the week, but we still have kale and collards! Look at the end of this email for a message from Benneth about collards, including recipes.

We are getting ready to launch our interactive website ordering process, and I'll be sending out another update later in the week that will provide all the details. It will hopefully make ordering from our cooperative partners a lot easier, as well as communicating about changes in pick up dates, etc. While we're transitioning to this new system, you'll still be able to place orders to Ben by phone (717-768-3437) and of course you can always get in touch with us via email or phone.

We still have a few openings for CSA members. If you know of someone who would like to join but thought it was too late, please have them contact us.

When I got to the farm yesterday after having been on vacation, I was struck by how beautiful the beds looked. A huge thank you to Benneth and her crew of workers who put in long days in every kind of weather to provide us with such wonderful vegetables! Many of you are already getting to know our 2007 crew, but to help you along, I'll include short bios in the next several CSA Updates, starting with Benneth:

Benneth Phelps is the CSA Farm Manager at Maysie's. She hails from Massachusetts, where she interned and managed at three CSAs. She attended Smith College in Northampton, MA for a B.A. in American Studies and Economics. She holds a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is interested in land use at many scales, from the region to the local farm. Outside of her work at Maysie's, she teaches and consults about Permaculture design and continues to be involved in city planning work. Her favorite questions are: 1) What is Permaculture? Answer: the design of agriculturally productive systems which mimic the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. 2) What does the farm manager do in the winter? Answer: farm planning, seed ordering, equipment maintenance, season extension growing in the hoop house, and vacation! Her favorite books are Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke, and Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

All about Collard Greens
By Benneth Phelps, CSA farm manager

Collards are a traditional southern food, often served on New Year's Day. They are traditionally sautéed with bacon and ham bone. Collards are a heavier green with a longer cooking time, and they should be cooked until chewable. However, they should be served at bright green or dark green color, a change in color to drab olive green can signal overcooking. They can simply be steamed and eaten like all of the greens available at the farm, or they may be used in any recipe that calls for greens.

Adapted from Gourmet, July 2003 (
Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings. Cooking time - 50 min.

10 bacon slices (1/2 lb), chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts (1/4 lb)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
15 leaves collard greens, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 lb dried linguine
1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cook bacon in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat from pot. Add pine nuts to pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add onion to pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add oil and half of collard greens and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens and salt and continue to cook, stirring, until greens are crisp- tender, about 2 minutes more. Add water and cover pot, then simmer greens, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes. While collard greens are simmering, cook linguine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain linguine in a colander. Add drained linguine and tomatoes to pot with greens and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Season pasta with salt and pepper and serve topped with bacon, pine nuts, and cheese shavings.


15 large collard leaves 1 T butter 1/2 - 1 T olive oil or bacon drippings 1 medium clove garlic, minced Salt

1. Warm a large cast-iron skillet to medium temperature. 2. Remove stems of collards so that only dark green foliage is left. 3. Slice collards into ribbons 1/4" - 1/2" in width, across the leaves. 4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. When the butter is melted, add 1/2 - 1 tablespoon olive oil or bacon drippings. 5. Add collards to pan and toss so that all surfaces are coated. Season with salt, as desired. 6. Sauté at medium or medium-low, uncovered to desired softness. Small amounts of water can be added and/or the greens may be cooked half covered, or covered at intervals. The goal is to create tender greens that are buttery, not watery. The greens should never brown or burn, nor should they boil or steam. 7. When greens are near done push them to side of pan. Add a small amount of oil and desired amount of minced garlic. 8. Briefly sauté the garlic being careful that it doesn't brown. 9. Toss greens and garlic in the skillet, and remove from heat.

See you at the farm!

~ Colleen

June 13, 2007

Again, we apologize for not having strawberries for you this week. We will let you know when Willow Creek has more fruit for us. In another cooperative marketing venture, we are hoping to offer wild Alaskan sockeye salmon to our members beginning the third week of August. Although this is certainly not a local food (!) it is of high quality, and the people who will fish it for us are from PA. We'll have more information for you in the upcoming weeks.

Here are the details about the exciting events we have planned for the next week or so...

Thursday, June 21, 8:30am - 2pm
Down to Earth Gardening Workshop for Children ages 6 and up:
Kids will learn about compost, seed trays, transplant seedlings, and harvest a big salad for lunch (we supply organic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too!). We also play some garden games and do a little garden art! Cost is $25/child ($30 for nonmembers). We still have spots open in this workshop, but call the farm today (610-458- 8129) to reserve your spot! (This workshop will be repeated on Thursday, August 2.)

Saturday, June 23, 11am-3pm
Pleasant Pastures Organic Acres (our raw milk and organic meat supplier) Farm Tour in Honey Brook, PA:
Come and meet Ben Stoltzfus' family and tour his farm. The day includes wagon rides, homemade ice cream, and free samples of his raw milk products (plus his products will be available for purchase). My kids and I love going to see this delightful Amish family! Please call ahead if possible so they have an idea of how many people to expect (717-768-3437). Directions: From Rt. 322 West past Guthriesville, make a left onto Cambridge Rd (sign for Honey Brook Golf Club). Stay on Cambridge, crossing over Rt. 10, until the road comes to a T. Turn left to stay on Cambridge, and at the fork stay to the right. Ben's farm is 648 Cambridge Road.

Saturday, June 23, starting at 6pm
Maysie's Farm Summer Solstice Potluck Dinner:
Come out and celebrate the longest day of the year with friends at the farm! Simply bring a dish to share with others. Family and friends are welcome. Sign up in the barn.

If you or anyone you know is a teacher looking for a fun way to get Act 48 credits, Maysie's Farm is once again offering its Understanding Agriculture Workshop for teachers on Tuesday and Thursday, June 26 and 28. The cost is $125, and includes a take-home manual, lunch both days, and 13 hours of Act 48 credits. Call the farm ASAP if you're interested.

I will be on vacation with my family next week, so you probably won't be receiving a CSA Update until the week of 6/25. I'm leaving you with a Swiss chard recipe, courtesy of member Jennifer Tinsman:

Swiss Chard with Pasta

1 bunch Swiss chard - wash, drain, and tear leaves in pieces
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
olive oil
dry hot peppers
3 tsp. chopped walnuts
4 Tbsp. butter
about 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (tear)
parmesan cheese
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 lb. pasta

In a large frying pan, saute the garlic in olive oil until it starts to brown. Add chopped walnuts. Add butter, Swiss chard, and rosemary. Sprinkle with hot peppers, salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat down and cover pan to steam, turning every few minutes. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain pasta and toss with Swiss chard and a small amount of parmesan cheese until mixed and coated.

See you at the farm!

~ Colleen

June 10, 2007

We just heard from Willow Creek Orchards; they can no longer fill our orders, effective immediately. Drew Smith from Willow Creek warned Sam last week that his strawberry business is booming beyond his expectations, and between his pick-your-own business and his own market he no longer has excess to sell through our CSA. There's a slight chance that he may have more in the upcoming weeks as other fields become ripe. We'll let you know if that's the case. He is still planning on selling us peaches beginning late July, and fall raspberries and apples beginning mid-August.

We apologize for this inconvenience, especially for you Monday people who were expecting strawberries tomorrow. You may consider visiting Willow Creek Orchards' market yourself - they are located at 3220 Heebner Rd. in Collegeville (

See you at the farm!

~ Colleen

June 7, 2007

The first pick ups went pretty smoothly, and we hope you are enjoying the fresh vegetables! Just a few points to clarify as we start the season:

  • Pastured chickens and eggs DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRE-ORDERED this year! The eggs are $3.00/dozen and are located in the leftmost refrigerator. Frozen chickens are $3.50/lb. and are located in the rightmost freezer. There are small sheets of paper located near the sign in sheet where you indicate what you've bought; put that sheet with your payment into the "Maysie's Farm Payments" folder.
  • For now, the fruit may be ordered in the barn for pick up the next week OR by email to the farm. Willow Creek Orchards has requested that we place our order by NOON the day prior to pick up, so please get your email orders in early! When you pick up the fruit, please mark off that you've paid on the sheet near the sign in and place your payment in the "Maysie's Farm Payments" folder.
  • For now, orders for Ben Stoltzfus' organic meats and raw milk products are to be made by emailing with Maysie's Farm CSA in the subject line. Please include your name, phone number, pick up date, and (if you're ordering raw milk products) your CARE number. Your order will be in the second-from- left refrigerator/freezer with your name on the package. Find your order form attached to the refrigerator, and place that form with your payment into the "Ben Stoltzfus Payments" folder.

Now, if that all seems awfully confusing to you, we have good news!! Member Tim Chambers has kindly offered to create for us a Content Management System (CMS) that should allow us to streamline the ordering process with our cooperative marketing partners. In the near future you should be able to do all your ordering, as well as inform us about your pick up scheduling changes, through our website. We ask for your patience as we make this transition, and we'll keep you posted regarding when this will start. Thank you, Tim!

We also thank new members Audra Matlack, Susan Chambers, and Phyllis Gallagher who have offered to volunteer in the barn on pick up days. They are there to answer your questions and are eager to get to know you! We could still use more help! There is a Volunteer Sign-up sheet posted under the white board, and no shortage of opportunities!

I'll provide more details next week, but please mark Saturday, June 23 on your calendar. Ben Stoltzfus is hosting an Open House at his Amish farm in Honey Brook from 11am-3pm; and our Summer Solstice Potluck Dinner will kick off at the farm at 6pm. And for those of you with kids ages 6 and over, our first Down To Earth Gardening Workshop will be held on Thursday, June 21.

When I was in the barn on Monday, I heard that some of you were a little "apprehensive" about the greens that were in the boxes along the back wall! Everyone knows what to do with lettuce and carrots, but what about kale, Swiss chard, and collards? I'll give out more formal recipes in the future, but today I just want to tell you the easiest (and therefore my favorite!) way to cook them: simply chop them and saute them in olive oil with a little garlic, onion, and whatever else you have on hand! I usually mix all the greens together, although you may find that you prefer one more than others. I also substitute these greens in recipes that call for fresh spinach, and add the sauteed greens to spaghetti sauces, quiches, fritattas, etc.

Once again, we'll be offering the CSA cookbook "From Asparagus to Zucchini" for sale in the barn for $20. I use this cookbook a lot - it has the vegetables alphabetized, with storage and cooking tips, and relatively uncomplicated recipes. Copies should be in the barn starting this week. We may also be offering other cookbooks in the near future.

See you at the farm!

~ Colleen

CSA memberships for the 2007 season are going fast! Spread the word about Maysie's Farm to anyone you think may be interested in joining, and register BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

Wish List
Looking to get rid of any of the following items? Maysie's Farm will put them to good use! The first three needs are for our new "office," which is (still) under construction in the old "staff room":

• Wooden file cabinets
• Small electric range/oven
• Sink base, under-counter cabinets, wall cabinets and a short length of countertop material
• Picnic table(s)
• Large outdoor canopy
• Solar powered walkway lights (ideally to match the two donated by Martha Thomae)
• Straw bale chopper (for mulching large areas)
• Assistance building a bio-diesel production system or a compost tea brewing system
• Diesel station wagon or delivery vehicle for use as our produce hauler (for the Farmers Market and our Farm and School partnership) that we could run on bio-diesel or vegetable oil
• Housing for potential Farm Manager
Please contact Sam at (610) 458-8129 if you can donate any of these items.

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