Maysie's FarmMaysie's Farm Newsletter: Fresh from the Fields
September 2006
September 26, 2006

First of all, let me correct a few mistakes I made in the last CSA Update...regarding the CSA Party, I misspelled Julien Reddick's name (sorry Julien!). I also failed to publicly thank David Kline's wife, Kristen, who helped us so much that day, from picking up the keg and ice (and more ice), to cheerfully helping out wherever we needed her. Speaking of the party, we still have commemorative cups for sale in the barn. You'll see them on top of the refrigerators. They are $3 each or two for $5. Please help yourself, and leave the money in the cash box.

You also may have noticed that Ben Stoltzfus has a new order form for his meats and raw milk products. In case you missed the new form, I'm attaching it to this email so you can have it at home. Ben has also altered his schedule somewhat - he will only be making deliveries to Maysie's Farm on Fridays. Because of this, the ordering procedure has changed. From now on, you need to call your order in to Ben (717-768-3437) by Wednesday for Friday delivery. You'll probably get his answering machine, so please slowly and clearly state your name, phone number, and list your items (preferably in the order they appear on the price list). You still pay when you pick up your order. Ben will continue to deliver to us every Friday through the winter, and it will follow this same procedure.

We are grateful to Joseph Griffin of Covered Bridge Produce for recently providing our members with delicious lettuce, greens, and other vegetables. As you may have read in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Covered Bridge Produce, a CSA in Oley, PA, suspended operations as of September 1. They experienced a labor crisis even more severe than ours this year and simply couldn't provide their members with enough food. Trey worked at Covered Bridge for the past two years, and is now spending one day a week there helping out in exchange for some of the food they have left. Given our own labor problems, we appreciate receiving the food that Covered Bridge needs to market.

The chestnuts are falling, and we offer them to you as a pick-your- own crop. They are on the ground beneath the six trees between the barn and the house. Pick plump, shiny nuts, and either cook them or freeze them soon after getting them home. First cut an X through the shell, then either roast them or boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes. Then peel them and eat them or use them in recipes. They are a fall treat!

If you went to the CSA party and watched Annmarie Butera do cooking demonstrations, you probably tried her delicious Eggplant Caponata. Here is her recipe:

Italian Eggplant Salad
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red or green pepper (or a combination of both)
1 cup diced celery
1 can black olives, diced
1 can tomato paste mixed with enough water to make 1 cup
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

1. Heat large fry pan over medium heat
2. Add olive oil and eggplant. Coat eggplant with olive oil and let simmer for 10 minutes. ( you may need to add more olive oil, as the eggplant readily soaks it up)
3. Add onion, peppers and celery and cook for another 10 minutes or so (until celery is nice and soft)
4. Add olives, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and salt.
5. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
6. Season to taste
7. Allow Caponata to cool. Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend.
8. Serve room temperature with crackers or toast points.

See you at the farm!


September 18, 2006

Have you ever felt like there's a black cloud hanging over your head? Well that's how we felt — literally — on Saturday when we had to make the decision to postpone the party. All week long the forecasters were calling for a beautiful day, yet we awoke to RAIN on Saturday (after two days of steady rain). It was not an easy decision to make, but last year we went ahead with an iffy forecast and ended up with a soggy dinner and square dance. So this year we decided to postpone.

At least Sunday was a glorious day! Everyone who came to the party seemed to have a good time. I need to thank several people who made the day a success: Victory Brewing Company for providing us with a keg of their beer along with some root beer; Alice Weygandt of Stargazers Winery for her informative and entertaining wine-tastings; Annmarie Butera for her incredible cooking demonstrations (she promises to send me some of those recipes to include in future updates!); Debbie and Andy Gordon, Ellen Anderson, and Brantly Rudisill, who figured out and facilitated the kite-making; Montgomery School students Julie Reddick and Weezie Chakejian, who helped with the children's activities; and four of Mason Vollmer's Kimberton- Waldorf students who helped with the set-up on Saturday. Also, the afternoon band, Moondogs, played for free (thank you, Sue and Paul McKenna!) and we all enjoyed their acoustic folk, rock and blues. The event would never have happened without the considerable efforts of the Board members, particularly David Kline and Mark Shryock. Thank you, everyone! Thanks too to all the members who joined us on Sunday.

CSA member Kendra Anderson has proposed a volunteer workday especially for those of you who have young children. Here is her message:

Have you ever wanted to volunteer at Maysie's but didn't know what to do with your children? How about we plan to volunteer on the same day and let the children play while we work? I know my daughter loves the time we spend at Maysie's when there are other children to run around with, and I have been itching to help out around the farm and gain some gardening skills. And, if the children need close supervision, we can share in the responsibility and still have opportunities to get our hands dirty.

Come out and play at the farm!

September 21st, Thursday - weather permitting 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Even if you can't make it on this day, contact Kendra at if you're interested in participating in the future.

We need to use up the basil before the first frost, when all the plants will die. (If you want a large quantity of basil you can pick your own.) There were several great pesto dishes at the party. At this time of year I make several batches of pesto and freeze them (without adding the cheese). That way I can pull one out of the freezer during the winter, add it to pasta, and get a flashback of summer! Here is a basic pesto recipe:

Pesto with Pine Nuts or Walnuts

2 cups fresh basil, stems removed
1-2 cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Add basil, garlic, nuts and oil to a blender or food processor and blend on high speed. Add cheese and stir into one pound of cooked pasta.

See you at the farm!


September 13, 2006

The Big CSA Party draws near, and the best news is that the weather report looks very favorable! Just in case this somehow has escaped your attention, we're having the Maysie's Farm CSA 10th Anniversary Party this Saturday, Sept. 16. Festivities begin at 3pm with children's activities, live music, hay rides, cooking demonstrations, beer (courtesy of Victory Brewing Company), and wine-tastings (courtesy of Stargazers Vineyard). Our potluck dinner will begin at about 6pm, and the square dance will begin at about 8pm. We hope you can join us on Saturday (bring your own chair!), and bring friends and family along! It's going to be a great time!

We have been hard at work trying to get ready for Saturday. Special thanks goes out to (again) member Steve Chytla and his landscaping crew, who spent MANY hours this week mowing and trimming for us. What a wonderful service they provided us! Other members came forward in our time of need - specifically Taylor Holdsworth, Suzanne Reisser, and Annmarie Butera. THANK YOU! Also, a big thank you to the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show, for the loan of their canopies for Saturday.

Did you know that the Farm Aid concert is being held this year at the Tweeter Center in Camden on September 30? Farm Aid is an organization whose mission parallels our own. There are still seats available for the show. Headliners include Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews. Go to for more information.

I picked up a new cookbook this week (The Vegetable Market Cookbook by Robert Budwig), and it included this intriguing recipe using eggplant and onion:

Roast Onion and Aubergine (Eggplant) (4 servings)

1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large eggplant, cut into thin slices
4 oz. good-quality olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 400. Arrange the onion and eggplant alternately in an ovenproof dish. Dribble with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter the rosemary on top and roast for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and golden. Serve immediately.

See you at the farm (hopefully on Saturday)!


September 4, 2006

Monday pick-up people — don't forget to pick up on TUESDAY this week!

With my kids back at school, I had the opportunity to help Trey out in the garden last week (and I have the sore muscles to prove it!). On Tuesday we were busy trying to get as much harvest in as we could before the threatening clouds turned to rain. We hauled in a bed of onions, a full cart of potatoes, and LOTS of butternut squash! All these things need to cure a bit, but you'll be taking them home shortly. Right after I left that day, the skies opened and the farm received inches of rain in a short time. Water rushing down from behind the greenhouses formed a river in the grass paths, and the water found its way to the fourth barnyard bed, which had recently been planted in mesclun and arugula. That bed, with a good 4 inches of topsoil, was washed out into the yard heading towards the house. When you're at the farm this week, you may still see evidence of this dramatic erosion.

The big CSA party is less than two weeks away! If you're coming, please bring your own chair or blanket to sit on. I'm attaching a flyer to this email; feel free to post it for us and invite any friends or family who may be interested in learning more about Maysie's Farm.

The summer squash is starting to dwindle, but if you still have some to use, this recipe also calls for onions, tomatoes, and basil. It's taken from Cooking Fresh from the Mid-Atlantic:

Summer Squash Saute

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot (or onion), diced
4 small or 2 large yellow summer squash or zucchini sliced in 1/4- inch rounds
Large handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
4 or 5 torn or roughly chopped basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Add minced garlic or hot pepper flakes at the end of the cooking
Top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan

1. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two, and then add the oil. Add the shallot and cook for a few seconds until it is fragrant and translucent. Place the squash on the sizzling shallots, and saute them together until the squash begins to brown.

2. Add the tomatoes to the pan, top with the basil leaves, and toss it all together until the tomatoes soften and their juice forms a bit of a sauce.

3. Season with salt and pepper, and taste to correct the seasoning. Serve as a side dish or over pasta.

See you at the farm!


As we get into the busy spring season, there's a ton of work to be done! The interns do a great job at growing the vegetables, but there are lots of other jobs around the farm that are begging for volunteers. We've come up with the list below, and hope that these spark an interest for some of you. Notice that some of these jobs are ongoing, while some are one-time efforts.

  • Establish and maintain the culinary herb beds (these were a disaster last year because they were not tended to!).

  • Restore and maintain the Children's Garden (ditto!).

  • Landscape an "island" behind the new barn office (after trenching for solar electric lines is completed). Take down the mulberry tree.

  • Establish native ground cover in full sun along the rock wall on the southern side of the hoophouse.

  • Construct a bio-diesel processing facility (instructions and examples are available).

Once again this year, we also put the call out to members to volunteer some extra time on their pick up day to act as Distribution Managers in the barn. No experience is necessary, and their presence helps the distribution go much more smoothly.

To volunteer for any of these jobs (or if you think of others...weeding, mowing, etc!) call Sam at 610-458-8129. Thank you!

CSA memberships for the 2006 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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