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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of August 13th, 2013

This week’s share:


Jersey Mac and Gravenstein Apples

Yellow and White Peaches


Honeydew Melon (full share only)


Summer Squash

Green beans

Head Lettuce

Lettuce Mix

Swiss chard and Kale bunch

Beets (half share only)


These next couple weeks there is a little bit of trading back and forth for specialty items for you guys. Right now, we do not have enough honeydew melons ripe & ready to go so that everyone can have one, but we have enough for all the full shares to receive one. We’re planning by next week to have enough for all the half shares to receive one. In an attempt to make everyone feel loved this week, we’re going to give the half share members some beets. Let us know if it works!

Last week one of your co-CSA members put together a beautifully photographed editorial on making Blueberry Soup, with our blueberries! Check it out here:

Storage, handling and general cooking tips:


Hard to believe, since we’re at the height of summer, that apple season is already beginning! Fall is creeping up on us and soon the kiddos will be heading back to school. Our early summer apples are in, and you guys are getting the cream of the crop. Jersey macs, related to the famous Mackintosh, are tart and tender. If you are a Mackintosh fan, you need not wait for them to ripen, these Jersey macs will keep you satisfied for now. Gravenstein apples are native to Denmark and were discovered in the 1600s as a chance seedling. These early guys are excellent for cooking and make fantastic cider and apple sauce.

Storage and Handling

Apples should be kept uncovered or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Warm temperatures will cause apples to lose their crispness and flavor, so if they are kept out of the refrigerator, make sure it is in a cool, ventilated place far from direct sunlight. To prevent cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle with lemon juice or soak them in a bowl of ½ cup water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.


Storage + Handling

If your beets still have the greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem.  Keep these greens unwashed and refrigerated in a closed plastic bag.  Beet greens can later be added to a mixed green salad, or steamed or sautéed. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or “tails”) attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator.  They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time; so try to use them within a week.

Just before cooking or consuming, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets.  If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or vegetable peeler, then grate or cut them according to your needs. Try baking beets at 350-400 degrees for an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork.  Cut the tops and bottoms off and the skin should easily slip off. Why not add some other root vegetables to the dish along with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt. I like to boil beets as well. Boil beets 45 minutes to an hour depending on size, they should easily pierce when done. Plunge them directly into cold water after boiling and the skins will slip right off. Then slice and top with fresh lime juice. Please don’t miss the opportunity to have your kids taste beets! My daughter loves them and they are chock full of fiber, vitamins (lots of Bs and C!), minerals (iron, magnesium), and antioxidants. Plus, they look beautiful on the plate.

Honeydew melon

The variety of honeydew melon we are growing this year is called Snow Leopard. With its milky white and green striped exterior and juicy, sweet center, it is somewhat of a specialty around here. Some have labeled its flavor cucumber like with an increasingly sweet flavor, but we’ve also heard there’s subtle floral undertones as well. Regardless, this melon will end up being a crowd-pleaser in your house.

Storage and Handling

Melon can keep up to a week, whole and uncut, into your fridge. IF your melon has been sitting in your car and its a hot day, let it cool off before sticking it right into the fridge, as the drastic temperature change will cause the fruit to spoil faster. Melons can be eaten cut up, wrapped in salty, cured meats, in fruit salad, or sliced and grilled.


Storage and Handling

Peaches bruise easily, so when testing for ripe-ness use your whole hand, not just one finger. Leave peaches out, on the counter. If they need to ripen more, place in a closed paper bag. Once ripe, store in the crisper bin of your refrigerator where they’ll keep for up to five  days. Peaches can also be frozen. Peel and slice them, lay them on a baking tray and stick in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen through. Transfer the peach wedges to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. They’ll keep at least 6 months (longer in a free-standing freezer) and are perfect to use in baking. Want to peel your peaches? Here’s how: Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and the skins will slide right off.

Cook tips

Eat these guys fresh, rinsed and wiped to remove fuzz. Or bake into a crumble. Or put in your morning cereal. Or serve with almond essence infused whipped cream as almonds are a close cousin to peaches. Delicious in savory dishes as well, you can grill them and put in a salad, can be made into a chutney alongside your pork or beef, or preserve them to be enjoyed mid-winter. There are endless options.


Storage and Handling

Blueberries are delicate and fickle, be gentle with them. Keep your fresh blueberries refrigerated, unwashed, in their container. They should last up to two weeks. Water on fresh blueberries hastens deterioration, so do not wash before refrigerating. Blueberries are highly perishable so do try to use them as soon as possible.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Storage and Handling

Zucchini and summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible.  Store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin, or refrigerate them in a sealed plastic container lined with a towel.  In the refrigerator, they keep for about a week. Before eating, rinse the veggies under running water to remove any dirt, then slice off the stem and blossom ends.  They can be cut into rounds, quarters, or chunks.

Zucchini and squash are great grilled. Slice the veggies lengthwise, then top with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving add some slivers of basil or pesto. You can also cube them and put them on a kabob with cherry tomatoes, meat, and peppers before grilling. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, zucchini and squash also fry well. Just slice and put in a sauté pan over medium heat with butter or olive oil. When almost done, reduce heat to medium-low, top with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cover pan until the cheese melts. Your side dish is done!  Overcooked zucchini will end up as mush. To salvage it, make soup!

Green beans

Storage + Handling

Store dry green beans in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They are best eaten soon after picking, but can keep for 5 days or so. Wash beans thoroughly in cool water before eating.

Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise, diagonally, or French-cut (sliced along the length of the bean). Many say that preparing beans with a French-cut yields the most tender and sweet taste. Perhaps that’s true, but remember that beans retain the most nutrients when cooked uncut. Green beans are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamins C and A. They are also high in beta carotene, which is most commonly associated with carrots. Some say you can lower your cholesterol levels by 12% just by eating a cup of beans a day!

The easiest way to prepare beans is to steam them. First trim the ends of the beans. I like to have my son do this step. He just snaps the ends with his fingers. It gets him involved in the meal and he ends up eating a few along the way! Next, steam the beans for about 8 minutes, or until they have turned bright green and are just tender. Drain and place in a bowl to toss with butter and salt and pepper.

Many people like to stir-fry green beans. This method retains more nutrients than other cooking methods. Stir fry beans with garlic and some cherry tomatoes for a beautiful and tasty side dish. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans as little as possible, using the least amount of water possible, as beans release nutrients into the water. If you boil your beans, why not re-use the bean water to cook rice and thereby regain some of those nutrients?

Braising Greens: Swiss Chard + Kale

Storage + Handling

Chard and Kale are beautiful! Chard stems come in a rainbow of colors from green and yellow to red, pink, white and orange. Kale has the curly edge. Both are very good for you too – chock full of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, plus 13 different antioxidants. You should eat these leafy greens once a week!

Braising greens also are very perishable, so enjoy them soon after pickup. They can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days. The leaves can be eaten raw, like beet greens and spinach, or cooked. Before cooking, separate the leaves from their large center rib/stem. The easiest way to do this is to fold the leaf in half along the stem and then just slice the rib off. Next, rinse the greens under cold running water. Do not soak it as this will result in the loss of water-soluble nutrients. Dry the leaves. Now the chard or kale can be covered or bagged in plastic and refrigerated for a few hours until needed. Braising greens can be parboiled, steamed, baked, or sautéed. They are wonderful with pasta, in omelets, frittatas, quiches, soups, or lasagna.

If you hate to throw anything away, rest assured, you can also eat the stems! One easy way to prepare them is to slice the stems into 3-inch chunks, boil in salted water for 5 minutes or so, then bake in a 400-degree oven with butter, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese for 20 minutes.

Braising green leaves also freeze well after blanching. Blanch for 2 minutes then immediately immerse the leaves in a cold-water bath for 2 minutes. Dry the leaves and pack them into freezer containers, leaving no headspace or air. Leaves last for up to one year in the freezer. Don’t forget to date your storage bags. And when cooking veggies that you have blanched and frozen, always bring them back (cook) in butter.


Storage and Handling

The best way to store cucumbers is surprisingly, not in the fridge! Cucumbers are very temperature sensitive, especially if kept below 50 degrees. Cucumbers can be damaged by cold and become watery, pitting on the side, and accelerated decay. Stick them on your counter but keep them away from tomatoes, melons, and bananas which give off ethylene gas which will cause the cucumber to spoil faster.

Cook tips

Although usually eaten raw or pickled, cucumbers are delicious in light soups and even better braised. Slice off the skin or leave it on, its all about preference.

Salad Greens

Storage and Handling

Store unwashed lettuce or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce or greens that you have already washed and dried, roll the leaves loosely in a kitchen towel, put the towel in a plastic bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin.  Wet greens will spoil quickly, so make sure they are truly dry before refrigerating them.  If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating them.  Eat mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.

Salad greens bruise easily, so be sure to handle them gently.  For lettuce, slice the head at its base with a sharp knife and let the leaves fall open.  Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite sized pieces.  Both lettuce and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If a lot of dirt collects in the water, wash them a second time.  Dry the greens in a salad spinner, or if you don’t have one, place them loosely in a mesh bag or thin towel, then go outside and swing them around your head.


 Sauteed Kale, Apples, and Bacon


  • 4  slices bacon
  • 1  onion, sliced
  • 1  apple, sliced
  • 1  medium bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  cider vinegar


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then crumble.

2. Add the onion and apple to the drippings in the skillet and cook until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the kale, season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Mix in the bacon and vinegar.


When cooking a lot of kale in a skillet, do it in stages: Add as much as will fit and cook, tossing frequently. Add more as the leaves in the pan wilt and room becomes available.

Roasted Balsamic Green beans


  • 2-3 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 tsp cold-pressed sunflower oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1-2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and trim green beans. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on beans and mix with hands. Next drizzle the vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and mix well with hands. Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly brown ends appear.

Roasted Spring Onion and Beet Salad

You can roast the beets and the onions at the same time (in separate pans), but watch the onions closely, as they will be bitter if they blacken too much in the oven. Serve over lettuce greens or with brown rice.

2 medium size spring onions, preferably red, sliced across the grain

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch beets (about 1 pound), roasted, peeled and sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or arugula

1 ounce toasted almonds, chopped (2 tablespoons chopped)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt to taste, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast 15 minutes, turning the onions over halfway through. They should be nicely browned and just beginning to blacken around the edges, but not charred. Remove from the heat.

2. Arrange the sliced beets on a platter. Arrange the onions over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk together the vinegars, salt and pepper to taste and the remaining olive oil. Drizzle over the onions and beets. Sprinkle on the parsley or arugula and the almonds, and serve.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: The roasted beets keep well for four or five days in the refrigerator. The onions are best soon after they’re roasted; the sweetness fades with time.

Savory Peach Chicken


2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness

salt & pepper

1″ knob fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced

2  peaches, sliced thin


1. Combine brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice and chicken broth in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then place in the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, ~4 minutes total. Chicken will not be cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.

3. Add ginger and garlic to the hot pan and stir constantly for no more than 10 seconds. Add the brown sugar/chicken broth mixture and sliced peaches to the pan, and increase heat to high. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring once or twice, until sauce has thickened and peaches start to become soft.

4. Nestle chicken back into the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, place a lid on top and cook for 5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve on top of brown rice cooked in chicken broth.


Caramelized Onion & Apple Pizza with Greens & Blue Cheese Dressing

– 1 pizza crust (try:
– 4-5 slices provolone cheese
– 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1 apple thinly sliced
– 1 1/2 large, or 2 small onions, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– Sliced almonds
– 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
– 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
– 1 tsp. applewood smoked sea salt
– 2 c. mixed greens
Blue Cheese Dressing

4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

1/2 c. mayonnaise (You can use light mayo)
3 tbsp. buttermilk
1/2 c. sour cream (and also light sour cream)
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. smoky paprika seasoning
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. applewood sea salt (or just plain salt, or another variety of smoked salt)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Throw everything into blender, then pulse until smooth and desired consistency.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 15-20 minutes, or until onions are caramelized. Stir onions occasionally, but not too often as to prevent the onions from caramelizing. Add minced garlic, stir, and let cook for another minute or until garlic is fragrant.

Meanwhile, brush remaining olive oil on pizza crust, then sprinkle with pepper and applewood sea salt. If using pizza dough, bake for 5 minutes or until golden. If using a store-bought crust (like Boboli), you can skip this step and go straight to the toppings.

Arrange provolone slices and 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese on the pizza crust. Add caramelized onions and garlic, then apple slices. Sprinkle almonds over top, then add the remainder of the mozzarella. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted, approximately 5-7 minutes.

Toss greens and blue cheese dressing in bowl. Place in center of pizza, and serve with extra dressing on the side for dipping the crust.


As always, if any questions, always feel free to email us or give us a call!

All the Best,

The FarmShare Team
Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls NH 03844

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |