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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of August 6th, 2013

This week’s share:


White Peaches



Butter and Sugar Corn

Summer Squash 

Green and Italian beans

Head Lettuce

Red potatoes

Swiss chard

Storage, handling and general cooking tips:



Potatoes were first grown and cultivated in South America, but were brought over to Europe in the 16th Century. Louis XVI wore potato flowers in his buttonhole and Marie Antoinette put them in her hair. Thomas Jefferson first introduced them to America. The first permanent potato patch in the US was actually located not too far from here, in Derry, NH. The nickname “spud” comes from a tool that was used to weed the potato patch. Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. They are rich in carbs, magnesium and potassium (more pro-rata than a banana!) with some Vitamins B + C. They are low in fat and have as many calories as an apple or glass of OJ. Potatoes are generally known as tubers, but they aren’t actually roots. The potato is a stem. Each potato has its own root system hanging from it. If you find “potato hairs” in your quart, it’s because they were just gathered from the soil in the field – fresh as can be!

Storage + Handling Tips

Unwashed potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place.  They will keep for weeks at room temperature, and even longer at 40-50 degrees. Do not refrigerate them, as refrigerators will turn the starch in potatoes into sugar. Moisture will cause spoilage, light will turn them green, and onions will cause them to sprout (just cut off the “eyes” – they are still good potatoes!)

Potatoes are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. They can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, mashed, sautéed, fried, or microwaved. Before cooking your potatoes, give them a good scrub to remove any dirt. Cut out any black spots, which are bitter internal bruises, and cut off any green skins or sprouts. Many of the potatoes’ nutrients are found in the skin, so whether you peel them is up to you and your recipe. Soups and stews may separate the skins, but roasted, baked, or fried skins will become a wonderful crispy treat. Prick potatoes if cooking whole. Cover peeled and cut potatoes in cold water if not using right away to prevent the flesh from turning brown. Russets, blue and purple potatoes have a crumbly, fluffy texture – perfect for making French fries, baking or pureeing. They easily absorb flavors and fat for crispiness. Waxy red, white, and yellow potatoes are great in salads and gratins where their firm, moist texture will remain intact.


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 

Corn is best when eaten right away, before the sugars turn to starch, and diminish its sweet taste. This is mostly true for eating corn right off the cob, but after 4 days, corn will still be edible and tasty enough to cook with. Corn should be refrigerated with the husks still on. The husks will preserve that milky moisture in the kernels. Keep them in the crisper drawer without any strong smelling foods, as corn will easily absorb those odors.

Cook tips

Try eating your corn raw – when it’s fresh like this, it’s yummy! My kids love to pick an ear off the stalk, shuck it in the field, and chomp away. To cook your corn, boil it in water for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. Last night, I cooked it for just 3 minutes then let it steam in the pot until the rest of dinner was ready a few minutes later. It was perfectly cooked and just popped off the cob! Corn is best when eaten simply: boil, slather with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Do you twirl your corn and eat around the cob or lengthwise like a typewriter? In our family, I’m the typewriter.

Corn is also delicious grilled. Pull back the corn husks without removing them fully, remove the silks, then pull the husks back up and soak for at least 15 minutes in water. Grill corn in its husks (maybe brush some pesto on the corn before pulling up the husks), turning occasionally until charred about 20 minutes.  Corn is super versatile. Think: creamed corn, corn bread, corn chowder, salsa, succotash, or as a topping to salad.


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 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, 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.


Corn, Potato, and Green Bean Chowder

Serves 6

20 minutes preparation time
50 minutes cooking time

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small celery rib, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
3 cups milk
3 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
corn cut off of 3 ears of corn (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and thyme and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 6-7 minutes. Add the bay leaf, stock, milk, salt and pepper, and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low so that the milk does not scald, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Add potatoes and corn, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. With an immersion blender or a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes into the broth to thicken it (this took about 5 seconds with my immersion blender).

Add the green beans and simmer until they are tender, about 5 minutes for French green beans, or a few minutes more for regular green beans. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve hot.

Summer Squash and Corn Cacio e Pepe

This easy, quickly made dish is equally tasty served warm, cold, or at room temperature. Top it with a fried egg for a quick lunch or a light dinner.


  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 ears of corn, husked, kernels cut from cobs (2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium squash (assorted colors, 1 1/2 pounds), grated on the large holes of a box grater (4 cups packed)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 large scallion, trimmed, thinly sliced (4 tablespoons), divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds (optional)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add corn and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened but still retaining texture, 2–3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan and 3 Tbsp. scallion. Remove from heat and toss until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Add more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer to serving platter or individual plates. Scatter over remaining 2 Tbsp. cheese and scallions; season with pepper to taste. Garnish with seeds, if desired

Swiss Chard & Potatoes

Hearty, healthy and delicious, this traditional Italian peasant dish goes really well with roasted pork or sausage.


1 bunch Swiss Chard (can also incorporate kale or other braising greens)
1 Pound Potatoes, Peeled & Cut Into Quarters
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Large Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
Fine Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Red Hot Pepper Flakes


Wash the chard and trim the stems, then cut the stems into 1 inch pieces.
Fold the leaves together, and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then add the potatoes and cook until just almost tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the stems from the chard and cook another 10 minutes, then add the leaves and cook until wilted.
Drain the potatoes and chard very well in a colander.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic.
Season the oil with salt and pepper and add the red pepper flakes.
Add the Swiss chard and potatoes, then cook over medium heat, stirring often, and mashing the potatoes gently as they cook, for about 8 minutes.
Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed, then serve warm.

Grilled Corn, Peach and Basil Salsa

Serve with chips as an appetizer, or on top of grilled chicken or in with your salad for dinner. Yum, yum!

makes about 3 cups

4 ears grilled corn, cut off the cob

2 large peaches, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

6 large basil leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

a few fresh squeezes of lemon juice

Combine all ingredients together and toss. Season with the salt and pepper, then mix again. The salsa is best once it’s sat together for 2-4 hours. Refrigerate leftovers for up to one week.

Blueberry and Peach fruit salad with thyme

6-8 peaches
1 cup of blueberries
1-2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped thyme
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
Or 1 tablespoon of agave syrup in lieu of water and sugar

Place water and sugar into a saucepot and bring to a boil and liquid is reduced by half into a simple syrup. Allow to cool.

Chop up the peaches into small chunks and place them in a bowl with the blueberries. Pour over the cooled simple syrup. Add the thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ginger.

Stir and cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and allow to macerate for one hour. Serve.


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 |