Contact Us

2014 FIRST FarmShare, CSA Newsletter Week of June 16th, 2014

What’s happening on the farm this week?

First CSA distribution! We are so happy this day has finally come. Thank you so much for being patient with us as we slogged through this rainy spring. We’re finally into some sunny days, and hopefully they’re here to stay (cross your fingers). This week on the farm we started harvesting our strawberries, all they needed was some heat and sunshine. Tuesday is/was officially our first Pick Your Own strawberry day ($3.25/ lb, if picking more than 10 lbs :$2.50/lb) and we’re busy planning our Strawberry Festival, which is coming up in a few weeks.

If you haven’t heard, we are busy bees building our beautiful new retail facility which will house our farm stand and a farm to table cafe, featuring breakfast, lunch and occasional dinners. That said, if you pick-up at Applecrest please pardon our appearance as the new building won’t be finished until the fall.

We look forward to getting to know those of you we don’t know yet, re-connecting with familiar, loyal faces and having a wonderful season!


What’s in this week’s box?


Spring Mix

Heads of Lettucs




Strawberries- “All-Star”, “Wendy”, “Nor’Easter”, “Evangeline”, “Itasca” (Early Varieties)


 Storage, handling and general cooking tips…


Storage and Handling– Use your strawberries as soon as possible (this usually isn’t a problem for me) as they stop ripening as soon as they’re picked.  Don’t wash your strawberries until you’re ready to use them, as moisture causes them to spoil more quickly.  Leave the caps on and store your strawberries in an uncovered container in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge about an hour before you’re ready to use them, as they tend to have the best flavor and texture at room temperature. Rinse your strawberries gently in cold water and then pat them dry with a towel.  Finally, remove the tops with a paring knife or with a slight twist of the wrist, and they’re ready to eat or use in your favorite strawberry recipe.

Lettuce, Salad Greens and Mesclun:

Storage- Store unwashed lettuce, greens 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 wilt quickly, so make sure they are good and 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.

Handling- Salad greens are fragile, so make sure to be gentle with them.  For lettuce, slice the head at the base to allow the leaves to separate from each other.  Tear your leaves into smaller more manageable pieces for use.  Lettuce, greens and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If you see a lot of dirt settling in the water, wash them again, until they’re nice and clean.  The best way to dry your greens is in a salad spinner if you’ve got one, or if not, you can always pat them dry with a towel.

Cook Tips- Salad greens taste great lightly braised or stir-fried, but keep an eye on them, as they cook very quickly.

Try adding salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, omelets, or whatever else you can think of!

Salad greens are a great addition to quiches, lasagna, and other baked dishes, wanna green up your pizza? It’s great on top, right after you pull it out of the oven.



Storage– Store your spinach in a damp towel or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to about a week.

Handling– Rinse your spinach leaves the same way you would lettuce, make sure any dirt from the field rinses off and then dry them with a salad spinner, or pat dry with a towel.

Cook Tips-Spinach, like most greens, cooks very quickly so make sure to keep an eye on it! When your spinach turns a nice bright green color, you will know that its done cooking. Much like other greens, spinach can be added to sandwiches, burritos, soups, stir-fries, quiche, lasagna, and any number of other tasty dishes.



Store-Place stalks in a plastic bag to retain moisture and place in the fridge’s crisper drawer. It should keep for about a week. Rhubarb can also be frozen; to do this cut stalks in to 1 inch chunk and place in an airtight plastic bag. Frozen rhubarb should be able to keep for up to a year.

Handling- To prepare , remove all the leaves (they are toxic), rinse and pat dry. Trim the ends and cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove tough strings as you would with celery. String will usually break down during the cooking process.

Cook tips- Stew or bake with a little water and plenty of sugar to combat the tartness. Rhubarb can quickly cook into a syrupy liquid, so keep an eye on it, you need it to retain some texture for specific recipes.  Generally, the redder the stalk, the sweeter the end product will be.



Store- Our producer, Pete & Gerry’s, recommends storing the eggs in a refrigerator, reason being that they wash their eggs before sending them to market. This makes them slightly more porous and in turn the eggs age a little faster.

FYI-You may be wondering why there is a discrepancy between eggs and refrigeration around the world. Well, we did too and did some research. In the US, industry standards are to wash the eggs before sending them out, in order to lower the risk of transmitting diseases. That’s not to say that local small scale egg producers’ eggs aren’t clean, but they probably haven’t been subjected to a pressure wash.


Recipes of the Week!

Take a fancy foodie picture and post it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter? Let us know by using #applecrest


Spring Greens Tart

Some of the ingredients found below might be hard to come by, fear not! This recipe can easily be revised to use only what you have on hand, exercise your kitchen creativity!

from Food Republic


3 sheets filo pastry
12 large sorrel leaves
1/3 cup rocket leaves (arugula)
6 spears asparagus
1/5 cup baby spinach leaves
1 medium courgette
8 spring onions
4 tablespoons butter
Mix the below ingredients with half the cheese and season to taste:
1 tablespoon chopped chervil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 tablespoons creme fraiche
4 tablespoons grated gruyère cheese
2 egg yolks
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Slice the asparagus and courgette thinly lengthways on a mandolin, place a pan of salted water onto the heat and bring to a boil. Place the strips of asparagus into the water, remove after 10 seconds and place straight into iced water to cool. Repeat the same process for the courgette and dry both of them well on kitchen paper.
  3. Cook the peas until just soft (approximately 2-3 minutes), refresh in iced water and dry on kitchen paper. Place a shallow pan on low to medium heat, then add half the butter. Once it has just melted, add the spring onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook briefly for 2-3 minutes until just cooked and place onto a tray to cool. Mix this with the egg and crème fraîche mixture in a bowl.
  4. Melt the remaining butter, take a sheet of filo and brush all over on one side. Place another sheet on top and brush again with butter. Place the last sheet on top and brush with butter. Cut this into four equal rectangles, place another baking tray on top to keep the filo flat and bake these at 350˚F for approximately 15 minutes until golden and crispy.
  5. Spread the spring onion and egg mixture onto the bottom of the filo, then lay on the sorrel and spinach leaves. Add the vegetables, courgette, asparagus, peas and rocket leaves last, sprinkle over some extra cheese and bake at 340˚F for  8-10 minutes.

Spinach Crust for fish, chicken  or veggies

from Taste Mag

Found this recipe associated with trout, but I feel it would also accompany chicken, other fish or even tofu very well. Layer on your protein and bake as desired.

  • For the spinach crust:
  • 1 1/3 cups organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1 organic egg, separated
  • 2 teaspoons chopped dill
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

To make the spinach crust: Place the spinach leaves in a large bowl. Pour over boiling water and leave to wilt for a few minutes. Drain very well, squeezing out the excess moisture when the leaves are cool enough to handle. Blend with the egg yolk and dill, then season to taste. Mix in the oats and cheese and fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.

Spinach Walnut Pesto:

from Kitchen Simplicity

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve


Strawberry and Spinach Salad:


1 bunch spinach

10 strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1 tspn salt

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup vegetable or olive oil

1 tbsp poppy seeds


1. Gently toss spinach and strawberries in a large bowl.

2. Place sugar, salt, vinegar and oil in a blender and blend until smooth.  Vigorous mixing will suffice if you don’t have a blender.

3. Stir in the poppy seeds and then pour dressing over the spinach and strawberries. Toss and serve.


 Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars

from smitten kitchen

Yield: 16 small bars, or 8 large ones; recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan, where they will come out a little thicker

1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
3/4 cup (95 grams) plus up to 2 tablespoons (15 grams) extra all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (125 grams) small-diced rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
1 cup (155 grams) small-diced strawberries
Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. For easy removal, line bottom and two sides of 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. No need to bother (and no greasing needed) if you plan to serve them right in the pan, as I did.

2. Place oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar and salt in bottom of baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over, and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

3. Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits will take longer), until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

4. Let cool in pan; I do this in the fridge, where they become crisp once chilled (less so at room temperature). Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.


Rhubarb Custard Pie



Pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie, crimped and chilled in pie tin

3 generous ups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, eggs, butter, and nutmeg and mix just until combined. Spread the cut rhubarb in the chilled uncooked pastry shell and pour the liquid mixture over it. Give it a little jiggle to settle it evenly.
  2. Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until the center looks cooked and does not jiggle when the pie is nudged (do not use a two-temperature bake for this because it’s a custard pie). Cool the pie almost to room temperature before serving.
  3. This pie is really best served on the day it is baked but will keep for 3 days, loosely covered in the refrigerator.


As a reminder, part of the fun of being a member of a CSA is collaborating with your community, so always feel free to post cooking suggestions or feedback on recipes that we post, or favorite recipes of your own that you’d like to share.





Leave a Reply

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