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Heron Pond News 3/9/2017

Posted 3/9/2017 6:59am by Andre Cantelmo.

What a difference a few weeks make in New England (same line from last note)! It is going to be cold this weekend, really cold. As this years tomato crop begins it's life in the green house, last years frozen crop will be filling our bellies with a taste of summer. Normally we hold back the frozen item fro when the greens run out. That has just not happened. This year, we all get two helpings for greens along with our frozen item! 

Other happenings on the farm this week:

Alex is back from his vacation, and Jon is off to catch his breath before the heat really turns up on the farm. He will be back in time for market Saturday.

Greenhouses are filling up, first spring planted lettuce is ready to go in the ground. Tomatoes are growing. Onions and celeriac are done with seeding. 

Root harvester was picked up last week. Anna and I made a date of it. I spent a few days with Ben Hartman author of "The Lean Farmer." Neat guy. Going to try to incorporate some of these ideas in our farming this year. These ideas come from lean manufacturing. If you have any interest in becoming more efficient in anything you do, it is worth a read.

On March 6th we welcomed our new crew manager onto the farm. Terry is a big hit already. I will try to do a profile next week.

Many more things in the works. Stop by and check out the summer feel in the greenhouse if you are around.

Help Us Fill The Summer CSA!

Our Summer CSA is just over halfway full! Thanks to everyone who signed up during our early bird special, it was a huge help to the farm just when we needed it!

More than ever we need to hit our 400 membership goal. We are up for a $75,000 irrigation grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). In order to get the grant, we will have to come up with a $12,000 matching fund. The only way Heron Pond Farm can reach this goal is with your help to fill our CSA. Irrigation has become more important with the recent year’s drought. Out crop specialists are telling us to expect more of the same this year. This equipment will help the farm meet the plants water needs and continue to provide the high quality diverse crops you have come to love from Heron Pond Farm.

 This will be our 10th season offering the CSA, it has helped shape who we are and how we farm. Many of you have been with us for most of these 10 years and have seen us grow. We know we are a better farm because of your support and feedback.
Now we want to get the word out to new folks who have never tried a CSA and we need your help. We know that word of mouth is the best way to build our membership. If you have enjoyed your farm share with us please consider doing just one of the things on the list below.
  1. Respond to this email with a short sentence or two about why you belong to our CSA and what you love about it. We’ll use your quotes on our website and literature as we work to get the word out.
  2. Tell two friends, co-workers, family members or strangers about your CSA.
  3.  Next time you’re picking up your share grab some extra brochures and leave them at your church, work or with someone you think might be interested.
  4. Follow us on instagram and facebook and share our posts with friends.
We know many of you do some of this already and we want to thank you! We feel the effects, the farm is better than ever despite the drought last summer and we owe so much of that to our amazing members. 

See you this week!
Locally yours,

How to Cook With Frozen Tomatoes
by Denise Schoonhoven

When the bounty of fresh-picked tomatoes overflows in late summer, a quick solution is to put all the extras in the freezer. This home preservation method simply requires rinsing, cutting out the cores and setting the tomatoes on a pan to freeze individually. Stored in freezer-safe bags, the low-calorie, vitamin-rich vegetables are ready at a moment's notice to include in a nutritious meal. While freezing preserves that just-picked fresh flavor, the skins get tough and the texture becomes so soft that the tomatoes are best in preparations where taste takes precedence over form.


Step 1

Hold a frozen tomato under warm running water for 20 to 30 seconds to thaw the skin. Peel the tomato by pulling the loosened skin off and discarding it. Repeat the process for four to six large tomatoes or eight to 10 medium-sized tomatoes.

Step 2

Set the peeled tomatoes in a bowl to thaw until they are soft enough to crush. Smash the tomatoes with a fork or squeeze by hand to break the tomatoes down into small chunks.

Step 3

Cook 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil, one medium chopped onion, and three to four minced garlic cloves -- depending on your taste preferences -- over medium heat in a large pot, stirring until the vegetables are a light golden brown. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan along with 2 to 3 tbsp. fresh chopped herbs such as basil, thyme, marjoram and oregano. Season the mixture lightly with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste.

Step 4

Stir continuously until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for an hour, without a lid, for a chunky sauce to serve over pasta. For a smoother sauce, simmer an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Step 5

Allow the mixture to cool, then puree it in a blender.

Soups and Stews

Step 1

Thaw the outer surface of frozen tomatoes by placing them briefly under warm running water. Remove the skins by peeling them away.

Step 2

Chop frozen tomatoes before they thaw completely to keep the juice from dripping on your work surfaces. Cut the frozen tomatoes into large chunks for meat and bean stews that have long cooking times. Make smaller pieces of tomato for faster-cooking vegetable soups.

Step 3

Add chopped frozen tomatoes to light, broth-based soups about 10 to 15 minutes before serving to maintain the fresh-tomato flavor. Stir tomato chunks into hearty soups and stews made in the slow cooker at the beginning of the cooking process so that the flavor blends with other ingredients and seasonings.

Things You'll Need

  • Cooking pot
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Onion, medium, chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Basil leaves, fresh, chopped
  • Thyme leaves, fresh
  • Marjoram leaves, fresh, chopped
  • Oregano leaves, fresh, chopped
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Blender
This Weeks Share

Salinova and Frozen Tomatoes are Featured this Week 
CSA Share 3/9/2017-3/15/2017

                       Full             Partial 
Salinova            2                2
Tomatoes         1                 1
Onions             6                  3
Root 1#            6#               3#
Roots 2#          2                  1


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