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Tuesday, 23 February 2010 18:19

Carrot Muffins

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1 cup all-purpose flour & 1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1?2 teaspoon nutmeg
1?4 teaspoon salt
1?2 cup white sugar and 1?2 cup light brown sugar (or maple syrup!)
1?4 pound carrots
1?2 cup pecans or walnuts
3 large eggs (or the equivalent egg substitute)
1 cup canola oil (or 1?2 cup apple sauce and 1?2 cup oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 apple

Preheat oven to 350° and oil 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in sugar. Coarsely shred enough carrots to measure 2 cups and chop nuts. Add shredded carrots and nuts to flour mixture and toss well.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Peel and core apple and coarsely shred. Stir shredded apple into egg mixture and add to flour mixture, stirring until batter is just well-combined. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling them three- fourths full, and bake in middle of oven until puffed and a tester comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool muffins in cups on racks 5 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool completely. Muffins keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.

Sonya is originally from Oakland, CA but fell in love with New York (who wouldn’t!) and became a transplant. She lives in north Williamsburg with her boyfriend Daniel, who is also a member of the CSA, and sassy cat Gigi. Sonya is dedicated to maintaining a locally based, environmentally sustainable diet and educating others about the benefits of doing so. She is very happy to be a part of this CSA!

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Thursday, 04 March 2010 18:18

Bacon, Squash and Kale Pie

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* 1 pie crust
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 (1-pound) piece butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 1/2 cups)
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 4 slices bacon
* 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
* 1 1/2 pounds kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (16 cups)
* 1/4 cup water
* 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring frequently, until browned and just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and spread in 1 layer to cool.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and reduce heat to moderate, then cook onion, bacon, garlic, sage, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in kale and water and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is just tender, about 6 minutes. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cool, uncovered, to room temperature.

Spread half of kale mixture in pie shell. Spread squash mixture over kale. Top with remaining kale.

Bake until pie crust turns deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool pie in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Mark has lived in Greenpoint with his girlfriend Crystal, two cats Milo and Althea and dog Kyra for the last 5 years. They love the restaurants and pubs in Greenpoint and Williamsburg and rarely find the need to venture into Manhattan for good food and drink

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Sunday, 07 March 2010 18:16

March Times

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March is said to be in like a lion and out like a lamb… However we are seeing pretty lamb-y conditions upstate here! The sun is shining and temperatures are temperate enough to wander around and smell the fresh air. 

For this Week:

. A Variety of Cheeses (everyone will get “a cheese” though everyone will not get the same one. For those who’s boxes might have had MIA cheese, that is being replaced this next share.) 

. Red Onions

. Parsnips

. Carrots

. Local Honey

. Butternut Squash

. Empire Apples

. Potatoes 

. Red or Black Beans 

. Eggs

….next week, some more mesclun greens, a special box next week. 

In other news… here is a bit of what has been going on the last few days before this lovely sun got to us! The Word of the Day this past week was… Mud. M. U. D….

Despite the sad reputation mud has in some circles, it is really a very happy byproduct of melting snow and good earth. It is also a sign spring is just around the corner! This past week many of us saw rain, snow, slush, more rain, lots more snow, and little to no sun. As we bid farewell to the month of February, many are quick to want to close their eyes and not open them again until March 21 and the start to spring are here… but not so quick! The last bit of winter and into early spring will bless you with another round of CSA goodies, including lots of beans and grains, as well as an Open House Maple Syrup Demonstration Party at the Farm!!! 

(and the crowd goes wild.) 

At least the crowd known as myself went wild, as there is nothing quite as fun as gathering around in the last bits of snow and tapping the trees for local, delicious Maple Syrup. Come for the Maple Syrup demonstration, where refreshments and snacks will also be provided. There will be an open grill so folks can grill as they please hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, veggie burgers or whatever tickles your fancy from the barbie! Bring your favorite beverage to enjoy in quantities that suit your agenda, though hot spiced cider will be provided by Michael and family. Being incredible hosts is yet another of their great qualities outside of growing top notch vegetables, roasting darn good lamb and being in the know about great music. It is always a good time with good company up here! So make a day trip out of it and consider lunch already taken care of, too. 

syrupin'The buckets are hung on the trees with care, in hopes that you all will soon be there… wait….

Here, that is, 284 Pleasant Vale Road, Tivoli NY 12583 (map)… but logistics aside… 

Please join us for the Open House Maple Syrup Demonstration 

@  284 Pleasant Vale Road, Tivoli NY 12583

on Saturday March 20 

from 11 am to 4 pm. 

Maple syrup season actually runs into late April though many think it is a dead of winter event… images of snow make that feasible but with the coating of white on the grounds here, it will just as picturese as ever. A snapshot of you or your youngsters next to the maple syrup trees? Can you say holiday card 2010 picture? Maple syrup has been getting some good press lately in newspapers across America, with one mentioning an indiana syrup producer Tim Burton, of Burton’s Maple Farm. He was quoted as saying “I think you’re going to see more chefs reaching out to farmers and producers.” With maple syrup quickly moving off pancakes and into a broad range of dishes (noted in an entry here.) The demand continues to grow as not just due to the generalized rejection of other sweeteners these days. The flavor of maple syrup is more complex than basic sugar, with different syrups maintaining different flavor profiles. Though Vermont produced over 900,000 gallons in 2009, we are lucky to have local New York state maple syrup being produced right here, right now… and before your very own eyes! (and hands if you come up March 20.) 

Maple syrup might seem common place to some but if you grew up on a tan sweet liquid that flowed out of a woman’s head labeled “pancake syrup” (like myself) you will greatly appreciate the clean flavor and simple goodness of fresh local maple syrup. Real maple syrup also has ONE ingredient… maple syrup. A quick jump over to a nameless brand of syrup gave me this:


…and I cried a little inside. For the good of all pancakes and biscuits, bowls of oatmeal and yogurt, vinaigrettes and chicken glazes… please take advantage of our wonderful Maple Syrup.

From our trees to your tables.

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Monday, 08 March 2010 18:10

Sweet Beets

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“I don’t know what it is… but I want it!”…. ahh, one of my favorite Jessica Simpson quotes…but it came to mind immediately when I found this recipe embedded in a sweet article from PA about local winter eating and the freeing nature of accepting season’s on natures’ terms.

Read the article here, or just try out the recipe below. Complete with nutritional information… this seems like a cool way to make beets into a dessert with an Indian flavor. It takes a while to make but appears to be a gorgeous and aromatic treat. A Halwa is basically a dense, sweet middle eastern dessert… some use carrots, some use grains, some use nuts… but you and me, my local seasonal eating friends, can use beets. Enjoy! 

cardamonBeet Halwa

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound beets, scrubbed and peeled

1 quart whole milk

1 cup sugar, or more to taste

4 green cardamom seeds

1/4 cup unsalted butter or ghee

Freshly grated nutmeg

Chopped cashews, sliced almonds, or both (optional)

1. Using a grater or a food processor, grate beets.

2. Combine milk, sugar, and cardamom in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a frying pan. When foaming subsides, add beets and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beets to milk and bring to a boil again. Continue briskly simmering, stirring frequently, until milk is mostly absorbed, but beets are still moist, about 1½ hours. (Mixture will continue to thicken off heat.) Remove cardamom.

4. Garnish with nutmeg and nuts, if using. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Per serving (based on 8): 246 calories, 5 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 34 grams sugar, 10 grams fat, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 94 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

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Sunday, 14 March 2010 18:09

Pumpkin Carrot Bread

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Contributed by Jenna Usatin

1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1?2 cup pumpkin
1?2 cup parsnips, grated
1?2 cup turnips, grated
1?2 cup apples, finely diced

Sift dry ingredients together. Mix eggs, oil, and pumpkin. Then mix with dry ingredients. Fold in carrots, parsnips, turnips, and apples.

Bake at 300° F for 55 minutes in lightly greased and floured loaf pan.

Jenna Usatin is a wife, mother, photography producer, and food enthusiast. Her most favorite place to be is in the kitchen cooking for her family. It is important for her to only cook with the freshest of ingredients which is why she decided to join a CSA this winter. Enjoy her recipe!

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Thursday, 25 March 2010 18:08

Post Maple Meandering

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Thank you to those who ventured north of le’ grand NYC (and Brooklyn, respectively) to join in on the Maple Syrup Demonstration! There were power tools and buckets, good eating and happy children, lands to walk on and CSA members ready to asist with tapping the trees and watching the syrup boil. 

For a recap for those of you who could not make it, Maple Trees are actually not all syrup trees. You can tell by the bark, which on the trees for syrup-ing is in large flat looking plates. Finding a good tree is easy when you do not discriminate, drill on the sunny side and watch the resulting hole for any sides of moisture. A quick pinkie stuck in the tree’s new hole will tell you if things are on go. After drilling the hole, with the drill bit angled uphill so to speak, a spout is placed in the hole and hammered into place. Quickly a bucket is hung underneath and the watery clear fluid starts to drip from the tree. Even the little bugs and insects all about know the natural sweetness that is in the saps before it is boiled down into syrup. It is exciting to see the trees that start flowing immediately. Like proud parents, we stood amongst the leaves and branches to admire our handiwork of bucket hanging and seemingly bountiful sources of pre-syrup goods. 

Over the creek and through the mud, a small field away, we made it back to maple syrup’s stage of maturing. It takes roughly forty to fifty gallons of maple sap to the make one gallon of maple syrup. Sigh…and we thought we were really in the maple syrup garden of eden with the abundance of buckets surrounding us. Boiling down the sap take a large, lane filled container with a wood burning fire underneath. After that, there is nothing more complicated about it…than finding another beverage or conversation as the hours pass and the syrup boils away. Monitoring the fire is not a temperature based endeavor but a practice in log supply, feeding the fire regularly to keep it burning strong. 

Even as the early spring sun faded and the cars drove away, there syrup was still a’boiling and the local venison meatballs brought by a dear neighbor being enjoyed. A laid back and delightful day. As Michael and family have mentioned before, the lands are open if any one wants to come wander or hike for a bit and take in the fresh air of upstate New York. 

Pictures coming soon…when decides to let me upload them again! Look forward to pictures of our trees, buckets, cute members working together to drill holes, the container for boiling the syrup down and other fun maple highlights! 

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Sunday, 04 April 2010 18:07

Making the Most of the In-Between:

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For those of you who were members of the Winter CSA and for those who were previous members of our summer CSA shares, this time represents a seeming void of farm connection. What really happens? Maybe the lands go to sleep as the snow has melted but the sun has not come back to reclaim its full time position. Maybe folks start looking elsewhere and losing our values of local food consumption and habits in this half time of the year’s growing and harvest food game. It is easy to revert to other ways of modern living and our society of consumption whilst waiting on Spring and Summer (and another season of our delicious CSA.) But the time is nothing more than the sleepy morning of spring waking up. 

Here is a little list of what you can do or look into while you wait! Waiting does not hold a happy place in today’s world where now now now, bigger faster stronger is the desired way. Waiting though, much like the winter CSA, teaches us a lesson in the beauty of not having everything we want instantly, and looking to new places for entertainment, goods, recreation and other items we desire or need. Below are things to think about or look into until we again launch into a full, bright and satisfying CSA season…so very soon! 

* Earth Day is April 22. By being aware of the impact of our food choices on the earth, I congratulate you on being part of the solution by sourcing our CSA and supporting our local farms. Celebrate by visiting a park, or finding a restaurant that sources local foods and complimenting them on their choice to do so. Plant an herb garden, drive less, stop using plastic cups… oh you all get the picture. Go earth go! 

*Follow our blog and be our friend on facebook!

*Get outside! Sunny days were made for playing. Go get your does of Vitamin D. Look at trees, find some grass for your toes and breathe the new air in deeply! 

* Rally your friends for a dinner party of sustainable end of winter foods. Say hello to spring and summer and buh bye to winter in a proper and delicious way. 

* Watch food friendly  or food centric films such as King Corn, Killer at Large, No Impact Man, or Food Inc. Even if information you already know, all three worth watching. 

* Take a day trip to visit the Cheese Farm from which all the cheese for the winter CSA and special orders comes from.

Located in Harpersfield NY, the Brovetto Dairy and Cheese House is open 11 to 4. 

phone: 607. 278. 6622 


“May simple pleasures fill you with joy” John 15:11 

* Spring Clean the green way. Make a conscious effort this year to use natural cleaners or look into ways to reduce your consumption and reuse what you already have. Give away or donate old items to shelters, recycle plastics and other waste. Let fresh air into your homes and apartments to break up the molds/dusts/etc from winter heaters. Lemon juice and baking soda still hold as the best and cheapest cleaners around. The internet and many books hold more info on this subject. 

* Study up on composting. Buy worms even?

* Want more local foods?? Look into where your favorites come from and how to obtain then in a sustainable way. Breads and other grains can be local. Baked goods and other products can also be sourced close to home. Take a look at your other items you consume day to day, such as coffee, oils, spices and other ingredients… not to say cut these out but just to take an inventory of where things other than your produce comes from. If you would like help finding local breads and other resources from the Hudson Valley, feel free to contact us through the facebook page! 

 Information for the Summer CSA 2010 will be out during April VERY SOON,


Our website, blog and facebook page will updated as information is available.

We look forward to hearing from you all again! We have the best CSA members! 

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Wednesday, 07 April 2010 18:06

It’s That Time Again!

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Dear Paisley Farm CSA members,friends, future members & all those who want to learn more about how delicious and rewarding local food can be, 

The time is here to sign up for the 2010 growing season!
* * * We are offering a $25 discount if you pay in full by April 14th! * * *
Paisley Farm will be delivering to the same locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We look forward to providing our friends and families in NYC with our fresh and organically grown produce.  
This year we are proud to announce that we are offering egg shares and fruit shares. These shares can be purchased in addition to the regular share. These eggs are from free running hens, no hormones are used and they are antibiotic free – from Feather Ridge Farms in Elizaville, NY. The fruit share will be the best peaches, apples, apricots, cherries, berries and grapes from the abundant orchards surrounding our farm in the Hudson Valley.
Also new this year we will be adding conventionally grown sweet corn as part of the basic vegetable share. We will be buying sweet corn from a variety of nearby farms and delivering it your site as part of your share. We are very picky about the corn we buy so we will be tasting the local corn to make sure you get the best corn possible! This is something we do already for our very demanding New York chefs.
There is more detail about the basic share and other details on our website.
We guarantee you will be eating more vegetables when you join our CSA! You will be supporting a small family farm and local agriculture. You can be assured that the food you will be getting from Paisley Farm will be planted and picked with you and your family in mind.
Your health is our livelihood.
We would like to renew our thanks to the owners of Jimmy’s, d.b.a., and Metropolitan Exchange for their continued support for hosting us. We also thank the parents of CPE and the Calhoun School for their hard work in getting the season started. Lets not forget the site coordinators who make the enrollment process and weekly pickups run so smoothly – thank you!
We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you,
Paisley Farm CSA
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Sunday, 09 May 2010 18:05

Edible Mention & Shares!

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Great produce speaks for itself. We were mentioned in the current issue of Edible Brooklyn by our friends at Dressler  in Williamsburg. 

“That may be because it’s something Dobkin’s done for decades.  Though Dobkin was raised in Manhattan, his father has land up in the Hudson Valley, where Dobkin grew up picking-his-own at nearby farms and orchards, and still stops by to load up his car with produce for the drive back to Brooklyn. (He also gets great ingredients delivered from places like Tivoli’s Paisley Farm, whose baby mustard greens he can’t seem to stop praising: “I’ve never tasted anything that delicate, yet that assertive,” he raves.) He cites his time at Gramercy Tavern and the Screening Room, both places known for simple, ingredient-driven food, as formative, too.

“Smart people start with what they know,” he says. “You’d be a fool,” he says of chefs or restaurateurs who don’t plan a business around what they love to eat, “to go with something else.” ”

Read more Edible Publications here. 

We are assertive…and delicate. The best of both worlds… much like this upcoming season. A mix of vegetables shares, fruit shares and egg shares, oh my! A little something for everyone to find their favorite to rave about. 

Don’t miss out on these beloved baby mustard greens and all our other goods!

Secure your spot now! 

Sign up HERE! 

Love & Greens, 

Paisley Farm 

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Sunday, 04 July 2010 18:03

Let the Season Begin

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The 2010 Summer Season Sign Up was a Success! (say that 5 times fast?)

Thank you to all who got shares, and welcome to delicious local produce delivered to you fresh every week. Sign up is closed except for the pick-up location at 139 Atlantic Co-Op in Brooklyn. Run by members, this pick-up site is still open if you need a share.

Planting for the entire season is keeping the farm busy but drenched with sun shine, the days are as pretty as they are productive. Wasting no time, for your first delivery, you will be receiving:


*Red Radishes

*Lettuce (which is considered the staple and will be in every delivery)

*A Variety of Cooking Greens (Swiss Chard, etc.)

* Turnips

*Kale, possibly

And… 1 pound of Local Dried Organic Beans!

* Egg Shares (for those who have one)


The beans are a special treat we hope can find good homes. Hosting a winter CSA means storage items and we had more dry beans than we could give out. After these 15 weeks, feel free to sign up for the 2011 Winter CSA as well. We’d love to grow and supply for you year round!

Coming up this season, you can look forward to:

Cauliflower, Broccoli, Leeks, Red and HeirloomTomatoes (rumored to be the “best in the hudson valley”), Zucchini, Cucumbers, Different Mustards, Peppers, Eggplants, Collards, Kale, Hard Squashes such as Butternut and Acorn, Lettuce (of course, delicate & always satisfying) ….and other goodies!

Those with Fruit shares will begin closer to July and can look forward to Apples, Peaches, Apricots, Berries, Plums, etc. The summer sun sweetens all these fruits and makes them the best they can be.

****It is also NOT TOO LATE to join for Fruit Shares if you are already a member! Add this to your shares today and come mid summer, you’ll be getting these beauties,too!****

For those of you who made it out to Jimmy’s for the CSA meet and greet… a Big Thank You! We are happy to be growing for all of you! (including those we have not met face to face yet…speaking of…)

Getting involved with the farm is welcome! This Friday ( June 3) a great group is coming up from NYC to help with some planting and other farm duties. All members are welcome! There is also talk and tentative plans of Camp Paisley… where we supply the farm day, the meadow, and tents. Bring your own sleeping bag and make an agrarian adventure of it, taking in the fresh air and soft landing of nature…while helping with YOUR CSA! You truly get what you put in with a CSA, so take advantage of these perks such as on-farm-connections, camp outs, potluck dinners with other members, sharing recipes and information on the facebook* and blog*….and of course meeting like minded people while getting fresh food that tastes delicious every week.

For those of you who are new, the blog and facebook are great spots to get involved with other members to share recipes, thoughts or to get in touch with questions.

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We are an organic farm in Tivoli, NY, with four CSA sites in New York City. We also run a distribution company that represents small family farms in upstate NY.

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