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Archive for the week 31 2017 Category

Box Contents – Week 31, 2017

Week 31: November 20, 2017 – November 21, 2017

Tuesday Classic Harvest Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Basil
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
Turnips
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Pink Lady Apples
Winesap Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 

Tuesday Jersey Fresh Necessities Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Fuji Apples
Cameo Apples
Apple Cider
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 
Please note that from time to time you may receive different items in your box than what is on the list. This is due to the natural growing process and at times we may experience shortages of specific produce, and may have substituted the items for other produce.

Wednesday Classic Harvest Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Basil
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
Turnips
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Pink Lady Apples
Winesap Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 

Wednesday Jersey Fresh Necessities Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Fuji Apples
Cameo Apples
Apple Cider
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 
Please note that from time to time you may receive different items in your box than what is on the list. This is due to the natural growing process and at times we may experience shortages of specific produce, and may have substituted the items for other produce.

Thursday Classic Harvest Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Basil
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
Turnips
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Pink Lady Apples
Winesap Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots & Parsnips
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 

Thursday Jersey Fresh Necessities Boxes

Ultimate Box Family Box Essential Box
Fuji Apples
Cameo Apples
Apple Cider
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Popcorn
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Thyme
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
Cameo Apples
Fuji Apples
Apple Cider
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Cranberries
Kale
Potatoes
Butternut Squash
*Bonus Sugar Pumpkin*
 
Please note that from time to time you may receive different items in your box than what is on the list. This is due to the natural growing process and at times we may experience shortages of specific produce, and may have substituted the items for other produce.

Helpful information about herbs you received can be found here: Your 2017 CSA Herb Garden

Helpful information on share contents can be found in the Produce Information Booklet

Culinary Expert Jenn“Food For Thought” by Jennifer Borealo

Here we are, we have arrived. It is our last week of the regular season and it is the celebration of the Harvest, Thanksgiving. It is really what we work toward every year. Somehow though as time passes it comes to us just a little faster. With the extreme cold of last week past us, now our team is caring for the late season crops yet to come. We will continue to harvest the cole crops including broccoli, cabbage, kale and more, from the fields through late November and December. There will be fresh from the field produce for all of your holiday needs for weeks to come.

As promised the team is working hard to be sure that you have the Thanksgiving table you are planning for. Cranberries will be in the shares to add that jewel red color and of course that cool refreshing temperature to your menu. Cole slaw was always a part of my family table as another cold and a make ahead addition. Kale and Brussel sprouts will work as greens and Yukon Gold will make those rich mashed potatoes just waiting for a little or a lot of gravy.
CSA members Amanda Brown and Nesa Rossi posted a video on Facebook for Hasselback Butternut Squash (bon appetite magazine 2016) that will look gorgeous on your table. I think that this may be the one new item I try this year. It is really best to go with the tried and true recipe for holiday preparation but trying something new really does make your table just a little more special and festive.

So many of you have posted an apple recipe on Facebook. I have seen tarts, pies, crisps. There are so many recipes in the index on the web-site as well. Fuji apples are the apples of choice this week and they can work as an addition to your baking or even your fresh fruit bowl. Fuji apples are one of the latest apples, the harvest is from mid to late November. Fuji apples have high sugar levels making them one of the sweetest and best eating apples. I did not choose Fuji apples as a favored baking apple in the past but the more I read and the more I listen to all of you, Wendy Brannen, from the U.S. Apple Association is right when she says “There’s an apple or a combination of apples for any purpose, pies, sauces, ciders, or eating fresh – there are so many different options.”

So as a teacher I am going to leave all of you this November with assignments that I hope you will complete in a timely manner. I want to know that I will see all of you again next year. The first order of business will be to sign up for 2018 as soon as you can. At the same time let’s plan to stay together for December, the holiday share is still available. Last but not least please keep in touch with jenn@alstedefarms.com, or for those of you who are close by, stop in to see us. Our assignment is to keep an eye on all of you who are on Facebook so that it will never really feel that you are far away. Until the next share, count your blessings, enjoy the holiday, the holiday season, and of course, the freshness!

Farmer Kurt AlstedeThanksgiving, 2017 – “View From the Tractor Seat” by Farmer Kurt

There is no denying that I love Thanksgiving.  It is because it is a truly American holiday that is not celebrated anywhere else in the world and by its nature celebrates the blessings of God as realized through the year’s farm harvest.  There are a multitude of things that I am grateful for and among them is the ability to engage in agricultural policy right here in the Garden State.

New Jersey is quite unique in that it boasts the only State Department of Agriculture that is run and managed by its constituents; meaning that the farmers of New Jersey oversee all of the functions and set policy for the Department of Agriculture.  We even select our own Secretary of Agriculture.  This will be quite evident as we enter the transition period for our newly elected governor.  In every other department and agency Governor Murphy will select their heads which will ultimately become his cabinet members.  For the Department of Agriculture; however, he will be presented with a candidate from the agricultural community which the Governor will then approve.  You may be wondering:  “How exactly does this work?”  That is an excellent question and allow me to explain.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture that we know today was established in 1916.  There was quite a populist movement going on here in the Garden State back then and born out of those efforts was a new department that was intended to be managed and run by its own constituents.  The legislature created “County Boards of Agriculture” is each of the Counties.  These County Boards of Agriculture exist to this day and as you might suspect I serve on the Morris County Board of Agriculture.  The County Boards have three main responsibilities:  1. To oversee operations of the county Cooperative Extension office and its services, 2. To function as the county unit of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, and 3. To provide oversight and develop policies to guide the operations of the state Department of Agriculture.

Oversight of the Department of Agriculture occurs in two primary ways:  1. Monthly meetings of the County Board of Agriculture are attended by a liaison from the Department who receives comments and suggestions and brings them back to the Department after each meeting.  2.  Annually each County Board of Agriculture sends two delegates to the Annual State Agricultural Convention.  It is at this convention that delegates from each County Board of Agriculture in the state, as well as delegates from every commodity organization that you can think of, convene together to develop the resolutions and policies that will guide the Department of Agriculture for the upcoming year.

So you may be wondering:  “Who actually oversees the operations of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture?”  Interestingly, it is a run by eight farmers who comprise the “State Board of Agriculture.”  The delegates to the agricultural convention select two farmers (only farmers can serve on the State Board) to serve four year terms on the State Board each year.  The delegates are legislatively mandated to insure that there is always a farmer on the board that represents each of the top four commodities in the state as determined by annual gross sales.  For quite some time the top four commodities in New Jersey have been:  1. Fruit, 2. Vegetables, 3. Nursery/Landscape/Greenhouse, and 4. Hay/Grain.  Once representation of these four commodity areas is fulfilled, then the remaining members can represent any other commodity; such as dairy, equine, poultry, etc.  A farmer like me is qualified to represent multiple commodities since we grow such a diversity of crops; however, when serving on the board one can only officially represent one commodity at a time…meaning I couldn’t be considered to be the fruit member at the same time that I am representing vegetables.  In addition to the commodity requirements we also observe a “Gentlemen’s Agreement” regarding regional representation on the Board.  There is always a balance of North and South Jersey growers on the Board.  Securing qualified candidates and insuring that all of the legislative requirements of Board membership are met can be quite a daunting task.  We achieve this through a series of North and South Jersey Caucus meetings in advance of the Annual Convention each year.  Once a farmer candidate is selected by a regional caucus meeting, is successfully vetted by the nominating committee of the Convention delegates, and then presented to the full delegate assembly can that candidate be formally approved to serve as a State Board Member.  Yet, there is one more step.  Successful candidates for the State Board must also secure “Senatorial Courtesy” before they can be officially seated on the State Board.  In Morris County, for instance, we have five Senators that can potentially exercise courtesy and block the advancement of a State Board of Agriculture candidate.  Finally, once a candidate passes through the Senate he or she must finally be approved by the
Governor for the four year term.

It is the State Board of Agriculture that selects the Secretary of Agriculture who then has the responsibility of running the day to day operations of the Department of Agriculture.  The Secretary reports directly to the State Board; however, the Secretary also serves the Governor as a member of the Cabinet.  Technically, the State Board must present to the Governor any candidates for Secretary for his approval; however, I am not familiar with any instance when a Governor has not approved a candidate that was presented to him by the State Board.  Naturally, given this precarious situation it is normal for the State Board to consult with the Governor’s office to seek advice regarding potential candidates in order to avoid any potential conflict because it is certainly not to our industry’s advantage to appoint a Secretary that the Governor doesn’t want who would then be ineffective as a Cabinet member…our industry would suffer.  Yet, to date over the course of 101 years of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture there have only been eight secretaries; all of them serving multiple Governors of various parties.  Today we are served by Doug Fischer who has been Secretary for about 9 years now and who is doing a great job.

In considering the transition before us right now as Governor Elect Murphy prepares to take office in January I have a pretty good sense of what is going on.  This is because I served on two recent Governor’s transition teams specifically for the Department of Agriculture:  Governor Christie Todd Whitman as well as our recent Governor Chris Christie.  I also continue to serve on the Highlands Council as its Vice Chairman and was originally appointed by Governor James McGreevy to that position; interestingly a position that required Senatorial Courtesy.  So, I am familiar with both parties and understand the process here in New Jersey and my sense is that the Department of Agriculture will not garner too much initial interest from our new Governor as he focuses on much more notable appointments that are solely his.  I also believe that you will continue to see Doug Fischer serving in his capacity as Secretary and serving on the new Governor’s cabinet.  I also believe  that you will not see the Governor Elect Murphy direct too much attention towards agriculture until he has settled into his position for the first year. So now you can watch and see if I am correct!

I would love to tell you about Governor Jon Corzine’s attempt to eliminate the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and our New Jersey Farmers’ response…but that will have to wait for another time as I am running out of space and it is a full article on its own.

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for the great encouragement that you are to all of us on the farm and for the consistent support that you offer our team.  We love growing for you!  I wish you all of God’s blessings this Thanksgiving season!

 

Recipes

  • Creamed Kale
    From the share: 3 lbs. kale center stalk removed, coarsely torn into pieces From your kitchen: 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter 3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion 3 Tablespoons flour 3 C milk Scalded Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Salt and pepper...
  • Carrot, Parsnip, Squash, and Kale Soup
    From your share: 2 parsnips, thinly sliced 2 carrots, thinly sliced 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled and chopped 2 potatoes, diced 4 cups kale, chopped into small pieces 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme (optional) From your kitchen: ¼ cup olive...
  • Breaded Brussels Sprouts
    From your share: 1 1/2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts From your kitchen: 1 t salt 4 T butter, melted 4 T grated parmesan cheese 4 T dried breadcrumbs 1/4 t garlic 1/4 t ground black pepper 1/4 t seasoning salt Wash...
  • Cranberry Orange Jam
    From your share: 16 ounces of fresh cranberries (if you have a package in the freezer – can use them straight out of the freezer – no problem) 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, grated (any variety apple you have will...

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