CSA Newsletter Week #1, May 26th

Farm Notes

Hello everyone! We hope you all are as excited as we are here at the South Farm for the first week of distribution. Finally, we have had some nice and warm weather to dry out our fields for some much needed field cultivation. Although Wednesday was the first day of class for our apprentices, we have had several help us the last few weeks. They have already gotten some hands on experience transplanting, planting potatoes and of course, lots of weeding.

As a reminder, we will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have carrots and peas for sale that are not included in the share this week, along with extra share items in case you need any additionally veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

Hand weeding the carrots

Hand weeding the carrots

A Note from the CSA Manager: Kristi Durbin

As we begin our 2016 CSA season, I find dirt under my nails, grease in my hair, mud on my shoes, and aches in places I didn’t know muscles existed. Well, these are all signs that I might be a farmer! Staff and apprentices alike have been experiencing what many might call the trials of farming.

Sometimes, yes, farming feels a bit like a battle: a battle with bugs, with weather, with equipment, maybe even each other. Yet when you’re hot and sweaty, in the “trenches” of farming together, you quickly develop a bond with your fellow farmers. There are joys in farming, too. Joys of building a community of people who earnestly care about growing food in an ecologically conscientious way, who pour themselves into this hard work, and who are exuberant about eating well. We get to share this latter joy with you, our CSA members.

I hope our first week kicks off a great adventure for you – and for us – of eating radically this year. It is radical to eat food seasonally, which is produced organically, locally, and supports the education of the next generation. It is radical to champion the unusual vegetables that many Americans wouldn’t even recognize. It is radical to place a high value on good food and invest in future health with your wallet.  It is even becoming radical to cook fresh food at home.

Thinking about the radical change we can each bring about in our lives and in our community is perhaps the greatest farming joy of all.


What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Arugula
+ Kale
+ Nancy Butterhead Lettuce
+ Spinach
+ Radishes
+ Spring Onions

Sword fighting with the spring onions!

Sword fighting with the spring onions!

Veggie Tips

To start off the CSA season, here are some charts to help you store your veggies properly.

Kristi's guide 2

Additionally, here is a chart that helps you figure out how long your veggies will last and what you might want to eat first. It is organized starting at the beginning of the week.

Kristi's guide 1



For your convenience, this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Spring Onion Soup
From Veg Recipes of India

Ingredients: (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
1 bunch spring onions, rinsed and chopped, approx 4 or 4.5 cups chopped spring onions with both whites and greens (reserve a few greens for garnish)
1 medium or large potato, peeled and chopped in smaller pieces
1 or 2 garlic, chopped
½ or 1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp dry oregano
3 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper as required
few parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a pot. Fry the garlic for 10-12 seconds.
Add the spring onions and saute for 4-5 minutes on a low flame.
Now add the chopped potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well.
Pour water and stir again. Cover the pot and simmer till the potatoes are cooked completely on a low to medium flame.
Let the soup cool down a bit. With a hand blender, blend the soup till smooth. The soup will appear thick now.
Add soy sauce, oregano and keep the soup to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
If the soup appears too thick, then you can add about ¼ or ½ cup water or veg stock, while simmering the soup.
Serve spring onion soup hot, plain or with some bread garnished with some spring onion greens or parsley

Arugula Pesto

This pesto is a great way to spice-up your pasta or potatoes or other steamed vegetable.

1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
2 cups mature arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Toast the pine nuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant.  Transfer the nuts to a dish to cool.  Combine the arugula, Asiago cheese, oil, garlic, and pine nuts in a blender or food processor; process until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


French Breakfast Radishes Sautéed in Butter

From the blog coolcookstyle

Olive oil
1 bunch of French breakfast radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise

In a skillet large enough to accommodate all the radishes, melt a big knob of butter with a little bit of olive oil. When the butter begins to foam, add the radishes. Season them with salt and sauté them until the radishes lose their opacity and they all begin to turn translucent. Transfer the radishes to a serving dish and snip fresh chives over them before serving.

First week of the CSA: Details

I’m sure many of you have noticed…but it’s been cold! And rainy. We have had a particularly challenging spring this year. It has been extremely wet which has delayed field work and planting, but we have made due with what we have. Our early spring fields look great and everything is growing nicely.

Hand weeding the cilantro.

Hand weeding the cilantro.

Here are some details and reminders as we gear up for the season:

This week, you will want to start checking your emails as that is our primary form of communication. Earlier in the week you should have received an email on the specific details about your CSA share.

Once the season starts, you can expect to receive an email the day of pick up (Thursday). The email will also include a link to the newsletter where you can find out what we’ve been doing at the farm that week, hear from our apprentices, see what’s in your share and find recipes. We can also send you a text reminder to pick up your share. If you would like to have that text reminder sent to you, please email us at uk.csa@uky.edu with your phone number and your service provider.

This summer we will continue to have a Farm Stand at both the campus pick-up location and at the farm. The Farm Stand will be open to the public; anyone may purchase from us. There will be no pre-orders for the Farm Stand. We will accept cash or check only. If you are a CSA member and we already have a credit card on file for you, you may purchase items from the Farm Stand in that way. The Farm Stand will be set up on a separate table with a banner.


If you are picking up your share on Campus, we will be set up in the E.S. Good Barn parking lot from 4-6 pm. If you are picking up at the farm, we will be set up in the packing shed from 3:30-6:30 pm. You can find maps and directions to either location here.

You all have asked for it and we have listened.

Here’s an early preview of what you may expect in your share this week:

+ Arugula
+ Kale
+ Butterhead lettuce
+ Spinach
+ Radishes
+ Spring onions (This is a smaller, fresh onion that has been harvested earlier. It will not store for long, so use sooner rather than later.)

As a reminder, this is just an estimation of what we think will be ready for the share. We will publish a blog post on Mondays with a preview of that week’s share. The official share list will be posted in the newsletter on Thursday.

Plantin' taters

Plantin’ taters

Maps for Pick Up Locations

For those of you picking up on Campus, our distribution location will be back at the parking lot by the E.S. Good Barn. See the map, below:


For those of you picking up at the Farm, our distribution location will be at our packing shed at the far end of Emmert Farm Lane. The location and parking maps are below:



We look forward to seeing you at our first distribution!

Meet your 2016 CSA Farm Crew

Although, you may recognize most of these faces, we have a new addition to our farm crew this year.


From left to right:

Our newest addition to the crew this year is Savannah. She will be a junior this fall at UK working on a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. Savannah was an apprentice last summer and also worked for Dr. Jacobson in the high tunnels on the farm. She is very enthusiastic about being a part of the farm staff and learning everything she can about farming. When she isn’t at the farm, Savannah enjoys cooking with the dream of one day opening a restaurant.

Aaron will be returning for his fourth year on the CSA. This year, Aaron is focusing on scouting for pests and taking action when needed. Yes, even though we are Organically Certified, we still have to spray organic pesticides to deal with pest issues. When Aaron is not at the farm, you can find him mowing lawns, teaching philosophy during the spring and fall semesters, or brewing beer. Never is there a dull moment around Aaron, as you will more than likely be serenaded with lyrics matching whatever particular task you are working on. Or he’ll just sing your name.

Kristi completed her apprenticeship in 2012 and is now in her fifth growing season with the CSA. She has degrees in both Philosophy (St. John’s College) and Sustainable Agriculture (University of Kentucky) and Master Gardener status. This year, she has taken hold of the reins as our CSA Farm Manager. When she isn’t at the farm, she is thinking about the farm. Kristi now has two children who will grow up to enjoy the farm here too!

Katie also completed her apprenticeship in 2012 and was on the farm staff in 2013. In 2014 she spent the summer in Wisconsin on a dairy farm expanding her experience and knowledge. She returned to the CSA in 2015. This is her fourth year here as staff. Katie will continue to write the newsletters every week for the CSA members and take pictures for our Instagram and Flickr accounts.

Alex is also returning for his second year as CSA staff. He completed his apprenticeship in 2014 and graduated with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture in 2015. This past winter, Alex took the helm on our Farm Stand and helped plan, plant, and take care of the veggies in the high tunnels. This year, he will continue to focus on irrigation set-up and maintenance. Eventually Alex may return to his home state of Virginia to continue farming.

We can’t wait to meet YOU, our CSA members this year!

Countdown to the CSA Season!

We are only 2 weeks away from our planned first CSA distribution of 2016!


This morning we emailed our 2016 CSA subscribers. If you did not receive this email, then we do not have you as a member or your contact info is incorrect, in which case please contact us. This is your last chance to snag a spot in our CSA for 2016. Only a few spots remain and we don’t want you to miss out!  Sign up here: http://csa.farmigo.com/join/ukcsa/2016CSA

We are battling with some inconvenient weather at the farm — rain, rain, rain is the name of the game and we just need more SUN! We managed to get lots of plants in the ground during a quick sunny window — tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and lots of herbs in our you-pick field! Up next: potatoes, sweet corn…


Our student apprentices have started to come out to join us at the farm, now that the UK semester is complete. It doesn’t take long before they are sweating alongside of us and getting dirt under their fingernails.


Farm Stand will be running TODAY (May 12th) from 4-6pm at the E.S. Good Barn parking lot – we are bringing tomato and pepper plants, snap peas, carrots, kale, radishes, and lettuce with us for walk-up sales. Come grab some spring veggies!


Transplants and Peas at Farm Stand

At our UK Farm Stand this week we will have more items available on a first-come, first served basis:
-Snap Peas, $5/quart
-Tomato Transplants (Sungold Cherry, Yellow Pear Cherry, German Johnson Heirloom, Big Beef Hybrid Red, Cherokee Purple Heirloom, Speckled Roman and Amish Paste Rome varieties), $3/pot
-Pepper Transplants (Aristotle Bell), $2/pot
-Radishes, $2.50/bunch
-Lettuce Heads, $2.50/head
-Carrots, $3/lb

Come grab your fresh, tunnel-grown produce TODAY from 4-6pm in the E.S. Good Barn parking lot!


UK CSA Farm Stand is back!

Hey folks!

After quite a bit of a break, we are excited to announce that the CSA Farm Stand will be open this week. The veggies in the tunnels have come along quite nicely. We will have lettuce, carrots, and spinach for pre-order, and some radishes ($2.50/bunch) and snap peas ($5/quart) available on a first come, first served basis (no pre-orders for these two items). Place your order now!

As a reminder, you may place your order via Farmigo Monday at noon through Thursday at 6 am. Pick up will be at the E.S. Good Barn in the parking lot from 4-6 pm on Thursday. If you are unable to place your order by then, we always try to bring a few extra of each item that you may purchase at the pick up. We can’t wait to see you all!