Our Suffolk Punch Draft horses are getting a much deserved rest after a very busy CSA season. Their main job these days is hauling wagons of produce up from the garden, when we are getting ready for our bi-weekly Fall CSA harvests. In the Fall CSA  we are featuring lots of greens and even some tomatoes from our hoop house and outdoor peppers! It is hard to believe that we harvested over 4 bushels of peppers on November 1st. Of course, the main stay of the Fall CSA are the storage crops and root vegetables. Rutabaga are a wonderful addition to soups and I am including a soup recipe here for our CSA customers who don’t know what to do with rutabaga, as well as casserole recipe.


1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped into cubes

2 Tbsp butter

1/3 cup chopped green onion

2 apples, peeled and chopped

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup milk or 10% cream

1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar

salt and pepper

Cook green onions in butter over low heat until soft ( about three minutes). Add stock, apples, and cubed rutabaga, bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat until very soft (about 35 minutes). Puree in blender or processor in batches, and return to the saucepan. Stir in milk or cream and maple syrup or brown sugar, add more stock if it is too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste reheat and enjoy. Like many soups this will taste even better on the day after it is made.


1 rutabaga, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)

1/2 tsp        salt

2 Tbsp        bread crumbs

1/4  cup     heavy cream

1/4 tsp       nutmeg

1/2 tsp       salt

1                 egg

1 tsp          butter, softened

1 Tbsp       butter, diced

Place the diced rutabaga in a large stainless steel saucepan.  Add salt and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until the rutabagas are soft. Drain and puree in a food processor. In a bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the cream for a few minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and eggs. Then add the pureed rutabagas and mix throughly. Butter a 9″x 9″ baking dish liberally. Transfer the rutabaga mixture to the dish and dot with the diced butter. Bake, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes until browned. Serve with pork, ham or turkey.







Mabel and Mac

Mabel had her calf yesterday at noon. We came up from the field for lunch and found the calf just born! His name is Angus MacArthur, “Mac” for short. Mac is a strong little calf and is drinking milk and kicking up his heals.  He is a Jersey / Red Angus cross and Mabel’s first calf. We got Mabel when she was just two days old in May of 2010. Now the fun will begin with lots of Jersey milk to make into yogurt, butter, cheese and ice cream! Somehow it seems like having a family cow makes the farm complete.

Arranging Onions to Dry in Hoop House

We were busy this week harvesting onions and weeding the garden between the rain. We have a bumper tomato crop and have a Tomato Pie recipe to share from CSA member Pat Weiler. It has been tested the the Orchard Hill Farm kitchen with rave reviews.

Tomato Pie


1   9-inch  deep dish cooked pie shell

1/2 cup chopped green onion
10   fresh basil leaves, chopped
4   tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup grated cheddar

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First, blanch the tomatoes and slice. Place the tomatoes in the colander to drain.

Using a medium sized bowl, mix mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the mayonnaise and cheese mixture on top of the tomatoes  leaving a little space all around between the cheese topping and edge of the crust (just for appearance sake).  Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Serve warm.

Transplants Waiting to be Planted

We are into our second week of our CSA pick-ups.  It is always a big push to get set up for the season.  Now we are changing the rhythm of our work week to include harvest and pick-ups twice a week.  Working Shares are signing up to come out and help with the harvest and we are getting to know new members and renewing our ties with others.  It has been a challenging spring with the cold and wet weather.  We continue to plant and transplant between rains and are now waiting for the ground to dry out yet again, before we can plant the peppers, melons, eggplant and tomatoes transplants in the main garden.

Last week the resident stallion, Chester, died due to some sort of internal problem that the vet couldn’t cure or clearly identify.  We are sad  and reminded again how fragile life can be.  We shared ownership of Chester with another Suffolk breeder and who just had a filly foal sired by Chester.  Two of our mares are due to foal in June and July so Chester will live on through his offspring.

Rhubarb Patch

Rhubarb is a main stay of our early CSA pick-ups. Go to pommeroyale.com (Ellen’s blog) from “Links We Like” in the side bar for a recipe for Rhubarb Compote with Wee Almond Cakes to accompany it. I guess almonds go with rhubarb because CSA member Bonnie Wietzel has also sent her husband’s gluten free Rhubarb/ Almond recipe:

Jason’s Delicious Dessert – Organic Rhubarb Honey Almond Crunch

Dessert base ingredients:

5 cups              Chopped organic rhubarb

1/3 cup            Liquid honey

1 tbsp               Bob’s Red Mill (Gluten Free) Almond Meal

1 tsp                  Organic cinnamon

1/2 tsp             Ground ginger

Topping ingredients:

1 1/2 cup        Sliced raw almond, crumbled by hand

1/4 cup           Coco Natura Organic coconut sweetener

1/4 cup           Liquid honey

1/4 cup           Unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp                 Cinnamon

1/4 cup          Nature’s Cargo fine Himalayan salt

In a mixing bowl, stir together rhubarb, honey, almond meal, cinnamon and ginger until well mixed.  Spoon into greased 8 cup baking dish.

Add topping:

In same mixing bowl that you just emptied out, stir together all topping ingredients.  Then sprinkle topping ingredients over the rhubarb mixture.

Bake in 375 degree fahrenheit oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and your topping is brown.

Should serve 4 to 6 people.