Quick links:


January 2011

February 2011
April 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
Sepember 2012
October 2012
November 2012



WFP logowinter csa share

Winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Share
from High Hill Orchard in Meriden, CT

Recipes and Storage Tips

From the January 2011 enewsletter:

CT NOFA Board member John Turenne of Sustainable Food Systems offers a great selection of fall & winter vegetable recipes here.

Celeriac from Wayne's Organic Garden in Oneco, CT


From the February 2011 enewsletter:

Caire Crisuolo and KALE

From the April 2011 enewsletter:

To market specialty crops (fruits and vegetables) in the winter, a farm needs either season extension facilities to produce out of season or storage for crops produced in the season for later sale.

At the workshop at Wayne's Organic Garden we learned about Wayne's success in growing greens all winter in a greenhouse heated to just above freezing. 

Riverbank Farm2David Blyn and Laura McKinney of  Riverbank Farm in Roxbury have grown for a number of farmers markets for decades and have been going to winter markets since Fairfield began its winter market.  At the last two CT NOFA Winter Conferences, Riverbank Farm was a vendor with lots of root vegetables for sale, so we visited the farm last month to see their facilities.   

Here are pictures of some of their storage facilities. The cabbage boxes are in a cold storage area, near freezing and high humidity, in their old dairy barn against a below-ground wall. They installed vents to let off the heat when vegetables are first in storage and a small heater to keep things from freezing on the coldest days.
Riverbank Farm1
 The bags of carrots and freshly harvested parsnips are stored in a cooler to slow down the sprouting.  Parsnips are especially sweet  after making it through the winter underground. They are great roasted, sauteed or used in soups or stews.


Try this very adaptable Carrot (or parsnip) Soup recipe.




From the October 2011 enewsletter:

Recipe of the Month: Deb's Dried Apples ~ Slice your favorite unpeeled apples into 16 slices.  (One of those corer/slicer gadgets makes the job go a lot more quickly.)  Sprinkle with a small amount of lemon juice, if available.  For seasoning, use a mix of mostly cinnamon, with a bit of nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves to your preference.  Arrange in a single layer in each dehydrator rack and dry for 20-24 hours.  Store in glass jars.

Deb's all-time favorite apples for this are Gingergolds, with Monroes running a close second, from High Hill Orchard in Meriden, CT.

Butternut squasquashsh in the pantry

This is the time of year when we really step up our food storage activities.  Winter squash are one of the easiest crops to store for good winter eating.  They also are beautiful. You can grow them yourself or buy a bunch at a farmers market or farm stand. Winter squash store well in a cool room, 50-60 degrees, ideally between 50 and 85 percent humidity, but they usually keep well in less than ideal conditions, as long as they don't freeze.   Hot peppers, pumpkins and sweet potatoes also store well at these temperatures.


From the November 2011 enewsletter:

Jerusalem Artichoke & Roasted Garlic Vichyssoise

Courtesy of justfood.org 


4 pounds            Jerusalem Artichokes, washes & scrubbed, diced 2 inches

1 pound              Leeks, white and light green part only

8 cloves              Garlic, Roasted

1/4 cup               Olive oil

1 quart               Vegetable stock

2 Tbl.                  Thyme, fresh

2 cups                2% low-fat milk

As needed          Salt, kosher and fresh cracked peppercorns


1. Split the leeks lengthwise and wash well to remove all sand and  grit. Slice them thinly.


2. Sweat the leeks in the olive oil without browning them.


3. Add the Jerusalem Artichokes, roasted garlic, thyme and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.


4. Simmer until the Jerusalem Artichokes are tender, approximately 45 minutes.


5. Purée the soup in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender; season with salt and pepper.  Add milk and return to low  simmer to heat through for 5 minutes.


6. Serve hot or chilled.


Yield: 4 quarts


From the December 2011 enewsletter:

Our recipe of the month this time is roasted root vegetables, a delicious dish that can be reinvented every week as you get different vegetables in your kitchen. Check out the recipe here


If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, give raw squash a try with this Raw Butternut Squash Salad Recipeby Mark Bittman. You might be surprised at how delicious winter food can taste with a minimum of preparation.


From the January 2012 enewsletter:

This month's theme is Kale!  Kale is a versatile winter green that can be used in a variety of recipes, from beans to mashed potatoes.  Here are some recipes from some of our members:

squashDutch Kale Dish - From Johan van Achterberg, a longtime farmer and board member from Easton.  He writes that this was the way his mother made kale.

-Peel and boil 4 good size potatoes for mashing with some butter and milk; add salt before cooking.
-Remove the leaf part from the kale stem (about 12 stems) and shred the greens.  Cook the greens for about 15 to 20 minutes so it is tender.
-After draining the water add the kale to the mashed potatoes; mix well and season to taste.
-For real flavor fry bacon, cut into small pieces and add the bacon and some fat to the mix.
-Ring Belogna (PA Dutch) or sliced Kilbasa are a great supplement.
-For the best flavor kale should not be used until it has had some frost.

Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes - From Wild Carrot Farm LLC, a CT NOFA organic farm

For this recipe, be sure to wash the kale well - dirt and grit hides in the leaves.  Chop the kale finely to avoid floppiness in the potatoes, and avoid over mixing the kale into the potatoes as that will add a green tinge to the dish.  You can use either peeled or unpeeled potatoes for this recipe.

-3 lbs potatoes, cut into large chunks
-sea salt
-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 bunch kale, large stems stripped and discarded, leaves chopped
-1/2+ cup warm milk or cream
-freshly ground black pepper
-5 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish (opt)
-fried shallots, for garnish (opt)

Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a pinch of salt.  Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, chopped kale, a big pinch of salt, and saute just until tender - about a minute.  Set aside.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork.  Slowly stir in the milk a few big splashes at a time.  You are after a thick creamy texture, so if your potatoes are on the dry side keep adding milk until the texture is right.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dump the kale on top of the potatoes and give a quick stir.  Transfer to a serving bowl, make a well in the center of the potatoes, and pour the remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle with the scallions, Parmesan cheese, and shallots.

Serves 6. 

From the February 2012 enewsletter:

This month's recipes come from our Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference that was held Saturday January 28, 2012.  The conference was a huge hit - we had a large lively group of attendees, and some really wonderful speakers!  Of course one of the best parts was the food.  Our potluck lunch was a blast and no one went hungry!  Here are a couple recipes from the day:

Holcomb Farm CSA Coleslaw
If you are longing for some warm weather foods as winter drags on, this is a great way to use winter foods to make a traditional summer favorite. Holcomb Farm's winter CSA provides all the vegetables for the slaw.

-organic oil
-white wine vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste

Grate or chop all ingredients and combine in a large bowl.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Hearty Veggie Soup - VEGAN  

Look at all that food!

If you are still hankering for a traditional winter dish, you can't go wrong with this one.  The version we had at the conference had homegrown organic veggies.  
-kidney beans

Chop up ingredients as finely or coarsely as you want and combine in a large soup pot.  Cook on medium heat until all the veggies are tender and have released juice - you can always add some vegetable stock if you want a thinner soup.

It may still be winter, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo a fresh salad.  If you think a bit outside of the box, you can come up with all kinds of salad ideas that get around highly seasonal summer greens.  For example, instead of lettuce, try picking up some tender young kale, removing the stems, and mixing it with local winter fruits like apples or pears.  Add a vinaigrette for a bit of flavor and voila! A delicious and refreshing salad even in the heart of winter. You can also peel and grate a raw storage kohlrabi or a raw butternut squash.  Try out a few different vegetables and decide which flavors you like the best. 

From the March 2012 enewsletter

It's March now, and planting season is just around the corner, enticing us with all the bounty of summer and fall.  We can imagine how food fresh from the garden will taste, but unfortunately we aren't quite there yet.  This is the trickiest time of year for winter food because the novelty of root vegetables has worn off, many other winter foods are running low, and spring planting has yet to begin.  It's always darkest just before the dawn, right?   pic

Well fear not, for the versatility of winter produce will keep your late winter menu from becoming stale!  This month's featured winter delicacy is kale.  We have featured it before, and are doing so again because it continues to surprise us with all that it has to offer our menus and our stomachs.

The NY Times recently wrote a piece called Kale for Everyone! that provides a great list of unique recipes that you wouldn't initially think would involve kale. These dishes will liven up your late winter menu and provide the perfect holdover until spring. 

If you can't get enough winter greens and want some more recipes with kale and other cold weather greens, check out these recipes from our friend John Turenne's workshop at our Winter Conference on Saturday the 3rd.  

From the April 2012 enewsletter:

kohlrabiDiscovering Kohlrabi (It's a Vegetable) - It may be the start of planting season, but that doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy (or discover) some winter food favorites.  Kohlrabi is member of the brassica family, those nutrient-dense cabbages whose phytochemicals are highly regarded for their antioxidant properties.  The taste and texture is reminiscent of a cross between various root vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and turnips, and it performs well either raw in a salad or cooked in the oven or a stir fry.  In fact, kohlrabi is a very versatile vegetable that you can do a lot with, so it's worth checking out if you haven't had a chance to yet.  To learn more about this winter delicacy, and for some recipes like kohlrabi fries, Greek style kohlrabi pie, and kohlrabi spring rolls, check out this article by the NY Times.

From the May 2012 enewsletter:

spinachSpring and summer are times of the year when we don't typically think too much about winter food.  After all, it's not winter anymore, so we're no longer eating winter food, right?  There are many foods, however, that are grown and enjoyed year-round, and are considered winter foods because of their long growing season. This month's featured winter delight is spinach, and by extension, all long-season salad greens.  Because spinach has such a long growing season, it is used in a wide variety of dishes spanning all four seasons and as a result has become a very versatile cooking ingredient.  From salads to lasagne, raw or cooked, spinach is a wonderful winter green that can be enjoyed in cold or warm weather.   

As for recipes involving spinach, a quick google search will populate thousands of delicious options.  Try stir frying it with a little olive oil or mixing it into a salad dressed with oil and vinegar.  You can also bake it into a lasagne or put it in pizza.  The options are really nearly endless. 

From the June 2012 enewsletter:

1This month's Winter Food Project article has a lot of topics, showing once again that winter foods are popular, useful, and relevant year-round. 

First off, from Mother Jones comes a great recipe for a tasty breakfast hash.  Making a hash for breakfast utilizes a lot of winter food ingredients, and is also a delicious and easy way to use up leftovers from the night before.  It's a flexible recipe as well, so whatever you have lying around can often work in the hash, and you're less likely to waste food as a result.

If you're looki2ng to learn more about food preservation, this second resource could be very helpful.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers advice and tips on a wide variety of food preservation topics, from freezing and drying, to curing, smoking, pickling, and fermenting. There's also a list of useful publications, and a page on the website where you can request additional information if necessary.

Speaking of food preservation, to the left is an image of our Executive Director's garlic and onion from last summer that are still usable now, almost a year later.  This photo provides a good lesson about one of the biggest benefits of eating winter foods - they last a long time!  If stored properly, winter vegetables can often last for months before spoiling, reducing food waste and making it easier to always have some vegetables on hand for cooking.  

From the July 2012 enewsletter:

Now that it's July, it's time to start planning your fall and winter garden!  Planning ahead will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, so start early to ensure a bountiful harvest! 

seed catalog image 
Photo credit: Territorial Seed Company 



From the August 2012 enewsletter:


It's August! The bounty of summer is in full swing, and in Connecticut there is no shortage of delicious, fresh, and varied produce to put in our kitchens.  Produce, however, has a pesky habit of going bad over time, especially when you're dealing with highly perishable fruits like berries. This month, when all the tomatoes in your garden are ripening at the same time and you have more access to fresh local produce at the market than you know what to do with, use some of these methods to preserve the harvest so you can enjoy it all year!

Drying: Out of the three major food preservation options, drying is the most economical.  It requires the least amount of energy input, and much of the work is done in the background while you're off doing other things. Here's an article by Jean Nick from Rodale that details the process of dehydration, complete with tips and recipes sure to make your mouth water.

Canning: Canning takes some time and skill, but it's the only way wet foods can be preserved without refrigeration.  If you want to learn how to can just about anything, peruse this blog by Canning Granny.  She provides a wide variety of recipes and tips from her own kitchen and from readers' submissions.

Freezing: Freezing is arguably the easiest food preservation technique, requiring relatively little time or preparation, but it requires a lot of freezer storage space and, therefore, a lot of energy. Good Housekeeping gives a good introduction to freezing, including what not to freeze and how to properly prepare and wrap food for freezing.   

And if you want to learn more in depth guidelines and tips, the Cornell Extension has a great webpage about all three food preservation techniques. 

From the September 2012 enewsletter:


As summer slowly draws to a close, it's a good idea to start thinking about how you want to plan your food system for next year.  If you are a farmer or gardener, that means thinking about seeds. Our seed saving workshop on September 16 will detail the ins and outs of seed saving and will be useful to homeowners, farmers, and gardeners.  Until the event, however, there are a couple resources you can take a look at to get started:   


Here is the description of a NOFA NY handbook on growing crops for seed co-written by our workshop presenter, Bryan Connolly.  This book brings crop improvement and breeding to the garden/farm.


Here is a Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship, and Seed Sovereignty by the Seed Ambassadors Project. 


Now, seeds are great to have when starting to plant your crops in the spring, but what about getting through the winter?  If you store summer and fall crops properly, you won't have to make as many trips to the grocery store, and if you combine winter storage procedures with canning, freezing, and drying preservation techniques, you can have bounty all winter all on your own.  Check out this guide for winter storage of fruits and vegetables provided by Cornell. 

From the October 2012 enewsletter:


It's that time of year again - fall bounty is upon us with the first of the traditional winter crops.  The recipe below from Grist was prepared by our Executive Director, Bill Duesing, and his wife Suzanne. Give it a try and let us know what you thought of it.  Here are Bill's comments:  


This is a good recipe and a beautifully done video. Suzanne made this with a not too flavorful butternut squash, used basil, sweet marjoram and thyme instead of sage, which we didn't have. As is our want, we figured it needed onions and garlic. They were sautéed with the herbs, caramelized in the oven and then added to the maple syrup and butter before that is poured into the pan. It was really delicious.


Butternut Squash and Maple Syrup Tatin   

From the November 2012 enewsletter:

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner again!  If you're preparing a meal this year, and don't quite know how you're going to pull it off, fear not!  There are plenty of delicious winter food recipes available to suit every style of Thanksgiving dinner, and you don't necessarily have to spend all day in the kitchen (or spend all the money in your wallet) to make them. Here are some links to great recipes from previous year's holidays - we'll post on our blog with this year's ideas as new information comes out.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas from the Sustainable Cook
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project - Thanksgiving Recipes
New York Times - Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2010
New York Times - Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2011
The Herb Companion - Vegetarian Holiday Fare
Points of Light - Sustainable Thanksgiving Meal Tips and Recipes

From the December 2012 enewsletter:

turkeyDecember is the heart of the holiday season, and it's a great opportunity to share delicious hearty winter foods with friends and family. It's not as hard to have a sustainable holiday dinner as you might think - in fact, buying local in-season foods (part of what having a sustainable meal entails) will help make your holiday feel more festive and authentic. Not surprisingly, many traditional New England holiday recipes call for ingredients that can be grown and stored in this area at this time of year. So buy from a local food store, farmers market, CSA, or local farm. You can see a listing of our member farms and farmers markets (all of which are either organic or have signed the Farmer's Pledge) in our Farm and Food Guide. Of course, buying organic is another great way to keep your winter foods as healthy and sustainable as possible, so if you buy local, organic, and in-season, you'll really be getting the most ecologically sound, delicious, and healthy options for your holiday treats. To learn more about the different ways to keep your winter and holiday meals sustainable check out the Guide to a Green Christmas Dinner from The Guardian.

From the January 2013 enewsletter:

Just before the Christmas holiday, the CT NOFA staff got together for a holiday potluck lunch that included many of our favorite winter foods. Here are some of the recipes we tried:

saladAddictive Brussels Sprouts Salad
This salad combines toasted walnuts and mustard dressing with shredded raw Brussels sprouts to create a delicious wintertime take on the traditional green salad or cole slaw. It's a robust salad that holds its own even alongside other hearty winter foods. See the recipe here.

potatoesCrispy Potato Roast
A tasty alternative to the traditional potatoes au gratin, this roast combines potatoes with flavorful shallots and thyme, along with whatever other variations you might have in mind. Our office manager Deb used leeks in place of the shallots to the delight of all. View the recipe here.

pearsFrench Toast With Pears 
Our Organic Land Care Program Director, Jenna, used pears from her own tree that she peeled, cored, and froze right after picking. Try freezing pears in small one or two serving containers for easy thawing. There isn't a formal recipe for this dish, but you can use your own French toast recipe, along with some locally produced pears and maple syrup.

tatsoiPenne With Chick Peas and Goat Cheese
Penne pasta, cooked
Chickpeas, cooked
Crumbled feta cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette.
Mix ingredients together in quantities to taste. It's good to give it some time for the favors to marry. At the potluck, this dish was served on top of seasonal greens, but you can serve it with vegetables like cut up steamed broccoli, green peas, thinly sliced onions, or another addition of your choice. If you have a garden, consider serving future pasta dishes with tatsoi. Our ED Bill and his wife Suzanne have been harvesting tatsoi outside through late December, despite a number of nights in the teens. It's a very sturdy vegetable whose flavor is wonderful this time of year.







126 Derby Avenue • Derby, CT 06418
phone: (203) 308-2584 • fax: (203)308-2586