Crop Report: Fall 2020

Many articles, blogs, and conversations start with the same thing this year….I can’t believe this year is almost over! It’s been such a tough year!

That is most certainly true. But one thing that didn’t change all that much is the fields. Rain and sun still came and we still had to weed. Now the fall is in full swing. Despite the pandemic, the crops have come in nicely for the fall and we’re excited to share them with you.

Noteworthy News

As we head into the winter months, Brighton Farmers Market will remain outdoors in the Brighton High School Parking lot into December. For more information please visit https://brightonfarmersmarket.org/

Turkey is available for Thanksgiving while supplies last. If you would like a fresh local turkey this year visit our turkey information page https://fisherhillfarm.com/thanksgiving-turkey/

Our partnership with Flour City Bread for online pre-order grocery pickup on Fridays will continue as long as there is demand. Check out the new Friday dinner options as well as some upcoming Thanksgiving items.

What You Will See on our Tables at Market

This week expect the following produce:

Beets with greens
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Leeks
Kale
Kohlrabi
Peppers
Potatoes
Rutabaga
Onions
Scallions
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Turnips
Winter Squash

2020 Reflection: What went right, what went wrong

Fisher Hill Farm - local Farm Rochester New York

It seems pretty early to look back on the year already but whenever fall starts to come around it means it’s time to reflect and start preparing for next year. But, boy oh boy, was this year a bit different than most.

We all have our ups and downs in life, some more than others, and we can connect with people who have shared a similar experience but it’s fairly uncommon that we all live through the same ordeal. What this pandemic has taught us might be different from what it taught you, but we all went through it; the whole world!

But maybe that’s the way we should all look at it. Try and change the lens from which we are viewing the last six months into what we’ve learned from the experience and what we learned is that we live in a vibrant community who’s support and creativity allowed us and many others to get through this thing. We’ve been drawn into a tighter knit community whether we realize it or not.

Try to look at what the pandemic has brought us and not what it took away.

So, looking back on the year as a whole, we might not be ready to do on the farm just yet. But our first thought was to stay positive, try to look at what the pandemic has brought us and not what it took away. When things do open back up completely, hopefully those new understandings will stay with us and allow us to appreciate all that we are fortunate enough to have.

Happy fall everyone!

Stay tuned for more updates with crops, recipes, and more throughout the fall.

We will get some turkey information up as soon as we have it! But…they’re here!

-Phil and Sandi

Recipe: Brussel Sprouts

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Brussel Sprouts are a super versatile little cabbage. They can be cooked so many ways it can be hard to choose which amazing recipe to choose.

The United States grows a lot of Brussel Sprouts, around 30 tons per year. Which sounds like an awful lot until you learn that The Netherlands grown over 80 metric tons per year! With all these sprouts kicking around the globe you bet there are some pretty interesting recipes to choose from.

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
Halved Brussel Sprouts

But we have one today that’s pretty darn easy and take very little prep time. It will take just over an hour in the oven, but the result will be well worth it. This recipe also tastes awesome the next day, cold, right out of the refrigerator.

Our recipes are never exact. We couldn’t tell you how many Brussel Sprouts to use by weight, but we just use one stalk. For the purposes of this blog and our website we try to get amounts down. So for this one we did what we could.

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

What you’ll need: 

One stalk Brussel Sprouts (halved)

1/4 cup local maple syrup

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 one gallon bag

Salt and pepper

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
1 Gallon Bag of Goodness

What you’ll do: 

Take the sprouts off the stalk and cut them in half. Then put them in the plastic bag. Pour in the maple syrup, the dijon, and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well in the bag and then let sit for an hour. Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Spread the seasoned sprouts out on a baking sheet. Line with foil or parchment paper. Use a little pan spray for easy clean up. Bake on the top shelf in the oven for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the sprouts start to caramelize and crisp.

 

 

CSA Benefits: For Customer and Farmer

Fisher Hill Farm Benefits of a CSA

People often ask “What does CSA stand for”?

The answer is Community Supported Agriculture. But what does that mean? 

In a nutshell it means you buy a share from a local farmer and for a set number of weeks you receive produce in return each week. Our farm is very unique in that we offer 100 percent choice. We have never offered a box share and want the member to pick what they like. Nothing is more frustrating to get a box of produce and have no idea what half the things are that you received. I thought I would highlight a few benefits of joining our CSA for the consumer and the different benefits for the farmer too.

Consumer Benefits

You’ll receive fresh vegetables for 20 weeks during the peak of the growing season.

Starting in June you can enjoy some of the first greens of the season and the first juicy strawberries. Every week there is always something new on the table. Then towards the end of summer the fall produce starts coming in (my favorite time of the year) and who doesn’t love broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and more.

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Your also making a commitment to eat healthier.

Now that you have all these fresh veggies available every week you can enjoy them every day. Everyone knows that the flavor and freshness speaks for itself. Maybe you’ll explore new recipes and impress your family with new culinary skills. Everyone needs to slow down and enjoy more home cooked meals with family and friends and less processed foods.

You can fill your freezer with all the extra produce that you can’t get through.

Maybe your going on vacation and won’t be around to cook all of your veggies. Easy! Take a few hours to freeze or can some of your share. Many things don’t require much effort to freeze. Such a peppers for example. Just cut them up, bag them, and put in the freezer. Maybe you cook the whole quart of green beans and eat half for dinner and freeze the rest. Now you’re spreading the value of the share out throughout the whole year.

Value.

Buy paying up front for your share you are getting 20 weeks of vegetables at a discounted rate. Each week your paying less than the table price that the retail customers are paying. Who doesn’t like a saving money!

Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 7
Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 7

Now that you have bought a share you have your own farm. You will have a better understanding of the seasonality of produce. You can ask the farmer questions of how the food is grown or what variety it is. Maybe even ask questions on how to prepare something. You can brag to your friends of your “farm” and tell them what they are missing.

Farmer Benefits

By selling shares in the spring it really helps out with early season cash flow.

Springtime is an expensive time of the year and having that extra cash flow really helps. Many inputs are needed to be paid for before we can even turn a wheel. Seeds, fertilizer, plants, propane, diesel, and more are needed to get the season going. We can add staff earlier in the season to help with greenhouse work, field work, and general labor.

Each share represents guaranteed sales during the summer season.

It’s incredibly helpful to know how much to grow and what to bring to market. At the farmers market you can never really predict what sales will be like. It can be too hot, rainy, or a holiday weekend and it all can impact sales. But by having pre-sold shares it takes the highs and lows out of each week.

We can build a relationship.

We’re going to see you each week. We can meet your family and learn names. Talk about what you did with your share last week and learn new recipes from each other. This is our favorite part. The personal touch that a CSA adds gives the Community part a deep meaning. 

The Fisher Hill Farm Family poses for a picture
Our Family

The CSA is part of a diverse marketing program for our farm.

If we depend on the farmers market for 100 percent of farm sales that would be pretty risky. More channels we have the better and a CSA program plays a big part in that. By having  farmers markets, a CSA program, restaurants, and wholesale we can market all the produce we grow. 

I hope that this gives a better understanding on all the benefits of CSA. It’s a great program that works so well for many families. We have many families that have been members for many years and just love it. If your on the fence please stop by the market some time and we can chat.

Phillip