Crop Report: Spring 2021

Fisher Hill Farm Crop Report

Spring in Western New York is underway and that means it is busy on the farm. Planting starts in the greenhouse in the germination chamber in the winter, but it doesn’t feel like spring until those plants move outdoors.

We’ve also had the opportunity to install new plastic on the hen brooding house. This will allow the broody hens to keep warm and dry as we still have plenty of cool nights ahead of us and many April Showers. But we’re confident we have the perfect spot built for them.

Lots of smaller repairs and projects have kept us busy right up until now. We’ve started to see some green out in the fields!

Here’s what’s happening:

Garlic is just coming up and is looking great. Well drained soil is needed for garlic to grow. Any standing water could actually rot the bulb before it has a chance to grow. We grow ours in mounds covered in plastic mulch so the weeds won’t grow up and take away vital nutrients. Garlic is a member of the allium family which includes onions, chives, leeks, scallions, and shallots. We also grow all of those vegetables on the farm too!

Fisher Hill Farm Garlic
Fisher Hill Farm Garlic

Peppers are ready to come out of the germination chamber. Peppers take very little time to sprout for the most part but need lots of maturation time. Most sweet peppers can take up to 3 months before they’re ready for the market. Some hot peppers take even longer. Always worth the wait. Peppers are popular in almost every dish around the world. Honestly, we like them raw and eat them out of the fields like apples!

Tomatoes are ready to be potted soon. Besides strawberries, tomatoes might be the next most popular veggie we grow. Tomatoes need a good amount of water and love to be nice and warm in the sunlight. They always take prime real estate on the farm, but it’s always worth it in the long run.

Eggplant is ready to be potted soon. The coarse and leathery leaves can easily withstand the hot summer weather. They can grow to be quite large if the conditions are right. In fact the largest eggplant ever was over 6lbs! The strangest fact about eggplants are that they are technically a berry by botanical definition.

The first planting of peas went into the ground. The true sign of spring. The first peas that come out of the field always taste sweeter than we can remember. Peas can be easily frozen and last a long time in the freezer. That is if you don’t eat them all before you get home.

Fresh chicken is back for this week and next week. We have had plenty of frozen but just ran out! Having these birds ready was the perfect timing. They work great for the grill and with a little luck, you could fire up the barbecue this weekend and have a great meal. With this comes liver and hearts too. If you have never tried hearts before, we have a recipe for chicken heart yakitori here. Try it out!

So, what does all this mean?

Well for one, it means spring is here and that’s super exciting. But most of all it means that we’re getting into the swing of things again. We still have a few CSA shares left. They can include fresh eggs and chicken all summer too. There are a few different pricing options and lots of pick up locations. You can check all that out here.

We try to maintain this blog throughout the spring and summer to bring you up to date information on how the fields are doing. We don’t always get to it! But it does provide you with information as to what is coming into season next and what to expect on our tables. If you’re new to our farm here’s what we bring with us to the farmer’s market and what is available with our CSA shares as well.

Here’s some examples of past crop reports. These will cue you in on what will be in season and when:

July 2018 – Sweet Corn

June 2019 = Peas and Strawberries

October 2020 = Harvest Time

Fisher Hill Farm Hen Brood

How to Make Duck Confit

Fisher Hill Farm Duck Confit Recipe

Confit refers to a method of cooking something in grease or sugar at low temperatures. Duck Confit is usually made with the legs and is cooked in duck fat as the grease. It’s kind of like frying, except the temperatures are lower and it causes the meat to become very tender instead of crisp.

It feels as if it is a fancy dish and one that should be served with a white linen table cloth. But that’s not true! It’s a simple dish to make, keeps in the fridge for a long time and is delicious. The key is getting a locally grown duck (wink, wink).

What is nice about this recipe is that you can break off little bits of it at a time throughout the week so you never have to spend a whole day in the kitchen. Duck Leg Confit reheats in the oven and does not dry out so you can serve it as your main dish with little effort before the actual meal.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

One whole Fisher Hill Farm Duck

Fresh Thyme

Kosher salt

Vegetable oil (or other oil)

A sharp knife

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

The first thing you need to do is break down the whole duck into parts. It sounds difficult if you’ve never done it before, but it’s not. The legs come off very easily and that’s what you need to make this dish. Here’s a video on how to break down a whole duck.

What’s important about breaking this duck down is SAVING THE FAT. You will use that fat in to confit the duck legs. Save it to the side and cook it down. In the video below that part is covered. It can be done in advance and is very easy.

(*Pro tip. After the duck fat is rendered you’re left with crispy pieces of duck fat that make an excellent snack. Soak them in Frank’s Red Hot and bake them in a hot oven.)

Once the duck legs of off coat them liberally with the kosher salt and place them stack on top of each other with some fresh thyme. Put that in the refrigerator for a few days to let it cure. Once you’ve done that, the next step is rinsing them off really good and patting them dry.

Here’s the video that shows the rest of the process.

One of the best parts of Duck Confit is the wings! They are delicious. We also love to eat this dish cold, as a quick lunch out of the fridge.

If you follow this recipe, you’re going to be left with the duck breasts. Those can be cooked up crispy skin style very easily and takes almost no prep work.

In other news, our CSA is currently open. If you would like to learn more about it just go to:

https://fisherhillfarm.com/csa/

Our CSA: Customer Reviews

Fisher Hill Farm CSA

We had some past customers post last year about what they thought of our CSA. It means a lot to us to hear how happy people are with their share. We work hard to make sure that every year is a great one and we want nothing more than to see people use our produce.

One of the best parts for us is learning about our own produce from the folks who use it! We love hearing about recipes, family secrets, different methods of cooking things that we’ve never heard or thought of. It’s a perk of this job and one that has certainly kept us entertained under the tent and at our dining room table.

The relationships that we’ve built with our customers have helped us steer the farm in different directions, allowing us to help serve the community as best as we possibly can. We look forward to going to the markets to see the familiar faces every week and it’s nice to hear that many people feel the same way about us!

The term CSA means Community Supported Agriculture. But it extends beyond just buying a share that helps us get seeds in the ground. It quite literally helps in building a community around the bounty, solidifying a connection between food and people, a kind of formal bond that is very strong.

We are so lucky to have such a supportive community in Rochester. The markets, the people, and other farms and farmers have pulled together such a tightly woven fabric that really covers everything!

2021 is going to be a great year. Mostly because of the people who surround us that make every year a little better than the last.

Thank you.

Buy a Fisher Hill Farm CSA Share Today.

Banana Sushi Recipe

Banana Sushi - Fisher Hill Farm

Not really sushi, but just as good.

If you are looking to roll out of the winter doldrums they’re may be no better way than eating. Unfortunately this is a time of year where eating unhealthy become pretty easy and getting outdoors for much more than shoveling isn’t always possible.

Fun snacks that get the kids involved and that don’t weigh heavy on the wallet or waistline are an easy way to make the time pass by. We recently got this little recipe from a friend of ours and it was fun and easy to make.

What You’ll Need:

Flour tortilla

Peanut Butter

Fresh Banana

Fresh Strawberries

What You’ll Do:

Spread the peanut butter on the tortilla and place a peeled banana on it as straight as you can, even if it cracks or breaks the banana a little. Cut the top of the banana as it lays on it’s side to create a little “table”.

Spread the peanut butter on the flour tortilla.

Cut the strawberries into match sticks and put them on the banana table.

Roll it up and cut it into “sushi”. Do not use a serrated knife to cut it, it will rip. Use a sharp kitchen knife. We found that out the hard way!

Match stick the strawberries and put them on the “banana table” you made.

That’s it! We cannot wait to get fresh from our field strawberries back to try this again this summer. If you were feeling industrious you could make the tortillas from scratch which is actually very fun and delicious.

Super easy snack that your kids will like! And if they don’t, you probably will!

It’s not easy to find something healthy that the kids can help make. Besides the parts that require a knife, kids can help roll the “sushi” which causes for a bit of a mess of peanut butter but one that they don’t seem to mind too much.

What Does a CSA Look Like?

Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 12

With us, every CSA looks different. We don’t hand you a box of veggies but rather let you choose what you want at pick up time. It makes for a unique experience and one that allows you to choose what you’ll use! We don’t want to see you get something that you don’t like.

So it’s hard to say. Some people add chicken and eggs to theirs. Some just eggs. Some people get lots of crunchy veggies, some stock up on lettuce. Others still use it as an opportunity to take what they love and try something new.

A few years ago a friend of ours (Thanks Ansel!) took pictures of every share he brought home. We were lucky enough to have him share those with us. This was the regular share, so if you have a large family don’t worry, there’s one that’s larger. But looking through this gallery will show you how it changes with the seasons.

Interested to know what you’ll find on our tables?

Interested to know more about our CSA.

  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 20
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 19
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 18
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 17
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 16
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 15
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 14
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 13
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 12
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 11
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 10
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 9
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 8
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 7
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 6
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 5
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 4
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 3
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 1Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 2
  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 1

We’re not quite ready for CSA 2021 information yet but we are working on it and as soon as we have our ducks in a row we will let you know. We love CSA for so many reasons, but most of all it’s great to develop new relationships with customers and learn what you do with our products. There’s always room to learn more about what you do, that will help us in what we do.

Thank you!