Cranberry State of Mind

Cranberry State of Mind

Hello!!! This is Shannon here on the keys hitting you with another agricultural education newsletter. In our last series, we talked about the year round activities with produce and livestock farms. In this upcoming series over the next few months, we’ll be talking about the ground which grows our food! 

Before we dig into what comprises the soil that grows the food you eat, I figured we could talk about the context of the agricultural landscape of Massachusetts. 

The last USDA Ag Census was taken in 2017. As we await the next window into ag data in the state (coming next year), here is what agriculture looks like in Massachusetts: 

  • The largest agricultural commodity sector in Massachusetts is nursery and greenhouses. They use approximately 30,000 acres of land and contribute to ⅓ of the agricultural output of the state.

  • The largest crop produced in Massachusetts is cranberries. MA is the second largest cranberry producer in the country and brings in over 10,000 honey bee hives annually to pollinate the bushes. (Although, cranberries are native to the Americas and are better pollinated by native bee species - next series after soils: entomology?!?)

  • The first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) was established in Massachusetts in the 80s with the rise of the local biodynamic farming community.

  • Massachusetts has the 4th highest per acre cost of farmland in the country, only behind Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. 

  • There are over 7,200 farms in Massachusetts. The average size of a MA farm is 68 acres. (For reference, there are an estimated 570 million farms globally, and the average farm size in Texas is over 500 acres!)

  • As of 2017, about ¼ of farmers in MA were new or beginning farmers, and 43% of farmers were female (shout out to my fellow female farmers)!

  • Massachusetts is also home to the 4th best Agricultural Sciences University in the world! Go UMass! Proud alumna represent! 

Beyond cranberries and nurseries full of adorable baby plants, Massachusetts also boasts a vibrant fishing community, dairy farms, and more! Next time we’ll be getting down and "dirty" in the layers that comprise soil and why it’s so important (and cool and fascinating, and I will make you all into soil nerds, too).

 

WHAT'S IN THE BAG?

Delivery dates: Saturday, 4/3 and Tuesday, 4/6

Note: If you order a "Meat and Fish Share" you will  receive just the meats listed, not the "dairy" items (eggs, yogurt, etc). If you order a "Fish and Seafood Share" you will receive the fish listed, and not the dairy items.

Add-on Grain of the Week - Bagels from Iggy's
Add-on Bread of the Week - Sunflower Rye from Forge
Add-on Pastry of the Week -  Almond Croissants from Iggy's

Pro-tip: you can now add extra treats to your share by adding "treat of the week" or "pastry of the week" to your subscription!

HALF SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Pesto from Capone Foods
Pescatarian Protein - Tuna from Red's Best; Pesto from Capone Foods
Vegetarian Proteins - Quinoa Salad from Forge; Pesto from Capone Foods
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Butterhead Lettuce from Gotham Greens; Beets from Brookford and Alprilla Farm; Apples from Carlson Orchard; Onions from Brookford Farm
Grain - Pasta from Seven Hills Pasta
Special Treat - Lemon Chamomile Cookie from Haley House

WHOLE SHARE 

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Albacore Tuna from Red's Best; Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Pescatarian Protein - Tuna, Salmon from Red's Best; Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins - Quinoa Salad from Forge; Pierogi from Wild Fox Pierogi; Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Albacore Tuna from Red's Best; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Butterhead Lettuce from Gotham Greens; Beets from Brookford and Alprilla Farm; Apples from Carlson Orchard; Winter Gem Salad Mix from Queen's Greens; BLUE Potatoes from Juniper Hill Farm; Onions from Brookford Farm
Grain - Pasta from Seven Hills Pasta
Special Treat - Lemon Chamomile Cookie from Haley House; Nuts from Q's Nuts

DOUBLE SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Albacore Tuna from Red's Best; Steak from Brookford Farm; Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms; Feta from Brookford Farm
Pescatarian Protein - Tuna, Salmon, Pollock from Red's Best;  Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms; Feta from Brookford Farm
Vegetarian Proteins - Quinoa Salad from Forge; Pierogi from Wild Fox Pierogi; Veggie Burgers from Farmhouse Burger Co.; Pesto from Capone Foods; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms; Feta from Brookford Farm
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Albacore Tuna from Red's Best; Steak from Brookford Farm; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Butterhead Lettuce from Gotham Greens; Beets from Brookford and Alprilla Farm; Apples from Carlson Orchard; Winter Gem Salad Mix from Queen's Greens; BLUE Potatoes from Juniper Hill Farm; Frozen Blueberries from Burke Hill Farm; Shallots from Daegle Brothers Farm; Onions from Brookford Farm
Grain - Pasta from Seven Hills Pasta; Country Round Bread from Iggy's
Special Treat - Lemon Chamomile Cookie from Haley House; Nuts from Q's Nuts

 

RECIPES

(from Shannon)

Our first recipe today, Shallot-Lemon Dressing, comes from our own Bran Trice, cooler packer extraordinaire and new dispatcher. This is his favorite salad dressing and I think you'll love it, too!  5 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, 1 Clove Garlic (Optional), 1-2 tbsp Minced Shallots, S+P to taste. Put into a jar and whisk vigorously until the oil and acid (lemon juice) emulsify and enjoy!  With your leftover shallots, I'd recommend putting them in a pan with butter 'til they're nice and crispy, and topping your salad with them. 

Pan Seared Albacore with Pesto -  Skip the pesto making and use the super delicious pesto from Capone Foods! 

Beet Cured Salmon - Want to spice up your brunch plates? Utilize that BEET-utiful color of the beets to make your bagels pop! 

Or! Try out this Beet Pesto to top your pasta!

LETTUCE WRAP up this recipe section with how I'm making the yumminess in the share this week. Step 1: Cook Chorizo Step 2: Caramelize Onions Step 3: Cut Apples into matchsticks Step 4: Take Butterhead Lettuce, place caramelized onions on bottom, then add apples and chorizo, and top with salty feta Step 5: Place lettuce wrap in pie hole and enjoy. 

New resource! Want to share recipes with us that wow'ed you, or show off something incredible that is just going to make me hungry while checking emails? Drop us a line over at recipes@sharefamilydinner.com. We'll be highlighting your recipes and creations in coming weeks!