Friday, October 17, 2014

Apples 101

The Apple is Pomaceous fruit meaning Pome in botany and is a type of fruit produced by a flowering plant. Examples of Pome fruits include Loquats, Pears and Quince. The Apple tree is part of the Rose family (Rosaceae) and it originated in Central Asia. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe. The Apple was brought to North America by European Colonists and has become one of the most popular fruits in the US, as an example, New York City is affectionately called “The Big Apple.” There are 7,500 known cultivars of apples. However, only 100 are commercially grown in the US. The most popular apple varieties are Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ida Red, Macoun, McIntosh, Northern Spy, and Winesap. Click here for a list of Apple varieties from A to Z. The largest producers of Apples are China, the United States and Turkey followed by Italy, India and Poland. About 60% of the apples grown in the US come from Washington state. New York is second, growing about 10% of the apples in the US. It is also long rumored that Isaac Newton discovered the “Laws of Gravity” when an Apple fell on his head. For more fun facts about apples like why does an apple float click here and here. Click here to learn more about Apples.

Did you know that apples are one of the most highly contaminated crops when it comes to pesticides? That is why the Apple aways tops the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list. The EWG tested over 700 apples and found that 98% had pesticides on them and that was after they were washed! It was not just one type of pesticide found but 48 different types. To learn about why Organic Apples are preferred to Non Organic Apples read Forbes Magazine piece "Five Reasons to Eat Organic Apples: Pesticides, Healthy Communities, and You" and Eat Life Whole "Organic Apples vs. Regular Apples — Does it really matter?In the United States, we have access to Organic Apples year round.  

To Store

Refrigerated apples will last much longer than those left at room temperature. Apples emit ethylene, a naturally occurring gas that speeds ripening. To prevent apples from speeding up the ripening process of other items in your produce drawer, store them in a bag. Conversely, if you want to speed up the ripening of bananas (or any other ethylene sensitive produce) you can place an apple in a bag with the bananas. To maximize an apple's flavor, let it come to room temperature before eating it.

To Nourish

Everyone has heard the saying “An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor Away.” This popular phrase is proving to hold some merit. High in Fiber and Vitamin C, Apples are a sound choice for the entire family. The Phtyonutrients in Apples can assist in the regulation of blood sugar and they are an excellent source of Fiber. When combined with their nutrients they provide benefits that would be attributed to high Fiber foods, namely the prevention of heart disease. Apples are also known to have anti-cancer and anti-asthma benefits. To read more about the health benefits of Apples click here.

To Prepare

The Apple is a very versatile fruit in regards to it’s culianary applications. In addition to being consumed fresh, Apples can be made into butters, jams, preserves and jellies. Apples can be Stewed and Poached, made into Compotes and Sauces. They can be Baked, Braised, Sauteed, Roasted, Grilled and the list goes on. Click here to learn the best way to peel an Apple. For 50 things to make with Apples check out this article from The Food Network.
To Try 

To Use

The most complete cookbook for enjoying and cooking with apples. The Apple Lover's Cookbook celebrates the beauty of apples in all their delicious variety, taking you from the orchard to the kitchen with recipes both sweet (like Apple-Stuffed Biscuit Buns and Blue Ribbon Deep-Dish Apple Pie) and savory (like Cider-Brined Turkey and Apple Squash Gratin). It offers a full-color guide to fifty-nine apple varieties, with descriptions of their flavor, history, and, most important, how to use them in the kitchen. Amy Traverso also takes you around the country to meet farmers, cider makers, and apple enthusiasts. (Barnes & Noble, $20.21 Hardcover, $16.49, NOOK book)

This Week's Shares -- Friday, October 17, 2014


Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, choice of beets or salad turnips, purple bok choy, leeks, choice of escarole or endive (frissee), acorn squash, mini pumpkins, cippolini onions, broccoli or kohlrabi or kale, and choice of an herb. 

Full Share and Half Share Members




Don't miss out on our new offerings.  Click here to read all about them!

And visit us at Greenwood Garden's History and Harvest Fest tomorrow 12-5 PM!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Offerings: Stock Up Share, Green Mountain Maple Sugar Refinery Company Products, Rolling Hills Farm Garlic Vinegar

Circle Brook Farm (formerly Starbrite Farm) End of the Season "Stock Up” Share 
Circle Brook Farm is offering one additional share to Farm & Fork Society Members that will be delivered on our last delivery date (November 21). This will be a “stock up” share and includes various vegetables that store well, so you can enjoy produce from the farm well into the winter months as well as have great veggies for your Thanksgiving table! 

The total weight of this share is 50-60 lbs. Approximately a third of the share is an assortment of butternut, acorn, buttercup (kabocha), delicata, and sweet dumpling squash. The share also includes an assortment of root vegetables such as carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, celery root and radishes. The root crops are most likely to comprise about 12 lbs. of the share. 

Circle Brook Farm had a great potato harvest this season and an excellent onion and winter squash crop as well. The share will have about 25 lbs. of potatoes (fingerlings and an assortment of other varieties of potatoes) and onions. Also included will be cabbage, and whatever greens the farm still has in the field at this time, such as arugula or other mustards, and spinach. It is possible that broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts will be included, but cannot be guaranteed.  
The cost of this final share is $80, which is an excellent value, equivalent to a wholesale price for much of the produce included.
The potatoes, onions and squash can be stored in a cool dry place such as an attached garage or enclosed porch, where they will not freeze. The root vegetables and cabbage will best be stored in your refrigerator. This final share will not work for everyone, but John Krueger hopes that many of you can participate. Doing so will help him make use of the produce that he has in storage and utilize what remains in the fields. The best part, John will finish the season with enough money in the bank to pay the bills during the winter months!

If you are interested in this share, please email us at We will email all those who want to purchase the stock up share check and mailing instructions.  
The following products make great holiday and teacher gifts!

Green Mountain Maple Sugar Refinery Company of Vermont Product 
Farm & Fork Society Member can once again order Maple Syrup (4 grades), Maple Cream, Maple Vinegar, Maple Candy, Honey and/or Creamed Honey from the Green Mountain Maple Sugar Refinery Co in Vermont. A new addition will be Vanilla Extract that is available in half pint jars.  
All products are organic, GMO free and Kosher. All maple products are made at the Farm in Belvidere Center, Vt.  All honey is raised on Lake Champlain in Alburgh, VT. 
Orders must be received by October 31. Products will be delivered on November 21. (Click here for Order Form)

Rolling Hills Farm Vinegar
Lori Giotti, a Farm & Fork Society member, in-law's own Rolling Hills Farm in Pennsylvania. At the farm they make homemade vinegars in two flavors Garlic and Garlic Honey. We sampled. They are delicious. The cost is $10 per bottle (375 ml).  Email us at if you are interested in ordering a bottle. Please let us know which kind and how many bottles. We will email you with check instructions and pick up date.