Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Change

Hello and Welcome to 2010!

We hope all of you had a happy holiday season. As we start the new year, Cold Water Creek Farms would like to announce that Aaron Newton won't be joining us for our 2010 CSA program. There's nothing extraordinary about the circumstances. It's just that Aaron is moving in a slightly different direction.

Aaron will be operating Phoenix Farms, primarily out of the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm Park. He will be selling produce on Saturdays at the Piedmont Farmers market on Winecoff School Road. And he will be selling vegetables through Know Your Farms.

He will also be running his own CSA in 2010, focusing on both standard and heirloom vegetables.
And he'll still be writing and teaching class and all that fun stuff too. If you're interested contact him directly.

Aaron Newton :: :: 704/305.6654

Brad and Eric will continue to operate Cold Water Creek Farms. They will be selling produce on Saturdays at the Davidson Farmers Market and at the Tailgate Market in Southend, Charlotte. They will also be selling vegetables through Know Your Farms.

And they will be running a CSA for the 2010 season.
If you're interested contact either of them directly.

Eric Williamson :: :: 704.796.7795

Brad Hinckley :: :: 828/406.0849

At the end of the day all three of us are committed to growing some of the best tasting, local, organic vegetables available in Cabarrus County. We think this new structure will better serve all of you.

Best wishes to each of you this year.

May we all eat well!

Aaron, Eric and Brad

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Twentieth Pick Up Is Today 11.3.2009

Hello Everyone,

Well this is it- the last pick up of the first CSA season for Cold Water Creek Farms. Congratulations. You just spent all summer and most of autumn eating local vegetables and helping to support three people working to grow great tasting food for you in a more sustainable manner. We've had some bumps along the way of course but I'm going to stamp it a success. And I'm going to finish up this last email so I can go and cut lettuce for the half share members and maybe help stretch plastic over the high tunnel. Truth is, this really isn't the end. Speaking of ends...

Loose Ends ::

Hopefully you will bring last week's container to the pick up this afternoon. You'll probably leave with a container that needs to be returned to Cold Water Creek Farms. Or you can bring your own container or bag and transfer this week's vegetables like Colleen and Sue do. If you are coming to the end-of-season dinner this Saturday evening you can return your last container at that time. If not, you can drop it off at the farm some time next week. Click here for directions. If you don't return it, we will dream up some terrible fate for you. I'd dream one up right now but I seem to have misplaced my creative cap. I'm already thinking about my upcoming break. Seriously though, bring your containers back. If you're not going to get by the farm soon send me an email and we'll work something out. Most of you live close to my house. Email me by just clicking here.

More Food Please:
For everyone who gets this email you should know that we will continue to have food for sale through the fall and winter. An email will go out from Brad or Eric at the beginning of each week with a list of what will be available. Then those of you interested can stop by the farm on Tuesday and buy whatever it is you want. If you like collards you can by 1 bunch or you can buy 20. Or you can buy apples. Or you can buy nothing at all. Look for those emails starting next week. This is open to everyone, not just CSA members.

Next Year: Speaking of non-CSA members, many of you have been patiently following along with us, following our progress all year and are asking yourself, "Are we ever going to get our chance to participate?" Meanwhile, current CSA members have been asking, "When will Cold Water Creek Farms get started next year?" The answers to these and all your questions regarding next season will be answered in early January 2010. We will ask existing CSA members if they'd like to return and then we'll be asking for new members to join. We'll be expanding and I doubt if we can't find room for everyone so hold tight, more info on next year's CSA program is forthcoming.

Surveys: Please return a copy of your survey so we can do an even better job next year. If you didn't get one or if yours was soggy there is a copy at the end of this post. There are two pages.

Speaking of the future, I have a little bad news. The main harvest of sweet potatoes isn't finished curing and probably won't be done in time for this last pick up. This is a bummer for everybody because not only will you probably not get sweet potatoes for your last pick up but very shortly, we're going to be stuck with a lot of sweet potatoes. Keep us in mind over the next few weeks if you need sweet potatoes, especially for the holidays. If you're planning a Thanksgiving dish of sweet potato casserole you can do it with local sweet potatoes, you'll just have to come see us in a few weeks out at the farm.

The same thing almost happened to the broccoli because of all these cloudy days. We have lots of broccoli planted and we were worried that it might not be ready for this last pick up but everyone will get some broccoli this week! We just made it- yesterday's sun actually made it happen. Please enjoy.

This week some combination of:

Baby Pac Choi
Swiss Chard

Well that's it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This has been fun. Let's do it again.


You know, when you farm,
Your hands are dirty at the end of the day,
But your hands are clean.

- Clayton Brascoupe


Pac Choi, Carrot, and Apple Slaw

3 heads baby pac choi
1 t. coarse salt (divided)
1 apple, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 ½ T fresh lemon juice
½ t. freshly grated ginger
1 ½ t canola oil pepper

Cut pac choi stems in half lengthwise. Cut stem off as well as any bruised leafy tops. Rinse each half thoroughly to remove grit. Slice each half crosswise into thin strips. Place all in a colander. Rinse lightly and shake until most of the water has drained. Coat top with ½ tsp. salt, and cover with a plate that fits inside the colander. Place a can of food on top of the plate to weigh it down. Meanwhile place apple and carrot matchstick pieces in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, canola oil and ginger. Add pac choi to the bowl with the apple and carrot. Add ½ t. coarse salt and some freshly grated pepper to taste. Stir and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. Comments: I’m sorry to say we haven’t had a chance to test recipes yet this year. However, this one comes on good recommendation, and I’m intrigued by it. First of all, it’s very simple to prepare – a priority for us lazy cooks. It is also a cold dish and, while my tastes don’t naturally gravitate toward cold dishes, I think this one might work. For one thing, carrots and apples are good uncooked, and I think the sweetness of both of those would complement the slight bitterness of the pac choi. Ginger sounds fine (and you could use ½ t. of powdered ginger if you don’t have fresh), but you could probably play around with the herbs and spices a little bit. I might also want to try lightly cooking the vegetables in a pan beforehand, just to tenderize them. The recipe also isn’t very clear on what to do with the leaves. It also doesn’t say how long the pac choi strips should be. Seems like a whole stem would be too long, so you could cut them into matchstick pieces the same size as the carrots and apples, and tear up the leaves before adding them.

Pac-Choi Soup

1 pac-choi (or two baby)
2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large potato, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1” piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I used homemade turkey stock)
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp thai fish sauce
½ cup fresh coriander leaves

Wash the pac-choi and separate the leaves from the stalks. Tear the leaves into pieces and cut the stalks into 1” squares.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions until soft.
Add the potato and carrot and cook for a few minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 10-15 mins.
Add the fish sauce, coriander leaves and pac-choi leaves and let simmer for another 10-15 mins or until everything is nicely cooked.
At this stage I used a steamer basket containing the pac-choi stalks, suspended over the soup mix and covered the pan. I steamed the stalks, over the soup, for about 10-15 minutes until they were slightly soft, but still had a bit of crunch to them. Alternatively, you could steam the stalks separately, or stir-fry them, or cook them for a few minutes in the microwave until tender.

Blend the soup mix (not the pac-choi stalks) in a liquidizer until smooth.

Add the pac-choi stalks to the soup.

Steamed Broccoli (just trying to be thorough)


1 bunch of broccoli

Method: Many options here
Olive oil, butter, flax seed oil, or mayonnaise
Lemon zest or juice, balsamic vinegar
Toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds


Rinse out well your broccoli, and break into large, bite-sized florets. Cut off the stem and peel off the thick skin around the stem. Quarter or halve the stem lengthwise.

Bring 3/4 to 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan with a steamer. (Note that is you don't have a steamer, you can simply put the broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water.) Add the broccoli to the steamer and cover; reduce heat to medium and let cook for 6-7 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork. But be careful not to overcook the broccoli. As soon as it is pierce-able, remove from heat, place in serving dish.

Dress to taste with butter, olive oil, flax seed oil, mayonnaise, lemon zest or juice, balsamic vinegar, toasted almonds, or sesame seeds.

Serves 2-4, depending on how much broccoli people like to eat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CSA Update :: Rain, Satisfaction Surveys and a Request for Help

Hello Everyone,

Several of you forgot to pick up your containers or perhaps those of you made of sugar didn't want to go out in the rain. [grin] It sure was wet on Tuesday. We got more than 2" of rain at the farm. If you did forget please don't be shy about coming out to the farm and picking up your containers today or tomorrow. Give us a call to make sure someone will be there.

Eric Williamson 704/796.7795

Brad Hinckley 828/406.0849

Aaron Newton 704/305.6654

Your veggies are in a walk in cooler which will keep your food in as good a shape as your refrigerator. Anything not picked up by Saturday will be donated.

This week there were customer surveys in your containers. Several of you mentioned your surveys were soggy. Attached to this email is a PDF copy of the survey. You can print it out and return it next week or mail it to us:

Cold Water Creek Farms

P.O. Box 936

Concord, NC 28026

Finally, this message is from David Goforth at the Cabarrus COUnty Cooperative Extension Office. All of you, CSA members and others are invited to help.

If the weather cooperates we will be covering the high tunnel next Tuesday November 3. This will be a group effort and the more hands we have holding the plastic, the easier life will be. If you have been looking for an excuse to come visit the incubator farm and meet some of the people who are farming out there, this would be a good one. It has been a beautiful week out at the farm with some of the best color I have ever seen on sassafras trees. We will probably be doing some of the preliminary work by 8:15 am if you are wanting to learn the whole process but hope to have hands on the plastic by 8:30. Of course all plans can be shot if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Right now the forecast looks okay but Tuesday is a long way off.


Nov 03

Mostly SunnyMostly Sunny

Hi: 65° Lo: 38°

Mostly Sunny. High 65F and low 38F. Winds N at 6 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: NA


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FRESH the movie screening in Charlotte @ CPCC

Please join us for a screening of Fresh the movie at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC on November 5, 7:30 p.m. in Tate Hall, CPCC Central Campus.

Check out the trailer.

More info here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nineteenth Pick Up Is Today 10.27.2009

Hello Everyone,

I'm sorry for last week's lack of full update. It was a busy one. On Sunday night/Monday morning we got freezing temperatures at the farm. Those temps killed the okra, the green beans, the peppers and the sweet potato vines. We picked all the peppers on Sunday afternoon and evening so we'll have some for the last two weeks. And while the vines died, the sweet potatoes themselves were not damaged. We did have to get them all out of the ground between the freeze on Monday morning and the rain we got this past weekend.

Now that the sweet potatoes are dug we have to cure them. This entails keeping them in a dry space heated to about 80 degrees F for a week or so. During this time their stored starches turns to the sugars that give them their sweet taste. Lucky for you we dug some a few weeks ago and have already cured them. You'll get some of those potatoes this week in your container.

Just so we're clear, we have two more weeks. You will pick up a container of vegetables today, October 27th between 4:30 and 6:30 at your regular pick up location. You will pick up your last container next Tuesday, November 3rd at your regular location. That will be the official end of the Cold Water Creek Farms 2009 CSA season.

You should see a survey to fill out this week which will help us to make improvements for next season. Please be candid with us as it's the only way we can get better at providing high quality produce to you. You can fill it out and return it next week at our pick up or you can mail it(especially if you'd rather fill it out anonymously)to:

Cold Water Creek Farms

P.O. Box 936

Concord, NC 28026

Aaron will do some postponed traveling in November and December. *BUT* Eric and Brad will continue to grow both field crops and greenhouse vegetables throughout the winter. Be sure to talk to them about how to purchase this food for those of you looking to eat local this winter.

Eric Williamson 704/796.7795
Brad Hinckley 828/406.0849

Information about our 2010 CSA season will go out in January.

Much thanks to Keaton and Salem for help last week in assembling the containers. A picture is attached. Also thanks to Mark & Ethan, Karen, Eric & Sarah, and also to Beth for help getting Shittake mushroom logs inoculated this past Saturday. We'll do more of this in the future for those of you interested.

This week the full share containers will get baby Pac Choi and Tatsoi. These are relatively new vegetables for us and we didn't grow enough to provide everyone with a taste this week. However we will have enough next week to make sure the half share members get to try them. The Pac Choi is like celery without the celery taste and the Tatsoi is like a cross between spinach and a very mild mustard. Both are excellent in stir fry.

This week:

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Peppers
Mild Peppers
Mizuna (Full Shares)
Mizuna/Turnip Green Mix (Half Shares - for cooking)
Lettuce (Full Shares)
Baby Pac Choi & Tatsoi (Full Shares - next week for half shares!)




From Barbara

Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes


2 lb Swiss Chard (any green will do), large stems discarded and cut crosswise into 2 inch strips
1/4 C EVOO
3 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 C Canned tomatoes, chopped
One 16 oz can drained cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


Bring pot of water to boil. Add greens and simmer over moderate heat until tender-approx 8 minutes. Drain and press out excess water

Heat oil. Add garlic and red pepper and cook until garlic is golden, 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Add beans and simmer over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add chard and simmer until flavors meld-approx 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve. (Food & Wine, Oct)

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sweet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 large Granny Smith apples (3 pounds)--peeled, halved, cored, and sliced 1/4- inch thick
1 cups pure maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 very large, shallow baking dishes. Alternating the sweet potato and apple slices, arrange the slices in the baking dishes in a single layer of concentric circles.

In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cider, butter, and salt. Simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Pour half of the mixture over the slices in each of the baking dishes and cover the dishes securely with foil.

Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the apples release their liquid. Remove the dishes from the oven, uncover and baste the apples and sweet potatoes with the pan juices. Increase the oven temperature to 450° and place the dishes in the upper third of the oven. Continue baking for about 35 minutes longer, basting a few more times, until the sweet potatoes are tender and nicely glazed. Serve hot.

Make Ahead:
The recipe can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Reheat, covered, in a 400° oven for 25 minutes.

Chilled Wilted Tatsoi Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing (link)
(Makes about 2 servings, recipe adapted from Big Oven, who got it from the New York Times.)

10-12 ounces Tatsoi leaves
sesame seeds, for garnish (I used a mix of black and white sesame seeds, but you can use whichever type you have)

2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tsp. grated ginger root
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. hot chile sauce
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill another bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. Wash Tatsoi leaves (I used a salad spinner) and cut into thick strips. Dump Tatsoi into boiling water, time for exactly one minutes, then drain immediately into colander and dump into bowl with ice water. (I used used the salad spinner again for the ice water.)

While Tatsoi is cooling in ice water, get a plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid that's large enough to hold all the Tatsoi. Mix dressing ingredients in this bowl, then drain Tatsoi well and add to dressing. Chill in the refrigerator an hour or more, turning bowl over a few times so Tatsoi remains coated with the dressing.

To serve, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove Tatsoi from bowl and arrange on serving plates. Toast sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes in a dry pan and sprinkle over salad. (If using a mixture, the black seeds burn more quickly than the white ones.) Serve immediately.

18th Pick Update

I have three items of which I'd like to make you aware.

1. Please be careful carrying your full containers today. There are lots of different types of items inside. We have contained some of them in separate bags but some of them are loose and we don't want them to get damaged.

2. Please unpack your containers as soon as possible. Condensation from chilled items means there is moisture in the containers. Full shares have beans and half shares have garlic and neither of those items like water. Also everyone has peppers that should be kept dry. Which leads to number 3...

3. We packed the tubs and then realized that the sweet & mild peppers were mixed up with the hot peppers. This could cause problems so I have attached important pictures so please take a look at them.

Best Wishes,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eighteenth Pick Up Is Today 10.20.2009

Hello Everyone,

The full update will have to wait until this evening.

Be sure to pick up today between 4:30 and 6:00pm. I will be leaving promptly at 6pm today so if you can't get there by then please call me and we'll make other arrangements.

aaron = 704/305.6654

Also be sure to bring any containers you have.