Smell the Lemongrass & Week 9

Week 9

August 27, 2019

*depending on drop-off site


Bundle of Carrots


Red Basil (aka “Thai” basil)

(*Brandywine variety for PVD;
Purple Cherokee variety for Dorchester;
Green Zebra variety for Tiverton & JP)


*Yard Long beans for Tiverton & JP

*Ancho Poblano peppers for PVD

*Sweet Lunchbox peppers for Dorchester

Optional freebie:  Kabocha squash seconds!



Andrea Nguyen lemongrass pork
Try out lemongrass in this marinade for Vietnamese Grilled
Lemongrass Pork by Andrea Nguyen.

Typically, the really “grassy” part of lemongrass is not used, though it’s still very fragrant and can be kept just to scent your house or stuck in a jar with sugar to let it permeate.  Save the grassy part for recipes like simple syrups or simply to toss in to flavor soups & stews.  The main part of the lemongrass stalk, which is sometimes described as the more “woody” stem, can be chopped and minced finely to make edible in herb pastes or marinades (as in the above recipe).  This same recipe can be used to marinate vegetables or tofu, and even used to flavor stir fries (the fish sauce required in recipe can be substituted with vegetarian fish sauce; look for in large Asian grocery markets).

And here’s a recipe for infused Lemongrass Simple Syrup by Analida’s Ethnic Spoon, which also includes how to use it in a cocktail recipe–how convenient!  Lemongrass simple syrup also could be used to sweeten tea for a nice little flavor infusion.  After the lemongrass stalks are done infusing the syrup, there still may be flavor in it.  Try rinsing off the sugar and taking one piece to flavor a tomato soup or to flavor a marinade (but refrain from adding much sugar, and taste first, since it probably retained sugar from the syrup).

Yard Long Beans

garlic yardlong beans stir fry
Photo of Stir Fried Long Beans with Garlic by Tiny Urban Kitchen

Yard Long beans are like their name suggests, a really long, green bean looking vegetable.  It is found often in various Asian cuisines, and is sturdier than the western green bean, as it can still hold together in a soup.  It is great thrown in soups like curries (or as a replacement for green beans).  In this recipe above, it is cooked Chinese-style in a stir fry, simply with garlic.  For a couple more recipes for the yard long bean, check out one of our previous blog posts from August 2016.

Kabocha Squash

NomNomPaleo rst kabocha
Photo of Roasted Kabocha Squash by Nom Nom Paleo

curried kabocha soup
Photo of Curried Kabocha Squash Soup from Food and Wine

For more recipe ideas check out these “9 Extremely Delicious Things to Make with Kabocha Squash” from Food and Wine, that include curried kabocha squash dip and kabocha in rice porridge (aka congee, aka buh baw).  Yum.

kabocha sweet coconut milk dessert
Photo of Kabocha Squash in Sweet Coconut Milk Cream
by Leela Punyaratabandhu at Serious Eats



If you’ve got cantaloupe melons that still need to be used, here’s a great recipe for Cantaloupe Creamsicle Pops by Lauren K Stein.  Enjoy some as a smoothie first, then freeze the rest to enjoy later as popsicles!


tomato pimento chz sandwich
Photo from Soul Food Scholar on Instagram via Southern Soul BBQ

It just looked really tasty, and sometimes we forget that the fruits of the earth can be enjoyed simply… like sliced up and placed into a mile-high sandwich with cheese, mayo, and lettuce.  Yum.

CSA Customer Creations

Michio testing out new mini tractorPhoto of Farmer Kohei’s father, Michio, testing out the
newly acquired, mini tractor to tackle the back-breaking job of weeding!

Photo around the farm

Farmer Kohei’s meal of pan fried ground turkey with farm cherry tomatoes & husk cherries, stuffed into green bell peppers (optional: to be topped with cheese).

Jo's turkey tomato sauce
Jo’s homemade ground turkey & tomato sauce (with MGF tomatoes)

Martha processing tomatoes for sauce
Martha processing our heirloom tomatoes for sauce and canning

Shirley parboiled sesame bittermelon
Shirley’s par-boiled MGF bittermelon dressed with sesame oil

Casey Cutting SE Asian curry
Casey’s Southeast Asian curry with MGF’s aromatics and veggies

Sam CSA box (pvd)
Sam’s appreciation of our CSA box!


When Life Gives You Melons… Week 8

Week 8

August 20, 2019

*depending on drop-off site

Red onions, bunched

Heirloom tomatoes

Husk cherries (aka ground cherries)

Melons (Athena melon OR mini watermelon)



*Lunchbox peppers & Yard long beans for PVD

*Eggplants for Dorchester

*Both melons for JP

*String beans for Tiverton

Optional freebies:  Bittermelon or Habanero peppers



Joke:  When life gives you melons… you may be dyslexic.
(Melons ≠ lemons… get it?? 😁😅)




Husk Cherries (aka ground cherries)

Husk cherries photo courtesy of Farmer Kohei and MGF’s
own husk cherries.
Top Left:  is the fruit with it’s papery husk (much
like a tomatillo’s) still on.
Top Right:  a huge basket of it all shelled!
Bottom:  Kohei’s husk cherry jam all jarred up and ready to be sealed in a steam bath.

For some recipe ideas for this fruit, check out the Kitchn’s “5 Reasons You’ll Want to Buy Husk Cherries at the Farmer’s Market”.  Suggestions come with links for baking with it, making jam, salad, or salsa, etc.  Of course, you can always just eat it raw out of its husk, it’s a nice treat as is (but a bit of a pain to harvest, so please cherish it or share it if it’s not your taste)!



burmese-salad-tomato-tallBurmese Green Tomato Salad by Andrea Nguyen of
Though this recipe calls for firm, under ripe tomatoes, you can use your MGF, likely ripe, heirloom tomatoes, and maybe try your melon and red onions as substitutions for the under ripe green tomatoes and shallots in this recipe.  It sounds refreshing and light, which is perfect for a no-cook side during some of these hot days of summer.


tomato-kachumberHere’s another easy, no-cook recipe, Indian-inspired Tomato Kachumber by Barney Desmazery.  It’s a spiced chopped tomato salad; throw in some hot chili pepper if you like some heat.  This recipe also calls for red onion (which are in your boxes!).

Or make tomato sauce, a salsa, or roasted tomato garlic preserves (that recipe is in Week 6’s post).  Those are always options for all the peak tomato goodness that is growing.  You could also search this list for more tomato recipes via BBC Good Food.


For those receiving eggplant, try out this miso-glazed eggplant recipe we posted two years ago, by Busy in Brooklyn blog.  It’s very tasty!  A similar recipe gave Farmer Kohei a win at a Grill-Off competition organized by one of our friendly organizations, Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW).  20170722_164706_20170723003724795_20170723010931981If you still have some of last week’s Nabechan scallions, cut it up in one to two-inch chunks and grill it along with the miso-glazed eggplant and its glaze (much like in the photo above; it’s even paired with MGF’s red shiso).  Yum!



CSA Customer Creations

MGF’s veggie oddities 😅.
Top Left:  a Green Zebra tomato; Bottom Left:  a Purple Cherokee tomato
Right:  a confident and gnarly carrot! 😆


Tamiko shiso onigiriTamiko’s ume & shiso onigiri (or rice ball snack).
And check out Tamiko’s personal newsletter with a recipe for
Tomato & Husk Cherry Salsa.

Martha shakshuka baked egg in tomato, onion, purslane
Martha’s tasty use of our tomatoes, onions, and wild purslane in a Palestinian-inspired stewed tomatoes with eggs.

Jenn tom, bell pepper, carrot, beet
Jenn’s meal using our green zebra tomatoes, bell peppers, beets, and carrots.

Left:  Kevin’s homemade pizza with our tomatoes, basil, shiso, and shallots;
Right:  Kevin’s stuffed bittermelon soup!  Yum.

Left:  Susana’s lasagna with our Japanese eggplant in the layers;
Right:  Susana’s tomato tart with our cherry tomatoes & shallots.
Another tasty way to eat up the tomatoes.

Left:  Judy’s greens stir fry with our bok choy (still tasty even with those
pesky flea bugs biting through it), green bell pepper, and Nabechan scallions.
Right:  Judy’s tomato stir fry using our heirloom Celebrity tomatoes
and cherry toms with red shiso (and store bought cilantro; stir fry is cooked down
with a couple splashes of fish sauce, dark mushroom soy, and dash of sugar).

Left:  Judy’s MGF garlic noodles (bittermelon is thinly sliced and browned 
with our rainbow chard stems, scallions, opal basil, and shiso).  Here’s a
similar version of garlicky noodles, by Seonkyoung, if you’d like to give it a taste (it’s yummy, but I typically add some veggies to it to feel like I’m getting a dose of greens).
To make the recipe vegetarian, try substituting with hoisin sauce and a couple small dashes of soy sauce.

Right:  Raw bittermelon added to Judy’s power smoothie!!  Combined with fruit,
it’s actually not overpowering and quite tasty (very slight bitter aftertaste,
but minimal).  The liquid base is mostly water with lemonade.  I added
frozen banana, frozen blueberries, pear, MGF rainbow chard & sprig of cilantro,
celery, third of a lime, and half a MGF seeded bittermelon (just use a spoon
to scoop out the insides).


Keith’s melon farm-to-glass cocktails!
Left:  MGF watermelon & shiso with gin
Right:  MGF cantaloupe (and mint) margarita


Keep them coming.  We’re loving the ideas and wouldn’t mind an invitation to try some of your finished products from all your CSA boxes! 🙂 Haha.

Tomato, Tamahto, Shiso! Week 7

Week 7

August 13, 2019

*depending on drop-off site


Nabechan scallions

Green bell peppers

Red & green shiso

*Eggplant OR Yard long beans

*Red Celebrity tomatoes OR Kakao tomatoes OR Green Zebra tomatoes

*Watermelon OR Melon

Optional freebies: imperfect bok choy & bittermelon




peach tomato saladThis peach & tomato salad looks gorgeous!  Adding summer fruit alongside tomatoes is tasty.  Try it with melon, too, and add some chopped herbs for a nice touch of earthiness and brightness.  Use your favorite vinaigrette.  This could be great if you still have cherry tomatoes from last week and are looking for more ideas for how to use it.


Health-benefits-of-bitter-melon-Organic-Gurlz-Gardens-of-Fort-Wayne-IndianaVisit some of our past blog posts, like one from August 2017,
for more recipe ideas for bitter melon!  Below I’m copying what I (Judy)
wrote two years ago about this nutritious gourd.

” Don’t be discouraged or scared off by this green, bumpy gourd.  It is also called bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, karela, or balsam pear.  As its name claims, it is, indeed, bitter.  But the bitter taste, according to many cultures, holds quite a few medicinal and nutritional properties (i.e. being good for blood circulation and lowering blood pressure–but consult with a doctor if trying to treat these issues); according to some (and, “it is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of banana.”  Try it raw in juice form (a customer at the Newton Farmer’s Market claimed that’s the only way she’s consumed it!), or cook it in soups, stir-frys, or pickle it.


Vietnamese-style Sautéed Bitter Melon with Pork Belly & Egg
img_4914(courtesy of Tasty Desu’s Blog)
I’d recommend adding a little seasoning to this dish to add some
oomph–i.e. a teaspoon or so of fish sauce and [dash of] sugar.  “

Southeast Asian-style Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup
1-bitter-melon-soup-canh-kho-qua(courtesy of
” This recipe from leans towards Vietnamese cuisine, but is very similar to one my Cambodian Chinese mom makes.  You could probably find similar pork-stuffed bitter melon soup recipes across some Southeast Asian cuisines.  In these soups, it certainly tastes better the next day (some of the bitterness calms down and flavors are enhanced)!  Do some tasty experimenting, and see which soup recipes you like best!  “


shiso cuke picklesPickle your summer flavors with Quick Cucumber & Shiso Pickles!
This one by Teri on
Try experimenting with different types of vinegars to slightly change up the flavor.


Shiso-Garlic-Soy-SauceFlavor your condiments with this Shiso Garlic Soy Sauce by Just One Cookbook.
Mmm…brighten up your dish with a little *oomph* to your soy sauce!  Even something as simple as an easy meal of rice, soft or hard boiled egg, sausage, and grilled veggies.  Then use this flavored soy sauce to dress everything.


watermelon-shiso-salad-200-3Watermelon Salad with cucumbers, shiso, and scallions by Feasting at Home.  It sounds light, refreshing, and hydrating–great for summer.



Here’s a twist on pesto with Shiso Pesto by Summer Tomato.
Try substituting with a tablespoon of sesame oil (a little goes a long way; use this instead of a harder to find rice bran oil) and the rest with whatever neutral oil you have on hand; it’ll add that special sesame, nuttiness.  Try adding a dash of rice wine vinegar, or mirin.  I’ll definitely be trying out this recipe!


Impromptu potato salad 2Try this Impromptu Potato Salad recipe by Viet World Kitchen’s Andrea Nguyen.  It is her whatever-you-have-on-hand twist to her own recipe for a Vietnamese-ish salade Russe, or Russian-French potato salad (ah, colonialism), which originally called for beets along with potatoes.  She had made this recipe before using shiso as one of the herbs (do you spot it in the top left corner?), and a dash of fish sauce salt (try using a dash of fish sauce) for more umami.


bacon shiso fried riceBacon & Shiso Fried Rice by Humble Bean at
Throw in more shiso, as you like, to add an herby goodness to the fried rice.  Omit bacon if you don’t prefer it, but increase the amount of oil.



CSA Customer Creations

IMG_20190810_150113_302Our imperfectly shaped produce: a heart-shaped tomato on display.  You normally won’t find these irregular shapes in grocery markets because distributors don’t buy them.  They are deemed “imperfect” or “ugly” since consumers likely don’t purchase them when stocked next to more traditionally shaped ones.  That’s why CSA shares, roadside stands, or farmer’s markets are good for these perfectly imperfect, and tasty produce.


Left: a photo from a customer of our roadside stand last week
Right: one of our flower bouquets beautifully displayed at the Westport, MA
Farmer’s Market last weekend.


PrYSM csa boxThis is a screenshot of Providence Youth Student Movement’s, or PrYSM’s, CSA share box (they are our Providence, RI drop-off site host!).  I recommend following them on Instagram if you’d like to see their weekly CSA box unveiling video, posted on their stories.  It’s a fun walk through of their produce (*though CSA produce can vary depending on drop-off sites, so your produce box may be slightly differently.)


Evy jalapenosHere’s a photo of Evy enjoying last week’s jalapeños raw and dipped in soybean paste!


Jen Steinfield cherry tomsJenn’s appreciation of our compostable bag of ombre cherry tomatoes!


bittermelon omeletteJudy’s MGF bittermelon scallion omelette (I sauté bittermelon first).
Note:  If sautéing, I salt the bittermelon slices in advance and drain off some of the
bitter liquid.  To do that, very lightly sprinkle some salt to cover your sliced/diced bittermelon, let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse off in water and squeeze off excess.
Repeat.  Now ready to cook.


Susana tomato tartSusana’s tomato tart with our cherry tomatoes.  Yum!


Keep posting and sharing with us your creations and ways of eating with our bounty!  Keep enjoying and tasting summer in every bite.

Carrots, Shallots, Husk Cherries – Week 6

Week 6

August 6, 2019


A heavy bag of cherry toms

A bunch of carrots

Shallots bunched fresh with green tops

Husk Cherries

Genovese/ Opal basil mix

Melons or green beans or MGF Salad mix with wild purslane

(free item – jalapenos)




Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes from The Comfort of Cooking

I, Kohei, have made this several years back – and it was awesome.    Follow this recipe for the perfect topping on fresh pasta, or cook it down even more for a bruschetta or pizza topping.   Also, I suggest using WHOLE garlic cloves.  


20190805_203315Judy’s Tomato Salad with all MGF: colorful cherry & grape tomato mix, shiso leaf, opal & genovese basil.

Throw in some cheese like fresh mozzarella or paneer, and flavor with your favorite dressing (or the traditional extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt).  Add some crunch by using nuts or seeds.  Make it more substantial by adding protein like fish, chicken, egg, or tofu, OR turn it into a pasta salad by adding bow tie pasta.


20190731_032859The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs from Serious Eats
(photo by Providence Youth Student Movement, aka PrYSM,
staff of opal basil in their CSA boxes)

Figured it is always good to put something up about how to store and keep your herbs fresh, serving as a reminder (though, the link refers to store bought herbs so the idea that it has been sitting on a shelf for a while doesn’t apply to any of our MGF grown, farm fresh goods. Farmer Kohei harvests the day before you pick up your CSA boxes.).  I (Judy) use a few different methods for storing when I get my produce, depending on how much time and effort I have and how lazy I may be at the moment.  I usually take everything out of the CSA box and bag everything in my saved, plastic shopping/produce bags and, sometimes but rarely, in a paper bag.  Then everything goes into the fridge as is, usually in the crisper drawers, and wherever there is space.  Days later, I sometimes go back and wrap some items like lettuce or hardy herbs with a barely moist paper towel.  Sometimes, I’ll throw in a dry paper towel in with salad mix.

When I want to prep some of the items to make it easy for using and cooking later, I will take some of an item like lettuce, peel a handful of leaves off, wash it, dry it, and wrap it separately or throw into a zip top bag with a paper towel for use in salad, sandwiches, wraps, etc.  Always a good idea to check on your produce every once in a while if you haven’t used it yet, to air it out or change out the paper towel, if need be.

If needing to make something last because you haven’t gotten to it, it’s good to trim slimy or wilted pieces so it doesn’t make the rest of the bunch spoil as quickly.  But wilted, yellowed, or bruised parts of your veggies are STILL good to use (so long as it isn’t slimy or molded).  It may not be very pretty as it once was, but it still can manage to be tasty cooked into your foods (like soups, stir frys, sauces, flavored butter, infused oils, or blended into power smoothies…).  I like saving the peels of some of my MGF goods, like the cucumber from a couple weeks ago, and throwing it into the freezer to add later into my power smoothies filled with veggies & fruit.  And adding a few leaves of herbs like cilantro add a earthy but balanced brightness to smoothies.  I’ve gotten some inspiration from The Blender Girl for making my own versions.  Get some ideas and create some for yourself!

Remember, using your produce as much as you can is the best possible use of the gorgeous produce Farmer Kohei grows, and the time he and mother Earth contribute to it.  Share with us, your creations and creative uses of your CSA!

CSA Customer Creations

Two of our customers made yummy opal basil pesto!
(photos and food by Susana and Evy, respectively)


Left: Nam Prik Ong (Lao Spicy Ground Pork) using MGF tomatoes, cilantro, scallion (and you can use this week’s fresh shallots along with its green tops in this, too).
Right: Chicken Laab/Larb, Ground Chicken Salad, using MGF cilantro, red basil (aka “Thai basil”), lettuce, and use our bird’s eye chili for a spicy kick!
(photo and food by Kevin)


IMG_9293Kohlrabi “Papaya” Salad with MGF kohlrabi
(photo and food by Kevin)


The Flower Share Has Begun!

20190731_033616Flowers for Justice share appreciation! Thanks to Susana for sharing
the photo.


Puma did NOT want to help advertise our flowers!


Special Thanks to our work-sharer Kata,
who has an uncanny knack for floral arrangement!

Our Farm Stand

20190727_152707.jpgFirst time setting up a roadside farm stand, right in front of the farm!


IMG-20190727-WA0018We are generating between $40 – 130 a day, at least twice a week. Yay!