Duck, Duck, Melon…?

August 15, 2017

Week 11

0730170805b_HDRScreen Shot 2017-08-17 at 6.38.57 AM[Our Pekin, or Peking, ducks happily frolicking around the farm.  Who wouldn’t like that?]


Duck, Melons, & Yard Long Beans

Judy here again!  It’s been a little busy at the farm.. what with the decision to process our own birds by way of a mobile processing unit!  Rather than sending them to a USDA approved facility to process and package our free range feathered friends, we decided to go through the process ourselves!  Which means training on equipment & health codes, certification, licensing, fees, tests, renting a mobile processing unit, etc.  It is quite an ordeal!  But it sure does give you a level of appreciation for the work to get the meat on your plate, as well as the produce.




Since Farmer Kohei and company are preoccupied with making sure our duck friends are treated and processed well… I’m tasked with making sure YOU’LL be able to enjoy it.  So if you haven’t cooked with duck before, you’re in for a tasty end product!  We hope you can love your duck as much as we’ve loved raising the ducks.

What to know about duck:
a) it tends to have a more “gamey”, dark meat flavor than its chicken friend, but can be oh-so-good.
b) the skin is a little thicker and more full of oils compared to chicken, but a lot will be rendered out in the cooking process.  This excess duck fat can be reserved and used for other cooking needs!  Try roasting veggies with it, flavoring mashed potatoes, using it in vinaigrettes, etc..  It freezes well, so you can go find some more ways to use duck fat.
c) it can be tasty!  Try it!


Recipe Ideas

Peking Duck Style
(courtesy of
No need to make the extras, unless you really want to, but definitely try your duck cooked in this manner.  Farmer Kohei has cooked it this way before and loved the taste!


Spiced Slow-roasted Duck
(courtesy of BBC
Another way to roast a whole duck.  Similar to pork, duck can be paired with a lightly sweet sauce like apple sauce, as in this recipe, or for a more Asian twist, try hoisin sauce or a sweetened tamarind sauce. (Keep in mind this recipe is British, so you’ll have to convert to Fahrenheit and the metric system.)


How to Cut Up a Whole Duck

(courtesy of
Don’t want to have to use up a whole duck for one meal?  Try breaking it down into parts and make sausage, or use the different parts in separate recipes. This site also has tips and recipes to cook duck breast and duck legs.





[photo courtesy of]


Not familiar with the bittermelon?  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 Farmer’s Market claimed that’s the only way she’s consumed it!), or cook it in soups, stir-frys, or pickle it.

Bittermelon is a pale green color while young, and when ripe, can turn into an orange-red color.  It is a plant widely grown in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.  Try searching for some recipe ideas across those food genres!  Here’s a few recipes to give you an idea of its versatility, if you don’t mind getting a little bitter :).

Pro tip: if you want to decrease some of its bitterness bite, slice thinly, place in a strainer and sprinkle with salt until all pieces are covered, let sit for about 15 minutes.  Then rinse off salt with water, and squeeze out excess water from bitter melon pieces until mostly dry. Repeat rinsing step as necessary until salt is completely washed off.


Vietnamese-style Sautéed Bitter Melon with Pork Belly & Egg
(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 sugar.  This can be made vegetarian by omitting the pork, and adding another sort of flavor by way of dashes of soy sauce and sugar.


Southeast Asian-style Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup
(courtesy of
This recipe from leans towards Vietnamese cuisine, but is very similar to one my Cambodian 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!


Bitter Melon Juice with Apple & Lemon Water
(courtesy of China Sichuan Food)


A South Asian-inspired Bitter Melon Stir Fry
(courtesy of Ma Recipes Blog)
I recommend trying this recipe, and then adding a twist to it with a little tomato paste or tomato sauce.  Yum!


A Caribbean Bitter Melon & Salted Fish Stir Fry
(courtesy of



Fuzzy Melon

[photo courtesy of New Roots for Refugees Blog]


Fuzzy melon, also known as mo qua, or hairy gourd looks similar to a zucchini.


Week 9: MGF for the Win!

July 25, 2017

Week 9

[This past weekend, Farmer Kohei entered a fundraising Grill-Off competition,
organized by the Asian American Resource Workshop.  He and Farmer Lucas
took First Place, featuring the farm’s tasty produce!!
Clockwise from left: grilled sweet miso glazed eggplant w/ scallion;
grilled emu onigiri stuffed with quail egg; Grill-Off First Place “medals”]



Fresh, uncured garlic heads
Rainbow Swiss chard
Thai basil
Lettuce (all except Revere + FANG)
Red beets (all except Revere + FANG + Providence)
Cucumbers (only Revere + FANG)
Eggplants (only Revere + Providence + FANG)
and either Chicken, Duck, or Quail Eggs


I’M BAAAACCKKKK!!!  It’s me, Judy–a friend of MGF, here!  I was the default writer of the MGF blogs way back in its first year, and I took a break to birth and nurture a baby into the world (who also makes a feature in some of the farm photos every now and then :P).  I hope to write for you all again as a guest blogger; you may also see me keeping up with some of the MGF Facebook page photos and posts to keep it interesting.  It’s a process of trying to keep up on social media while the farmers and friends and volunteers help to keep the daily farm life going…so sometimes our social media isn’t as instantaneous as this unlimited data, smart phone-wielding culture seems to crave.   So if there are other folks interested in being a guest blogger, let us know!!  And continue tagging your Movement Ground Farm related photos if you use Facebook or Instagram (yes…MGF is now on the Instagram!).

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Summer CSA – Week #9

Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach

It’s WEEK #9!!!!!

CSA box drop-offs is Wednesday, Aug. 12th for Boston & Providence and Friday, Aug. 14th at Revere Farmer’s Market for our Revere members.


The readiness of our produce has been a little more unpredictable this week due to the cooler weather.  While the mild temperatures might be welcome for us humans, our plants could do well with a little more warmth at night.  So it’s been hard to know exactly what we’d be able to provide to you this week until the last minute of harvesting.  But hope you enjoy what’s in your boxes!

This week’s post is quite a bit shorter than usual, but FULL of pictures :).  AND soon you’ll be reading posts from another MGF volunteer!  I (Judy) will be going on hiatus for a while as I’m hatching my own little one and will be needing all the time I can get to take care of my family’s new addition!


Here’s the tasty goods you most likely will be getting Week #9…

Small shares:
For Boston:
– Malabar spinach
(an edible leafy green, like spinach, but red-stemmed and “fleshier”)
For Providence:

– broccoli

– sweet lunchbox peppers or green bell peppers
– cherry tomatoes
– Siberian kale
– Mosaic Chinese Long Beans
(similar to the string bean but is much longer in length, it is able to hold its texture better under heat which makes it ideal for sautéing or stir frying)
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens
(* “best by” date written on the box, labeled ‘W’ for washed or ‘UW’ for unwashed; if ‘UW’ just rinse with warm water before use)

– a handful of basil
– heirloom tomatoes
– some Sapporo chili peppers

Vegan shares include:
– A mix of the above (no eggs)

Large shares:
– Farmer Kohei will notify you specifically with what you can expect!


Photo Gallery

Lunchbox peppers

Our sweet lunchbox peppers (basically sweet, mini bell peppers)

Pepper line up

A pepper line-up, with cherry tomatoes for size comparison (L to R: Lunchbox pepper, jalapeño chili pepper, Sapporo chili pepper, and Thai chili pepper)

Bell pepper

Bell pepper

Jasper & Sun Gold cherry tom collage

Left: Jasper cherry tomatoes; Right: Sun Gold cherry tomatoes

black heirloom tomatoes

Black heirloom tomatoes

ANNNDDD… if the temperatures warm up so that our produce feel comfy enough to grow bigger and riper, we may have one of our melon varieties ready for you to eat soon!! Check out the sneak peak at our melons!

Clockwise from top right: Ginkaku melon (has white flesh), Himey Kansen watermelon (a Japanese mini watermelon variety), Ichiba Kouji (has a green flesh)

Clockwise from top right: Ginkaku melon (has white flesh), Himey Kansen watermelon (a Japanese mini watermelon variety), Ichiba Kouji (has a green flesh)


For Recipe Ideas for some of these repeat edibles, please refer to some of our posts from previous weeks (check out the ‘Recent Posts’ menu on the right side of the screen).


Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies by sharing your cooking stories and/or pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.

Summer CSA – Week #8

MGF chicks feeding on veggie scraps

Our laying hens roaming and pecking at the ground & at the veggie scraps. (The large-squared coop fence doesn’t keep these ladies from roaming freely, they actually can squeeze right through, but rather, it keeps larger animals out of their “safety pecking zone”.)

It’s WEEK #8!!!!!

CSA box drop-offs will be on Wednesday, Aug. 5th for Boston & Providence and Friday, Aug. 7th at Revere Farmer’s Market for our Revere members.


How is it August ALREADY?!!!  Summer is really picking up, and we’ve had some really hot days mixed with some rain showers, which we really can’t complain about too much here on the farm… BUT weeds are becoming problematic and it’s hard to keep up with those pesky plants with just Farmer Kohei & Farmer Michael.  So if there are some folks who are willing to spend some time outdoors and get an up close and personal look at how the plants that feed us are growing, LET US KNOW!

(**Remember the CSA Application that you filled out and signed?  As part of a new and growing farm, Farmer Kohei asked as part of your support for Movement Ground Farm, or MGF, that you also commit to one Farm Work Day–about 6 hours of work–per CSA season, unless you opted out for a fee or other arrangement through him.  Let us know the dates you can commit to!  It all helps!)

Farm Updates:

8.5.15 MGF in Revere collage(Clockwise: Farmer Kohei flexing his muscles for CrossFit with kale; the local Revere paper showcasing the Revere Farmer’s Market with a picture of MGF & Revere’s Mayor!; and MGF friend & volunteer Elaine lifting a giant zucchini on behalf of CrossFit.. as you can see, MGF knows how to be silly!)

MGF has really been creating a presence in the city of Revere, MA!  Not only have we been going to the Revere Farmer’s Market, but this past weekend we were present again with our veggies at a CrossFit competition on Revere Beach–combining a sunny day, scenic views of the beach, fitness, & nutritious produce.

8.5.15 farm update collage(Clockwise from right: Our most recent hen additions to our collection of laying birds, these breeds will eventually lay greenish & bluish eggs when they’re mature enough; the hard work of “hilling” the potato plants, or digging the dirt to create “hills” of soil to surround the plant, is supposed to make them produce more potatoes; and check out our white, Silkie chickens keeping warm and surrounding their duck companion with whom they’ve bonded–Silkies are a breed of chickens whose skin are black underneath all that feather and their meat is more gamey tasting)

More birds to take care of means LOTS of chirping, quacking, and cock-a-doodling on the farm (did we mention we acquired a rooster to keep our hens company and as their bodyguard?)!  But they’re all fun little critters to care for with interesting quirks (some of them like to follow us around) and can be cute to watch, especially how some herd together in groupings.


And what tasty goods to expect for Week #8…?

Small shares:
For Boston:
purple carrots
(purple!!; just like their orange siblings only in another fun color!)

– cherry tomatoes

For Providence:
– Malabar spinach
(an edible leafy green, like spinach, but grows on a climbing red-stemmed vine)
– heirloom tomatoes
(heirloom tomatoes can grow in such unique shapes, sizes, & colors, sometimes with little cracks in their skin but this does not affect their big taste!)

– cabbage
– zucchini
– Mosaic Chinese Long Beans
(similar to the string bean but is much longer in length, it is able to hold its texture better under heat which makes it ideal for sautéing or stir frying)
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens
(* “best by” date written on the box, labeled ‘W’ for washed or ‘UW’ for unwashed; if ‘UW’ just rinse with warm water before use)

– a handful of jalapeños*!
 (*note:  Beware, some of these batches have been particularly extra spicy!  Good news for the spicy addicts, though.)

Vegan shares include:
– A mix of the above (no eggs)

Large shares:
– Farmer Kohei will notify you specifically with what you can expect!


Featured Vegetable:

Mosaic Chinese Long BeansMosaic Chinese Long Beans

‘Chinese long beans are also known as yard long beans or Asparagus beans.  The name Mosaic is the specific variety which grows purple, red, and green colors on the pod that create a pattern.’  (info from this link)

This plant, though similar in taste, look, and texture to string beans, it is of a different relation (different genus type than that related to string beans).  This plant is a climbing vine (like the Malabar spinach), and will cling to whatever surface near it which can make picking these long beans  a little easier so you don’t have to bend too low.  These particular variety of beans can grow over a foot in length!  And though one of their common names is Chinese long beans, it is often found in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and southern China cuisines.  It can be eaten cooked and raw (I know in Cambodian cuisine, one of the ways it is used raw is it is sliced up thin and used much like bean sprouts or leafy herbs are used to garnish cooked foods, add texture, and freshness).


Recipe Ideas:
(I’m leaving out quite a few items since they’ve been listed before in previous posts or is familiar enough that you can find quite a few recipes with little effort.)

  1. Malabar spinach can be treated the same as other spinach.  It can be eaten raw (i.e. – salads, power smoothies or juices) though has a fleshier texture than other spinach, but holds up very well when cooked into soups or is sautéed.  If cooking, try throwing some of these into a curry soup–here’s an Indian vegetarian curry and use shortcuts like using canned beans or lentils, coconut milk in place of grated coconut, combining some existing spice blends you have, leave out some chili to your heat preference, use tomato paste in place of tamarind paste… though it does change up the flavor a bit.  A super shortcut would be to use a pre-packaged sauce variety you like and add your own vegetables.
    Here’s a Southeast Asian curry you can try using your Malabar spinach and/or Chinese long beans (feel free to use a sweet potato or squash in place of the potato; to make vegetarian, leave out the chicken to use veggie stock, and feel free to add more coconut milk for more flavor).
  2. Try the Chinese long beans stir fried (there’s so many different kind of flavor profiles you can try!) like in this minimal ingredient, vegetarian recipe.  Or follow the recipes for a Chinese-style dry fried beans or long beans with coconut milk linked in this write-up about the long beans and its versatility.  If your cooking style is more “off the books”–you just like to add this and that as you go–and have some flavorful, fermented soy beans handy, give it a quick stir fry with a little sugar, garlic, and a little water can be enough to make it tasty!  Also, there is this recipe for curry noodles with pork and long beans, yum.
  3. Jalapeños… adds a nice spiciness to life!  If you love the heat, you’re in luck!  Quite a few batches of our jalapeños have been noted to be extra spicy (a little unusual since they are known for being on the mild side of the heat level spice index).  But if you’d like to try to use them but want to tame down some of the heat, cut them in half and cut away the seeds and yellow/white “veins”, that’s really what holds most of the heat.  And you can try roasting them afterwards, as cooking brings out their natural sweetness.  Here’s a recipe for a roasted jalapeño hummus, or try making a cheesy, stuffed jalapeño (you can always substitute the feta with a little more shredded cheese)!  And there’s always salsa to make with it, just remember to cut out the seeds & veins if you want to tame the heat!  The salsa can be eaten as is with chips, or you can scoop it onto cooked fish or chicken.  If you want to preserve jalapeños to be used later, it holds up well to freezing, just rinse and dry well before you do.
    (Note: You may want to wear gloves when trying to cut the jalapeños, as I said in another post, the oils from them can linger on your hands long after you wash them and can hurt you later if you rub your eyes or use contacts… OUCH!  Do be careful and not inhale so closely when roasting them (either in a hot and open sauté pan, the oven, or on the grill), the chemical capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers, can become airborne and be slightly irritating, may make you sneeze, cough, or your eyes water.)



Community Cooking:

And now a look at what our members have been cooking up with their CSA produce!

Sandy’s creations (MGF Board & CSA member)
Sandy's food collage
On the left is Sandy’s preservation spree… the two large jars are kimchi pickling using Napa cabbage and pickled Kirby cucumbers (aka pickling cucumbers); the three smaller jars from the left are a saucy puree of sweet lunch box peppers and the others are jalapeño sauces (he got a bulk order for a spicy sauces to last a while)!  On the right is his whimsical noodle soup utilizing the jalapeño, sugar snap peas, patty pan squash, and eggs.  Tasty and fun!

Sarath’s home cooked comfort food (MGF Board & member)
Sarath's food collage
On the left is a steamed “omelette”… typically, a savory custard mixture of egg and water, though sometimes plain, can be mixed with meat or vegetables and eaten with rice.  Sarath utilized our eggs, garlic and scallions for this take on a nostalgic classic he says “reminds him of something his mom would make as an after school snack”.  On the right is his Cambodian sweet and sour soup cooked with lobster (yum!).  Though the mainstay ingredients of this soup weren’t from MGF, he did use the garlic and cherry tomatoes!

August’s refreshing appetizer
August's cuke salad
Using the cucumbers, this cucumber salad sure looks refreshing for the heat of summer!  August says it only takes a few ingredients: cucumbers, chili oil paste, sesame oil, and salt.  Try a variation of this if you’re not sure what to do with your cucumbers!

Farmer Kohei’s tempura snacks
Kohei's tempura
When wanting to deep fry something, Kohei enjoys tempura style frying and using panko breadcrumbs for a light, crisp coating.  Here he fries up squash blossoms, Japanese shiso basil, Sapporo chilies, and jalapeños.  He tops it off with a little seasoning of store bought Japanese mayonnaise and dried bonito flakes.


Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies by sharing your cooking stories and/or pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.

Summer CSA – Week #7

Hellooo Week #7!!!

We’re testing an earlier roll out of our CSA blog and will try to work our way to posting a few days before Wednesdays, the main CSA drop-off day (Revere is Fridays).  Give us feedback via email or at the end of this post about whether you enjoy an early preview or not!

MGF representing at the third week of the Revere Farmer's Market

MGF representing at the third week of the Revere Farmer’s Market

Can you believe it’s already the end of July?!  Enjoy the weather and summer while you can (the sun has been setting a little earlier each day :*( … )!  Hope some of you have been able to enjoy outdoor cooking with our produce (zucchini, scallions, Napa cabbage, etc. can be enjoyed grilled).  The mix of sun and rain has been good for MGF, and things are looking really green here on the farm.

Some Business Reminders:

MGF CSA agreement

Just a reminder to our members about BOTH the rewards AND risks that come with taking part in a CSA program with local, sustainable farms.  Farmer Kohei is fortunate to have had many supporters in the VERY FIRST YEAR of Movement Ground Farm (MGF) take part in a CSA by paying up front for weekly, farm-fresh produce.  This “subscription” style of paying for produce that comes from a local and sustainable farm helps the farmer and business have a guaranteed customer base/ income stream to pay for immediate needs and bills.  Meanwhile, the CSA members are confident in knowing they are supporting a local business, have a better relationship with their food & food system (and the people who grow it!), and knowing that our practice of growing uses organic and sustainable methods.  BUT there are risks of farming, in general, and within the New England region (weather can be so unpredictable here… a heat wave in winter, and snow in spring, anyone remember?)… That is part of the risks & rewards of Mother Nature.  PLUS we use organic methods, so plants can be more susceptible to other dangers–i.e. insects that feed on and destroy them.

(Take a look at the photo of ‘Agreements’ that were part of the CSA Application you hopefully had read and signed when you became a “Founding Member” of our CSA program.)

Another reminder that as part of your membership, you do receive two (2) tickets to MGF’s Movement Building Food Festival on Saturday, October 3rd (more info will be publicized as it comes closer)!!  It’ll certainly be quite a food filled event!


CSA box drop-offs will be on Wednesday, July 29th and Friday, July 31st at Revere Farmer’s Market for our Revere members.

Feel free to bring your own reusable bags to pick up and pack your produce so you’ll be able to leave your box at your “drop-off” site and won’t have to remember to bring them back the following week.  Otherwise, please continue to return the CSA boxes from the previous week(s) when you pick up your CSA shares.


Here’s the tasty goods to expect for Week #7 (this week is in ABUNDANCE!!)

Small shares include:
– For Boston shares:
– pickling cucumbers (aka Kirby cucumbers)
– bell peppers
– heirloom tomatoes
– collard greens

– For Providence shares:
– English cucumbers
   – sweet lunchbox peppers
– cherry tomatoes
– Siberian kale

– Everyone:
– beets
– plus 1/2 a dozen eggs* from our hens
(* “best by” date written on the box, labeled ‘W’ for washed or ‘UW’ for unwashed; if ‘UW’ just rinse with warm water before use)

– Japanese eggplant (thin and slender compared to the more bulbous Italian variety)
– green garlic
– scallions

Vegan shares include:
– A mix of the above (no eggs)

For the few Large shares, Farmer Kohei will notify you specifically with what you can expect!




We can offer some savings and pass it onto our customers for these bulk extras because these items are THRIVING in our fields!  Hope you can enjoy it!

Contact us at 617-863-SOIL or MovementGroundFarm(at) by noon 7/28 if you’re interested OR if you’re our Revere CSA folks, contact us by noon 7/30.  Just let us know how much of which bulk order special you’d like (have money ready in an envelope with your name & order written on it when you pick up your CSA).

  • “Krispy Kale”
    You’ll get a bundle of our Siberian kale.  Try kale chips (de-stemmed), tossed lightly in oil, and baked.  Or cook them down into a stew, or maybe you like them raw for juicing or power smoothies!
  • “Southern Greens”
    You’ll get a bundle of collard greens.  Great for making a Southern-style collard greens braised with a smoked ham hock, or slice up and throw in a stew or soup.
  • “Basil Bouquet”
    You’ll get an assorted basil bouquet of Thai basil, Genovese (aka Italian sweet) basil, Japanese (or shiso) basil, and Lemon basil.


Recipe Ideas:

(Borrowing a couple of recipes from previous weeks…)

  1. If you enjoy cucumbers, you can always eat them raw (cut into sticks, they’re great snacks) and pair with your favorite dip.  Try some cooling recipes that can save you from the heat of summer.. a cucumber raita or cucumber yogurt soup

  2. Whether you get bell peppers or lunchbox peppers, you can definitely eat these raw and pair with your favorite dip (salad dressing, hummus, peanut sauce, sweet & sour sauce, etc.).  Slice them up and throw them into a salad, sandwich, cold noodles… Throw these on the grill or sauté them and they’ll sweeten up nicely!  Or try stuffed peppers (there’s many variations, use your imagination)!  Try using the bell peppers as cute individual and edible “cups” for a soup or dip.

  3. Tomatoes!  What can’t you do with tomatoes?  Eat them raw, sauté them, grill them, roast them, stuff them… put into salads, on sandwiches, eat with cheese, or cook on pizza or into omelets.

  4. For kale or collard greens, see the recipe links under the Bulk Specials.

  5. Beets can be a hit or miss item with some folks.  Some absolutely love it, others don’t care for it.  I love them!  After some rinsing and peeling, you can slice them up and eat them raw with a dip, on a sandwich, or salad.  But cook them up and they turn really sweet (can be roasted whole or cut up in whatever form you like).  You can also pickle them (these are also very tasty on salads or sandwiches).

  6. Use Japanese eggplants like you would their more familiar Italian sibling. But also great for stir frying because of their thinner skin and almost lack of seeds (which could give a slight bitter taste in the Italian variety).



Let us know how you eat and cook your CSA goodies by sharing your cooking stories and/or pictures on our Facebook page or leave a comment here.