Week 10

full share
medium share
small share

Honey Time!

Our dear friend and long-time CSA member Mark Adams is beginning to extract honey from the hives he maintains on local (like, only Polk County, Wisconsin!) organic family farms. We are offering his honey for our members to order. We use his honey exclusively, and can vouch for how fantastic it is. If you’re interested in helping support the dying breed of small, local, and pesticide/antibiotic-free beekeepers, shoot us an email with what you’d like to order. We’ll invoice you and package it in your boxes when we take delivery from Mark, at the end of August.

6 oz hex glass $5

9 oz hex glass $5.75

8 oz plastic bear $5.50

12 oz plastic bear $7.00

14 oz glass bear $8.00

16 oz glass $8.50

Bulk $7.50/lb

Some comb honey is available 14oz plastic case for $12.  (While supplies last)

A little while back a Nicole and Hannah were bold enough to climb to the top of our silos and took a few awesome pictures of the farm from up there.

What’s in the box:

  • Garlic
  • Corn-4 each for small and medium shares, 6 each for full shares
  • Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes-about 1# for everybody!
  • Beans-3/4# for small shares, 1# for full shares
  • Zucchini-1 each for medium and full shares
  • Onions:spring green onions or red long onions- 1 bunch for medium and full shares
  • Oregano or Mint-1 bunch to medium and full shares
  • Mustard bunches-1 bunch to medium and full shares
  • Cabbage-small shares
  • Bell Peppers-1 each to full shares

Recipes + Notes

Now that tomatoes are finally coming, here are a few tips on storage: Keep your tomatoes at room temperature, if they are in a fridge long enough to cool down below 50 their texture and taste will change! Sometimes your tomatoes will be under-ripe when you receive them. Storing them at room temp and out of direct sunlight will allow them to ripen fully. If your tomato seems a little firm or pale in color, go ahead and let it sit for a few days to ripen up. That being said, all cherry tomatoes should be ripe when you get them, and we send out tomatoes that range from red, to orange, to “black” (actually kind of a deep purple chocolate red), to pale yellow. Remove your tomatoes from the plastic bag they came in and store them in a single layer on a counter or plate top-side-down (unless they are cherry tomatoes, then they can just be stored in a bowl without a lid). Their shoulders are the firmest part and will bruise the least  from the weight of the tomato.

Everyone is getting a great assortment of summertime veggies this week, so instead of a lot of one-ingredient recipes, I’m going to focus on recipes that use up several ingredients at once! Of course, if you like your veggies one at a time, visit our recipe page for inspiration.

Provencal Tomato and Squash Gratin

Summer Squash and White Bean Saute

My beloved Sam Sifton’s guide to tomatoes

This just uses corn, but WOW does it look good!

Summer Succotash

Zucchini, Tomato and Corn Salad

Balsamic Glazed Veggie Kebabs

Happy cooking, and savor the moment! Summer is rapidly slipping through our fingers!

 

Sneak peek for next week:

More tomatoes!

Corn!

Eggplant?

Peppers!

 

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Hannah, Nicole, Karen, and Michele

Week 9

full share
medium share
small share

Hello all,

We hope you’ve been enjoying the cooler weather we’ve been having–we sure have. We even got some rain the past week to boot. Not only do the plants seem to enjoy rain water more than irrigation water (there’s something in the water from the sky that ground water doesn’t seem to have) but we don’t have to spend so much time moving around and setting up irrigation in the hot heat!

Many thanks to our neighbors and friends at Turnip Rock, Steady Hand, and Burning River Farm who all pitched in this week to make sure the boxes were full for everyone. We’ve been running into some big gaps the past few weeks due to a number of crop failures and have been leaning on the community of farms in our area to help fill out the shares.

The big event on the farm last week was garlic harvest. We pulled over 6000 heads of garlic from the ground! Most of them are either on tables or hanging in bundles from the rafters to cure. They will take about 3 weeks to dry properly so that they will be able to store for most of the winter. Many of them will end up your boxes during the rest of the season. A good portion will be saved to plant in the fall for next years crop. The individual cloves get planted to grow a new head of garlic that pops up early the following spring.

It’s also time to add our last two crew members to the “Getting to know them” segment of the newsletter-Karen and Michele!

Michele has been with us for 4 years now and is truly one of the foundations of this farm. She keeps us going when we just can’t work another minute, and spoils us with treats, birthday parties, and lots of love and support!

 

Karen is a CSA member who amazingly decided to work with us one day a week to get to know farming a little better! She is a former chef and also spends a lot of time working at our neighbor’s farm, Whetstone.

Maybelle helping harvest. She could barely make it to put the garlic into the pallet box, or “trash can” as she was calling it.

Brandon organizing the garlic

What’s in the Box

  • Basil (1/2 lb small, 3/4 lb medium, 1 lb full)
  • Onions: Scallions or Ailsa Craig
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Beets: Golden (small only)
  • Snap Beans: Dragon tongue (3/4 lb medium and 1# fulls)
  • Carrots (1.25 lbs, full only)
  • Cucumbers (1.5 lbs small)
  • Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or cucumbers (medium and full)
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli (medium only)
  • Cabbage (full only)

Recipes and Notes

Basil is the real star of this week’s box, and you are getting it in ridiculous quantities. I was giddy over how much basil we were able to give out this week. I’ve been obsessed with pesto and other related basil/garlic spreads and dressings ever since we started harvesting them this year and can’t recall a day in the past two weeks when I haven’t had it in some form. Puree up a huge batch of basil, garlic, and olive oil, put it in the fridge and use it on everything. Add lemon juice and nuts to make a pesto. Add it to mayonnaise for an awesome sandwich spread or dip. Go nuts. It freezes pretty well, too.

Snap Beans-we’ve got more of these beauties this week, and if you haven’t tried this nice side dish, beans with mustard vinaigrette, I’d highly recommend it! We’re also loving our classic Spanish Green Bean and Olive Salad.

Cucumbers-If you got cucumbers this week, you got quite a few! I still highly recommend making a quick refrigerator pickle out of them since you’ll get to nosh on them for a few weeks this way. This recipe looked pretty awesome, and I love that it allows you to use up other firm veggies like carrots and cauliflower, too. I love bread and butter pickles, and this spicier than usual recipe looked pretty amazing, too.

Happy cooking and eating!

 

 Sneak Peek Next Week

  • Sweet Corn (come on sweet corn!)
  • Tomatoes (more and more from here on out)
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers? (come on peppers!)

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Nicole, Hannah, Karen, and Michele

Week 8

full share
medium share
small share

 

Hope everyone has been keeping cool in this hot hot heat! We are finally starting to see some more summer staples creep into the box. Snap beans are finally here! There were two plantings that failed due to too much heavy rain this spring (beans are very susceptible to rotting when it’s wet and cool). Sweet corn is also making it’s first appearance for the season! It’s starting off sparse, but soon we’ll be rolling in it! And yes, tomatoes should finally be here next week. The plants are looking beautiful and full, just a lot of unripe tomatoes waiting to turn red/orange/yellow…

summer squash coming out of the field
Somebody’s been caught eating your sweet corn (along with several other little buddies too).  Don’t worry raccoon fans, catch and re-locate is the practice around here)
Come on tomatoes! You can do it!
The crew working hard transplanting in the heat. Purple and Green Italian basil in the foreground. 
freshly planted mustard greens on the right, cilantro on the left, you’ll be seeing these in your box in 30-40 days!
close up of the mustard greens

What’s in the box:

  • Beans (Dragon Tongue)-3/4# for small shares, 1# for medium and full shares
  • Zucchini-2 for small shares, 3 for medium, and 4 for full shares
  • Onions (Walla Walla)-1 bunch for all share sizes
  • Cucumbers-3 small for small shares, 2 regular for medium shares, 3 regular for full shares
  • Kale or Swiss Chard-1 bunch for small and medium shares
  • Garlic-1 each for medium and small shares
  • Sweet Corn-2 each for medium and full shares
  • Cabbage-1 for full shares
  • Beets-1 for full shares
  • Broccoli-about 1# for full shares

Recipes + Crop Notes

Beans-These specialty beans really are great raw, if you’re up to that. Maybe whip up a dip of yogurt, garlic and a little peeled and grated cucumber? If you like to cook your beans, just note that the purple color will largely disappear and you’ll get a pleasant yellow-green colored bean. We don’t do much more than steam our beans and toss with salt, olive oil and whatever herb is on hand. Have you checked out our newest drop site, The Olive Grove? They’ve got some super good stuff in there, besides the fact that they welcomed us into their store when Fresh & Natural suddenly closed! If you’d still like more of a recipe, how about my go-to, the Spanish Green Bean and Olive Salad by Jose Pizarro?

Zucchini-They’re coming on strong around here! Did you make that fritter recipe yet? How about our Zucchini and Raw Corn Salad? Or this “Healthy” Zucchini Bread? Michele brought us some fresh zucchini bread on Monday morning and no kidding, the foot-long loaf was gone before bedtime! It also freezes REALLY well, so make some and save it for a cold and snowy day this winter.

Walla Walla Sweet Onions– These things are great! Named so for Walla Walla county in Washington state (Walla Walla county is named after the Native American first nation Walla Walla in case you’re wondering). These onions were originally brought from France in 1900 and were selected over the years for sweetness and jumbo size. Such a standout onion that it is the official “designated vegetable” of Washington State and is widely grown and consumed throughout the US.

You could use them like any other onion but that would be a waste of a great thing! This will be the only week we have these beauties so I recommend making something with them that highlights their specialness. I don’t want to bore you with how great these onions are, so here’s a link to a succinct list of great ideas.

Cucumbers-It would be hard to do anything but snack on these little cuties, but if you really want to make something of them, I’d suggest a fabulous salad made for us this weekend by the famous local cheesemaker, Rama Hoffpauir.

Here it is:

Peel, seed, and dice some cucumbers

Add plenty of fresh yogurt to coat

Stir in some garlic and any herb (if any) you want

Add Salt and pepper to taste

Eat!

Thanks to Rama and her husband Josh at Turnip Rock Farm/Cosmic Wheel Creamery for supplying us with these cucumbers this week. They were kind enough to give us all the cucumbers we needed for the week since we were short on items this week due to a surprising number of crop failures.

If you’d like to do a quick little pickle, try one of these recipes:

(Please note, that with just a few cucumbers you’ll probably only get about 3/4 to one pint–perfect for a week!)

Quick Korean Cucumber Kimchi

Garlic Refrigerator Pickles

Curry Quick Pickles

Sweet Corn not enough in the box this week to really do corn on the cob, but plenty to add a little corn to a taco or other dish. To cut the corn off the cob, stand the ear upright after shucking (long-ways up), take a knife and cut straight down the sides where the kernel meets the cob. My grandpa always preferred his corn this way. I don’t recall ever seeing him eat corn on the cob no matter how much he grew.

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • tomatoes!!!
  • basil (yes! more pesto!)
  • sweet corn
  • onions
  • peppers
  • zucchini
  • snap beans

Enjoy the start of the heart-of-summer produce season and happy cooking!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Michele, Hannah, and Nicole

 

Week 7

full share

 

medium share

 

 small share

Hello friends and members!

Welcome to week 7! For starters, EVERYONE SHOULD BE MAKING PESTO THIS WEEK! You have no good excuse not to! And don’t tell me you won’t because you don’t have any pine nuts! Any nut will do (our favorite around here is almonds)–or even no nuts at all! See the recipe section for more.

This weeks share is a little on the skinny side. We had planned on having corn in the boxes–but it’s not ready. We had scheduled and seeded snap beans for this week but they are just flowering now. Ugh. The broccoli that was supposed to be ready is not liking this heat and it’s barely producing. So, we apologize and promise that when those things start rolling in everyone will get their fair share. We know that most of you understand the CSA model and you know that we work our buns off bringing fresh, organically grown produce to your homes, but it still hurts to have to send a less than perfect box!

We’ve got something really fun to share with you: Our “Meet the Crew” section of the newsletter. This week we’re introducing our three on-farm crew members: Ted, Hannah, and Nicole. We thought you’d like to get to know the young folks that labor every day to make this farm successful, so without further ado:

 

Ted

 

Hannah

 

Nicole

 

What’s in the box:

  • Zucchini-all shares
  • Garlic-all shares
  • Basil-all shares
  • Onions-all shares
  • Head lettuce or kale-all shares
  • Beets-medium and full shares
  • Cabbage or Broccoli-medium and full shares
  • Fennel-full shares
  • Carrots-full shares

Recipes:

Caraflex Cabbage– Heather’s favorite type, these little pointy gems can be used like any other cabbage. A little smaller on average than a round cabbage is, these 2-3 pound heads produce a lot of edible leaves. Some nice recipes for using this cabbage are this lovely looking apple almond slaw I found on pinterest, and this Nom Nom Paleo recipe for braised green cabbage. Yum!

Garlic and Basil-We went ahead and harvested garlic for the week (We are just about to start our normal garlic harvest, more in future newsletters) so we could pair it with basil so everyone can make pesto! Everyone should be making pesto this week! Not just a pasta sauce, pesto can be used to sauce a piece of grilled chicken or fish, it can be stirred into white bean dip or hummus to make them more special, or it can be frozen and stored away for later use. We have some pesto that we pulled out of the freezer from last summer and it’s still great! Here’s a cool article on how useful pesto is in the summertime cooking arsenal. Pesto mayonnaise?! YES, PLEASE!

You’ll notice the garlic might be different than you’re used to. This garlic is fresh out of the ground and has not had a chance to dry and cure for several weeks like garlic usually does before it hits store shelves. Because of that you’ll notice how the outer wrapper is not dry, but instead soft and almost like a thick flower petal. The cloves will also have a higher water content than cured garlic. Use it just like you would normal garlic, the flavor is still pretty much the same. Store it loose in the cupboard or counter like you would with cured garlic. If left for a few weeks it would start drying and resemble store garlic bought–but no need to wait.

Beets-Many of you will be getting beets again this week. Need more ideas? I came across this fab looking pink pasta on the Kitchn (maybe my favorite food blog?) this weekend, and I’ve got to share it! If you want to skip the vegan part of it, add a few splashes of heavy cream for a super and totally pink sauce. I also really like the Kitchn’s Beet and Tahini Dip. A friend of ours made a similar one from the Ottolenghi cookbook and we were STUNNED by how good it was! We had it with crackers and bread as an appetizer before dinner, and I promised it would become a go-to recipe for my dinner parties. Don’t forget you can eat the greens like swiss chard, too!

Happy cooking!

 

Sneak peek for next week:

  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn ???!!!???
  • Snap Beans

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Ted, Hannah, Nicole and Michele

 

 

 

 

Week 6

Hello everybody,

We’ve had our third major storm of the season come through very early on Wednesday morning. Winds reportedly got up to 60 mph! The good news is most of the crops fared pretty well. The corn was flattened but seems to be making its way upright again. Some onions had their tops bent over prematurely:  this often signals them to stop growing and start curing. Some greens are a more than a little tattered. One of the tops of our silos was twisted off, half of the dome blew off to the ground and the other half is still hanging on by a few bolts. We had a lot of tree damage-one of our 30 foot pines snapped in half, our tallest pine lost the top 10 feet of trunk, and our biggest sugar maple lost its two biggest branches. We’ve lost almost half a dozen trees this year-we might have to seriously consider having a tree planting party! But, overall the farm is still intact and we are grateful that everyone stayed safe. Heather grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, part of the infamous Tornado Alley, and she had never seen wind and rain as intense as it was Wednesday morning. Yikes!

          At least someone is working hard around here

 

          Silk on young corn ears

 

tassels on corn plants

Whats in the box:

  • Collard greens
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots: Mokum (1 lb small, 1.25 lb med, 1.5 lb full)
  • Mint
  • Spicy Salad (5 oz small, 6.5 oz med, 8 oz full)
  • Garlic Scapes (med & full)
  • Onions: Red Long (med & full)
  • Fennel (2 heads full)

 

Notes and Recipes

Spicy Salad has made it back into the box this week. The greens are not in the best shape due to heavy bug pressure and damage from a heavy storm last week–we’d recommend eating them as soon as possible. Our apologies, and we expect better greens in the future. Besides their appearance they are as nutritious and tasty as ever. Chop up to enjoy raw in a salad or lightly sauté with eggs or mix with other veggies for an asian stir fry. Also really good when added raw to a hot pasta and allowed to wilt. Cooking will mild their spice.

We’re giving out the last of the scapes this week, and we’re sad to see them go. Remember, you can chop all the tender green parts and use it exactly as you would cloves of garlic. You can always pickle them and can them if you’ve got some saved up, or do that scape pesto we mentioned earlier and freeze it!

Recipes

Zucchini-The zucchini is starting to come in, and everyone will see more of it as all the plants start hitting their peak productivity. For right now, here’s a few recipes to take one or two zucchini and turn them into a more substantial meal. Fritters are a go-to for me at this time of year, since you don’t need to turn on the oven. Pair these with your spicy salad for a full meal.

Are you one of the lucky people that has a vegetable spiralizer? If you do, this recipe with zucchini noodles looks pretty amazing. I’m not one for gadgets, but I’m seriously thinking about getting one of these!

Carrots-Brandon has been waiting for the chance to put carrots and mint in a box so he can share his salad recipe with you! Here it is:

If you’re looking for something good to do with your carrots and mint, try making this refreshing side salad: Grate 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb carrots with a cheese grater. (You can also use the shredder attachment on your food processor) Combine in a bowl with 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add a tablespoon of diced mint and salt to taste. Yum!

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Sweet Corn?
  • Onions
  • Snap Beans

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Michele, Nicole, Hannah and Ted

Week 5

full share
   medium share
small share

Hello everybody,

It is feeling like the dog days of summer around here. Hot and humid! One of our favorite things about living in this part of the world is how distinct the different times of year feel. Each season is greeted like an old friend, bringing back memories of seasons past.

Maybelle found the wild black raspberry patch.
Giant dragonfly on a corn stalk

What’s in the box:

  • Kale or Collards
  • Gunsho
  • Green Onions
  • Fennel (1 head small, 2 head med & full)
  • Cauliflower, Broccoli, or Carrots (approx. 1 1/4 pounds medium shares, 1 1/2 pounds full shares)
  • Radishes (small & med only)
  • Salad Greens (3/4 lb full shares)
  • Scapes (full shares)
  • Snap Peas (1 pint full shares)
  • Summer Squash (full shares)

Recipes

gunsho (aka choi sum)

Gunsho-It’s back! It seems like almost everybody loved gunsho last year so we’ve brought it back again. This crunchy, juicy leafy green is packed with vitamins and begs to be eaten steamed with a rich sauce like hoisin or Korean BBQ, or as part of a stir-fry.  We also like it with a lighter sauce of Soy and Chile with fried onions, the recipe is right here. Eat the stems leaves and little flowers. You may need to trim the bottom of your stems, sometimes they can be slightly woody.

Fennel-Fennel is, in my humble opinion, the star of the box this week. Often misunderstood and underutilized, this unique vegetable is a one-of-a-kind in a class of its own. If you are unsure, just try caramelizing it like you would an onion by slow cooking it in a saute pan over low heat. Check out our page of fennel recipes for some inspiration! My faves are probably the fennel olive salad and the rigatoni with sausage and fennel.

Cauliflower/Broccoli-Mediums and Full shares might see either this or carrots in their box this week. We’ve got a lot of great ways to cook them, and for us they are interchangeable in recipes.  Cauliflower puree is an awesome side dish for any meal, and if you’d like to make it into soup just add more water, milk, cream, or stock to make it the right consistency. Cauliflower soup also happens to be AMAZING served cold–it’s like a Midwestern answer to gazpacho. Another amazing way to serve cauliflower is roasted with cheese sauce. If you’ve got broccoli, try a tartine with broccoli and portobello mushroom–even easier if you’ve got a broiler! For this week of warm weather, I’d also recommend this lightened-up slaw if you haven’t tried it already.

Kale or Collards-How about a semi-Spanish treatment of collards or kale? Spaniards have a classic way of cooking spinach with raisins, and we’ve got a collard version here that you could easily sub with kale. It sounds a little strange, but the slightly sweet and chewy aspect of the raisins makes the whole dish sing. I stumbled upon this “All the Kale” recipe slideshow and can’t wait to make most of these things…especially the Grandma Pie!

Next Week Sneak Peek:

  • Carrots
  • Spicy Salad
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Swiss Chard
  • Summer Squash

Enjoy the box!

Week 4

Full share (above)
Medium share
Small share

 

Hello friends, family, and members!

Happy Holiday! We love the 4th of July around here! We love the grilling, the promise of corn and tomatoes around the corner, and most importantly, we love celebrating what we believe our country must always celebrate: freedom of thought, religion, and freedom from persecution.

It’s starting to feel like summer around here! The days are getting hot and the sun feels stronger than ever. Ice cream is always on our minds and we are getting impatient for those late summer crops of corn and tomatoes and squash. For now, we’ve got a really nice switch in the boxes away from lots of leafy greens and towards other exciting produce like beets, carrots, cauliflower/broccoli and more.

Zucchini is close to being ready for boxes.
Everybody harvesting radishes.

 

What’s in the box:

  • Carrots (1 lb small, 1.25 lb med, 1.5 lb full)
  • Cauliflower/Broccoli (1.25 lb)
  • Peas (1 pint, tuesday members only)
  • Green Onions
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Baby Kale + Spicy mix ( small and full only)
  • Radishes (medium and full)
  • Beets (medium and full)
  • Sorrel (medium and full)

 

Recipes + Notes

Napa Cabbage-this one’s always a hit! There’s a lot of food even in a modest sized head of napa, so we encourage you to split it in half and make two different recipes from it. Check out these short videos to see how to core and slice napa cabbage.

I never fail to make a version of Peanut Cilantro Napa Cabbage salad with my first head of the year-and it hits a lot of dietary markers as well: gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan…..

Overnight kim chi is a really nice way to get that big unruly head of cabbage into a manageable form. We love to put kim chi on eggs, in tacos, on hot dogs even! It’s also great because once you’ve made it, it can hang around in the fridge for a while.

Here’s a nice-looking Shrimp and Napa Cabbage Stir fry that also makes use of the green onions that came in your box! Of course you can substitute chicken, scallops, beef, or anything else for your protein.

Snap Peas- Remember a couple weeks ago when Thursday members got peas and Tuesday members did not? Well, now it’s Tuesdays’ turn to get them! This will likely be the last of the peas for the season.

Beets-In this hot weather you can’t beet (sorry/not sorry!) a good cold borscht with sour cream. We actually made some a few weeks ago from beets we roasted and froze last year. It is a really refreshing way to enjoy your veggies, and it always makes me think of the next great summer soup: gazpacho!

If beet soup isn’t your thing, and we get it, try one of these lovely salads:

Raw Beet Salad (awesome since you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to make it)

Roasted Beets with Mint-Yogurt Sauce (any herb will do, really)

or, from one of my hostess idols, Ina Garten: Balsamic Roasted Beets

Don’t forget, you can eat your beet greens, too. Use them like you would swiss chard–they are actually in the same plant family–lightly sautee with a stir fry or add to a soup. Some people also like them raw in a salad.

Sorrel (left) and green onions (right), also known as scallions.

Sorrel is an herb that is unlike any other. Unlike most herbs which bring a savory flavor to dishes, sorrel carries a tart flavor similar to lemon. Try a little bite of it if you’ve never had it before. I think it tastes just like a tart green apple. Chop it to mix with a green salad or fruit salad. Sprinkle over a curried meat or tofu, it is especially good with fish.

Have a great week, everyone!

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Fennel
  • Gunsho
  • Swiss Chard

 

 

 

Week Three

IMG_5307full share

IMG_5300medium share

IMG_5303small share

 

Hello friends and members!

It’s been another soggy week at the farm. It may sound like farmers are never happy about the weather (we often aren’t) but the non-stop rain really puts a damper on our ability to control weeds and do tractor work. Some of our lettuce beds and beet plantings are being threatened by some mighty big weeds. We’re doing our best to get in there and remove them, but the problem with weeding in the mud is that we really destroy the soil ecology by packing it down, and the weeds immediately re-root instead of die! It’s like an attack of the zombie weeds around here!

Zombie weeds

Pictures from the past week on the farm:

IMG_5269Peas for miles…at least it feels that way when we’re harvesting!

 

IMG_5253This is what Maybelle and Brandon do while Heather runs the harvest days.

 

Maybelle learning how to change a flat on the tractor!

What’s in the box:

Peas–1 pint each for all TUESDAY shares

Broccoli–1 1/4# for small and medium shares, 1 1/2# for full shares

Radishes–1 bunch each for all shares

Spicy Salad mix–5 oz for all shares

Garlic Scapes–1 bunch for all shares

Head lettuce–1 head each for medium and full shares

Thai Basil–1 bunch each for medium and full shares

Swiss Chard–1 bunch each for full shares

Garlic–1-2 (depending on size) for Full shares

Cilantro–1 buch each for full shares

IMG_5309Thai basil

IMG_5308Swiss Chard

 

IMG_5290IMG_5289IMG_5291

 

Recipes

Peas–These little beauties are sugar snap peas. That means you can eat them fresh and whole! Simply snap the tip off and pull the string off, and you’re ready to go. Here’s a pretty funny old video of Brandon and Maybelle demonstrating how. I recommend just eating them fresh, maybe dipped in some hummus. They make a great snack for the lunch box, too, if your kids are into that.

Broccoli–The broccoli is finally starting to recover from the hard conditions of May and June and it’s starting to come in bigger and better. We know everyone enjoys broccoli steamed and served with butter, but can we suggest a few alternate recipes? One I love is this Broccoli Soup–perfect for what looks to be a cool and somewhat wet and dreary week ahead. I’m a huge fan of quiche, and I love my quiche recipe. Try it with steamed and chopped broccoli, some garlic, and a handful of ham or bacon if you’ve got it around. Making something like this one evening or weekend will provide you with meals for days! This casserole from Martha Stewart looks incredible too. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time cold and wet this past weekend, but all I want to cook right now is comfort food! If it does get a little warmer and sunnier, I suggest the Pasta with White Beans and Broccoli Pesto…and don’t let the beans scare you off, if you’re short on time just buy a can of high quality ones and dinner will be on the table in about half an hour!

Swiss Chard–our old friend Swiss Chard makes its first appearance in this week’s box! We love it for it’s earthy, spinach-y flavor and amazing rainbow appearance. It’s also a great green because you can cut off the leaves and then thinly chop the stems, making it 100% edible! I like to put strongly flavored ingredients with my swiss chard to help mellow the deep green earthiness. A classic and nearly instant way to cook it is much like  the collard greens of last week- try this NY Times cooking version. Chickpeas and chard have always been a classic combo, thanks to their shared mediterranean roots, and Bon Appetit has a lovely stew recipe here. If you grab a good quality can of chickpeas, you can again have dinner on the table in around 30 minutes. If you’ve got a little more time or want to do some weekend cooking, this recipe for Sausage, Chard and Lemon Lasagna.

Thai Basil–is much more potent and has a bit of an anise flavor to it. As the name implies, use it in any Thai or otherwise Asian cuisine. I love it on a good Pad Thai, and it would be great in a Coconut Curry Soup or anything else, really. Here’s a nice article completely devoted to Thai Basil!

Enjoy the week, and stay warm and dry!

Sneak peek for next week:

Sorrel

Carrots

Beets

Radish

Napa Cabbage???

 

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Michele, Ted, Hannah and Nicole

 

 

 

 

Week Two

 

IMG_5261full share
IMG_5258medium share
IMG_5256small share

 

Greetings from the farm! This cooler weather the last few days has been welcomed after the unusually hot June weather we’ve been having.

Remember that storm that happened about a month ago on May 16th? That storm will be affecting almost all of our early season boxes this year with some lingering effects throughout the summer. We received over 2 inches of rain in about an hour, and continued to get several more inches of rain over the rest of that week. Needless to say everything was a soggy mess for quite a while. Some seeds washed away (carrots, turnips, radishes) some rotted in the field (beans), plenty of baby plants drowned or were permanently stunted because of it, and a fair amount of scheduled planting had to be delayed (tomatoes) or skipped (some broccoli and arugula) because we couldn’t get into the fields. That being said, we didn’t have a tornado, hail damage was minimal, and nothing major blew away.

So what does that mean for your boxes? Well, some items we planned on will be missing, some will be in smaller quantities, some will be a little later that usual, and some will be substituted for crops that grow quick enough to fill in the gap on short notice (keep your eyes out for radishes, salad greens, and turnips in the near future). We also usually plant a back-up crop or two as an insurance policy (you’ll likely be getting a little more kale than usual this year). You’ll probably hear us mention it every now and then, but for the most part we don’t think you’ll really even notice with some artful juggling and quick re-seeding on our part.

 

IMG_5251Despite some bad weather, the fields are still looking pretty lush
IMG_5248Maybelle helping keep the onions weed free
IMG_5219Our first planting of Choi Sum (aka Gunsho) went to flower early because of the heat. The bees have been making good use of it, even if they didn’t make it into boxes.
IMG_5226Rainbow above the farm

 

What’s in the Box:

  • Head Lettuce (1-2 small, 2-3 medium, 3-4 full)
  • Collard greens or kale
  • Broccoli (1/2 lb small, 1 lb full)
  • Spicy Salad (1/2 lb med, 1 lb full)
  • Herb Salt
  • Garlic Scapes (medium and full)
  • Microgreens (full only)
  • Radishes (full only)
  • Mint (small only)
  • Cilantro (medium and full)
  • Peas (Thursday members only this week/Tuesday’s members next week, amounts to-be-determined)

Peas  Our peas are coming on a little late. They weren’t ready to harvest on Monday but will be ready by Wednesday. Because of this, Thursday members will be getting them this week and Tuesday members will be getting theirs next week.  

Broccoli In contrast to the peas, the broccoli has been coming early from all the heat. Unfortunately some of it got severely stunted from saturated soils, so we’re doling it out as we can in smaller quantities.

Collards got attacked by cabbage moths, which makes them full of holes but totally edible. We  normally don’t like giving out less than perfect produce but we are a little short on other options for everybody this week.

Garlic Scapes are the flowering stalks of garlic plants.  They starting to come up now, but not quite enough for everyone so Medium and Full shares get them this week, Small shares next week, and likely everybody the following week. They are picked off so that the plant’s energy goes to creating a larger bulb instead of a flower. A delicious, highly under-utilized vegetable, you can use them anywhere you’d use bulb garlic. See the recipes section for more below.

Spicy Salad

Our own blend of spicy and mild mustard greens. Can be eaten raw as a salad or slightly cooked with pasta or stir fries. Especially good in eggs and quiches.

IMG_5259

Sneak Peek for Next Week:

Swiss Chard

Garlic Scapes

Head Lettuce

 

Recipes

Lettuce

IMG_5262

One of my favorite ways to relax is to read cookbooks and browse the internet for great recipe ideas. I’ve been reading a book this past week that is right on target for what we see a lot of in the early stages of a midwestern CSA: Salads!

images

I borrowed this one from the library and I’m really enjoying it. One of the main points she and I both try to make is that salads are a way to flex your creativity! There is NO WRONG ANSWER for what to put in a salad! Use little bits of quality leftovers in your pantry-that handful of pecans that’s not enough to bake cookies with, those 3 dozen raisins your kid won’t eat, the slightly unusual flavored oil or vinegar someone gave you in a gift basket-now’s your chance to clear it all out! For those of you that pack a lunch to work or school, check out these super fun, nutritious Mason Jar Salads.

Here’s my thoughts on how to make salad a main course and make it awesome without a recipe:

  1. Use the freshest greens available (You’re a CSA member, so you’ve got that covered!)
  2. Toss the greens with the smallest amount (like 3/4 teaspoon max for one dinner portion of greens) of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of vinegar or citrus juice, and don’t forget a little salt and pepper!
  3. Add something crunchy: toasted nuts, bread crumbs, seeds of any sort (pipettes are a household favorite, and you can buy great quality pre-toasted and seasoned ones at most stores and all co-ops)
  4. Add something rich: grated, shaved or crumbled cheese, you cannot go wrong
  5. Add something fresh & juicy/crunchy: chopped radish, celery, sweet peppers, chopped pickled whatever….
  6. If you have it around, add some chopped fresh herbs
  7. If you want to make it a satisfying meal all by itself, add some or all of the above, plus add something substantial: fried or poached egg on toast, grilled chicken, smoked flaked salmon, cooked beans, roasted tofu, a handful of leftover cooked lentils, sliced flank steak, etc. Although, honestly, we almost never add meat to our salads at home–we find that fruits, nuts and seeds carry plenty of calories and protein on their own

That’s it! There’s lots of great salads out there waiting to happen! Take advantage of the rare and seasonal opportunity to put food in your bodies that’s less than 24 hours out of the field! Here’s a quick link to our lettuce recipes if you’d like to browse those. Happy Salad Days to you!

Garlic Scapes

Full Shares and Medium Shares get garlic scapes this week, and Small shares will see theirs next week when all of the garlic has finished sending out their little future flower stalks. We ALWAYS mention garlic scape pesto because it’s just so easy and obvious, and has the added bonus of freezing well, Trust me, you’ll want to put some in the freezer and then bask in the glory of enjoying a fast and easy mega-flavored little taste of spring all year long.

But wait, there’s more!  There’s lots of other things to do with them! How about a nice little white bean dip for the weekend? A quick refrigerator pickle? Maybe grill them and serve them on a gorgeous salad like this? Bon Appetit magazine loves them so much they wrote a nice article full of ideas on what to do with them.

Collard Greens

A nutritional powerhouse, and definitely deserving of more respect than they get. With the renaissance in the past year or two of Southern Cuisine there’s not shortage of fun and traditional and quirky recipes out there for collards. If you are adventurous or have time, or both, try these and these. If you want something on your table in 15 minutes to go with whatever main course you’re having, you can’t beat Brazilian Stir-Fried Collards.

Happy cooking, and remember to send us photos and recipes of how you bring our farm to your table!

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Michele, Ted, Hannah, and Nicole

 

 

Week One

full share 

medium share
small share

Hello!

Here we are, the start of a new season of delicious produce! Thank you for joining us for the season, we are excited to have so many wonderful members be a part of the farm this year.

Every week you’ll receive an electronic newsletter from us. You’ll find a list a what’s in the box plus photos, tips and recipes for using the produce, musings about the farm and the weather, and a sneak peak of what is coming next week. But before we get to all that, for those of you who don’t know us well yet, I’d like to do a quick introduction.

My wife Heather and I (Brandon) run Sleepy Root Farm, along with several crew members who help us out seasonally. This is the 7th year that we have been in business and we’ve grown from 13 members our first year to 225 members this year. We had been renting land for the first 5 years until we were finally able to purchase a farm of our own two years ago! This will be our second season that property.

We have a darling little 2 year old, Maybelle, who you’ll be seeing plenty of pictures of. Maybelle loves to weed (?!) and ramble around the farm, and would probably count broccoli as her favorite vegetable. Up until I stole Heather away to the countryside, she had a career as a chef. Her past work took her all over the country, but most recently she had been working as the head chef at the Surdyk’s deli and cheese shop–which is were I met her, delivering produce to their kitchen.

    Heather and Maybelle

Maybelle and Brandon

Maybelle examining the garlic this spring

 

Crew members Ted and Hannah working in the greenhouse

We do our best to make sure everything we bring to you is the healthiest produce you can get. It is grown organically and we provide our soils with a complex and complete mix of nutrients in an effort to make sure the food you are eating is nutritionally complex and complete, too. After all, we only get from our food what our food is able to get from the air, rain, and soil.

We’ll share more about ourselves and our crew, and about our farming philosophy and thoughts as the season goes on. We love talking to members, so feel free to call or email for anything. And don’t be shy about coming out to visit. We’ll have a few scheduled member parties later in the summer and fall, but if you want to stop by for a picnic or just to look around, those are good reasons, too. This is your farm for the season, too. Now let’s get on to the rest of the newsletter.

Transplanting peppers and eggplant on a sunny day

A few tips on how to make the most of your CSA share:

Here are few tip to make sure you use every bit of your share:

  • Unpack your box once you bring it home: take each item out so you know what you have on hand, this may give you some ideas for how you want to use them in meals for the week, too.
  • Wrap it in plastic: some items you get won’t come in a plastic bag. If you’re not likely to use that item within in a day or so, wrap it in a plastic bag before putting it in your fridge. Most produce will store much better if it is in a plastic bag or some other container that won’t let moisture out. You can download a storage chart here for details on most veggies. Save the bags you get and re-use them.
  • Freeze or preserve extras: there will be times when you don’t want to eat any more beans, or you don’t have a good use for that bunch of oregano. Freezing, canning, or drying are great ways to keep your produce longer. Most herbs will dry fine on the counter in the open air on a plate or hanging from a cabinet knob. Most veggies freeze well if they’ve been blanched. We will give you specific tips throughout the season, as well.

 

What to do with your empty box:

The box your produce comes in is coated in wax so that it is water resistant and can be reused. Once you have unpacked your share for the week, unfold your box so it is flat and store it some place safe. Bring it back to your site the following week and leave your flattened box in place of your new box. We will collect them the next time we make deliveries. If you’ve never unfolded a produce box before it can be a little tricky. In essence, don’t pull the flaps open, rather pinch the flaps so the tabs slide out from their notches. It makes more sense once you watch this video of Brandon doing it.

Whats in the box:

  • Head Lettuce (1-2 heads small, 2-3 heads medium, 3-4 heads full)
  • Kale: Red Ursa or Lacinato (1 bunch)
  • Rhubarb (1 lb)
  • Herb pot: Basil, Oregano, Chives, or Thyme
  • Microgreens (2 oz)
  • Broccoli (1/2 lb med, 1 lb full)
  • Oregano or Mint (medium only)
  • Chives (full only)
  • Radish (full only)

 

Notes on the Produce:

Mushroom Share Members: This week you’ll receive either King Oyster Mushrooms or Grey Oyster Mushrooms. Here is a link to the newsletter and recipe from your organic mushroom farmer, Jeremy McAdams. Here’s photos of the mushrooms to help you id them:

king-oysterKing Oyster Mushroom

703

Grey Oyster Mushroom

Lettuce: These beauties will need to be washed again before eating! We double wash them, but with the combination of the 2 inches of rain we got on Sunday (mudmudmud) and the fact that they’re head lettuce, they must be cut up in order to wash them properly. Here’s a lovely tutorial: How to Wash Head Lettuce

Broccoli: The broccoli started coming early due to the extremely hot weather we had last week. The heads have been small so unfortunately the portions are a little small.

Microgreens:  The confetti of salad greens, get creative and add an artful dash to an entree, or eat as a power snack. These delicate young plants are great to use as a garnish or mixed into a salad. Microgreens are nutrient dense and often used in modern gourmet cooking. A mix of mustards and brassicas (broccoli family).

 

Herb pot: everyone is receiving a small pot with a mix of three herbs in it. The mix may include basil, chives, oregano, or thyme. The picture below has basil, chives and oregano (clockwise from top). Move to a larger pot if wanting to grow indoors by a window. Space plants further apart when re-potting, or put in separate pots. This is a nice way to have a little bit of the farm with you all season long!

 

Recipes:

Every week I (Heather) will highlight a few items in the box and talk about them and provide some tips and recipes.

Rhubarb-Not just for pie! But who has that much free time these days? I’ve found some nice and quick rhubarb recipes for you to try:

Rhubarb Cinnamon Muffins-mix these up in a flash this weekend, and then you’ll have breakfast ready to go all week!

Looking for something savory? We’ll be trying this Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb-BQ Sauce this weekend.

Microgreens-These little guys are absolutely packed with vitamins and phytonutrients. At first they might stump you-not quite lettuce, not quite herbs, but here’s some suggestions for this gourmet delicacy:

Garnish a piece of grilled chicken or fish with a simple microgram salad: toss the microgreens with a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil and a drop of sherry or red wine vinaigrette. Salt lightly and place on top of the grilled meat.

Make a slightly more elaborate version of the salad, recipe here, and enjoy it on top of toast or on top of a piece of chicken, fish, meat or tofu.

My personal favorite: Buttered toast, topped with scrambled or fried egg, and then microgreens tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

14730474_396670077388334_335139038296014848_nphoto from Lorinda at thefeedfeed.com

Lettuce-I get it. I totally understand that some people pull those big gorgeous heads of lettuce out of their box and think, “WTH?! How am I going to eat all of this?” The answer: it’s easy! Just think Chef’s salad/dinner salad/Greek salad. Start with your lettuce and add generous amounts of cheese, diced meats, toasted nuts, diced avocado, dried fruits, whatever! Try Brandon’s famous Tahini Dressing for a real treat. Brandon and I can easily eat 1-2 heads of lettuce as a meal if we go the Chef’s Salad/Chopped Salad route. Here’s a few ideas for you, but it’s all about using anything you have lying around. These hearty salads are a great way to use up little bits and pieces of leftovers lying around your fridge and cabinets!

Sneak Peek at Next Week:

Our best guess for some of what will be in the box next week:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Collard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Snap Peas

All the best from all of us,

Heather, Brandon, Maybelle, Hannah, Nicole, Ted, Michele, and the kitties