Summer CSA week 7

  1. Cucumbers
  2. zucchini and summer squash, including lemon squash: Marinated Squash
  3. Eggplant: Alice Waters Ratatouille
  4. cabbage: Rice Noodle Salad
  5. basil
  6. carrots
  7. onions, fresh so store in fridge
  8. Garlic, nearly cured so 60 degree / counter storage is ok. You can store in fridge but they’ll sprout when brought out to counter.
  9. head lettuce
  10. tomatoes: Pesto Tomato Sandwich
  11. dragon tongue beans: Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette
  12. jalapeno pepper: Jalapeño & Sweet Corn Cornbread
  13. celery: Celery Stir Fry
  14. sweet corn, couple ears…more to come when next group is ready!

herb share: parsley, mint, oregano, lemongrass

We are to the half way point in our summer CSA season. Wow, it’s hard to believe how quickly a season flies by! This is the time of year of abundance with peak season nearing and tomatoes starting to roll in.

Carrots are new this week. We all love carrots and these will be available in our boxes for the rest of the year. I have come to truly appreciate the versatility of carrots and the nearly year round availability due to their storage ability.

The lemon summer squash are also new. They look like a lemon. Pretty little things. I plan to serve a meal of them tonight as I haven’t had a chance to eat them yet. The variety of produce sure keeps things fun as we can offer you things that you might not regularly find in a grocery store or might have never purchased before.

Celery is abundant this year. Enjoy it for snacking, or add it to stir fries, salads, or anything you’d like a little crunch in. The tops can be chopped and frozen for making veggie stock or adding to soups in the fall/winter. The celery looses its texture once thawed from the freezer but all the flavor and nutrition remains.

I hope you are enjoying the small head lettuce in the box. Although loose leaf salad greens are not happy this time of year, some varieties of head lettuce do just fine. We are continuing to develop our head lettuce program at the farm as it is a nice addition to summer sandwiches.

Tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven. So we have a nice bouquet of basil in the boxes this week to pair with your tomatoes or to make a little pesto. Pesto mixed with mayo really takes a BLT or other sandwich to the next level.

For those with herb shares, lemongrass is something new we grew this year. Lemongrass tea is supposed to help lower ones internal temperature when it’s hot outside. Drink it hot or cold; however, the tea is first made by pouring boiling water over 25-30 1.5″ long pieces of lemongrass. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain and serve hot or cold.

Along with the busy summer season of harvesting and preserving, we are in the thrust of our pizza season topped with the Buffalo County Fair this weekend. This is the first year that Ashlan is bringing a pig to the fair. He has really enjoyed working with Nessa his pig and has been practicing walking with her in our pen using marshmallows as bait to follow his show stick. Ethan is preparing his non animal show items, his proudest project would be a pioneer cabin he built out of Popsicle sticks.  Although life is full and busy, it’s a great time of year!

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

 

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Summer CSA Week 6

  1. Spring onions
  2. beets: shocking beet hummus
  3. fennel: roasted eggplant, tomato and fennel salad
  4. garlic bulb
  5. Head lettuce
  6. Beans, dragon tongue or green: stir fried beans
  7. summer squash or zucchini
  8. broccoli
  9. cauliflower: marinated vegetable salad
  10. Celery: juicing celery
  11. eggplant
  12. tomatoes: fresh tomato salsa
  13. jalapeno
  14. Sweet corn
  15. cabbage: grilled cabbage wedges with lime dressing

Herb shares: cilantro, thyme, basil, parsley, dill

image

 

This week’s CSA box comes with the favors of summer starting to roll in….tomatoes, jalapeño pepper, eggplant, garlic, and a taste of sweet corn. Our early corn didn’t do great this year, but we will all get to enjoy a few early ears of this tender sweet corn this week and next. Our other successions of corn are doing much better, are larger, and are fully enjoying the summer heat.

Processing the harvest has begun. Our first batch of sauerkraut has been made and we have a 20 gallon crock full of shredded cabbage starting its fermentation process. I’m so delighted to get to use the crocks which were used by Jason’s family to make sauerkraut for a couple generations.

Tomato processing will also commence this week as we have tomatoes starting to roll in. As you can see, there is a beautiful array of colors and sizes of tomatoes in this week’s share.  Tomatoes are one of the best fresh items of summer so enjoy them in mass while they last. Our job is to cook, dry, and preserve these babies so we can eat them all year long as we’ve become spoiled by eating our own tomatoes all year long.

Eat well. Smile often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Summer CSA week 5

  1. Spring onions
  2. garlic Scapes: savory egg pancakes with scapes
  3. fennel: teriyaki chicken stir fry with fennel
  4. beets: chocolate beet cake with beet colored cream cheese frosting
  5. rainbow kale: 6 tips for flawless kale chips
  6. beans…green beans or dragon tongue: green bean salad with balsamic
  7. summer squash or zucchini
  8. Broccoli
  9. cauliflower: loaded cauliflower and broccoli (recipe from csa member, see below)
  10. Celery: celery salad and celery, fennel, rhubarb salad
  11. tomatoe…just 1!
  12. eggplant, full shares only

herb shares: basil, tarragon, parsley, mint

The days on the farm and transitioning to harvest versus primarily weeding and planting. It’s always joyous to see the fruits of ones labor begin to appear in such abundance. We are thankful for some extra help from our sweet neighbors who are helping preserve the harvest and assist on our busy pizza nights. It seems that the to-do lists here never really reach full completion but it always gives purpose for tomorrow.

image

The heat of summer is here and that meant our garlic was ready to be pulled. We managed to harvest about 75% of the garlic in 3.5 hours. Pictured above are Andrea and Merceds with a wagon load of hanging tied garlic and more bulbs layed out to cure. It was a warm and muddy job as it had rained 1.5″ the night before; however, the gals are still smiling! Maybe that is because they knew lunch was next.

The harvest was one of our best as the garlic bulbs look awesome. It was one of our goals this season to grow a great garlic crop. A new planting approach was tried last fall so that efficient closer spacing was used to condense the weeding efforts and better mulch the crop.  The growing conditions were also in our favor this year. We will leave the wagon in the covered pole shed for two weeks for air curing to occur. Then we will have to cut off the stems and sort the harvest into our seed stock, CSA supply, pizza kitch use, and extra sales piles. Garlic will be coming soon!

A long time CSA member, Jo Ann, has shared with us a Loaded Cauliflower & Broccoli recipe that she says was really enjoyed by her family. Thanks for sharing! If you have a recipe featuring the seasonal vegetables, please pass it along and I will share.

Loaded Cauliflower Recipe

Enough cauliflower or cauliflower and broccoli to fill a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
½ cup sour cream, or substitute with some plain yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
3/ 4 to 1 pound bacon
6 T. chives or green onion tops
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Wash and cut cauliflower and broccoli into bigger than bite size pieces. Cook in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool in cold water. Arrange in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Cook bacon until crispy, drain, cool and crumble it.

Mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add half of the cooked and crumbled bacon, 3 T chives and 1 cup of the cheese. Spread this mixture on top of the cooked and cooled veggies.

Top this with the rest of the cheese, the other 3 T. chives or green onion tops and the rest of the cooked and crumbled bacon.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. This reheats well in the oven or in the microwave.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Comments Off on Summer CSA week 5

Summer CSA week 4

  1. Spring onions: use green and white parts-no prejudice here
  2. garlic Scapes: grilled scapes
  3. fennel: roasted fennel 
  4. salad greens
  5. beets: roasted beet salad and goat cheese
  6. Lacinato kale: lemony braised kale
  7. sugar snap peas: sautéed sugar snaps
  8. green beans
  9. summer squash or zucchini
  10. cauliflower: cauliflower pizza crust
  11. broccoli: grilled broccoli (tip-use an aluminum foil pouch)

image

The snap peas I’ve alluded to are finally here! Everyone receives a nice bag of them to snack or or even saute into a quick meal. I dont expect them to last long, so enjoy the crunchy goodness now.

An early plot of beans is starting as well so we have 2 different kinds of beans this week, either dragon tongue (yellow with purple stripes) or provider green beans. We really like the dragon tongue beans boiled until they turn yellow. Dabble with butter and a little sea salt and devour.

If the fennel perplexes you, here’s a link to how to cut up a fennel. Once you are familiar, it is quite easy. I often core it and slice it up and add it to my onions and garlic and throw it in with whatever else I might be cooking. There are other recipes that highlight its flavor more and using the fresh fronds as a garnish will give you an extra anise flair.

This season, Mercedes is at the Winona farmer’s market every Saturday with our extra farm vegetables, pizza dough, soups, sauces, jams, other goods. She has created such a cute display. Stop on in and say hi as it’s just plain fun to cruise around the farmers market and find some delicious treasures.

Farmer market stand

Our wood-fired pizza nights are in full swing. We have a nice line-up of music scheduled to add to your dining experience on the farm. There is also several seasonal pizzas that feature a variety of farm grown items. Sometimes it’s hard to narrow the seasonal options down to just a few pizza options when there’s such abundance coming in from the gardens. However, we always have our traditional pizza fares for our more conservative eaters.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Summer CSA week 3

  1. Green onions
  2. Garlic Scapes: Grilled Naan with Garlic Scape Chutney, no cook chutney
  3. Fennel: Pasta with fennel, lemon, and kale (or chard)
  4. Swiss Chard
  5. Basil: Basil Pesto
  6. Mixed Salad Greens
  7. Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi and Lentil soup 
  8. Broccoli: Siracha Broccoli
  9. Bok Choy: Bok Choy Ramen Saladseven layer salad (use Bok choy for crunch)
  10. half shares: summer squash and cauliflower
  11. Full shares: Napa Cabbage: Healthier Napa Ramen Salad

Herb shares: Parsley, dill, lemon thyme, tarragon

The days are full and the weeks are sailing by on the farm. We were able to get our hay dry, baled, and stacked in the pole shed before another blast of rain came this weekend. And now with another 2″ of rain this week, everything is well soaked in the field. Harvesting the CSA harvest this week meant sinking in the mud to get to the vegetables. However, the upcoming forecast looks dry. Perhaps the baby zucchini and summer squash that have taken to rotting will dry out and begin producing a better crop next week.

The peas are struggling to produce so there was not a good enough crop this week to add to the shares. The boxes are abundant and overflowing in other ways. The salad and basil could not even fit in the boxes this week, so enjoy the abundance.

We made a kohlrabi soup this week as an alternative way to eat the kohlrabi. Not only was the soup simple to prepare, it was really delicious. See the recipe link above. I’m surprised that I haven’t eaten kohlrabi cubed in a soup before and I loved it’s nonstarchy, mild flavor and it held its shape very well. For those that are not interested in soups in the summer (or ever!), make a pot of rice and label the Solids and a little broth from the soup over the top of it. Easy and yummy.

This will be the last week for Bok choy and I’ve included a couple different dishes that capture the crunch of the choy. See links above.

The garlic scapes have been all harvested in order to let the plants put more energy into the bulb sizing versus flower production. The scapes , or curly cues, are a mild garlic tasting vegetable. One way to make these easily usable is to chop them up in your food processor and keep them in a little container in the fridge to sprinkle into your cooking as you would garlic. Making a condiment our of them such as one of the chutney recipes linked above is another way to add flavors to just about anything. Otherwise, simply use them as you would garlic without the fear of overdoing it as they are milder than garlic cloves.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Summer CSA week 2

  1. Bok choy : Bok choy with Sesame Dressing 
  2. Red Fire Lettuce
  3. Spinach: spinach stuffing balls
  4. Garlic chives: White Bean and garlic scape dip
  5. green onions
  6. Broccoli: honey ginger stir fry
  7. kale, red bor: roasted red bor kale salad
  8. kohlrabi: kohrabi fritters with dill yogurt sauce, kohlrabi slaw
  9. full shares only: baby summer squash

Herb share subscribers: basil, dill, parsley, oregano, thyme

It appears we may have a little stretch of sunshine for the week. I think I can hear haybines cutting hay in every valley around me. This summer has proven especially difficult to make and dry any hay. Usually by this time, some are starting to make their second crop of hay but this season we are just beginning our first crop. The hay is older than it should be and tangled together, but it simply needs to cut, dried, and taken off the field so another crop can grow. Thankfully the thistles and weeds haven’t yet set seed. Let’s hope for drying winds and sunshine for the rest of the week.

The moisture has made things lush in the garden.  The kohlrabi are very tender this year, even the skins are thin and edible yet. We have a link to another slaw recipe as well as a fritter recipe which is accompanied by a dill yogurt sauce.

We think that next week the snap peas might be ready along with the first summer squash for everyone. Basil will also come in next week’s share.

Update on the chickens…we have replenished our flock with 150 laying hens from a farm in Westby. The new hens are laying at about 85% so our egg problems have been solved for now. We plan to order some new chicks of different breeds in August so they begin laying in early spring next year.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Summer CSA Week 1

  1. Bok choy : Radiant Coconut BokChoy
  2. Spring Salad Mix
  3. Spinach: spinach pesto
  4. Garlic chives
  5. radishes
  6. green onions
  7. Broccoli: best stir fry (customizable)
  8. kale, red bor: 10 ways to cook kale, quick kale pasta
  9. kohlrabi: kohlrabi and Apple slaw

Herb share subscribers: basil, dill, parsley, oregano

It’s the first week of our summer CSA and we have a nice lush box to begin the season. Our summer CSA season is 14 weeks long and extends into late September. Depending on your share size and frequency, we strive to deliver a good abundance of the flavors of the season.

In each of the boxes, you can expect to find an allium (onion and/or garlic of some kind) and some greens. Not only can these items become staples of your cooking repertoire, but they are healthy items to be consuming on a regular basis. Another family of vegetables that sustains a regular appearance in your CSA share is the brassica family which includes vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, plus many more.

I’ve read about recommendations when eating for health to consume 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of brassicas/alliums/mushrooms, and 3 cups of colors each day. It’s a pretty simple way to think about diet and nutrition while focusing on consuming an abundance of color dense, nutrient rich vegetables and fruits each day. Regularly eating that volume of produce also reduces your hunger and need to fill with less nutritious foods. Here’s a link to a quick breakdown about the benefits found within each color of vegetable/fruit.

Kohlrabi is the alien looking round vegetable in the box this week. Many of you are familiar with this early summer item; some may need a little inspiration with it. You can eat it raw by peeling off the outer layer and slicing it up. Dip it in some hummus or veg dip and snack away. I also enjoy it grated into a slaw. I’ve attached one slaw recipe above that includes an apple for sweetness. I use my food processor with the grater blade to make this quick slaw. Be sure to still peel the outer skin before grating.

The bok choy is crisp and mild as well as large in size. I was tired of miniature Bok choy when I ordered seed this winter, and boy this variety is not petite. We have washed these heads, but I’d still wash the leaves and stems before cooking as the rain has splashed some dirt within the stalks. I’ve yet to try grilling the choy, but there are some recipes online that suggest trying it. The coconut milk base recipe above is easy and flavorful as well. Bok choy lends itself to a stir fry with ease. Try some of the crispy stems raw too as they have a nice crunch. Ashlan always seem to prefer his veggies raw, maybe some of your skeptical eaters will try it this way too.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

Share
Posted in CSA, Summer Share | Leave a comment

Spring CSA Week 6

  1. Bok Choy: 4 minute saute
  2. Spring Salad Mix 1#: could use salad in place of spinach in strawberry salad
  3. Spinach: Strawberry Spinach Salad
  4. Chive flowers: edible flowers to add to salad or pretty up food
  5. Mint
  6. garlic chives
  7. radishes
  8. Pea vines: warm orzo salad with mint and peas
  9. eggs-1/2 dozen

This is the last week of the spring CSA shares. Summer CSA shares begin next week. If you have chosen to be an every other week member in the summer, I will be sending you your notice to as which week (odd or even of our CSA season) you will be receiving a box. Thank you to our spring CSA members for indulging in the fresh seasonal bounty of springtime! Asparagus season is beginning to wind down here as the temperatures start to heat up.

Nearly all the main season seeding and transplanting is done in the fields. A few last succession plantings will go in this week such as sweet corn, beets, and dill. There are always a few more plantings later for fall crops, but the majority of things are in. Yeah! Now, the weeding race goes on in June through mid July. It seems as moisture is not a problem this year as we have to keep timing our full fledge weed attacks with another major rain. However, our 3 woman crew is working hard and the garden is looking great thus far.

Bok choy is the new item this week. Bok choy is in the cabbage family and ranks very high in vitamin C, K, A, manganese, zinc, antioxidants, and contains omega 3s. Due to the last heavy rain, you will need to wash the inside of the stems before you chop up the Bok choy for cooking. Typically, it is a stir fry vegetable and often is served with garlic, ginger, and other Asian inspired flavors. You may notice a few small holes in the leaves of the Bok choy. This is a little damage from flea beetles which love to make lacy little patterns in this family’s leaves. The damage is only cosmetic.

We incubated some guinnea eggs and now have 10 more little guinnea keets in our brooding room. The guinneas provide lots of entertainment and relentlessly pick bugs all day long.

Speaking of poultry, the laying hens are giving us a little trouble as there production levels have dropped in the last couple weeks. The girls maintained high levels of production all winter long despite me telling them that their vacation time was during the winter. Now, we may be faced with having to replace part of our flock earlier than planned. Another challenge…

As the potatoes are now about 6″ out of the ground, the potato beetles are moving that way. I have placed a bounty on the adult beetles at $.01 a piece. The other morning, both Ashlan and Ethan headed out to the field early to see how many they could find. They picked 300 beetles and earned $2 and $1 respectively.

Eat Well Smile Often.

YourFarmer,

Heather

Share
Posted in CSA, Spring Share | Leave a comment

Spring CSA week 5

  1. Asparagus 3/4#: Easy Asparagus with soy sauce and sesame
  2. Spring Salad Mix 1#
  3. Onion chives
  4. garlic chives
  5. radishes
  6. Pea vines: stir fried pea vines, pea vine pesto
  7. red rain mustard greens: sautéed mustard greens
  8. eggs

The salad greens are in full force with the abundant moisture. You gotta love the easy salad making for meals!

This week’s box also contains mustard greens and pea vines which can be used for stir fry, sauté mix, or could be chopped and added to fresh salads. If the texture of the pea vines throws you off, you could make pea vine pesto (see link above).

We continue to plant and weed like crazy to keep up with all of the growth of the season. Our first direct seeding of sweet corn did not come up well as the weather was cool and wet, so we replanted last night and are confident that this planting will germinate much better.

With the return of more sun and a little more warmth, our warm season crops will really start to take off. Hopefully the conditions will dry out soon which will also assist in the making of first crop hay.

I was able to venture up to Chetek, WI, for the weekend for our family’s annual fishing trip. The boys continue to stay up north for the rest of the week with my folks in their camper. Ashlan is learning to fillet fish this year as his love for fishing is strong, and my desire to fillet fish is weak. Ethan’s fishing skills have also greatly improved as he is able to rig his own pole and cast  fairly accurately. As long as the fish are biting, or the snacks are plentiful, Ethan enjoys time out on the lake. Ashlan could simply fish all day long and be happy.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

Share
Posted in CSA, Spring Share | Leave a comment

Spring CSA Week 4

  1. Asparagus 1/2#
  2. Spring Salad Mix 1#: 6 Salad dressings to know
  3. Rhubarb: cinnamon rhubarb muffins
  4. Mint: rhubarb mint soda, mint water
  5. green onions
  6. garlic chives
  7. radishes
  8. eggs

The variety is beginning to appear as the first items from the field are harvested. The sald mix is especially delicious and tender filled with baby spinach and baby lettuce. Next week, we will have some mustard greens available for stir fry.

The rains have totaled over 4″ since Sunday so we are due for a stretch of sun and dry conditions.  We were able to work with the tomatoes in the green house and get them all trellised and pruned. A few little green baby tomatoes were even found which is very exciting!

A couple newcomers arrived at the farm this week, a pair of Buff Geese which join the ducks in the raspberry patch in order to assist with the weeding. I don’t have much experience with geese but was surprised to learn the fact that they can live for 25 years.

image

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

Share
Posted in CSA, Spring Share | Comments Off on Spring CSA Week 4