Fall CSA week 3

  1. Onions 1.5#
  2. Garlic, 2 bulbs
  3. Kale, 1 bunch: Awesome Sautéed Kale
  4. Tomatoes, heirloom, slicers, roma: 2#+
  5. Jalapeno pepper: remove seed & inside ribs to reduce heat, wear gloves!
  6. cilantro, 1 bunch: pico de gallo
  7. Yaya carrots 1.5#
  8. kennebec potatoes 2#
  9. Cylindra Beets 1.5#: Beetroot pumpkin Seed pesto
  10. Acorn or Carnival Squash: Twice baked stuffed squash
  11. pie pumpkins: pumpkin Purée , baked pumpkin oatmeal bars
  12. Cole slaw cabbage mix: BLT coleslaw, Cabbage hash with Sausage
  13. Broccoli 1/2#: teriyaki chicken casserole
  14. Raspberries, heritage 1/2 pint
  15. Salad Mix 3/4#: Beet and Feta Salad
  16. Organic Pasture Raised Eggs, dozen

The warm weather keeps holding out, and it does feel nice although a little unseasonably strange. However, we realize the warmth won’t last forever. So keep on enjoying the bonus tomatoes and raspberries while they last!

Although most of our private events have ended for the season, we have our annual Fall Dinner on the Farm this Saturday, October 22nd at 5pm. We are completely sold out for this event and will have over 60 guests joining us this year. The fall inspired meal has a “surprise” menu and we are busy cooking throughout the week to prepare for the event. It’s always a great time and a nice way to wrap up the season.

We are planning on attending the Winona Farmers Market this fall and winter. Our products for sale would include frozen wood fired pizzas, pizza making ingredients, jams, soups, and some baked goods. We may propose to have the farmers market be our pick up site for the winter CSA members living in Winona. What do you think of that idea? Email Heather your thoughts. 


Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Fall CSA week 2

  1. Onions 1.5#
  2. Garlic, 2 bulbs
  3. Kale, 1 bunch: Kale Chip Variations
  4. Tomatoes, heirloom, slicers, roma
  5. Cucumbers: Creamy cucumber and tomato salad
  6. Celery: Beef stew
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers (green and colored): Brown rice veggie stir fry
  8. Jalapeno peppers…remove seed and inside ribs to reduce heat, wear gloves!
  9. Yaya carrots 1.5#
  10. German Butterball potatoes 2#
  11. Turnips: Roasted Carrot, turnip and red lentil Soup
  12. Carnival Squash: Roasted acorn with cranberry walnut stuffing
  13. Spaghetti squash: Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
  14. Green snap beans 1#: Chinese style green beans
  15. Cole slaw cabbage mix…use it in the chow mein recipe above
  16. Broccoli 1/2#
  17. Raspberries, heritage 1/2 pint
  18. Cilantro: Fresh Tomato Salsa
  19. Organic Pasture Raised Eggs, dozen

The weather is beautiful, sunny and fabulous for fall. I think we deserve a little dry, nice fall weather this year as things have been wet for too long. The last of the summertime items come in your box this week: cucumber, green beans, peppers, raspberries, and tomatoes.

Use the tomatoes in a timely manner as many of them are ripe. To test if a tomato is ripe, squeeze it gently and if it’s hard, it’s not ripe. If it gives slightly, it’s ripe. Although we have not yet had a frost here, the outdoor tomatoe plants are spent and ready to be turned in.

As the nights start to dip into the 40s, our cooking styles change as we happily fire up the oven to warm the kitchen. Smells from the slow cooker fill the house and help make eating a warm dinner while juggling busy school and work schedules doable. The possibility of home baked fresh bread even starts to enter my realm of thinking again now that life falls more into a rhythm and darkness forces us to go inside our homes earlier in the evening.

As we work our way through the fall garden, we happily discovered that our cylindrical beets were more abundant than we had realized. Thankfully, we now have several bushels of beets to store and do not have to fret about the loss of our late seeded beets due to flooding. The winter squash were also very abundant and we have a trailer load in the field, up off the ground so the field mice can’t reach them.

The jalapeño peppers are a crop that just keeps giving. I have included a fresh salsa recipe above which uses many items in your box: onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, green peppers, and jalapeños. Remember to be careful cutting open a fresh jalapeño. You may want to wear gloves when taking out the seeds and ribs inside the jalapeño as the oils will stay on your hands and you could touch your eye/lips and feel the burn. Taking out the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño reduces how spicy the jalapeño peppers are and gives some nice heat without overwhelming you. Use as much jalapeño in a recipe as you desire spiciness.

Our last regular pizza nights have ended and only a few special events are scheduled for October. We can breathe a little deeper and prepare to finish the last of the fall planting and harvesting.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Fall CSA week 1

  1. Onions 2#
  2. Garlic, 2 bulbs
  3. Kale, 1 bunch: Sautéed Kale
  4. Tomatoes, heirloom, slicers, roma 3#: Chopped Caprese Salad
  5. Cucumbers: Asian Cucumber Salad
  6. Celery: Bean Soup with Kale (add some celery!)
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers (green and colored)
  8. Yaya carrots 1.5#
  9. German Butterball potatoes 2#
  10. Delicata Squash: Squash and Kale toasts
  11. Spaghetti squash: Baked 4 Cheese Spaghetti Squash
  12. Green snap beans 1.5#
  13. Cole slaw cabbage mix: 11 variations of coleslaw
  14. Broccoli, 1.5#
  15. Raspberries, heritage 1/2 pint
  16. basil
  17. Sweet corn, delectable 4-6 1/2 ears
  18. Watermelon (quart cubed)
  19. Organic Pasture Raised Eggs, dozen

Welcome to our first Fall CSA box of the season. Abundance, color, and flavor are first and foremost in this first fall box. It’s the best of the lingerings of summer and the beginning of the fall crops.

We have partially prepped a few items in your box this time such as the husked corn 1/2 ears, cubed watermelon, and the shredded coleslaw mix. In our licensed kitchen, we are able to do these tasks which make the foods more ready-to-eat and the debris can either be fed to the animals or composted right here on the farm. We hope this makes eating your way through the box a little easier.

Another thing we do to inspire ways to use the vegetables is link recipe suggestions next to the items on the box list above. Some of these recipes we have tried and liked, some we want to try, and some just are reliable ways to eat seasonally. Please feel free to substitute items on the recipe in order to keep the recipe seasonal, and suitable to the accessibility you have to a grocery store. For example, if a recipe calls for leeks or scallions right now, you could substitute onions in the recipe to get a similar flavor into the recipe. Or if you do not like onions, perhaps you just omit them versus overlooking the recipe.

Although the summer was filled with lots of rain, most crops did pretty well. Tomatoes, peppers, and basil have been abundant in the warmth. The garlic and carrot crops were wonderful this year. And our fall planting of broccoli seems to coming in at just the right time.

A few challenges this summer have been the following: the fall planted beets drowned in the flood rains we received last month, the onions yielded poorly as many did not dry down properly for storage but we still have a sufficient supply for our fall/winter CSA, and the storage potatoes have been challenging to dig in the constant wet conditions. Our rutabaga have also failed to size up properly and that issue still stumps us.

Every season has its plusses and minuses and they tend to equal out over time. We do our best to buffer these effects and utilize all of the harvest. This year, there will be no shortage of pickles as the cucumbers were abundant. And those onions that didn’t store well, they are getting chopped and frozen to use for the pizza nights. Extra peppers are not thrown out, but frozen for future use. It’s a challenge to keep up with the flushes in the garden but it is so satisfying to watch the preserved goodness stack up.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Garden Restaurant…Farm to Table Event Thur Sept 8


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Buffalo County Road Updates

Update late August:

Most all roads in Buffalo County are open thanks to our excellent highway department. All main roads to the farm are open.

Update Friday August 12th, 9am:

We will be open tonight. However road access is still somewhat limited in Buffalo County.

From Hwy 35 in Cochrane, take Cty Rd O. Take a left on belvideere ridge, and then your first right down Yaeger Dugway.

From Alma, Cty Rd E is open to Cream. Take right on 88 for 3 miles and a right on Yaeger Valley Road, then left on Yaeger Dugway.

Access from Waumandee is currently closed as a bridge is being repaired. Status unknown if bridge will be fixed by tonight.

I believe the only access from Hwy 37 is to go to Alma and come over on Cty Rd E to Cream.

Please drive carefully and keep the many people hit by this storm in your thoughts as they work through the clean up.

Posting from Thursday, August 11th:

Our local area was hit with 6-8″ of rain in a short timeframe Thursday, August 11th. Travel is currently not recommended in Buffalo County but please check the sherriff’s website for current status reports.

Hwy 88, 37, and Cty Rd E all provide access to the farm and sections of these roads are currently closed. image image image image

Here’s the status report of road closures as of 1:30pm 8/11/2016:

Travel is not recommended! Flooding is occurring Throughout Buffalo County.
State roads 37, 121 and 88, County roads U, X (bridge out), E, EE and N. OO Rail line is out. Buffalo County Emergency Management recommends no travel on all roads until further notice.

This is a developing situation. Updates and advisories regarding the flooding will be posted to the Buffalo County website as needed

9:13 am Update. Emergency Management has activated 211 for property damage assistance. Report Buffalo County property damage as result of the flooding by dialing 211.

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Summer 2016

We are in full stride here at Suncrest Gardens Farm. The gardens and hoop houses for our fall and winter CSAs are bursting with life, and the pizza nights are busy as ever. Several weddings have already taken place here this year and we have a full schedule of weddings and private parties throughout the rest of the summer.

We continue to be open Thursday’s and Friday’s for our pizza nights taking orders 4:30-8:30pm all the way thru August. In September, we are only open Friday nights, same time frame. Live music is scheduled every week this year, weather dependent of course.

We’ve added a few new offerings this season to the appetizer menu including farm fresh salads, veggie & dip snack trays, fruity moscato sangria pint jars, and beer bucket 6 packs for your cooling convenience in the yard.

Keep up to date with farm news, pictures, and postings on our Facebook page: Suncrest Gardens Farm. We’re even hosting “Yoga on the Farm” this summer. Watch for dates on Facebook.

We are proud to be listed on the Top 10 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Wisconsin. Discover Wisconsin also had a television spot about farm to table places featuring our farm this spring.

Remember, we are open rain or shine for our pizza nights. No reservations needed. A courtesy call letting us know of large groups coming is appreciated.

image image image image image image image image


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Winter CSA week 6

Fresh and Value-Added Items:


This is our last winter CSA for the season and I’d have to say that it feels as if winter has already left. The unusually warm weather and rain has turned the grass green and the perennial gardens are starting to poke up through the mulch. I do worry about the budding on the fruit trees happening too early but hopefully they can squeak through and not be bitten by a freeze which can eliminate a fruit crop like we saw in 2012.

As we mentioned before, we will open the online winter CSA store up with a special sale on some remaining winter inventory. We would deliver those orders to town in 2 weeks: Wednesday, March 30th. I will send an email notice out when the store is open for this special sale.

A new item in the box this week is the frozen Hot Pepper Jelly. It is a great little spread to mix with cream cheese on bagels, crackers, or pretzels.

Thank you for your support this winter season and for inviting us to share your table with you through our foods we grow at Suncrest Gardens. We are honored to be your farmers!

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Winter CSA week 5

Fresh and Value-Added Items:

Carrots 2#
Potatoes 3#, Peter Wilcox blend
Celeriac: Roasted celery root and Carrots
Onions, 1.5#
Fresh Spinach 1/2#
Fresh Kraut, 1 pt…use within a week
Eggs-1 dozen
Pickles 10 oz…a little spicy this time
Dried Tomatoes: sun-dried tomato spinach rice pilaf


  1. Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
  2. 2 quarts of soup (Minestrone Soup & Turnip Squash Fall Soup), or your customized items
  3. Rhubarb 1 Qt
  4. Raspberries 1 Qt
  5. Peppers 1 Pt
  6. Sweet corn 1 Qt
  7. Diced tomatoes 1 Qt: Sausage and kale pasta bake with tomatoes

This past week, Mercedes and I attended the MOSES organic conference in LaCrosse. I’ve been to the conference many times in the past and there is always a wonderful spirit among the attending. I always enjoy the comraderrie among all kinds of other farmers and ag people who openly share stories, trials and errors. The presenters and speakers inspire everyone as we finalize winter plans and prepare to begin seeding. We are lucky to have such an amazing event within driving distance.

On Monday, we started many trays of seedlings such as onions, celery, and celeriac. Somehow I managed to barely reduce my seed budget this season even though we will not have the spring and summer CSA programs. There were some items ordered in smaller quantities, but I also filled the gaps with some new trial crops, more flowers, and a few extra things to grow for our fall and winter shares. Once a person has grown food on a larger scale, it is really hard to reduce. We do plan to fill some of the previously planted garden space with a wider diversity of cover crops and pollinator friendly items.

As the winter CSA is nearing the end, we can foresee us having some extra items left in the Winter CSA store such as soups and a few individually frozen vegetables. We will plan to have a sale on those items after our last CSA week.  Our members will have the first chance to purchase these items through the winter CSA store and we will make a special delivery With these orders to the delivery sites in late March. We will post more details in the next newsletter.

Would any CSA members be interested in ordering frozen pizzas if they were to come to Winona in your next CSA box? Please email Heather by Friday March 4 if you’d like to receive a frozen wood-fired pizza order along with your last winter CSA delivery. Orders do not need to be placed now, we are just taking a quick survey to see if we should make the pizzas earlier in the week so we can deliver them to Alma/Winona for you. Thank you.


Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Winter CSA Week 4

Fresh and Value-Added Items:

  1. Carrots 2#
  2. Potatoes 3#: crock pot beef stew
  3. Celeriac: Celeriac Pasta
  4. Onions, 1.5#
  5. Fresh Spinach 1/2#:
  6. Coleslaw Mix 1#: Cabbage Omelette
  7. Eggs-1 dozen
  8. Pickles 10 oz…a little spicy this time
  9. Dried Tomatoes, ~2 oz: Chicken in Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
  10. Raspberry Jam, 1 pint


  1. Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
  2. 2 quarts of soup (Garden Vegetable & Roasted Butternut), or your customized items
  3. Rhubarb 1 Qt: Rhubarb Crumble
  4. Zucchini 1 Qt: Zucchini Pie
  5. Broccoli 1 Qt
  6. Roasted Spaghetti Sauce 1 Qt

The sunshine is getting stronger by the day and the 10 day forecast shows temperatures reaching into the 40s. We know winter isn’t over yet, but it feels as if we have left the claws of deep winter and are nearing milder conditions. By the end of the month, we will be seeding onions in the greenhouse. Time just continues to march on to a beat that I’m not quite keeping up with at times, but regardless the seasons continue to cycle as we ebb and flow through life.

The bonus item this winter season is rhubarb. Somehow we squirreled away an overabundance of rhubarb. I hope you are finding a way to add it into your sweet treats. I find I can toss it in along with most crisps, crumbles, or pies and it acts as a filler to go along with other fruit. I know some make a savory rhubarb chutney as well.

Ericka, a CSA member from Alma, shared the zucchini pie recipe above. Somewhat like a quiche but an alternative way to use the zucchini. Just be sure to drain the zucchini well after thawing. If you have a recipe you’d like to share with the rest of our members, please send me a link and I’ll pass it along. Perhaps I’ll even get a Member Tips/Recipes page created on this website to spotlight some of the very useful member generated tips for using their CSA items.

Our Winter CSA share price has increased for the 2016-17 season. We have kept track of our costs more closely and over the years the contents of what we are consistently putting into the winter shares has increased without an increase to the share price. The average value of the CSA shares you have been receiving this winter have been between $78-$85 while we have charged $55 for the bi-weekly shares. This margin of difference has steadily increased over the years as we have varied the options and volume of produce stored and preserved for the winter shares. For next season, the price per delivery will increase to $70 which still allows for some bonus value to our members but also makes sure that we are sufficiently compensated for our goods and services.

If you are planning on signing up for a Fall or Winter CSA share for the 2016/17 season, please do so soon. On March 1st, I will open up the Fall and Winter CSA sign-up to the general public to fill our remaining available shares. We want to give our long standing members the first chance to continue their CSA shares with our farm before opening up the enrollment. Here’s the link for sign-up: http://suncrestgardensfarm.com/csa/sign-up/

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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Winter CSA Week 3

Fresh and Value-Added Items:

  1. Carrots 2#: Vegetable Barley Soup
  2. Potatoes 3#
  3. Celeriac: Celeriac Soup or use celery root in barley soup recipe above
  4. Onions, 1.5#
  5. Fresh Spinach 1/2#: spinach and sundried tomato pasta
  6. Coleslaw Mix: 3 simple dressings
  7. Eggs-1 dozen
  8. Pickles 10 oz…a little spicy this time
  9. Dried Tomatoes, 1 oz: dried tomato hummus
  10. Radishes, daikon and watermelon
  11. Winter squash: squash crumble bars


  1. Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
  2. 2 quarts soup (Minestroni Soup & Incognito Soup), or your customized items
  3. Rhubarb 1 Qt
  4. Raspberries 1 Qt
  5. Sweet Corn 1 Pt: Texas Caviar ( feel free to reduce sugar in half)
  6. Sweet Peppers 1/2 pint

The CSA delivery comes in perfect timing with the snow storm this week. We were able to pack all the boxes yesterday, plow, and shovel pathways around the farm. The ice underneath the snow is pretty treacherous and we will be stuck with that for some time. However, we were all pretty excited to receive a new layer of beautiful snow for cross country skiing and playing in. As school is again closed today, the boys get to shovel some more and help deliver the boxes today. I hope you are all plowed out and able to get to your shares this evening.

In this weeks box is a bag of coleslaw mix. Please use the coleslaw mix this week. Either add a coleslaw dressing to it or sprinkle it on top of your spinach salad. Leftover slaw mix can even be tossed into a stir fry, soup, or casserole.

A new item this week are the dried tomatoes. To use dried tomatoes, you can soak them in a small dish with hot water if you want them to be hydrated and tender for use. I usually rehydrate them when using them for hummus or on pizzas. You can use them dried if adding them to soups or a dish that has plenty of liquid for them to absorb.

The last of the daikon radishes and the start of watermelon radishes come today. The daikon are crisp and snappy. The watermelon radish is an awesome pink color inside. Peel the skin to remove the heat and eat it raw as a snack or on a salad.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,


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