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

FROZEN ITEMS:

  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,

Heather

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Winter CSA week 2

Fresh and Value-Added Items:

  • Garlic 2 bulbs
  • Carrots 2#
  • Potatoes 3#: Basic Vegetable Soup
  • Celery root: Still scared of this? Read this article
  • Onions, red storage 1.5#
  • Fresh Spinach 7oz
  • Raspberry Jam
  • Pickled beets, 1/2 pint
  • Eggs-1 dozen
  • Pickles 10 oz
  • winter squash

FROZEN ITEMS:

  • Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
  • 2 quarts soup (see farmers choice soups below), or your customized items
  • Garden Vegetable Soup: Vegetable stock, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, leeks, kale, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper
  • Citrus Summer Soup: Zucchini, water, cilantro, onions, tortillas, parsley, lime juice, mint, olive oil, hot peppers, salt
  • Broccoli 1 Qt: Blanched and frozen broccoli
  • Rhubarb 1 Qt: Rhubarb ginger compote
  • Shredded Zucchini 1 Qt: Rhubarb and Zuchinni Ginger Bread
  • Spaghetti sauce 1 Quart: wood fired tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, tomato paste, red wine, and spices

We were able to find an afternoon just before the deep freeze to get into the hoophouses and harvest spinach for this week’s share. The crop is snuggled inside the hoophouses under two sheets of inflated plastic, and another internal tunnel of plastic to help minimize cold weather damage to the plants. The spinach still freezes every night, but once it thaws during the day for a couple hours, we are able to harvest the larger leaves by hand. We leave the small leaves on the plant to generate energy for the plant and these small leaves will grow quicker once the light returns to longer lengths in February. We have a very nice looking crop of Giant Winter Spinach in the tunnel this year and we hope to be able to harvest some for each of the winter shares, as long as we can harvest during a time of thaw and sun a couple days before each week’s delivery.

Letters to all of our CSA members were sent out yesterday explaining changes to the CSA program for the 2016-17 season. In short, we will only be offering a fall and winter CSA this year. We hope this adjustment to our workload will help reduce stress and provide more time to do what we need to do better. Fresh vegetables will still be growing here during the summer seasons for the fall and winter CSA and for the pizza farm’s needs, so we will offer a produce stand on the farm limited to the hours of our pizza nights.

Sign-up for our fall and winter CSA seasons is now open. Making a $100 down payment reserves your share and the remaining amount due needs to be paid before the start of your selected season. The link to our sign up page is on our website under the CSA tab.

CUSTOMIZING WINTER CSA 

I think most everyone knows this now, but I wanted to cover this option one last time. We do allow members to customize their soup selections or substitute the two soups for $15 worth of items from the winter CSA farm store. If a selection is not made, soups will be sent per the farmer’s choice. The store will close on Monday at 6pm the week of delivery. The link to the store is always on our website under the CSA dropbox. If you generate a balance due by choosing extra items from the Winter CSA store, I will send an invoice to you at the end of the winter CSA season. http://suncrestgardensfarm.com/csa/customize-winter-csa/

WINTER FROZEN WOOD FIRED PIZZAS

New this year, we are offering frozen par-baked pizzas which can be ordered ahead and delivered with your CSA share on a limited basis. You can order pizzas anytime based upon our winter menu by emailing or calling the farm. The next on-farm pick up date for winter pizzas is Feb 5. Pizzas orders can be picked up here, or delivered to the CSA site on Feb 17th. http://suncrestgardensfarm.com/pizza/winter-par-baked-pizzas/

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

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Winter CSA week 1

Fresh and Value-Added Items:

FROZEN ITEMS:

  • Vegetable Stock 1 Qt: water, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper.
  • 2 quarts soup (see items below) or substituted items via (Winter CSA Store)
  • Minestroni Soup: tomatoes, vegetable stock, zucchini, carrots, kale, celery, green beans, green peppers, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, sugar
  • Butternut Apple: Squash, apples, onions, water, apple cider, olive oil, butter, curry powder, salt, black pepper
  • Beans 1 Qt: Blanched and frozen beans
  • Sweet Corn 1 pint: corn, butter, salt: Black bean corn salad
  • Raspberries 1 quart
  • Rhubarb 1 Qt: Saveur’s best rhubarb recipes
  • Diced Tomatoes 1 Quart

Welcome to the Winter CSA season. Everything at the farm feels snuggled in for a good winters rest. A nice layer of snow covers the ground protecting the perennial plants and hay fields outside. We prefer a snow cover to help buffer extreme temperature changes, but the snow also makes us happy so we can cross country ski and sled.

Last week, I tried to send a reminder email out to everyone about the upcoming winter CSA starting but mistakenly clicked the wrong box and sent it to the year round and fall members, thus leaving some of you out of the loop. I’m sorry about this and I hope we have the kinks worked out of the system for the new CSA season.

We do allow members to customize their soup selections or substitute the two soups for $15 worth of items from the winter CSA farm store. I will make adjustments to our inventory and will reopen the store in a couple days for people to begin making selections for the next delivery. If a selection is not made, soups will be sent per the farmer’s choice. The store will close on Monday at 6pm the week of delivery. The link to the store is always on our website under the CSA dropbox. http://suncrestgardensfarm.com/csa/customize-winter-csa/

New this year, we are offering frozen par-baked pizzas which can be ordered ahead and delivered with your CSA share on a limited basis. You can order pizzas anytime based upon our winter menu by emailing or calling the farm. The next on-farm pick up dates for winter pizzas is Feb 5. Pizzas orders can be picked up here, or delivered to the CSA site on Feb 17th. http://suncrestgardensfarm.com/pizza/winter-par-baked-pizzas/

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

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Week 6, last CSA fall share

  1. onions
  2. garlic
  3. leeks: potato leek soup with dill and cheddar
  4. daikon radish
  5. butternut squash: lamb stew with butternut
  6. kale: sausage, kale, and sweet potato soup
  7. red cabbage: mission Chinese foods cabbage salad
  8. fingerling potatoes
  9. carrots
  10. beets: winter salad with roasted beets and pomegranate seeds
  11. salad mix
  12. eggs

As a dusting of snow has arrived and stayed, we say good bye to fall and hello to winter. Hence, This is our 6th and final fall CSA delivery for this year. We thank you for your continued support and commitment to eat more veggies via your local farmers at Suncrest Gardens.

This time of year, it’s always a privilege to go inside the hoophouses and be surrounded by fresh greens while the snow flies outside. The greens are extra magical in the fall and winter. Perhaps knowing their limited availability makes them taste better than normal; however, there are some sweet chemical changes in the leaves that add to the eating pleasure.

The last of the leeks are in your boxes today so it’s time for that potato leek soup if you haven’t already made some. The kale was harvested from the field while it was raining late Monday while temperatures were still above freezing. (Yes, this is why you need to love your farmers as they do these tasks lovingly knowing you will all eat your greens!) I find that I especially love adding kale to soups as it holds up so well and no one seems to complain about eating their greens. It kind of just sneaks by them versus the bowl of sautéed kale which is loved only by some.

Keep the Eggs Coming…Dec 16th special delivery

If you’d like to have another delivery of eggs, we will be bringing a round of eggs to town on December 16th to the CSA drop sites. Let us know how many dozen you would be interested in receiving for holiday baking and winter break. $4/dozen

Winter Wood-fired Pizzas

It was suggested that I should deliver some of our par-baked frozen winter pizzas along with the winter CSA shares. I am certainly open to doing that so if anyone would like to order. All orders must be pre-ordered anytime from now until December 27th by emailing Heather. The winter menu is on our winter pizza blog post below. The delivered pizzas would come Wednesday, January 6th to the CSA pick up site, during regular pick up hours. Or the preordered pizzas would be available earlier for pick up at the farm on Thursday, December 31st.

Meat Shares

We are also offering frozen meat shares to be delivered this winter to the CSA pick up sites. The variety box of farm raised meats would include 1# packages of lean ground beef, 1# packages of Italian pork sausage, bacon, pork chops or a whole chicken, lamb brats, ground lamb or lamb kabob meat, and a pint of rendered lard. The amount will easily store in your top freezer space. Deliveries would be made in January, February, and March. Cost would be $105 per variety box. Email Heather if you are interested or if you’d like to gift someone a meat share.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

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Fall CSA Week 5

  1. Onions
  2. garlic
  3. Kale: kale and onion egg bake
  4. salad mix, 12 oz bag
  5. daikon radishes: daikon recipes including kimchee
  6. leeks
  7. Celery root: celery root and potato mash
  8. carrots
  9. Superior potatoes
  10. butternut squash: caramelized butternut
  11. pie pumpkin
  12. Brussel sprouts: Ina’s roasted Brussels
  13. eggs

We wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving and hope this seasonal time of gathering offers you time to enjoy family and friends. The harvest meal is one of my favorites as it traditionally highlights many of the seasonal foods available this time of year.

We find ourselves wrapping up special events here at the farm and steadily booking weddings and events for next summer. Novmeber and December provide us much need time to catch up on ou bookwork, review the past seasons, plan for next year, and perhaps read a few good books by the fire.

I believe the four seasons is one of the greatest blessings of farming in the Midwest, besides the fertility and rainfall. The seasonal changes build in a natural time of reflection and provide time to evaluate how things are going. I think this is a valuable tool both personally and professionally.

Mercedes, who is staying on with the farm throughout the winter, is taking on a slightly different role in the farm as a farm manager assistant. She will be learning and helping to prepare next year’s growing plan and evaluating all the farm enterprises as she takes her level of learning and responsibility to yet another level. She has been a fabulous member of the farm team over the past two seasons and I look forward to having her stay on in this more advanced role.

WINTER WOOD FIRED PIZZA…

We are offering our wood fired pizzas throughout the winter as a frozen par-baked option. Our first pick up for these pizzas is this Friday. The future pick up dates will be Dec 31, Feb 5, and Mar 18. If you are interested, keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements. We have a smaller menu for the winter and all pizzas must be preordered the week prior to pickup.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

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Winter Wood-Fired Pizzas

The par-baked wood-fired pizza provides a delicious, convenient meal for those busy times when you have company over, when the big game is on, or when you crave the summertime flavors of wood-fired pizzas but instead get to enjoy them in the warmth and comfort of your home.

These special limited season pizzas are created by partially baking our homemade crusts in our wood-fired pizza oven imparting the smoky wood-fired flavors of the oven into each pizza. The pizzas are then made to order and frozen. The directions for cooking each pizza are simple. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 12 minutes, depending on your oven. For a crispier crust, thaw the pizza before baking.

Winter Pick-Up Dates:

Fri Nov 20          Thurs Dec 31         Fri Feb 5             Fri March 18

Email/Call Heather to Order 1 week in advance of Winter Pick-Up Dates:

heather@suncrestgardensfarm.com                 608-626-2122 

WINTER WOOD-FIRED PIZZA MENU

CHEESE  Mozzarella and choice of sauce   $17

CLASSIC  Italian sausage or pepperoni, roasted onions, garlic, mozzarella $20   BOTH MEATS $21

SUPREME  Italian sausage and pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives, roasted onions, garlic, mozzarella, basil $22

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HAWAIIAN Diced ham, pineapple, garlic, roasted onions, mozzarella, jalapenos   $19

JAZZY HAWAIIAN Diced Canadian bacon, pineapple, garlic, roasted onions, mozzarella, jalapenos, teriyaki barbeque sauce $21

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SPINACH ALFREDO Garlic alfredo sauce topped with fresh spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, grated carrots, roasted onions $20 Add Bacon or Chicken for $2

THE FUN-GUY  Mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, thyme, oregano, and mozzarella on a garlic infused olive oil base $20

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Fall CSA week 4

  1. Onions
  2. garlic
  3. rainbow and redbor kale: pan fried kale
  4. Spinach, giant winter variety: speedy spinach pesto
  5. salad mix
  6. cilantro: cilantro lime rice, preserving cilantro
  7. daikon radishes
  8. celery
  9. leeks
  10. carrots
  11. mixed potatoes
  12. butternut squash: easy butternut ravioli
  13. pie pumpkin: how to bake with pumpkins
  14. brussel sprouts
  15. eggs

The weather continues to be quite mild. We took advantage of these warm sunny days to dig our last carrots and wash them up for winter storage. We are also giving all of the winter squash a washing and tucking them away for fall and early winter use.

Most all of the crops are out of the fields except for the leeks, kale, and a few last brussel sprouts. Do you think the brussels have gotten sweeter since they have been frosted? There is one more week of Brussels for everyone and most likely enough leeks to last the fall CSA season.

The fall/winter greens in the hoophouses are doing well. The salad mix is a picture perfect size and we tossed it with some young arugula leaves for flavor. If the bags of salad have become depressed in the CSA box, cheer them up by opening them and allowing in some air to resupport the bag.

there is also a nice crop of cilantro this fall. Cilantro is one of the genetically predisposed  tastes that either you really love or really dislike. Because of its gentle nature, it is hard to preserve the flavor of cilantro for the off season but it is a difficult flavor to substitute if you love it. The best way to preserve it is to purée it in a food processor with a little oil and freeze it. Ice cube tray portions work well for many recipes such as guacamole, homemade winter salsa, or a chutney or sauce to brighten a dish.

If you need extra eggs, we can add them to your CSA delivery for $4/dozen. Send an email to Heather to order.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

 

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Fall CSA week 3

  1. Onions
  2. garlic
  3. sweet peppers (last of them)
  4. Kale: Yam and peanut stew with kale
  5. leeks: leek, bacon, and goat cheese pizza
  6. Fingerling potatoes: butter braised fingerlings
  7. carrots
  8. Butternut squash: butternut and Brussels stuffing
  9. Head lettuce
  10. Spinach
  11. Brussell sprouts on the stalk
  12. Beets: gingered beet pickles
  13. eggs

We had a wonderful trip out west. Scamping around in our little camper worked perfect for us. We loved the adventure and the off the beaten path experience one gets when camping vs. hotelling and we were snug as a bug with easy, warm morning breakfasts right by our side every day.

Yellowstone is lush with animal life and we were able to see hundreds of buffalo, antelope, bighorn sheep, coyotes, elk, one black bear, and a grizzly bear with her cub. The only animals we didn’t see were moose and wolves. The canyon area of the park was magnificent and provided a longer hiking day where we saw few park visitors on the trail.

We finished our trip by experiencing a horse trail ride on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming. Our hope was to get a better understanding of what the pioneers experienced on their journey west versus just reading about it in a museum. Well, we understand why the pioneers walked versus road in their wagons. The wagons were incredibly bumpy and rough to ride in! The boys loved riding the mule and sleeping in a teepee overnight while the coyotes howled and the great horned owls hooted thought the night.

The reality of normal life came fast upon our return to the farm. Two private pizza parties were scheduled soon after we were home. This week, the weather is unusually warm creating a buzz of Asian Beetles to deal with as we try to wash the last of the potato harvest for storage.

Our last event for the season will be our “Dinner on the Farm” this Saturday October 24th. Cooking has began to create our seasonally inspired menu for the event which is sold out. This is our seventh? dinner and I seem to have the flow down of how to prepare for the big day. I think I may be the most relaxed this year and am looking forward to the gathering of many wonderful people.

Enjoy the fall colors while they last.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

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Fall CSA week 2

  1. Onions: pan fried onion dip
  2. garlic
  3. sweet peppers
  4. summer squash/zucchini
  5. Beans, snap
  6. tomatoes, last ones for the season!
  7. cilantro
  8. Kale: vegetarian kale soup
  9. leeks: pasta with zucchini And leeks
  10. potatoes
  11. carrots: sautéed carrots
  12. acorn squash: wild rice stuffed squash
  13. Salad
  14. arugula
  15. brussel sprouts on the stalk: roasted sprouts on the stalk
  16. eggs

The warm weather plants are taking a beating from repeated light frosts and the boxes will have less of those summertime items in come next delivery. Although the late snap beans were not overly abundant, they are quite delicious! I think I love snap beans even more in the fall for some reason. I hope you enjoy the warmth of your stoves as dinner time feels great this time of year!

A new item this week is our Brussels sprouts which are delivered on the stalk. There is little difference between a Brussels sprouts stalk and loose Brussels sprouts. The Brussels sprouts stalk is not edible, rather it provides a growing source and a source of post-harvest nutrients for the sprouts, allowing the Brussels sprouts to retain their livelihood and moisture longer.

Since our wood fired pizza season has ended, we are wrapping up loose ends on the farm this week in order to prepare to leave for our annual fall trip. This year, we are camping in comfort as we take our maiden voyage with our 16′ Scamp camper. It is cute and cozy and will make those chilly nights in the mountains of Yellowstone more restful. It feels quite luxurious to not travel with the van all packed tight with camping gear. However, I think it will be a fun way to do these excursions. Mercedes, our second year intern and CSA delivery woman this season, joins us on this trip and we are all very excited for a well deserved vacation.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,

Heather

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Fall CSA week 1

  1. Onions
  2. garlic
  3. sweet peppers: scorched sweet peppers and onions
  4. arugula salad mix
  5. chard: stuffed chard leaves
  6. cilantro
  7. jalapeno peppers: pico de gallo salsa
  8. tomatoes
  9. zucchini/summer squash
  10. cucumber
  11. raspberries
  12. carrots: four favorite slaw recipes
  13. potatoes
  14. Acorn squash: acorn squash inspiration
  15. eggs

Fall is simply my favorite time of year. The slightest changes of green to yellow are beginning in the hillsides. The sharp contrast of brown soybeans and corn to the dark green hay fields and bright sunny skies are always breathtaking and encourage me to slow down and appreciate this beautiful world we live in.

We are lucky to have not had a frost yet, so some of our more summertime offerings continue though in reduced amounts. I would predict to have 1 more offering of tomatoes next delivery which is attributed to the healthy plants we still have in our high tunnel. Cilantro, jalapeño peppers, garlic and onions are also in the box so we encourage a little late season salsa making.

The one crop that has taken a bit of a hit this fall is our cabbage and broccoli. This family  suffered during a hot humid stretch and a particular leaf disease diminished its quality. So instead of the broccoli that we normally have this time of year, we are sharing our abundance of raspberries. We hope you like this trade off!

It is this give and take with the harvest that underlies the foundation of the CSA concept. There is no guarantee of the box’s weekly contents, but we do our best to provide you a good variety of quality naturally grown produce. Thank you for being CSA members of Suncrest Gardens Farm!

The last pizza night of the season is this Friday. The weather finally looks to be about as nice as it has been for a September Friday night. Live bluegrass music 5:30-8:30. A group of older racing cars will be at the farm that evening as they enjoy Buffalo County establishments for the weekend and compete in a hill climb race up Yaeger Dugway on Saturday.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your farmer,

Heather

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