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.


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,


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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 12-15 minutes. For a crispier crust, thaw the pizza before baking.

Winter Pick-Up Dates:

Fri Nov 20          Fri 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 


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


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


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,



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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,


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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,


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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,


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Last summer CSA

  1. Onions
  2. garlic
  3. zucchini/summer squash
  4. Watermelon or cantaloupe
  5. Sweet peppers: grilled peppers
  6. kale: kale and caramelized onion grilled cheese
  7. celery
  8. leeks: warming leek and celery soup
  9. spaghetti squash: spaghetti squash recipe
  10. carrots
  11. potatoes, Superior variety: Rosemary roasted potatoes
  12. beets: beet and carrot slaw
  13. tomatoes
  14. raspberries

This is our last Summer CSA delivery for the season. Thank you for joining us for another season of eating! We are grateful that we get to join your table and nourish your family with our food.

Our days are still filled with harvest and preservation as we continue to put away goods for the off season. Jars are filling in our pantry with dried apples, fruit leathers, and dried tomatoes. The freezer is bursting with all kinds of roasted tomatoes, garden surplus, and farm raised meats.

Wood-Fired Pizza…only 2 Friday’s left for the season! Music scheduled, weather dependent, for both evenings. We are planning on offering partially baked wood-fired pizzas this fall & winter. Announcements for ordering and picking up these pizzas in the off-season will be posted on our Facebook page and blog.

If anyone has interest in pasture raised pork or lamb, email Heather as I have one lamb available in late September and a pig available in early Novmeber.

As a reminder, the fall CSA shares will begin next week,Wednesday September 23. The fall shares are then delivered every two weeks for a total of 6 deliveries.

In between the fall deliveries, the boys, Mercedes, and I are planning on a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. We have purchased a used Scamp camper and this will be its maiden voyage for us. We are all quite excited about our westward adventure exploring the park trails and taking in the beauty of the mountains.

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,



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Summer CSA week 13

  1. Onions
  2. garlic bulbs: roasted garlic bulbs
  3. watermelon
  4. cantaloupe: agua fresca
  5. raspberries
  6. sweet peppers: couscous stuffed peppers with lamb
  7. eggplant
  8. zucchini, lemon squash, summer squash: marinated lemon squash
  9. delicata squash: stuffed roasted delicata
  10. cucumber
  11. carrots
  12. Potatoes, purple sun variety
  13. lettuce
  14. tomatoes

Herbs: Rosemary, mint, parsley, sage

We are starting to get into some late summer offerings such as our fruit (melons and raspberries), potatoes, and delicata winter squash. I’m ready to start enjoying potatoes again and this variety called purple sun is very tasty. It’s a beautiful purple hue on the outside and a stunning golden yellowish color on the inside. It has 15% more antioxidants than Yukon golds and contains 40% RDA vitamin C per serving. It stores very well and may take just a bit longer to cook than some varieties, but is well with it.

There is only one more summer CSA delivery next week. And today is the last delivery if you are an odd CSA week subscriber.

Our fall CSA schedule is posted on our CSA delivery schedule link on our website, but I will also share it here.

2015 FALL CSA: Begins Sept 23 thru Dec 2; 6 deliveries total

  • sept 23…first day of fall!
  • oct 7
  • oct 21
  • nov 4
  • nov 18
  • dec 2

2015/16 WINTER CSA: Begins Jan 6 thru March 16; 6 deliveries total

Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,



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Summer CSA week 12

  1. Onions, walla walla
  2. Garlic
  3. Colored Sweet Peppers: grilled kabobs
  4. Jalapeno Peppers: stuffed jalapeño peppers
  5. Tomatoes: tomato salad with the works
  6. Eggplant: smokey eggplant soup
  7. sweet corn: sweet corn relish
  8. Melons, watermelon to full shares, cantaloupe to half shares
  9. carrots
  10. summer squash, zucchini, and/or lemon squash
  11. Cucumber
  12. Salad greens
  13. Plums, compliments of my dad

herb shares: cilantro, parsley, sage, and oregano

The garden is starting to switch gears as the change of the seasons draws nearer. Tomatoes and other hot season crops are slowing down, as fall like crops are nearing harvest. We anticipate having potatoes and delicata squash next week. Make sure to get in the last of the BLTs!

Today arrived a small v plow which should help us plow up the potatoes without having to hand fork out the entire crop which we have done in all the years past. There was some blight on the potatoe crop this year so we anticipate a lower yield from last year, but will get a better idea of how they did once we start digging them up. The potatoes also have to be cured once they are dug. We wash them after they are cured in the dark for 2 weeks at room temperature. Then they get washed, dried and placed in the cooler for long term storage.

The onions are curing nicely and we have stored all the fall onions in the cooler and have the last of the harvest curing for the winter. This totals over 700#s of onions in the cooler for the off season. Our bumper crop of garlic is also cured and will be transferred to the cooler for long term storage. You can imagine how full the cooler gets once all these storage crops are packed in there! We will try to keep it as fresh garlic as long as we can in the cooler. Once quality starts to diminish, we will mince and freeze it for longer storage.

The boys were back to school this week. I think I get just as nervous and excited as they do trying to adjust our schedules and routines to have us be organized for prepared for the school schedule. This year Ashlan is in 5th grade and Ethan is in 2nd grade.


Eat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,





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Summer CSA week 11

  1. Onions, walla walla
  2. garlic
  3. colored peppers
  4. tomatoes: roasted tomato soup
  5. eggplant: smoky eggplant dip
  6. Summer squash
  7. kale: kale Greek salad
  8. red cabbage: red cabbage and corn salad (add some peppers for more color)
  9. carrots
  10. beets: refrigerator pickled beets
  11. sweet corn

Herb share: lemongrass, Rosemary, cilantro, parsley

The switch to fall like weather seems to have stuck at least for the short while. We can see a slow down in the field harvest of some items due to the change. However, the cooler temperatures makes me feel like we are ready for the back-to-school season. I have even had to bring out the stocking hat to wear this week to keep the cold winds off my ears.

Our raspberries have just started to ripen a bit. Soon we will be swimming in them but it is all in the cyclical seasons of harvest as we will be ready to switch our attention to them as other crop harvests slow down. I’m always so thankful that there is a peak time for many of the different vegetables that ebbs and flows differently from each other, attempting to space our labor efforts out over the entire season.

This weekend at the farm, we will partake in the celebration of two wonderful people, Dale and Jenny Schaffner (Jason’s parents) as they celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Farm life reaches deep into both of their histories and continues to live on in several of their children. I look forward to hosting the event and honoring their commitment to each other and the legacy of their love.

imageimageEat Well. Smile Often.

Your Farmer,




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