Newsletter

Week #5 – 2017 CSA Season

What’s in the Box:  Sugar snap peas, swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash, english cucumber, basil, red russian kale, green top sweet onions, green cabbage, red beets (bi-weekly only).

What’s going on at the farm:   Plenty of rain this past week has kept our soil and plant growth going well around here as we finish off the first quarter of the season this week with some familiar summer veggies and some new crops for us this year.   We are starting a new drop site this week as well for Catalent employees so welcome to your first week to those of you just starting out with us!

Sugar snap peas are in and  plenty of them to go around so expect a good portion of these.    The pods can be eaten whole with the either raw or possibly in a stir fry.   They can be stringed by snapping the stem end of the top off and down the back of the pea to remove a small string-like fiber.

Swiss chard is a good sauté green and our crop is looking amazing this year.   Multi colored stems provide some nice color to your dishes and the stems can be eaten right along with the leafs.   Just chop them coarsely and sauté them in your favorite pasta recipe or with eggs in the morning.  It makes a great side dish too and can be used in place of spinach.

Red russian kale is also a sauté green which is higher in protein then any other veggie.  Try these leaves in your smoothies, stir fries, or perhaps some kale chips seasoned with your favorite spices.

Zucchini and summer squash are basically the same veggies and can be used in almost any dish you could possibly imagine.   I like to grill spears of them in the summer brushed with chili and soy sauce marinade.  We eat them on pizza which we make a variety of ways and I sometimes use long thin slices of them in place of lasagna noodles to make a gluten free veggie lasagna.

Our cucumbers right n0w are the small mini english variety and they are never bitter and have no spines so there is no need to peel them unless you like the skin removed.  These are a favorite for us at home for easy snacks with some salt and/or added to our salads.

Onions are being thinned out this week and you will receive them with small bulbs and large green tops this week.   You can use the tops like scallion minced in to small pieces along with the bulb.

Our first cabbages are in this week too and the first to come to you are these pointed green mini cabbages.  They have a very unique shape make a great pairing with the onion for a simple stir fry.    Coleslaw is always a good option for these sweet mini cabbages too but my favorite thing to do is split them in half  leaving the stem base on to keep them together and grill them on low indirect heat with the open face up and drizzle teriyaki sauce onto them which just simmers into the cabbage as it cooks.

Fresh basil is our herb this week and I’m sure you are all familiar with it.   You can make your own pesto, marinade, or add it to stir fry or other dishes to add some great fresh summer flavor to your dishes.

Our last crop going out this week is for bi-weekly members only and that is the last of our red beets and our beet crop for this spring.  the tops can be used like swiss chard but they will make your roots softer if you leave them on in the fridge so remove the greens if you plan on holding the roots for future use.  The reason for this is the plant respirate through the leaves which slowly removes moisture from the root so this goes for any root crop you receive with tops on this year.

On the farm this week we are working towards getting our winter squash planted and starting crops for the fall season.   The longest day of the year is passed now as we roll through summer solstice we have a small window of thirty days to get all of these things for fall growing before its to late for them to mature.  To do this we also have a lot of field clean up going on this week removing open beds and tilling the fields again, and making mulch beds.  Basically this is a huge transition period for us and we are going to need some dry weather for the fields which have been receiving rain every day lately.    Some other crops coming soon include, onions, savoy cabbage, and large slicing cucumbers.  Our summer crops of eggplant, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and napa cabbage are also looking great and should be coming soon.   Thank you all and enjoy the early summer crops!

Week #4 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box:  Golden beets with greens, seedless english cucumber, dill, summer squash, zucchini, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, and lacinato kale.

What’s going on at the farm:  

We finally got the rain we needed this week without any major storms or damage thankfully.  My favorite item this week is a toss up between the golden beets with their sweet bulbs and rich greens and the sugar snap peas with their refreshingly crisp texture and sweet flavor. Some other favorites of mine right now include the crisp seedless english cucumbers.  The cukes are super sweet with a thin peel, no spines, and a burp-less quality.   They are awesome sliced with some salt on them as a fresh snack to cool down.  here is a little rundown of the crops this week.

G0lden beets are a great roasted, sautéed, or sliced thinly raw.  They are extremely sweet and do not bleed like a red beet.  The greens may also be used as a sauté green.

Cucumbers are actually one of the most hydrating veggies there are!  They make a great salad with the dill.

The sugar snap pea crop is coming in heavily now and i’m sure you will all enjoy these crisp sweet pea pods which can be eaten whole fresh and also cooked with or without stringing them, we have several varieties this year so the pods may vary as we will be picking them mixed out of the field.

Dill is our fresh herb this week and it is great with the cucumbers but lends a fresh twist to any dish and pairs well with fish, and fresh greens, sauces, and dressings.

Swiss chard is versatile as a green and although its related to beets, the greens are often used in place of spinach.

We have lacinato kale for you this week and a lot of folks consider this to be a superior tasting kale which is well balanced in flavor.   Kale is usually cooked but can be massaged or finely chopped raw for use in salads and other dishes.

Zucchini is in along with summer squash and everyone will be receiving both green and yellow squash and possibly some patty pan squash.   They can all be cooked like zucchini, and do not require any peeling.

It’s been a very busy week on the farm this last week.  A Couple highlight were finally taking a half day off to go fishing for Fathers Day on Sunday and we were featured in 5 minutes on the farm, on WORT radio.  In the next few weeks we expect some other new crops including onions, cabbage, basil, and more.   Until next week then, enjoy the veggies!

Week #3 – 2017 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Strawberries, green kohlrabi, chioggia beets with greens, lacinato kale, dill, salad turnips, broccoli, garlic scapes, swiss chard.

What’s going on at the farm:    Strawberries are here and coming in fast!  They should be in abundance for the next week or so.  Our currently-producing plants are in their second year and we are just loaded with berries this week so expect a healthy portion in your share.  Besides having them available in shares, we also have flats of berries available for those who would like to freeze some or make jam etc…  Flats of 12 pints for $40 is the going rate for members.   Let us know if you’re interested and I can pack flats for farm pick up or pack them at the market drop sites on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday.  Our peas are flowering heavily and setting pods quickly but we are waiting for them to be as full and sweet as possible, so they should be in heavy production later this week and distributed widely for the next few weeks.   These two crops alone keep us very busy, as they require many hours of picking by many hands, require many pieces to make a harvest, and need to be harvested every other day.

Broccoli: Our spring broccoli headed up very well this year.  It is one of those crops that we only harvest once in the spring and is ready when it’s ready, and harvested all at once.  Soon that space will be plowed in to open room for a planting of fall crops.

Chioggia beets: Chioggia (kee-oh-ja) beets are new to some of you this week and are delicious sauteed and my favorite way, roasted.  Remember to use the greens on your beets as well.  They are very tender and tasty and should be used just like swiss chard.  I love the rich flavor when they are sautéed with olive oil and find the taste resembles spinach and chard combined.

Salad turnips:  These are the white roots with green tops.  The roots are the best part of this crop and there was some flea beatle damage to the tops but we are bunching them with tops on.  (Remove tops and store separate for best storage results)  Those tops can be used for sauté but in my opinion I would rather use the beet greens, chard, and kale first.   The roots are great raw and unpeeled, sliced into a salad, or cooked with your beets, broccoli, or scapes any way you like.  They can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, or steamed. The sweet flavor of the roots stands out best though when they are eaten raw.

Lacinato kale: kale is also in the box this week and makes fantastic sauté greens or kale chips

Swiss chard:   Swiss chard can be used anywhere you would use spinach but grows better in the summer.  It is great with eggs and in pasta dishes.  I also like chard with lentils and feta.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is short for “cabbage apple” and this crisp, sweet bulb is great cooked in cream and your favorite seasoning or used raw, sliced, or grated in salads or as a snack.

Dill:  This fresh herb lends a hint of coolness to dips salad dressings, and of course its famously good with cucumbers.  We were thinking our cukes would be ready about the same time but unfortunately they are not quite there quantity-wise.   Another options besides using the dill fresh is to hang it up to dry in a warm dry place with airflow.   You could then crumble it up dry into a jar to save for cucumber salads later.

The weather trend was above average temps this week and it looks like some warmer weather will speed up growth for our summer crops like peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, melons, etc… and keep us sweating in the fields as we keep on working hard to bring in the harvests and control the weeds.  More tomato pruning to do this week too.  Our crop is looking great shooting up over 6 feet and setting fruit well.   Looks like we will have our first ripe fruits in just a few weeks!  June is always a stormy month as warm summer winds come in so we are hoping for gentle rains as we approach summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  Other crops we have coming in include summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, green top onions, sugar snap peas, cabbage, beets, lettuce, and more coming soon.  Enjoy!

Week #2 – 2017 CSA Season

DSC_0012Whats in the Box: Kohlrabi (green or purple), romaine lettuce head, red radish, red russian kale, garlic scapes, baby red beets with greens, swiss chard (bright lights mix), chocolate mint.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week is a pickup week for full season (Standard and Basic) members only.  Bi-weekly members have the week off and will pick up again next week. It was another productive week of work on the farm.  So many weeds were pulled by hand around many crops including our garlic and strawberries.  All our greenhouse tomatoes were pruned and clipped for the third time and we will be pruning and clipping them weekly as they develop fruit this month.  This week we planted all 1648 of our sweet and hot peppers, two types of napa cabbage, two types of lettuce heads, and we seeded green beans.   The summer crops are loving this warm weather.

Romaine: This week we have more spring crops coming your way including some dense romaine heads.  These beauties really pack a crunch and we have been enjoying them at home as wraps for easy lunches when you’re busy and on the move.

Radish: more radishes are coming your way this week and I trust I do not have to familiarize anyone with them but they are great with cultured butter and salt, grilled, sautéed, or used fresh as a snack or in salad with your lettuce.  We also tried a quick pickle with vinegar, water, sugar, and allspice.

Kohlrabi: Kohlrabi is in this week!  Kohlrabi comes from the German language and means “cabbage-apple.”  Like its meaning, it is crisp and sweet like an apple with a cabbage taste as well.   I like kohlrabi skinned and sliced up as a snack with salt and cheese.  It is very good with butter and cream, salt and pepper sautéed too.  It can also be grated or sliced thinly for salads.   The leaves on kohlrabi are edible but not recommended raw or with the stems.  They could be used minced in a soup or stock but I rarely use them.

Beets: Our baby red beets are new this week and their sweetness is impressive, even sliced thinly and eaten raw.  However, the greens are fantastic on these as well and I know we have a lot of greens early but do not miss out on sautéing these rich and dark greens.  I like them lightly cooked with olive oil and garlic (use your scapes). They are so tasty and similar to chard (actually the same species as chard) so prepare them as you would swiss chard or spinach.  The taste after sautéing is rich and pairs very well with the sweet roots and maybe some creamy cheese or savory herbs.

Garlic scapes: Garlic scapes are the immature blossom from a hard-neck garlic in June before the plant bulbs.  I like making pesto with them but they can be used just like a clove a garlic for mincing up into your dishes and sauces/marinade.

Chocolate mint: Our herb this week is chocolate mint which has a sweet and strong minty flavor.   Use it to flavor water, tea, coffee, ice cream, or desserts like cakes, cookies and, baked goods.

Swiss chard: Swiss chard is our final new crop this week and it is our favorite to use anywhere you would use spinach.   It is fantastic sautéed with your eggs in the morning for a nice fritata or in pasta dishes.   Because chard is related to beets, it has many colorful stem varietals and we enjoy the stems right along with the leaves.

 

Other crops we have coming in the next week or two include strawberries, broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, chioggia and golden beets, snap peas, cucumbers, dill, and curly and lacinato kale.

Week #1 – 2017 CSA Season

week 1 2017What’s in the Box:   Mesclun mix, lettuce mix, red radishes,  joi-choy, bok-choy, chives, butter crunch lettuce heads.

What’s going on at the farm:  We made it to the first week of shares so first I would like to welcome everyone back or to their first season with us!  As usual, our first box of the year includes many fresh and tender greens.  Here is the run down on some of them.

Choy: Both the joi-choy (white stem) and bak-choy (green stem) are best used as a saute green or side dish but is also good with rice or in a stir fry with onions.  Our choy has a bit of insect damage this spring (the small holes in the leaves).  Those are from the ever-pesky flea beetle, the nemesis of organic farmers everywhere.   We think the damage is minimal and does not affect the taste, so we let them get their little snack in instead of spraying organic pesticides which are very costly and even though they are organic and safe they can kill beneficial bugs which just increases our dependance on sprays.    We tend to go the route of providing a physical barrier of fabric over our crops to keep insects out but since we interplanted these delicious chinese cabbage amidst our strawberries we were not able to prohibit their snacking with covers.   I hope everyone will enjoy these cabbages despite the “bullet holes”.

Radish: Radishes are very crisp and not too spicy with all this rain we’ve had.  They  go well with the salad greens but are also good sautéed or roasted.   They also store better with the tops off so remove the tops if  you will not be using them right away to keep them crisper.  The tops on the radishes are edible too and can be used as a sauté green if you wish.

Mesclun mix and lettuce mix: Mesclun is a blend of baby kale, lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, mizuna, and choy.  It is a great, well-balanced salad mix with a little spice from the arugula.  Our other mix is simply a lettuce mix with two colors of lettuce, also great for salads or sandwiches. I like to throw in some dried cranberries, or some crunchy seeds in my salads as well as chives.

Chives: The spicy chive blossoms on your chives make a great garnish for salads and other dishes.  They are edible along with the chive which is our earliest onion offering.  Use the rest of the chive to sautee with the choy in stir fry or sprinkled over your morning eggs or other dishes.

Buttercrunch lettuce: Lastly, the butter crunch lettuce head’s best feature is a dense and blanched head in the center which is both creamy and crunchy and large outer bib leaves which can also be used along with the center for wraps or rolls.

On the farm: There has been and will be a lot of weed pulling, seeding, transplanting, pruning, and trellising work going on here through the late spring and summer.  It was a cold and very very wet spring this year but we have managed to stay ahead of our planting schedule and are all caught up despite the cool spring.    In May so far we have planted many tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, leeks, cauliflower, radishes, arugula, lettuce, beets, peppers, carrots, fennel and more.   It’s been go, go, go, every day all day and we have been working very hard.  Our fields are looking wonderful and showing the results of all this effort and it looks like a beautiful and tasty season ahead of us.  Being a small farm, we do a lot by hand but we are excited to have acquired some new equipment this year and hope it will help our ability to produce. We are getting strawberries developing and slowly ripening so there should be a nice crop of  organic strawberries coming along very soon in June.  Some other crops coming next week or two to look forward to include kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce heads, kale, swiss chard, beets, and garlic scapes.    Weekly box photos will be updated by a photographer for each newsletter every Tuesday to help you identify your produce and promote shares.  We are still taking signups too for those who have friends or family interested in signing up.   I hope everyone enjoys the first week of shares and we will be seeing some of you at the drop sites.

Week #20 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Red potatoes, green peppers, beauty heart radish, red radish, assorted sweet pepper, serrano chile pepper, mesclun salad mix, porcelain garlic, red storage onion, chives.

What’s going on at the farm:  We have some great crops for you in this last week of the CSA season including beauty heart radishes,  fresh salad greens, and more.   Our mesclun salad mix this week contains mizuna, red mustard, green mustard, baby red kale, arugula, lettuces, and choi. We are running out of onions, squash, and most everything with good timing as frost creeps in and the season has come full circle.  It has been a challenging but successful year planting schedule wise but we are packing in as many veggies as possible for you once again this week for our last CSA delivery of 2016.  Thanks to everyone who was with us for our ninth season of farming and for being a part of the season.   Your support and participation are greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed all the veggies and fruits!  There were a lot of great crops and flavors to enjoy throughout the season, both on our plates, and in the fields.   I know I gave it my all physically but what keeps me going personally is the ultimate goal of providing lots of healthy fresh organic crops to enjoy so all our families can eat locally and farm the earth sustainably without harmful chemicals, antibiotics, and GMOs.  I would like to think that it makes a small difference which works towards a greater goal then just us, and I am very proud of all of you and myself for being a small part of this big picture together.   Hopefully we will see all of you back for another season next year.   We will be taking sign ups for next season from returning members beginning in December and you will receive e-mail reminders on the progress of sign-ups and our preparations as we move through the winter months.   Generally early sign-ups are encouraged to help the farm start up again bringing in the seeds, fertilizer, soil, equipment, supplies, etc… that we need to prepare for a successful planting schedule to be executed properly.  These events happen very early in January through March despite the lack of field activity. In fact by March 1st we will then be planting like crazy in the greenhouse again growing thousands and thousands of transplants, stacking up hours of labor again, and spreading tons of plant based compost over the semi-frozen fields.  Before spring there will be much to do as well and the season will continue on for a bit.  We still have three markets a week through October, some produce like winter spinach still coming, and so I will be attending some winter markets this year up until Christmas time.  We will also be planting our two varieties of garlic over the next week.  It was another good garlic year this year and besides stocking you all up over the season, and especially the last two weeks, we are planting more then ever for next season. Our seed stock is huge which should make for some great garlic next season!   We will be breaking up the bulbs into individual cloves for planting this week and they will be hand planted before the end of October.  Our potting soil for spring is all ready ordered and will be shipped here in early November too!  It will all be trucked in from Vermont Compost Company in Vermont for us and many other organic farms in Southern Wisconsin and ours will come in the form of three huge sling bags.  I then bag by hand with a shovel and sacks all 6,000 pounds of soil and stack it neatly in the greenhouse where it will wait for spring until we start onions and many other crops again in March.   It is always an exciting trip as I have to pick up the sling bags from a main location and partner up with another local farming friend with a rental truck so we can help each other get it done.  It is kind of wild to think that we are not even quite done with this season and yet moving into the next one but that is also the way this type of farming works.   It is all a cycle constantly moving in rhythm to our climate and cycles here in Wisconsin and this late fall early winter months prepare us for reflection, continuing education, not to mention healing physically in preparation for a new cycle.  Many other less exciting organizational projects await this winter as well like itemizing seeds and receipts.   Getting to everything that the season did not allow time for is important in the off season as well before things get crazy busy again including greenhouse and other farm repairs, home repairs, and plenty of paperwork and numbers to crunch.  I will work on clearing out trees and undergrowth which is always creeping in on a few of our fields as well.   The dense undergrowth of some areas always encourages more deer activity and in some areas decreases light too much.   On our 2 acre farm every square yard is valuable space!  Of course I am also looking forward to getting some rest for the aching body, family time with the kids, and the holidays too.   It was a challenging and beautiful journey as always and I think I speak for everyone at the farm when I say we enjoyed growing for you!  Have a great winter and from my family to yours, thank you!

Week #19 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Spaghetti squash, red potatoes, red storage onion, green peppers, purple stripe garlic, white porcelain garlic, red radish, butternut squash (bi-weekly only), jalapeño pepper, spicy salad and/or braising mix, thyme, eggplant, sweet pepper, and arugula.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week marks the final week of deliveries for bi-weekly members who will receive their tenth share of the season this week.   Full season members still have one week remaining next week for delivery #20 of 20.   It has been a long and very bountiful season and I am proud to say I think we did the best job we possibly could.   That being said we are not holding back and going all out as usual this week and next bringing on as much as can possibly be squeezed into each share with as much variety as possible.   We are loading everybody up with garlic this week because it goes good with everything and who can really have enough garlic?  These dry bulbs will store until spring if it takes that long to use them at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate your garlic for long as it will sprout.  Keep it dry and room temp and out of direct sunlight.  The same goes for the winter squash, they should not be refrigerated for long periods as this induces spoiling early.   spaghetti squash you have had a few weeks ago and it is an easy one to prepare and Bi-weekly members are also getting butternut since they have not received one yet.  I love these baked with some pasture butter and real maple syrup but the spaghetti needs to be forked out after baking.  Plenty more of our peppers coming your way this week too as we are including an assortment of green and colored peppers.  Yes they are getting smaller but we think its best to enjoy them while we still can with cold fruitless months coming soon.  Try them roasted or with butternut squash for soup, or of course they are good with pasta, eggs, stir fry and so many other uses for the sweet peppers.  We have had many fresh herbs too enjoy this season but its about time we bring the thyme back :)   If nothing else remember you can always hang a bundle of herbs up to dry and use later in the winter when fresh local herbs are a near impossibility.  Other things going on this week include plenty of clean up taking the tomato vines out of the greenhouses, tilling in weeds, moving posts, and hoops and other equipment into storage for winter.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a 1/2 season (Bi-weekly share) this year! Hopefully you found your experience to be a tasty one and found value in your share of organic produce with us and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.  I hope we will see you returning when sign ups open this winter for another season of fresh veggies in 2017!  While we are talking about wrapping up the season I will remind you one more time that full season basic and standard members still have one week remaining!  For Tuesday folks the last delivery is Oct. 11th and for Thursday folks it is Oct. 13th.  We will be shelling garlic for planting over the next week here and prepping our fields for planting it.  It was a very good garlic year and we have a lot of some very large seed garlic which should make for another good year for it next season.  Garlic also adapts t0 its soil slowly over the years and our stock had definitely progressed into noticeable larger bulbs every year.  To prep for planting this we break all the bulbs up into individual cloves which will be hand planted one by one right side up into their hand dibbled holes in a few weeks.   We still have two more solid months of work here before we can cozy in a bit and let the achy bones rest for a month or two while planning for and dreaming of another season to come. I will be attending winter markets as well if you would like to support us and find our produce through the winter months.   Madison East Side Farmers Market winter market and possibly some Dane County Farmers Market indoors are on the agenda for winter from mid November until Christmas and there will be some excellent frost sweetened greens and garlic to be had among other things.  We will also be downtown on the square and at our regular market locations through October.  Thanks again to all our bi-weekly members, we will be in touch regarding sign up opening for next season around the turn of the new year if we don’t hear from you first.  Until next week then for the rest of our members, enjoy the produce folks!

Week #18 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box:  Salad mix, topped red radish, butternut squash, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, blue coco romano beans, purple glazer garlic, green pepper, sweet peppers, jalapeño pepper.

What’s going on at the farm:  Rain, rain, rain.   It seems more like a monsoon season then fall in the midwest lately but our fields are draining well and no standing water anywhere.  The immense amount of rain has brought a halt to our ability to till and work the fields but at least they are draining and not flooded.  Butternut squash, our third variety of winter squash is going out this week, these are so easy to prepare and so good just roasted face down in the oven at 350 for about an hour.  Serve with butter and maple syrup or brown sugar.  They also make an excellent creamy soup and pair well with red sweet peppers.   More salad mix coming this week for fresh salads and radishes which have been topped and bagged to keep them crisp.   Our beans are still flowing in this week and we have more of the blue romano beans for you despite the strong storms nearly tearing all the vines down from their trellises.   Peppers will be included as a random assortment  this week including green and sweet peppers.    That means only the jalapeño peppers have heat this week, all the others are sweet.  More red potatoes, garlic, and onions for all too.  Our salad mix is a mix of lettuce and arugula this week.   Last week was also half/half arugula lettuce although we had it posted as all lettuce we had to make a change to come up with the right quantity of mix for shares last week.

This week is filled with more clean up tasks and plenty of beans and peppers to pick.  We are working on taking down the tomato vines from the greenhouses and removing other crops from the field as well.   Our newer plantings of salad greens, beauty heart radishes, turnips, and spinach are slowly sizing up in the fields but with all this rain the weeds are still germinating just as fast and we will be weeding these late season crops as well this week.  We were able to take a little time off this weekend from farm work and market to have our annual farm potluck and bonfire and it was a blast.   Good food, friends, and family made for a perfect night celebrating the coming of fall and the near completion of another good season.  Two weeks remain after this one.   Week #19 which is our last week for bi-weekly shares, and of course our final delivery for full season members the week after.   Enjoy the food all!

Week #17 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Acorn squash, spaghetti squash, red potatoes, purple glazer garlic, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, green pepper,  serrano chile pepper, red radish, blue coco romano beans, and chives.

What’s going on at the farm: More new crops to enjoy as the bounty continues this week on the farm.   Acorn squash is new this week after being cured and if you have not had it it’s a flaky light yellow squash,   I like to just split them in two after slicing off the stem and roast them face down in a glass pan with a little oil at 350 for about 40 minutes.  Serve afterwards with butter, sugar, sea salt, etc….    They are also very good roasted with your root vegetables, peppers, onions, beans, garlic, carrots, etc… or as a side dish of course.  Red potatoes are here and they are the only crop we do not grow from seed for you but we just don’t have the field space or equipment to grow potatoes.   We purchased these delicious spuds from Igl farms in central WI for you though and they are certified organic and good any way you cook them up.   They make excellent partners with any of the veggies, or served my favorite way, garlic mashed potatoes. They are delivered and bagged dirty but that protects the skins from damage and they can easily be rinsed prior to use.  I can’t imaging a CSA year or fall without any potatoes so we bought in a healthy portion of these to stock you up for the cooler weeks coming.  Garlic is another long storer in your share i’m sure your familiar with… as well as the storage onions, and they all go so well with everything.   Blue coco romano beans are in shares this week again too, and they can be eaten pod and all either raw, sautéed, steamed, etc… although the purple color will fade when they are cooked.   Crisp green peppers, topped radishes, and some fragrant chilies, and fresh chives complete our share this week.  Thanks everyone and enjoy the veggies!

Week #16 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Garlic, red storage onions, yellow storage onions, red radish, all lettuce salad mix, spaghetti squash, blue coco romano beans, eggplant, green pepper, cayenne pepper, sweet pepper (assorted), and anise hyssop.

What’s going on at the farm:  This week brings us into the last quarter of the season.  We harvested the rest of our winter squashes this week bringing in butternut and acorn squash for curing.   Our blue coco romano beans are going wild now and heavy with beans so plenty of these coming this week.   When cooked the purple color will fade out and the inside of these romano or snap beans is a lovely green and you eat the whole pod on these beauties either raw or cooked.   Garlic and onions aplenty for preparing your favorite dishes and of course they are a staple of cooking for most everything so we like to include these weekly for everyone.   More spaghetti squash coming to you this week and what is perhaps the last of the eggplant and sweet peppers as they will be slowing down big time now with the most welcome dip in temperatures we are having lately.   Cool weather will be perfect for our young spinach, lettuce, chard, salad mixes, and other fall roots in the field.    Our all lettuce salad mix is back this week for fresh salads and more crisp red radishes to pair with it.   Sweet and hot peppers are also included again and we like them for homeade sauce with the spaghetti squash, or as toppings on homeade pizza.    Our outdoor tomatoes are finished now and we have work to do tearing them out and removing trellising this week.   We removed squash beds from the field last week but we have plenty to do every week now mowing down crop residues and pulling plastic.   The greenhouse’s will also be cleaned up of a heavy load of tomato vines soon too as they have been reduced to just a smattering of small fruit here and there.   It was a great tomato year but sadly the cycle does end for us in the Midwest this time of year.   Frost is only a few short weeks away now and the window is closing on our day length and plant growth rate as the temps dip and daylight slowly shortens and becomes less direct.   Fields which were plowed and incorporated last week will be seeded into cover crops of vetch, and white/red clover this week.   Sprouting salad mixes, and greens will be weeded by hand tools, and the harvesting , sorting, washing, and packing will continue as we put together these last week of  summer boxes and fall into equinox next week on September 22nd.   Fall is my favorite time of year, and a time to celebrate our hard work and efforts from the harsh daily grind of non-stop daily farm labor for 6 months straight.   We will be having our annual potluck this year just two days after the equinox on the evening of September 24th so hopefully we will see you here at the farm for that as mentioned last week.    E-mail details coming out this week as well for that dinner.  Thanks and enjoy the harvest!  -Kyle

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