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A Golden Autumn Harvest, Thanksgiving Preparations

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A Golden Autumn Harvest, Thanksgiving Preparations
Reminders & Announcements
  • This week, we deliver to weekly Fall Vegetable Share members only.
  • Thanksgiving Week Delivery Schedule - For the week of November 19th, we will deliver the final Fall Shares (weekly vegetable members only) to all sites on Tuesday, November 20th. Pickup hours will remain the same. Please reach out to Jen if you'd like to make an alternative pickup arrangement. 
  • Local, pasture-raised turkeys available for Thanksgiving - See details below.
  • Renewing Member Discount Expires in 25 days! - Sharing local, family scale food with our community is at the heart of our farm. Your membership makes this possible. As a thank you, renewing members can save 5% on Spring/Summer/Fall Vegetable Package Share and/or the Summer Fruit Package Share through November 30th. Please use discount code renew at checkout. Thank you!
This Week's Vegetable Harvest:
  • Baby Bok Choy 
  • Rutabaga
  • Radishes
  • Young Head Lettuce
  • Mixed Shallots and Cippolini Onions
  • Golden and Scarlet Turnips from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Russet Potatoes from Igl Farms, Antigo, WI 
  • Spaghetti or Acorn Squash from Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI
Farm Photo Journal
Good morning from the farm!

As you may have seen, we've been growing popcorn in the the field closest to the farm driveway for many months now.
Jeff seeded this popcorn crop in "field one" specifically as a part of his crop rotation system. Last year, we grew kale, celery root and celery in this field. Before this, the field was filled with a series of lettuces. By rotating the crops mixes between the fields, we manage pests, build nutrients in the soil (i.e., different crops add/take different nutrients to the soil) and maintain our organic certification.
Jeff's speedy popcorn field review! 
Throughout the spring and summer, we (and likely you, too!) watched the popcorn grow taller and taller each week enjoying each rainfall. In the summer, Jeff took this fun video as he reviewed the popcorn's growth and progress. He sure travels quickly when there's a lot to do around the farm! 
As the fall harvest time approached, we noticed we were getting some pesky help with the harvest. The farmstead squirrels began stocking up on our popcorn for their winter, scattering husks throughout the farmstead. The squirrels didn't stand still long enough to us capture a picture, though you can just imagine the sight of a little gray squirrel barely able to carry an eight-inch long, brightly colored corn cob in his mouth. The cob was bigger than he was! 
With the stalks a golden brown color and the popcorn naturally dried in the sunshine and wind, the crew set to harvest last Thursday. We were warmed by the low, fall sunshine and golden trees surrounding us on the perfect fall day. Jeff sat behind his computer, crunching numbers to finalize plans for the next crop to be rotated into this field.
We hope you've enjoyed watching the seasonal changes in this field. We look forward replanting this field and sharing this year's popcorn with you when its fully dried in spring.

In the meantime, enjoy this week's share of the fall harvest!

Your farmers,

Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This week's share contains both golden and scarlet turnips from our friends at Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Both turnips have a mild radish flavor and an delicate sweetness that can be played up in dishes that call for apples, apple juice or honey. You can leave the skin on for a beautiful addition to roasted root vegetable combinations, or use a mandoline to slice into thin medallions and combine with other fall veggies for a roasted vegetable gratin (a great, flexible vegetable dish to bring to holiday dinners). 
Talk about full circle! Here's Ryan harvesting bok choy in both the early spring and late fall. Baby Bok Choy loves the cooler temperatures that both spring and fall provide, and has a mild, sweet flavor when cooked and is mild enough to eat raw. When cooking with bok choy, use the entire plant, both green leaves and white stems however I generally separate the stems from the leaves as their cooking times differ slightly.  The mild, crunchy stalks make a great addition to salads and vegetable platters, and I like to use the leaves as a last minute garnish to soups.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag and is best eaten within a week. 
This week's shares include the final hoophouse radishes and the final field lettuce of the season. While we have more winter hearty salad mix growing in our hoophouses, both of these harvests include a sampling of some younger veggies that are particularly delicate and sweet. Enjoy!
Pastured Turkeys Available from All Grass Farms

Fresh or frozen turkeys are available from our friends at All Grass Farms.  All Grass Farms is a diversified pasture farm located in Dundee, IL owned by Cliff McConville. Cliff farms on 150 acres of pastureland and using a historic dairy barn (built in 1905) located at the Brunner Family Forest Preserve on IL Rt. 31. 

Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age.  They are free range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily.  They are fed certified organic feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones.  They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA inspected facility.
To reserve your turkey ($35 deposit), please register on the All Grass site website. Please specify in the ordering instructions your size preference and if you'd like to pick up in Grayslake. Turkeys will be available for pickup at our Grayslake farm on Sunday, November 18th.
Farm Kitchen Recipes

Roasted Vegetable Gratin
Stir-Fried Sesame Baby Bok Choy
Spaghetti Squash Soup with Wild Mushrooms
Quinoa-Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...cranberries, sweet potatoes, kale, celery root, leeks and more!

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