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A Look Back on the Season

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A Look Back on the Season
Reminders & Announcements
  • This week, we deliver to all Fall Vegetable and Egg Share members only. This is the final Fall Share delivery for every other week members.
  • Next week, weekly Fall Share members will pick up their final shares. We will deliver the final weekly Fall Shares to all sites on Tuesday, November 20th. Pickup hours will remain the same. Please contact Jen if you'd like to make an alternative pickup arrangement. 
  • Local, pasture-raised turkeys - Turkeys through All Grass Farms are sold out. For additional local options, please check Thank you for supporting local farmers!
  • Join for us for 2019 Spring, Summer & Fall Farm Shares - 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:
  • Salad Mix
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
  • Beautyheart Radishes
  • Salad Turnips
  • Cabbage
  • Celery Root - from Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI 
  • Kale
  • Cranberries - from Degrandchamp Farms, South Haven, MI 
Farm Photo Journal
Good morning from the farm!
As we enter our final two weeks of our outdoor farming season, we reflect on the past months and we find a theme: what a rollercoaster this year has been! We are not alone in the feeling that this was one of toughest seasons on record. Many of our fellow farmers in the region have shared this same sentiment.
This is what our first April planting of scallions (and broccoli, cabbage, beets & lettuce) looked like a day after planting. 
Why? While each farm is different in what pieces made the farm season challenging, we all shared a rollercoaster of weather including a cold, wet spring, a dry summer and again a particularly cold, wet fall. Beyond weather, farming is a complex business filled with delightful, sun-filled highs (amazing team work and great harvests) and downright upsetting lows (flooded fields and still no farm bill).
When extreme weather events happen, they make the complexities of growing 190+ varieties of vegetables more challenging. For instance, when the soil was wet, everything slowed down (but not in a good way!). Our equipment got caked in the sticky soil. Seeders, planters and cultivation tools became difficult, and sometimes impossible, to operate.
Additionally, its harder to bring in the harvest when your boots are several pounds heavier than normal!
When it was dry, we had more flexibly in the work we got done, however, our crops don't grow as well. When days are long and warm, the plants need water as a crucial piece of their consistent growth and to develop the best flavor. Often we were awake until the wee hours of the night turning irrigation on and off to make sure our crops were properly watered. No matter how hard we try, there is no substitute for a gentle rain in the middle of the summer.
We also saw more severe pest damage during July's long, dry spell adding to the stress of crops already struggling due to lack of rain. Intermittent rain can help break the lifecycles of some pests. 
All things considered, we grew many delicious, nutrient-filled crops this season including beautiful spring lettuces, summer garlic and onions and fall carrots. Some of our normally bountiful crops (broccoli, late season beets and tomatoes) you saw less of due to the disease pressure that snatched them before they could mature, however we strived to include as many as we could.
We planted a wide diversity of crops to provide you with a variety of flavors. This approach also strikes a balance similar to the diversity that occurs in nature. Each crop likes a different weather conditions and responds differently to stresses, so when one crop is suffering there is usually another that is doing quite well.
When not tending the crops, we made sure our animals were happy, healthy and comfortable amidst the rollercoaster of weather.
We were fortunate to have a rich community of farming friends who supported one another this season. When one of us is feeling stress, another one steps in to lend a helping hand or cheers us up with laughter around a table. This support is essential to local family scale farming and its our pleasure to support and introduce them you throughout the season. 
Finally we were also grateful for our members and customers words of encouragement, which were beyond what we could ever expect. Thank you for joining us for this journey through the season and thank you for trusting us grow your food for your family.

With gratitude from your your farmers, 
Jeff and Jen Miller

...and everyone who helped us to grow this season!
Jeff, Jen, Tyler, Elaine, Mark, Ryan, Kim, Arlet, Rory, Courtney, Karina, Ash, Charlotte, Jem, Alden, Emily, Nadia, Nate, Henry
Storage Tips from the Farm Kitchen
Many of the fall crops store nicely for months in your refrigerator. Cabbage can be stored within its outside "wrapper" while root crops (e.g., celery root, rutabaga, carrots, beets, turnips) can be stored within plastic in your refrigerator for weeks. Sweet potatoes and onions are best stored within a cool, 50 degree dark space. Cranberries can be kept in a plastic bag and used within several weeks, or into a ziplock bag in your freezer for use at a later date. Make sure to remove your green tops from the salad turnips and store separately to keep the roots firm and greens healthy.
Farm Kitchen Recipes

Turnip, Leek and Potato Soup - CSA Member, Stephanie recommends this recipe and uses her emersion blender at the end after removing bay leaf. Even the kids love this soup! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large leeks, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced or chopped
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds turnips, peeled and diced
1 large russet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and diced
2 quarts water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh tarragon and/or chives for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the turnips, potatoes, water or stock, salt to taste, and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is fragrant. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.
Blend the soup in batches in a blender (cover the top with a towel and hold it down to avoid hot splashes), or through a food mill fitted with the fine blade. The soup should be very smooth. Strain if desired. Return to the pot. Stir and taste. Adjust salt, add freshly ground pepper, and heat through. Serve in small bowls, garnished with chopped fresh tarragon and/or chives. (You can make this a day or two ahead and reheat.)
(Source: New York Times Cooking)
Simple Make-­Ahead Cranberry Sauce
12-ounce fresh cranberries, cleaned
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Cook the cranberries, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Add the apple, zests, and juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, and serve chilled.
(Source: Ina Garten)
Ultimate Fall Salad  With a good amount of recipe sharing happening here at the farm, I'm sharing what I planning to serve for one of our Thanksgiving sides.
1 small butternut squash
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 bunch chopped kale or spinach (about 6 cups)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups cooked farro
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 cups chopped apples (about 2-3 apples)
4 ounces shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon chopped shallot
Peel, scoop out seeds, and cube butternut squash. Toss in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp ground pepper. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes at 400°F, or until squash is tender and golden brown.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts until golden brown and fragrant. Combine kale, farro, apples, squash, walnuts, cheese, and cranberries in a bowl.
For the dressing, whisk 1 tbsp olive oil, orange juice, mustard, shallot, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl until fully combined. Dress salad immediately, or keep dressing on the side and dress your salad as you go.
(Source: Cooking Light)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic and Chile - We've also made this Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top (instead of chile). Its an easy family favorite at our house.
1½ pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as Crystal, Texas Pete, or Sriracha)
1 garlic clove, grated
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss sweet potatoes with oil on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer; season with ½ tsp. salt. Roast until tender and browned in spots, 35–40 minutes. Remove from oven; while still hot, toss potatoes with hot chili sauce and garlic. Season with salt.
(Source: Bon Appetit)

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...spinach, leeks, butternut squash, carrots, mixed herbs and more!

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